What Macbook should I buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hoverX, May 9, 2009.

  1. hoverX macrumors member

    May 8, 2009
    Hey Everyone,

    I'm thinking about doing a switch to a macbook pro but i have a few questions. Here's my situation. I'm a software developer (.NET) by trade so i'll probably sometimes need to run Windows either using VMware fusion or Bootcamp. I'm also interested in Dj and/or producing music, so i'll need plenty of USB ports to hook up various USB devices. One of my main concerns is Hardware reliability, I'm primarily switching to a mac because i'd like to have a laptop that will last around 2 years without repair (i've yet to find this in the PC world).

    1) if i'm doing music production, should i go with the 17" for more screen real estate and extra USB ports?
    2)Do people have problems with usb hubs not providing enough power to devices like midi controllers or HDD's?
    3)is the MBP powerful enough to run Vista and Ubuntu well with VMware?

    4)is the 17" too big? I have a 15.4" monitor right now and it seems that a 17" might be a little too big to be portable.

    5)can the MBP be left on for long periods of time without overheating?
  2. bcburrows macrumors 6502


    Mar 25, 2009


    I would actually go for a macbook and purchase a dell external monitor and usb hub. That way you will get a very portable laptop for when you need to take your music around, a laptop this is actually pretty powerful and I would have thought good enough for music and running windows.

    You will also be able to use the extra cash for a good external monitor and you will be able to use a hub for peripherals.

    I have the 15inch MBP and TBH I wish I had gone for the 13MB and used the extra cash for an external monitor and wireless keyboard and mouse
  3. DELLsFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2009
    1) Yes, if you don't plan on lugging it around much. Alternately, invest in the 15" MBP or MacBook and use an external display.

    2) Yes, they do. I owned a 17" MBP and this became an issue. It's best to get a hub that is powered via AC adaptor to minimize the problems.

    3) It sure is. Many folks do this. There's a section of the forums here that I think you may find useful. Windows on a Mac

    4) At first I didn't think so, but after having travelled a bit with it, I determined the cons outweighed the pros when traveling with it. Stick with the 13 or 15 inch sized notebooks. You'll thank me on your next flight in coach.

    5) On the whole, yes ... if only sitting idle, no problems at all. If you plan to frequently encode all night via handbrake, I would invest in a small desk fan, a Griffin Elevator, and aim the air flow to bounce off your display and onto your keyboard on the MBP for the evening. The MBPs run hot enough as it is. I get nervous when CPU temps exceed 165F ... YMMV.
  4. hoverX thread starter macrumors member

    May 8, 2009
    I'll probably be leaving it on just for downloading the odd torrent.
  5. Santa Rosa macrumors 65816

    Santa Rosa

    Aug 22, 2007
    If its any help in your decision, one of the guys at my local Apple Store is into Dj'ing with his mac. Was speaking to him briefly one day about it.

    Anyway he uses a 17 Macbook Pro. I asked him if it was much of a problem to lug around and he didnt think so. Suppose different strokes for different folks but thats what he uses and seems to get on well with it.
  6. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    +1 for that idea, gives you the screen real estate when you need it and mobility too
  7. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    1) If you don't need that screen real estate and extra USB port (17" has only 1 extra) on the go, I'd suggest getting a smaller laptop, but with a USB powered hub and external screen.

    2) Such high powered devices like HDDs etc always require powered USB ports. So it doesn't matter which computer you have.

    3) Definitely, the more RAM - the better.

    4) Subjective.

    5) You can leave it rendering 24/7 and it wont loose a sweat.
  8. DELLsFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2009
    Yeah, that's fine. This and maybe running Mozy, Carbonite, or Time Machine for backup won't heat you up too bad.

    Now if you decide to Fold@Home or do anything with Handbrake, Toast, Mac the Ripper, etc ... anything that really flexes the dual core muscle - I'd keep an eye on CPU temps and adjust/cool as necessary. I had a 2007 version 17" MBP and was alarmed at the temps (maybe too easily alarmed ... ) So ... maybe the new versions dissipate heat better, but I'd wanna be sure.

    I liked the Griffin Elevator in general as a means to place the laptop on my desk and used an external display.

    Have fun ... your new Mac will certainly last a long time. If I weren't upgrading to a Mac Pro, I'd still be using my older 17" MBP. 17" is great for a non-mobile desktop replacement, but IMO mobile users are better served with the 15" MBP or MacBooks.

  9. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

    May 5, 2008
    Mainland Europe
    Remember, Transmission is by far the best program for torrenting ... beats BitTorrent by a mile. ;)

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