Which Mac is right for me...?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by acearchie, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #1
    Well I will start from the top, I am the owner of a 2 and a half year old powerbook g4 12", the machine itself is holding up fantastically but sadly I feel its falling behind a little in performance for some of the things I do.

    Im a 16 year old student at a boarding school in England. Next year at school I have to make a film for a talent contest, I would like to say I am very advanced with iMovie ('06 of course not the rubbish new one!), fairly proficient in FCE 4 (which fortunately my dad has a copy of) and have had a few sessions at the Apple store with Final Cut Studio (which I think is a fantastic suite!)

    For the film I intend on using FCE or Final Cut Studio (if I can persuade my Dad to buy it for his work!) my powerbook is extremely laborious with iMovie and FCE at the moment and in another 6 months time (when I start the film) I can't see it holding up!

    I enjoy editing and have secured a work placement at an editing suite in london in the summer. But I also like the portability of a laptop.

    I currently have my powerbook connected to a 24" Full HD Dell display which I plan on keeping, but I also enjoy watching tv shows on my computer (ripped from DVD's) in bed and the laptop format is good for this but the laptop power may limit my editing ability.

    So at the moment I was considering either a 15" MBP (high end) or a low end Mac Pro which would be super speedy with editing etc. but is also very large!

    Another problem I have is I feel that computing is about to hit a technological burst with USB 3.0, new Ram, and the end of the FSB would it be more efficient to hold of on a new purchase until say this time next year when this new technology (although in its rev. a. form) will be available and try and make this film on my Dad's iMac at home...

    If youve even read this far I salute you! :D

    But any suggestions would be great! Even if you think Im some super posh english boy who should be grateful for what he's got I don't mind, all I would like is some input from other knowledgeable mac users!

    Thanks again!
     
  2. kabunaru Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    #2
    Wait until the MacBook Pros are updated then buy the low-end one with maxed RAM. It's better to get more RAM than processor speed.
     
  3. bamaworks macrumors 6502

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    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #3
  4. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #4
    And stay away from a Mac Pro unless you never plan to move your computer anywhere again. Ever.
     
  5. methodmano macrumors member

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    Aug 1, 2004
    #5
    This is your best bet. The upgrade *should* be coming in the next month or so.
     
  6. kabunaru Guest

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    Jan 28, 2008
    #6
  7. methodmano macrumors member

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    Aug 1, 2004
  8. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #8
    Yes I realise about the projected upgrade. But surely with montevina only a few months away I should be waiting for that since my powerbook is fine for light use and I plan on keeping it for a similar 2-3 year period. Also USB 3.0 isn't so big but what about the move over to HyperTransport, WiiMax, DDR3 Ram etc.... Are these not the new revolutions of computer technology!

    In a perfect world I would get a low end mac Pro and keep the powerbook then I could have my portable machine for watching films in bed etc. and the Mac Pro in my room hooked up to my display.

    Also Ill try and post some pics when I get back at school but nearly every connection in my powerbook is taken up.

    The headphones for speakers.
    Mini DVI -> DVI for screen
    Usb for a USB extender then into a computer
    Other High powered USB for portable hard drive (not in all the time but alot of file sharing among friends etc.)
    FireWire for a firewire drive which I normally use as a scratch disk for FCE and other editing related purposes
    The Power cable is always in because the battery has only 20% health so I take it out.
    The ethernet is used for my school internet connection (no wireless in schools)

    So at the moment it feels quite alot like a desktop...

    Your suggestions are all really great by the way!
     
  9. methodmano macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    #9
    There's always something new around the corner. If you keep waiting for the next thing, you'll never purchase anything! Better off to wait for reasonable upgrades (like the new macbook pro's next week) when you need to buy something. Anything else is an infinite waiting game.
     
  10. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #10
    Yes but for instance look at the FSB first used in the Pentium Pro (if my memory serves me well!) in 1995! So surely waiting for this new technology would be worth it?

    I just havent seen any of these things talked about on Macrumors and I wanted someone who really understood it could explain its benefits and whether its worth waiting!

    I suppose all I really need for an update is an updated GPU and a possible upgrade of RAM to 8GB (I know its possible already just need some 4GB SO DIMMs!)
     
  11. Hitch507 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #11
    I personally think that your a super posh english boy who should be grateful for what he's got!!
     
  12. ditzy macrumors 68000

    ditzy

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #12
    I've seen loads of questions like this on the forum. (Though this is the first that I've seen talking about USB 3.0) From what I can see he needs a new computer for his work placement. I've seen people who have wanted a new computer for less reason than that, and all power to them. His background really has nothing to do with it. From what I could gather from his post he did not sound ungrateful at all. This was not a thread bashing his dad for not getting him a new machine, he was simply asking what he should get next.
     
  13. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #13
    That was uncalled for.
     
  14. blacksheepblues macrumors newbie

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    Mar 1, 2008
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    UK
    #14
    I gather neither of you actually read the OP's post all the way through...?
     
  15. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #15
    Yes, I did. What did he/she say that warranted it?
     
  16. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816

    dukeblue91

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #16
    I say get the Mac Pro and keep your power book for your TV watching in bed and other light work.
    The MP will beat the MB Pro in everything even with the low end quad 2.8
    So if you are working on film you need the raw power that only the MP can give you.
     
  17. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #17
    Totally agree!

    With regards to waiting for the upgrade, I agree with methodmano. If, however, you do feel it would be worth waiting, then from what you’ve said about the film you’ll be editing, your dad’s iMac would be more than fine.

    If you were to buy now and don’t need portability when editing, I would recommend getting a MP and keeping the PB for things like watching shows in bed.

    As you sound au fait with editing and it sounds like something this is going to be pursuing for a while, I would have thought you would benefit from the extra power of a MP – even a low-end one.

    I don’t have any comparisons about video-editing to hand, but if you look at this:

    http://www.barefeats.com/octopro4.html
     
  18. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #18
    I take your point into consideration but at the moment it seems as though I will have to sell the powerbook to raise cash for the MBP or MP whichever I get... so I would lose the benefit of having the portable if I got the MP...

    At the moment Im just summing up the pro's and con's and seeing what would really be best for me!

    Thanks for the heads up though!
     
  19. Hitch507 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 11, 2007
  20. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816

    dukeblue91

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    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #20
    I guess you will need to make a decision on what you need more, power or portability.
     
  21. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816

    dukeblue91

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    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #21
    No but I do think you need to give it a rest. :rolleyes:
     
  22. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #22
    I feel that a MacBook Pro would suit your needs fine. If you didn't have to sacrifice your PowerBook, then I would lean towards getting the Mac Pro...

    Also, regarding USB3, I don't have much doubt that when it becomes available there will be PC cards, PCI cards, Express Cards, etc to give older machines compatibility.
     
  23. ditzy macrumors 68000

    ditzy

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #23
    Actually I did and it didn't sound ungrateful. If the Hitch 507 said it as a joke, I apoogise, however it didn't come off as one.
    The OP last comment in his original post did make me smile and made me think that he knew how lucky he was.
     
  24. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #24
    Thanks again for some very knowledgable help... I am still in two minds as I said before the budget cant really strech for a PB and MP it kind of has to be MBP or MP... (unless anyone has a way of makine £400 in almost no time! ;))

    Also does anyone know of any "real world" benchmarks? I.e non HD footage etc... thinks that normal people do (not the pro's) I would really like to see a rough comparison between the PB vs. MBP vs. MP!

    THanks for all your help! Its much appreciated!
     
  25. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #25
    Real-world tests are always the best way to go, but they can be tricky to find! I would have a good trawl through barefeats – the site’s a real labour of love and it’s one of the best places for benchmarks.

    However:

    Here’s an (old) one comparing a PB with MBP -
    http://www.geekpatrol.ca/2006/02/macbook-pro-geekbenched/

    MP versus MBP
    http://lifehacker.com/software/benchmarks/hackintosh-vs-mac-pro-vs-macbook-pro-benchmarks-322866.php
    http://digitalcontentproducer.com/hdhdv/depth/test_drive_macbook_mac_pro_092407/

    I would say that often people take the approach of the above geekpatrol one and will use benchmarking software to do this tests, unfortunately.

    MacWorld usually use a few tests, such as how long it takes to rip a CD, which can be useful.

    You might find this thread interesting:
    http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/8/970721

    FCP does benefit from the MP’s 8-cores, which would (obviously) be of huge benefit – however, as you can’t keep the PB, I’m more inclined to go with the MBP.

    Obviously, you need to weigh up the portability angle (which you are doing), but for me the ultimate test will be how much of your time will be spent doing editing. The MBP would be a lovely portable editing machine.
     

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