Thinking of taking the big plunge... to Mac.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mrdobo, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. mrdobo macrumors member


    Sep 22, 2010
    Hey everyone, first off I just wanted to say that I've just recently stumbled across these forums, and I've done a fair amount of searching for people asking this question. To be honest, I'm pretty sure I know what answers I'm going to get, but I figured I'd take a shot and see if maybe I can get more insight.

    Quick summary of me - I'm 23, about to begin school again after realizing I need it to go anywhere in my line of work (Contracts), and have always used a PC... and I've never owned a laptop, or purchased a premade computer. Since early high school I started building computers with what parts I could find, and all my friends were into the LAN party scene... had TONS of fun talking hardware and trash-talking each others rig... all in good fun :rolleyes: Anyways, none of us had even considered a Mac. We all played games too much for it to be a viable option... not to mention, they're pretty damn pricey. Fast forward 6 years and here I am, still playing games on my desktop, but not nearly as much as I used to. And as I mentioned, I'll be going back to school soon, so I'll have even less time for games... so they're not a huge concern, though being able to play Diablo 3 is a MUST ;)

    That all being said, one of my two best friends is the Mac rep at a Best Buy. He also used to be a PC guy and up until 2 years ago hadn't even TOUCHED one. Now? Biggest Mac fanboy around - good for him I say. Always good to take pride in your work. Regardless, I've always poked fun at certain aspects of Apple, but I'll focus in on the ones relevant to this post, which is why in the WORLD would someone pay double (and I've literally pieced together systems time and time again that prove this, so this is a fact I've seen personally many times over) for a system that, in all honesty, can do the same thing as a Windows system? ESPECIALLY with Win7. I try to envision a situation where I'm doing the things I do on my PC, and look over to see a Mac doing it THAT much differently... and I can't. I mean how much of a difference can there be in typing our a word document on OS X vs Win7? Browsing the internet? Basic things like that, that I'll need to do to get my B.S. in Business Management? All that aside, something tells me that getting a MacBook Pro for school instead of a PC based laptop is a good idea. Things I've never had to deal with and are easily looked over might make or break my experience with school on a laptop, like: battery life, build quality, OS stability, lack of viruses, etc - the things I know a Mac would excel at. Even so! I keep thinking, "Ok, so what? I have to reformat once every year or so to keep my PC laptop running clean. I've done that for the past 8 years?"
    As you can see, my thoughts are very scattered on this, and I haven't even really asked my question yet, so I'll try to make it as simple as possible.

    TL: DR... plus some more - I want a laptop that'll last me 4 years at least, will stay reliable throughout that time, can do some light to moderate gaming, but most importantly, will be good for online college course work. I know a PC laptop can do all these things, but something tells me this is finally a good time to jump to the Mac. Why should I jump ship? I WANT to be convinced!

    P.S. It's late and I've been obsessing over this questions for the past week so I think I'm nearly ranting... so I apologize for the near structureless POS post that is... this post, but I figure maybe it'll hit home with someone that's been in a similar situation. Thanks in advance for any input. :D
  2. InfoSecmgr Guest


    Dec 31, 2009
    Ypsilanti, Michigan
    You are the only one that can convince yourself. All I can say is this. I have my M.S. and am going into a Ph.D program. I'm 24 (since you mentioned your age). I've been in school an awful long time. My advice for your needs is this. Get a 15 inch MBP, don't waste your money on the i7, you don't need it for what you do. 4GB of RAM is fine, unless you find it cheap then go for 8GB ( Get an external monitor for it, at least 20 inch. They can be had very cheap at or Get an external hard drive for backup, a 1TB is cheap these days from the same sources I listed above. Also, an external keyboard and mouse (and a dedicated desk) will make life better for you. Having two screens is a major plus.

    As far as "convincing" you, sorry no can do. Go use one at a store and see if you like it. I won't sit here and tell you "it'll grow on you". The Mac is not a fungus. Either you like it or you don't.

    Edit: In retrospect of my college experience, I should have just stuck with my PowerMac G5 single 1.6GHz through my undergrad. A laptop is very useful, though. I was using an iBook G4 for the longest time and it worked just fine. For grad school I bought an aluminum MacBook (non-pro, discontinued model). I sold that halfway through and bought a 17 inch MBP (2010 model) in prep for my Ph.D work. I like having lots of screen real estate.

    In case it matters somehow, my degrees:
    Undergrad: B.S. technology management ( in addition, 2 management A.A.S degrees, 3 adv. certificates)
    Grad: M.S. information assurance/security
    Ph.D: Philosopher of technology, concentration in information assurance.
  3. 40167 macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2004
    You know what I honestly did when figuring out if I wanted a Mac or PC? I flipped a coin but in the end it didn't matter. I got an iMac desktop and a Vaio laptop. It doesn't matter which one I'm using as they both get the job done.

    Just visit an Apple store, try them out. You might like them, you might hate them, or you might be like me where it just doesn't matter. - 5 years ago I would have said "get the mac! get the mac!" but Windows 7 works, I got Microsoft Security Essentials keeping the system tidy of viruses and I don't go installing Bonzai Buddy and junk like that. - The Mac, yeah it's easy and compared to some of the Sony equipment I like it's actually cheaper.

    Lasting 4 years at this point I think it's more hit or miss. I've actually had more issues with Mac hardware breaking, though in the end it did make me some pretty good money once I figured out how to fix G5 motherboards with blown caps. - One other thing to look at though is service. Apple, for some reason or another, doesn't have a system in place for on site repairs or accidental damage. That's actually why I got the Vaio laptop, I can smash the screen and not have to shell out $1300 or so for a Tier 4 repair on a Macbook.
  4. lisharts macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2010
    I'm struggling to give you reasons for the MBP to be honest as the tasks you want to do on it could really be performed on a very cheap laptop (aside from Diablo 3).

    I can give the reasons I chose to move to macs but I'm not sure they'd apply to you. I was setting up as a freelance designer and wanted a more stable machine than my 3 year old dell (which crashed all the time). I'm not very techy and didn't want to build my own. I began to look around for advice on what would best suit my needs and everywhere I asked people came back with "if it's for design have you considered a mac?"

    I'd used them in college and hated them to be honest (old imacs), they were very unstable (looking back I presume that was because idiots were using them day in and day out). :) I decided it was important I got something that would cover all of my needs and so splashed out on a mac pro and the adobe creative suite (only finished paying it all off last year). I loved it, beautiful machine and extremely speedy in it's day. I fell in love with the OS, until you make the change it's hard to understand but I wonder now why I put up with windows for all those years. Recently I decided it was time for a laptop and without question it had to be a macbook pro. I'm considering getting a new desktop in the new year too, a shiny new imac. I'll never go back.

    As for what I do on my MBP, I use photoshop, dreamweaver, flash and indesign on a daily basis. It handles them with ease. Then when my working week is done I can pick it up, take it to my boyfriends and play World of Warcraft on the evenings with him. I can get it running smoothly at 30fps on ultra. I can't complain, it suits my needs perfectly. It's my portable desktop replacement for the next 4-5 months.

    However if all I had really wanted was to internet and write docs I wouldn't have spent £1.8k. I probably even over purchased for my needs.

    As for hardware, it can go faulty just like any PC can. Viruses, I've never had one.

    No one can convince you, it's really a jump you have to want to make yourself. Have you considered a macbook instead?
  5. Giuly macrumors 68040


    High-End iMac: $2200.

    The display is worth $1100 alone (Well, or $1000 with savings)
    The CPU costs $290.
    RAM: $83
    Hard drive: $88
    You need a mainboard: $120
    The iMacs power supply is 80+ Gold: $110
    Graphics: $125
    Keyboard and mouse: $120.
    An Operating System: $100
    You need some sort of case, don't you? $15, and not even nearly comperable to the beauty of the iMac.

    What does the same machine running Windows cost? Right, $2051, or without the savings on the display, $2151. And it doesn't run Mac OS X.

    Times have changed. All over the Mac-line an adequate PC is always $200-300, max. $500 (Octo and 12-Core MacPro) cheaper.

    For the differences in software: Try Safari on Windows, that's how you browse on Mac OS X. If you don't like it, you can install Firefox (or Camino, which is basically Firefox with a more Mac-like user interface) on the Mac.

    Word processing with iWork is heaven, if you don't like it -> There is Microsoft Office for Mac. Don't like that either? Have OpenOffice then, it's free.

    You don't need to. We have something similar to "Reinstall Windows", which is "Repairing Disk Permissions". Takes 5 minutes, including searching the Mac OS X-DVD and booting it.

    I recommend a 15" (well, or 17") MacBook Pro then, because it has dedicated nVidia 330M graphics, much more powerful than the 320M IGP on the 13" MacBook, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini.
  6. liamwillib macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2009
    For all I know there could be something similar for windows but time machine was a massive plus for me in the degree I finished last year. Along with being so simple and user friendly to have your whole system backed up every hour without having to think about it (soo many friends lost so much work not backing up), it is a massive help with document revisions. A few times after a day or two of writing a paper I realised I may have had the whole thing structured a whole lot better when I first started out. I just launched time machine, grabbed the copy from a few days ago, and combined the best from each.

    Also for me, and I do realise there have been some massive improvements since xp, all the time I used to spend sorting out problems with my own and my parents pc (got them to get one too) was suddenly free. One of the things I did with that was learn a bit more about the mac and made use of things like automator to get things done even faster and have more free time. And with that free time taught myself more advanced architectural programs giving me even better developed designs and visualisations. And with that free time..........LOL

    Obviously biased from someone who has had a great experience with a mac but get one.

    On a more serious note, double check any software you may need to use is available or has a good alternative on the mac. Funnily enough though I actually found that not using what everybody else was using made my work stand out in a good way.
  7. TJones macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    A Mercedes costs more than a Yaris even though they both bring you wherever you want to go.
  8. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    Just remember, pc based notebooks elf destruct once turned on.

    Honestly, if I was in the market right now I would look at lenovo with a full function docking station. No connecting and disconnecting devices, monitor and so on.

    My son wanted a mac for his course work. The school said pc based machines for his major and that they wouldn't offer support. With that said they do recommend macs for other majors and offer support.

    For a good pc based notebook, you'll end up spending about the same.
  9. 40167 macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2004
    Yeah the car analogies rarely work; especially when I can quite easily find a higher priced PC making the PC the Mercedes and the Mac a Yaris. :rolleyes:

    Next time just say "You get what you pay for." :)
  10. TJones macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    People keep asking the choir why they should believe in Jesus, they're going to hear the same bunch of answers.
  11. mikepro macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    As a long time hard core PC and Linux user, I'm SOOOO HAPPY I switched to Mac. Honestly, it is such a relief to just simply not have to care or worry about how the OS or computer works anymore. It just works. That is totally worth any premium to me. Could I keep my Win 7 machines running along fine? Sure, I'd pretty much consider myself an expert in computers, and have no problem setting up anti-virus, reloading the OS when needed, getting rid of spyware, etc.

    But, it is such a relief and sense of freedom to not have to. Everytime I open the lid of my macbook, and its ready to go in about 2 seconds, the smile on my face makes the premium worth it.
  12. mrdobo thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 22, 2010
    A lot of your responses actually helped quite a bit - thanks for all the input. Unfortunately for me, I know that whatever I end up getting (Mac or PC) is going to technically be overkill for what the laptop's purpose is, which is basic web surfing, word processing, and light/moderate gaming... but I love quick computers, so that's inevitable.

    I think I was searching (just like every other post like this) for some magical, eye-opening revelation that convinces me one way or the other, but that's not gonna happen. ALTHOUGH... Mikepro's post came pretty close. That quick, very vague description of the Mac experience is what keeps me intrigued, because I hear it quite a bit. Gah! Well hell... worst case scenario, I think it's "meh" and sell it off! MBP's keep their resale value pretty well, right? I think I'm gonna end up just taking a deep breath and dropping the dough (luckily I'll at least get the friends and family 15% discount from my bud) on a 15"... although something honestly does tell me I'll love it. :D
  13. Turian.Spectre macrumors regular


    Aug 31, 2010
    Going to mac can be scary if you never used it. I had the issue you had and almost the same background. I'm 22, and all my life i built my own desktop PC from scratch. Believe me when i say this, switching to mac was a little weird, but its very easy to use and learning how doesn't take that long. Now I love it.
    I bought a pretty pricy one though to fit my needs. i have a 15'' Macbook Pro, bought january 2010. its 2.8GHZ intel core duo, 4 gb ram, 500gb hdd. cost me about $2000 with military discount.
    loooove it. I don't think you can make a decision from just from reading these. You sort of have to take a leap like i did. I didn't regret it, hope you have the same experience. As far as Diablo 3.
    I installed windows xp using bootcamp (veeeeery easy) and play games on that side of my mac once in a while. I didnt have to buy windows bc i had the disk from my old desktop way back then. Either way since youre a student, buying a cd wont be too expensive for you. I dont suggest putting win vista or 7 on it though just bc they suck and waste a lot of battery. but thats a different forum topic. =) Wish you good luck with your decision.
  14. DivineJustice macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2010
    I have been a PC user since grade 5 and now I'm 25 (about 14 years) and I found this forum recently while searching for the reason why a lot of people were so infatuated with apple products despite there being reasons not to much like the OP is trying to do.

    I decided to just work through the immature comments (not in this forum) that talked about how crappy one or the other is and just read up on it. Also, what kept me interested was the fact that I was enjoying the hell out of my iPhone while all this was going and wanted to see how apple laptops has come along so far.

    I was drawn back by the price point but I learned about education pricing. I've just started school again as a 1st year programming student and I also talked about it with my prof.

    I read the forums and I read site about benefits that apple offers in terms of quality and I'm thoroughly convinced to try this out. I'll probably be buying the 13" one despite being a gamer since I already have a gaming desktop at home and I actually wanna push myself away from gaming and focus on full time work (I also work as an associate producer for a gaming company) and school work.

    Do you guys think that it's a bad idea to plunge into the World of Apple[craft] through a 13" macbook pro and I should save up for the 15" i5 one or just go ahead with the purchase next week?

    PS. Good to finally talk to yall. I've been reading up on this forum and everyone is so eagerly helpful. =D
  15. nexx892 macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2008
    Hey, Get a thinkpad.

    Better specs, half the price, and still known for lasting a VERY long time.

    I would have got one instead if I woud have known.

    Also, don't listen to fanboys trying to defend their overpriced computers or trying to act elite.
  16. aeboi macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2009
    Bay Area
    Thinkpads are very good, I just couldn't get over the 1980s styling and horrendous trackpad. I also didn't like the sub-par screen nor did I like the red nipple so that was a deal killer for me.
  17. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
  18. mrdobo thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 22, 2010
    Couldn't agree more on all those points. The red nub reminds of my dad's work laptop... ugh... and that dull screen. Thanks, but no thanks lol. If I was going to go PC, I'd likely grab a midrange laptop and sacrifice the battery life for some beefier components so I could do some serious gaming. But NO! Bad Michael... "this laptop isn't for gaming, this laptop isn't for gaming..."
    must keep reminding myself :rolleyes:
  19. mrdobo thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 22, 2010
    That little sales pitch doesn't do crap for me. With all their gorgeous... streamlined unibody frames... vibrant-as-can-be screens... wildly useful trackpad gestures... nope, didn't do a thing!

    *runs off to pull wad of cash for 15" MBP*
  20. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    You should ultimately start looking at other factors. Hardware-wise computers are getting fast enough to do anything an ordinary person needs it to do. Browse the web, writing, watching videos and pictures, and edit them if need be.

    Since you are beginning to study you might not sit next to a power outlet at every lecture, so battery-life becomes an important factor. Usability, what works for you. Design, matters to some. Price, some are sensitive to the pricing of certain computers. Lastly, and probably the most important, what are your needs and will this machine cover those?

    What works for me, might not work for my neighbor.
  21. nexx892 macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2008
    They both use IPS screens, red nipple == better, it's a laptop for doing stuff not sitting at starbucks showing off your laptop, and don't just make random claims.

    Now, in how useable something is, it goes like this

    Ubuntu > Windows >= OSX.

    Ubuntu is easy because everthing is preinstalled and the software manager allows you to find free, high quality software quickly.

    Windows is better than OSX because of how many people use it and how it fits in with everything.

    OSX has no pros against these 2 but looking like a hipster.
  22. TJones macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    Yo dude, why are you here? It says not
  23. MarkSliced macrumors newbie


    Sep 23, 2010
    The price comparison just isn't fair.

    One of my co-workers would buy and replace a $700 PC laptop at least once a year because he would run it into the ground. He finally decided to get an MBP that was $1300 (so less than double the PC), but so far it has lasted more than twice as long as any of his PC laptops. For him, the Mac is cheaper.
  24. aeboi macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2009
    Bay Area
    MBPs DO NOT have IPS screens...

    And it's called opinion, of which the OP agreed as well, they're not random claims. Styling and functionality is something people consider when making their laptop purchases. You can drive a Geo Metro and it might be enough for "doing stuff".

    "Windows is better than OSX because of how many people use it and how it fits in with everything."

    That means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ^ compatibility is not a problem.
  25. FuNGi macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
    ^Really, I tend to think that there are quite a few specs above just the typical processor, graphic card, and HDD specs. It's called design. It's called stability. Then there's battery life, backlighting, and the OS...

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