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timwallG5
19th December 2006, 08:06 PM
I'm planning to buy a laptop in the new year, and am stuck between two models:

MacBook 13.3" Black - 2.0 Ghz Core 2 Duo - 1 GB RAM - 160 GB HD - $2303 edu.

or

MacBook Pro 15" - 2.33 Ghz Core 2 Duo - 2 GB RAM - 120 GB HD - price ??? (ex-demo)


I'd like to be able to fully justify the MBP over the MacBook.

- How much faster is it?
- Is the difference in power huge or slight?
- Does the GMA graphics cripple the MacBook? (I play a few games [struggle to play] on my iMac's FX5200 graphics)
- What features of the MBP trump it over the MacBook?
- What features of the MacBook trump it over the MBP?
- Battery life?
- Reliability?
- Neat tricks?

I'm eager to see a real, proper comparision of the two that's down to earth and not highly mathematical like most internet comparisons.

Thnakyou for your help.

Currawong
19th December 2006, 11:08 PM
- How much faster is it?
- Is the difference in power huge or slight?

Not significantly.

- Does the GMA graphics cripple the MacBook? (I play a few games [struggle to play] on my iMac's FX5200 graphics)

Yes, my MBP games way better, almost as good as the NVidia 6800 in my dual 2.5 G5.

- What features of the MBP trump it over the MacBook?
- What features of the MacBook trump it over the MBP?

The MBP has Firewire 800, DVI out and can run a 30" monitor as well as has an ExpressCard slot, so primarily a larger screen with much better 3D acceleration and more expansion.

- Battery life?
- Reliability?
- Neat tricks?

I managed to rotate the image on my 20" monitor in the System Preferences. It would have been cooler if i could have done it on my MBP's screen, as i would have sat it on its side like a book and taken a picture, which would have looked exceptionally funky. You can't unfortunately.

My take though is this: Do you plug a lot of gear into your machines, or will you in the future? Is the graphics performance important? Both were for me, so I got the MPB.

gmask1
19th December 2006, 11:24 PM
I'm also looking at the differences between the two (I plan on purchasing in 3-6 months), and for me it's the graphics performance that separates them. If the MB ditched the onboard gpu for a proper graphics chipset, I'd be sold on it. I realise that the smaller screensize probably limits the graphics capabilities of the MB, but I just can't get past the idea of having to live with an onboard gpu for any extended period of time.

forgie
19th December 2006, 11:43 PM
I have a Core Duo MB (Black, 2Ghz w/ 2GB RAM) and I use it mostly plugged into a 20" LCD. The integrated GPU doesn't cripple anythinge except for 3d games. That said it beats both my old ibook (I had the last model 12", maxed out in every way possible) and my mums 1.33Ghz 12" PB in gaming performances (anecdotally, I haven't done any benchmarking).

The 2d performance is fine - with 667Mhz RAM, I don't think that there's any GPU bottleneck or anything like that (which is definitely an issue with older PC systems that have integrated GPUs). I can play DVDs and h264s at full screen without any worries. My old ibook would sometimes crap out playing DVDs at 1680x1050, and would definitely crap out playing h264s at that res.

For me, the smaller size, magnetic latch, and slick looks of the blackbook left me with no choice. Oh, and I managed to score one for $1500 in a firesale. :)

Depending on how long you want to wait, there may be macbooks coming out mid next year with Intel's next-gen GPU, which will actually be comparable to a dedicated GPU for 3d work. I plan on upgrading when they come out.

Also, another factor is whether or not you plan on using a desktop as well - it's hard to justify the cost associated with FW800 and extra ports if you have a desktop mac anyway. If I had no desktop (or more to the point wasn't planning on getting a desktop sometime soon) I would've looked at the MBP much more seriously.

Comet
20th December 2006, 01:26 AM
Although I preferred the keyboard on the macbook over the mbp, my wrists hurt whilst typing on the macbook.

In terms of battery life, the macbook is heaps better. But if you're going to play games or anything graphics intensive, don't even bother with the macbook

mechcon
20th December 2006, 06:05 AM
dont forget illuminated keyboards on the pro's ;)

marc
20th December 2006, 06:31 AM
- Battery life?
I believe the battery life is better on the MB, probably due to the GPU on the MBP.

I bought a MBP. Love the extra size, illuminated keys and design. There isn't too much between them speed wise. I'm not a fan of glossy screens, so that's a major strike against the MB if you agree.

Johnny Appleseed
20th December 2006, 06:48 AM
If portability is your main concern (as it is for me) go the MB.

mattyb
20th December 2006, 09:16 AM
I agree with the above
Graphics and peripherals vs size - everything else is slight in difference.

When I use final cut studio I wish I bought the macbook pro. Even then, final cut is ok - motion needs a mb pro. I prefer the look of the pro too but I love how small the macbook is and the cost is pretty cheap for what you get.

Be honest with yourself and you'll make the right choice :)

blackiridium
20th December 2006, 09:42 AM
Hi everyone,

I'm actually a newbie to the forum and am actually still awaiting my Mac's arrival, hopefully this week (I got the MBP by the way). Was reading through the insights on this thread and was relieved that all the reasons I went for the Pro were spot on.

Great topic and good luck with your choice timwallG5! :)

timwallG5
20th December 2006, 01:14 PM
Has anyone here used Final Cut Pro on a MacBook? If they have, can you give an indication as to how fast it is?

(I've read that Motion is supported on the MacBook and Mac Mini - but not recommended)


Would it be OK for gaming (i.e. some oldies like Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Sim City 4, Civilization etc. [Maybe even some newer games at lower settings?])

gizo
20th December 2006, 01:22 PM
I can't help you directly.
But I can tell you that a friend of ours just did a video-clip for the band on his MacBook using FCP and maybe some shake or motion, with no complaints.... He's a 3D animation guy, so I doubt that he'd accept anything too slow.
I was under the impression that the Core2Duo's made the MacBooks et. al. much more acceptable for 'pro' apps.

forgie
20th December 2006, 01:39 PM
gringo: I don't know about "much more acceptable", the actual real-world speed boost is more like 5-30% in multimedia/pro apps. Enough to be significant for a pro user, but nothing huge.

mattyb
20th December 2006, 02:22 PM
FCP is fine for cutting on the macbook
It is when you do complicated compositing that things get slow - that's when the intel graphics chip slows things but for just cutting, it's great.

blackiridium
21st December 2006, 07:49 AM
I had a guy from NB tell me that Final Cut wouldn't work AT ALL on the MacBook which I found rather weird considering that it worked on the older Macs...

iPirate
21st December 2006, 09:28 AM
The only problem I could see with the MBP is the infamous shutdown when one part of the motherboard expanded with heat and caused a sudden loss of power.

If that's not the case with this MBP, I wouldn't turn it down!
Think about it, more screen real estate, faster, more RAM (I find 2 GB essential as I'm often using over a gig), and, what I found to be most important, was DVD-DL burning: Vital for backups when the file is 6to 8 gigs.

mechcon
21st December 2006, 09:29 AM
to anyone that has a g4 powerbook and wants to get an intel notebook replacement... try not to get a macbook with the thought that "oh well its still faster than the powerbook". as that is true, you will miss out on the luxuries of having a higher-end notebook.

I know for sure i'll definately get a macbook pro to replace the powerbook.

FBTN
29th December 2006, 09:24 AM
For Final Cut Pro, MBP is about twice faster than MB.

decryption
29th December 2006, 09:48 AM
I had a guy from NB tell me that Final Cut wouldn't work AT ALL on the MacBook which I found rather weird considering that it worked on the older Macs...

Apple do not support the Final Cut Studio on the MacBook. Apple has a support note about it: "The integrated graphics processor in the MacBook does not permit float processing in Motion and will result in degraded performance and other issues in Motion and other Final Cut Studio applications."

More here: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303782

If you're a pro who does video regularly, just get a MacBook Pro.

[MREVO8]
29th December 2006, 11:47 AM
what I found to be most important, was DVD-DL burning: Vital for backups when the file is 6to 8 gigs.

The top two MacBooks now come with DVD-DL burners.