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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

MacBook Pro - MacBook Pro...?


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LEOVAN83

 
Member Since: Apr 26, 2008
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Hi everyone, new to the forum, looking for some help...

I've been using PC and normal lap tops for my whole life, I've never used a Mac before, only the iPod touch 32 gb if that counts as "Mac experience".

I have the money to spend on a top of the line Mac Book Pro (with all the top components selected) right now. I was kinda decided on getting the Mac cause after having my iPod for a month I think that if Apple was able to create such a brilliant piece of gear like that, their computers must be awesome...

But, now I have some doubt. I'm planning on spending about 4 grand on a TOP notebook, a computer that will be used for semi-pro music recording (a lot of it), architecture (autocad) and general internet stuff. Having that amount of money I saw the HP HDX 20.1 inch lap top online and after configuring it with the top components (Extreme processor, 4 gigs ram, 8800 GTS graphics card, etc) and the price was almost the same as a top MacBook Pro (about 3900 bucks for the HP and 3700 for the HDX).

What I need to know is... how can you compare each computer since apparently, the HDX is much more powerful with lots of useful stuff, while the Mac Book Pro is very limited, so to speek. Why should I choose a Mac Book Pro over the HDX, I mean there must be some reason why having almost the same price as a better featured laptp...

Need your help guys, please do!

Leo
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rohan

 
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well for starters...unless you want to use th computer solely as a desktop replacement...i dont see the point of even having a 20" laptop...people find 17" laptop hard to tug around...i hav one & i think its ok....but even i wouldn't go for a 20"....that said...macs are kinda built to just work...since the hardware & software are made to be compatible...less stuff goes wrong normally....there are no known viruses for mac...so its safer....plus you can legally run windows on macs now....but not the other way around....i kinda did the same pros & cons thing when was getting mine...i configured a top of the line dell to specs as close as possible to the macbook pro 17" & the price worked out 2 almost the same...so i decided to get the mac...

<< i can explain it to you...but i can't understand it for you... >>
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LEOVAN83

 
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I'm actually looking for a desktop replacement with very powerful components. For some reason people who are into graphic design and music production always seem to use mac book pro's despite the fact that u can get laptops almost twice the powerful for almost the same price. I wanna understand why since I'm an architect and a recording musician so I'm intrigued about this. I'm tempted to get the customized HP HDX with the extreme processor and the 8800 GTS and 640gb of hard drive which will cost me 100 bucks more than the top of the line mac book pro which has the 2.6 normal core2 duo, the 8600gt card and 300gb of hard drive... I mean for almost the same price I get a much powerful computer, but I need to understand the powerful reasons behind people still getting the mac, help me out please.
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getuptogetdown

 
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mac = power

Loving my MBP more and more everyday
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LEOVAN83

 
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Well, I see it is powerful but compared to some lap tops it has less power and costs almost the same. I need to know why people, specially architects still go for the mac book pro having so many options with much more powerful processors and features.
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Dysfunction

 
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I'm not certain the differences equate to a 'much more powerful' system. Top of the line processor on the HDX is a 2.8, which will not be a huge improvement over the 2.6. The HDD's in both are 5400rpm at the top end. The 7200rpm offerings are about the same. So you have a difference in storage, but no improvement in performance. The biggest difference being the graphics card, and yes there is a difference going between the two, but both will run autocad. Additionally, there's no way I'd pay a manufacturer to upgrade ram, it's simply too expensive that way. Usually around four times going market price.

So the performance gap is really not all that wide hardware wise. The biggest difference is the OS at that point, and let me tell you OS X is far superior to Vista IMO. Better than XP too, but I'm biased since I've been a Unix user for over a decade now Why do people buy Macs? Well, in my case the OS was the determining factor. The really cool industrial design is a nice bonus coming from a fine arts background though, I will admit it.

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rohan

 
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ok...i just cheked...if you configure that comp as close as possible to the 17" macbook pro with all the goodies it costs around $3600 (apart from ram...which is cheaperto get from other sources)....so i dont get what you are talking about...if you max it out...it costs at least $1000 more...so i dont get how u say that there is a minor price difference...

<< i can explain it to you...but i can't understand it for you... >>
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LEOVAN83

 
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Rohan, if I configure the HDX with all the top HARDWARE (nevermind the software below since I dont use any of that) except for the blu ray which I dont see much use for it, the price will be about 3999 dollars, while the MBP with all the top of the line components will be 3799 or something, so for about 200 dollars I get twice the hard drive space, I get an extreme Intel processor and a 8800GTS video card instead of the 8600 GT.

So thats basically my point, why do people prefer to pay so much for a computer that has apparently less powerful components compared to a laptop only 200 bucks more expensive? I mean, if you put aside the portability factor, I see a far superior computer in the HDX although the Mac sure does look better and the OS is great... but, are looks and the OS enough to make such choice?

I will be doing extensive AutoCAD and 3DS Max use, as well as extensive music recording using external USB preamps. So what should I get?
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slashd0t

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan View Post
.there are no known viruses for mac...so its safer....
This is completely false. There ARE known virus's for mac, just not very many of them.

Macs are nice as they are built on a BSD kernel which is proven to be a very stable platform.

If you are using Autocad, I think you may be better off with the pc IMO.
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Dysfunction

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LEOVAN83 View Post
Rohan, if I configure the HDX with all the top HARDWARE (nevermind the software below since I dont use any of that) except for the blu ray which I dont see much use for it, the price will be about 3999 dollars, while the MBP with all the top of the line components will be 3799 or something, so for about 200 dollars I get twice the hard drive space, I get an extreme Intel processor and a 8800GTS video card instead of the 8600 GT.

So thats basically my point, why do people prefer to pay so much for a computer that has apparently less powerful components compared to a laptop only 200 bucks more expensive? I mean, if you put aside the portability factor, I see a far superior computer in the HDX although the Mac sure does look better and the OS is great... but, are looks and the OS enough to make such choice?

I will be doing extensive AutoCAD and 3DS Max use, as well as extensive music recording using external USB preamps. So what should I get?
As I've said before, it's not even significantly less powerful. Since you're obviously choosing to ignore that.. go buy the HP.

mike
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mac0s9user

 
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Also remember that OS X uses significantly less resources then Vista. I am on Vista right now using Firefox and iTunes. Its using 1 GB of RAM to just do that. On a mac I doubt you would be using over 512 MB. So while the computer is not as powerful it's uses less resources and so it ends up being faster.


(it makes sense in my head)
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LEOVAN83

 
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I totally understand what u guys are saying and it helps a lot. What I need to know is, since I've been used to PC's all my life and I'm very familiar with them, what are my chances with software like AutoCAD in a Mac Book Pro and recording music? I mean, I have great AutoCAD performance on my current laptop and I can record just fine, but like I said, I've always been intrigued by the fact that most recording studios run their place on Mac, and I've also seen a lot of architects using Macs too. It boggles my mind because apparently I can get so much more out of a PC for my uses but I'm very tempted on getting a Mac, it looks so good and it feels so much better made than my current custom HP, but, I need something that will be mainly AWESOME at what I need to do, architecture and music.
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Macs For Surfin

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LEOVAN83 View Post
I can get so much more out of a PC for my uses but I'm very tempted on getting a Mac, it looks so good and it feels so much better made than my current custom HP], but, I need something that will be mainly AWESOME at what I need to do, architecture and music.
You've answered your own question right there mate : ) thats why people go for macs , It's something thats hard to explain until you own one!!! there's just something about them!!
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S.SubZero

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac0s9user View Post
Also remember that OS X uses significantly less resources then Vista. I am on Vista right now using Firefox and iTunes. Its using 1 GB of RAM to just do that. On a mac I doubt you would be using over 512 MB. So while the computer is not as powerful it's uses less resources and so it ends up being faster.
With Safari, Colloquy, Messenger, and iTunes open, my MBP is sitting at just under 900MB in use. Safari is only using 125MB of that. I've run Activity Monitor on a cold boot, with no apps, and it's used about 500MB.

One of the misleading things with Vista is that the various caching mechanisms all reserve memory that isn't really being used. Vista also will free up some of this cached RAM if it's needed. This cache is proportional to total system RAM, so while my Vista x64 on my 4GB laptop chews up 800MB at idle, Vista x32 in a 1GB RAM virtual machine uses about 300MB.
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S.SubZero

 
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I own two laptops, a PC laptop and a Macbook Pro.

The PC laptop is a Sager 5793. It's basically a generic laptop. It is specifically designed for gaming. Penryn 2.5Ghz processor, 4GB RAM, 100GB 7200RPM hard drive, 8800M GTX video card, 1920x1200 17" glossy screen. It's also got bluetooth, wireless-n, webcam, gig-e ethernet, modem (why), and even a serial port for some reason. DVD burner of course. This laptop cost me just under $2400 in February. I did replace the hard drive with a 200GB 7200RPM I had purchased earlier, so add $200 for $2600 total.

The Sager is very capable at gaming, and will be for some time. It's also very open, and the whole bottom comes off allowing access to the RAM, hard drive, video card (it's modular), and basically the entire thing can be torn down by the user with little more than a phillips screwdriver. It has cons; it's very loud, about the loudest laptop I've owned. I also don't like the lack of dedicated multimedia keys. It's pretty hefty in size, and has several large heatsinks inside which make up a good amount of the heavy weight.

The MacBook Pro is a previous generation 17" model. 2.4Ghz Merom processor, 4GB RAM (I upgraded it myself), 160GB 7200RPM hard drive, 8600M GT 256MB video GPU. I got it used, and it's a refurb, and I paid $2000 for it. That is considered a "good" price. It did not come with Leopard install discs, so that's $129. It had a few months of warranty left, and AppleCare only comes in one package for $349. So that's $478 added on. $2478 for this laptop.

The MacBook Pro is very sexy. I had to settle for a matte display, since used MBPs with this config and glossy screen are extremely rare. It's quiet, and it's light and easy to carry. It's better suited in quiet environments, and being lesser spec'd it is better for battery operation than the Sager.

I've had this thing a few weeks now and I am finding some quirks that range from mild to annoying. The biggest is the "1.0-ness" of the touchpad. Two-finger scrolling takes some finesse, and it has this annoying habit of detecting me putting my finger on the pad after a while and triggering a tap, which has unpredictable and usually undesired results. The newer MBP's I played with at the Apple Store seemed much more refined in the touchpad. Of course they are also more expensive.

In the end, I find reasons to use both, and they each have things I wish the other had. I think for a pure power user who can get everything they need in Windows, a MBP may be a bit underpowered and overpriced for the job. You can spec out an uglier but more powerful PC laptop for less money, especially on the high-end. Just don't bring it to the library. 8)
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