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Macbook Pro Specs for editing?

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  • Laptops
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June 27, 2011 11:58:41 AM

I personally prefer to use desktops, but since I'm transferring to NYU this summer, I don't want to lug my desktop right away, and I also want a laptop for taking notes and the increased freedom and mobility.

However, I'm having a hard time deciding between the 15" and 17" models. I was originally planning to get the 15" for a balance between size and power, but a few people recommended I go for the 17" due to increased expandability and cheaper external HDD options (which will be a must). Even so, I'm not sure how crazy I should go when making the purchase. There are options for 2.0, 2.2, or 2.3 GHz; 4GB or 8GB RAM; 750GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm, 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm, 128GB Solid State Drive, 256GB Solid State Drive, or 512GB Solid State Drive; glossy or antiglare screen; and so on.

I'm trying to stay as close to (or under) $2000 as possible (I should get a $200 student discount), and I'm not sure what specs to select.

I plan to use the laptop as my primary editing unit for Final Cut Pro, but again, I'm also looking for an all-around college laptop.

What would you guys recommend?

More about : macbook pro specs editing

a c 244 D Laptop
June 27, 2011 1:23:19 PM

Get the MBP 17" with the stock specs and upgrade the RAM to 8GB(Though 4GB is fine,but aftermarket 8GB RAMs are much cheaper than what Apple offers).As for SSD,well it's recommended to stay with SATA II SSDs for MBPs(for now) because
SATA III SSDs seem to have issues with MBPs.
But definitely go with anti-glare especially if you're going to use your laptop outdoors
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June 27, 2011 8:42:55 PM

The SSD HDDs versus the default Serial ATA drives add a huge price difference. Is this worth it if I'll be using external HDDs anyway?
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a c 244 D Laptop
June 27, 2011 9:22:33 PM

Yes,the difference that SSD makes is notable.But if you can't buy it right now,then like I said get the 750GB(Stock) and upgrade to SSD later on(especially when Lion comes out)
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June 27, 2011 10:56:13 PM

By the way, Maziar, can you speak to the differences between the 15" and 17"? The main reason to get the 17" seems to be the options for external HDDs, but someone else told me Thunderbolt may make this unnecessary. Do you know anything about this?
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June 28, 2011 12:48:21 AM

is there a particular reason you want a MBP compared to any other brand? the SSD's are perfect for a college student but i'd recommend buying and upgrading ram yourself
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June 28, 2011 12:56:16 AM

cbrunnem said:
is there a particular reason you want a MBP compared to any other brand? the SSD's are perfect for a college student but i'd recommend buying and upgrading ram yourself


[sarcasm]He probably has an preference for the durability of metal and glass or something trivial like that.[/sarcasm]

...or he may recognize that he wants to easily run his choice of OS...OS X, Windows, or Linux. ...perhaps simultaneously.
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June 28, 2011 1:18:36 AM

halcyon said:
[sarcasm]He probably has an preference for the durability of metal and glass or something trivial like that.[/sarcasm]

...or he may recognize that he wants to easily run his choice of OS...OS X, Windows, or Linux. ...perhaps simultaneously.


Hey now, you can run all three on a windows machine.... lol. they are great computers though and if you have the money to spend and dont care that your paying for more than just components then have at it. my problem with them is that they charge 200 extra dollars for 4gb of ram. thats just robbery.
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a b D Laptop
June 28, 2011 1:36:18 AM

cbrunnem said:
Hey now, you can run all three on a windows machine.... lol. they are great computers though and if you have the money to spend and dont care that your paying for more than just components then have at it. my problem with them is that they charge 200 extra dollars for 4gb of ram. thats just robbery.


Heh.... Robbery you say? Apple Corp is a robbery...
Macs and PCs aren’t at all that different. The only notable difference is the Operating System. The hardware is about the same.
Many people comment on Mac as if they are a perfect representation of computers, basically, they claim that they have no flaws. Many T.V. shows use Mac as props; the Apple logo has basically become iconic.
But in the tech world, there are major flaws, and I don’t understand why Macs are even a debatable topic. The iPad was just another tablet PC. Nothing new… iPods are just like mp4 players, nothing new as well… But people still choose Mac for some reason… it may be because of the well known fact that they’re expensive, and it a way to show off, or it might be a fashion statement, because the chassis is always well designed, or it may just be, that you started out on Mac, you’ve integrated yourself into their applications, such as iTunes, and you know that you can lose your Mac world by going to PC, which is not true. But I must point out the facts… on why…. PCs are much better, and money efficient.
The reason why Macs get “less” viruses is mostly because they are much less spammers and hackers, developing malware for Mac. Windows has become a universal platform on computers. 85% of all computers are computers with Windows OS, thus, you have a larger security risked on PC.
The reason why people consider Mac faster is because Mac developers built tailor fitted OSs to work on their different models of desktops and laptops alike. Since they are one joint company, while Microsoft, on the other hand, has to build an Operating System that is compatible with many platforms, there is no internal difference besides its processor bit capabilities. And that makes Microsoft have to sacrifice better architectural designing, and cool features, to avoid problems with lower-end hardware, that might have trouble coping with the demands, this issue was brightly displayed on the release of Windows Vista, which was tested on high-end hardware, but once it reached those low-end net books, and budget friendly computers, its performance disintegrated to a RAM hogging OS.
Microsoft Windows supports almost every software (Except a few built by Apple), and it also supports all the games, movie codecs, and music codecs, and they can understand all mainstream computer languages, not to mention the millions of Windows applications that are imaginable. Windows is the most capable.
Macs are too expensive. They sell netbooks (mini computers) with last generation hardware for over 1000 dollars. A super powerful PC for 850 dollars, which contains the speedy core i7 (ranks number 1 worldwide), and the crisp 5870 GPU (also one of the fastest chips on the planet) from AMD, along with these feature comes a great display, full size keyboard with numeric keypad (backlit), award winning 2x fan cooling system from ASUS, and it actually can be overclocked thru a button that clocks for an extra 0.15 Ghz.
The closest I could get with a Macbook Pro 17” was 3500 dollars, and it still did not meet the requirements, example: it had a 330, a cheap excuse for a graphics card.
By the way, the laptop I was referring to is an ASUS G73jh-RBBX05, Which is now an older model of the series (price was taken when it was still top-notch tech, it still is, but there are already updated models.), the current version is the G74, and it eats Macs for breakfast! And is still much cheaper.

I don’t see why it’s so expensive, why on earth would I spend 3000+ dollars on a computer. That a- is very primitive in terms of flexibility, and b- supports almost nothing besides a few programs that Apple made, strangely coded apps for Mac, and a few others from big software companies (Adobe… (which are available on PC)). I don’t think a logo is worth that much money, when I can invest money on a much cheaper PC, and fit all the compatibility, speed, and graphics performance I will ever need, and still have piles of money left over to get some super expensive softwares, some extreme extra gear, and the rest I can pile up for the next time I need to get a new computer, or upgrade my parts.
Also, Apple has been known to underclock their hardware, from iPods to MacBooks. They do it, because it makes the system run cooler. And provides them with a cheap way, to not only keep it cool, but it also provides more battery life, and it consumes less electricity, so a slightly cooler A/C adapter comes as well. But, are you willing to sacrifice performance for 10ᵒF? What is the whole point of overclocking if you’re going to worry about slightly higher temperatures, that why you have some extreme cooling features (from Windows manufacturers). Some overclockers take hardware to its limits with these features. They go up to 7 Ghz from the standard 3.33 Ghz (Core i7 990xx). This is also away to avoid spending money, and yet, get performance that is ahead of its time. Try overclocking a Mac and see what happens, oh wait… I forgot, Macs use EFI… not BIOS…
Apple is also behind in the tech world, they have been slow to provide Blu-Ray, hdmi, and USB 3.0, while they worked along with Intel to make the Thunderbolt port, which in my opinion, is practically useless, since only 2 devices currently support it, and those.. of course, are very expensive, I could gain more investing in other things.
Also, when you buy a Mac, your investing a lot of money into a system, not only is it limited compared to Windows, but once you need a better computer, you have to get rid of it, or put it in the attic, to buy another computer that cost who-knows-how-much. On a PC, you just simply need to find faster parts online (or at a local tech store), buy them for a cheap price, and swap out the old module in your computer, and then your computer can continue ruling the tech world, while being very cost efficient.
Not to be offensive, but I simply haven’t found a Mac user who is completely computer literate, they do not know what they are talking about, and they always refer to those notorious Mac commercials as the truth, and the reason why Mac is the best, many of them are twisted lies, and I bet 99% of the people who use that excuse have never used a Windows computer as their primary system, or maybe haven’t even used it before at all.
Mac people argue: “you can use bootcamp to install Windows on a Mac, so then you get the best of both worlds”. It is true, you can install Windows on a Mac, when you can’t install Mac on a PC (unless you compile yourself a Hackintosh) but the computers performance degrades, and windows does not run well at all for some reason, and any custom Apple drivers are always extremely glitchy. It is not like BIOS Dual-booting, where the two operating systems are completely separate, you are running Windows off Mac in this case.
Just stay away from Mac, the only reason to get a Mac, is if you ABSOLUTELY have to use one of their softwares which are [sadly] unavailable on Windows PCs, since Apple does have some excellent programs, that I can’t understand why PC programmers couldn’t design a worthy alternative. But then again, PCs offer multiple cheap, or even free, solutions for that problem too.
Imagine a world were only Mac existed, who could afford it? Not many people, it would be something reserved to people with fat wallets… The tech world would be boring, just thank God for PC.



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June 28, 2011 1:39:45 AM

cbrunnem said:
Hey now, you can run all three on a windows machine.... lol. they are great computers though and if you have the money to spend and dont care that your paying for more than just components then have at it. my problem with them is that they charge 200 extra dollars for 4gb of ram. thats just robbery.


You're absolutely right. I clearly don't understand why Apple charges what they do for memory and SSD upgrades. Way out of wack with industry norms. I can only surmise that if some of their audience is so...for lack of a better word...ignorant...that they don't know better or they're scared to open up their shiny computer or that money is seriously not a consideration (and there are plenty of folks like that, I'm just mad because I'm not one of them).
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June 28, 2011 1:48:41 AM

cbrunnem said:
is there a particular reason you want a MBP compared to any other brand? the SSD's are perfect for a college student but i'd recommend buying and upgrading ram yourself


Partly, I've sort of assumed Apple was highly recommended in the laptop area. But more importantly, (1) NYU encourages Mac use, and (2) Mac is a necessary condition for Final Cut Pro (which I should be using sooner or later).
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June 28, 2011 1:50:21 AM

cbrunnem said:
Hey now, you can run all three on a windows machine.... lol. they are great computers though and if you have the money to spend and dont care that your paying for more than just components then have at it. my problem with them is that they charge 200 extra dollars for 4gb of ram. thats just robbery.


I recognize I could build a Desktop with powerful specs for cheaper, but I want a laptop for the portability. What other laptop would you recommend?

I don't plan to buy the laptop with 8GB of RAM; I'll buy 4GB later separate and for cheaper.
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June 28, 2011 2:03:44 AM

@HPfreak

You're obviously passionate about your position. I've built more PCs than I care to remember...many for friends and family. I support PCs for a living for the upper Echelon in a certain federal agency. Yet, at home I use Macs, I have 2 and my wife and daughter both have 1.

I've had all kinds of PCs and PC laptops, I've run (and still run) just about every version of Windows out there. Windows 7 being my favorite.

I love my Macs. I love the design of the hardware, I enjoy using OS X. I think its the attention to design detail, materials, and build quality that I like best but I really like using OS X. To me, its not only functional but fun. I understand that Windows has to run on such a wide variety of hardware that concessions have to be made. ...but Microsoft has done an incredible job over the years and especially with Windows 7.

Right now, I simply prefer using OS X (there's something slick about it to me), but at the office I'm using Windows VMs inside OS X.

When I bought my Mac Pro I debated putting all that money into a custom watercooled, Corsair chassis'd, rig. I'm glad I chose the Mac Pro.
When I bought my laptop I considered a dell E65XX series (would have got a better warranty), but they don't currently offer the processor my MBP has and I know from experience the build quality and design is just not what I've come to appreciate with Apple.

I've said this before. Find me a PC that comes with a chassis with as thick a grade of aluminum as clean an internal layout as a Mac Pro. If you can find it its probably going to cost nearly as much or more than the Mac Pro.

Find a laptop carved out of aluminum and made with glass. When you find it it probably won't cost too much less than a MacBook Pro.

Now, if those things matter not to you, than they matter not to you. ...and I'm not saying they justify all of the premium you pay.

I like Apple's product design, quality, and attention to detail. Its not perfect. ...but that's what I like.

***************

To the OP, I've had the 17" MBP and I can't imagine you'd be disappointed with it but I would recommend the upgrade to 8GB of RAM, but do the upgrade yourself. You'll feel that 4GB upgrade in many things you do and in your daily use as the OS uses it as cache and depends less on virtual memory because of it. If you can get an SSD and upgrade that yourself you'll REALLY, REALLY, REALLY feel that. It would likely be the fastest computer you've ever used hands down.

...and it will likely run well and last you for years.
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June 28, 2011 2:26:59 AM

enarchay said:
I recognize I could build a Desktop with powerful specs for cheaper, but I want a laptop for the portability. What other laptop would you recommend?

I don't plan to buy the laptop with 8GB of RAM; I'll buy 4GB later separate and for cheaper.


halcyon said:
@HPfreak

this laptop would run circles around that MBP. select the 2920xm and the gtx 485m and you have the most powerful laptop cpu and gpu that can be put in a laptop.
http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np8150-clevo-p150hm-p-2972...

You're obviously passionate about your position. I've built more PCs than I care to remember...many for friends and family. I support PCs for a living for the upper Echelon in a certain federal agency. Yet, at home I use Macs, I have 2 and my wife and daughter both have 1.

I've had all kinds of PCs and PC laptops, I've run (and still run) just about every version of Windows out there. Windows 7 being my favorite.

I love my Macs. I love the design of the hardware, I enjoy using OS X. I think its the attention to design detail, materials, and build quality that I like best but I really like using OS X. To me, its not only functional but fun. I understand that Windows has to run on such a wide variety of hardware that concessions have to be made. ...but Microsoft has done an incredible job over the years and especially with Windows 7.

Right now, I simply prefer using OS X (there's something slick about it to me), but at the office I'm using Windows VMs inside OS X.

When I bought my Mac Pro I debated putting all that money into a custom watercooled, Corsair chassis'd, rig. I'm glad I chose the Mac Pro.
When I bought my laptop I considered a dell E65XX series (would have got a better warranty), but they don't currently offer the processor my MBP has and I know from experience the build quality and design is just not what I've come to appreciate with Apple.

I've said this before. Find me a PC that comes with a chassis with as thick a grade of aluminum as clean an internal layout as a Mac Pro. If you can find it its probably going to cost nearly as much or more than the Mac Pro.

Find a laptop carved out of aluminum and made with glass. When you find it it probably won't cost too much less than a MacBook Pro.

Now, if those things matter not to you, than they matter not to you. ...and I'm not saying they justify all of the premium you pay.

I like Apple's product design, quality, and attention to detail. Its not perfect. ...but that's what I like.

***************

To the OP, I've had the 17" MBP and I can't imagine you'd be disappointed with it but I would recommend the upgrade to 8GB of RAM, but do the upgrade yourself. You'll feel that 4GB upgrade in many things you do and in your daily use as the OS uses it as cache and depends less on virtual memory because of it. If you can get an SSD and upgrade that yourself you'll REALLY, REALLY, REALLY feel that. It would likely be the fastest computer you've ever used hands down.

...and it will likely run well and last you for years.


the aluminum and glass isnt what make the laptop anymore expensive in the grand scheme of everything. the aluminum chassis is prolly just press into a form and prolly is faster the make and cheaper in terms of time and resources to make. idk if that was your point that the aluminum makes it more expensive or not but i think that Apple has a patent on the aluminum chassis?

btw for all mac users, anti-virus will be needed after receiving your laptop now.

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June 28, 2011 2:33:25 AM

@LiQuid MeTal: what are your experiences with the 17" size in terms of portability? As a student, I'm concerned that I might grow tired of lugging around a big laptop with me all day - because for some classes, I'll probably be out of my dorm/apartment all day.

As for the HDD, would you recommend I go with the larger one (I believe it's 750GB), or the faster one with less space (I believe it's 500GB)? They're the same in price. I'll be getting an external HDD sooner or later to store most of my video files.
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June 28, 2011 2:34:38 AM

Also, maybe you guys could speak to the Thunderbolt capability? While the 17" screen is certainly a plus (for having more room to edit and getting a more accurate picture of video files), the main advantage of the 17" seems to be the expandability. But if Thunderbolt will change the landscape, maybe the 15" is a better option.

Really, unless someone recommends me a better laptop (because I know: I can build an amazing Desktop for cheap; I've done it before), it comes down to the 15" vs. the 17".
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June 28, 2011 2:39:58 AM

enarchay said:
Also, maybe you guys could speak to the Thunderbolt capability? While the 17" screen is certainly a plus (for having more room to edit and getting a more accurate picture of video files), the main advantage of the 17" seems to be the expandability. But if Thunderbolt will change the landscape, maybe the 15" is a better option.

Really, unless someone recommends me a better laptop (because I know: I can build an amazing Desktop for cheap; I've done it before), it comes down to the 15" vs. the 17".


idk if you saw the link that i posted but regardless that laptop will beat the MBP in processing and in gaming. basically anything you do it will be faster in or comparable to the MBP.

define "a better laptop"?
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June 28, 2011 2:44:24 AM

cbrunnem said:
the aluminum and glass isnt what make the laptop anymore expensive in the grand scheme of everything. the aluminum chassis is prolly just press into a form and prolly is faster the make and cheaper in terms of time and resources to make. idk if that was your point that the aluminum makes it more expensive or not but i think that Apple has a patent on the aluminum chassis?

btw for all mac users, anti-virus will be needed after receiving your laptop now.



LOL edits there. I've had the Sager laptops pointed out to me before but I like the 1" chassis on the MBP and my battery life. :kaola:  . Since I'm not a gamer having the very fastest graphics card is not of much value. If I was a gamer I'd have built a PC rig and would have a different laptop. Many computers are faster than mine, but mine are fast and they meet my needs.

I'm not one of those Mac users that thinks OS X is superior because its virus free/proof/whatever. We use VirusBarrier X6 on all our Macs.

I can wholeheartedly recommend the 17" MacBook Pro to the OP. Not because its the fastest or will game the best but because its a good solid computer that will last a long long time and will likely exceed his needs.
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June 28, 2011 2:47:50 AM

enarchay said:
@LiQuid MeTal: what are your experiences with the 17" size in terms of portability? As a student, I'm concerned that I might grow tired of lugging around a big laptop with me all day - because for some classes, I'll probably be out of my dorm/apartment all day.

As for the HDD, would you recommend I go with the larger one (I believe it's 750GB), or the faster one with less space (I believe it's 500GB)? They're the same in price. I'll be getting an external HDD sooner or later to store most of my video files.


The 17" is big and its weight is not irrelevant, but if it were the only computer I had I'd get a laptop bag for it and carry it. It doesn't weigh enough more than the 15" that its that noticable...at least it wasn't for me.

As for the HDD, I'd get the 500GB 7,200 RPM drive. If when you need more capacity you can get a 750GB 7,200 RPM drive or larger (by then).
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June 28, 2011 2:53:52 AM

cbrunnem said:
idk if you saw the link that i posted but regardless that laptop will beat the MBP in processing and in gaming. basically anything you do it will be faster in or comparable to the MBP.

define "a better laptop"?


I looked at the Sager again, ...after I configured it with a 2920XM, 500GB 7K RPM drive, it cost more than my MBP. It specs nicely though...but I'm not familiar with Sager and again, I'm preferring OS X right now...I run Windows when I miss/need it.
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June 28, 2011 3:01:01 AM

cbrunnem said:
idk if you saw the link that i posted but regardless that laptop will beat the MBP in processing and in gaming. basically anything you do it will be faster in or comparable to the MBP.

define "a better laptop"?


Wait, I don't see a link. I scrolled through the thread and didn't notice it. Am I missing the obvious?
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June 28, 2011 3:06:06 AM

enarchay said:
Also, maybe you guys could speak to the Thunderbolt capability? While the 17" screen is certainly a plus (for having more room to edit and getting a more accurate picture of video files), the main advantage of the 17" seems to be the expandability. But if Thunderbolt will change the landscape, maybe the 15" is a better option.

Really, unless someone recommends me a better laptop (because I know: I can build an amazing Desktop for cheap; I've done it before), it comes down to the 15" vs. the 17".


I think Thunderbolt has the potential to be a game changer but until we start really seeing some peripherals for it its all hype. ...and if I were dependent on high-speed external storage I'm not sure I'd lean on ThunderBolt...there's no drives for it. I'm sure there will be but its still an unknown.

Unless you're considering the 1680x1050 screen on the MBP 15" (which I'm using myself) the 17" screen is much nicer, IMHO. 1920x1200 is a great resolution with plenty, I mean plenty of screen real estate. The high ppi (pixels per inch) also make for a really nice looking screen on the 17" screen...really sharp text.
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June 28, 2011 3:44:55 AM

enarchay said:
Wait, I don't see a link. I scrolled through the thread and didn't notice it. Am I missing the obvious?


no your not. i accidently pasted within a quoted post... but since your like the OSx then a MBP is prolly what you should get.
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a c 244 D Laptop
June 28, 2011 6:20:40 AM

enarchay said:
By the way, Maziar, can you speak to the differences between the 15" and 17"? The main reason to get the 17" seems to be the options for external HDDs, but someone else told me Thunderbolt may make this unnecessary. Do you know anything about this?

Both 15" and 17" MBPs support external HDDs.The main difference between them is the screen resolution;furthermore,17" runs cooler
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June 28, 2011 6:43:09 AM

Maziar said:
Both 15" and 17" MBPs support external HDDs.The main difference between them is the screen resolution;furthermore,17" runs cooler


I heard that for video editing, it would be a bad idea to write to an external HDD connected by USB. Yet, I don't think the 15" allows for eSata connection. That's what I'm worried about primarily.
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a c 244 D Laptop
June 28, 2011 9:45:18 AM

Then get the 17" You also get more room to work with
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June 28, 2011 10:55:06 AM

Maziar said:
Then get the 17" You also get more room to work with


Agreed! Again, I've auditioned the latest 17"...both the 2.2Ghz Glossy and the 2.3Ghz anti-glare. The 2.2Ghz is all you need and the Express Card slot is going to give you those expansion choices...everything from USB 3.0 to eSATA. Given what the OP has written, I think this would fit nicely.
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June 28, 2011 3:00:20 PM

halcyon said:
I looked at the Sager again, ...after I configured it with a 2920XM, 500GB 7K RPM drive, it cost more than my MBP. It specs nicely though...but I'm not familiar with Sager and again, I'm preferring OS X right now...I run Windows when I miss/need it.



your wrong. the processor you chose for the sager is better than the processor in the macbook (at least as far as the website goes now). i spec'd both out,

I went with rhe 15" MBP just so the screen size would be the same, with the 17" MBP vs the 15.6" Sager there was a $700+ difference, which doesnt really account for an extra 1.4" but w/e)

2.3GHz Intel Core i7-2820QM

8GB DDR3 1333MHz

256GB SSD on the macbook / 250GB SSD on the Sager (as close as i could get, but basically the same)

and a Geforce GTX 580M on the Sager (just to prove a point)

and the Sager was $472 cheaper, and way faster (due to the video card)
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June 28, 2011 6:17:14 PM

OP im in the same position as you really trying to decide between the two either the 15" anti-glare hi-res or 17" inch anti-glare hi res. I really think the best thing I would do is go look at the models for yourself in the store. The 15" hi res is great, but for me I am 95% sure i will be going with the 17" for more screen real estate. Besides you have a return period window so I would purchase the either one and if you feel its too small or too big screen depending on which you purchase, go back and get the other one. I know everyone says to just install the extra 4 gigs of ram yourself, I myself will be paying the extra $200 just having a piece of mind if some rare thing did go wrong when adding more ram (yes i know its easy, i just don't feel like risking it on an expensive machine). As for the HD i am going to get the 500GB with the faster speed, and hopefully when SSD's go down in price replace it with one. Everyone seems to recommend sagers and asus' as great laptops which they are, but i think the issue for me at least comes down to battery life, neither of those two companies can compare in my opinion.

However, most configurations will be topping $2000 especially if you buy apple care
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June 28, 2011 7:06:25 PM

r3xx3r said:
your wrong. the processor you chose for the sager is better than the processor in the macbook (at least as far as the website goes now). i spec'd both out,

I went with rhe 15" MBP just so the screen size would be the same, with the 17" MBP vs the 15.6" Sager there was a $700+ difference, which doesnt really account for an extra 1.4" but w/e)

2.3GHz Intel Core i7-2820QM

8GB DDR3 1333MHz

256GB SSD on the macbook / 250GB SSD on the Sager (as close as i could get, but basically the same)

and a Geforce GTX 580M on the Sager (just to prove a point)

and the Sager was $472 cheaper, and way faster (due to the video card)


I had spec'd the higher end processor intentionally as part of an earlier discussion. When I spec'd the Sager similiarly with mine (as purchased, not as upgraded) the sager is cheaper and the graphics card in it is faster. The way I spec'd the Sager it came out to $2,309. ...and it has 2x the RAM as the MBP. I'm not a gamer so I'm not sure what the faster graphics card would do for me. Heck, the Sager may even have 2x the battery life, be thinner, and be 1lb lighter and have a LCD that is more accurate. Its clearly the hands down better machine. Next time...maybe I'll get one.

...but I'm not arguing that you can't get a cheaper Windows machine that performs the same or better than a Mac. ...and if you want something even more economical you can get Ubunto.
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June 28, 2011 7:18:00 PM

Jglitch said:
OP im in the same position as you really trying to decide between the two either the 15" anti-glare hi-res or 17" inch anti-glare hi res. I really think the best thing I would do is go look at the models for yourself in the store. The 15" hi res is great, but for me I am 95% sure i will be going with the 17" for more screen real estate. Besides you have a return period window so I would purchase the either one and if you feel its too small or too big screen depending on which you purchase, go back and get the other one. I know everyone says to just install the extra 4 gigs of ram yourself, I myself will be paying the extra $200 just having a piece of mind if some rare thing did go wrong when adding more ram (yes i know its easy, i just don't feel like risking it on an expensive machine). As for the HD i am going to get the 500GB with the faster speed, and hopefully when SSD's go down in price replace it with one. Everyone seems to recommend sagers and asus' as great laptops which they are, but i think the issue for me at least comes down to battery life, neither of those two companies can compare in my opinion.

However, most configurations will be topping $2000 especially if you buy apple care


Please don't buy the RAM from Apple. If you want to throw away $200 send it to me. Send me a PM and we'll work out payment (I do have a PayPal acct.) Other World Computing's RAM is well tested and I've purchased 3 kits for 3 different Macs and have never had any issues.
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June 28, 2011 7:27:00 PM

halcyon said:
Please don't buy the RAM from Apple. If you want to throw away $200 send it to me. Send me a PM and we'll work out payment (I do have a PayPal acct.) Other World Computing's RAM is well tested and I've purchased 3 kits for 3 different Macs and have never had any issues.



dont even bother with that site. just go to newegg and buy this apple kit:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

you save $20 and shipping is free
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June 28, 2011 7:27:07 PM

halcyon said:
I had spec'd the higher end processor intentionally as part of an earlier discussion. When I spec'd the Sager similiarly with mine (as purchased, not as upgraded) the sager is cheaper and the graphics card in it is faster. The way I spec'd the Sager it came out to $2,309. ...and it has 2x the RAM as the MBP. I'm not a gamer so I'm not sure what the faster graphics card would do for me. Heck, the Sager may even have 2x the battery life, be thinner, and be 1lb lighter and have a LCD that is more accurate. Its clearly the hands down better machine. Next time...maybe I'll get one.

...but I'm not arguing that you can't get a cheaper Windows machine that performs the same or better than a Mac. ...and if you want something even more economical you can get Ubunto.


Does anyone have any links to reviews or info on this alternative laptop? I've never heard of it, and I don't feel comfortable buying a brand I've never heard of.
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June 28, 2011 7:29:06 PM

no, and i wouldnt buy that one. i would buy the asus g series of laptops. they are great, come in both 15" and 17" laptops.
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June 28, 2011 7:39:33 PM

yeah mac is a little behind with USB 3.0 it seems.

regarding battery life. i can stretch five hours out of my 15 inch i7 2630qm nvidia gt 540m while browsing the internet. it only has a 48wh battery compared to the MBP 17 in 98wh battery. something is fishy there since macs are supposedly the best on batteries? maybe its just cause they shove huge batteries in them. my laptop gets more time from 1wh then the MBP(5 minutes per to 4.375 minutes per). just dug that up doing a little research and was very surprised
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June 28, 2011 7:40:06 PM

the 15 inch has a 78wh battery too
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June 28, 2011 8:06:09 PM

In all honesty I'd rather pay the premium of having the ram installed by apple, to save myself a little time and so my machine is ready to go as soon as i get it without having to do anything. Basically i just consider it a convenience fee added on top of the price the ram would actually cost.
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June 28, 2011 8:25:39 PM

the sager? its a highly respected custom laptop dealer. their customer support is said to be one of the best in the country. i dont know that first hand but that is what everyone on here says. if you were to buy from them, you would not face anymore problems then you would with a MBP
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June 28, 2011 8:26:34 PM

a $120 convenience fee. that is pretty ridiculous.
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June 28, 2011 8:33:46 PM

theres no way you can mess up a ram upgrade. seriously you would have to try to break something
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June 28, 2011 9:00:28 PM

enarchay said:
Does anyone have any links to reviews or info on this alternative laptop? I've never heard of it, and I don't feel comfortable buying a brand I've never heard of.


I was being completely facetious in my last post. You above quote was one of my points. If I were you, given what you've written, I'd probably stick with the MacBook Pro, remember, THG, generally, is a geared towards PC (spelled Wintel) enthusiasts. Hey, its one of my favorite sites, but I'm just say'n. A MacBook Pro is never going to be the best bang for the buck...that's not why people choose Apple.

I've heard of Sager, they've been around for years and years. ...and with that model I'm very impressed with amount of customization you can do...reminds me of Falcon Northwest I was considering. ...but I don't believe there are Sager stores to take your computer to if you have a have a problem (if that's relevant to you). If you decide you'd rather have a PC laptop than a Mac do some more research as there are a lot of choices. If, after you've done that research Sager comes out on top for you, then yea Sager.

I don't know...if I were going to get a PC laptop I'd have to at least look at current offerings from Falcon Northwest, Dell, Alienware, Asus, and HP. A Dell Mobile Workstation...very nice
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June 28, 2011 9:18:28 PM

cbrunnem said:
theres no way you can mess up a ram upgrade. seriously you would have to try to break something


Well, its pretty hard to mess up a RAM upgrade, at least...especially if you have any experience whatsoever doing them. ...but it really is the simplest of upgrades. Jglitch, that you'd be willing to pay an additional $120 as you'd prefer not to open up your shiny new Mac. Though I don't agree I do comprehend that.

Its funny, I've had a MacBook for like 2 days in the past and opened it up like 4 times doing hard drive swaps (testing) and RAM upgrades. Remember you're amongst PC enthusiasts and we do love to tinker.
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June 28, 2011 11:43:13 PM

Yeah, I understand that, and when it comes to my old laptop and desktop pc, I agree. I guess at this point for a new MacBook I enjoy the piece of mind that it is done by the manufacturer regardless of how simple and more or less foolproof it is
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June 29, 2011 3:24:52 AM

Thanks for all the help guys. I ultimately decided to go with the 15" Mac. I understand the argument for non-Mac computers, but given the college I'm attending, I think a Mac is a must.
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a b D Laptop
June 29, 2011 4:28:56 AM

Well then, that can change things, hope all goes well.
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a c 244 D Laptop
June 29, 2011 6:35:36 AM

Hope you enjoy it
But,if you were asking for Sager reviews.Well Sager is now a widely known brand but it makes decent laptops with a great build quality and an excellent price/performance ratio.
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June 29, 2011 8:42:54 AM

enarchay said:
Thanks for all the help guys. I ultimately decided to go with the 15" Mac. I understand the argument for non-Mac computers, but given the college I'm attending, I think a Mac is a must.


Nice. Which model did you select?
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June 29, 2011 3:48:06 PM

halcyon said:
Nice. Which model did you select?


Macbook Pro 15" - powerful enough for editing, but more portable than the 17" for my student needs.

Here are the specs:

2.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200
8x Double-Layer SuperDrive
MBP 15"HR Antiglare WS Display

I'll get more RAM later for cheaper.

I know Macs are expensive, but consider this: I received $200 off this model for being a student, $100 rebate for a printer (=free printer), and a $100 back-to-school gift-card that can be used in the app store.

P.S. Does anyone have experience with shipment via Mac? Since this counts as a "custom" order, it says it could take up to 3 days to ship. I leave for college this Sunday, so I'm hoping it arrives before then (I selected 2-3 day shipping). If not, I'll have to re-route the package.
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June 29, 2011 5:37:14 PM

enarchay said:
Macbook Pro 15" - powerful enough for editing, but more portable than the 17" for my student needs.

Here are the specs:

2.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200
8x Double-Layer SuperDrive
MBP 15"HR Antiglare WS Display

I'll get more RAM later for cheaper.

I know Macs are expensive, but consider this: I received $200 off this model for being a student, $100 rebate for a printer (=free printer), and a $100 back-to-school gift-card that can be used in the app store.

P.S. Does anyone have experience with shipment via Mac? Since this counts as a "custom" order, it says it could take up to 3 days to ship. I leave for college this Sunday, so I'm hoping it arrives before then (I selected 2-3 day shipping). If not, I'll have to re-route the package.


Sweet, I purchased basically the same machine...you'll like it I think. I went with the 2.3Ghz HR Antiglare.... I have delt with shipping from Apple for my Mac Pro and lot of accessories since. Shipping is fast and my Mac Pro arrived in flawless condition. I'm not sure you'll get it by Friday, though. It may not ship until then.
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