Macbook - macbook pro differences

MTXR

[H]ard|Gawd
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Hello everyone,

I have been contemplating a new laptop and was thinking of looking into a MAC. I wanted to consider a MAC because of the OS. I have been a PC user my entire life.

Specifically, i am an Thinkpad user.

What is the main difference between the macbook and the macbook pro. the Pro model seems to be significantly more expensive. From what i can tell on apples site its just the casing and color.

Please help me and shed some light between why the macbook pro is more expensive. We have been all lead to believe that something that is more expensive is generally better. But i don't know in this situation if the macbook pro warrants a big price increase.
 

taylorwilsdon

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Pro has dedicated video and its just generally more upscale (lots of small features that you don't really need but are cool to have)

With that said, I own both and the Macbook looks and feels cheap while the Macbook Pro is gorgeous and draws complements everywhere. I think the price difference is totally justified and if you even have close to the means, I'd go for it.
 

holybonkers

Limp Gawd
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wow, howmany of these threads are we gonna get? there have been atleast 5 covering the exact same thing.
 

Chomp

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I just bought a Macbook (Black) and I love it so far. A good friend of mine bought a 17" Pro last summer and it is very nice.

Things to consider:

Size/Portability: Macbooks are 13.3'' while the pros are 15-17")

Price: a low end macbook is around $1000 while a high end pro can be around $3000

Need: my macbook has the 2.0 Core 2 Duo and 2GB of ram.. I easily run OSX and Vista Ultimate at the same time. Do you need the extra power of the Pro?

Features: as the other guy said, the Pro gives you a lot more features and power, especially because of the dedicated video card.


I am a student and I didn't want to spend much more than $1500, plus I just game on my Xbox360 so the regular Macbook worked fine.


But either way you'll love OSX :)
 

alphaone

Gawd
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The Macbook and Macbook Pro are pretty similar except for the screen size and video. The macbook has integrated intel video (which really is just fine for anything but games and graphic design) and the macbook pro has the X1600 for video. There's also the obvious form factor differences and you can get a cool glowy keyboard on the macbook pro :D
 

Axewerfer

Limp Gawd
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I do have to admit, this manages to score more comments than anything else about my MBP...

dsc00295fl6.jpg
 

DuyNgn

Limp Gawd
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I do have to admit, this manages to score more comments than anything else about my MBP...

Can't agree more. Loads of times my professor decides to cut the light for some series of images. Most other laptop users couldn't see a thing... and many around me turned my direction... surprised at my brightly lit keyboard. :D Made me blush sometimes. lol j/k

All jokes aside, here's what you are looking for (click on Compare Specs and then Complete Specs):
http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APP...ore.woa/wa/RSLID?mco=E6B044F1&nclm=MacBookPro

EDIT: fixed link
 

ampedxc27

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Specifically, i am an Thinkpad user.

Well if you've been using Thinkpads, you know that they are excellent quality. I would go for the pro since it would be more of a step up from what you've been on. Not necessarily that a regular macbook would be a step down, but there's nothing too fancy about them. If you really want to impress yourself, get the pro unless you really want the 13" screen or don't have the means.
 
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I do have to admit, this manages to score more comments than anything else about my MBP
whoa. i'd never buy a macbook pro (too big for me), but as soon as that feature is in the macbook (or similarly sized mac), i'll sell my pentium M laptop to help buy one. that feature is seriously sweet.
 

Eric1285

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Advantages to the MacBook Pro:

Bigger screen, yet barely heavier (like .4 pounds difference)
Thinner
Normal keyboard (not an advantage if you like the MacBook's keyboard, but I don't)
Backlit Keyboard
Motion sensor (dunno if the MacBook has this)
Firewire 800
Dedicated graphics card
Up to 3GB ram
Aluminum case doesn't stain like the MacBook's
DVI output (MacBook has mini-dvi, so you need an adapter)
 

t5brick

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whoa. i'd never buy a macbook pro (too big for me), but as soon as that feature is in the macbook (or similarly sized mac), i'll sell my pentium M laptop to help buy one. that feature is seriously sweet.

I have a feeling you'll be waiting for a while. Apple has had the backlit keyboards for a while now and it never found its way into the iBooks or even the 12" PowerBook.
 

MTXR

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Intresting comments,

Since i am coming from a thinkpad, i should be looking into the MBP.

It seems everyone is recommending it.

I will look into it carefully. I might not make the jump over yet to a MAC.

Is there a refresh of the MBP coming anytime soon? And why can you only max out the ram at 3GB? I am a little concerned too that i might need to get components specifically "made for apple" is this true?

Can i swap out the HD and such and upgrade the MBP myself like most PC laptops?
 

SSlaytanic

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Is there a noticeable difference in the 2.16 and 2.33GHz MBP... also... is it possible to overclock one? Does it heat up too fast??
 

0ptional

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Intresting comments,

Since i am coming from a thinkpad, i should be looking into the MBP.

It seems everyone is recommending it.

I will look into it carefully. I might not make the jump over yet to a MAC.

Is there a refresh of the MBP coming anytime soon? And why can you only max out the ram at 3GB? I am a little concerned too that i might need to get components specifically "made for apple" is this true?

Can i swap out the HD and such and upgrade the MBP myself like most PC laptops?

Can you stop saying MAC? it's just Mac...

ok yeah, it's not true that you have to get Apple specific components either as far as RAM or HDD goes.

It's the same stuff PC's use.
There are a few sites that keep track of how long ago it was that a type of Mac was refreshed and how long it is between those refreshes and if it is a good idea to buy now or not. Also I know the RAM on the MBP's is user serviceable/upgradeable, but I know the HDD is a little hard to get to.

MBP's are great machines and they're very well built and they're very good looking and very sleek. Check the Apple refurb website and places like SmallDog.com too if you want to spend a little less or not worry about making such a big investment.

Is there a noticeable difference in the 2.16 and 2.33GHz MBP... also... is it possible to overclock one? Does it heat up too fast??

No it is not possible to overclock these machines, either the MB or the MBP, and in fact, most laptops for that matter. Laptops already have issues with heat so overclocking would just be stupid.

The difference between the two is the 128MB vs 256MB X1600 and the 1GB of RAM and the 2GB of RAM that come with them in their stock configurations, not to mention the larger HDD in the 2.33 model.
 

Jomanscool2

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I will look into it carefully. I might not make the jump over yet to a MAC.

Take the jump. I did in the summer of '05 and have never stopped loving my mac. I was a PC user for at least 4 years (games), and switched to a mac because Blizzard makes their games mac compatable, and I was a WoW Addict (pre-intel days...)

Is there a refresh of the MBP coming anytime soon?

Analysts suspect that there will be a refresh of the entire apple lineup soon, including the addiction of Core2Quad in the MacPro. However, I do not know what will be included in the MBPs, as they seem to be pretty up-to-date. Maybe new, larger memory caps, or a DX10 mobile graphics chip.

And why can you only max out the ram at 3GB?

I am not sure about this. I would guess it is due to a limitation in the bandwidth between the memory slots and the MB.


I am a little concerned too that i might need to get components specifically "made for apple" is this true? Can i swap out the HD and such and upgrade the MBP myself like most PC laptops?

Any components a standard, or intermediate user would want to change in a MBP can be changed by anyone. The memory in the MBP (or at least I would think, I have a PBG4, so I would assume it is the same) can be changed by the end user without voiding the warranty. Changing the hard drive can also be done, but will void your warranty.

Just like all computers, some memory chips do not work well with certain chipsets, but most of the same speed and size memory do work inside MBP's. Hard drives, I cannot say much, as I have not changed the HD myself in a PB or MBP. However, I would assume any drive with the same exact physical dimensions would fit. I hear they use particularly thin 2.5" drives in the MBP's.


Take the jump, you'll love it. But I greatly recommend getting the AppleCare Protection plan. All the apple products I have have a tendency to have a major hardware problem between the two and three year marks, but flawless besides those.

I personally would just upgrade the mem to the size you want by yourself, but grab the size HD you want pre-installed by apple. Remember, get a large HD is you plan on dualing Windoze and MacOSX. My friend got an off the shelf MBP, and was 40% done with his HD just after he installed XP and a few games.
 

Stinkypalm

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I can't decide between glossy or non-glossy screen on the macbook pro. Any suggestions? I do a lot of photo stuff, so maybe glossy?
 

t5brick

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The current Intel machines use standard PC5300 SODIMMs and standard 2.5" SATA HDs. I've upgraded both in mine. In fact, I've also swapped out the optical drive, display and wireless card.
 

0ptional

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I can't decide between glossy or non-glossy screen on the macbook pro. Any suggestions? I do a lot of photo stuff, so maybe glossy?

Glossy would be exactly what you *don't* want for photo work. It distorts the colors you see by a slight margin.

Of course if you're just like removing red-eye and basic touch up stuff on family photos, then glossy is better I think for pretty much everything else. The black's are VERY good looking on glossy screens.

You should just look at both types at an Apple Store if you have the chance. It's really a personal preference unless you have work related needs for one or the other (most commonly work requires matte).
 

Axewerfer

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I will look into it carefully. I might not make the jump over yet to a MAC.

If you can find an Apple store, or know someone with a MBP, try the computer out- that pretty much wins anyone over if they're still undecided.

Is there a refresh of the MBP coming anytime soon?

Apple is notoriously quiet about product refreshes. I remember walking into an Apple store and blindsiding everyone there when I asked about the new MBP, which Apple released without so much as a word. It just appeared on the website and they sent out notification via e-mail. I would suggest keeping an eye on macrumors.com. It's a bit like the inquirer of the Apple world, but if you can sort out the foolishness (like a 50" Apple plasma screen) from the facts, you can get a heads up.

I am a little concerned too that i might need to get components specifically "made for apple" is this true?

Ehhh, yes and no. On the OSX side of things, you will find hardware components that won't work, particularly when it comes to audio. Most major things will work just fine. When running Windows, you can quite easily run anything you can find a way to plug in.

Can i swap out the HD and such and upgrade the MBP myself like most PC laptops?

As mentioned above, yes, but I'd only suggest touching the hard drive if you're really feeling brave, because opening my laptop still makes me sweat bullets. It's really a very delicate thing inside. Astounding piece of engineering though.

A couple of other things to note: Apple underclocks the graphics card for the sake of heat and noise reduction. You can set it back to standard in Windows without too much trouble, although I have noticed more crashes in BF2 than I would have thought normal (then again, it is BF2). Hefty speed increase on games though.

Personally I like the glossy screen- I think it makes things look sharper, but it's very much personal preference.
 

DuyNgn

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A couple of other things to note: Apple underclocks the graphics card for the sake of heat and noise reduction. You can set it back to standard in Windows without too much trouble, although I have noticed more crashes in BF2 than I would have thought normal (then again, it is BF2). Hefty speed increase on games though.

I thought this was only in the Core Duo version and is fixed in the Core 2 Duo revision.
 

matt fury

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I'm much happier with my MB than I think I would be with a MBP. There's no way I could rationalize paying more money for a bigger, heavier machine in my situation. There was a little temptation when I read that people were playing Vanguard in a satisfactory manner on MBPs, but the amount of time I would be doing that isn't worth the extra money to me.

The way I look at it, unless you have a *specific* need for a MBP, save your money and get a MB. They're not toys like the iBooks used to be. Especially the black one! :D
 

0ptional

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I'm much happier with my MB than I think I would be with a MBP. There's no way I could rationalize paying more money for a bigger, heavier machine in my situation. There was a little temptation when I read that people were playing Vanguard in a satisfactory manner on MBPs, but the amount of time I would be doing that isn't worth the extra money to me.

The way I look at it, unless you have a *specific* need for a MBP, save your money and get a MB. They're not toys like the iBooks used to be. Especially the black one! :D

Well, .4lbs isn't much heavier if you ask me (for the 15.4 model).

5.6lbs and still 1in thick and sleek as hell is a pretty damn good selling point for a laptop with a dedicated graphics card and a lighted keyboard. That's hard to pull off.
 

matt fury

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I agree. Which is why I bought a TiBook like a hundred years ago. And while 1" and 5lbs is slim for a 15" machine, especially with those specs, it still often feels big when I'm carrying it. Yes, it could be bigger, like a shitty PC laptop, but that doesn't make it any smaller. This is from years of personal experience, btw, and was basically the primary reason why I bought a MB this time around. (Money had nothing to do with it..refurb MBP was like $300 more..)
 

0ptional

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I agree. Which is why I bought a TiBook like a hundred years ago. And while 1" and 5lbs is slim for a 15" machine, especially with those specs, it still often feels big when I'm carrying it. Yes, it could be bigger, like a shitty PC laptop, but that doesn't make it any smaller. This is from years of personal experience, btw, and was basically the primary reason why I bought a MB this time around. (Money had nothing to do with it..refurb MBP was like $300 more..)

I bought an MB for the form factor as well, but also because I had a PC coming with me to college. Now I've sent that PC home because I rarely even turned it on, and because I would rather use my MB, and now that it's gone, I think I may have been better off with an MBP.

MB serves me well every day though, it's a great machine.
 

matt fury

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I guess the grass is always greener on the other side. Don't get me wrong. If portability wasn't a big concern, I'd say go for the MBP without any reservations.
 

evs

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well i've been taking my MBP to school and stuff, and really it's pretty good. I mean like I hardly play games or anything admittedly, it's just got a bigger better screen.
 

MTXR

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How hard is it to open this thing up?

I have disassembled my thinkpad many many times fully down to each individual part to fix something.
 

0ptional

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How hard is it to open this thing up?

I have disassembled my thinkpad many many times fully down to each individual part to fix something.

The memory is easy to get to, but the hard drive is a bit harder, requires taking apart most the case.

For an exact guide and to judge for yourself check ifixit.com/Guide/Mac/ for the model you plan to purchase.
 

t5brick

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Off of the top of my head, there are 21 screws that need to be removed to take the top case off. From there you have access to the HD, optical drive, the logic board and pretty much everything else.
 

gregnash

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I should be getting a MB pretty soon here when my next disbursement comes around. I have looked and played with both and truthfully the MBP was just overkill for me and what I would be doing on the lappie. I have a nice PC desktop if I want to game, the MB is for laying around the house working on homework, surfing the web and doing spreadsheets. When I am using the desktop the fiance' can use the MB to do what she needs, IE look for wedding stuff :D, so it will give us some portability. I took her to the local Apple store and she said something very computer savvy for once..."Why fork out the extra $300+ for a MBP that has dedicated graphics and a bigger screen when technically I wont be using those. That extra $300+ can go to the wedding or a new set of golf clubs." That last part sold me :D
 

theDreamer

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The only reason I still have not bought either is that I want the back lit keyboard on the macbook, but people always say it will never happen. :(

Edit: Also will not buy the macbook pro has it is over kill for me.
 

matt fury

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backlit keyboard is kinda cool, but if you ask me it's something really inconsequential to be basing your purchase on. And no, backlit MB will never happen.
 

theDreamer

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Well it is not the true only reason. It is something I wish would be there, but is not so it turns me away a bit.

~Currently I have a great 15.4" laptop that is equal if not a bit better than the apple MBP, but carrying around the 15 is not to much of a burden it just can be some days. I will probably wait until May to pick up a MB unless my 15 really starts to pull me down.
 
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I took her to the local Apple store and she said something very computer savvy for once..."Why fork out the extra $300+ for a MBP that has dedicated graphics and a bigger screen when technically I wont be using those.

Where did you find your wife?
 

bobsaget

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The build quality of the Pro's make it worth it to me. I have a Macbook and I don't care for the thin plastic they use for the bezel of the screen and around the keyboard. Mine "pops" in and out of place in a few areas. I have a few friends with the Pros and the build quality seems to be much better.

Another huge one is the video performance of the Pros. It absolutely kills the macbook in comparison.

I say go for it. For 600-800 dollars more you are getting a bigger HDD (120g vs 60g), bigger screen (13" vs 15"), better graphics (GMA950 vs X1600), and much better build quality.

Oh and the higher resolution (1440 vs 1280) is really nice to have especially if you run widgets or your dock on the right/left of your screen.
 
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