Opionons on Selecting a Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by antoine, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. antoine macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I was hoping I could kindly get some advice on which Macbook to choose. I'm a long time advanced PC user, but always had an interest in macs. I was recently made aware of bootcamp and how well it runs now, as well as VMware's new upgrades and usefulness running osx and windows simultaneously.

    Anyhow, I'm leaning towards the 15' Mackbook Pro (2.4ghz). Not too sure how much of a benefit the 2.53ghz will provide given it's cost? It might be wiser to just get the 2.4ghz with a 4gig ram upgrade. I'm not into any graphic design or rendering, I would be using it for typical, browsing, word processing, media, also for work which would require bootcamp to remote login to my pc in the office (not too happy about the lack of ports, 2 usb, no hdmi, dvi dongle required, no e-sata etc.) as I'm sure many of you are as well. Some might say just get the macbook, personally I don't like the 13 inch display, I also read quite a few reviews that say the display is not as good as it's 15 mpb big brother. I find a 15 is perfect. However, if they offered a macbook in 15' it'd be an easy decision. I also was curious about what make/model mac uses when you upgrade to a 7200RPM 250 or 320hd? I read a few good threads here about upgrading on your own with a WD or a seagate both 7200pms and I think thats a great idea if the stock 7200 (Hitatchi it might be?) is not any good.

    I've been sitting on the fence for some time now, to upgrade from an old Asus W3V but i've been pretty content with the reviews I've read. The price is a bit high and like others have said if the Vaio Z was 15.4 it would be a difficult decision. However, I think it's more about just plain wanting to try something new now that there is a safety net of a more functional version of bootcamp and VMware. Any feedback anyone has would be much appreciated.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #2
    If all you're getting the pro for is the bigger, nicer built-in display, definitely stick with the baseline model. You can upgrade the hard disk yourself, instructions are in the manual that comes with your machine.
     
  3. TheHoff macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #3
    Similar situation here. I was a MS-DOS / Windows / Vista user for a long, long time. I killed my Asus V1-S and decided to switch (my wife has had an iBook for a while so it wasn't entirely unfamiliar).

    I picked the base 2.4 MBP and let them upgrade the RAM in-store -- they give you $75 for each 2-gig chip so it is a very reasonable $150 upgrade fee. I couldn't see any reason to pay more for the 2.53 or 2.8 for what I do (no rendering). I then swapped in a better hard drive myself and I'm using the drive it came with in a cheap enclosure as a new off-site mirror backup. I already had a WD Scorpio Black 7200 RPM 320gig in my Asus laptop so I re-partitioned and moved that one over. It works well, no complaints, and the switch is dead simple with the new MBP design.

    I personally chose Parallels because they had that in-store, but I didn't do any research on that. Go for the switch; you'll like the quality build over the Asus. The keyboard is excellent, IMO -- and I'm an old fan of the original IBM XT clicker. I think this one is great. The screen is no big deal since any serious work can be done on an external and it does look good after calibration anyway. I do wish it had one more step up in resolution. It would be nice to have more real estate while working but actually for showing clients work the resolution it comes with is better and text is more naturally sized to a typical monitor.
     
  4. antoine thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 28, 2008
    #4
    Thanks Hoff, very useful feedback. We've come a long way since MS-DOS that's for sure.

    I guess I can stick with the 5400rpm and get a 320 7200rpm on my own - it seems to be very simple with the new design as you pointed out. Also, I would just upgrade the ram in store. The ASUS was great but, ah well it's time to move on. I too do not see a valid reason to upgrade to a 2.53 or 2.8. As for the screen I like glossy displays so it's not a big deal. I really don't need the mbp for travelling a whole lot so the 13inch doesnt make sense, I really dislike small screens anyhow.

    I think the 15' 2.4 4gig is the best choice. Did you defer your applecare purchase or did you purchase it right away? I think I would go with VMware and Bootcamp for all things work related (that requires specific software for windows) word processing and excel can easily be done in OSX now it seems.

    Thanks for the feedback guys I appreciate it.



    Thanks for the feedback guys.
     
  5. effer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    #5
    I would definitely get the MBP over the MB, based entirely on the superior display. I got the 2.53ghz model at a discount, but I think it makes a lot more sense to just go with the 2.4ghz, and do the easy upgrades yourself. Just think, if/when you sell it in the future, no one is going to pay hundreds more because of 2x VRAM and a 130mhz clockspeed bump. And you won't notice a difference in performance.

    From what I've read, most modern 5400rpm HDD's perform relatively fast. I mean, there's benchmarks, and then there's real world performance and user perception. If you have the money, I think the decision comes down to 500GB 5400rpm or 320GB 72300rpm. You can't lose either way. But perhaps you should settle for the stock HDD and just try it out for now.

    I use VMWare and Parallels. I've found Parallels to offer a much smoother experience running my bootcamp partition of XP in OS X. VMWare will allow you to tap both cpu cores, but this hasn't made the experience any smoother for me. Having 4GB of RAM is wise for running virtual machines, but (I'm guessing) not totally necessary for your needs.

    I made the switch to Mac on the promise of Boot Camp. I still do all my video editing in XP, in a window, because I hate not having simultaneous access to OS X!

    The MBP is missing those features/ports you mentioned, but its pluses are pretty huge. For instance, do you know the Leopard feature 'expose'? You can activate it now with a 4-finger downwards swipe on the giant trackpad. It's amazing for managing a dozen opened windows, and negates my need to have a secondary monitor.
     
  6. antoine thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    #6
    You make a good point about the processor. I have the money if need be, however, i think it's better spent on a 4gig ram upgrade, a dvi cable and an external kb to use with my 22' display.

    I'm aware of expose it's a really cool feature, it's odd that you are getting better results than VMware usually I've heard the opposite. I will settle for the stock HD for now and go from there. They did make a mistake with the ports, I mean it wouldn't have killed them. However, I'm sure it came up at some point in their design phase and they had to make a build quality decision and the ports were cut - in the end it's not a huge deal.

    Anyone have any experience with how long it takes an apple rep to upgrade the ram in store? Thinking about picking one up today.

    Appreciate the feedback guys.

     
  7. TheHoff macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #7
    I didn't get Applecare. Not sure if I will or not.

    re: the RAM; they said 1 hour in store but it was ready in 30 minutes. Of course that would depend on how busy your store is (Vancouver is usually packed)... it took longer to get a sales associate that could answer my questions and place my order than it did for the RAM upgrade to finish.

    I personally found the sales people and Geniuses to be, well, anything but genius. They were not very informed about migrating Vista data, equipment, etc. It sounds like you're going to end up with about the same set-up I did. I went for the wired Apple keyboard and my own wireless Logitech mouse.
     
  8. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816

    DoNoHarm

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Maine
    #8
    MBP Classic

    Have you considered the MBP Classic? You can pick up refurbished ones for 1399. I bought a new one from the clearance store for 1399 with my edu discount and I'm so happy with my purchase! They also give you a free printer, btw.
     
  9. TheHoff macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #9
    Yea that is like $1,000 in savings, so certainly not chump change. If you're a fan of design, though, the new case is a real piece of work.
     
  10. antoine thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 28, 2008
    #10
    There is savings but I think the new design is kind of what pushed me over the edge, and it's a newer revision. If it wasn't this MBP it would be a Sony Vaio Z type laptop (if it had a bigger screen). I think it's a great idea for those who will not care about the deisgn and can get a great notebook for a great price.

    The apple phone rep, or genius whatever they're called asked if I wanted to book a time. I think I'll just show up and give myself 30 minutes as I'm working late daily to get the ram upgrade.

    Any must have software or dos/don'ts to know about? I read a few threads about people keeping bookmarks and other things that would help them in switching over.
     
  11. Vivid.Inferno macrumors 6502

    Vivid.Inferno

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    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    #11
    I am going to be a switcher as of tomorrow. I'm rather nervous, and extremely excited!
     
  12. TheHoff macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #12
    I would buy a cheap $20 external enclosure for 2.5" drives and put your old laptop drive in it. That way you can mount it on the new mac and pull everything off as you want to. I'm not much of a bookmarker so I didn't bother... I would go through all of your apps that have equivalent versions and do the "export settings" files if you want to keep your Firefox bookmarks, etc, in place without moving them manually.

    Of course with Boot Camp or whatever VM you can always install the windows app and export it later if you find you missed something.

    Re: software, nah, pretty much anything you might need is available online nowadays, isn't it? I bought Parallels and iWork in store for the heck of it... Lightroom has the Mac version online and downloadable for online purchasers... Photoshop is requiring a "Letter of Destruction" so they will send me the original Mac Retail version-- and I had to pay for a CS3 --> CS4 upgrade.
     
  13. delude macrumors 6502

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    Dec 27, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    Same here!
     
  14. Vivid.Inferno macrumors 6502

    Vivid.Inferno

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    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    #14
    I'm picking it up at Best Buy after my Anatomy and Physiology class tomorrow =D.
     
  15. delude macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    Nice :D. I hope learning to use OS X is easier than whatever you'll be doing in that class :D
    I'm hoping mine is delivered without any problems tomorrow.
     
  16. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816

    DoNoHarm

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Maine
    #16
    Dude, you'll love Mac. I always tell my friends that it's like youre in a room with a fan goin on in the background while you use Windows. Switching to Leopard is like all of a sudden turning off the fan. The difference is amazing.
     

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