to PRO or not to PRO - question!

iTone

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 12, 2007
102
14
CA
I love the look and size of the white MacBook but i hear the graphics card sucks. Is it really that bad? I want a notebook that can handle graphics work, music editing, some video editing, and being connected to a monitor at times. Can a regular MacBook handle that?

The Pro has power but i am not a huge fan of the silver look and the keyboard.

So it comes down to power versus looks. Hmmmm... :apple:
 

Scarlet Fever

macrumors 68040
Jul 22, 2005
3,265
0
Bookshop!
What kind of graphical work do you want to do?

Check out the specs on the programs you want to use to make sure you don't need a graphics card to run it.

If you go down the MacBook path, you'll want the 2.16GHz model, or you could wait till they have the SR chip in them.

If you haven't already, go to an Apple centre to have a look at the MBPs. I reckon they look better in the flesh that in pics.
 

DMC-12

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2007
346
2
Nashville, TN
I also love the look of the white MacBook and that is making it hard to want to go Pro. It sounds like the MacBook should be fine for what you want to do, depending on the extent of your video editing. I don't believe the MacBook will support a full 30" display, unlike the Pro.
 

PimpDaddy

macrumors 6502
May 9, 2007
335
17
At first I din't like the Pro look either. But after a while I definitely like the Macbook Pro look better than the Bacbook.

Although I must admit that a andonized black alu MBP would be sweet :)
 

dakis

macrumors member
Aug 23, 2004
79
0
I love the look and size of the white MacBook but i hear the graphics card sucks.
I greatly prefer the looks of the MB (Blackbook) to the Pro - but I need to use Aperture, so the MB isn't an option.
 

iTone

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 12, 2007
102
14
CA
What kind of graphical work do you want to do?

Check out the specs on the programs you want to use to make sure you don't need a graphics card to run it.

If you go down the MacBook path, you'll want the 2.16GHz model, or you could wait till they have the SR chip in them.

If you haven't already, go to an Apple centre to have a look at the MBPs. I reckon they look better in the flesh that in pics.
Well i would be using all the stuff in the Adobe CS3.

I probably should go check out the macs at the store. We'll see what Apple announces this coming tuesday too.
 

bertpalmer

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2007
388
0
I prefer the look of the pro - once you see them side by side with the MB, the white plastic just looks tacky and cheap next to the sleek silver case.
 

masse

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2007
840
0
MA/GA
The solution is easy. Since the pro looks so much better than the macbook, has a larger and better display, better graphics card and faster processor.....


Why would you want the macbook instead if not for financial reasons.
 

The Stig

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2006
673
0
On the track
and being connected to a monitor at times.
The MB does NOT support dual monitors. You can plug a monitor into it, but you still only see get one screen. A MBP on the other hand support dual monitors. The MB also doesn't work in clam shell mode, so you can't plug a monitor into it and close the MB and use a mouse and keyboard. So remember that when thinking about plugging in a monitor. It is kinda stupid to be looking at two screens with the same thing on them. You best option is to plug in a monitor and dim the screen on the MB and use the keyboard and mouse on it. It is kinda silly...

The Stig
 

mr_matalino

macrumors 6502a
Oct 14, 2005
528
34
It's better to over buy than under buy. As hard as it is to do with computers, I try to future proof it (buy higher than I need at the time).
 

J'aime

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2007
56
0
I want a notebook that can handle graphics work, music editing, some video editing, and being connected to a monitor at times. Can a regular MacBook handle that?
It's not really of can the macbook handle graphics/music/video editing. It's really how well it will perform. especially with the video editing you are probably going to see a big difference between the macbook and pro (pro will be faster, smoother etc.) plus you can have 4 gigs of ram

It's better to over buy than under buy. As hard as it is to do with computers, I try to future proof it (buy higher than I need at the time).
I agree. If you decide you want to do more i intense video/music editing you would be much happier with the pro.

Go Pro!
 
I've had 3 or 4 white plackie ones and I'm on my 2nd Aluminium one. White plastic is better at bouncing off the floor, silver is better for getting you laid.

The Pros definitely look awesome but are easily degraded, scratches are easy to get and really stand out. Whitebooks and Blackbooks scratch even easier but the scratches are not so obvious.

Power-wise, the Pro will eat the MB before breakfast on graphical heavy lifting. The MB is a great little machine but size does matter. I would suggest you spend a whole day in the Applestore playing with both machines, and check the amount of RAM in the demo units.

Love my Glossy SR MBP, keyboard is great, glare is mind over matter, if you don't mind it won't matter!
 

Wolfpup

macrumors 68030
Sep 7, 2006
2,721
66
The MB does NOT support dual monitors. You can plug a monitor into it, but you still only see get one screen. A MBP on the other hand support dual monitors. The MB also doesn't work in clam shell mode, so you can't plug a monitor into it and close the MB and use a mouse and keyboard. So remember that when thinking about plugging in a monitor. It is kinda stupid to be looking at two screens with the same thing on them. You best option is to plug in a monitor and dim the screen on the MB and use the keyboard and mouse on it. It is kinda silly...
Now wait a minute...is this true? As far as I know, the Macbook supports external screens just like the Macbook Pro. The only catch is I've heard there's some slowdown on 3D effects (like Expose) if you're driving two monitors at once (the internal and external), but it sounds like it's still useable.

It's not really of can the macbook handle graphics/music/video editing. It's really how well it will perform. especially with the video editing you are probably going to see a big difference between the macbook and pro (pro will be faster, smoother etc.) plus you can have 4 gigs of ram
Possibly a dumb question, but what does the video card have to do with video editing? Isn't that completely on the CPU?

One possible advantage of the Macbook-apparently it doesn't have any hiss or static on the audio, while apparently at least some new Macbook Pros do.

The other issue is the hard drive is much more difficult to replace, and isn't considered user replaceable. Other than that, the Pro is a lot better, and worth the essentially $500 extra. Larger screen with LED backlighting. Geforce 8600GT versus lame Intel graphics. 4GB RAM support (which OS X actually does support, unlike 32-bit Windows). And it can run any size monitor, where the Macbook can't drive a 30" screen at it's native resolution, and apparently has at least some slight slowdown/stuttering with some effects driving a 24" screen.

And of course it's got a faster CPU as another nice bonus (20% faster front side bus!)
 

J'aime

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2007
56
0
Possibly a dumb question, but what does the video card have to do with video editing? Isn't that completely on the CPU?

One possible advantage of the Macbook-apparently it doesn't have any hiss or static on the audio, while apparently at least some new Macbook Pros do.

The other issue is the hard drive is much more difficult to replace, and isn't considered user replaceable.
I didn't say anything about the video card. If you're video editing you're going to want 4 gigs of ram and until the macbooks get SR the most you can have is (i understand) 3.3 gigs (in other words you over pay because you have to buy 4 gigs to get the 3.3).

Also, i don't think the static hiss is a big problem. the forum makes the problems seem more widespread than they actually are. most people have no problems at all with their mbps.

Lastly, if you're video editing (and for back ups) you're probably going to want an external hard drive.
 

Igantius

macrumors 65816
Apr 29, 2007
1,240
1
I love the look and size of the white MacBook but i hear the graphics card sucks. Is it really that bad? I want a notebook that can handle graphics work, music editing, some video editing, and being connected to a monitor at times. Can a regular MacBook handle that?

The Pro has power but i am not a huge fan of the silver look and the keyboard.

So it comes down to power versus looks. Hmmmm... :apple:
Okay, well first up, the uses you've outlined are CPU intensive so let's concentrate on that.

Here are some benchmarks that will be of interest:
http://creativemac.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=43717

Basically at that time, if you were using the machines for a CPU intensive activity like video or audio editing, there was virtually no difference between using a MB or MBP – that isn’t the case now.

However, Creative Mac’s conclusion – although not recent - is worth reiterating:

When I first got ahold of a MacBook Pro last month, I was shocked by its capability to beat out desktop G5 systems consistently. But I was doubly shocked to see such dramatic results from the newer and lower-end 2.0 GHz MacBook as well. After all, this is not just a notebook competing with a fairly current desktop system, but a consumer-level notebook at that.

Normally you don't even think about running benchmarks of professional-level creative software on a laptop against desktops, and certainly not a laptop targeted toward consumers. But in the vast majority of tests, the MacBook beat out the desktop system and certainly proved itself competition for all but the highest-end (G5 Quad) Mac systems on the market today.
One reason I think this is worth reiterating is because if you asked the same question when this article was done, a lot would have automatically said ‘go for a MBP’

The main reason I’ve quoted that, though, is to show with CPU-intensive apps ran nicely back then – and nothing has changed in the meantime.

The MBs are very capable machines and I would have no hesitation in recommending one for what you need.

However, you need to consider the performance of the newer machines – have a look at: http://www.barefeats.com/rosa02.html

These tests are CPU intensive (apart from the Motion one) and feature the machines with maxed out RAM – thanks to the great RAM (4GB versus 3.3GB), faster FSB and faster processor speed, the MBP is clearly quicker.

Barefeats concluded:

With the exception of Motion (which partially uses the GPU to help with rendering), the 13" MacBook could actually be a useful alternative to the MacBook Pro for running pro apps. Videographers and photographers that need a small unit for field work should take note of this.
So although the MBPs were quicker, it wasn't to the extent that you would be mad considering a MB for the type of stuff you've said.

Motion BTW, although not great on a MB, is usable – wouldn’t be my first choice, but there you go.

The MBP has FW800, whereas the MB has FW400 – so bear that in mind, as that’s rather handy.

The comments that the ‘MBP’s screen is bigger, so go with that’ I would take with a pinch of salt editing video on a 15” will be better than a 13.3”, but to be honest you should be using an external monitor - even if you had a 17" laptop.

It’s also interesting that you’ve been advised to go with the MBP because it ‘looks better’ even though, you’ve made your feelings quite clear.

If you can afford it, I would lean towards the MBP because the performance it offers over the MB – a few months ago, this wasn’t the case but it is now.

However, as I’ve said, the MB can handle the duties you want it to and it’s a powerful little number.

So if you absolutely love the design and got your heart set on it, by all means go for it – but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in this case I would sacrifice some preference for appearance for a bit more pep.

Power-wise, the Pro will eat the MB before breakfast on graphical heavy lifting.
Your post was a v fair summary, but I think it’s fair to say lthough the OP hasn’t listed anything that’s GPU intensive.

The MB also doesn't work in clam shell mode, so you can't plug a monitor into it and close the MB and use a mouse and keyboard.
The MB does have its limitation, but that’s not one:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305507 http://www.ffnn.nl/pages/articles/apple-mac-os-x/macbook-clamshell-mode.php http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20060607121656766
 

Igantius

macrumors 65816
Apr 29, 2007
1,240
1
:p
If you're video editing you're going to want 4 gigs of ram and until the macbooks get SR the most you can have is (i understand) 3.3 gigs (in other words you over pay because you have to buy 4 gigs to get the 3.3).

Also, i don't think the static hiss is a big problem. the forum makes the problems seem more widespread than they actually are. most people have no problems at all with their mbps.

Lastly, if you're video editing (and for back ups) you're probably going to want an external hard drive.
Sure 4GB of RAM would be good - the more the better, but you could manage with a lesser effectively. If someone can afford the 4GB, I would always recommend they did so if they were using their MBP for something like editing, but if they had to make do with less, I wouldn't say they were crazy for doing so.

You mean the forums got it wrong?!? How could this happen!?!? :p

I agree - the amount of affected units has been exaggerated.

re: hard drive - yah, using an external one would be best, but the internal one is usable as the scratch disk (as Apple pointed out when it started shipping 4200RPM all its internal laptop drives can be used to edit with FCP) - given what the OP has said, upgradable MB hard drives are neither here nor there (not that you did bring this up).
 

chex

macrumors regular
May 17, 2007
221
0
The MB does NOT support dual monitors. You can plug a monitor into it, but you still only see get one screen. A MBP on the other hand support dual monitors. The MB also doesn't work in clam shell mode, so you can't plug a monitor into it and close the MB and use a mouse and keyboard. So remember that when thinking about plugging in a monitor. It is kinda stupid to be looking at two screens with the same thing on them. You best option is to plug in a monitor and dim the screen on the MB and use the keyboard and mouse on it. It is kinda silly...

The Stig
almost everything you said is wrong
 

aquajet

macrumors 68020
Feb 12, 2005
2,384
0
VA
The MB does NOT support dual monitors. You can plug a monitor into it, but you still only see get one screen. A MBP on the other hand support dual monitors. The MB also doesn't work in clam shell mode, so you can't plug a monitor into it and close the MB and use a mouse and keyboard. So remember that when thinking about plugging in a monitor. It is kinda stupid to be looking at two screens with the same thing on them. You best option is to plug in a monitor and dim the screen on the MB and use the keyboard and mouse on it. It is kinda silly...

The Stig
This is wrong. The MacBook fully supports dual monitors, both mirrored and extended desktop. It also supports clamshell mode.