Studio XPS 16 or Macbook Pro 15"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by or0b0to, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. or0b0to macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2009
    Hi all, long time lurker first time poster...

    Lets get to the skinny of it:

    Studio XPS 16: $1554 (With EPP discounts)

    Intel I7 720QM
    4 GB DDR3 1333 Mhz RAM
    Vista 64bit w/ upgrade to Win7
    16" 1920X1080 display
    500 GB 7200 RPM HD
    Soundblaster X-Fi

    Macbook Pro 15: $2144 (With Military discount)
    Intel Core2Duo 2.8
    4 GB DDR3 1066 Mhz RAM
    Snow Leopard
    15.4" 1440x900 display
    500 GB 5400 RPM HD


    What about the Mac is worth the extra $490 for getting less in Hardware prowess?

    This is potentially my first Mac, and I'm really on the fence about it, so any input would help.

  2. TheShinyMac macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2009
    You get osx and better retail value get the mac youll enjoy it more
  3. tofagerl macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2006
    It all depends on your usage. Any gaming at all, or just surfing/media/the usual stuff?
    Gaming = Dell
    Everything else: Apple

    Oh, and we're expecting a hardware refresh over christmas, so that will help the specs. Personally I'm hoping for even sooner, but it doesn't look good.
  4. Spock macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2002
    We are expecting white MacBook, Mac Mini and iMac updates, not MacBook Pro updates that I know of.
  5. Theclamshell macrumors 68030

    Mar 2, 2009
    im prob getting that dell soon :)

    it depends what you want it for, if you wanna do gaming then get the dell and if you dont wanna game get the mac
  6. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    It really depends on your need. I am not understanding of the processor on the Dell, which is an obvious huge difference.
  7. or0b0to thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2009
    I do 99% of my gaming on my PS3, though I would like the option to have my laptop handle a game or two if I feel like it... most likely some NES/SNES/N64 Emulators, and FFXIV when it comes out next year.

    Most of my PC usage is for music recording/editing, surfing, movies... stuff to keep me busy while I'm traveling for work.

    I guess my real qualm is why spend more money for less computer?
  8. cash4chaos macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2007
    campbell ca
    More money less headace !

    Your in the Military you should know the difference between fast food or gourmet, do yourself a favor get the mac pc's are nothing but fubar !!
  9. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    The processor on the Mac is better, significantly IIRC.
    The screen on the Dell is better in size and resolution, everyone has opinions on that.
    The hard drive speed is better on the Dell.

    I'd get the Mac given your needs and desires.
  10. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    You can always update the RAM and HD yourself on the Mac.
    I guess it would be best for you to go into an Apple Store or retailer (Apple Store is best) that has Macs and just play around on them..

    I remember when i first got my MBP, it was away different than a Windows machine... things just run smoother...

    On another note, I am excited for Win7. My buddy has it on his machine (the RC??) and it is smooth! Ofcourse it won't go on my Mac, but my girlfriends' XPS!
  11. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2008

    If you're looking at pure hardware of course the Dell beats the mbp. You didn't say what you'd use the pc for. Unless you need a specific s/w made only for Apple(e.g. Fina Cut Studio), the dell wins seems a natural for you. You could even try to hackintosh it if you feel adventurous :rolleyes:

    However, if you think about resale value, the MBP wins hand down. You know in 6 months(in one year, 2 yearss) you'll get A LOT more for the MBP than the DELL (i.e. you won't have as much depreciation)
  12. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    You won't recuperate the extra grand in resale value.

    The better argument is that in two years, your PC will be massively outdated and slow, your Mac probably won't be the latter.
  13. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    You forgot to factor in the future costs of having to buy a mac again when this one gets old once you see how awesome os x is. ;)
  14. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2009
    The only other two things worth considering are the portable aspects of the two notebooks. What is the battery life on the Dell compared to the Macbook Pro? What is the weight? I would guess since the Dell is bigger it would add at least an additional pound, and unless you add a bigger battery (and more weight) the Dell has less battery.
  15. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    This might be true. I look on craigs list all the time at the for sale section, and see 15" MBP 2.2GHZ for like $1000 or more. I paid $1600 for my 2.5GHZ two years if i can get $1000 id be happy!!!
  16. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Are you kidding me? The Dell has a Core i7 processor - it's a quad core processor which runs at 1.6GHz-2.8GHz dynamically. It's more powerful than the Core 2 Duo in the Mac by a significant margin.

    If you get the Dell you get Windows 7, which is in my opinion the best operating system available today. It matches OS X Tiger for stability, reliability and speed.
  17. bjorn989 macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2008
    Three things to consider:

    1. Battery life. Will the Dell be able to run a full day without having to plug it in? Does this matter to you?

    2. Screen specifications. If you put the Dell laptop screen side by side with the Macbook Pro, which one would you choose? I know the Dell has the better screen resolution but does it look as nice? Are the colours vibrant and is it bright enough? Resolution only says one thing: the number of dots on a screen. Numbers like resolutions are great for salespeople (like myself) because they distill complicated pieces of information into a nice little chunk. I havent seen a laptop screen yet that compares to the macbook pro regardless of resolution.

    3. Think about the 'little' things that (in my opinion) make a mac worthwhile. The fact that they are always the best looking laptops hands down. Magsafe. The trackpad. The fact that it is less than 1" thin yet still has everything you need. The build quality. Compare each of those against the Dell and see how it stacks up.

    If you dont care about any of these features, go for the Dell, you will enjoy it and you don't need a mac.

    If you think that there are any that you can't live without, then I would say go for the Mac.
  18. hodgeheg macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2008
    edit - snipped, someone else got there before me about the processor in the Dell being vastly superior (though personally I prefer the Mac without question, that doesn't alter the facts)
  19. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2009
    Will a 1.6GHz Core i7 really perform better than a 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo?
  20. Theclamshell macrumors 68030

    Mar 2, 2009
    i am so confused about the whole "turbo boost" on the i7
  21. hodgeheg macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2008
    In short, all other things besides the CPU being equal, yes.

    Firstly, it's not "only" 1.6Ghz, it can actually clock individual cores up to 2.8GHz, thus matching the Core 2 Duo's max clock speed.

    Secondly, it isn't hobbled by a front side bus and has an integrated memory controller, so has much faster access to RAM.

    Thirdly, there are FOUR cores, not 2. So for anything that uses more than 2 threads, it could be dramatically better even were it not for the other improvements.

    Fourthly, it has hyperthreading, so appears as 8 logical cores to the operating system and for some workloads ht provides an advantage.

    Finally, as with most new iterations of intel's chips, the new architecture can do more in a given clock cycle, hence for example, a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo (or even a Core Solo) is more powerful for the vast majority of purposes than, say, a 3.06GHz Pentium 4.

    I'm sure there's more, but I'm not an expert (so if someone says I'm wrong about any of this, sobeit)
  22. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
  23. kngelv macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2004
    I think you need to look at the overall user experience which IMHO is much better with a Mac. I switched from Windows machines six years ago and have never looked back. Since Apple designs both the hardware and software you get a smoother more reliable operating experience and a better software package (and this is part of the cost premium). I like the fact that if you need to call for an issue you get someone in North America who is not reading off a script unlike with Dell. That you can take your laptop into an Apple Store and get software help even if out of warranty and hardware diagnosis at no cost. I like the much sturdier and back-lit keyboard. The multi-touch trackpad, longer battery life, the solid aluminum unibody case and 20% lighter weight. I'm no Apple slappy though (HDMI and Blu-Ray please Apple). Good luck with whatever you decide.

  24. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    A lot has changed in six years. Most notably, Microsoft's operating systems are now rock solid - I haven't seen a single application crash using the pre-release version of Windows 7.

    As for customer support, I'm not sure you're calling the same Apple I am. When I called about my MacBook discolouring I got someone who certainly was not fluent in English and who did not understand my issue as a result. He had a script and it took me a very long time to get him to deviate from it. Eventually I got my plastic case replaced, but not until I had waited three weeks for it to make the round trip to the service centre.

    Apple Stores are great if there is one near. Unfortunately they are spread so sporadically in the regions Apple sells its hardware that it just isn't convenient for a majority of people to go there.
  25. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    1.6 GHz stock with the Turbo bins being at 1/1/6/9.

    So that's 133 MHz for 4 or 3 cores of Turbo Boost and 1198 MHz for one core. Go Nehalem.

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