Macbook Pro Specs for editing?

enarchay

Distinguished
Aug 7, 2009
15
0
18,560
0
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?
 

Maziar

Splendid
Moderator
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
 

enarchay

Distinguished
Aug 7, 2009
15
0
18,560
0
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?
 

cbrunnem

Distinguished
Dec 19, 2010
363
0
18,960
9
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
 

halcyon

Distinguished
Dec 4, 2004
640
0
18,940
3


[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.
 

cbrunnem

Distinguished
Dec 19, 2010
363
0
18,960
9


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.
 

hpfreak

Distinguished
Nov 29, 2010
805
0
19,010
49


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.



 

halcyon

Distinguished
Dec 4, 2004
640
0
18,940
3


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).
 

enarchay

Distinguished
Aug 7, 2009
15
0
18,560
0


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).
 

enarchay

Distinguished
Aug 7, 2009
15
0
18,560
0


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

Distinguished
Dec 4, 2004
640
0
18,940
3
@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.
 

cbrunnem

Distinguished
Dec 19, 2010
363
0
18,960
9




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.

 

enarchay

Distinguished
Aug 7, 2009
15
0
18,560
0
@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.
 

enarchay

Distinguished
Aug 7, 2009
15
0
18,560
0
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".
 

cbrunnem

Distinguished
Dec 19, 2010
363
0
18,960
9


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"?
 

halcyon

Distinguished
Dec 4, 2004
640
0
18,940
3



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.
 

halcyon

Distinguished
Dec 4, 2004
640
0
18,940
3


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).
 

halcyon

Distinguished
Dec 4, 2004
640
0
18,940
3


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.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
A MacBooks 0
F MacBooks 2
S MacBooks 1
Alfie666 MacBooks 0
miing MacBooks 1
A MacBooks 1
Chantal.07 MacBooks 2
Naveed.M MacBooks 0
HakimiR MacBooks 0
M MacBooks 1
I MacBooks 1
D MacBooks 0
S MacBooks 0
W MacBooks 2
Andrei944 MacBooks 0
D MacBooks 0
K MacBooks 0
N MacBooks 3
E MacBooks 2
D MacBooks 1

ASK THE COMMUNITY