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View Full Version : Hey Mac guys! Which Macbook should I get?


brassburnz
08-09-2010, 11:37 AM
I'm ready to buy a new Macbook but can't decide which one to get. I currently use a two year-old 13" Macbook Pro running an intel Core 2 Duo at 2 GHz with 2 gigs of ram. I am a teacher and the computer was purchased by my school and during the school year the students and I use it to surf the web, run LEGO Mindstorms NXT robotics programming, and other mundane programs like Microsoft Word and Powerpoint.

With the new Macbook, I will be getting into podcasting, vodcasting, and some video editing. I'll also be purchasing a 2TB external hard-drive to store the projects. (I have an iMac I use for video with iMovie and iDVD with a 1TB drive and that one is already full. Just home movies and such.)

I've pretty much decided on a 15" Macbook Pro, but I can't decide on the processor. I don't know anything about either the i5 or i7 processors other than what I've read on Apple's page. The difference between the Macbook Pro with the i5 and i7 processor is only $200 price isn't an issue.

Also, what about Applecare? I've never had any problems with any of my Macs over the years. If they did go down, it was well past the 2 year coverage period.

Thanks,

Casual_Shooter
08-09-2010, 11:46 AM
I don't know if it was ever fixed, but I read about issues with the i5/i7 MBP's.

More infohere on calguns (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=307473) and apple's discussion forum (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2420192&start=300&tstart=0)

bak
08-09-2010, 12:16 PM
How about investing in maxing out ram and a solid state hard drive for the current laptop. For video ed buy a imac.

brassburnz
08-09-2010, 12:43 PM
Casual,
After reading the link you provided, I think I'll wait a while before buying a new MacBook Pro. I can't believe the problem exists across all models, even the with the old processors. Seems to me it has to do with switching the graphics cards. I can live with the MacBook Pro I'm using now.

Another instance of Calguns to the rescue!

Bak,
The laptop I'm using isn't mine, so I won't be paying for any upgrades to it for now. For video, I've been thinking about getting a Mac Pro or another iMac. The Mac Pro is acutally out of my budget for now, but I can see where it will be useful for serious video work. Right now it's just home videos of the kids-sports and music performances using iMovie and iDVD.

Thanks again!

sfwdiy
08-09-2010, 3:05 PM
I don't know if it was ever fixed, but I read about issues with the i5/i7 MBP's.

More infohere on calguns (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=307473) and apple's discussion forum (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2420192&start=300&tstart=0)

I've got a 2.53 Core i5, never had a problem with it.

How about investing in maxing out ram and a solid state hard drive for the current laptop. For video ed buy a imac.

If you can afford to purchase an SSD of any appreciable size to upgrade an old machine, you'd be far better served by kicking down the extra couple bucks for a brand new computer with the same SSD in it.

--B

sfwdiy
08-09-2010, 3:10 PM
A word or two about Applecare:

If you purchase it you're covered for a total of three years from the computer's date of purchase, not two. Is it worth it? If you purchase it with the student discount, definitely. One hardware repair in three years isn't unreasonable for any computer, and if you do need that hardware repair the Applecare will pay for itself right there.

Apple has the fastest hardware repair turnarounds anywhere, too. If you take a machine into an Apple Store to get fixed, 90% of the time they'll get it back to you within two days. Worst case, 7-10 business days.

Also, if you're the kind of person that would make use of Apple's phone support, (which is actually quite good in comparison to most other manufacturers,) Applecare is definitely worth it. Phone support is normally $49 per call. With Applecare, it's free and unlimited as long as the Applecare agreement is valid.

--B

brassburnz
08-09-2010, 4:50 PM
I'm a teacher, so I will use my educational discount for the purchase. I've purchased several Macs over the years starting with an SE-30 and most recently a Core 2 Duo iMac. Never needed anything so far, but you never know.

After a little more research, it looks like the i5 MacBook Pro's are less inclined to the crash and it appears to have something to do with the auto-switching of the video cards. I really want a new computer now, but I'll wait a week or two and do a little more research then decide. I also want to get that free iPod, so I can't wait too long.



A word or two about Applecare:

If you purchase it you're covered for a total of three years from the computer's date of purchase, not two. Is it worth it? If you purchase it with the student discount, definitely. One hardware repair in three years isn't unreasonable for any computer, and if you do need that hardware repair the Applecare will pay for itself right there.

Apple has the fastest hardware repair turnarounds anywhere, too. If you take a machine into an Apple Store to get fixed, 90% of the time they'll get it back to you within two days. Worst case, 7-10 business days.

Also, if you're the kind of person that would make use of Apple's phone support, (which is actually quite good in comparison to most other manufacturers,) Applecare is definitely worth it. Phone support is normally $49 per call. With Applecare, it's free and unlimited as long as the Applecare agreement is valid.

--B

Dr Rockso
08-09-2010, 4:54 PM
Best deal IMO is to buy something off of here http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac

Then if you're so inclined you can go buy the AppleCare separately with your educational discount. Between myself and my workplace we've bought several refurbished apple products without any problems, sometimes at awesome discounts.

brassburnz
08-09-2010, 5:17 PM
Best deal IMO is to buy something off of here http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac

Then if you're so inclined you can go buy the AppleCare separately with your educational discount. Between myself and my workplace we've bought several refurbished apple products without any problems, sometimes at awesome discounts.

The refurbished units look interesting. My educator's discount is between $100 and $200 depending upon the unit. Plus Apple is giving a rebate up to $199 if you buy an iPod. So if I buy new, I'm looking at saving around $300 if I buy the cheapest MacBook Pro. If they weren't throwing in the iPod, refurbished does look good on some of the faster MacBook Pro's.

Still thinking about it. Hopefully I won't spend all my money in the "Firearms for Sale" section. There have been some really good deals lately.

Saigon1965
08-09-2010, 6:52 PM
OP - I understand from Apple store emp that new line/models are coming out this Oct. -

Tacom
08-09-2010, 7:21 PM
I only got to the bolded part. Do you get to build battle bots?

I'm ready to buy a new Macbook but can't decide which one to get. I currently use a two year-old 13" Macbook Pro running an intel Core 2 Duo at 2 GHz with 2 gigs of ram. I am a teacher and the computer was purchased by my school and during the school year the students and I use it to surf the web, run LEGO Mindstorms NXT robotics programming, and other mundane programs like Microsoft Word and Powerpoint.

With the new Macbook, I will be getting into podcasting, vodcasting, and some video editing. I'll also be purchasing a 2TB external hard-drive to store the projects. (I have an iMac I use for video with iMovie and iDVD with a 1TB drive and that one is already full. Just home movies and such.)

I've pretty much decided on a 15" Macbook Pro, but I can't decide on the processor. I don't know anything about either the i5 or i7 processors other than what I've read on Apple's page. The difference between the Macbook Pro with the i5 and i7 processor is only $200 price isn't an issue.

Also, what about Applecare? I've never had any problems with any of my Macs over the years. If they did go down, it was well past the 2 year coverage period.

Thanks,

Californio
08-09-2010, 8:17 PM
This

2.53GHz Intel Core i5
8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
MacBook Pro 15-inch Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen Display
Backlit Keyboard (English) & User's Guide

My daughter uses it for school which includes video editing and photography. I was worried about the i7 being to hot for lap use.

jarhead995
08-09-2010, 8:30 PM
Just wait. Apple puts something new out every 2 days. OR they cut the prices

Reductio
08-09-2010, 8:32 PM
As far as applecare goes, get it. It's good to have for a laptop, and if for some reason you decide to sell it, it's a nice added feature. I've had trackpads fail on 2 different macbooks, both times they were replaced within 30 minutes with apple care, no questions asked.

Between the upper i5 and the i7 in the 15" MPB's, I'd get the i7 if you have the cash. It's not the processor speed you'd notice per se, but the added graphics boost WILL show if you're doing editing and the like.

sfwdiy
08-09-2010, 8:44 PM
The refurbished units look interesting. My educator's discount is between $100 and $200 depending upon the unit. Plus Apple is giving a rebate up to $199 if you buy an iPod. So if I buy new, I'm looking at saving around $300 if I buy the cheapest MacBook Pro. If they weren't throwing in the iPod, refurbished does look good on some of the faster MacBook Pro's.

Still thinking about it. Hopefully I won't spend all my money in the "Firearms for Sale" section. There have been some really good deals lately.

There's no student discount on the refurb units, but they do have the same warranty as new products and they're eligible for Applecare coverage. You can still get the educator's discount on the Applecare.

Just wait. Apple puts something new out every 2 days. OR they cut the prices

You can say this any time something comes out. Keep doing this and you'll wait forever and not buy anything.

The release of a new product doesn't make the product you have now any less useful. If the price drops within 14 days Apple will usually refund you the difference.

--B

brassburnz
08-10-2010, 1:18 AM
I only got to the bolded part. Do you get to build battle bots?

About the closest thing we have to battle bots are sumo bots. The robots are designed to push another robot off of a circular table top that is painted black with a white border. The robots have a light sensor that detects the white border.

Most of the kids program the robot to move forward until it detects the white border then reverse direction. Some of the robots have ultrasonic sensors to "look" for the other robots and attack. Others will program the robots to move randomly on the surface until they engage another robot.

DISCLAIMER: These are not my students, but is the same sort of stuff we do.

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brassburnz
08-11-2010, 10:58 AM
With a budget of $2,500 I figured I could buy any MacBook Pro I wanted. I already have a 13" MacBook Pro on my desk at work and wanted something to use at home. I was leaning toward a 15" i5 or i7, then made a huge tactical mistake--I asked my wife for her opinion.

Well, the long story short, I ended up buying the 13" inch 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro for me and an HP laptop for my wife. She had been bugging me for a new laptop ever since her old one started acting up. I actually bought her a netbook for Christmas because one of her friends has one and she said she wanted one of those. But after a while she stopped using it, Oh well.

Here's the breakdown for what I got:

MacBook Pro 13.3" 2.4GHz, 4 gigs/250 $1,199
Education discount -100
Applecare 249
Education discount - 66
Canon Pixma Printer 149
iPod Touch 8gig 199
Applecare 59
Sales Tax 9.75% $1,893.13

Wife's Laptop 640

Grand total $2,533.13

I'll be getting $299 back from Apple. $100 for the printer. $199 for the iPod.
I could have stretched the budget a little to get the 15" i5, but I think I'll just save up again and get an iMac for Christmas. The 27" Quad Core is NICE and it's only $1,999 less $100 for the education discount.

If there's one thing I've learned from 22 years of marriage is everytime I buy something and the wife is involved, I have to buy her something as well.

Fortunately, she can't tell one AR upper from another. Whenever I do have to bring my rifles into the house, I always break them down so she doesn't really know how many I have. She also can't tell the difference between 1911's and Glocks, so as far as she's concerned, I have two of each!

bigmike82
08-11-2010, 12:42 PM
"Fortunately, she can't tell one AR upper from another. Whenever I do have to bring my rifles into the house, I always break them down so she doesn't really know how many I have. She also can't tell the difference between 1911's and Glocks, so as far as she's concerned, I have two of each! "

This thread would make interent history if your wife suddenly posted on this thread. :D

brassburnz
08-11-2010, 6:22 PM
"Fortunately, she can't tell one AR upper from another. Whenever I do have to bring my rifles into the house, I always break them down so she doesn't really know how many I have. She also can't tell the difference between 1911's and Glocks, so as far as she's concerned, I have two of each! "

This thread would make interent history if your wife suddenly posted on this thread. :D

Shhhh!!!

stphnman20
08-11-2010, 6:25 PM
Get the i5.. i7 is kinda over doing it unless you play games.

Demonfart
08-12-2010, 11:21 AM
First of all, anyone that teaches young minds the beauty of LEGO Mindstorms NXT robotics programming is a bonafied hero in my book. Kudos!

For the Macbook Pro you likely need to follow the video editing golden rule of "buy as much processor speed as you can". I do most of my editing on my Mac Pro but I do use my Macbook Pro on location very often. In my experience processor speed is a big factor for that. Someone also mentioned a Solid State hard drive and I absolutely agree. I run both my macs on SSD's for my OS and the boost in speed can be staggering.

Applecare is a really nice option. I buy all mine from Ebay of all places, super cheap, you'll get your code via email the same day (usually), and I've never been burned.

Good luck! And sometime if you've got the spare cycles you should do a post about your robotics teaching, maybe show us a project or two, I'd be willing to bet more than one Calgunner would get a real kick out of that.

brassburnz
08-12-2010, 3:24 PM
Demonfart,

I teach at a NASA Explorer School. Our NASA Center is JPL where they coordinate all of the robotics exploration of space. Our kids get to interact with JPL on a regular basis.

We had a chance to participate in NASA's Summer of Invention program a couple of weeks ago. During the last few days of summer school, we got the kids involved in a hands-on math application where they build rockets out of construction paper, launched them, then used triangulation to determine the altitude of the rockets.

http://i508.photobucket.com/albums/s328/brassburnz/Triangulation.jpg

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