So, MBP13 base or Dell studio 15?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by stefan1975, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010

    i am in the market for a €900 laptop which needs to serve me for around three years or so. I need it for video editing photo editing, office and work.

    I wanted to get myself a MBP this refresh but like lots (most?) people here am seriously disappointed by the upgrade. The 15" and 17" are out of my league financially and i would really like to get the base 13" but have a lot of difficulties convincing myself it is worth €900. (I can get it at a 20% discount from 1149). I like the 13" in size mobility wise and guess it would theoretically be powerfull enough for me....

    On the other hand i can get a Dell studio 15" with:
    intel® Core™ i7-720QM Mobile Processor (1.6GHz, turbo up to 2.8GHz, 6MB L3 ==> quad core + hyperthreading !!!!
    500gb 7200rpm
    4gb ddr3,
    win7_x64 (which really is half decent compared to vista/xp),
    1.366 x 768 15.6" LED,
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD5470,
    BluRay ROM,
    85W 9cel battery,

    this would also set me back roughly €900 with a €261 discount and a HDD upgrade.

    So i am wondering which would be the better buy, specs wise the Dell seems to have a lot going for it and i am no way near an apple fanboy, not now they are just showing interest in the handheld market these days.

    does anyone know the build quality of such a Dell and the LED panel? The C2D in the 13" make it feel like such a bad deal, if it were an i5 i would have bought it blindly over the quad core dell.

    so yes yet another what would you do kinda question.....

    thanks, stefan
  2. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    There's no doubt that the 13" is not worth the price. There's also no doubt that the Dell is superior by every hardware measure (with the possible exception of the 16:9 resolution screen).

    But with that in mind, out of the box, the Mac will be the better machine for video editing due to the included iLife software. But if you're doing professional editing, where you will have to purchase software anyway, the Dell will be the more powerful machine, although probably not the computer I would choose.

    There are only a few reasons I could recommend the MBP in this situation. One is if battery life is a huge issue. It's rated at 10 hours (Apple time) which will give you a lot of juice if you spend extended amounts of time away from a power outlet. The other is if you plan to work without a mouse frequently. The touchpads on MBPs are the best of any computer out there, hands down. The gesture based controls are really nice and save time IF you use the touchpad a lot.

    If you're worried about the quality of the Dell (the Studio series has been constantly improving in quality) get their complete care coverage and they will replace the computer for any problem you experience (even throwing it in a pool last time I checked).
  3. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    well in my last job i had to use a dell precision laptop (their kinda pro line i guess) which was also metallic and pretty well build. I just dont care for the really cheapy plastic ones like the vostro. It made me work with Win7 quite a lot and i wasnt really that annoyed.

    and what exactly did you mean by the 16x9 screen on the dell? are they not both widescreen? not the computer you would choose? between the two .... or a different windows machine alltogether?

    I do think battery life is important, since my current msi wind will last only an hour or so, but i have no clue as to how long the upgraded 85w on a dell would last me. The video editing would only be light vacation with the kids kind of stuff so no PIXAR like things there.

    Would an ATI card like that be okay? i thought only nvidia had that smart offloading thingy that made it switch between embedded and external GPU?

    mmmm i really wish the MBP were a better deal so it wouldnt make me consider the dell so much (the hp envy and sony vaio are also quite out of my leage).

    thanks for the quick opinion though!
  4. dendritic cells macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Boston MA
    One guy told me Dell is Hell. :D

    OK seriously, if you are going for the specs, Apple will (almost) always going to be more expensive than PC.

    I had Dell latitude in the past, HDD goes bad after 2.5y, minor trackpad issues, nothing else's wrong with it, it's just that I mainly like OS X and the unibody design (not to mention the trackpad).

    Do you really need an i5+dedicated GPU for your needs? Why did you consider MBP in the first place? :D
  5. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    The hardware difference is getting much more extreme though. The Core 2 Duo model used in the 13" MBP is 2 years old, so if he's planning on keeping the computer for 3 years, it's going to be 5 years old by the time he's ready to upgrade.

    OSX is the main selling point on the current macbooks, other companies have them beat in everything else (with the exception of the trackpad imo). Windows 7 is great, and really shows that Microsoft is moving in the right direction. But OSX is still better for everyday computing, even if the gap is much smaller than it used to be.

    With regards to the video card, that ATI card isn't a screamer, but it will destroy the integrated card in the 13" MBP. Battery life on the Dell should be ~3.5-4 hours, with the "10 hour" Mac likely being a realistic 7 - 7.5 hours.
  6. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    actually it is an i7 quad core (not even the 17" MBP has a quad core) :)

    well i dont think i really *need* that much power right now, it just makes me really doubt about the inferiority (performance wise) of the mac and since i would want to have it last for 3 (maybe 4) years i want to have something "extra".

    my last laptop had a (old gen) C2D in it and at first it was blazing fast but in the end with CS4, office 2007, premiere elements it was kinda starting to show its age (with winxp_x86 though).

    i really really want the mac because of its looks, the unibody, multitouch trackpad, OSX (stability of linux and yet apps like office and adobe CS) and the quality of the LED screen (although i dont know how a dell LED would compare).

    i already upped my budget from a plastic MB to a 13" MBP so i really wouldnt dare go for the 15" base.

    thanks guys!
  7. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    well it doesnt really have to be that Dell (or a Dell at all for that matter) but with the current promotion of the HDD upgrade and the €261 discount it seemed like an attractive alternative for me, since the envy and vaio's are also quite premium priced. just the 13-max 15" res is quite important to me ... otherwise i might have considered the alienware mx11 as well (although it is also C2D).
  8. dendritic cells macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Boston MA
    I see, sorry for the ix mistake! but you know what i mean :p

    Totally understand your situation, I nearly bought MBP with dedicated GPU, but in the end I got the 13", and planning to get an xbox/ps3 for gaming instead. :rolleyes: Considering C2D and integrated GPU, they have pretty impressive benchmarks by the way. But I agree with mikeo007, maybe in 3 years we will look at C2D as we look at P4 now. :eek:

    Whatever your decision is, have fun with the new toy! :D
  9. iMacprobook macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010

    It maybe worth establishing which OS you will want to be working with for the next few years, and then the software that will do exactly, or as close to it as possible, what your work requires. Then the mac/pc decision will have been made for you.
    I think too many posters are keen to swap to the mac system for the hardware factor, instead of the OS platform, which is what you will be interacting with on a daily basis.

    Apple's 'Aperture' is really well developed for your photo work, well organised, highly capable editor, huge output choice and non destructive to master images.
    imovie i know little about, not an area ive explored yet, but hope to fairly soon.
    iwork is also a package that i rate highly, i groan when a file opens in excel now.
    With that you get al the usual, mail,safari etc,
    If you havent spent any time with a mac, try to get to an Apple store for a day and just play with it.
    Also build quality, ease of upkeep etc are important.

    My choice would always be OSX.
  10. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    well for my gaming needs i have an fat ps3 (without linux) with a 7 core CELL so that is pretty nifty. i like to sit on the couch with my to-be-laptop and >15" doesnt really fit on my lap or couch so that is why size matters. I wouldnt really use the mx11 for gaming just for lastability and size.

    i am considering waiting for the late 2010 refresh, but coming from waiting for the late 2009 refresh, then the spring 2010 refresh makes it a really really long wait ... with just a msi wind as sole family pc in the house...
  11. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010

    we have an imac at work i use now and then and i love OSX (although the menu bar at the top of the screen instead of in the window is just silly :)). at home i mainly use fedora linux with KDE 4.2 which i love even more then OSX. However picasa, openoffice and kino just dont compare to adobe CS4 and M$ office. For browsing i just use Chrome and Opera.

    i believe OSX would be the perfect mix between fedora and windows software wise and i really dont feel like hackintoshing.

  12. stefan1975 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    on our work iMac (late 2008) running flash websites makes the processor go berserk and spin the fan like a vacuum. is this still a (performance) problem on current gen macbook pros and does it help that Chrome will come with embedded flash? i would hate to see the C2D crippled by heavy flash stuff ... that we use in our websites.

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