worth the extra $ for a MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by acraig426, May 9, 2009.

  1. acraig426 macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2009
    I'm heading off to college in the fall and I'm going to be buying my first laptop this summer. In the past I've always assumed I'd get a MacBook, but recently I'm reconsidering and thinking that maybe I should take the next step up to a MacBook Pro. Obviously, as a college student, I would be doing word processing, e-mails, music, etc. However, I love to do video editing in my free time (my friends and I like to make short comedy videos) and I'm planning on learning to use Final Cut Express. Also, I'm starting to get into music editing and remixing, and though I know very little about it yet, I'd also like to learn to use Logic Express. The only other thing I can think of that I'll be using it for is gaming, specifically The Sims 3.

    So I want something that will be super fast, but will be able to handle intensive software without much difficulty. I would love to get a fantastic laptop that will last me well into the future so that I don't have to replace it until it eventually dies, though it certainly comes with a large price tag.

    Should I buy a 2.4 GHz MacBook w/ 4GB of memory and a 320 GB @ 5400 RPM hard drive for just under $1700 (which is what I was originally planning on getting), or upgrade to a MBP with better specs? Would I really be gaining anything of note for the extra money besides a larger screen size? Considering I'll have a lot of other expenses for college (clothes, bedding, dorm supplies, textbooks, etc.), is it worth spending another few hundred dollars on a laptop?
  2. bcburrows macrumors 6502


    Mar 25, 2009
    Similar response

    I have just answered a similar question but for someone wanting to do just music editing.

    I think you should go for the macbook and simply upgrade the hard drive to the 7200 - either through apple or yourself.

    I think that for the amount of editing you do you will find it more than sufficient. I have a 15 MBP and do similar things and TBH I dont use all the power so should have invested in a MB external monitor and some peripherals.

    Also dont forget education discount of 15% or the even better student developer discount of 20% (one off cost of $99 + developer software!!!!!!)
  3. acraig426 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2009
    Basically, I just want to be sure that if I do get a regular MacBook (albeit an upgraded one), it will last me a very long time and be able to handle anything I throw at it. Do you think there might come a point in 5 years when my MB starts slowing down drastically or anything of that nature because I was doing too much gaming/editing/whatever, and had I gotten a MBP it would be fine?

    Also, regarding the hard drive, I've heard that the 7200 RPM ones are very noisy and drain power quickly. Would it be a significant difference in speed between that and the 5400 RPM one?
  4. Warranty Voider macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2008
    Maine, US
    The harddrive is usually the "bottle neck" that keeps your computer from performing faster. A faster drive is much better for video editing for obvious reasons. However, if I were you, I would buy a macbook pro. A macbook will still be quite useable 5 years from now, but it might not run the latest and greatest software. If you are looking to upgrade every 2 years or so, get a macbook. If you plan on keeping the computer for a while, get a macbook pro.
  5. Feng Shui macrumors regular

    Apr 9, 2008
    The discrete GPU in the MBP justifies its cost. I think a MBP better suits your requirements:
    1. Video editing
    2. Music editing
    2. Gaming
    3. Long-lasting
    4. More future-proof
  6. Freewayjim macrumors regular


    Aug 2, 2008
    Metro Atlanta
    If you can comfortably afford the MacBook Pro then buy it. You'll appreciate the bigger screen and better resolution when you do video editing, plus you may need the FW port.

    If you buy as much computer as you can afford and/or justify it will last you longer and you'll probably be more happy with it.

    Good luck with your purchase.
  7. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    You will see many people looking to trade a MB for a MBP. Not many going the other way, or taking them up on the offer though. The MBP is usually worth it.
  8. catfish743 macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2007
    I would go with a Pro. I have an iMac and a blackbook and often wish I could consolidate. A pro would definitely last, by Apple standards at least. If you are a frequent updater concerning cosmetic issues maybe a macbook is for you. But if you're willing to stick to a specific product, I'd definitely go with an upgraded Pro.
  9. dhuang macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2009
    I went from a MBP to a MB just because I wanted a smaller laptop at college.
    Even though going from 15.4" -> 13.3" doesn't seem like much. It makes a big difference when you are always on the go. I never felt comfortable with a-in-between sized laptop. It was either portable or DTR, but for some reason I got the 15.4" MBP. Now its gone.

    The MBP wouldn't fit on the desks at my college's lecture halls either. I don't play games anymore, but I find my 2.4 uMB faster than my 2.2 SR MBP for most applications.

    It's up to you, but there's a reason why college students' laptop of choice is the 13.3" Macbook.

    I love having everything with me in a small portable powerful notebook. Hope this helps!

    Btw, I also have a 24" external for when I need the Res, otherwise 1280x800 isn't much of a canvas to work on. 1440x900 was also too small.
  10. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I recommend the 2.4 unibody MBP refurbished for $1699. Much nicer Mac than the MB, and only $100 more when buying refurbished. Refurbished MBPs are like new. They have one year warranty like new.

    The discrete graphics, the far superior display, and BIGGER display makes the MBP worth the extra cash.

    Good luck with whatever you buy.
  11. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Since the Macbook Pro is an all-around better machine, it's going to last you longer than a Macbook. Nothing groundbreaking there. But in 5 years both of them are going to be obsolete- that's more or less an eternity.
  12. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    I think there will be a time within the next five years when the mbp will prove to be more useful than the mb due to its video card. I'd buy refurbished and pay the extra $100.
  13. acraig426 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2009
    What do I get for my money if I buy the MBP over the MB? Since the processors are the same and I would be upgrading the RAM and HD in a MB anyway, is the only additional benefit the screen size and graphics card?
    I know that the Pro is supposed to be the laptop for video editing, but I am by no means a professional. I only edit once or twice a month at most, so I'm not sure if I could justify the extra money just for that.
  14. glhiii macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2006
    What you get

    The MBP has features that I think justify its price:

    1. A much better (and larger) screen.
    2. A firewire port -- which means you can use the disk as an external disk attached to another Mac. This can be extremely useful in all sorts of scenarios.
    3. An express port -- I use mine for a SATA connector. You can also buy an inexpensive accessory and use it to access various kinds of camera memory. I believe you can (or will) also be able to put in a card to access the internet over 3G.

    In the end, the screen is the most important thing to me, but I wouldn't want to forego the other features. I also use mine as a desktop machine with the new 24" ACD -- and I need the firewire and SATA connectivity. This ACD, by the way, is by far the best monitor I have used.
  15. DYER macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2008
    London, UK
    I kinda disagree especially with your last sentence... I guess the US must be very different but at the UK Uni's I have visited and especially the one I go to the MBP is the choice of most students and that is mostly the 15.4 inch (although you do see all the people studying video carrying around the 17 inchers...)
    I think there really is not that much difference weight wise between the MB and MBP and it is deffinitly future proof for a few years.
  16. shoulin333 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2007
    There wont be a HUGE speed difference, but the screen size is a deff plus.

    I find it hard to use multiple windows efficiently on a MB, especially if you have a powerpoint open with your professors class sides, an excel window open for doing your calculations, and a online homework all opened at the same time. Even on the 15" screen this isnt wonderful, but it is much better. I use my 24" external monitor when at home to give my windows room.

    To sum up, the extra screen real estate alone is worth it

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