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richardcavellya 10-28-2013 11:16 AM

Which MacBook do I need?
 
Hi everyone.

I'm a computer junkie and I've preferred Mac hardware for some years now. I'm already invested in Mac, in the sense that I have purchased licenses for quite a few Mac Apps, my music is on iTunes, etc.

My MacBook Pro was stolen recently. Fortunately I have the good sense to have my entire hard disk backed up. But I need to choose what the replacement machine will be.

Here's what I did with my machine:

- Programming in C using the command-line and GCC. Occasionally I will run Linux in a VM to do Linux development
- Reading slashdot, cnn.com and so on using Safari
- Reading e-books
- Managing the music on my iPod
- MS Word
- Watching DVDs using the internal DVD drive

Also, I have a Windows Steam account and I want to use this machine for gaming by dual-booting. I play Deus Ex 1 and 2, Half-Life 1 and 2, Portal 1 and 2, Left4Dead 1 and 2, Quake 2, Doom 3, Batman: Arkham City and Arkham Asylum. I don't play bleeding-edge games. I might be interested in Deus Ex 3 and id's Rage. I'm interested to know how these games will perform on Intel HD 5000, Intel HD 4000 and Intel Iris.

I think that 13 inches is the sweet spot for screen size. I used to own an 11-inch Powerbook and using Word was too difficult. I'm a disabled pensioner so a 15-incher is too extravagant, although it would be nice.

1. Which MacBook do I need?
2. MBPr doesn't have an optical drive, right? Can I get an external USB-powered drive to read DVDs, or is there a way to image DVDs to the internal storage and "play" the images?
3. Is 128 gigs of SSD enough to have Office and OSX in one partition and Steam with those games in another partition?
4. What's the minimum graphics hardware requirement for the games I like?
5. I really like Windows 7 but I hate that stupid interface for Windows 8. What version of Windows do I need, given that I'm mainly using it for Steam games?

Thanks in advance, and have a great day.

Richard

pigoo3 10-28-2013 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by richardcavellya (Post 1546280)
My MacBook Pro was stolen recently. Fortunately I have the good sense to have my entire hard disk backed up.

Sorry to hear about that...that stinks!

Quote:

Originally Posted by richardcavellya (Post 1546280)
Here's what I did with my machine:

Also, I have a Windows Steam account and I want to use this machine for gaming by dual-booting. I play Deus Ex 1 and 2, Half-Life 1 and 2, Portal 1 and 2, Left4Dead 1 and 2, Quake 2, Doom 3. I don't play bleeding-edge games. I might be interested in Deus Ex 3 and id's Rage.

Gaming is probably the largest demand of the things you want to do. And having dedicated graphics hardware is usually best.

Quote:

Originally Posted by richardcavellya (Post 1546280)
I think that 13 inches is the sweet spot for screen size.

This does help to narrow things down. But as I mentioned above...having dedicated graphics hardware is best for this...and none of the 13" MBP's have dedicated graphics hardware.

Quote:

Originally Posted by richardcavellya (Post 1546280)
1. Which MacBook do I need?

Sounds like a 13" MBP would be a great choice. When it comes to gaming...you may just need to adjust the detail settings to best match the 13" MBP's abilities.

Quote:

Originally Posted by richardcavellya (Post 1546280)
2. MBPr doesn't have an optical drive, right?

That is correct.

Quote:

Originally Posted by richardcavellya (Post 1546280)
Can I get an external USB-powered drive to read DVDs...

Yes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by richardcavellya (Post 1546280)
3. Is 128 gigs of SSD enough to have Office and OSX in one partition and Steam with those games in another partition?

In my opinion...no. For what you want to do...I would say 256gig at least.

128gig might be doable for just an OS X partition...but 128gig for an OS X and Windows partition is going to cut things a bit thin. Simply subtract the amount of space the two OS installs will take up from the 128gig...and already you're running somewhat low on space.

And who knows what you will need for the future. Videos, music, photos, etc...in addition to what you already know you want to do.

Another thought is...do you REALLY need an SSD? Hard drive capacities of "traditional" hard drives are much higher & much less expensive.

Quote:

Originally Posted by richardcavellya (Post 1546280)
4. What's the minimum graphics hardware requirement for the games I like?

The best way to determine this is to check the system requirements for each of the games you're interested in from the developer's website.

Quote:

Originally Posted by richardcavellya (Post 1546280)
5. I really like Windows 7 but I hate that stupid interface for Windows 8. What version of Windows do I need, given that I'm mainly using it for Steam games?

Windows 7 or Windows 8 is certainly a personal choice. As far a Steam ...again...check with the Steam website in regards to what Steam recommends.

HTH,

- Nick


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