PC guy needing some clarification

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by RuggedPro, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. RuggedPro macrumors regular

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    #1
    I've had limited exposure to MBP but I've impressed with the little time I've had. Everything seems to work seamlessly with little delay and it's hard to beat the software suite available for multimedia purposes.

    I'm asking for some clarification on spec comparisons. I'm looking at the new envy 17 with quad core i7, 1080 screen, 640gb 7200rpm hdd, blu ray, and a whole bunch of other crap like finger print scanner, photoshop preloaded etc. Total price: 1500 shipped. (The envy is as close in terms of form as I can get. Has a metal body)

    The comparable MBP isn't really comparable in price or specs. No quad core, (although they did just add the i7) no 1080 screen, no blu ray, and sans a lot of other crap. (finger print scanner etc.) Price is well over 2200 at last build I did.

    Now, my buddy says you can compare specs because of PCs penchant for having a lot of bloat. I agree with that. Also, things like photoshop etc. seem matched with apples offerings as far as I can tell.

    Here's what I need. A computer to manage multimedia and a general do it all machine. I have iphones and ipads. Love apple stuff and continually amazed by their innovation. Just wondering if such a huge gap in performance specs would be noticeable? I think the Ipad is the future and wonder when they are going to beef up its performance to make notebooks all together obsolete.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #2
    The Mac Pro will always be the best Desktop and the MBP will always be the best Laptop ... unless video games are your thing

    the iPad is a gadget period.

    The 2 machines I mentioned above will always be the core of Apple

    once you pull the trigger you will wonder about the wasted PC years
     
  3. RuggedPro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    You know, hyperbole is best used sparingly.

    The "best" anything is the definition of subjective. Looking for technical answers, comparisons and opinions. Thanks.
     
  4. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #4
    sorry ... not looking to offend .. I have just KNOWN this TECHNICAL FACT after working in the Printing Industry for over 25 years ... since Apple was just a seedling. and I have used plenty of PCs over the last 1/4 century.


    Google ... PC vs Mac or Mac vs PC ... should help you decide :cool:
     
  5. melterx12 macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I can garauntee you in general day to day use you will not notice a difference between a core i7 and a core 2 duo clocked at similar speeds. especially in a laptop.

    this is not to say that an i7 is not faster than a core 2 duo. you will certainly notice a difference when doing cpu intensive tasks such as encoding or playing cpu intensive games.

    if youre comparing the macbook pro 15" with dual core i5/i7 with a quad core i7, what I stated above goes double. most tasks do not even utilize more than 2 logical cores, except encoding videos.
     
  6. AdamRock macrumors 6502a

    AdamRock

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    #6
    when you buy a mbp you're sacrificing performance for looks; that's why i have a quad pc as my main comp :D
     
  7. RuggedPro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Awesome man. Thanks for that. I do a fair bit of encoding but don't play PC games. I cant separate my household entirely from PC as my profession (trader) and mac aren't great bed fellows. Emulators simply don't cut it. One day perhaps.

    Our home theater also works off PC based hardware/software. Although the Iphone ties in nicely as a peripheral controller.

    I appreciate the information.
     
  8. RuggedPro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    What is it you do that makes use of quad core?

    Is there a standard performance test I can run on my buddies MBP and other computers to get a baseline?
     
  9. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #9
    will the programs you run utilize more than 2 cores? many programs don't. without that, most of the advantage is gone. the rest is what, a pointless fingerprint scanner, more ports and Blu-ray...up to you how much Blu-ray and more ports is worth.

    I don't know what you're looking at, but a 17" MBP has a 1920x1200px screen. 1200 > 1080. moreover, 16:9 is a crappy aspect ratio if the primary purpose is something other than watching movies.

    part of the pricing for Windows computers is subsidized through bloatware.

    how's the battery life on the Envy? weight? what about display and sound quality? there's much more to computers (or anything else) than just specifications.

    honestly I'd only buy an Envy if I didn't plan on moving it much, or if I really wanted eSATA or USB3.
     
  10. RuggedPro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    More great info. Thanks!

    I rip any physical media so blu ray is important. I play the uncompressed ISO files in our home theater but I encode the things I could possibly want on our iphones/ipads. I'm working with AirPlay and like apps, to see if I can get around that process.

    Interesting observation about 16:9. I will research that some more.

    Fingerprint scanner is interesting to me as I'm a security nut. I used to think it was a novelty but I'm beginning to see the plus side to it. Not a deal breaker by any means though.

    Battery life and weight are the things I care least about. I don't know if I've ever used any laptop I've owned, unplugged. Just doesn't fit my usage. If all things were equal, I would of course take the lighter machine but this as well is not a big issue to me.

    Display is something I would like to talk about. The envy is beautiful but I'm real interested in the consensus of something like the retina display or comparable tech becoming available on the mac or ipad in the near future?

    I'm new to apple but I'm starting to see they generally have a press conference for any major changes as opposed to PC just pushing stuff out with little fanfare. Is this the case? Are mac improvements done until the next "back to the mac" type event, next year?

    Thanks again!
     
  11. RuggedPro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Missed some other glaring differences in the 2 machines in question: Graphics card and memory.

    1gb vs 512
    6-8gig vs. 4
     
  12. Mike225 macrumors 6502a

    Mike225

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    #12
    Try the Envy 17. You have 21 days to return it. I would suggest a clean install of Windows though because the bloatware installed by OEMs is responsible for most of the issues people have with Windows.

    I went with the Envy14 and love it for the most part.

    Things I dont like are the trackpad which is not as good as MBP's and realistic battery life is 4.5-5 hours versus 7-8 probably.


    My Envy 14:
    160GB SSD, 6 GB RAM, Radiance Screen, Core i5-450M and after using Bing cash back which is sadly gone now I got it for $1095.
     
  13. revelated macrumors 6502a

    revelated

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    #13
    Further definition of "multimedia" is required. Are you talking movies? Are you streaming them or storing and playing them? Are you using physical media?

    Anyone telling you the processor speeds aren't noticeable is lying...somewhat. You will notice, but it probably won't matter much. Even the i5 is more than enough.

    Here's what I suggest you use for comparison (MacBook Pro 17").

    - 2.4GHz i5
    - SSD (This will ramp the price, but it'll be the single biggest performance boost, and negate the need to have a super strong processor)
    - 8GB RAM 1066MHz

    The MacBook is going to be higher but not by much, assuming you also compare the Envy's price with a SSD.

    For Blu-ray, this might sound strange, but that's why I keep a PS3 around. Ripping doesn't make sense especially given how much storage is required. Until we get to the engineering point where we can create petabytes in nano format for pennies on the dollar I just dont find it practical. YMMV - in which case you can always just get an external Blu-ray drive.
     
  14. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #14
    unless you're ok with using an external drive, I think the decision is more or less made for you, then.

    there isn't much to research, it's more of a preference...but the flatter ratio of 16:9 can only be worse than 16:10, not better, for productivity. I personally can't stand it.

    do you really need a laptop then? just throwing that out there...an all-in-one desktop could do what you're asking if you don't move it much.

    "Retina" has to do with the 300ppi "magic number", which is when the resolution of the screen matches or exceeds that of the human eye. it's not coming to anything larger than a phone anytime soon - putting a "Retina" screen in a 10.7" iPad screen would require roughly the resolution of a 30" monitor, 2560x1600px...so it's not coming to any computer anytime soon.

    the issue is if the Envy even has a good screen, which all the MBPs do. I've never used an Envy, so I wouldn't know.

    new releases are typically announced at some sort of event. small upgrades might go unannounced. Macbook Pros are updated every ~8 months, I think.


    does the graphics card affect what you do? do the programs you use utilize 1GB of video RAM? because if they don't, then it's a moot point anyway.
     
  15. RuggedPro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Just doing some more reading. Answered quite a bit of my questions. Specifically relating to duo core vs. quad core.
     
  16. RuggedPro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    I have plenty of external storage space and am constantly adding to it. I don't see the reason in encoding blu ray so I keep the ISO file full size for full quality. People can argue that till their blue in the face but for me, I can tell a difference in compressed content.

    I do a fair bit of my work from the couch but game time is done at my desk. If I'm thinking correctly, I should be able to take the envy from the couch to my office and simply light up 3 external monitors then disconnect and head back to the couch when my day is done. So, a laptop would be preferable and yes the graphics card does matter to bigger extent than a casual user.

    Thanks for the technical clarification on retina and screen resolution.

    Let's talk SSD: Why? What's the draw? Is the speed exponentially greater than a 7200rpm drive? I have no experience with SSD. Are you saying that processor speed can be made up by hard drive performance?


    I believe I'm starting to see what will work for me is not out on the fringe of either companies offerings but somewhere in the middle. That's inspiring as the cost savings could be significant.

    I think I took the "MOARRRR ISSSS BEETTTEERRR" approach on the outset. Settling down a bit thanks to the help received in this thread.

    Are their external blu ray players that work for MBP? (for ripping purposes)
     
  17. Mike225 macrumors 6502a

    Mike225

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    #17
    SSD makes loading most programs load instant. It also has no moving parts so no risk when moving your computer and no noise. After going SSD you will probably never want to go back to traditional HDD.


    Photoshop CS5 loads in under 4 seconds on my Envy 14 Core i5-450M with the Intel G2 SSD.


    Also the Envy is unbeatable for multi monitor setups. Check out Eyefinity.
     
  18. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Photoshop CS5 loads in 4-5 seconds on my MBP with a Momentus XT on the first start, almost instant on second load.
     
  19. Mike225 macrumors 6502a

    Mike225

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    #19
    Which makes sense since it's partially an SSD
     
  20. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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    #20
    Not really since I did a fresh install of OSX last night and have been loading alot of apps to the hdd. The Momentus XT only uses the SSD portion after learning, considering thats probably the second time I have ever started CS5 there is no way the XT was storing that in flash.
     
  21. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a

    milbournosphere

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    #21
    If you're looking for a solid number, Check out geekbench. Be sure to use the 64bit application in order to get an accurate benchmark. You can also browse scores of various mac (and PC) models to see how they fared using their browser.
     
  22. Mike225 macrumors 6502a

    Mike225

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    #22
    So whats your point? That your computer doesnt load Photoshop as fast as mine with your i7 and Momentus XT.
     
  23. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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    #23
    You say in under 4 seconds, mine is 4 seconds to load the program. The i7 isnt doing anything for the loading, its the hdd. Its showing that your poor performing intel ssd barely performs over a 7200rpm hdd...
     
  24. toxic macrumors 68000

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    #24
    application load times mean little since you only need to launch it once. SSDs are great for feeling faster, but whether they actually (significantly) increase your productivity depends on how much your applications access the hard drive...oftentimes, the increase in read/write speed (with an SSD) within applications isn't worth the cost over a good hard disk.

    edit: I just launched PS CS5 in about 6.5 seconds, and ID CS5 in about 11.5 seconds, uncached (i.e. after login), on a 1TB Caviar Blue. once they're cached (quitting and relaunching), it takes ~2 seconds to launch them again. I don't know how long it'd take if I had an SSD, but the time savings from application startup would mean just about nothing anyway.
     
  25. Mike225 macrumors 6502a

    Mike225

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    #25
    I just timed mine and its 3.1-3.2 seconds according to my iPhone stopwatch. Yours was said to be 4-5 (ie 40-50% longer)

    Lets not fight
     

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