Which Mac Notebook Should I Get?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Prodo123, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #1
    I'm stuck between a MacBook, Macbook Air 13" 2010, MacBook Pro 13" and 15" 2010. They say to get the best Mac it has to fit your needs, so here they are.

    $2100 budget
    Music Edit
    Internet
    Homework
    35GB iTunes library
    Some movie editing
    Gaming
    Windows 7
    Music composing (Guitar Pro, Finale)
    Photoshop
    DVD/CD burning
    Movie watching (anywhere from 576p to 1080p)
    Video conversions (Occasional marathons of up to 1 week!)
    Hard drive replacement (Momentus XT in this laptop I'm using)
    among other things

    So, I think I wouldn't be satisfied with a plain MacBook for its sheer lack of power. TBH I tried hackintoshing (this laptop has similar specs to the MacBook) and it definitely couldn't handle it.
    What it comes down to in my point of view is which one to get: Air or Pro?

    Air has:
    SSD
    4GB RAM upgrade
    up to 2.13Ghz C2D (which sucks, even with new package structure)
    No ODD
    No ethernet

    What I don't like about the Air is the fact that it has an SSD. SSD's have a finite lifetime, and it gets slow under heavy use in 1 year. Also, I have a 2-week-old Momentus XT roaring in my laptop that I don't want going to waste. Also, it's a C2D machine, which is bad big time (3 generations behind). Optional ODD costs $80, no Blu-ray capabilities.

    Pro 13" has:
    HDD
    up to 8GB RAM
    up to 2.66Ghz C2D (Decent)
    Ethernet
    ODD
    Card reader

    I could stick with the Pro 13". The only thing that bothers me is Sandy Bridge is due soon and this thing uses C2D. Also, the screen feels somewhat small, too.

    Pro 15" has:
    HDD
    up to 8GB RAM
    up to 2.8Ghz Core i7 (I'm happy with 2.4Ghz i5)
    Ethernet
    ODD
    Card reader
    1680x1050 screen

    This thing I have only one concern with: cost. With my favored configuration, this costs just below 2 grand. Compared to the Air, however, this has a lot more horsepower per $$$.

    OK, so that's my situation. Also, if I am to get a Macbook Pro, should I wait for the Sandy Bridge version or get one now?
    Thanks
     
  2. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #2
    Have you checked the refurbed store? 15" i5's are $1529. But I'd just wait for the refresh as I'm sure the prices will go down further.
     
  3. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #3
    ^This

    Cheers,
     
  4. Prodo123 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #4
    As much as I would love a cheap Mac, I have had bad experiences with even certified refurbished equipment. Also, I doubt they have my exact dream specifications in the refurb store.
    And thanks, if I do have to buy a Pro I'll wait.
     
  5. leftywamumonkey macrumors 6502a

    leftywamumonkey

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Macbook Air isn't recommended for some of the things you plan to do, and the Macbook isn't really worth getting. For 200 extra dollars you could get a 13" base Macbook Pro, no severe differences, but with your budget, why not.
    The best thing you should do is wait, then you could get the older 15" or just the new Macbook Pros.
     
  6. Looon macrumors 6502a

    Looon

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
  7. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #7
    Are you near a Microcenter? 2010 2.4ghz 13" MBP are $999 new.
     
  8. applebook macrumors 6502a

    applebook

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    #8
    For what you do? 15 or 17" MacBook Pro, possibly refurbished.
     
  9. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #9
    15" or 17" MBP for sure. Wait 'til the upcoming refresh and buy it cheaper or jump at the new units if they offer anything worthwhile having. I know your budget is tight but if you plan to keep it for a while you might as well max it out.

    I don't consider the 13" a pro machine anyway. Apple just took what used to be labelled a MacBook and put the "Pro" moniker on it.

    PS: Your views on SSDs are totally outdated if sticking with modern SSDs. Anyway, would only purchase it after market. Saves a few bucks and gains speed ;)
     
  10. Aatos.1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    #10
    For your requirements you'd save a load of money, find Win 7 a very good OS, and get your needs met nicely. I use both macs & pc's. They each have their advantages.
     
  11. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #11
    Specs aside, the apple refurb store is much better than the PC refurb market. All Apple refurbs come with full 1 year warranty while PC refurbs are usually 90 days. Apple refurbs are like new with no scratches or blemishes. They just come in a plain box. Either way, waiting is a good idea.

    Cheers,
     
  12. AdamRock macrumors 6502a

    AdamRock

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #12
    just get a refurb 15".

    the bigger screen size is worth it in the long run.
     
  13. Prodo123 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #13
    Thanks guys. I think I'll get the 2011 MBP 15", possibly refurbished if it comes out. And yes I have considered PC laptops. So far only Samsung has been able to match the MacBook Pro's build quality and power. But it doesn't come bundled with a very powerful OS and a great suite of apps. I am runnIng Windows 7 right now and sometimes it bugs me out. Plus, Macs can run W7 too. The screen resolution are bad, too. So far I have yet to see a laptop with 1680x1050 resolution or higher screen for under $2000.
    As for my views on SSD's, as far as I know Snow Leopard does not support TRIM. Without TRIM to keep the SSD in shape, the drive will quickly reach its limit and fail. My Momentus XT's hybrid performance is superb enough anyway.
     
  14. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #14
    I also vote 15". For any audio or video work you'll appreciate the horsepower the i5 has. But also wait for the refresh. That's what I'm doing.
     
  15. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #15
    ...

    Yes a refurb 15" is the way to go imo. Not much need to wait I doubt the 15" pro will change much in the future update...unless you don't need it right now and then you could wait till the new pros hit the refurb store which may take until May or June if they are released in February or March
     
  16. jenzjen, Jan 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011

    jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    #16
    Re refurb pricing, Apple actually does not lower them when a new model comes out until a lot later, ie the prices you see today for 2010 MPB will be the same the day, week and month after the new releases, so if you are only waiting for another price drop, you will be waiting for awhile.
     
  17. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #17
    I disagree with your view on SSDs. SSDs destroy all magnetic hard disk drives and the limited lifespean issue is grossly over-exaggerated. The SSD will go obsolete before it shrinks to a significant level. This has been shown in numerous accelerated tests and the continuing performance of SSDs after the 3 year point (in which about 1/3rd of all Hard Drives fail by). Many SSDs are now warrantied for 10 years or more, and the advanced wear leveling seen from Intel, Sandforce, Micron, and Samsung have made the limited lifetime a thing of the past and the need for TRIM is reduced. I would also bet that Lion will have native TRIM support. People here have been using the Intel SSD for years as well as the original 64GB SSD offered on the MBA a few years ago and reports of degradation are minimal EXCEPT with the OCZ drives, which seem to have a frequent problem with that. The SandForce 1200 is an amazing controller which has ushered in a new era of speed and reliability. It maxes out SATA2 and is as much at 50 times the speed of the standard hard drive and has the most advanced wear leveling software to date. The HDD has no advantages over the SSD except cost and size. Apple chose to use flash memory in the MacBook Air because it is better; if the issue of wear was a major issue, Apple would have never made it a standard on one of their computer products, let alone one of the best ultra-slim/portables on the market, nor would numerous other computer makers offer SSDs.
     
  18. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #18
    Definitely 15"... Heck as a testament to any Macs Life, I still use my PowerBook G4 15" (The 15" MBPs older brother) 6 years later as my photography and video run-around laptop (Final Cut Express, Compressor and Aperture) - I love it to death, and hope to get a 15" MBP myself to replace it eventually...
     
  19. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #19
    There are many Windows laptops with full 1080p displays for under $2000. I own one. It is a very powerful Quad core i7 laptop with 8GB ram std, Blu-ray and space for 2 hard drives all for $1500.

    Now it weighs 9 lbs with the AC adapter and is huge but it's much quieter under load than any MBP. It's great for portable gaming and running several VMs and the extra screen real estate is wonderful. So sub-$2000 Windows 7 based systems exist.

    Cheers,
     
  20. jetblk328i macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #20
    2.4 i5 15". refurb or new is up to you.

    then use remaining budget to add aftermarket ram.
     
  21. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #21
    If you do want extreme mobility take the Air! My family has 4 of them including the previous and current gen and not only are they mobile, but they really are tough as nails despite looking fragile. The C2D may be a bit slower than iX, but it still beats many ultraportables which are using the Atom.
     
  22. Prodo123 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #22
    See, sir, I'm a green freak :) I like to not waste things. If a SSD's life is 3 years, by the time the 10-year warranty is over you would have replaced the SSD 4 times! My IDE HDD is still running on my 10-year-old IBM and even though it's a lot slower and smaller in capacity, it still doesn't waste material as much as the SSD does.
    As for the speed, sure it's going to be a bit slow, but I'm really not complaining. No sound is the same as normal HDD with headphones on at a cafe. Apps booting instantly and booting in 4-8 seconds don't really mean much. I'm not the person for hardcore gaming or R/W-intensive projects such as movie production, so I don't really need a SSD anyway. And, with the exception of the Air, they're freaking expensive.
     
  23. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #23
    Makes sense. I am also all for making technology as environmentally friendly as possible as commercial electronics create so much pollution and have the potential to be better utilized once their service life is over.
     
  24. mmulin, Jan 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011

    mmulin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #24
    You clearly misread NickZac comment. He was stating that SSDs are tested past the 3 year point at which 33% of HDDs usually fail. Manufactures giving 10 years warranty directly translates in an expected lifetime of 10 years. Yes, you may be lucky with your 10 year old HDD but one item doesn't make a statistic. And, on that point SSDs clearly have the advantage and is actually the greener option; add power efficiency as well. Even further, an application, even just starting a browser or mail in a short time, OS booting quicker all adds even more to your battery time and perceived ease of use. SSDs advantage is not only in the power user market.

    Anyway, lets recognise your wish to stay with HDD for the lone purpose of price and storage size. But, really, those are the only advantages of HDDs these days.
     
  25. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #25
    Yet you're considering a lesser powered MBA?

    .
    As of now, there is no "Power" difference in a MB vs. a MBP13. Same core innards.

    Basically, you're all over the place with your criteria. You should first decide if "mobility" is what you value most, then go from there. And since you're aware of the Sandy Bridge rumors I'd wait given you have something to get you by until then. (Keep in mind that prices may indeed go up with the next MBP iteration though).
     

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