Potential Mac Convert

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by torchflameon, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. torchflameon macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2008
    I've been looking at this site for some time. I've always wanted a mac, but I found them on the pricey side. I have an HP 17" laptop which is a decent computer until recently when hp asked me to upgrade my bios which made it go bonkers. Plus I have not been happy with vista. Everything is slow, and while the graphics are decent, it just doesn't function as well as when I had XP.

    Since my computer isn't registering the ram that's installed, Fry's shipped it off for 4-6. They gave me a free rental which is a cute 13" macbook. I love it. It's light, and when I close it, it's like carrying one of my textbooks. I love babysitting it. I never thought that I would like a 13" laptop, but it's actually nice sitting in bed typing.

    Babysitting the mac makes me want to buy one. I just don't know which to get. I love the IMAC, but since I've gotten a laptop, I like having the mobility of sitting with it on the couch, or going to school with it. The mbp is awesome, but it's very pricey. However, I am thinking about being a media production major, although I hear the jobs are very hard to come by.

    While reading this forum though I've discovered a lot of problems with the macbook and the macbook pro casings. They say that the MBP's aluminum dents easily, and the MB has cases that crack. I saw a whole forum about people who are having problems with that.

    Deciding on what I want is difficult, because the mbp is probably a 1000 more, and the only difference is the case, screen size, and the video card. Plus, I hear that it's not as easy to upgrade the ram (which I would do if I got a mac) as the macbook.

    I haven't seen any setups with a 24" screen with a macbook. I don't even know what a good eternal monitor would be. On apple's website, it says that the resolution can be maxed out higher on an external. Does that slow the computer down, an will it look decent? Also, if use "clamshell mode", will it overheat?

    A nice speaker system would be nice to if someone could recommend one. Also, does anyone know of a good dvd ripping programming like dvd shrink for windows? I burn a lot of movies <3. I heard mac the ripper is decent, but I didn't know if it resized the actual movie.

    Also, how long do the batteries hold up? Do they have a pretty good life?

    I guess another question is if I don't get the macbook, and I got the mbp. What video card should I get?

    I have been on this site for 2 years, and I still don't know which mac I want.... pretty sad.... I love the new imacs, but like I said, probably the external monitor would be better as I would not have to update 2 computers.

    Any advice would be great. I also don't know what cases are best for protecting the laptops. There are so many options out there!
  2. india349 macrumors member


    Oct 19, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    Obviously, people that aren't having problems aren't going to gloat about not having problems on forums. I've been a MacBook owner for nearly two years and never had a cracking problem. You know yourself and how you handle your possessions. If you're likely to damage it, buy a sleeve or case for your laptop.

    Not true. Regular MB and MBP have the same RAM upgrading feature: ridiculously easy, take out the battery, basically. MB hard drives are also user replaceable this way but I believe MBP ones are a little harder (involving entirely removing the back case, correct me if I'm wrong.)

    There are a few other differences which you didn't note. MBP also has more USB ports, a backlit keyboard that adjusts to ambient light, and a FireWire 800 port. I believe there is also a card slot. Plus the dedicated graphics card is most definitely a major improvement over the what the MacBook offers, if you're doing fancy gaming or need the graphical punch.

    Sorry, I don't have information on this. Anyone else? I can't imagine it would slow anything down, or overheat...never heard of anything like that...

    The program 'Handbrake' is a DVD ripping utility and receives a lot of praise for its Mac-friendliness. I've never used it though.

    My battery lasts about 4.5 hours with Wi-Fi enabled and brightness on the lowest setting. I'm usually taking notes or surfing the web, nothing major. I'd say that's pretty good, considering my MacBook is a few years old. Apple advertises I think 6 for the Macbook and 5 for the MBP, but that's a tiny overestimation.

    If I understand correctly, you don't get to pick a graphics card, you pick a setup with the same graphics card, but the higher end models have more video ram. It really depends on what you're going to do with it.

    I hope this helps!
  3. f1 macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2007
    Also the Macbook cracking issue is recognized by Apple, so if it happens to you they will replace the top case for free even if it's out of warranty.
  4. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    Check out the refurb store, or some reputable ebay sellers/resellers. You can get some really good deals on macbook pros through that, even better then the edu discount. I think a 2.2 mbp is only 1699 (1800) with tax through refurb... and while that's still about 500 more then a midrange macbook, it's not quite 1000... and you get all the nice features and upgrades of the mbp.

    Just a suggestion. :)

    I've had both... right now I'm on a macbook. I prefer the pro hands down... while i love my little white macbook I am typing on right now, and don't need the extra power and graphics card of the macbook pro right now, I'll probably end up going pro again.

    If you are going into media or graphics, I suggest the pro with a matte screen. Get a good sleeve and you'll be fine. I've never had a problem with cracking or dents or anything with my mac laptops.... never quite got the macbook pro denting problem. I managed to bang my laptop a few times and never had a dent (or now a crack).... just be careful with it like you would any laptop.

    A 15inch macbook pro's footprint isn't much different than the macbook... also, now that they have LED backlit screens I found my pro got better battery life then my current regular macbook, but who knows... oh and it ran a bit cooler.

    External monitors aren't a problem. My macbook pro ran my 22inch better, and didn't get as hot as my macbook, but that has to do with the aluminum casing probably.... I felt much better running my macbook pro in clamshell mode though, my macbook tends to get a bit hot when I do that.

    All in all I guess I'm leaning towards the pro if you have he extra cash, especially because you are A. thinking about media or graphics as a major and B. because you are used to a 17inch screen the 15inch will be a nice mid ground and as a student it's still very easy to bring around. The ram is super easy to upgrade in both, don't worry :)

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