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

Macbook - Macbook v Macbook Pro


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Richard

 
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I'm not sure if this is the right thread for this post or not...hope it is, lol.

Ok, i'm having a hard time deciding between the two of these. Obviously, the regular Macbook is much cheaper than the Pro, but i'm just wondering what advantages the Pro has over the macbook. I know that the specs are better, but other than that is there anything? The only reason i am thinking about grabbing the pro is because i hear the video chip on the macbook just sucks. However, i don't think it's worth the $700 simply to get a better video chip. I also heard that you can't upgrade the video chip, so you're stuck with what you get. If anyone uses a macbook to play games such as world of warcraft, or half life or whatnot, can you tell me how well it works with such a meager video card? Also, does this affect watching dvd's on the comp? Thanks for the answers to all the questions in advance!
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Kash

 
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What exactly do you plan on using this computer for? Will it be for surfing the net, working on some documents, and the occasional game? Will you be doing a lot of image/video editing or other intensive tasks? Finally, have you actually seen a Macbook/Macbook Pro in person?

The main differences between the two: Macbook Pro has a dedicated video card (i.e. more powerful than the Macbook's integrated one), MBP has an ExpressCard port (Macbook does not), screen size (15" and 17" of the MBP compared to the Macbook's 13.3"), Firewire800 (Macbook only has Firewire400), and finally, the MBP has an aluminum finish compared to the Macbook's plastic.

If your needs are basic and don't care for a large screen, then the Macbook is the way to go. It has a wonderful screen and is great to tote around, which gets to be difficult with the larger and heavier Macbook Pro models. But if you have more intensive needs, then the Macbook Pro will be a better fit.

I suggest checking the models out at your local Apple Store or Apple retailer. I personally found the Macbook's keyboard to be a better fit for my hands, and it's smaller size was a big factor since I need to lug it around with me on campus. Plus, I found the Macbook Pros to be quite overpriced whereas the Macbook's pricetag felt more reasonable.
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Richard

 
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I think i will mostly be using it for surfing the net and then work (school related) with an occasional game. However, when i do play a game i want it to be a good experience (like no lagging and whatnot) and i'm hoping the regular macbook can provide that for me. Also, you didn't answer the dvd question. Does the video card thing have any impact on watching dvd's at all? I agree with you, macbook pro's seem extremely overpriced compared to macbook. Oh, and yes, i have used a macbook pro in real life, and it was just amazing. I'm hoping the regular macbook will have the same results (i plan on having 2gb ram and 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo) so i'm guessing it should still run very nice. I'm thinking i may have to use bootcamp or parallels to run windows xp some of the time, but that should be no problem correct? Once again, thanks for your help
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Kash

 
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I have watched several DVDs and videos on my Macbook without a single problem. So no, the integrated graphics should have no negative impact on that.

Keep in mind that the integrated graphics aren't THAT bad, at least not as bad as what you find on lower end PCs. It is good enough to play games on, but don't expect to play the latest games. Expect to play games on medium settings. Finally, you're going to be better off using Windows via Boot Camp to play games, but it seems as though you've already figured that part out :black:
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walkerj

 
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To sum up (better than 'splaining):

Macbook Pro:

Better graphics card for the gamerz
Bigger screen for the screenerz
Aluminium case
Bigger

Macbook:

Lesser graphics (but runs UT2004 just fine; does Photoshop type things just fine; plays DVDs and video great!)
Smaller screen (but for some reason I find it perfect, even though I typically have preferred a huge 21" screen at at least 1600x1200. I'll span an external to get more "real estate" if I need which the Macbook is quite capable of with a $20 adapter.)
Plastic case (in white or black; black being $150 more though you get a bigger HD)
Smaller (which means you can take it everywhere, which I do.)

I run Parallels with an XP VM all the time, and it works wonderfully. That's more of a memory intensive issue, but the Macbook is capable of housing 2 (even 3, though some have indicated that unmatched stick sizes bring a speed penalty) gig of RAM just like its aluminium-clad bigger brother in Pro form.

That's pretty much it. Other than a lit-up keyboard, and an ambient light sensing screen brightness sensor the Macbook comes with pretty much the same cool stuff that the Pro comes with in a smaller package. Key things like wireless internet (tenacious at that), built-in bluetooth, iSight camera, mag-safe power adapter, Core Duo Intel and the OS X experience all come standard with a Macbook at a price which if you spec'd out a comparable PC you would actually spend more.
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cath462

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
... The only reason i am thinking about grabbing the pro is because i hear the video chip on the macbook just sucks. However, i don't think it's worth the $700 simply to get a better video chip. I also heard that you can't upgrade the video chip, so you're stuck with what you get. If anyone uses a macbook to play games such as world of warcraft, or half life or whatnot, can you tell me how well it works with such a meager video card? Also, does this affect watching dvd's on the comp? Thanks for the answers to all the questions in advance!
I think you may have misinterpreted what you've heard about the Macbook's video card.

It does not "just suck" and it's not "meager." It's simply a non-dedicated video chip as compared to the Macbook Pro's dedicated video card.

I use my Macbook for Photoshop, watching DVDs, and various other tasks, and it works beautifully.

Hope this helps.

:girl:
"Television: A medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done." - Ernie Kovacs
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Richard

 
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Yeah, it does, thanks for all the info guys. I am most definitely going with the regular macbook now.
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The integrated graphics on the MacBook will be fine for normal 2D things like photo editing and watching movies/DVDs.

The dedicated higher-end graphics card on the MBP means (1) you can run multiple monitors at once and (2) you can perform 3D tasks much, much, much faster and with better detail. Most newer games require better graphics than the integrated Intel chipset you get with the MacBook.

The MBP is almost the same weight, though it does have a bigger footprint due to the larger screen. When you compare prices, realize you're comparing apples to oranges. Bigger screen, bigger HDD, probably more RAM, faster processor, etc. in addition to "just" the discrete video card. Backlit keyboard, ExpressCard, FireWire800 ... I don't think it's fair to call the MBP overpriced. It's quite comparable to similar PC notebooks with the same specs.

If you play games and want your notebook to handle today's and tomorrow's new games, then the MBP is probably a better choice. If you can accept that you might not be able to play the latest coolest games, then the MacBook will certainly do everything you need to surf, email, and run Office ... plus a whole lot more.
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gilesjuk

 
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If you're not doing a lot of 3D or games the Macbook 2Ghz runs very nicely:

Some benchmarks, Macbook wins in some of the tests.

http://www.geekpatrol.ca/2006/05/macbook-benchmarks/
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Pigchops

 
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See my earlier thread:

Decision time - MacBook or MacBook Pro?

There was some great advice there.
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Ninjab3ar

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
I think i will mostly be using it for surfing the net and then work (school related) with an occasional game. However, when i do play a game i want it to be a good experience (like no lagging and whatnot) and i'm hoping the regular macbook can provide that for me. Also, you didn't answer the dvd question. Does the video card thing have any impact on watching dvd's at all? I agree with you, macbook pro's seem extremely overpriced compared to macbook. Oh, and yes, i have used a macbook pro in real life, and it was just amazing. I'm hoping the regular macbook will have the same results (i plan on having 2gb ram and 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo) so i'm guessing it should still run very nice. I'm thinking i may have to use bootcamp or parallels to run windows xp some of the time, but that should be no problem correct? Once again, thanks for your help
If you plan on doing ANY gaming at all, do not get the MacBook, it has 64MD of shared video memory. Thats worse than G4 powerbooks!

If you want any decent performance on a Macbook, you would have to reduce the visual settings to a minimum, which to me, is annoying.

Try chekcing certified apple reseller to see if they have Core Duo Macbook Pros in stock

I bought my Core Duo Macbook Pro (see specs on the left, under my avatar) for $1600 a month after the Core 2 Duo ones came out. Its price before is was reduced was $2500. I saved $900 bucks!
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MrMacbookMan

 
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I have a 2 Ghz core duo with 1.25 Gigs of ram and I am able to do some gaming. I play america's army and I not personally play world of warcraft, but one of my friends with a macbook and only 512 megs of ram played it just fine on his. So if you're not super serious about gaming, the macbook should fufill your needs. Good luck!

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