Buying a Macbook Pro? Page 3

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  • Derblington 20 Jun 2010 16:18:26 21,264 posts
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    In an effort to avoid a very similar thread, and therefore being e-shouted at by the forum nazis (you know who you are!), I thought I'd hi-jack this one for a bit. Warning: blog post incoming...

    I'm after getting a laptop replacement desktop - I want something that I can hook up to a big screen for art packages (PS, Painter, etc), toying with a few game editors (UDK, Unity) and then some general multimedia/web browsing duties, with the odd game thrown in (WoW, maybe EVE, I'm interested in the new Star Wars MMO, some older stuff like Doom3, and then bite-size indie/puzzle games). The reason I want a laptop is so that I can take my shit with me whenever I visit home.

    I'm stuck between a MBP and the Alienware M15x. I know that the MBP will have limitiations on gaming and UDK specifically, so I'll need to whack Windows 7 on there to get the most out of that, but they are also really my secondary interests for the machine. The Alienware will just do everything I want without hassle, but it's ugly as fuck, chunky, the battery life is dire and, well, it's not an MBP.

    What I'd like to know from you guys, apart from general opinions, is what a Mac doesn't do as well as a Windows machine in day to day use. I know, for the most part, they are 2 sides of the same coin, but there must be some quirks or irritations that each have over the other. I've been using Windows forever, so I know what to expect with that, but I've never had a Mac and I'd really, really like one, so I need some assurance, I guess.

    Any help is appreciated :)
  • Lukus 20 Jun 2010 16:27:01 18,996 posts
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    The Mac isn't as good as Windows at nagging you every two minutes about stuff you shouldn't have to bother with, or proudly telling you what it's done like some demented child after encouragement and credit.

    Paintings & Photographs

  • dominalien 20 Jun 2010 16:29:58 6,827 posts
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    Like you said, once you put win on it, you can forget about os x if you don't get along with it for whatever reason. My personal opinion is that os x does nothing worse than windows in everyday use, but then again I have the same opinion about Linux, so you may choose not to listen to me :-)

    So any limitations of the mac will be of the hardware variety - like the lack of an express card slot (except on the 17" model). Also, a macbook pro will not come with a hdmi/dvi output port, only mini display port, so you'll need to rely on converter cables to get those more standard plugs.

    PSN: DonOsito

  • Byblos1 20 Jun 2010 16:35:24 170 posts
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    If you could list the things that come under day to day use for you then that would be helpful.

    Personally I find gaming is the only area where it's a bit crippled, though I'd never buy a gaming laptop so I don't mind.

    There are also some work-related bits of software that I can't get on a Mac but I have a desktop PC so I can switch between the two very easily and process things on the PC, and send them to the Mac with Dropbox.
  • dominalien 20 Jun 2010 16:39:12 6,827 posts
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    Lukus wrote:
    The Mac isn't as good as Windows at nagging you every two minutes about stuff you shouldn't have to bother with, or proudly telling you what it's done like some demented child after encouragement and credit.

    Lukus is right. Os x is much more understated in the way it informs you of things. Instead of showing 5 messages proudly announcing "it has discovered a drive", "it is installing a drive", "it is searching for a driver", etc., it'll just show a drive icon on the desktop. It IS a different system, with different ways of doing things, so you need to be prepared for some adjustment. E.g. Many people insist on minimising windows in os x like they do in windows, whereas it's much more sensible to simply hide them (cmd-H) so they don't take up any space and get back to them via the application icon in the dock.

    PSN: DonOsito

  • Derblington 20 Jun 2010 16:50:25 21,264 posts
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    Byblos1 wrote:
    If you could list the things that come under day to day use for you then that would be helpful.
    Fair point. Day to day actions are really just web browsing, music, downloading tv shows, etc, and I know the Mac will be fine with that. The art packages are things that I want to learn, and I use my consoles for gaming so outside of MMOs there's nothing current that I want it for.

    I guess I'm after things that OS X does differently, whether there are any problems if things go wrong (searching for solutions, drivers or anything similar), etc. I assume that most of the internet is set up for Windows users purely because of the install base, and while there are corners of it dedicated to the other, slightly cooler, population of keyboard ninjas, I'm not part of that gang yet so I don't know the lingo.

    I dunno, maybe my worries are baseless? I'm happy for Apple to own my gadget needs (iPhone and iPad), but when it comes to PCs I'm hesitant to jump ship from what I know.
  • Deleted user 20 June 2010 16:51:46
    The only part of OSX that annoys me over Windows is how it doesn't like you unplugging USB drives without firm ejecting them. But that is the only 'alert' box I ever get. Which is still a welcome change from Windows desperately wanting a cookie every time anything ever happens.
  • Lukus 20 Jun 2010 16:56:00 18,996 posts
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    I jumped ship at the beginning of this year and so far there's nothing I miss from using PCs or am unable to do that I did before (except put tracks onto my MP3 player, but that's mostly Sony's fault).
    I don't hate PCs by any stretch and I'm certainly not a wanky Apple fanboy, but I don't miss all the handholding and mollycoddling. I know some people enjoy tinkering and optimising and getting all obsessed with getting every last bit of power out of their computer and the like, but that's not for me.

    Paintings & Photographs

  • Derblington 20 Jun 2010 17:07:29 21,264 posts
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    No, that's not for me either. When I buy something I just expect it to work.
  • dominalien 20 Jun 2010 17:11:26 6,827 posts
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    I dunno, maybe my worries are baseless? I'm happy for Apple to own my gadget needs (iPhone and iPad), but when it comes to PCs I'm hesitant to jump ship from what I know.

    It's not like it's a life long commitment or anything. Even if you appreciate the hardware you don't have to put up with the system if you don't want to.

    I'd recommend, however, that you resist any initial urge to immediately install Windows for comfort and try to learn your way around os x first.

    PSN: DonOsito

  • Derblington 20 Jun 2010 17:12:41 21,264 posts
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    Oooh, here's something: MSN Messenger. I use it all day, every day. iChat doesn't support MSN functionality, that I know about (hopefully I'm wrong?), and I know there's a Mac specific version of Messenger, so how good is that (features, stability, etc)?
  • dominalien 20 Jun 2010 17:13:25 6,827 posts
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    Adium. It's excellent.

    PSN: DonOsito

  • PhoenixFlames 20 Jun 2010 17:14:44 8,899 posts
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    OSX is easy. It just works :)

    PSN - phoenix1flames

  • Derblington 20 Jun 2010 17:16:05 21,264 posts
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    dominalien wrote:
    It's not like it's a life long commitment or anything. Even if you appreciate the hardware you don't have to put up with the system if you don't want to.

    I'd recommend, however, that you resist any initial urge to immediately install Windows for comfort and try to learn your way around os x first.
    I know, and I'm of the opinion that OS X is half of the appeal of a Mac - if I was just going to run Windows then it would be a little pointless to switch to Apple in order to do that. It would be installed, eventually, with Parallels for a few programs here and there.
  • Jeepers 20 Jun 2010 17:16:21 13,173 posts
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    Worth installing Growl (a system-wide notification system) as well.
  • Gl3n Moderator 20 Jun 2010 17:17:58 5,313 posts
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    Jeepers wrote:
    Worth installing Growl (a system-wide notification system) as well.

    Think it comes with Adium these days.

    PSN: Glendemic Xbox: Gl3n Steam: Gl3n

  • Byblos1 20 Jun 2010 17:24:03 170 posts
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    Derblington wrote:

    I guess I'm after things that OS X does differently, whether there are any problems if things go wrong (searching for solutions, drivers or anything similar), etc. I assume that most of the internet is set up for Windows users purely because of the install base, and while there are corners of it dedicated to the other, slightly cooler, population of keyboard ninjas, I'm not part of that gang yet so I don't know the lingo.

    I dunno, maybe my worries are baseless? I'm happy for Apple to own my gadget needs (iPhone and iPad), but when it comes to PCs I'm hesitant to jump ship from what I know.

    There are millions of Mac users out there so if you come across an issue you can type it into Google and the chances are you'll find a solution.

    The fact that you'll have the exact same computer as thousands of others makes it much easier for people to help you if it's a hardware problem too (and the chances are there will be people out there with the exact same questions and/or problem).

    Plus I find the fact that as there are fewer voices out there actually means the signal to noise is a lot better than if I'm searching for the solution to a PC problem!

    Though I've not had any issues with my Mac, I understand Apple are pretty good on that end too, so it's not like you'll be trying to track down some company from the back of beyond for help.

    In terms of getting to know how to use a Mac, again, there's tons of tips and help for people switching from PC to Mac so I'd be amazed if any question or problem you have hasn't been dealt with somewhere before.



  • Derblington 22 Jun 2010 21:14:49 21,264 posts
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    OK, new question for you boys: Where's the cheapest place I can get a MBP? Amazon is cheaper than Apple by a couple of hundred quid, and Dixons duty free at Heathrow is a saving of sixty quid on that... Any more for any more?

    Tempted to try and pick one up while back in the UK this weekend though I suspect that, because of having to cover the hotel bills myself and expense them back through work, I might not have the total cash and have to settle with an iPad (if I can find one) instead.
  • Derblington 22 Jun 2010 21:14:59 21,264 posts
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    Post deleted
  • Deleted user 22 June 2010 21:23:32
    Make sure you don't get fobbed off with an old spec machine.
  • Deleted user 22 June 2010 21:35:48
    If you know any students access the Education store via their proxy. They don't have to buy it or anything you generally just need access to a college/uni pc or a computer that has its proxy settings changed so the store recognises you are at an institution.
  • Deleted user 22 June 2010 21:40:35
    15% off isn't it?
  • Derblington 22 Jun 2010 21:49:57 21,264 posts
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    Nice one.

    /wonders off to seduce teachers and/or (uni) students
  • Deleted user 22 June 2010 21:52:20
    Or try Open University.
  • FairgroundTown 22 Jun 2010 21:57:46 2,522 posts
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    I bought mine at John Lewis - same prices/ specs as Apple.com but with 2 year guarantee.
  • Derblington 23 Jun 2010 13:23:37 21,264 posts
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    Continuing on with my informative questioning, where's good for software reviews? Atm, I'm specifically after finding out about iWork '09 and Office 10 (can only find 08, currently), but general review places would be beneficial.
  • Jeepers 23 Jun 2010 13:28:12 13,173 posts
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    Macintouch.com is an excellent resource for all things Apple. Or Macnn.com for a slightly more frothy mouthed pov.
  • blimeyguvnor87 24 Jun 2010 21:30:34 197 posts
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    Post deleted
  • buggrit 25 Jun 2010 18:29:33 5,178 posts
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    Derblington wrote:
    Continuing on with my informative questioning, where's good for software reviews? Atm, I'm specifically after finding out about iWork '09 and Office 10 (can only find 08, currently), but general review places would be beneficial.
    Office 10 doesn't exist for Mac. 11 is in beta at the moment, releasing pretty soon. 2008 is horrible.
  • dominalien 25 Jun 2010 19:23:10 6,827 posts
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    Don't look at reviews. Download neooffice and see if it does what you need. If it doesn't, download the iwork trial and see whether that one does. If neither does, get msoffice.

    PSN: DonOsito

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