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  1. #1
    Mackbook or MBP for programming

    Member Since
    Feb 10, 2008
    Posts
    7
    Mackbook or MBP for programming
    Hi, I have no idea about apple laptop and am considering to buy an apple notebook recently. I mainly use the laptop for programming. I want to start reviewing C, C++, improving java, learning perl and VB, maybe doing some work in Matlab. I also want to practice linux and learn more about linux. The only requirement I think at the moment is at least 2GB RAM, as it is very annoying that the eclipse runs very very slow at 512MB lenovo notebook. I just checked some requirements about notebooks for programmers: 2GB RAM, 7200 RPM HDD, 1440*900 display. And I check the apple website,I am considering the following options:

    MB:13 inch white 2.2GHZ
    # 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    # 120GB hard drive1
    # Double-layer SuperDriv
    # 2GB memory £919.009

    MBP one:15 inch 2.2GHZ
    * 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    * 1440 x 900 resolution

    * 120GB hard drive1
    * 8x double-layer SuperDrive
    * NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 128MB SDRAM
    * 2GB memory£1,299.00

    MBP two:
    * 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    * 1440 x 900 resolution
    * 2GB memory
    * 160GB hard drive1
    * 8x double-layer SuperDrive
    * NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 256MB SDRAM
    £1,599.00

    I think I can expand the hard driver capacity by buying TIme Capsule or standard AirPort Extreme with a USB hard drive

    and I am not sure is there any special difference of having SDRAM,15 inch screen and 8*double-layer SuperDrive for programming. This would be my major computer and used at least in next 3 or 4 years.

    Or is there any other important difference between MBP and MB I do not know and should consdier? The 4GB RAM is very expensive, I am considering buying 2GB RAM first and then upgrade to 4GB on my own if needed.

    For the MBP screen, which is better, glossy widescreen or standard widescreen display, if I buy MBP, I would not buy an additional monitor and will use the screen for a long time daily.

    In the daytime, mostly I will use the machines in the lab at university, and in the spare time, I will use notebook as a major computer to do some extra programming, write documents, watch news, learning stuff prepared for graduate technology job in banks like developer or quant,dvd(not often) and listen music, some basic daily entainment. I do not urgently need to buy apple laptop now and it is my dream to have one.

    I am not sure whether it is worth throwing 600 more or 300 more pounds for MBP, instead of cheap MB. Which is better, I can afford either.

    I am new to the apple products, any suggestions or corrections would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Mackbook or MBP for programming
    rianm7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 03, 2008
    Posts
    107
    if you are doing a lot of graphics programming (or any 3D work) you should go with a 2GB Macbook Pro. i did this, but, on the side, you need to know Obj-C to do a lot of programming for OS X Leopard. Eclipse is going to run better period on a Macbook Pro, and if you do hard-core take-up-memory applications, MBP is a must-have also.
    2.2 GHZ 15.4" MBP with NVIDIA GeForce GT 8600 and 2GB RAM

    8GB iPod Touch

  3. #3
    Mackbook or MBP for programming
    Stefan's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 09, 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    116
    Specs:
    2.16Ghz Mac Book Pro
    Apple RAM is sooo expensive. Get RAM from www.crucial.com - i can upgrade my MBP RAM from 1GB to 2 for around £30. Should help the old budget a little.

    I'd be interested to know how you get on because im looking to use my MBP for C# programming and game development in Microsoft XNA.

    In my opinion, if you can afford either, get a MBP. You certainly won't regret it.
    "Id rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy"

  4. #4
    Mackbook or MBP for programming

    Member Since
    Feb 10, 2008
    Posts
    7
    rianm7 and Stefan, thanks a lot indeed for your comments.

    As far I do not see special grahic programming, but nobody knows, perhaps I would need it one day for Swing or VB.

    I would perhaps order a MBP,but still not sure go for the low end one(2.2GHZ) or the mid one (2.4GHZ), or the refurbished 2.4 GHZ with glossy screen.


    I just found that the refurb MBP(2.4GHZ) with glossy screen is £1,299.00, the same price as the low end MBP, and I am not sure if I could get further education discount(8% off or 14%off not sure in UK) for the refurb, if it is I will get the refurb.

    It seems that refurb is 99% new as the new MBP in store, then I would not mind save hundreds pounds for upgrade and accessories, what would you guys think of getting a refurb MBP?

    If there is not HE discount for refurb, the brandly new HE discounted MBP(2.4GHZ) will cost £100 more than the refurb, and I can choose glossy scrren or the just widescreen display. It seems generally, the Matt screen is better( I assume the other widescreen display is matt, not sure what Matt means), the glossy has reflection problems. There is no nearest apple shop I could try the different screens. What do you think, glossy or matt?

  5. #5
    Mackbook or MBP for programming
    Stefan's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 09, 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    116
    Specs:
    2.16Ghz Mac Book Pro
    Matt is simply a non-glossy coating. It doesn't reflect light as much as the glossy screens (which i've heard can be quite annoying at times). Go for matt - it looks beautiful and crystal clear.

    In my opinion, when you're spending this much on a computer it's worth going for a brand new model. When the difference between a refurb and a new model is only a fraction of the overall price i'd go for the new one. Just my opinion though...
    "Id rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy"

  6. #6
    Mackbook or MBP for programming
    GroovyLinuxGuy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 02, 2006
    Location
    Edmonton, Canada
    Posts
    125
    Specs:
    15" MacBook Pro, 12" iBook G4, 14" iBook G4 running Ubuntu 7.10
    If you are going to be staring at the screen for any real amount of time, I would recomend the matt screen, I find it much easier on the eyes not to have to stare past your reflection in the screen. Eclipse with Pydev runs great under my MacBook Pro (2.2 Hz, 2 GB Ram) even when running a virtual machine (usually a linux vm to actually test my code)

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