Prospective convert in need of a little advice!

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by naryn, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. naryn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    #1
    Hi All,

    I was hoping to get a bit of advice with my Mac buying decision. I have worked on windows systems for a long time, i'm an NT4 MCSE so i'm more than capable. I would like to buy a Macbook because i would like to simplify my out of work computing. I waste alot of time at home on the laptop for no good reason. I game occasionally but mostly i use the laptop for normal email and web and for Photoshop and Lightroom for my photography. I would like to reduce the amount of time i waste and increase the amount i get done photography post production. I have also just fancied trying mac for some time now, i taught myself a bit of debian because i would like to learn some more unix skills and the mac would let me do that.

    Here is my problem. I have a dell m1210 (4GB, 2.33Mhz, Geforce 7400, 250GB HDD), currently running Windows server 2008 but whatever. The problem is, i am finding it difficult to justify buying a Macbook. Comparing the Specs of the Macbook (i dont want a pro, happy with 13") they are basicaly the same as my 2 year old dell. On a hardware basis i cant justify the upgrade. (yes i realise the macbook has the 9400 but thats the only difference in 2 years).

    I have read the buyers guide. It seems unclear now after the refresh of the white macbook whether there could be a refresh of the macbook alu in the near future. I dont NEED the macbook as the dell is fine but i would like to switch. A hardware gain would obviously make that easier to palate.

    Please any objective thoughts on how to play it? reasons to buy, reasons to wait! Pretty sure the nehalem quad cores are going to be a while. Snow leopard?:confused:

    thanks for any help!!!!!

    naryn
     
  2. reclusivemonkey macrumors 6502

    reclusivemonkey

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK
    #2
    What makes you waste your time? Why do you think getting a Mac will change this?
     
  3. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    #3
    It's quite possible there will be a CPU speed bump in the next few months, but IMO there is not likely to be a significant design enhancement of the MB/MBP until the Nehalem mobile chips are out toward the end of this year.

    The 10.6 (Snow Leopard) OS release should happen around mid-year. This promises performance enhancements for multicore scheduling (Grand Central) and better use of GPU cycles (OpenCL).
     
  4. VPrime macrumors 68000

    VPrime

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    London Ontario
    #4
    I was in a similar situation a couple weeks ago.
    My 2 year old laptop was just as good as the macbook(actualy it had a much higher resolution).
    The main thing that convinced me to get a macbook is OS X. I installed OS X on my intel desktop, and loved it. To me it was like a polished/commercial linux distro. Try installing OS X in a VM or seperate partition, you will get a good idea of how every thing is and maybe even your reason to buy a mac ;)

    Also, they look pretty neat ;)
     
  5. fibrizo macrumors 6502

    fibrizo

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    #5
    As someone who just upgrade from an ASUS U6S (2.0 Ghz, 250mb hd, 4gb ram, hdmi out, 12.1 inch led display etc for 3.5lbs with leather hand rests lol) I am happy with my decision. My 2.0 ghz macbook is heavier, but honestly the only thing I miss is having 4 usb ports. Also I just fixed a m1210 for someone... and honestly it looks and feels like a POS (no insult intended, just used to handling a macbook now) Unless you are coming from a high end sony or asus (which I also own) the build quality will feel much better and heck you get alot of style points. But you're more interested in specs probably... so as a fellow PC person (still own 4 windows pcs/laptops) let me break it down for you.

    1. The "GHZ" is the same, but we're talking the new "penryn" core 2 vs the "Merom" core 2s. Clock for clock, tthe penryn cores are faster and more power efficient, along with having a faster FSB.

    2. As much as people rip on the macbook display, it's still very nice from a laptop standpoint unless you get a MBP or a high end sony/asus etc.

    3. If your current laptop meets your demands, don't sell it. Just use it lol

    4. The main reason I bought a mac was to use OS X and try to do some basic development for the iphone. I bootcamp windows 7 for games, and I partitioned the seagate momentus 7200.3 320gb I put in (for much improvment I might add) 90gb for mac OS and 210 GB for windows (I know it doesn't add up, but you really don't get the full size formatted) I didn't plan on using OSX alot, but in the past 2 weeks ( since I bought it) I find myself in OSX alot and keeping my files on the windows side so I can access them from both OSes... And rarely booting ot windows except to game a little. Oh and Win 7 rocks :)

    If running mac os is no the big draw for you, I personally recommend the sony SR series. They just got discounted a few weeks ago, and for 1249 (less with educational discount, and they will pay 400$ for your dell as trade in)

    You get 13.3 inch LED display, 2.26ghz core 2 penryn, 3GB ram, 320gb hd, Radeon 3470 w/256mb GDDR3 and up to 1530mb of total shared memory(discrete gfx with gfx memory and performance that will blow the 9400 away) switchable to intel GFX for power savings like the MB pro,... at 4.2lbs and 6 hour standard battery life with option of extended battery.

    If you want a PC w/ best specs/compact/sexy etc I'd go with the sony. If you want to use a mac, then the alu 2.0 is a good buy. heck the new whitebook has very similar specs but is 999... It's the hidden gem of the line.
     
  6. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    #6
    Similar specs except for memory speed - 667MHz DDR2 vs. 1066MHz DDR3. (But the white one has Firewire, of course, which the aluminum MBs lack.)
     
  7. philosopherdog macrumors 6502a

    philosopherdog

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    #7
    I was a windows lifer until Vista and my HP notebook died. I couldn't find anything that I liked in a PC laptop. It's been a race to the bottom in the PC laptop world for the most part. I was a chronic XP tweak hound too. I wasted forever doing this: installing all the latest programs, etc. So, I totally know where you're coming from. If you switch to a Mac, initially there will be a period of time wasting as you get things set up. But once that happens, you may find, like me that you're much more productive. It's a much better experience all the way around. Fewer programs, that tend to be much cheaper, and generally better quality. So, you want to work on the machine all the time. So, I think it's a good move. The best thing that ever happened to me was my HP dying! It took me a while to go for the Mac. I had a Thinkpad shipped that I returned. Then, after reading about the new Macbook I too the leap, although I had a bit of prior experience with a Mac my girlfriend had. I also returned two Macbooks before finally getting one that was flawless. Apple's machines are good for perfectionist types who want something that's higher quality and good value. Go for it. Sell your Windows box. Don't worry about the refresh timing. I think it's still one of the best computers ever built, and I don't say that lightly.
     
  8. naryn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    #8
    I just get the impression that workflow is more efficient and "just works" on mac.


    It never was the prettiest laptop but the specs were awesome at the time and unless you need a better GPU still are top end!

    I looked into it and its barely seems to fetch £500 on ebay now which means another £500 to buy a system with the same (hardware) specs. Its a hard ask. But so is waiting for nehalem!!!
     
  9. reclusivemonkey macrumors 6502

    reclusivemonkey

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK
    #9
    I would probably agree there. You still have to exercise self control, but certainly the default applications all slot togther really well, and with things like Quicksilver and Automator you have a "glue" which sticks things together. There are also apps you can download which will black out everything except the app you are working on to help you focus, and also shut off the internet for a period of time.
     
  10. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #10
    Don't let the hardware issue bother you. The OS on a Mac functions different and tends to me more efficient. When I first got my white Macbook last year with a penryn processor, it ran circles around my souped up windows machine running Vista. I was able to to Hi-Definition video editing with ease while on Vista it sputtered along.

    The macbook is a good solid investment. It works well with less issues.
     
  11. nishishei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    #11
    I don't think it's at all justified for you to get a Macbook when you already have a PC with similar specs. It's a lot of money (buys lunch every day for a year). If you really just want to try OS X to learn UNIX and what not, you could just go the Hackintosh path, or even better, install Debian on your PC.

    OS X isn't going to streamline your productivity any more than Windows Server 2008 if you're a power user (especially since Server 2008 now has PowerShell2). If you just want basic UI functionality, then Windows 7 will put you pretty close to parity with Leopard. In fact, I find the Windows Explorer in Win7 to run circles around the Finder in Leopard.

    Understand also that if you decide to run Windows in Bootcamp on the Mac, you will have a much shorter battery life due to inefficiencies in Apple's Bootcamp drivers and EFI emulation of the BIOS.
     
  12. nishishei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    #12
    Haha, that's a really bad reason to give in arguing that one is more productive under OSX than Windows. :D It's called maximized windows and you don't even have to download it! Brought to you since Windows 1.0. And Vista has that black titlebar and taskbar in maximized mode too.
     
  13. iknowyourider macrumors 6502a

    iknowyourider

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    onanorthboundtrain
    #13
    I too downgraded spec wise to move to Mac. 1. The Mac is much faster and smoother running even with less. 2. When you switch, you will wonder why you waited.
     
  14. econoline06 macrumors 6502

    econoline06

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #14
    I always found the term "poweruser" to encompass the same bloated ego possessing individuals that drive H2's....
     
  15. nishishei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    #15
    That's because you don't know as much about computers as you think you do. ;) What I meant in my post when I referred to the poweruser was shell scripting. It does really come in handy, and it has nothing to do with ego.

    A proper analogy to a person driving an H2 would be someone who has a water-cooled 3.2ghz 8-core Mac Pro to surf the Internet, check his emails, download porn and write Word documents.
     
  16. reclusivemonkey macrumors 6502

    reclusivemonkey

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK
    #16
    It wasn't given as an argument, just as an aid to the original poster.

    Maximized Windows still have the start bar and the system tray which can have many distractions.
     
  17. econoline06 macrumors 6502

    econoline06

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #17
    I wasn't claiming I didn't know what a power user is. There is a difference between an analogy and not knowing. Before you insult someone, be sure you know a thing or two. Now, what I'm saying is that most "power users" I have run across in my PROFESSIONAL IT CAREER have been nothing but home users with a chip on their shoulder, trying to impress the IT staff.

    By the way, Mac Pro's are air cooled.
     

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