MacBookPro...Worth it?

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47 Replies - 4016 Views - Last Post: 02 September 2011 - 08:56 AM

#1 skadouche  Icon User is offline

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MacBookPro...Worth it?

Posted 16 August 2011 - 02:09 PM

So I am going to school for programming, still a beginner, and I think over time using a mac would be more beneficial for the fact that you can run windows OS's on a mac. Please respond with PROS and CONS and if this would be a smart move.

Thanks in advance!
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#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: MacBookPro...Worth it?

Posted 16 August 2011 - 02:20 PM

"Worth it" is such a subjective term.

The fact that you can run multiple OSes is great, if you need that.

It sounds like you are trying to plan for long-term and you already have to shell out anyway.

If one is going to spend $1500 on a good laptop, why not make it $2000 and have all the added benefits? Just seems like simple math to me.

This way you are covered for coding on two different OSes. If you find yourself being drawn to iOS portables you are all set.

If you change majors entirely and go for graphic design, or video processing - you are still set.

If you stay in Windows, you still have the entire MacOS for personal use and all the great stuff it comes with.

So if its in your budget, I would say "go for it"
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#3 cfoley  Icon User is online

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Re: MacBookPro...Worth it?

Posted 16 August 2011 - 04:56 PM

If you want an expensive computer because it's shiny and you are rich then fine. Otherwise read on!

Buy a $500 laptop instead. It will be just fine for everything you have to do in school. If and when you reach the point that it's not good enough, you will still have $1000 left over to replace it. The advantage here is that you will know (rather than guess at) what you really need, technology will have marched on (so you may only need another $500 laptop). It also won't matter so much if you damage or lose it if it's cheaper. Unless you're running several virtual machines or crunching gigabytes of data, a top end model is not needed.

I learned the hard way that an expensive computer is not economical. I once bought a top end computer that would last. That damn thing lasted for 8 years until my brother did me a favour by spilling beer over it. It was so slow by the end it was barely usable! I'd have been better off buying something cheaper and upgrading after 2 or 3 years.

What's not to skimp on is your setup for home: good wireless keyboard and mouse. External monitor (as big as you can afford, two or three in the unlikely event your laptop can cope) desk at the right height, and a comfortable & adjustable computer chair.
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#4 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: MacBookPro...Worth it?

Posted 16 August 2011 - 05:12 PM

You are assuming the OP has enough money for both a laptop and home system.

For lots of students the laptop *IS* the home and ONLY system. At which point you have to say "Go big or go home"
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#5 cfoley  Icon User is online

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Re: MacBookPro...Worth it?

Posted 16 August 2011 - 05:23 PM

Which is why I have all that stuff plugged into my cheap laptop.
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#6 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: MacBookPro...Worth it?

Posted 16 August 2011 - 05:25 PM

Buy a windows machine... Macs are so horridly overpriced for what you get that no level of fanboyism can trump it. I've seen machines easily 3x more powerful going for 75% of the price.

Now to dispell ignorance of mac supremacy:
> They DO get viruses
> They CAN get hacked
> Their "proprietary" parts make for hell in upgrading

Now if you want to get a 2000$ paperweight then go for it, I'll go for a 1500$ computer that trumps it.

Making this up? Check these stats.

2499$ Default Mac Pro 17" Screen
2.2GHz quad-core
Intel Core i7
4GB 1333MHz
750GB 5400-rpm1
Intel HD Graphics 3000
AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB GDDR5

2059$ Sager NP8150-S1 17.3" screen
2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2720QM Processor ( 6MB L3 Cache, 2.20GHz)
16GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 4 X 4GB
750GB 7200rpm SATA 300 Hard Drive
AMD Radeon HD 6990M GPU with 2GB GDDR5 Video Memory

Save about 400$ and come away with a computer that slaughters a mac? Is there even a question on this.
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#7 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: MacBookPro...Worth it?

Posted 17 August 2011 - 11:18 AM

Depends. I like my MBP, but I can see how others would prefer a different one.

There's lots of factors to consider. Size, weight, specs, and yes, aesthetics, if that matters to you. A few points highly in the Mac's favor:

  • The only thing that can officially run Mac OS X. It's technically possible to set up a mac VM, but it's hard and not supported, and possibly not legal. So if you ever one day find yourself wanting to do iOS/MacOS development, you've already got the equipment you need. If you want to do windows dev, it's easy to bootcamp. Same for linux, though you can do much of that straight from OS X, since it's Unix.
  • Its screen. It's an IPS panel, not a TN panel. More color accurate. Of course, it's also glossy, so beware of that. It looks awesome indoors, not as nice outside.
  • Its form factor. It's lighter and smaller than most laptops of comparable specs. Maybe not all, but most.
  • The touchpad. Simply put, this kicks the ass of every other touchpad on the market. By a massive margin.
  • Magsafe. It seems like such a small touch, but it's saved my laptop twice.
  • Resale value. Macs hold their value for a long time, for one reason or another. You can sell an older mac for far more than you can an older PC.


A few cons:

  • Price. It's expensive as hell. You get a lot, but you could make your money go farther if all you cared about was specs.
  • Limited customization options. Mac is a walled garden. If you don't like their design decisions, tough shit.
  • Unibody. This looks great, but you can't change the battery yourself, or easily service the laptop yourself. You need a special screwdriver just to get the thing open to swap ram or HDD, etc. It makes for a great looking design, but a laptop that you have to send in for repairs.


I'm sure there are others, but I can't think of them off the top of my head.

I'm quite happy with my 2010 MBP 15". It was expensive, but I love it. And I'm a .NET developer!

Quote

> They DO get viruses
> They CAN get hacked
> Their "proprietary" parts make for hell in upgrading


Mac viruses are incredibly rare, and pretty much any networked system can be hacked, with the combination of skill and user ineptitude. But by default, Macs get far fewer viruses, and are fairly secure, since they're built on BSD. As to the proprietary parts, that's not really a "myth", it's common knowledge that Macs are more expensive to maintain.

This post has been edited by Curtis Rutland: 17 August 2011 - 11:22 AM

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#8 Sn1pShow  Icon User is offline

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Re: MacBookPro...Worth it?

Posted 17 August 2011 - 05:46 PM

Coming from a Macbook Pro user, I'd like to add some points from experience.

Curtis Rutland is spot on, but there are some other cons you should be aware of. A lot of these laptops do suffer from excessive heat while running Windowz in BootCamp. From my knowledge, this is a driver issue as the Windowz OS does not raise the fan speed until the CPU reaches about 65-70c. Also, if you plan on running Visual Studio, I've noticed on my unit at least, that temperatures hovering around the low 80c area are not uncommon. Other than that, there is not much else I can fault about these machines. I have fellow classmates that have T-Series ThinkPads with the same specifications yet, performance on the MBP consistently appears stronger.

If you do some searching, you can find and compare laptops within the same price range. I'd suggest that you also pay close attention to build quality. I have seen many more Dells and HP's fail due to parts issues than MBPs.

That's just my 2 cents.

This post has been edited by Sn1pShow: 17 August 2011 - 05:47 PM

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#9 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: MacBookPro...Worth it?

Posted 17 August 2011 - 09:20 PM

Dell and HP are garbage. Sony is, for the most part, good hardware that does not fail. I repair computers as a part time in College and I've only seen a few Sony computers in all my time. The most common I see are Compaq Dell and HP. Middleground are Asus, Acer, and Toshiba.

I see a ton of macbooks because people don't get them. Other than that rarely for hardware.

They still exist on viruses and the only difference to me, as a sysadmin/security type student, is about 5 more minutes to hack it. It's trivial. Unsecured systems take me next to no time to jack no matter what it runs. The only one I'm legitimately horrified of trying to knock is OpenBSD.
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#10 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: MacBookPro...Worth it?

Posted 17 August 2011 - 10:10 PM

I was a diehard Linux user until I started working at my current company. Everybody were big Apple fans. The company gave me an old macbook pro. I fell in love with it and OS X. But, hey, had they never given it to me, I'd never have paid for it. No way.

If you have that kind of money to throw around, go for it. Otherwise, you'll be fine elsewhere.
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#11 stackoverflow  Icon User is offline

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Re: MacBookPro...Worth it?

Posted 17 August 2011 - 10:25 PM

I say...

Get a cheap crappy PC.

Spend all the hefty cash on a nice big flat screen monitor.

You will spend most of your time staring at the monitor programming, so you may as well get a nice one.
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#12 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: MacBookPro...Worth it?

Posted 18 August 2011 - 12:58 AM

I just use my TV as a monitor. I've found that my 32'' is just the perfect size. And, given my macbook's monitor, I have a dual monitor setup mostly by accident.
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#13 hulla  Icon User is offline

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Re: MacBookPro...Worth it?

Posted 18 August 2011 - 01:38 AM

I heard that Macs do still get viruses but the reason they're really rare is because most applications are not allowed to do much on the system. Is this true?
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#14 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: MacBookPro...Worth it?

Posted 18 August 2011 - 03:03 AM

View Posthulla, on 18 August 2011 - 03:38 AM, said:

I heard that Macs do still get viruses but the reason they're really rare is because most applications are not allowed to do much on the system. Is this true?


It's the same with windows if people are smart enough not to use admin class accounts 24/7.

Again, the only OS that takes me more than a trivial amount of time to hack is OpenBSD. If you don't have that running then you're wide open on a default install, I don't care if you're mac, windows, or ubuntu... The only difference to me is which shell I use to gain root.

It comes down to preference, elitism does no good. I say OpenBSD is superior on security but lord forbid any mere mortal try and use that system. You have to be pretty adept to hope to utilize it properly.
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#15 Nikitin  Icon User is offline

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Re: MacBookPro...Worth it?

Posted 18 August 2011 - 03:09 AM

View PostLemur, on 18 August 2011 - 04:03 AM, said:

the only OS that takes me more than a trivial amount of time to hack is OpenBSD.


I lol'd.
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