Regretting Envy 15 Purchase

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by youngnj21, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. youngnj21 macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2010
    Before I start, sorry for the length of this post. I just want to make sure I make the right decision before I spend more money. Now onto the post.

    I had been trying to decide between a 15" MBP and an HP Envy 15 for a few months and I finally decided to go with the Envy, but now I'm regretting it. I'm so tired of Windows it's ridiculous. I'm considering selling my Envy and picking up a MPB, but I have a few questions first.

    First, I'd like your opinions on what I should do. Should I try to find someone on craigslist to trade my Envy for a used current gen MBP, or just sell the Envy, cut my losses, and buy a new MBP? I am a student, so I can get the discount. I hope I can get $1000-$1200 for my Envy if I sell it.

    Second, I'm a gamer, so I was wondering how the gaming performance of the base 15" MBP would compare to my Envy? The Envy has an i7 q720 processor, 6gb of RAM, and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 graphics card (it is the previous generation card), and a 1080p ultra brightview screen. (Side question, is the high res screen worth the money on the MBP?)

    Finally, do Macs run Windows well in boot camp? Can you tell that you're running it on a Mac, or does it run and feel just as good as it does on a pc? I have played around with OS X in the apple store, and I'm pretty impressed with the smoothness of it. I would try to stay away from windows as much as I can, but I'm thinking about switching my major to computer science and as I said before I'm a gamer, so I would have to use Windows from time to time.

    Another thing to note, although gaming is a pretty big part in my decision, I'm mostly a consul gamer, so I wouldn't be playing super demanding games like Crysis or anything. I mostly play strategy games on the computer (Like Napoleon Total War, Star Craft 2, ect.). Other than that I would use it for school, internet, music, and some Photoshop and video editing from time to time. I am planning on building myself a gaming rig sometime in the future (Probably next summer), but if I do make this jump that might be set back a little further.

    If you read this far thanks for your help and dedication, I appreciate it :)
  2. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    I doubt you will get 1k for a year old envy but otherwise macs run windows great other than power management is minimal to none, the trackpad is not quite as smooth as in osx and the backlit keyboard never completely should off unless in a bright room when the sensor turns it off.
  3. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    I say if you game, build a desktop strictly for gaming and use the mac for everything else. =)
  4. akramer macrumors member

    May 20, 2010
    I returned an Envy 15 (core i5/5830/dual x18m SSDs) earlier this year when I was trying to switch away from Apple. I ended up buying another 15" MBP.

    I've owned these model MBPs:
    15" core duo (early 2006?)
    15" core2 duo (mid 2007)
    15" Fall 2008 unibody
    15" Spring 2010 unibody

    One could say I'm familiar with this segment of Apple and HP's lineup.

    Windows was not the reason I switched from the Envy 15 - the horrific trackpad was. If the trackpad sucked less, I probably would have stuck with it. My only other concern was that the display was too high resolution, and I prefer 16:10 to 16:9.

    If gaming is your primary concern, Macs are pretty terrible machines; especially laptops. Their gaming performance is abysmal compared to a laptop like the Envy 15. I also found the Envy 15's cooling system to be better than the MBP - playing games for hours with the Envy in my lap never hurt me, while my core i7 MBP has gotten hot enough to cause me physical pain while playing portal (which it doesn't run perfectly with antialiasing on, to give you an indication of gaming performance!) Even simple games like Torchlight ran perfectly smooth on the Envy 15 at 1920x1080 and run noticeably choppy (less than 30fps at times) on my MBP at 1440x900.

    I've never run Windows on a Mac but from what others have said, the Windows drivers available for use in Boot Camp are inferior and your MBP will not run windows nearly as well as a PC laptop would.

    I think the MBP is a better all-around laptop, but if games are your primary concern you should look elsewhere. What about Windows do you hate? What do you hope to be better on a Mac?

    I consider myself to be a casual gamer and don't have much time for games at this point, so I'm happy to play the old games that are slowly getting ported over to OS X. The Civilization IV pack on steam for $9.99 that I bought last week will keep me busy for months. That said, if you want to play specific games, particularly newer games like MW2 (am I the only one old enough to remember when MW2 meant MechWarrior 2?), you will not be happy with an MBP if you're a real gamer. If you can't tell the difference between 30fps and 60fps, you might not care.
  5. keithano macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2008
    If you're a gamer, buying a customized desktop would be your best bang of money. You can create a pretty much very high standard gaming desktop with the sort of MBP budget.

    And back to your situation, I highly doubt there is anyone willing to trade a MBP for your Envy, very rare case. Therefore, if you would like to get rid of your Envy, sell it and then buy a MBP.
  6. Rithem macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2008
    I tend to game a lot when I'm not doing any schoolwork, work related work, or hanging out with friends/going to the gym and the MBP is fine for it, at least in my exp. I'm fine with not maxing out graphics and playing in less than native res in most games so I don't have a problem, but others might in the same circumstances. It's your call. I overclock my MBP to safe standards, works great, stays relatively cool, and runs W7 64bit great.
  7. AndrewCjDuong macrumors member

    Feb 7, 2010
    PC's are like cars. Once they come off the dealership lot. They drop in value by $$$$$
  8. k43l macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2010
    On my Unibody 13" MacBook(late 2008), the steam games actually run very well... no problems with Torchlight or Portal. Although I wouldn't recommend it for long gaming-sessions, the heat turns up quite a bit ;)
  9. Alvi macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2008
    Laptops aren't for gaming, this new MacBook Pro's get very very very hot and that's not very nice for the hardware if you have it for a long time like that

  10. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003
    I have seen other people mention this. What is the problem with them? Not criticizing, just wondering...
  11. Newfiejudd macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2010
    Hey All,

    My first post here on Mac rumors, but I have been pretty active on other mac forums.

    I too bought an Envy, and at first it was great. really enjoyed the gaming experience, but as time went on I gamed less and less. Then the Gen 2 envy came out with the 5830 gpu and it seemed HP left the older 4830 to sit and rot with Driver updates.

    Granted the HP has a very good cooling system and it seemed to very speedy, it just wasn't my Mac that I had passed onto my mother. The track pad was terrible, the tilt angle was even worse, especially for travel when working from a seat on a plane or in a lounge. And the topper for me was the battery life. It sucked, yes I know it was a quad core so what did I expect. My fault there.

    I used to biiiitch at Apple for no High res screens or BR on MBP, and to be honest I had it with my Envy and hardly ever used it. The screen was bright and crisp but the High resolution and messing with DPI was a PIA. Some of the engineering suites I used didn't support DPI scaling very well, so that really pissed me off lol.

    So finally my boy asked for a nice gaming laptop and I was more then happy to pass it along to him, and get myself a new MBP with the i7.
    And extremely happy to be back on a mac.

    As for windows, my MBP runs W7 x64 very well, and for the few games I do play when I am bored silly in a hotel room it does quite well. Well to be honest I play wow in OSx now, and as a Pally healer I have had no issue running any 25 man instances and encountering no major dips in FPS throughout. If you a Gaming rig I would say build a good desktop for gaming and maybe purchase a used MBP or MB to fill that gap. To be honest you could but maybe have both for the cost of a new MBP 15" i7, it's just a suggestion.
  12. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    This is completely untrue and does not even make sense.
    If you or anyone feels the video card driver apple provides is poor, then download the latest from and install it on your bootcamp partition. The internals of the macbook pros are not unique in the laptop market.
  13. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    I gave up long ago trying to have a single Mac laptop that could keep up with my work and gaming needs. My MBPs have never been on par with Windows laptops for games. I have mostly RTS and RPG and a few sims like Tropico 3. Even so, my macs would run at full fans most of the time and get very hot during 6 hour game sessions with the kids and grandkids. Even a casual gamer who wants the highest graphics fidelity will not be satisfied with a MBP. I started with the ATI x1600, moved up to nvidia 8600 and then the 9600 prior to the current version. None were sufficient for my visual gaming needs. Game play was fine at med graphics settings but I always felt I was missing something.

    This is why I starting using the base 13" MBP models (I upgrade the disk myself) for work and a powerful ASUS G73 for games. The ATI 5870 1GB GPU handles most every game at high or ultra graphics settings. The fans are quiet, it comes with 8GB RAM, Blu-ray, 1080p and has room for two hard drives. The only issues are its weight (8lbs) and battery life (1.5 hrs), neither of which bother me.

    I carry both machines if I think I'll have time to play on the road!


    PS: The Envy is supposed to have many of the issues of the MBP. Supporting style in a cramped case causing heat and noise while playing. Is this true?
  14. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Jun 1, 2007
    Chicago, IL, USA
    It goes beyond the video card drivers. For one, the trackpad drivers suck. Power management is awful because Apple's drivers are awful. etc.

    It's not like it would be a mammoth task to enable switchable graphics on Windows, anyway.
  15. akramer macrumors member

    May 20, 2010
    Like I said, if you can't tell the difference between 30fps and 60fps, gaming on a Mac is feasible if you don't mind the bad selection. Are you really trying to claim that Portal and Torchlight run perfectly on your laptop with an integrated 3d card? Or merely tolerably enough for you to play them? These are very different things.

    On my 2 month old top-of-the-line i7/512MB 330M MBP, Torchlight runs embarrassingly poorly for a $2000 laptop. For an Envy owner that games a lot, an MBP is quite underpowered and badly cooled by comparison.
  16. akramer macrumors member

    May 20, 2010
    My Envy 15 was louder at rest, but much cooler (and quieter!) at full load. Supposedly the 1st gen Envy 15s (with a 4830 graphics card, not 5830) had more heat problems, but I'm not sure if that's the case.
  17. youngnj21 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2010
    Thanks for the input guys. I'm thinking about just selling the Envy, buying a base 13" MBP (would this run Star Craft 2 at med settings?) and just giving up pc gaming until I can build a PC, since when I do have time to game now days I play on the 360 because that's where most of my friends play.

    It actually stays really quiet during gaming, and runs really well.

    As for the heat, if MBPs get hotter than this Envy I'll be extremely surprised. Just browsing the web with the computer on my lap, it gets so hot that if I touch the bottom with bare skin it will cause me pain.

    As for the people asking why the track pad sucks, it's just terrible. If you want to use the two finger scrolling your fingers have to be at the perfect angle to do it. You're supposed to be able to click anywhere on the left half of track pad to left click, and it does feel like you're clicking, but it doesn't register unless you do it at the bottom. Same issue for right clicking, but most of the time if I want to right click I have to click multiple times for it to work. (I have all of the drivers up to date too.)
  18. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    My 13" is cool for most work tasks. Gaming it gets hot but not as loud as the MBP 15 I used to have.

  19. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I agree. Everyone says Windows runs perfectly fine on a MacBook Pro and you wouldn't notice a difference which is correct for the most part but when you start using it, that's where it's different and you can almost "feel" it. Like aethelbert mentioned, trackpad drivers are mediocre. Apple has improved them for BootCamp 3.x but it still could be a lot better. I won't really talk down on power management since it's almost an issue for almost all laptops but it's something you do notice.

    Again, if you look at it, you won't notice a different but once you actually start using it, you can feel and point things out that. But that's not to say Windows doesn't work, it works very well and you'll be able to do what you need to do but there are the small things that you will notice but nothing to turn you away.
  20. Gata macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2010
    Gen2 Envy 15/Gen1 Envy 17

    They've really fixed a lot of the heat issues with the Gen2 Envy 15. Now, the laptop only gets moderately warm (comfortably warm, not burning or painful). Same goes for the Envy 17, even under gaming conditions.
  21. Opstech macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2010
    I'm trying to send you an offer for your envy. Can you contact me?
  22. youngnj21 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2010
    Alright, I'm gonna totally switch on you guys, sorry. But what are your opinions on me keeping the Envy since it handles my gaming just fine, and buying an iMac?

    My theory behind this is that I need to buy a tv for my dorm, and the only thing I would use the tv for would be for my 360 and PS3, so why not get an iMac and buy and HDMI converter and use it to play games on as well as have the Mwonders of a mac? I saw a post today about a Belkin converter that looks like it works pretty well. Plus iMacs are super sexy.
  23. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I'd say just sell the Envy and get a 15" 2.4GHz i5 macbook pro.
  24. Meever macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2009
    You are not familiar with Asus' G series laptops, Dell's Alienwares or the Sanger/Clevos I'm assuming?

    If gaming is high on your priority list you won't be happy with a Mac. When I switched from Windows to Mac one of the tipping points (besides build quality, battery life, and absolutely despising windows) was the fact that when it comes to gaming only two companies really make must play titles these days (Valve and Blizzard) and both of them love supporting old games and making new games have very low spec requirements. Everyone else has sold out and gone console. Even ID one of the original PC pushers have gone the way of console along with Crytek....
  25. Patrick J macrumors 65816

    Patrick J

    Mar 12, 2009
    Oporto, Portugal
    +1. And don't forget that you won't get good gaming performance. You will, however, get great working performance and productivity.

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