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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 - PC user looking to switch...


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brock_boogie

 
Member Since: Dec 29, 2006
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Hello Mac community!

I'm a life-long PC user looking to finally make the switch and buy a Macbook Pro. I love the ability to boot Windows natively and, although I'm sure I'll get hooked on OSX, it should make the switch easier.

I have a few questions before I make my purchase, and I'm hoping that you guys can help.

1 - Does Windows run as effectively on a Mac? Which software is better for performance - Bootcamp or Parallels? Are there better programs on the horizon?

2 - I will be waiting until after Macworld in January to see what's launched. How quickly would prices drop if new Macbook Pros (faster front-side bus or higher C2D speeds) are announced? I know it's impossible to give me an exact time-frame...just looking for educated guesses based on previous years.

3 - Will the C2D 2.33Ghz perform significantly better than a C2D 2.16Ghz with the same amount of ram (2 GB) installed? I'm also wondering how much better the video card will perform on the 2.33Ghz model (it's a 256 MB over the 128 MB version in the 2.16 Ghz model).

It will probably help if I list my main uses for the Macbook Pro:
1 - High-end audio software (Logic on OSX and Pro Tools/Reason on Vista when released).
2 - Photoshop (CS3 when released) and large raw files from a Digital SLR cam.
3 - Small amount of gaming and DVD watching/burning.

Thanks in advance for all your help!

Sean
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ToddG

 
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(1) Boot Camp and Parallels are two completely different approaches to running WinXP. Check out this thread for a discussion about the issue.

(2) No idea. Chasing upcoming technology is something you can always do, but you'll never get a new computer if you're always waiting for the next new thing.

3. From what I've seen, raw processing is about 10% faster with the 2.33GHz compared to the 2.16GHz. You can check out some actual application benchmarks at this link. For gaming, the double VRAM will really pay off.
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bobtomay

 
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I am now only a week old in the Mac world. Would say if you can afford the 2.33 and the 256 Vram, have any intention of playing the latest 3d games, it would be worth the difference. The newest and best games are going to need (and will use) as much of a video card as you can afford. But then I come from a background of being a hardcore gamer and tweaker, trying to get the most performance I can out of a system.

One item other than 3d that will not work in parallels is your DVD player. So, no DVD shrink, etc., (Mac's best offers in this arena do not compete unless you're willing for it to take twice as long), and no playing a DVD movie even in Mac OS X while parallels is running.

As for the mouse - got a Logitech bluetooth, works pretty nice, no wires, no cords and have my standard right click.

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D3v1L80Y

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brock_boogie View Post
Hello Mac community!

I'm a life-long PC user looking to finally make the switch and buy a Macbook Pro. I love the ability to boot Windows natively and, although I'm sure I'll get hooked on OSX, it should make the switch easier.


Sean
In my 20+ years of using Macs, and seeing many people change over from using Windows, I can assure you that running Windows on your Mac won't make "switching" easier. It will do quite the opposite. If you want to get a Mac, then a distraction or a "fall back" crutch like having Windows on the computer will only hinder things.
There is nothing wrong with Windows, but the best way to learn and get used to using the Mac OS is to simply use it. The same way you learned how to use Windows. You didn't have any other OS on your system to "fall back on" when you learned Windows and you got the hang of it fairly well I would assume. Now you want to get a Mac, so you should follow the same practice with regards to learning the Mac OS.
Wait at least a month or two before thinking about installing Windows on your Mac. Use it with it's own OS and learn how to do things the Mac way. Then you will really get the hang of things a lot faster.

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Kash

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
I am now only a week old in the Mac world. Would say if you can afford the 2.33 and the 256 Vram, have any intention of playing the latest 3d games, it would be worth the difference. The newest and best games are going to need (and will use) as much of a video card as you can afford. But then I come from a background of being a hardcore gamer and tweaker, trying to get the most performance I can out of a system.

One item other than 3d that will not work in parallels is your DVD player. So, no DVD shrink, etc., (Mac's best offers in this arena do not compete unless you're willing for it to take twice as long), and no playing a DVD movie even in Mac OS X while parallels is running.

As for the mouse - got a Logitech bluetooth, works pretty nice, no wires, no cords and have my standard right click.
Couple issues I have with your post. For starters, nowhere does he mention that he will be playing games on his Macbook Pro. He will be using it mainly for editing video/pictures/audio. As for the video card options, the difference between 2.16GHz and 2.33GHz is realistically minimal. Unless he plans on rendering videos, he won't gain much from the extra 128MB on the video card either. This is especially true considering the fact that the MBP video card isn't capable of addressing all that extra memory in the first place.

Second issue I have with your post is the erroneous assumption that you can't play DVDs on Windows XP via Parallels. I just stuck a DVD into my Macbook and Windows XP (via Parallels) played it without a hitch. As far as DVD Shrink not working, that's also not true. Any speed issues you'll deal with has to do with emulation rather than flaws in Parallels. Also, though there may be no DVD Shrink available for the Mac, there are quite a few applications available that do a similar job. Some notable ones are Mac the Ripper and Handbrake, the latter of which I find to be much easier than any PC alternative.

I understand that you're new to the whole Mac experience, but please, don't go telling people that they can't do things simply because you haven't figured it out yet.

Brock, I personally don't believe you have much of a use in getting a Mac when most of the applications you're used to using either are Windows only or have Windows versions. While getting a Mac might seem like fun, it may in fact be more of a hindrance when you have to restart every so often just to use another program when you could have saved yourself the trouble by getting a Windows based notebook. There's really no getting around it since your Windows uses are too extensive for Parallels to handle. A couple of weeks after buying your Macbook Pro, you'll be hating yourself for just having bought a Windows laptop with the Apple logo on it.
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12991

 
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If you have the money just buy it now... I recently switched, got my computer 2 days ago, and the only regret I have is not buying the newer one. I got the black core duo... I should have bought the black core 2 duo. But i did save like 400 bucks, so I cant really complain.

Ok, but for you, I think either of the two MBP's will be speedy... and Since switching, Ive gone half way through installing XP, and canceled it. I see absolutely no need at this point. Windows is just so blah... So basically, dont wait, but either of the two MBPs, and you will not be disappointed.

Photoshop works on the mac, and there should be replacements for the other programs you need. If you must have those apps, then yeah, just get a PC laptop... or if you want to manage the money wisely and get the most bang for your buck and flexibility, get a solid PC laptop for 800-1000 and get a refurbished macbook.... MBPs are pretty expensive, and i think if you bought two laptops it would be about the same. I mean if you dont find a use for two or havent even really used Mac os... then skip the idea of getting a mac. But from a longtime user of PC, mac is just more fun for some reason... i dont know why
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brock_boogie

 
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Thanks for all your replies!

I should clear something up first. I have used PCs all my life and can do just about anything with a PC (intermediate hacker), but I've always wanted to learn the Mac OS and see why everyone in the Mac community stands by the product so strongly. I can't say I would stand by windows/PCs that strongly and argue with you as to why it's the greatest...it just isn't!

Also, my wife really wants a Mac and loves the simplicity of the OS (from just a few minutes of using one in the store). If I buy one, I would probably use Bootcamp and boot XP/Vista natively when, and only when, I want to sit down and work with specific software. The rest of the time (say 85%) will be spent in OSX, learning the ins-and-outs and getting used to Mac software.

I may just get the Macbook Pro 2.16Ghz/1Gig Ram system for $2199.99 Canadian Dollars and add another Gig of RAM myself. Not sure how much the extra gig costs (anyone know of any good online retailers?). But it can't cost anywhere close to the difference of upgrading to 2.33 Ghz.

The only PC laptops I have considered are the Sony Vaio SZ or FE series...not cheap either, and my wife seems pretty psyched about using OSX.

Thanks again for your replies!
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Kash

 
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If you plan on using Mac OSX 85% of the time, then you should definitely get the Macbook Pro. I figured the same breakdown for time spent between the two operating systems, and now a few weeks later, it's down to around 99% Mac OSX and 1% Windows. I know your experience won't be the same, but you'll definitely be finding yourself using Mac OS X FAR more often than Windows.
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ToddG

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kash View Post
Couple issues I have with your post. For starters, nowhere does he mention that he will be playing games on his Macbook Pro.
Ummmm ... from the OP:

Quote:
Originally Posted by brock_boogie View Post
It will probably help if I list my main uses for the Macbook Pro:
1 - High-end audio software (Logic on OSX and Pro Tools/Reason on Vista when released).
2 - Photoshop (CS3 when released) and large raw files from a Digital SLR cam.
3 - Small amount of gaming and DVD watching/burning.

Also:
Quote:
This is especially true considering the fact that the MBP video card isn't capable of addressing all that extra memory in the first place.
Can you explain this, please? I've never heard anything that suggested the X1600 couldn't address 256M VRAM.
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