Will a MacBook be sufficient for my needs?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by joshrholloway, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. joshrholloway macrumors member


    Sep 22, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I've been craving a Mac for a good while now, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to spring for the MacBook a little ways down the road. Now, I know the product lines will probably be changing before Christmas and the way things are going I may not even buy until Leopard comes out, but for my purposes let's just assume the power comparisons stay roughly the same between now and when I'm buying.

    I know the biggest thing I'll lose by not going to the MacBook Pro is graphics and a bigger display. I'm not really concerned about either of these things because I don't play games or use 3D apps, and right now I'm running on a 14" Compaq, so I'm used to a smaller display - plus I'm willing to hook up a large display when I'm at a desk to do really intense video, audio, or photo editing.

    I'm going to list what I do on a daily basis for your consideration (and I'll list the apps I currently use in Windows so if you want to throw in the Mac equivalent as an extra that would be great!)...

    • Internet (using Firefox, Thunderbird, Gaim, and uTorrent)
    • Productivity and PDF (using Office 2007 and Foxit Reader)
    • Music (using iTunes)
    • Audio editing and conversion (using Audacity and dBpowerAMP)
    • Data and video CD and DVD burning (using Nero)
    • Photo organization and editing (using Picasa and Photoshop CS2)
    • Video editing and conversion (using QuickTime Pro, Videora, and Premiere Elements)

    That pretty much covers it. I think the only problems I could possibly run into trouble with is the video and photo editing, but considering the high-end MacBook runs the same proc as the low-end MacBook Pro, I should be okay if I throw enough RAM in the system (looking at probably 2GB), correct? If I'm going to shave a couple seconds off of rendering a video file by going with a 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro over a 2 GHz MacBook, it's not worth it, but if, for example, it would be unbearable to run Final Cut Express on a MacBook vs. a MacBook Pro, then I would be concerned.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated. Wish me luck on the upcoming switch.

    Josh R. Holloway
  2. meepm00pmeep macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2006
    since you're doing photo editing & video editing, don't you want more screen real estate? and for your other daily duties there's a lot of software you could use (most come out of the box with a Mac) so you're A-OK to go
  3. net26 macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2006
    nero=toast titanium
    mail and iphoto are, as the previous poster said, "out of the box" on a mac, toast you gotta buy.
    regarding the specs and that, again as the previous poster said, you probably wil require a bigger display, and not the "gaming" graphics card of the MBP, just split the difference on a cinema display. 23' should make you incredibly happy :D
    oh and another thing... the performance difference of a 1.83ghz system compared to a 2.00ghz system (with the same ammount of ram) is IMO not worth it, and, from my experience superdrives are also overrated, especially when it comes to dvd burning quality. personally, i'd recommend the low end macbook+cinema display (if you take the 20' it's only $300 more expensive than the blacbook and $200 less than an MBP and all you lose is the graphics card, but gain considerable screen realestate. besides - nobody EVER does serious video and photo editing on anything less than 20' so you need a secondary display in any event)

    my $0.02 :D
  4. #4
    unless you are really picky and going into more professional video, and photo editting, i would just get the macbook. Its amazingly quick since i have used a friends macbook for a day, and its more durable to bumps and on the road cause it won't dent. Throw some extra ram into the system and you are set (oh and probably would want at least 80gb hdd) other than that, the integrated graphics will be fine for up to a 23" screen and you can set it so that its only the one screen wtih the lid closed
  5. coal macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2005
    Portland, OR
    The Macbook would be perfect for want you want and you can always add an external monitor later for a larger workspace.

    Though if you're concerned about portability issues, the 15.4 inch MBP is really not much bigger.
  6. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2006
    Well, I agree for the most part with the posts above, but, I would however suggest waitting unitl atleast Monday for Photokina. It is rumored that the MacBook Pro will be getting Core 2 Duo. If the MacBook Pro gets C2D and the price dosen't change, I would suggest spending the extra.
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  8. pianoman macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    Internet (using Firefox, Thunderbird, Gaim, and uTorrent) - You'll discover that Safari is good but Firefox can work well, too. Might want to try Camino (an OSX-ized version of Firefox).

    Productivity and PDF (using Office 2007 and Foxit Reader) - I've never heard of Foxit Reader so I'm going to just say that you can make a PDF out of anything by using the print-to-PDF feature that's built-in to OSX.

    Music (using iTunes) - Duh.

    Audio editing and conversion (using Audacity and dBpowerAMP) - Never heard of these (I don't do much audio/video editing) but as long as they work on a Mac, you'll be fine.

    Data and video CD and DVD burning (using Nero) - You'll probably switch to Toast. iDVD is a good BASIC utility for some of these things. Toast is a little more advanced.

    Photo organization and editing (using Picasa and Photoshop CS2) - There is no Picasa for OSX. You'll use iPhoto, which is the closest Mac application to Picasa (although much better).

    Video editing and conversion (using QuickTime Pro, Videora, and Premiere Elements) - I've only used QT Pro and it runs fine (on my MBP) but I wouldn't imagine you having any issues on a MB.

    Definitely upgrade the RAM and the MB should be a nice fit for you.

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