Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

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Wheretogo2013
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Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

Postby Wheretogo2013 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:39 pm

I am completely incompetent when it comes to computers and their specifications so I would really like to get some advice from someone who knows what they are talking about. With these new Macbook Pros, I know the 13" does not include the new i5 or i7 processor, but a Core Duo. I'm perfectly fine with the 13" (size-wise), but if I'm shelling out the big bucks for a Mac, I'd be more willing to spend a couple hundred more if it makes that big of a difference. What do you guys think?

kommatas
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Re: Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

Postby kommatas » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:49 pm

Wheretogo2013 wrote:I am completely incompetent when it comes to computers and their specifications so I would really like to get some advice from someone who knows what they are talking about. With these new Macbook Pros, I know the 13" does not include the new i5 or i7 processor, but a Core Duo. I'm perfectly fine with the 13" (size-wise), but if I'm shelling out the big bucks for a Mac, I'd be more willing to spend a couple hundred more if it makes that big of a difference. What do you guys think?



If you just going to use if for school, there's no reason to spend extra money for the new processors. I mean its always nice to have a faster computer, but then again, it all depends on what you are going to use it for. If you watch a lot of videos online, run a lot of apps at one time, edit video or pics then you have to spend more money. But if its just web-surfing, word processing, etc. then I don't thinks so.

****Also, if you are going to buy a mac for school, wait closer to August, usually you can get one with the education discount and a free ipod. Even if you already have the ipod, you can always resell it. Then you could use the extra money and put it towards the more expensive machine or pocket it.

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mpasi
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Re: Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

Postby mpasi » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:13 pm

I have the older Intel Duo Core processor, and while I haven't played with the new ones, I doubt it's any different. I know people who are still using their clamshell iBooks without a problem. Macs hold up really, really well over time. The big thing now is to have Snow Leopard. Get that and I think you'll be fine. It might be worth it to go talk to a Genius, though. Were you thinking of getting the Duo Core one from eBay? Apple has a tendency to kill a line once they've come out with something new, so your chances of finding them in-store are slim.

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kalvano
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Re: Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

Postby kalvano » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:38 pm

Wheretogo2013 wrote:I am completely incompetent when it comes to computers and their specifications so I would really like to get some advice from someone who knows what they are talking about. With these new Macbook Pros, I know the 13" does not include the new i5 or i7 processor, but a Core Duo. I'm perfectly fine with the 13" (size-wise), but if I'm shelling out the big bucks for a Mac, I'd be more willing to spend a couple hundred more if it makes that big of a difference. What do you guys think?



Core2Duo is a great chip, and there is nothing wrong with it. i5 is basically a quad core, i7 a high-performance version of the i5 with a much bigger cache.

I'm still working off an early generation Core2Duo and very pleased with it, and I demand a lot from my computer.

For most people, they will never notice the differences, but it's always better to get the best you can afford. It's easier to buy it now than try and upgrade later.

If you plan on keeping it a while, get the i5 version if it's only a couple hundred more.

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Rand M.
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Re: Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

Postby Rand M. » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:44 pm

I've got a i5 15" (the middle spec 15" they offer) lot of Photoshop processes that would take a bit longer with a C2D, but I agree with most of what people have said thus far. If you are only going to be using it for law school process (note taking, web surfing, etc.), then you probably wouldn't even notice the difference. 13" was just not an option for me size-wise, other than that it is still a great machine. I do, however see merit to kalvano's point that if you are going to keep it for a while then maxing out the tech you can afford is not a bad idea. If its in your budget, then it may be best to buy the "most current" tech you can get. I love my new machine and I'm sure you'll love whichever you end up with. They are all pretty awesome.

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GobiasIndustries
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Re: Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

Postby GobiasIndustries » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:31 am

I agree with the sentiment here - you don't need an i-Series for law school. I actually just bought a new, entry-level 13" (upgraded my six year-old PC) and it's perfect. The C2D is pretty fast and they all come with 4GB of memory standard, so it multitasks well.

It was $1099 with the educational discount, and the entry-level 15" (with the i5) is $1699. To me, that was a big difference for increased performance that I won't really use; plus I preferred the portability and better battery life on the 13".

r3dhat
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Re: Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

Postby r3dhat » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:45 am

or you could stop drinking the mac kool-aid (read: paying more for inferior hardware), get an i7 laptop for under $900, and install the mac OS instead of windows.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+S ... 8154377801

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Matthies
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Re: Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

Postby Matthies » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:59 am

I agree with the others here, for law school you don't need more than a core 2 duo. But since you are not a computer expert here isa real world example of a processor heavy procedure and some rough numbers based on my own tests. Ripping a DVD and encoding it to another format, like say MP4 so you can play it on an itouch or something is a really processor heavy action. I've just about finished ripping my entire DVD collection (about 600 DVDs) and used all of my computers to do it. Here is about what how each responded (encoding to MP4 at high quality, 30 fps, 5.1 sound 720x480):

2.2 ghz core 2 duo, 2 gigs ram, 160gig HDD, Snow Leopard, MacBook Pro 13 about 1.5 hours to encode a typical DVD

2.3hhz core 2 duo, 2 gig ram, 500gig HDD, Win 7, Dell frankinputer built as an HTPC on an older motherboard, 1.7 hours to encode a typical DVD

2.5 ghz core 2 duo, 4 gigs ram 128 gig SSD, Win 7 Dell XPS 1330 about 1 hour to encode a typical DVD (most likely due in part to faster write speeds of the SSD)

3.33ghz I-7 extreme (six cores), 16gigs 1600mhz ram, 512gig SSD, Win 7, Alienware ALX with dual HD 5890 vid cards in crossfire mode, 11 mins to encode a typical DVD (at about 50% cpu usage) :) (part is of course processor, but part is that the GPUs help with encoding as well)

The encode test is way beyond ANYTHING you will need for law school. Hence, if you're not doing things like I described above, you really will never notice the speed difference between core 2 duo and I-5. The one thing you can spend some extra dough on and see a big speed increase is going from the standard HDD to an SSD if you order online from Apple. But again, for LS the cost vs. speed just does not make a difference for what you're doing.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:02 am

Not only do you not need more than a Core 2 Duo, but the combination of hardware and battery they use leads to good battery life. I have the last generation, which is rated at "up to 7 hours" and reasonably gives me 4. The new models are rated at "up to 10 hours" and I'd imagine that in real-world use you can probably get 5 or 6 hours out of them.

My 13" MBP, which is Core 2 Duo based, does everything I need to do as a law student. They come with 4GB standard now, which is really nice. It's a powerful machine for the money.

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Rand M.
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Re: Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

Postby Rand M. » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:24 am

r3dhat wrote:[strike]or you could stop drinking the mac kool-aid (read: paying more for inferior hardware), get an i7 laptop for under $900, and install the mac OS instead of windows.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+S ... 8154377801[/strike]

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vanwinkle
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Re: Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:26 am

Rand M. wrote:
r3dhat wrote:[strike]or you could stop drinking the mac kool-aid (read: paying more for inferior hardware), get an i7 laptop for under $900, and install the mac OS instead of windows.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+S ... 8154377801[/strike]

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jp0094
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Re: Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

Postby jp0094 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:38 pm

r3dhat wrote:or you could stop drinking the mac kool-aid (read: paying more for inferior hardware), get an i7 laptop for under $900, and install the mac OS instead of windows.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+S ... 8154377801

03121202698008
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Re: Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:19 pm

r3dhat wrote:or you could stop drinking the mac kool-aid (read: paying more for inferior hardware), get an i7 laptop for under $900, and install the mac OS instead of windows.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+S ... 8154377801


You can't install OSX on non-mac hardware. Not only does it violate the terms of service, it won't let you unless it gets the proper EDID from the BIOS. Psystar was selling software to fake it but not everything worked and I'm pretty sure Apple shut them down.

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firebreathingliberal
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Re: Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

Postby firebreathingliberal » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:11 am


hsprophet
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Re: Another Mac debate...with a little twist.

Postby hsprophet » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:08 pm

My Macs have aged very well. I gave my parents my G5 iMac (six years old now), and for email, web, Office, etc., it still works great. I upgraded that machine because I wanted to do some graphics work, and the new iMac is approaching 3 years old and is great for anything I want to do.

I've had PCs, and after a couple of years they run like crap. Or in the case of one laptop we have, it has run like crap since day 1.

Point is that I wouldn't bother spending extra on a faster processor (maybe more RAM), because it will do you fine for many years. The lowest-end Mac will do school-related stuff great for several years.




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