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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 or Macbook Pro?


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nolonger

 
Member Since: Feb 24, 2011
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I'm a high school student and I have been looking at laptops. I currently own a PC and an old Powerbook G4. I wanted to sell my parts and put the money towards a Macbook or Macbook Pro.

The main reason I'm going Apple is because of the design. I'd like some help to justify the additional U$200 I'd spend on a Macbook Pro vs. the Macbook.

My plans are to buy a 13" Macbook Pro base model and upgrade it to 4 or 8GB of RAM and purchase a 320GB or 500GB hard drive for it.

If I were to purchase the 13" Macbook I'd go for the base model and upgrade to 4GB of RAM and 320GB or 500GB hard drive.

I have no problems upgrading parts at all, just trying to figure out what would be the best value for me. The laptop's going to be used for school work, general multimedia and will install Boot Camp and use Windows for programming. Also wondering if it'd be possible to play a few games on either model under Windows. I'm looking more at real time strategy, but some first person shooters (I'm OK with lowering graphics) would be nice too.

Any advice is greatly appreciated and I apologise if this question has been asked a million times before.

Thank you!
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imppy

 
Member Since: Jan 22, 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolonger View Post
I'm a high school student and I have been looking at laptops. I currently own a PC and an old Powerbook G4. I wanted to sell my parts and put the money towards a Macbook or Macbook Pro.

The main reason I'm going Apple is because of the design. I'd like some help to justify the additional U$200 I'd spend on a Macbook Pro vs. the Macbook.

My plans are to buy a 13" Macbook Pro base model and upgrade it to 4 or 8GB of RAM and purchase a 320GB or 500GB hard drive for it.

If I were to purchase the 13" Macbook I'd go for the base model and upgrade to 4GB of RAM and 320GB or 500GB hard drive.

Did I mention that the base MBP is actually lighter than the white macbook too?


I have no problems upgrading parts at all, just trying to figure out what would be the best value for me. The laptop's going to be used for school work, general multimedia and will install Boot Camp and use Windows for programming. Also wondering if it'd be possible to play a few games on either model under Windows. I'm looking more at real time strategy, but some first person shooters (I'm OK with lowering graphics) would be nice too.

Any advice is greatly appreciated and I apologise if this question has been asked a million times before.

Thank you!
The new macbook pros that were released today already include 4gb of RAM and a 320gb hard drive. In my opinion, just for $200 more, you get much more, including a backlit keyboard, HD isight camera, i5 processors. I think that the white macbook line are soon going to be something of the past as everything on those machines just seem a little out of date especially the build quality.

In terms of your needs, I think the MBP would be a suitable choice, as you get much more for just a small price difference. The MBP is also lighter.
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nolonger

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imppy View Post
The new macbook pros that were released today already include 4gb of RAM and a 320gb hard drive. In my opinion, just for $200 more, you get much more, including a backlit keyboard, HD isight camera, i5 processors. I think that the white macbook line are soon going to be something of the past as everything on those machines just seem a little out of date especially the build quality.

In terms of your needs, I think the MBP would be a suitable choice, as you get much more for just a small price difference.
Thanks for the input. The Macbook Pro does seem like a better choice, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't paying more for the "same old".

Couple of questions regarding upgrades: do they void my warranty? And how easy is it to leave dents on the frame or strip screws while upgrading?

I wanna keep my laptop in as best a condition as I can and if that means no upgrading, I could live with paying a hundred or so for Apple to already include the upgrades I had in mind.
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imppy

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolonger View Post
Thanks for the input. The Macbook Pro does seem like a better choice, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't paying more for the "same old".

Couple of questions regarding upgrades: do they void my warranty? And how easy is it to leave dents on the frame or strip screws while upgrading?

I wanna keep my laptop in as best a condition as I can and if that means no upgrading, I could live with paying a hundred or so for Apple to already include the upgrades I had in mind.
If you plan on upgrading the hardware yourself, it will void your warranty and they have ways to find out. I have no experience with macbook pros as I do not own one, but with the specs already included in the new macbooks I think it would be more than enough to suit your needs.

However, seeing as how the macbooks are of superior build quality, I doubt it would be easy to dent the case, unless you plan on using a hammer or throwing it on hardwood floor.
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nolonger

 
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Originally Posted by imppy View Post
If you plan on upgrading the hardware yourself, it will void your warranty and they have ways to find out. I have no experience with macbook pros as I do not own one, but with the specs already included in the new macbooks I think it would be more than enough to suit your needs.

However, seeing as how the macbooks are of superior build quality, I doubt it would be easy to dent the case, unless you plan on using a hammer or throwing it on hardwood floor.
I guess I'm just trying to future-proof the laptop. I've been upgrading my computer every 3 months or so for the last year and a half so kinda addicted to it. Not really sure where to stop at anymore.

I heard MacOSX is optimized to cache programs on RAM before you open them so it runs smoother. 8GB of RAM should make the system pretty much as snappy as can get, along with a fast hard drive.
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MYmacROX

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imppy View Post
If you plan on upgrading the hardware yourself, it will void your warranty and they have ways to find out.
Upgrading the RAM and HDD will NOT void your warranty.
If you damage your Mac in some way during one of those upgrades, then that will void your warranty. So, be careful and follow instructions to the letter and you will be just fine.
I've improved the RAM and HDD on my MBP and it went smooth as silk. Lots of Mac owners have done this, especially with the notebooks. They are so easy to work on.

16GB iPhone 5, 64GB Wi-Fi only iPad 1st Gen.

Reminder: Please include your Mac's specs. This will make it much easier for the other members to assist you.
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nolonger

 
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Thanks for letting me know. I believe I can do it just fine since I regularly upgrade my computer and have changed the logic board on my Powerbook G4 once. I read a guide on Apple.com on how to do the upgrades and they seem a lot simpler than swapping the logic board as I have once done.

How can I make use of the Thunderbolt technology? Would it be possible to stripe three 500GB HDD's for storage and keep it connected to my laptop? What would I need in order to do that?

Also considering swapping the HDD out for a 30GB OCZ Vertex SSD I have lying around. Would it work on the MBP or would I need a specific brand?

Thanks for all the help so far!
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kfander

 
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I have a 13" aluminum-cased MacBook, which I bought after having used PCs since the mid-1980s, and I wouldn't suggest a MacBook. Nearly every PC that I have owned since the Pentium has been faster and more efficient than my MacBook. If you like watching beachballs spin around, go for the 13" MacBook, since you'll see a lot of that. If my MacBook were the only thing that I had to judge Apple computers by, I'd never buy another one.

My wife bought an iMac at the same time as my MacBook, and the iMac is an excellent product. Plus, I know several people who have MacBook Pros, and they are also a good choice, but I have talked to several people who regret having bought a 13" MacBook.
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nolonger

 
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Originally Posted by kfander View Post
I have a 13" aluminum-cased MacBook, which I bought after having used PCs since the mid-1980s, and I wouldn't suggest a MacBook. Nearly every PC that I have owned since the Pentium has been faster and more efficient than my MacBook. If you like watching beachballs spin around, go for the 13" MacBook, since you'll see a lot of that. If my MacBook were the only thing that I had to judge Apple computers by, I'd never buy another one.

My wife bought an iMac at the same time as my MacBook, and the iMac is an excellent product. Plus, I know several people who have MacBook Pros, and they are also a good choice, but I have talked to several people who regret having bought a 13" MacBook.
Macbook Pro it is. I'm wondering now if it might be worth it to pick up the 15" Macbook Pro. The bigger screen would certainly make a difference, as would the quad core. In the end it'll depend on what my budget looks like when time comes around to getting it.
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kfander

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolonger View Post
Macbook Pro it is. I'm wondering now if it might be worth it to pick up the 15" Macbook Pro. The bigger screen would certainly make a difference, as would the quad core. In the end it'll depend on what my budget looks like when time comes around to getting it.
Whenever I can afford another Mac, it will probably be a MacBook Pro, but maybe an iMac. Most everyone who has a MacBook Pro is pleased with it.
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The best reason? The aluminum on the mbp will last a lot longer than the plastic on the mb, and will doesn't crack like the mb. That's the biggest reason for me.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius
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nolonger

 
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Originally Posted by idrinorbarsaku View Post
The best reason? The aluminum on the mbp will last a lot longer than the plastic on the mb, and will doesn't crack like the mb. That's the biggest reason for me.
Yep, I've pretty much settled for the 13" Macbook Pro or if I have some extra cash I'll go with the 15" 2.0GHz model with hi-res antiglare screen.

The extra resolution and two extra cores are certainly worth the money, just not sure if I'll have it when I get a chance to purchase the laptop.
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