Should I Buy a Macbook?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DavidLeigh, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. DavidLeigh macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2012
    Hi All,

    I dunno if many people ask this question here, but would really like some honest advise from those who own macbooks. I have been thinking about this question for the last couple of days and still remain very much on the fence! :confused:

    I need a new laptop as my current one has last me more than 7 years and is very much on its last legs. I guess partly because of this time span i do have a bit more money to spend. I'm just not sure if i should invest in a top-end pc laptop or a pretty much bottom-end macbook.

    Ever since my laptop broke down a month ago, i have been using my brother's Macbook Air. I guess i have gotten the hang of the very basics, the touchpad, safari etc. I do like it! My first impressions is that Mac OS seems stable, easy to use and well-designed. And of course, i also like the sleek, slender design of macbooks and how quickly they boot-up. I know there are great things about macbooks.

    On the otherhand, i don't know if i need one and if should just stick with PCs. Firstly, my laptop is for general use only. I'm not in any media profession. I may do some photo editing every so often but just basic stuff that may be developed in the future. I don't do much video editing. People keep saying macs are more for professional use as opposed to general use. Is this so?

    Secondly, I know macbooks are not gaming machines. I'm a light gamer myself and i have a PS3 so this isn't a deal breaker. Even if a game runs better on a computer i'll probably prefer a 40 inch tv to 15 inch laptop screen. But the option to game particularly to play RTS games like diablo and starcraft does factor into it. Will a top-end PC laptop serve me better?

    My current laptop is a 15 inch and i'm tending towards a 13 inch macbook pro mainly because of the hefty prices of macs. A 15 inch macbook is a possibility but a significant investment. If i stick with 13 inch, it's hard to get over the screen size reduction. Would you guys do this? Choose 13 inch macbook over a 15 inch pc laptop?

  2. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2012
    Adrift in a sea of possibilities
    To stick with a Windows PC, or move to a Mac PC?

    To me, if you have the money and an open mind, there is no question.

    You know the square/rectangle argument? By definition a square is a rectangle but a rectangle isn't a square, that sort of thing?

    If you buy Mac, you don't have to lose Windows. Read up on Bootcamp (included in Mac OS X) or Virtualization software (some free). As long as you have a licensed copy of Windows, you can run Windows on your Mac. You lose nothing!

    But if you buy Windows, there you go. You will not be enjoying OS X, or the quality hardware that Apple proudly supports.

    And from what you've said, I think the 13" MBP would more than suit your needs. I really like mine and I've been computing for a long time. I use mine for development, college work, routine life stuff, and gaming. It runs Starcraft II like a dream (Medium/High details, about 30fps). I can't vouch for Diablo III, as I've yet to succumb to Blizzard/EA's steep DRM blood contract due to my terrible internet connection here.
  3. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    Heavy Duty gamers will tell you to stay with a PC, it is up to you for the games you want to play with it, if that Mac will work fine or not.
    I am not one of them, so consider that in your decision and interpretation of my comments.

    That said, I obviously suggest you to get a Mac.
    As mentioned already, you can run almost any OS with it.

    The MacBook Pro seems like a good move for you, you can always connect it to an external display and, or TV.

    For the connection you will need either the cable and/or adapter.

    Or you can use AirPlay with an Apple TV.
  4. Blackberryroid macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2012
    Get a Mac. It does everything a PC does*. No problem there.

    *Software-related. Any Games, any software a PC can run, a Mac can run.
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    I got my rMBP on Monday. This is my second Mac. The first one one of the classic 1984 mini towers with all of 128K. ;)

    I am enjoying the heck of my second Mac. The wife's rMBP arrived a few days ahead of schedule so we have to go pick it up on Monday. This will her second Apple computer. The first one was an Apple IIe. ;)

    The rMBPs will be our new desktops. We are so glad to get to OS X before having to do Win 8. :D
  6. ZacT94 macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2012
    MacBooks do boot up quickly as you have said, but the reason that your brother's MBA boots up so quickly is that it has the SSD. If you want a 13" Macbook that boots up so quickly, then your options are to get a 13" MBA, a 13" MBP and swap the HDD for SSD, or to wait for a 13" rMBP. If you are going for a 15" PC, also swap the HDD for SSD.
  7. tenshu2k macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2002
    I was an IBM Thinkpad user for a long long time. After the switchover to Lenovo, I felt there was a little dip in the quality and warranties. However, they really did build the most reliable and sturdiest laptop, and they were pretty much standard issue at every company I worked for.

    Ever since Apple's switch to Intel though, I've been a convert. The quality keeps improving, and there really is no better laptop out there for the money. The rMBP is the best laptop you can buy out there period.

    I really couldn't go back at this point. I think a single macbook can last you through the majority of your school years if you are a student. Plus, they often have awesome resale values.
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    If gaming is your concern, you will find a cheaper Windows laptop with better performance than a Macbook. However, it will be heavier and the battery will be lacking, and I am not even starting about build quality and finish.

    The less expensive Macbooks don't have dedicated GPUs. But the latest Intel integrated graphics is competent enough to play modern MMOs or games like Diablo III on medium setting with native resolution.

    If you decide in favour of a Mac, I recommend you to get an Air instead of the 13" Pro - the price and performance differences are not that big, but Air is much more portable and has bigger screen estate.
  9. Panini macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2012
    Palo Alto, CA
    If you do choose a mac, the Air is better than the Pro (13") unless you use the cd drive often and are willing to sacrifice solid state reliability and speed in return for more storage. The air also has a 1440x900 screen while the 13" pro is 1280x800. The screen will feel smaller on the 13" pro since the UI will be bigger.

    That being said, if you want to game at all, and the screen size matters, go with the 15" Pro. It is a huge jump from the 13" Pro. Quad core processor + discrete graphics is a must for gaming, but the 13" air should let you play diablo at medium settings, so not to worry.

    Read this thread of mine for more info on 13" macbooks.
  10. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
  11. DavidLeigh thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2012
    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm not a heavy-duty gamer in any sense of the word. Being able to game would be a bonus as opposed to being essential. Most games i'd likely get for my PS3. seems a lot of people prefer the macbook air. To be honest i didn't think there was any question of me getting a Pro over an Air. I'm buying a replacement for my existing laptop, so there's little doubt i need a more powerful and heavy duty machine with a superdrive etc. Yes i have heard about the SSD, higher resolution etc. Portability is important but i'm not constantly on the move. The macbook would sit in one of 3-4 places 80% of the time!
  12. east85 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2010
    The Macbook Air is well equipped these days for even heavier work, but if you absolutely need a superdrive and prefer those sorts of things I guess a Pro would be a good way to go.
  13. SpyderBite macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2011
    Hardcore gaming.. Same here. I can still play diablo III, Torchlight, SWtOR and a few others casually and do. Don't even bother booting into bootcamp. I just run parallels in coherence mode off my win 7 bootcamp partition.

    Meanwhile, my $3500 gaming rig is hosting my znc irc sessions and a imap server for our email. ^^

    Edit: might add.. I upgraded to 16gb ram when I got my 2012 MBP :)
  14. beamer8912 macrumors 65816

    May 30, 2009
    I'd really suggest you head to your closest Apple Store if possible and give them a go yourself. I think you'll like both the 13" Pro and 13" Air.

    Consider trying to find a friend or relative in school to save some money by using the education store.
  15. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    yeah i only play games on my iPad :)
  16. NuggetSauce macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2012
    Get the 13" Macbook Air, and you'll be pretty happy with it I bet. It sounds like it has good enough specs to do everything you need, and you will like that it's thinner, lighter, and has better battery life, at a cheaper price point.

    I've worked in IT for over a decade, and I can build, upgrade, and repair my own PC's no problem, but since I made the switch to a mac 2 years ago, i've never looked back, and I have zero desire to go back to using a PC.
  17. amflemi macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2009
    I made the change to Mac about 5 years ago and have never looked back. I do have windows on a bootcamp partition for some programs that I have to use . I prefer bootcamp to parallels as I can keep them separate. I have moved to the 15" MBP from a 13" macbook and I prefer the extra real estate as I am creating powerpoints and researching papers. Having the 15" also lets me have a dedicated graphics card for any gaming that i do on the laptop. It handles Half Life and Torchight with ease. About the only thing that I will be adding is another 8 Gb of memory when funds allow. I am not particularly bothered about having an SSD as the Mac boots quickly enough for me. I am more interested in having more on board storage. I may go for a hybrid drive in the future but i am happy with the stock drive at the mo.

    As has been mentioned, try and see if someone has access to the education discount store to save yourself a bit of cash. The one thing that i can guarantee is that you wont regret is switching.
  18. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    High quality, retains value, always in demand when reselling, OS is cheaper to upgrade than windows, bootcamp. Just somethings to think about. You can have the best of both worlds with a mac. It's definitely worth the investment.
  19. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Maybe you should consider waiting for the retina 13" MBP, as hopefully you'd still get an astronomical screen without the astronomical price! :D
    If you need one sort of immediately, I recommend just upgrading a 13" MBA as much as you can afford. Especially RAM, go with the 8GB.
  20. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Resale value really shouldn't be a factor here. OP mentioned having kept his last notebook for 7 years. Look at how much the early 2011 which would have been what was available a year ago sells for on ebay now ($1200ish from $2200). Part of that is the available supply of refurbished units, presumably due to the loose return policy. Earlier I read more yellow screen complaints. What's amusing is the new ones are a much closer match to sRGB which is the standard profile for preparing web and type C printing. It's just the older were too cold compared to the rMBP, and people got used to that, speaking of which we should see refurbished 2012 models when the supply of 2011s winds down.

    There are also potential costs for upkeep. Even if it's plugged in all the time, batteries may eventually require replacement. I've had some bulge with old age. Obviously it's not an instantaneous thing. Things like this happen over time. They've updated the chargers on recent models, so they may be less of an issue than the older magsafe.

    Finally it's important to note that these things so far have received the latest software revisions typically for several years. Given Apple's increasing use of OpenCL, I wouldn't buy anything today that doesn't support it if you keep your notebooks a long time. This means no integrated gpu only models that debuted prior to 2012. The intel HD4000 doesn't seem like it has been certified for OpenCL yet, but it's supposed to be capable of it. The 3000 doesn't support it at all. 15" models had a discrete gpu too though.
  21. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    With a grain of salt.

    I, with pics, put up my early-2011 MBP on ebay - the price was lower, number of add-ins (RAM, Applecare, apps, etc) far more than what competitors offered, and I have a high rating. Nobody bought.

    So it's not always in demand.

    "high quality" - iFixit would disagree with you, as would the owner of my2011macbookpro after noticing the sloppy glob of thermal paste on the CPU and GPU. As would other technical articles that dare to go under the cover. Macs have a quality design and compact layout, but they are not well built - true quality goes into execution. Not appearance. This isn't about marketing but of long-term product viability. With an exception: The Mac Pro truly IS well-built and deserves every accolade. (Note: I built PCs from scratch, am aware of heat and other things that the laws of physics can do to electronic circuitry, etc... a lot of people prefer looking at max values and thinking there are no ramifications... there are, but I digress...) the Mac Pro is awesome, but yet the same quality behind cooling doesn't exist in iMacs and MacBook Pros. Even the person who bought my new iMac in mid-2009 so I could upgrade to a Pro called me a couple of years later, grateful I bought the extended warranty because the screen burned in due to the heat generated by the circuit board behind it. That is not an example of "high quality". Maybe "planned obsolescence" but that's about it.)
  22. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    When I said "high quality", I meant the material it is made out of when compared to plastic that other competitors use. Just my 2 cents.
  23. minnus macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2011
    Ah, you would receive a lot of debate about what you just said in a more...general community. High-grade plastic is arguably better in weight, durability, and thermal insulation (you want to heat to exit via vents, instead of leaking it via body. this is ideal for using a laptop on your lap).

    Also, competitors do use metal bodies. Plenty of models are.
  24. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    Well I'm always open to knowledge.
  25. nitromac, Aug 12, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012

    nitromac macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2012
    If you're only going to be using your laptop computer for web browsing and general use, don't get a Macbook Pro. It's honestly a waste of money and potential. The 13" is overpriced as it's a pretty underpowered machine ($1200 for a dual-core and integrated graphics? No thanks). The 15" is really the only fair-priced machine and that's with the student discount.

    For what you're looking to do, I would recommend getting some sort of ultrabook (not the Air... also overpriced), maybe a Lenovo U410 or a Sony VAIO. I would probably go for the Vaio as they usually have really nice screens.

    Seriously, unless you plan on using your laptop to its full extent, don't shell out over $1000 on a shiny web browser. Save yourself a couple hundred and get something you're already accustomed to.

    No, think of the amount of people that don't use their macs professionally. It's all about how you use the machine. A brand name doesn't make a machine more suited for "professional use." There are professional applications available to both sides of the spectrum, so it's your choice on how you use it.

    Also, "viruses" and "stability." You can ruin a mac. Easily. Just like you can ruin a PC easily. Keep everything disorganized, never delete anything, hold your hard drive at 1% free space and both computers will run like ****. Obviously, there is a much larger number of viruses for PCs, but there are also protection suites to counter them (including common sense). Avoid clicking on ads and pop-ups and be careful with spam e-mails and messages, and that can be enough to keep your computer from being ruined.

Share This Page