wanna switch, but need some answers

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hinkbot, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. hinkbot macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2006
    I want to switch to an Apple laptop, and after a few days looking around the internet and website, i haven't been able to find answers to many of my questions. The 2 laptops i am looking at are the 2.0ghz macbook (white) and 2.0ghz macbook pro. I am hoping for some good feedback, so if you can contribute, please do so...

    something that concerns me is the graphics card on the macbook. i am not a big fan of shared memory. Disregarding games, is the integrated card all that bad? I am planning on installing 2gb of game.

    I spend the better part of my day as a developer, mostly programming with java and oracle. I think it would be crucial that the laptop can be able to compile/run java applications relatively quick. The laptop must also be able to run some version of an Oracle database. Any one have any luck with this, i don't expect java to be too much of a problem, i am more or less concerned with Oracle. Anyone have an success running Oracle?

    What about programming in general, has anyone encountered any limitations? I am hoping to use the laptop to learn about new languages and technologies, so i wouldn't want to be hindered there.

    I won't be gaming too much on the laptop, but may play here and there. Can i expect the macbook to be able to handle games like GTA?

    I imagine the mbp will have no issues doing anything i need it to, but $700 is a lot of money to spend on overkill if the macbook can do what i need it to.

    So please, if you have any knowledge and advice you can give me, please do so. Thanks to everyone in advance!
  2. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816


    Aug 8, 2004
    America's Wang
    The integrated graphics chip will mainly have an affect on 3D gaming. Macworld recently had an article about what kinds of games will run natively on OS X on the Macbook. I would expect even better results on the PC side. With maxed out RAM you should be able to run all but the newest 3D games on at least low or medium settings. Just don't be expecting to run COD2, Doom 3, Quake 4, or Half Life 2 at any kind of playable settings anyway...If you disregard 3D FPS games then I would say the Macbook is one of the best computers out there...


    I would advise getting the base MB from Amazon for $999 after mail in rebate and buying either 2 Gb of Gigaram or Patriot memory from Newegg. This is the cheapest way to get a very powerful Macbook. You can replace the stock hard drive with either a 120 Gb 7200 RPM one or a 160 Gb 5200 one next month if you want...Its easy to do...Only get the 2 Ghz model if you want a built in DVD burner as the processor difference is negligible..

    I don't know anything about Oracle databases but here is the link to Oracle's site for 10g on the Mac...I'm not a programer but I know you can program for Java on the Mac. I'm sure there are posts about what is the best setup for this if you search for Java on Macrumors.

  3. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I'm also a Java programmer who preferred Linux for coding before, and I've moved to doing all my Java coding on the Mac. Java compilation is fast - my 1.83GHz Core Duo iMac is faster than my 2.26GHz P-M laptop running either Linux or Windows. IDEs like Eclipse and Netbeans run flawlessly, there is no waiting for anything to happen (except for the compilation stage of course).

    I've tested the same code on a 1.67GHz Mini, 1.83GHz iMac and 2.0GHz MacBook, and the compilation time was in direct relation to the CPU speed.

    As for Oracle, it is available for the Mac but I haven't used it. I'm not really a database user, but I've dabbled with MySQL, which is also available for the Mac.

    The OS X developer tools include Xcode, an IDE that can be used for C++ development, but that generally limits you to the Mac OS. The compiler used is gcc. I've successfully compiled some open source software using the command line, in particular various Apache components, without any problems (Apache developers actually support Mac OS among the OSs they write for). I've compiled other code with some modification required, but haven't really had time to work on it much.

    I also have four different Linux distros installed in virtual machines running in Parallels, so I can test out my code easily. A couple of people I know at work are running Windows in Parallels and using Visual Studio.

    Edit: Sorry, I didn't give any advice on MBP vs MB ... I think if you max out the RAM, the MacBook should be good enough. I don't actually play games, so can't give any advise on that.

    Edit 2: Thanks to virtualization and dual core CPU, Parallels is very fast compared to VMWare. A Fedora Core 3 Linux install in Paralles on my iMac is 3x faster than one in VMware on my laptop and runs perhaps 80-90% of the native speed (i.e. roughly equivalent to a 1.6GHz Pentium-M)
  4. PatrickF macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2006
    I'm a developer myself and have a 15" MBP myself and absolutely love it. I haven't done any Java coding since my old iBook G4 933MHz but even on that Eclipse worked a treat.

    On to MBP vs MB, I think in your case the big limiting factor is not the integrated graphics but the screen size. I've recently seen a MB in the flesh and I must say there is a HUGE difference in screen size and resolution, especially when you're coding. Also the glossy screen while nice and rich reflects far too much to be usable for me.

    I would say definitely go for the MBP. Much nicer keyboard, bigger screen, and of course dedicated graphics card. The other advantage of course is that with dedicated graphics you don't have to "give up" any of your RAM.

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