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Doug b

 
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Member Since: Jun 22, 2008
Location: Forest Hills, NYC
Posts: 3,344
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Mac Specs: 15-inch Early 2008; Processor 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; Memory 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 10.7.5

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Originally Posted by pembssurf View Post
HI guys and girls.....well as it says im looking at some point in the near future buying a macbook pro the top of the range one with 17inch screen i just have a few querys having only ever used a laptop or tradtional windows computer before and never touching a apple apart from ipod touch and stuff of course.

1. Do i really need a Macbook pro more than a normal laptop. Let me clarify im basically looking to replace a 5 year old laptop and fancy a change, windows 7 is good but i have a big base computer for using that. A Mac is going to cost me twice as much for half as much hardware wise compared to a notebook. My tasks are basic office tasks like word powerpoint and that kinda thing...Video editing..lots of it...normal multimedia use, email and internet...basically the stuff that everyone else does with a laptop. Not really games though but a good graphics card is a must.
This is the most important and pertinent question you've asked, and is something you really need to think about a lot:

Do you really need a MBP more than a 'normal' one ? Short logical answer: NO. You've survived this long with Windows. I'm sure you'd do fine with it for the rest of your life. But this isn't a question that anybody but YOU can answer. It's a personal choice. That said, if you feel like you're going to be "tossing away" 2 grand on a new product that you are unsure of, it will only be your fault if you don't like it in the end. It would be better for you to start off with a much cheaper MacBook in that case, for testing purposes. You can still hook it up to an external monitor on which you can do your editing, but of course a MacBook isn't ideal for hardcore video editing. This brings me to the next issue:

If you're a hard core video editor, then what software are you using on Windows ? If you've been using a complex video editing program for the past however many years, will you be able to find an equivalent editor for OS X that you will be able to adjust to and learn quickly enough to start working again ASAP ? If you make money in video, it's not wise to just start learning all over again. You'll waste time and money that way. Could you please explain a bit more about what kind of video editing you do ?

Third, and perhaps more important than anything: You're buying into a new operating system, not just hardware. What most people don't understand about computers is that hardware specs don't always add up to better or worse. What it all depends on is the heart of the computer, the OS. Take for example if you will, Linux. I can show you a Linux system running FAR worse hardware specs than the newest PC on the market today, which will still run circles around that Windows based PC in terms of raw speed when running its most resource intensive applications. Why ? Because efficiency comes from how well an application or a driver is coded. Communication with less bottlenecks to impede the flow of things is key.

Aside from all that technical crud, and as important...since you're buying into an new OS, you're also going to develop new habits, and you'll also be spending money in different places. It's a relationship of sorts, if you will.

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2. Will i still be able to use Microsoft office?
Yes. No problem.


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3. Looking at the hardware specs the Macbook pro uses fairly low end processors compared to what you get in a equiv priced laptop...does this mean you dont need as much processing power as you do for a windows laptop?
Don't get this confused. It's not how much processing power YOU need. It's how much processing power the MacBook Pro needs. Big difference. Remember what I was saying up above ? Same concept. OS X is an efficient beast. Most applications for OS X are written specifically with the hardware and the OS in mind. I'd say that out of all of the OS X applications I've tried, only one has proven to be the exception. That's Aperture. Not sure of what Apple did to it, but it's a resource hog laden with unforgivable bugs.

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4. Im aware Mac software is much quicker and doesnt get the slow down issues that afflict windows machines after a period of time..is this really true?
Again, attributed to the OS. OS X doesn't deal with a useless registry. Add to that a totally different file system (journaled) which doesn't require the same constant defragmentation treatment, and you've got a more efficient running system in total. There are however, exceptions. One of the pitfalls is that once your hard drive becomes near full, you WILL experience serious slow downs. Also please note that while I said the "same constant" defragmentation treatment, this does not mean that defragging isn't ever necessary.

The truth is, if you are constantly adding huge files, and then deleting them, chances are you will eventually wind up with a somewhat fragmented directory structure. My solution to this is that I never keep any media files on my internal hard drive. I keep all of my RAW data *NEF's*, music and video on external hard drives. They are accessed via wifi with my Airport Extreme and I will sync the data every month with sync software.

5. What happens when the internal battery dies...is it replaceable and is it expensive?

Two options. If you purchase Apple care, which extends the warranty 2 years beyond the 1 year (making it 3 years in total) and something happens to the battery, or any other piece of hardware, Apple will fix or replace it for free. If outside of the 3 years, you actually CAN replace it yourself. It's not meant to be user replaceable, but that's just semantics. It can be done with the proper tools and a tad of reading up. (really easy, trust me)

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6. How reliable and well made are these products...their so thin so is heat ever an issue? If im spending 2k i want it to last me a Lonnnnnnnnnng time!
Just as reliable as anything else. It's a machine, nothing more. I've had PC laptops last anywhere from 5 years, to 15 years ! And the adverse, I've had PC's conk out from the start. I've only had my oldest MacBook pro since 2008, and sadly, the logic board had to be replaced on it just a few months ago. Not sure of what happened, but it was an issue with charging the battery, ironically enough. It was replaced for free. It's now pretty much a new MacBook Pro. My other 13" was bought sometime in August of 09' and it's been great thus far. *crosses fingers*

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7. How fast does it need to be?
I'm honestly not quite sure of what this means, so I won't try to answer it.

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8. Are there likely to be any new updates to the model lines comming soon..i heard that blu-ray and a new processor might be on the way soon....anyone in the know?
No one is EVER in the Know. Not even Apple employees outside of Steve Jobs and his immediate counsel. Blu Ray is doubtfully ever making its way to any iteration of a Mac, so don't get one if you need or want it. However, just remember that you can buy an external Blu Ray drive. Probably better off that way anyhow. Updates however, are to be expected shortly. I'd wait, personally speaking.

Doug
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