Want to switch, but I'm not sure if it's really affordble...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ToastMaster, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. ToastMaster macrumors regular


    Nov 10, 2005
    Tacoma, WA
    I've been a PC user for a long time now, never actually owned a Mac (unless you count 2 iPods). I've wanted to switch for awhile, but my 3.2 GHz Intel, 1GB ram PC desktop machine has served me well for awhile, and I just haven't had a really good reason to. Now I'm in my first year of college, and I'm wanting to sell my desktop and get myself a good laptop.

    I thought that this presents a great opportunity to switch, since I'm going to get a desktop replacement laptop that I can take everywhere, with (hopefully) comparable power to my desktop. So I'm thinking of getting a MacBook Pro, which with my school's discount, runs $1799.99. Not a bad deal.

    However, I decided to shop around and see if it was really worth it to switch. Turns out that I can get an HP dv6000t (yes, PC) with a 2.0 Intel Core 2 Duo, the same size screen, a 256MB Geforce Go 7400, 1GB of ram, and an 80GB HD for $1261.99. More power for $538 less.

    Now what I want to know is this: is it really worth my extra $538 to switch? I've used an MBP before and I absolutely love it, but the price is just kind of wild considering i can get more for less with PCs.

    (Please don't just reply with something asinine like "Well then just buy a PC then you idiot." That's not what I'm asking for. What I want is some advice on what to do.)

    edit: Ah crap... just realized that I spelled "affordable" wrong. Oh well.
  2. Osarkon macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    It all depends on what you want. For that price difference you get a more stable OS, which eliminates the need to spend time and money on antiviruses, anti-spyware, driver problems.
  3. Zadillo macrumors 65832

    Jan 29, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    Just to clarify, since you said "more for less", the GeForce 7400 is a lower end video card than the X1600 in the MacBook Pro.

    Aside from that, outside of specs, the dv6000 is a thicker machine, so you are paying a bit of a premium on the Mac side for materials and construction as well.

    It all depends on your needs though, the dv6000 seems to be a fairly solid machine, and you couldn't go wrong with it I don't think, if you want to continue running Windows rather than OS X as well.
  4. Chone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2006
    Well you also have to consider that with MBP you get these:

    -Thin, stylish aluminum construction.
    -Magsafe connector
    -All minor hardware goodies (backlit keyboard, great trackpad, etc)
    -Front Row
    -Built in iSight and microphone
    -Better video chip
    -Triple Booting (OSX, Linux, WinXP)
    -And of course the biggest thing would be Mac OS X

    Honestly, I think MBP is worth it for OSX alone and the fact you can also boot WinXP makes the deal only sweeter as you don't have to trade off anything.

    I don't know, if you think OSX is worth the extra 600$ then go for it and feel better about it thinking you got a whole bunch of minor things that add up and really make a difference.
  5. timmillwood macrumors 6502a

    Apr 7, 2006
    once you have used Mac OS X you will never go back to the dark side
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I'm not saying that's not the ultimate right call for you, but if you do, at least consider waiting until Vista is being sold and is pre-installed... otherwise buying Vista will eat a good 40% of that money you saved and also probably be a real nuisance to install.

    I would echo that the HP/MBP comparison isn't fair (to the MBP) because that HP is a relatively big laptop with relatively poor battery life, which may be hard to factor into the equation.

    On the other hand, it's also not fair to the HP if you won't use things like the built-in iSight or iLife.

    In the end, I've never regretted switching. But I also didn't really do a close price comparison with any particular Windows computer. I just decided I liked what Apple was offering and decided to give it a try. I don't think I've ever been as price conscious as you are, so I'm sorry that I can't help with that aspect of your question.
  7. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2006
    conisdering what you get from those extra 500 dollars i definatly thing it is worth it. osx, magsafe, and isight. someof those pictures with those effects in photobooth are alone pricless. good luck with your new MBP.
  8. ToastMaster thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 10, 2005
    Tacoma, WA
    The GeForce 7400 with 256 MB of memory is lower end than the x1600 with 128MB of video memory? Generally, I like to rely on Radeon rather than GeForce, but how is it that the Radeon with less memory is more powerful?
  9. ormandj macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2006
    I'm a nVidia guy myself (hate ATI drivers, non-issue on Macs though..)

    Anyways: http://www.pcwelt.de/tests/hardware-tests/notebooks/134334/index1.html

    They do a review, even the x1400 seems to win vs. the 7400 in most tests. Memory is good for textures, it doesn't help the speed of the GPU itself. It can be a bottleneck, but obviously it isn't on these low-end cards. :)
  10. Chone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2006
    Because anyone with the least bit of knowledge on video cards would know that memory does not equal performance... in fact I htink the 7400 would do just fine with 128MB without losing any speed.

    Its only the X1900XT cards that lose a little speed going from 512MB to 256MB and its not even a big difference and those are a LOT faster than these lowend cards (like a huge super lot).
  11. kalun macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2006
    I think macbook pro is overpriced right now. No C2D, heat problems, and such.

    As for OS X, a VERY nice operation system. Very user-friendly, sometimes too user-friendly to a point that you feel wrong for using it. But then again, you have to ask yourself, are you going to play ALOT of games. If you are, chances are you will stay with windows most of the time. So there are really no point of getting OS X.

    If you need a computer right now, and do not wish to wait for Macbook Pro upgrade, I would suggest you to get the HP laptop. Why? You are a long time windows user, so having OS X or not is not critical. You will get a comparable laptop for a cheaper price. Magsafe is nice, but also not critical. Macbook pro do look nice, but personally I don't think it is worth 500 bucks.

    If you can wait, then Macbook Pro ****MAY***** receive an upgrade soon, and you can see what it has to offer.

    Corrected by kdum8, it has a glossy screen option. Thank you.
  12. kdum8 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2006
    Tokyo, Japan
  13. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    I think the heat were more an issue with the first many weeks. The units seem to have grown more solid over the months.

    My MacBook Pro 2.16Ghz, week 34, is doing great and was cooler than the week 17 MacBook Pro 2.0Ghz it was replacing.

    To the original poster, you can also buy a refurbished MacBook Pro for as low as $1549.

    But if you really think the price of the MacBook Pro is too hard to swallow, just go ahead and get what you can afford. Just be sure to do some research before buying. You may want to have a look at Asus, instead of HP.

    You also have to find out what you really need. Do you need Core 2 Duo? Do you need a dedicated graphic chip, like the Geforce 7400 or Mobility X1600?
  14. S2NINJA macrumors member


    Oct 10, 2006
    Hi, i'm in the same sort of situation as the OP.

    I'm interested in the MBP, but i'm just not sure if it's really worth the money. I was also looking at the HP dv6000t, but i really like the mac form factor, and OSX (i've been using a g4 titianium pb for about 2 months). I would like to have a dedicated graphics card, so i'm not really looking at the Macbook.

    The only thing that bothers me about the dv6000t is the battery life. I've read reviews (cnet/laptop mag) that it only gets about 2.5 hours.

    Battery life is a big deal breaker for me. What can i expect out of the MBP?
  15. linkboy macrumors member


    Jun 9, 2006
    I just recently bought a MBP and I'm more than happy with it.

    OS X is quickly becoming the best OS I've used. It just works, and I've had no issues with it. I'm not a full expert with it yet, but I have been learning a lot.

    The Magsafe adapter was a great idea (especially after what I did to my old DELL).

    My MBP was a refurbished system, and its perfermed perfectly (even runs Windows Vista (Beta 2-RC1) without a problem).
  16. lmalave macrumors 68000


    Nov 8, 2002
    Chinatown NYC
    Original poster, read my story!!!!!

    In March I got an HP dv5030us for $1300 and ended up selling it a couple months later for $750 (to my roommate so I was giving him a good deal). I used that money toward buying a MacBook for $1099 (plus something like $65 for an extra 1GB memory), and I've been happy ever since.

    Here's what happened:
    I was happy with the HP for the first couple of weeks, and loved the Windows Media Center features. But then after just a couple of weeks the Windows quirks started to accumulate (error messages during startup, error messages when running certain applications, etc.).

    With my MacBook, on the other hand, I've encountered NO quirks accumulating whatsoever. My MacBook is running just as well as the day I bought it. That's the best reason to choose the Mac, in my opinion.

    Also, have you considered why you really need anything more powerful than a MacBook? What kind of software are your running? I'm a software engineer and my MacBook with 1.25 GB memory is all I need, and I'm running web servers, database server, memory-hogging development environments, etc. I definitely think "trailing edge" is the way to go when buying computers, unless you just have to have the latest gadgets just for the sake of having them, and are willing to pay a premium.

    For example, the first laptop I bought with my own money was a fully loaded Dell Inspiron for $3000 in the year 2000 (just before laptop prices started to drop dramatically). That Dell lasted only 2 years before it died, and I resolved since then that I would not ever spend so much on a computer *especially* since a much cheaper computer would more than serve all my needs. So my next laptop purchase was a G3 iBook. When the G4 iBook came out, I sold my G3 iBook for $500 and bought the G4 iBook, which I later gave to my mom since they gave me a PC laptop at work.

    After all my music and personal files were deleted when I submitted my work laptop for "maintenance", I decided that I needed my own laptop and that's when I made the ill-considered decision to by the HP Pavilion laptop. Thank goodness that the MacBook came out just a couple of months later to save me from my buyer's regret...

    So...don't make the same mistake! Just get he MacBook (or MacBook Pro if you're still set on spending more $$$), and you won't regret it...
  17. davidjearly macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Don't be so condescending. I know alot about computers. I know alot about OSX and Apple hardware. However, I didn't know that.

    You want to know why? Because graphic card specs are not a particular interest to me. Especially in a notebook. My graphic intensive work gets done on my desktop.

    Basically, you're the reason the OP predicted a negative response to his post in the first place.
  18. rackbreaker macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2006
    I switched everything over to the Mac a few years ago, and while you do pay more for Macs in most cases, I think it's well worth the price. I use my machine day in and day out, and it's just so nice to have a stable operating system where everything just works.

    On my old Sony Vaio laptop, the sleep feature never worked consistently, the extra multimedia software was ugly and not very functional, and Windows slowly got junked up over time with all the updates/patches/etc so I pretty much had to wipe the HD and reinstall the OS after 18 months.

    I replaced the Vaio laptop with a Powerbook, and the Mac has served me great for 3 years. It's hardly ever crashed in that whole time, I love using iPhoto, iMovie, etc, and it's just a much nicer experience. So I would say it's well worth $538 extra for something that makes my life more pleasant every day. In my case, the extra cost was quite a bit more because I had to buy the Mac version of all my software too. But it was still well worth it to me.

    As I'm sure you know, the one big drawback on the Mac side has been games ... but the beauty of the MacBook Pro is you can still use it to run Windows games, and even if it turns out you don't like OS X for some reason, you can always just use it for Windows instead.
  19. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2006
    HPs are very poorly built machines. I have family that has owned them (desk top and laptop) and have had nothing but problems with them. An HP will last you less time than a Mac. If you aren't planning on having this computer that long then look at resale value. I bet you cannot find a two year old HP for sale on ebay that isn't being sold as parts.
  20. dsnort macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2006
    In persona non grata

    Didn't they used to call HP's "disposable computers"? Has that changed? Not sure.

    I bought my first ever Mac, an iMac, 9 months ago. After I got used to OSX, I liked it so much that I spent my own money to replace my company supplied Dell laptop with a Macbook. The OS is what makes the comps so worth it. To me, a Mac is cheap at twice the price, based on the quality of the experience with OSX.

    Obviously, I'm biased. :)
  21. Chone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2006
    Well I did say anyone knowledgeable about VIDEO CARDS not computers.
  22. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2006
    I'm sure they would never call the "disposable" that would make the enviromentalists freak. But yeah, it is cheaper to replace than to repair or upgrade.
  23. bankshot macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    Unless you plan to play a lot of games, I'd consider getting a Macbook. It's essentially the same machine as a Macbook Pro, with a lesser video card, smaller screen, and no expresscard slot. Unless you really need one of those things (or FW800, 17" MBP only), why pay the extra money?
  24. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    OP you are comparing hardware costs. Are you even taking in to account the software that comes with an OS X install? If you look at the included apps and think these are worth the extra money, as well as having a more secure OS, and a better looking notebook (not that it should really matter) sure go and buy the MacBook Pro _BUT_ if the Windows machine does everything you want and includes everything you need why not buy it?

    Computers are toys or tools you should buy the right 1 for you. Personally I'll go with OS X everytime because I need a great UNIX like OS but you may find Windows perfect for your needs.
  25. Thanatoast macrumors 65816


    Dec 3, 2002
    I *just* posted this in another thread.
    Hope it helps.

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