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mtown
20th February 2010, 06:26 PM
Hi,

I am studying film + animation at uni soon. I will need a mac that can run CAD programs such as Maya and video editing programs such as Final Cut Pro, with ease. Question 1: Would either the macbook or the lower end macbook pro be sufficient?

Question 2 i am having trouble distinguishing the $200 difference between the lowest end macbook pro and the macbook.


REGULAR MACBOOK
* 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
* 2GB DDR3 memory
* 250GB hard drive1
* 8x double-layer SuperDrive
* NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
* Built-in 7-hour battery2
* Polycarbonate unibody enclosure

* A$ 1,229.00

MACBOOK PRO
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz
2GB Memory
150GB Hard drive
SD card slot
Built in 7 hour battery
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics

A$ 1,449


my main concern is despite the macbook pro being more expensive, it seems slightly inferior to the macbook (the macbook has 250gb hard drive compared to the 150 in macbook pro - all other specs seem idenitcal). Why? Are there other specifications that i am missing which would make the macbook pro superior? whats the point of buying that macbook pro if you can save 200$ and get a better computer (regular macbook)?


Also, is it possible to custom build your mac with extra ram or hard drive space? if so: expensive?


Any insight would be appreciated.

cosmichobo
20th February 2010, 06:46 PM
A lot of answers are to be found here:

http://forums.mactalk.com.au/24/73681-real-difference-between-macbook-13-low-end-macbook-pro.html

Basically the main thing is that the Macbook doesn't offer firewire or SD card slot. For video work, firewire is certainly a preference.

Admittedly I think the Macbook is now not as different since its latest revision, compared to the Pro...

You can customise whichever choice you go with - upping the RAM, HDD, possibly the CPU depending on model etc... but yes, then you're up for more money. Most people will say to max the RAM as best as possible - but don't do it through Apple, as they charge a lot more than just buying the RAM and doing it yourself... (though that depends on your comfort with doing the instal and buying the RAM).

Also - when purchasing, if you don't mind supporting this site, you can use the link in the menu bar above - "AppleStore Support Us" - gives MacTalk a little kickback.

And - use that link, then scroll down to the Refurb items... can save 15% if you're willing to buy something that's basically had a fault of some kind, but now been repaired. They still have full warranty etc.

MacTime
20th February 2010, 06:50 PM
Let's not forget the aluminium unibody in the pro model, very robust machine.

mallo
20th February 2010, 09:25 PM
As mentioned, considering what you're studying, FireWire is very essential.

Editing video on a USB external hdd is essentially impossible, and very prone to dropped frames.

I also highly agree with what mactime said, the build quality of the unibody alu body is really nice!

mtown
20th February 2010, 09:44 PM
Very true, the firewire port is something that i surely need. Would it be possible to install a firewire port in a macbook at an extra cost?


@cosmichobo

sure thing, if i end up purchasing online.

WindowsVista
20th February 2010, 09:52 PM
Very true, the firewire port is something that i surely need. Would it be possible to install a firewire port in a macbook at an extra cost?


@cosmichobo

sure thing, if i end up purchasing online.
No it's not possible.

cosmichobo
20th February 2010, 10:12 PM
Apple have always taken the view that you need what they sell. Thus, no need for "upgrades/different architecture". You don't in a few years time replace the motherboard with a faster better one - it's just not a possibility as Apple don't make motherboards, or any components, that can swap in/out like that.

(The only differences here are hard drives, optical drives, and RAM; and the only machine that you can readily customise in Macland is the Mac Pro towers)

So, yes, there is no way to upgrade to firewire on a Macbook.

mtown
20th February 2010, 10:18 PM
Apple have always taken the view that you need what they sell. Thus, no need for "upgrades/different architecture". You don't in a few years time replace the motherboard with a faster better one - it's just not a possibility as Apple don't make motherboards, or any components, that can swap in/out like that.

(The only differences here are hard drives, optical drives, and RAM; and the only machine that you can readily customise in Macland is the Mac Pro towers)

So, yes, there is no way to upgrade to firewire on a Macbook.

Another corporation telling us what we need. Oh well, they've bought me.

thanks so much for your help mate.

AfterBurner_1
20th February 2010, 11:11 PM
also depending on where you are you may be able to pick up a good deal at a local reseller. have a look at Designwyse every now and then they come out with some truly astounding deals. oh, also check the Apple retail outlets if you have one close.

here in adelaide you have a few options: reseller, Apple direct or secondhand
in terms of available stuff, I beleive there are some perfectly good MBP's and MacBooks have a look on Wikipedia for additional info and dont be afraid to pick our brains;)

ZacDavies
21st February 2010, 01:11 AM
MBP dosen't look that different as the quad core model is long overdue, I'm holding off for that myself.

Meh 626
21st February 2010, 07:51 AM
MBP dosen't look that different as the quad core model is long overdue, I'm holding off for that myself.

Enjoy your wait for Sandy Bridge, which should be released in 2011 and probably not adopted by Apple for 5 months after.

ZacDavies
21st February 2010, 10:47 AM
Enjoy your wait for Sandy Bridge, which should be released in 2011 and probably not adopted by Apple for 5 months after.

Are you referrering to true physical quad core? I meant core i5 / i7 with multi-threading. Should be sooner, ja?

Meh 626
21st February 2010, 11:15 AM
Are you referrering to true physical quad core? I meant core i5 / i7 with multi-threading. Should be sooner, ja?

Yes.

I guess you where reffering to Arrandale, Intel's latest mobile proccessor? Arrandale is dual-core, 4 thread CPU and also confusingly named core i5's and i7's which in the desktops are physical quad-core.

Shouldn't be too long now to Arrandale MBP's.

AfterBurner_1
22nd February 2010, 02:32 PM
yes and no, current non-Core 2 Quads are limited either by stupidly low multipliers or thermal management measures (ie the i7 based quads one they hit something like 60% it shuts off three cores and overclocks the first to 3.2Ghz which more less chokes everything.