Switching from Windows Desktop - Need Advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by daman7676, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. daman7676, Jan 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012

    daman7676 macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2012
    Hey everyone - I'm new to this forum and was just curious if anyone has been in my situation in the past.

    I have a home built Windows 7 desktop - Intel Q6600 (quad core @ 2.4GHz) with 4GB of RAM and a 8800GT video card with 512MB. I used to game a lot but have found myself doing it less and less. I do use Photoshop quite often and will continue to do so on my new machine. I plan to use Parallels (or equivalent) and have Windows 7 available for any Excel/VBA related projects I need to work on.

    With that said, I've been considering a refurbished MBP 13" early 2011 i5 with 4GB of RAM. I plan to upgrade it to 8GB and hopefully throw an SSD in it.

    My question if anyone can help answer, am I going to notice a significant performance degradation or are the SB processors that much better? Should I be looking at something else instead of the MBP?

    Also, the reason I'm going laptop and not desktop is that I'm losing my desktop space (baby on the way).

    Thanks in advance!
  2. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    Sounds like this machine will fit your needs fine. just so you know the 13s all have dual-cores and not quad cores so you are not comparing like to like. The system hold meet your needs fine.
  3. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    I actually have a Q6600 PC desktop and an Early 2011 MBP13 (with 8gb RAM and SSD).

    Two different animals.

    You'll miss the dGPU from your desktop as the MBP has integrated graphics. (But The 8gb of ram will actually get you to a total of 512mb of graphics memory in the MBP).

    I dunno... honestly, I can't tell the difference in the machines and won't say I prefer one over the other for any particular task. I don't game much, just simple stuff.

    I use parallels and just find I use the mac almost exclusively these days. The SSD makes the difference of course.
  4. daman7676 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2012
    Thanks for the quick feedback!

    It's been tough finding this type of comparison and your responses have been very helpful. Although it has 2 less cores, it appears the SB processors and additional 4GBs of RAM should at least make it feel just as fast.
  5. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    I'd also consider just running a native version of Office for your Mac, vs. dealing with Parallels, Windows and Windows Office. I believe compatibility is pretty seamless across platforms with Office[?]

    I'll be doing the same thing shortly, moving from Windows Office in Parallels on the MBP13 and my HP, to native Office 2011 on the MBP13 and my inbound MBP15.

    I will however, be using Parallels on the MBP15 for some development chores (Oracle/SQL tools, VS, a few other development utilities).
  6. daman7676 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2012
    Thanks, DT for the advice. Do you know if the native version of Office for OSX has VBA developer support included? Also, I'm a hot-key user in most office programs so transitioning to Office in OSX is going to be a decent learning curve.
  7. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    Yeah, not 100% of the level of compatibility, but I know you can get some pretty complex code on the PC version. Yeah, I'm going to be fumbling on some of the shortcuts.

    Here's some info on the Office '11 for Mac, specifically talking about the VBA implementation:

  8. daman7676 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2012
    Great article. Good to see that the VBA environment is just about identical to that of the Windows version. My decision to move to the MBP is becoming increasingly easier to make.
  9. mankymanning macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2008
    If you aren't doing massively PU intensive work then that MBP should be fine especially if you put the SSD in. You may find that the combination of SSD plus OSX being tightly integrated with the hardware that the machine is more responsive than your Windows desktop.

    I'd see if you can try out Office 2011 somewhere first. I have a copy and to be honest I find it nowhere near as easy as Office 2010 for PC to use.
  10. Heebeejeebies macrumors regular


    Nov 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    I'm using a (Late 2008) MBP with Windows 7 on VirtualBox. I have 8GB RAM and give my Win7 4GB to game, and it works well...

    Seeing as you have a baby on the way (congratulations!), you should be OK with a MBP with 8GB (you can also upgrade to 16GB), seeing as you're gaming "less and less."

    Essentially, a MBP should work well, especially with an SSD, and you could also get MS Office 2011 for Mac (I don't know if it's the same UI as for Windows), but I don't think you'd see any "performance degradation."

    [My MBP does not have the same VRAM as your desktop, but I'm assuming newer Macs have better VRAM]
  11. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    Not sure about that, but Office 2011 for Mac is leaps and bounds over 2008 for Mac. Stick away from that POS. I've got 2011 on my MacBook since the day it came out, but my work (Mac environment) has computers with Office 2008 and it's pretty rough - especially Excel.
  12. daman7676 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2012
    Thanks! This is definitely helpful and appreciate the congrats on the new baby.

    Good to know! I will definitely look into Office 2011 for Mac.

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