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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Student needs recommendations: MB or MBP?


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Seiper

 
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Member Since: Jan 19, 2011
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Mac Specs: 1st gen MBP, iBook G4, iPhone 3GS

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Hi All,

I would love some feedback/recommendations on what computer to purchase. I'm looking at a MB or MBP (new or refurbished), but I really want to try and keep my total close to $1,000.

I will be triple booting via rEfit/BootCamp to run Snow Leopard, Win7 & Ubuntu and will need it for web surfing, music, updating website weekly, Adobe Dreamweaver/Photoshop, light to medium programming, some Netflix, Skype, and general student "stuff" like reports/presentations, etc.

I recently upgraded my 1st gen MBP RAM and HD so I am definitely interested in keeping my new purchase for years so I can tweak it in the future. Additionally, I prefer a replaceable battery, as running Win7 or Ubuntu on my current MBP sucks up juice and I'd rather change out the battery myself if needed.

I want a new, 13.3" for school because my 1st gen is too big, too heavy to tote around all day and the battery issue. I don't need firewire or the SD slot at the moment, but considering the future I may use the SD slot for vacation pics. I'm looking at the following:

Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo ($1,019.00 w/Student Discount)
- 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
- 4GB (2 x 2GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
- 250GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
- 8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
- NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory
- Weight 4.5 lbs
- Two USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, one SD card slot

MacBook 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo ($949 w/Student discount)
- 13.3-inch
- 250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
- 2GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x1GB
- 8x double-layer SuperDrive
- NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
- Built-in 10-hour battery
- Weight 4.7 lbs
-Two USB 2.0 ports (up to 480 Mbps), Mini DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet port

I'm equally sold on both models, but price is my biggest hurdle at the moment. I want to make sure that whatever I get will be upgradeable and last like my MBP. I LOVE it, but my gf uses it a lot and with the bulk/battery it's best MBP stay home, lol. Also, if you have any other suggestions where to look at refurbished items, I'm all ears.

Thanks!
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ClockworkWorld

 
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It's really something that only you can answer, honestly. It's kinda like asking us if you want the medium pizza with more toppings, or the large with single toppings. Only you know what you REALLY want/prefer They are pretty close on price, and personally I would always go with the Pro. I'm big on "if I'm already spending this much, what's another 100 bucks for the (in my opinion) better option for my uses?" (I know that's not very responsible, but really, there's not much difference between the two you're looking at, right?)

I think the MBP in your post there is more bang for the buck. You just have to ask yourself what you'd be happier with, really. I have no experience with double/triple booting. I use OS X for everything. So I can't speak about that or the battery issues involved.

Anyway! Both seem like good computers

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2011 Macbook Pro 17 inch Glossy  2.3GHz Quad-core i7 8GB RAM 750GB HDD
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CrimsonRequiem

 
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Get the Pro has more RAM and back lit keyboard, and other stuff too.

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robduckyworth

 
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go for the pro, it has a dedicated gpu, can take 8gb of ram (great for photoshop) and 10 hour battery life. (im a student btw, i use photo audio and video applications including final cut pro and photoshop along with a host of audio apps, and my macbook pro takes alot to be maxxed out)

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Seiper

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClockworkWorld View Post
It's really something that only you can answer, honestly. It's kinda like asking us if you want the medium pizza with more toppings, or the large with single toppings. Only you know what you REALLY want/prefer I'm big on "if I'm already spending this much, what's another 100 bucks for the (in my opinion) better option for my uses?" (I know that's not very responsible, but really, there's not much difference between the two you're looking at, right?)
You are so right - I supposed I'm really looking for validation on spending more than I anticipated, haha!
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CrimsonRequiem

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robduckyworth View Post
go for the pro, it has a dedicated gpu, can take 8gb of ram (great for photoshop) and 10 hour battery life. (im a student btw, i use photo audio and video applications including final cut pro and photoshop along with a host of audio apps, and my macbook pro takes alot to be maxxed out)
Only the 15" and 17" models have a dedicated GPU.

死神はリンゴしか食べない。
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Seiper

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonRequiem View Post
Get the Pro has more RAM and back lit keyboard, and other stuff too.
I am drawn to the back lit keyboard. I also have an iBook G4 that I just use for web surfing when gf is on the MBP and for some reason it's a huge adjustment not being able to light up the keyboard. Good to be validated (again, lol)

Quote:
Originally Posted by robduckyworth View Post
go for the pro, it has a dedicated gpu, can take 8gb of ram (great for photoshop) and 10 hour battery life. (im a student btw, i use photo audio and video applications including final cut pro and photoshop along with a host of audio apps, and my macbook pro takes alot to be maxxed out)
Which MBP do you have? Good to hear that you're using all those apps with no probs. Are you on Snow Leopard only, or do you ever run Windows or other operating systems? How is your battery thus far?
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robduckyworth

 
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i thought the 320M was dedicated? its not an integrated graphics set? even though it had shared memory? sorry if i'm wrong i must have the wrong info. who knows!

anyway.... as for seiphers question.. i run a MBP 13" 2010 with 8gb ram with a 7200rpm drive. surfing the net from full charge with 3 windows (itunes, 2 finder) in the background gives me a reported 5 hours, photoshop goes down to about 3. but thats with a faster hard drive so the stock one will probably boost it a bit. if you turn the backlight down, you get longer.

i have used boot camp, i had vista and XP at one point, and they run as you'd expect them to. never really had a problem, apart from i needed a larger partition. however i wanted it for games, and the screen is a bit small for that

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m_ove

 
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Go with the MBP you wont regret it. The fact that you can always upgrade the RAM in the future really makes it a no-brainer Refurbs are a great way to save some money, I bought mine refurbed from Apple and it runs just like new.

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