Should I buy a Macbook Pro? Considering what Mac I should get.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by UltimaLink, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. UltimaLink macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere in PA.
    #1
    Before you answer, I'd like for you not to be a fanboy and preech about how I should just replace all my PCs with iMacs and Macbooks, I'm not interested. Thank you.

    Hey everyone, I just recently built a gaming PC, but now my laptop looks bad, so I need a new one due to the fact I am away from home a lot more than the average person. Now, I've been considering getting a refurbished iMac 21.5 inch so I can use GarageBand later, but since I need a new laptop, I might get a refurbished i5 MacBook Pro due to the fact I need a new laptop. I know I could get a PC with equal specs for less, but I'm willing to get one since that means I won't have to get an iMac 21.5 inch to use GarageBand.

    Here's what I do on my computer.
    Flash (Going to upgrade to CS5, currently CS4)
    Paint Tool Sai (Windows only program, I'm not going to start drawing with PhotoShop, I'm too used to Sai's layout, so I would be using BootCamp at times. Factor this into your advice. Also it doesn't work under Wine, at least the pressure sensing doesn't.)
    Internet, email, facebook, twitter, ect.
    I do some coding, but chances are when I'm out I'm not going to do that, but there may be an off chance I do.
    Obviously GarageBand.

    So yeah, should I get one or should I just get one of the many PCs that will get me more for the money?

    I'd get this Macbook Pro.

    Also, if it helps the case, I am going to be using an iPhone once it gets back in stock (I preordered it) so yeah.

    Also I wouldn't be buying it until I have the money, which is probably Christmas, or my birthday at the latest. If I decide on a PC that would have equal specs though, I'd probably be able to buy it faster. Though I'm not sure if speed would matter much, since I wouldn't be doing much traveling until Summer, which is when I take all my vacations and stuff.

    So yeah, not much else I can say here but thanks for the help.
     
  2. mgridgaway macrumors 6502

    mgridgaway

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    #2
    For consistency/compatibilities sake, you might as well just stick with PCs. There's no point in having a iMac when you have a gaming level PC... it's just redundant. There are plenty of similar PC programs out there that basically do the same thing as Garageband.
     
  3. UltimaLink thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2010
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    #3
    I know that there's no point in having an iMac, that's why I'm considering the Macbook, and while there are simillar programs, I can't really find any that give the feel of GarageBand (Yes, I've used it before) and I have tried Mixcraft, it's just not the same I guess.

    But maybe I'm just being picky.
     
  4. deputy_doofy macrumors 65816

    deputy_doofy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2002
    #4
    Well, it should be fairly obvious I'm a Mac guy -- YOU are on a Mac site. :p

    That said, I'm very happy with my MacBook Pro (i7). I just installed Windows 7 on a vm (virtualbox.org, to be exact). It runs pretty well, considering it's not as full-featured as Parallels or Fusion (I also have 8GB RAM, so that helps :)).

    I hear you on MixCraft. When PC-using friends of mine asked for a GarageBand equivalent, that was the closest suggestion I could make. I had some fun with MixCraft as a test (http://www.macjams.com/song/36922), but it's nowhere near the intuitiveness.
     
  5. UltimaLink thread starter macrumors regular

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    Somewhere in PA.
    #5
    I know I'm on a mac site, the top thing was just to make sure no one said "REPLACE YOUR CRAPPY PEE CEE AND GET AN IMAC"

    I'm probably going to upgrade the ram on my own, speaking of that, how easy is it to upgrade the insides of a MacBook Pro? Is it harder due to the Uni-body structure?
     
  6. deputy_doofy macrumors 65816

    deputy_doofy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2002
    #6
    Honestly, I'm unsure of how difficult/easy the RAM replacement is. I had Apple add the extra 4GB, which is usually a no-no as far as pricing. However, when I checked Crucial on the day I ordered, they were far higher (unusual). I can say the case opens very easily with a size 0 Philips head.
     
  7. UltimaLink thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2010
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    #7
    Ah, all right. I'm sure that if I can get the case out, I can find the ram. Hopefully.

    How are the heating problems though? I heard it gets really hot at times.
     
  8. deputy_doofy macrumors 65816

    deputy_doofy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2002
    #8
    No problems with heat thus far. I'm actually quite happy with it. The hottest laptop I ever had was my old Powerbook G4, which got stupidly hot only when really taxed.
     
  9. UltimaLink thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2010
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    #9
    All right. I'll take the MacBook into more consideration then. Also how's the trackpad? I'm used to using a mouse or my laptop's trackpad, but the gestures sound awesome, I really like the scrolling with momentum thing, any other useful ones?
     
  10. pyramis macrumors member

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    Dec 2, 2008
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #10
    MBP trackpad is a breeze. GarageBand is superb. I know semi-pro musicians who recorded their first couple albums on it. It's a powerful program for a freebie include. Go for it.
     
  11. UltimaLink thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Okay, from what I've heard they're good computers and I should go for them.

    But tell me, when do they update next?
     
  12. silentnite macrumors 6502a

    silentnite

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    #12
    Hey! be-careful listening to all these Mac guys no one can tell you-you the right way but you. You have your way. (The PC way) I have my way. (The Mac way) As for the right way. the correct way, and the only way...they don't exist. How's your money$ what will you use it for? not because suddenly the whole world has gone Mac crazy and it's the in thing to do. (until the next big thing) If you wish to play games PC can do that or Xbox, PS3. surf the web, HP envy is not a bad PC for the money. If your ready to go Mac just make sure it's what you want to do and not because everyone else is doing it. I love my Mac but I've loved it since JR. High around 15yrs ago. Good Luck with your choice
     
  13. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #13
    You are already getting some good advice in this thread. I have a 13 in white Macbook that I'm delighted with but when the time comes, I'll consider a 13 or 15 in Macbook Pro.

    I have been trying to get Paint Shop Pro working in Crossover and finally decided to go with Seashore . For me, Gimp is so counterintuitive I have it installed but barely use it. For instance, to stitch to scans together, I tried it in Gimp but kept ending up with both images occupying the same region of the new image. I downloaded a shareware program that did the same thing and did it very nicely but once I found that Seashore did it just as well I stuck with Seashore and didn't bother to register the shareware.

    I have found that a lot of the niche apps I could get free on Windows cost money on OS X. This bothers me a bit because one of my reasons for going Mac was to get a lower Total Cost of Ownership. Having to pay more for stuff I could get free on Windows goes against that principle so I spend a little more time scouring carefully for freeware before I buy stuff. But make no mistake, I have spent hundreds more on shareware for OS X than I ever did on Windows. I'm still happy because the apps I did choose to buy were very well written. Pathfinder was useful as I got used to the limitations of Finder vs Explorer. Recently I hardly use Pathfinder but its there when I want to cut and paste files rather than copy/paste first and then delete.

    As for the Windows Way vs Mac Way, this is something to think about. Apple tends to be pretty inflexible. While Microsoft insists on providing at least a dozen ways to do almost anything, there are times Apple thinks it shouldn't be allowed at all and you might find yourself delving into the terminal or picking up a third party app to make something work the way you want it. One example is Time Machine's hourly backup. If you want 4 hours, you will need a third party app. If you want the menu bar to extend to a second monitor, be prepared to get a third party app. Want to quickly toggle between iPhoto libraries? You guessed it, another third party app. These things are minor and the overall end to end user experience on OS X is wonderful, but Apple's inflexibility will crop up from time to time. I tend to agree with decisions Apple makes for me and when I disagree, I don't mind either living with it or doing something about it in terminal or whatever.

    What the Mac Way has to offer is curated computing, especially on iThings (iPhone, iPad, etc). It's like a museum where the art director decides what pieces (of software) are allowed to be on display. I don't mind because in my experience the art directors (Steve Jobs, et al) are not (total) knuckleheads. Sure they are motivated by profit but their profit motive goes something like this "I want r0k to come back because he likes doing business here and enjoys using our products." as opposed to "I don't care what r0k thinks and would never stoop so low as to take his phone call (think Google or Microsoft). r0k has to shop here because he has no choice."
     
  14. shrakner macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    #14
    My two cents...

    Your expected setup is similar to what I intend to get once I have the money- a decently powerful, custom built gaming/ 3d rendering tower (Windows) and my current 15" MBP, and eventually replacing the 15" with a 13".

    After using Windows 7 on my MBP, I can actually tolerate Windows now, so I don't mind having it as the primary environment on the desktop. Let's face it, if you're gaming, Windows is still the way to go, and I've found that rendering times in Maya are faster in Windows on my MBP than in Snow Leopard. But I still like the Mac OS better for everyday use, and Apple laptops are the best I've seen in terms of design and in balancing power and portability (though there's admittedly a bit of a price increase because of that). So, by having a desktop PC powerhouse + an Apple laptop, I think you get the best of both worlds.

    One other thing I've noticed is that Windows seems to be better for handling one program at a time, while the Mac OS is better at multitasking. Which works out great for my intended use, as the PC will be used for gaming / 3D rendering, both of which are not usually multitasking friendly. And I can then easily chat / use iTunes / surf / whatever on the Mac while gaming or working on the PC tower.

    Just my 2c. :)
     
  15. UltimaLink thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere in PA.
    #15
    Thanks for all the replies guys, I've decided on the MacBook Pro 15" with an i5 processor.

    r0k:

    Thanks for the link to the seashore thing, I'll look into that. Also I don't think that having to pay for certain apps I can get on windows for free will matter since I am what you would call a "pirate" when it comes to programs. I don't mind having to download third party apps for things, heck, I have tons of them running in the background of my PC already.

    shrakner:

    We have nearly the same thing about how we are going to use our computers, only I'll be using my PC more often when I'm animating or drawing, since even with an i5 in the MacBook, my PC still has a quad core and I use every one of those cores all the time. Also I don't think I'll be using BootCamp for gaming, since anytime someone asks about playing anything on a laptop, I always say >Gaming, >laptop or something along those lines.

    To others:

    For those that have replaced their ram on their MacBook Pros, how hard/easy is it? I might want to run Parallels or something on the Mac for a few things, mainly if I want to play a Cave Story mod, so I might need 8 or 6 gigs of ram.
     
  16. shrakner macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    #16
    First, let me just say that the though of upgrading RAM to play Cave Story is quite amusing. :p If you're simply thinking that 4 GB of RAM is just not enough for a VM machine, I must tell you otherwise. :) My MBP (the 2nd gen 15") only came with 2 GB of RAM (since upgraded to 3 GB), and that was sufficient to run Parallels with Windows XP and Solidworks. Recommended? No, but quite workable.

    But to answer your question, it's very easy to upgrade RAM.
    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/Installing-MacBook-Pro-15-Inch-Unibody-Mid-2010-RAM/3032/1
    Enjoy your MBP!
     
  17. UltimaLink thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere in PA.
    #17
    Ah, thanks. I am worried about the VM for Windows, that's why I wanted to upgrade, especially since I only have a dual core i5 in this thing.

    EDIT: Well, let me raphrase that, I will only have a dual core, I don't have the MBP yet.
     
  18. Gakboi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    #18
    Trackpad yes...... Garageband is pretty basic tho... I would look into a better solution like logic (mac only) or Pro Tools. There is also a few other music sequencing programs out there but these two are the best IMO. That doesn't mean that the others aren't useful but garageband is about as good as it's price suggests.
     

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