Possibly returning to Mac after 10 years, advice wanted!

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by CaMIRO, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. CaMIRO macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2008
    I've read this forum pretty thoroughly over the past few days, but I thought I'd try and get a little more input -

    Am looking at buying a Macbook after nearly a decade with PCs of various sorts. My first Mac was a PowerBook 190cs; my last, a 2400c. The 2400c went in for a new logic board twice in the first year I used it, and made the trip back to Apple for a hard drive in its first week - but until I bought that computer, I had no idea that it was possible to fall in love with a laptop. I imagine that those who used one for any length of time know the feeling.

    I can't remember what drove me back to PCs - the logic boards (third time's a charm) and my dislike for translucent plastic probably had something to do with it - but I always missed my 2400c.

    Recently, I had the opportunity to spend some time with OS X. Impressed, I took a closer look at Apple's current range. Peripherally, I suppose, the black Macbook 2.4 reminds me of my long lost 2400c - but it's more than that. There's something thoroughly inspiring about Apple's interfaces and, much as Win XP has been fairly solid for me, I don't remember it ever quite making me smile the way that a few hours with a new Mac did.

    Perhaps I'm easily pleased, or I've been away too long.

    Either way -

    - I'm looking to upgrade from an older Thinkpad, and the idea of being able to run Leopard while also windowing a few of my must-have Windows apps very much appeals to me.

    Is anyone out there regularly running Photoshop CS3 and editing video in Leopard on a Macbook 2.4 2GB, while simultaneously using, say, Visual Studio 2005/ MS SQL Server through Parallels? How realistic is such a scenario?

    I'm not planning on playing games on whatever I buy, but I'm trying to figure out how much I'd miss the graphics card of the Macbook Pro.​

    Thanks in advance for your advice and patience. :)
  2. asme macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2008
    Don't. Build quality has plummeted yet further.
  3. mosx macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2007
    You can say that again!

    Plus there are other things to consider. The MacBook's integrated Intel GPU is one. OS X doesn't take advantage of advanced video features the way XP and especially Vista do. So even if the next Intel GPU has support for H.264 (decoding only, none of the advanced features nvidia and AMD/ATI's integrated and dedicated GPUs have), OS X won't take advantage of it.

    So if you like to watch video on the computer at all, this includes DVDs and all other forms, it won't look nearly as good on a Mac as it does on PC. Watching DVDs on my HP versus my Mac is night and day. Plus my HP can run blu-ray discs and I can hook it up to my HDTV via the HDMI output on it and watch movies that way.

    But the build quality and stability of OS X has gone WAY downhill. Going from Tiger to Leopard is a night and day difference when concerning stability. I know Leopard is "newer" but its more unstable for me than Vista is.

    Get a new PC with Vista 64, throw 4GB of RAM in it, make sure it has at least a GeForce 8400M GS and you'll be happy. Also keep in mind that Gateway sells systems for $999 with Radeon HD2600s, 2GB of RAM, and 2.4GHz C2Ds. ibuypower sells the same thing but with the GeForce 8600M GT 512MB.
  4. ki2594 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2008
    Carmel, IN.
    wow idk what you did with OS X...mine destroys my vista laptop which has better specs. Anyways...i run photoshop cs3 and edit a lot of video with no problem on my 2.4 ghz model. Parallels stuff though...idk.
  5. Wabledoodle macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2008
    Photoshop will not really have too much of a difference between integrated graphics and a dedicated graphics card. The only real difference, as shown by multiple benchmark tests, comes from 3d rendering, the most notable example being gaming.
    As for the Parallels/VMWare/virtualization issue, I have never been a huge fan of virtual machines except for quick testing purposes so I would tend to recommend against using them. Also bear in mind that you will have to purchase additional software (Parallels or VMWare fusion) for this to work. I would strongly suggest looking into Mac alternatives. Visual Studio should be fairly easy to replace, but I'm not too sure about MS SQL.

    In summary, Photoshop and CS3 in general will run like a dream, but I would consider looking into alternatives to virtual machines, especially if you are planing on using both OSX and a virtual machine at the same time.
  6. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    I would still future proof. I can say with a fair amount of accuracy that Photoshop CS4 will have GPU accelleration. The dev's might just realize that the extra processing abilities of a GPU will aid with filters and such.
  7. brokoli macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2007

    for cs3 graphics card won't make any difference BUT CS4 that is going to come out (in less than a year?) will make use of the graphics card. that will make a huge difference you google it, they announced it last week or so..

    I can't emphasize enough how much the integrated graphics card sucks except for movie watching. it has a terrible lousy performance.
  8. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    I'm sorry but it hasn't plummeted below any other manufacturer, there all made by the same company in a factory in China. As long as you avoid buying one on the release date, wait a couple of weeks and see if there okay, then you should be fine.

    And anyone who thinks Gateways build quality is better then Apple's is clearly in a world of their own.


    And considering the pickiness of some of the people I've seen on here, returning it if there was a single scratch, I'd say that wasn't bad. And the people who did have to return it got a brand new one that worked fine from what i read.

    Stop speaking for everyone.
  9. AppleMatt macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2003
    You've got quite demanding requirements. Any chance you could borrow or loan an Apple laptop for a while?

  10. mosx macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2007
    So a poll taken by less than 100 people is somehow representative of the quality of millions of products sold? I don't think so.

    When was the last time you heard of Gateway/Dell/HP/Sony/etc. cases cracking from heat? Or simply falling apart due to the magnetic latches? Or denting because it took a soft hit inside of a padded case? Or warping? Or yellow screens? Or getting so hot that you can't comfortably use them to just browse the web on your lap?

    Apple's build quality has hit rock bottom. It's worse than the other large manufacturers by a huge margin. The only thing "premium" about a Mac these days is the price tag.

    Also, when was the last time you heard of a government getting involved and investigating any PCs because of consumer complaints regarding design flaws? So far thats only happened to Apple.

    Apple's build quality and their issues with their products and motherboards on the G3 and G4 iBooks (not logic board, sorry, that sounds stupid) seriously makes me question how long my MacBook will live beyond the warranty.
  11. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    :eek::eek::eek: My first MAC (BMB) (refurb) has been my best computer ever, ZERO problems, OSX is a dream Paid $1049, added 4GB RAM You get bad computers in EVERY genre, mine's been flawless!:cool::D
  12. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    and you have gathered this little tidbit of information from where?

    Apple may not be the best in every or even most aspects of manufacturing and customer care but I think you exaggerate (or should I say troll) when you say "rock bottom".

    Class action suits probably happen all the time to large corporations, you just don't hear about anyone's except Apple's on this board.

    Probably will die the next day judging by most electronics. Why does "logic board" sound "stupid" to you?
  13. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Very realistic; the current Macbook Pros can do all that and more; unfortunately the LCDs are no S-IPS like the Thinkpads.

    Those plastic cases crack; Alienware computers are known crack. Yes Macs will dent, other computer simply crack and fall apart. I guess it's hard to warp plastic and no expect it to break. CCFL panels do have have yellow screens; and I don't have a yellow screen. And I'm sorry the MBP is 1-inch thick while the rest of them are 2-inches thick.

    Oh really? Throw a Dell Precision out the window and then a Macbook Pro, see which one breaks first.

    They do it all the time; when was the last you didn't hear of the government investigating a large company?
    I guess planar card must sound worse?
  14. mosx macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2007
    Well, I felt the same way you did when I got my first Mac more than a year ago. But after the experience I've had with OS X (full system lockups more than I ever had in 1.5 decades on Windows) and the build quality issues, my opinion is now completely opposite.

    I do like OS X. But the hardware is what gets me the most. Macs are poorly built using relatively low end and mid-range hardware and sold at premium prices.

    These forums, Apple's forums, other Apple related forums.. the fact that Apple is the only major PC manufacturer to have government investigations into the build quality of their computers.

    Well, why can't I call AppleCare right now? It's 1am Saturday morning. If something goes wrong with my HP I can call HP and schedule a repair. With Apple I either have to spend $30 in gas to drive to the local Apple Store or wait until Monday.

    And I've yet to see a modern notebook PC crack from heat or latches or discolor or simply fall apart.

    Who said anything about class action lawsuits? I was talking about the government of a country investigating Apple and their products. When was the last time HP or Dell was investigated because of design flaws they refused to acknowledge?

    Only if its a Mac.

    Because it is a "motherboard". "Logic board" is just a silly term coined by Apple to try to sound different. Call it what it is.


    Only MacBooks have widespread cracking problems.

    That's funny, because all 3 of my HPs haven't had any build quality issues and they all used plastic. Both MacBooks have had issues that have had to be taken care of. Cracking, discoloration, separation, softness (why is a $1400 computer soft? My $900 HP isn't), etc.

    I was referring to the MacBook Pro at that point. But you know, many MBPs actually come out of the BOX warped. Apple, in most cases, will simply tell the person that it is "within spec". Ridiculous.

    Sorry, all of the CCFL backlit panels I have used have NEVER had a yellow tint. MBPs on the other hand are notorious for having one third of the screen turn yellow.

    The MacBook Pro (and MacBook) are both 1" thick, yes. But neither one has a proper cooling system. My HP is 1" at the front and 1.75" at the back. It also has a proper cooling system that is built around AIR FLOW. I can sit here and play games on it or encode video for HOURS and it will barely be warm to the touch anywhere on the case. The MacBook? Well, half an hour of browsing with it on my lap and it gets too uncomfortable to use. I've used quite a few MacBook Pros, including one to play some games. That thing got ridiculously hot to the touch. That is another reason I question the life span of the MacBook and MacBook Pro. Even though the C2D is designed to run hot, how long can it and the other components survive while running at increased temperatures because of Apple's poor cooling system and poor design choices?


    If the MacBook Pro didn't break, it'd be so dented, scratched, and bent that it would be unusable anyway. Plus that Dell has the option of an accidental damage plan (why doesn't Apple offer this again? Accidental coverage with HP and Dell costs as much as AppleCare does which only extends the basic warranty) so you just call up Dell and they'll fix it.

    And when was the last time any government ordered HP, Dell, Gateway, etc. to allow customers to return their systems for a repair due to a design defect that they intentionally denied and ignored?

    I love my iPods and iPhone. I do like Mac OS X even though it is no more stable and problem free than Windows, but the computers are too overpriced and too poorly built. The more I think about it, the more I want to sell my MacBook.
  15. asme macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2008
    Don't sell it, get a replacement and then sell the replacement.

    It's really quite easy. I did it, and now I'm happily typing away on my flawless Core Solo Mac Mini (running Tiger, ofc).
  16. mosx macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2007
    Well, if you're replying to me.......

    theres nothing "wrong" with my MacBook at the moment. It's about as "perfect" as a Mac can get. I only have two issues with it. One being that OS X does like to randomly lock up more than Windows ever did (while Windows is 100% rock solid on it) and the fact that it has no dedicated GPU. I was in blind "OMG ITS APPLE" mode when I bought it and overlooked that. Now, a year and 3 months later, I realize that buying anything without a dedicated GPU is a huge mistake and a $1400 (after taxes) computer should most definitely come with a mid-range GPU. Theres no way I would ever pay $2,000 for a MBP and the bottom of the mid-range GPU it comes with. I'm thinking of selling it because I might move and I won't have room to take 2 laptops with me. If I don't move I can still think of better uses for that money I could get by selling it.
  17. Wabledoodle macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2008
    Obviously the Dell... because it hits the ground first. ;)
  18. mavherzog macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2005
    Columbus, WI
    I do a lot of virtualization on my blackbook (Parallels as well as VirtualBox on occasion). It has been an absolute workhorse! Load up with 4GB of ram (I also upgraded to a 320GB hdd...both the ram and hdd from newegg).

    I use CS3 along side 2-3 VM's often and have found the performance to be quite snappy.
  19. CaMIRO thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2008
    Thanks, guys, you've given me a lot to think about.

    I'm veering toward the Macbook. I don't do much 3-d work, and most of my video editing consists of creating fairly basic, web-ready video productions. My old Thinkpad has done a reasonably solid job so far, so I figure any improvement will be welcome.

    I do need to be able to run Visual Studio and the related SQL/ Access apps without issue, and it appears that a 4GB Macbook should do this fine.

    I've been spoiled by Thinkpad built quality, but the Macbooks don't seem too bad, judging by what I've seen and read across the 'net. I understand it's a sore subject, though. Back when I worked in tech support, we had a slogan - "the Hell with Dell" - and thanks to the inordinate number of problems we had with period Inspirons and Latitudes, that company's stuff remains a four-letter word for me to this day.

    Am looking forward to switching back. There's an inspirational quality about OS X which would be hard to define in numerical terms, but it adds up to something I'd like to face each morning. Switching most of my main work to OS X, while retaining the flexibility of being able to run both systems, is very appealing.
  20. Phillyzero macrumors regular


    May 1, 2008
    mosx, I don't want to trash this thread anymore for the OP, but seriously, why are you here? Go join iLounge and be done with it, you obviously aren't contributing much, or at least without an aggressive and trolling attitude.

    If the OP is deciding between a MB or a MBP, you should help him decide between that. The reason to buy a mac is for OS X, and the OP obviously wants to give it a go along with bootcamp (and don't give unwarranted arguments about how you can create a Hackintosh for half the price etc...)

    Also you give criticism to unreliable statistics etc, yet you aren't doing much better by giving your own unjustified claims about the poor quality. Almost everything both parties has said is quite circumstantial. All you've done is go on and on about customer service, have you really had that many problems, or need to call someone the second something goes minutely wrong?

    Lastly...if you want to talk about build quality and troll about it...you must have one of the only excellent HP laptops out there, I've tried many HPs and nearly all get painfully hot at run times shorter than the MBP.

    If you want to champion QUALITY, don't spout mediocre to horrible companies like HP, it's really just above Acer. Go buy yourself a lenovo thinkpad, you might get an idea of what a laptop built well will be like.


    To the OP, I'm sorry for trashing your thread. Imo, you should check out Mac World's article, scroll down you'll see a nice tidy table on some speeds/benchmarks compared with older macbooks and the low end MBP.

    If you buy a high end MB vs. a low end MBP you won't notice a ton of difference. You should probably upgrade to 4gb RAM for whatever you choose. The main issue is the screen quality of the MB which are TN panels, and people sometimes complain about them (especially if they are Samsung made). If you really need to use Photoshop very accurately (color wise) the MBP has a matte option (though that's highly debated if it's more color accurate or not).
  21. mosx macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2007
    Because I own a Mac and I want to make sure people make the RIGHT decision.

    Aggressive? Maybe. People should be aware that they are buying a $1400 (after taxes) system that would cost about half of that in the PC world.

    Trolling? Thats one thing thats very funny about this board. You can say ALL the bad things in the world about Windows and people will join in and laugh with you. But you mention one bad aspect of OS X that is TRUE and suddenly you're a troll and told to go away. Double standard much?

    There is absolutely no harm in pointing out that, when it comes to hardware, PCs cost half as much and do twice as much. Mac users on PC forums point out Mac's "advantages" all the time and are not accused of trolling or anything. Why can't it be the same here?

    Don't worry, I won't bring that up. OS X is unstable enough as it is. I wouldn't want to make it even more unstable by putting it non-Apple hardware.

    Theres also no point in building an great PC and then putting OS X on it when OS X can't take advantage of the features for things like gaming and proper video playback.

    My own unjustified claims? Do you not read this forum much? Or other Apple related forums? My build quality claims come from what I read HERE and my own personal experience.

    And, I'm sorry, but a computer that cost me $1406 after taxes should not A) simply fall apart B) NOT have a dedicated GPU). I also find it ironic that a computer made by a company that advertises a "super stable operating system" has more issues with crashing than the competing OS.

    And no, I haven't had THAT many problems. However, considering the cost and Apple's own claims, the issues I have had (build quality like falling apart, discoloration, cracking, squeaky keyboard) should NOT have happened.

    I'm sorry, but I've had 3 HP notebooks over the last two years. And two MacBooks. My first HP ran ridiculously cool. Even under load it barely blew out any hot air. My second HP was Intel C2D based. It too ran much cooler than my MacBook. My third HP, a C2D with a GeForce), runs cooler playing games than my MacBook does while browsing sites with Flash. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv38uGj0PhY I'm sorry, but MacBooks and MBPs run hotter than any other computer. Don't accuse me of being a "troll" and then go and lie.

    Lenovo's build quality is nowhere near what IBM's was. Also, the Thinkpad is a truly "professional" design. HP's consumer products are built better than both the MacBook and MacBook Pro. Having had 3 different HPs from 3 different consumer lines as well as two MacBooks and spent more time than I needed with various MBPs, it's easy for me to honestly say this. My dv6500t has thicker plastic, there are no "soft spots" like on the Macs and it certainly will not dent or scratch terrible if its in a padded bag and takes a hit, like the MacBook Pro. Also, HP's business line puts the MBP to shame. Most ship with a THREE YEAR WARRANTY standard. Why doesn't the MacBook Pro? You can also upgrade HP's warranty to on-site service and/or accidental damage coverage. Why can't I get that for a MacBook or MBP? Simply because Apple doesn't stand behind their products or the build quality of those products. "Professional" systems from other companies also put the MacBook "Pro" to shame in terms of specs as well. All of them shipping with workstation class mobile GPUs, while the MacBook "Pro" gets the low end of the mid-range consumer cards.

    I wouldn't have a problem with Apple if they would just price their products accordingly. The MacBook with DVD writer and integrated GPU should be more along the lines of $900, like similar PCs. The MacBook Pro "middle" system should be about $1,200, like similar PCs. etc.

    Don't accuse me of "trolling" just because you don't like what I have to say. I'm here to make sure the OP makes a truly informed decision. Not a decision "informed" by those who just got their Macs and are still in a honeymoon phase. Or those who have been Apple all of their life and don't know what it is like outside of that walled garden.
  22. mavherzog macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2005
    Columbus, WI
    Would that $900 Dell/Compaq/etc still be $900 without all the trial software they pre-load? Sure, you can wipe the computer and reinstall without all that crap...but that doesn't change the fact that your price for that computer is subsidized by the companies that pay the manufacturer to include their trial software.

    For a more fair comparison, price out a Dell with FreeDOS as the OS...and then add the cost of an OEM copy of Vista. (including the cost for iLife-equivalent apps would be reasonable too, I think)
  23. mosx macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2007
    What trial software? My HP came with two pieces of trial software, just like my Mac did. My Mac came with an iWork trial and an MS Office trial. My HP shipped with a Norton trial and MS Office trial. Thats it. If you configure a notebook over at Dell you can deselect most of the stuff it ships with. Same with HP. So that bloatware argument only applies to retail systems. Then you're paying far too much for what you get.

    rofl, why do I need to do that? A standard install of Vista on a Dell or HP will be fine. Just uninstall the two pieces of trialware (same way you would on a Mac) and run ccleaner. You'll be fine. Norton even provides a little tool that will completely remove all of their stuff for you and leave it as if it was never there to begin with.

    Also, if I want to do a clean install, you can LEGALLY get a Windows Anytime Upgrade DVD for about $10 and boot off of that and use the Vista key that is printed on your system. It's legal, cheap, and provides a way to start fresh.

    You have to do a fresh install of OS X anyway. To get rid of all of the printer drivers, extra languages, X11, etc.

    iLife apps? Seriously, the ONLY iLife app that is even worth using regularly is iPhoto. GarageBand, iWeb, iDVD, iMovie.. most people never use those. I've played around in GarageBand a little bit when I was bored. iDVD I used ONCE.

    Why do you think Apple sells them all as a bundle? Because people would only buy the iPhoto upgrades and ignore the rest.

    Anyway, Windows Photo Gallery (Vista), Picassa, even HP's free (to anyone) Photosmart software all do the same things iPhoto does. Not to mention most good digital cameras ship with similar software you have the option of installing.

    You also need to use the web archive and go back and look at Apple's older iBook and PowerBook pages from years ago. Apple shipped trialware with their systems. You had trials of Office, FileMaker, and others.
  24. Jabberwocky246 macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2008
    THAT'S ENOUGH OUT OF BOTH OF YOU! Now go to your rooms and I don't want to hear another peep out of you. Do I have to take my belt off?

    Sorry about the two fanbois and their flamewars CaMIRO. I'm a recent Mac convert and, having owned a Macbook then a Macbook Pro, I can tell you that I have had almost zero problems with them. I have yet to find anything that I can't do on a Mac and am genuinely pleased with the speed and responsiveness of Macs.

    Apple's customer service has been exceptional and I have no plans to go back to a PC ever.

    You may want to consider picking up a used Macbook off eBay or Craigslist for a test run. If you like it, you can always sell it for what you paid and get a new one. If you don't, sell it and call it even.

    My two cents.
  25. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    To the OP:

    Yeah, with enough RAM the MacBook should be able to do what you want, but the question is to what degree? Simple video editing can be done fine with a MacBook, but for anything serious using Final Cut Pro you'll want a MacBook Pro. Final Cut offloads work to the video card, and having that video card gives you a HUGE performance boost.

    A MacBook with 2 GB of RAM will scream for most tasks though. Photoshop CS3 will breeze as it hardly uses the GPU. But if you're using Final Cut, you'll want the Pro.

    Also, ignore everything mosx says.

    mosx is a known troll. He used to do it in the gaming section all of the time. Look through his post history, it's almost entirely going into threads about the MacBook and saying bad things. Hey Mosx...

    Seems to contradict
    Stop trolling everywhere you go.

    Hasty Generalizations ™ for the win!
    After all, making generalizations like "OS X is unstable enough" is certainly not intended to annoy people, but certainly a valid, measurable discussion point, right?
    My desktop currently has an uptime of 15 days. That last reboot was for Boot Camp. I have no problems. And it's a Hackintosh. OS X is far more stable on Apple hardware.

    You're not trolling by saying something bad about OS X. You're trolling by hunting down every thread that mentions the word MacBook and screetching about how much better everything else is. You're doing it for reactions, not for geniune discussion. I will reply to you no more in this thread.

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