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Macbook or notebook?

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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September 5, 2007 4:47:20 PM

I've always been one for the thought that a laptop should be small, none of this crazy 17"-19"+ screen sizes. anyway, I'm off to uni soon and I've looking for a 'computer solution'. for ease and hopefully usability I'm looking at getting a laptop, although my home computer will need upgrading some time in the near future. anyway, i've been looking at laptops for about the past 6th months now and I'm no closer to deciding what i want and where/what is the best deal. anyway first off as i will be using it as my main computer at uni i'm not sure whether its worth getting one with a small screen as a larger screen is alot nicer to work with. having said that i am going to take my current 19" screen down to use with me Wii (how i will do that is another question, which for some stupid reason is incredibly hard!). although having said that a laptop with a large screen is just a awkward desktop. although again you can get laptop stands to use the screen and attack keyboards etc for added 'comfort'.

anyway, i've had a look at the apple shop and noticed the macbooks have a nice 13" screen. for the past year I've had a friend preach to me how amazing mac os is (hes at the same uni but went a year earlier, doing an ict course). but how compatible is it? most games won't play on it, .exe files won't open on it, most of the software i'm used to using won't work etc etc. a while ago i read an article (i believe here) about a possible compatibility for direct x on mac computers, any news on that? there's loads of pieces of software that allow you to run windows on a mac, but i've never herd good things about them, and i believe allot of them you need a licence for windows. can i connect a mac to my lan at home and copy files from windows? how can you compare a mac to a notebook? you can compare an Intel processor with an Intel processor, but since the OS uses them differently theres no point. is there a way to effectively compare a mac to a pc?

so is it worth going for a mac book? is it worth going for a macbook pro for the extra screen size for watching dvd's? can you connect a dvi or avg screen to a mac? (i was going to check the ports on the store, but as i did it went down for an update).

if not a mac then are the any really good deals about for laptops? with the back to school/uni i would imagine so, but i really don't know what i'm looking for. all the processors have different names. the one that i'm seeing alot is a T5500. how gd is it? how gd is the t710 in comparison? how gd are the compared to a amd 64 3200+?

well that's allot of babble! hope its readable! any help would be greatly appreciated,

More about : macbook notebook

September 5, 2007 10:27:22 PM

Compatability means very little nowadays, the MacBooks work on intel CPUs and intel/ATi/AMD/nV GPUs and can run Windows.

Macbooks are good, and if your at all curious about OSX it's low risk nowadays with BootCamp and Parrallels and a few other VM solutions they're much better than you've heard, some of the more exotic VM solutions even let you run Linux very easily.
September 6, 2007 10:02:18 AM

funilly enough i have a version of Linux that will run on a mac, but i've never really used Linux much. but how can i compare them? macbook pros are very pricey, and macbooks have an abysmal GPU! are they worth the extra cash?
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September 6, 2007 6:19:38 PM

Macbooks have ok GPUs, the intel GMA950 will do most stuff, just not game very well, and won't do hardcore 3D apps well, but it's good enough for Aero and other things. Although personally I'd say stick with XP.

The question is what you need the GPU for, if it's not critical, then I'd much rather have the T7200 than the T5500 or I assume you meant T7100, both of which are slower and Cache poor.

However if this is for gaming or serious apps, then yes, you need more graphics power., but even then to get outside of intergrated you're going to be looking at either the same or more money. A configure yourself DELL would achieve the power goal. It's cheap, easily configured.

So it really come down to whether you're interested in MAC or not, and if you need the graphics power or not. They will definitely be a little pricier, but they aren't like the old macs where the price difference was huge.
September 7, 2007 1:49:39 PM

well to be fair i don't play that many games and not that often, but i do like my css and strat games. having said that i'll be working or going out most of the time.

when you talk about those 3 processors are you talking about with macs or not? cause i can't find a model number for macs. I'm assuming there T7100's and T7200s cause there the only mobile lintel processors with 4mb cache. is all the power from those processors really used. I've noticed all macs seem to have overpowered CPU's for home users who aren't big on gaming, but I'm not into video editing and things like that so I'm not sure what its requirements are. i'm not sure what programs i will be running at uni but my second and third year will be full of simulation programs which will be quite power intensive (I'm going to be studying electronic engineering), i guess they won't need much graphics power though.

and i am very tempted with macs. I've only herd good things from people with them, and i am always slagging off windows for just generally being so rubbish!
September 7, 2007 5:19:46 PM

I'm talking MACs with those processors, well I was talking about the T7200 he known entity of the MAcBook, the numbers on the fact that the MacBook is 2ghz with 4MB cache, so that make it the T7200, since the T7100 is the newer core, but is 1.8 ghz and only 2MB cache. Also it's unlikely to be the T7100 or the T7300 if you meant to provide the 2Ghz Santa Rosa core, just because it's a different chipset. While technically possible on the old chipset, I'd say if they did jump to the T7100/7300 they'd put the 965 in to get the refresh with everything else.

Either way 2Ghz and 4MB cache on the macbook means T7200 or T7300, which is much better than the other two that you put forward.

I think for your sistuation you're going to need CPU power most, the only concern might be CSS, which should be playable on the GMA950 though.

A friend I know from college does R&D cricuit design on a newer Quad system with integrated graphics (old school ATi Rage 8MB or intel Extreme or something IIRC) and it far outpaced his dual core Xeon with an FX based Quadro which should
September 7, 2007 6:16:18 PM

i get the feeling from the end of that post there should be more. since the macbook pros are out of my price range, and i'm pretty set on a mac now, macbooks are looking gd, but do i realy need a laptop? it would be nice and it will give me more flexibility, but it allot of money to spend on something that can't play games... its so annoying making htese decisions!!!! i've narrowed my choices down to the two lower macbooks and the two lower imacs. choosing is beginning to annoy me now and i'm guessing its not looking gd on the forum as well! thanks for your help so far though.

as for the imac, a 20" display is great, especially for watching films. i macs are compact enough to be transported from home to uni, but not enough to be taken to lectures, although my understanding at the moment is no1 does much in lectures but listen (all the notes are available out of lectures). the macbooks can support a connected bigger screen, but does it need to be an apple screen or can you use any? I've got a great 19" i got a few months ago. and will it decrease the gfx power running the second screen? they run in clone mode so there's no extra power needed there, but the higher resolution will make a difference? does the resolution change? I'm not sure how macs handle it?
September 7, 2007 11:04:18 PM

Mr_PieChee said:
i get the feeling from the end of that post there should be more.


Yeah that's what happens when posting from work on a busy day, got pulled away from desk, cam back an hour later thought I was finished my thought, hit 'post'.

I meant to finish with... that should show that really for the 2D nature of circuit design (even at the large size level) any GPU will be fine. The FX series Quadro would crush an intel Extreme, but the extreme did nothing to hold back his system, because really, there's not much 3D involved in processor design, just alot of 2D layers (close to fireframe, but you're not rotating them outside of a 2D space).

Quote:
since the macbook pros are out of my price range, and i'm pretty set on a mac now, macbooks are looking gd, but do i realy need a laptop? it would be nice and it will give me more flexibility, but it allot of money to spend on something that can't play games... its so annoying making htese decisions!!!! i've narrowed my choices down to the two lower macbooks and the two lower imacs. choosing is beginning to annoy me now and i'm guessing its not looking gd on the forum as well! thanks for your help so far though.


It's a tough call for sure, so me it was simple, I used to have 3 computers (a laptop [bazillion different ones], a dedicated photo/video editing rig (dual P3 then dual MP) and a gaming rig. Now I just have a very capable laptop. Sure I miss some things from a hig end desktop and the flexability, but I found I was spending more and more time on my laptop as I go more and more capable. And once I had the P4 2.8ghz HT laptop I almost didn't need he other computers (except its weak FXGo5200). And that's the problem, if you get a good laptop, the desktop becomes almost useless. And while the iMACs are good, they aren't as handy. It's really a tough call, but only you know which you'll use more. The processing power on the plain Macbook is just about the same as the 20" iMAC though, so I'd say unless you want a bigger screen, then go with the portability.

Quote:
the macbooks can support a connected bigger screen, but does it need to be an apple screen or can you use any? I've got a great 19" i got a few months ago. and will it decrease the gfx power running the second screen?


It will work with other screens, but you likely need the dongle adapter because the macbooks come with that mini DVI, so you need the 'sold separately' mini DVI to either DVI, VGA, or somp/svideo dongles. For any one of those three options it's a separate adapter, but you also have more flexability with it then. I have 2 LCD projectors, 21" CRT, and use my HDTV and regular TV for external monitor on my laptops. And I would prefer thos over even a 20" LCD panel.

Quote:
they run in clone mode so there's no extra power needed there, but the higher resolution will make a difference? does the resolution change? I'm not sure how macs handle it?


Yes you can scale your resoutions, and you can also disable the LCd and use external only if need be. Clone mode doesn't use extra power, and for gaming you probably would prefer a good external but lower resolution capable CRT IMO. Of course the HD2400 on the 20" iMAC will outgame the GMA950, as will the X1600 on the old 20" iMAC.

Once again it comes down to portability over raw gaming power. But the problem is that if you're not looking at laptops, your price structure of the PC equivalents changes greatly, and I'd recommend against an iMAC for value, but I'd say if you're still bi-OS-curious, then both Apple 'i' products are a good starting point and capable machines even in the windows environment.
September 8, 2007 9:47:51 AM

well, looks like i'm pretty made up then. studentscan get a 10% discount on mac products bought direct and since i havn't found anywhere that sell them cheaper than that, its looking like a 2ghz macbook with an exta gb of ram. now to find a way to connect my wii up to a dvi screen for some proper gameing :p 

thanks for your help TheGreatGrapeApe, its greatly appreciated.
September 11, 2007 3:08:49 PM

macintosh is a good thing...
September 12, 2007 2:11:23 PM

Get the MAC, save yourself from this Windows VISTA debacle, it is only going to get worse down the line.
With "Parallels" you can run whatever Windows stuff you need anyway or run Windows through a virtual machine.
If you don't need games, it is easily the best choice.

!