The right Macbook Pro.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Blues003, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. Blues003 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    #1
    Hey guys!

    I'm just another PC-user who is ready to make the transition. I'm saving for a Macbook Pro, and still haven't decided on which one would suit my needs best. I was hoping some of you guys could give your opinions on which specs would be required for what I want to do with it (explained in detail later).

    I certainly do not want a 17'' MBP (as it is not that portable). I like the 13'' for the fact it's very portable, but also like the 15'' for the fact it's the screen size I'm used to, and that it's more powerful. Note that I intend to make this MBP my sole and only computer: as such, I want it to have the power needed for every operation. In other words, it'll be both my laptop (it'll be taken to faculty and work), and my desktop (when at home, obviously).


    Besides the typical Microsoft Office work, PDF/eBook-Reading, MSN chatting, Web browsing and Music listening/Movie Watching (all of which I do a lot), I intend to use my MBP for:

    - Light image-editing: Photoshop mainly.
    - Light video-editing: FinalCut mainly.
    - Moderate gaming: Mostly emulation of consoles up to NDS and PS2, although I do appreciate my Call of Duty or Unreal Tournament once in a while.
    - Intense music-editing: GarageBand, Cubase, Sibelius, FruityLoops, and more Music-Studio related software; I intend to connect it to a Yamaha XS8 Motif.
    - Intense Medical-based software usage.
    - Running Windows on it: either via Bootcamp or Parallels/VMFusion. 100% speed and performance on Parallels/VMFusion aren't required, but would rock my world. (that's what she said <_<')
    - iPhone App Programming.


    So, if any of you have any idea of which MBP specs could do ALL these without frustration, please drop me a post, will you?

    Thanks in Advance!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Base 15" with 2.4GHz i5 is fine. 13" would also do the job but the screen is important in the task you do plus the extra horsepower never hurts, especially in games.

    Think about hi res screen and upgrading RAM to 8GB from aftermarket
     
  3. Blues003 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    #3
    Thanks. Will that be enough for all the heavy music-editing and the gaming? Also, how would one expect Windows 7 to run on Parallels/VMFusion using thos especs? What are the 8GB of RAM thought for? The music software?
     
  4. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    #4
    A 13" would meet most of your needs, but those 3 tasks would benefit greatly with a 15". You'd get dramatically more screen real estate for Photoshop and FinalCut--the resolution on the 13" is intolerably small and outdated relative to other closely, but still lower, priced offerings on the market. But there are people who like it. If you have a chance, check it in store to see if the screen room seems too compact and the font size too big to you. And the new i5/i7 on the 15" would likely extend the usefulness of your MBP for your medical software. If the medical software does not exploit the multiple cores of the new Intels, it will benefit from the new Hyperthreading feature on them, which the 13"'s Core 2 Duo does not have.
     
  5. antster94 macrumors 6502a

    antster94

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    Have you considered the 13" with an external display?
     
  6. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    #6
    It'll be enough for emulation, although I'm not sure how demanding PS2 emulation is.

    As for COD, which one? COD4 for Mac or the latest one in Boot Camp?

    Virtualization would benefit from the RAM.
     
  7. Blues003 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    #7
    I have considered the external-display. In fact, I HAVE decided to use the external display, regardless of if I get 13'' or 15''. The thing is, 15'' offers more power, which I believe I need for the activities I mentioned (in particular gaming, which is by itself a pretty demanding task, and music editing, which while not as demanding, I will be doing very intensively). Considering this is supposed to be my only computer, I'd really like something that can do all of the above.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    8GB is for all, mainly for virtualization and music software though. Don't get it yet. Buy it if you need so keep your eye on Activity Monitor and if you are using more than 75% of your RAM and have a lot page outs, you need more

    It's your only computer so get something that can really do those tasks, now and in future
     
  9. Blues003 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    #9
    Whichever COD is the lightest ;)

    Doesn't virtualization suck a lot of CPU Power too? (just asking, newbie here!)
     
  10. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    #10
    Well, you could certainly play COD1 in Boot Camp. I doubt that would be much fun.

    Right now, the two main options would be COD4: Modern Warfare (Mac version or PC version in Boot Camp) or Modern Warfare 2 (only in Boot Camp, and it doesn't have dedicated servers).

    I got COD4 (Mac version) a month ago for my i7 15" MBP. I was worried initially about the performance versus the Windows version, but thankfully I'm pretty content with it. I'd be able to max more settings in Windows, but this way I don't have to quit out apps I normally prefer always running, just to play a brief couple rounds. And by play, I mean getting slaughtered.
     
  11. Blues003 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    #11

    I was referring to COD4 ;) i7? Well, yeah, but the MBP I have been recommended doesn't have i7, "only" i5. ;)

    @ Hellhammer: As for not getting it right now, so you recommend that I get it only when my current laptop starts failing? (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21M, which BTW does NOT fill all the stated requirements ;)) It's exactly because of this MBP being my sole-computer that I want to make sure that the specs I get are perfectly capable of what I want to do with it, while saving as much money as possible.
     
  12. JasO macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #12
    With what you want to do I'd advise the 15" i5 or i7 if you can afford it.
     
  13. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #13
    i7 makes no difference for gaming. COD4 runs fine with any MBP and it's hte best COD too ;)
     
  14. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    #14
    I've read a great deal in the forums here and elsewhere about the extra VRAM in the i7. Most are of the belief that doubled amount does not amount to a doubled performance increase due to the speed of the GPU acting as a bottleneck. It'll be a very slight improvement. The extra VRAM would, according to what I've read, benefit hardcore image/video editing. Nothing dramatic for gaming.
     
  15. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    #15
    After you've tried out all your apps, if the performance isn't where you'd like it to be, get it. Buy it right away and you won't have a chance to compare.
     
  16. Blues003 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    #16
    Well, I still don't have the money to buy it (I have some money saved but it'll go for my very first iPhone, the iPhone 4). I'm hoping that in some time I'll be able to buy a refurbished Macbook Pro with the specs being given right now. Which is exactly why I'm asking these questions. (I want to make my saving-plan ;p)

    So let me see if I got this straight: Base 2.4GHz i5 MBP 15'' with posterior 8GB RAM changing is good enough? With Hi-Res or not?
     
  17. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #17
    Yeah, the base 15" is great. Do you want hi res or not? I would take it but some people don't like it
     
  18. Blues003 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    #18

    I'm not sure. Considering I'm trying to go for the cheap option, considering video and image editing are going to be light, and considering I'll be getting an external display, I am tending for "Not Hi Res". What's your take on it?
     
  19. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #19
    If you have a store near by, go and take a look. I would take it because extra screen estate is very nice but if you'll be using external monitor for most of the time, it's pretty useless. Also, do you prefer glossy or matte?
     
  20. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    #20
    I can't settle for a resolution lower than the "Hi-res" option. In anticipation of this year's refresh, I was hoping for better though, that it would be 1920x1200, which would make it roughly equivalent to the resolution of the premium offerings from HP's 15" Envy and Sony's 13" Z Series (13"!). So the Hi-res option was a given for me.

    Check it in store to compare for yourself.
     
  21. Blues003 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    #21
    So far I have been using my laptop mostly inside house or buildings, so I also tend to think Glossy's looks surpass Matte's outdoor advantages. Not to mention that I hate the white borders, and can always use a Screenshield to give a Matte feeling to it, if I ever feel like so. It's not the same thing, but considering I don't use the laptop outside as much, it should be well enough.

    Isn't the 15's "normal" resolution good?
     
  22. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    #22
    I don't consider it good at all for it's price point or for 2010. Other brands have had higher resolutions for many years now, at much lower prices.

    However, some people prefer the font size of the lower resolution, so again you should go check it in person.
     
  23. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #23
    It's not bad but pixels are something you cannot add. Of course ext display adds them but when you're not using the display, you're stuck with less. Go to a store and take a look, that's the best way
     
  24. Blues003 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    #24
    Okay, I will. Thanks for all the support guys. ;)
     
  25. erasr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    #25
    How much portability do you need?

    I once got the 15" and had it for a week but realised for me it was too big to carry around a lot and move about. But too small for a desktop replacement. So I got an iMac.

    Now I'm sellling the iMac because I will need portability for work this year. Plus I want to browse the net on the sofa!

    I'm pretty level headed and make good decisions so I'd say if u want future proof power get 15", but if u want to move around with it a lot then 13" is for you. I'm buying a 13" soon, put it that way, and I use it for similar things to what you said.
     

Share This Page