Should I buy a Macbook Pro or a custom built laptop?

KDLH

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Jul 10, 2013
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Okay, I'm a student just turned 17. I'm starting my 2nd year in college in September then I'm going on to higher education either at university or stay at college to do a HND course there. This is a big deal as I'll be using the new computer to do work.

I use my current computer to video editing, photo editing, 3d modeling/animation, college work, watch hd videos and browse the web

I've been told by people who are at or been to university that I should defiantly get a mac. Including my brother who has a Macbook Pro, I've used it a few time and I love it. I really want one because of it, but I really don't know if its the best decision and a £1000 is a big price to pay.

I want a latop/notebook because I miss the freedom of having one and not grounded to one area, also I'll need one to take to college and uni.
I don't mind the OS, I like windows and OS x.

I'm looking at a 13inch Macbook Pro
specs: 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
8GB 1600MHz memory
750GB 5400-rpm hard drive
Intel HD Graphics 4000
Built-in battery (7 hours)
For £1,249.00 inc VAT

or a custom built laptop
the specs are going to be around;
8gb of ram
i7 processor
either 500gb hdd or 250 gb ssd and I'm undecided with the graphics. Most likely nvidia card with 1gb ram.

The price for the laptop will be about £200 cheaper, however the battery life is going to be short and laptops usually get really warm fast.

I used my brothers macbook pro pretty much all day once and it lasted around 8 hours battery life and it did get warm but no where near as hot as my old laptop did.

So, what should I get? Any personal opinions or experiences please share with me, Thanks.
 

lightsong

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Jan 27, 2013
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Macbook Pro has not yet released its Haswell update... You may want to really consider waiting until its released before pulling the trigger (It will most likely not be available until after school has started). But your going to get better graphics, battery life, and probably others. Some time in September is when most are predicting Apple releases the info about the new macbook's
 

win7guru

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Mar 9, 2011
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A macbook pro is ideal for what you want to do with multimedia. However PC software is starting to catch up. Adobe CS6 took a step in the right direction for windows based devices. For what you need to do you will have to spend a bit more and get a dedicated graphics processor in your laptop whether it is mac or windows based.
 

KDLH

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Jul 10, 2013
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I was also considering saving a bit more and buy the cheaper model of Macbook Pro and upgrade it. I saw a couple of videos from unboxtheropy where they got a macbook pro, not sure the version and gave it either 8 or 16gb of RAM and 2 500gb SSD raid storage. I would love to do that, but that would cost too much.
 

win7guru

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You cannot upgrade the graphics on a laptop so you really need one with a dedicated graphics card built in. Also any upgrades on the newer Macbook Pro's are beyond difficult. It has gotten so bad that the Apple store will give you a brand new laptop if yours dies under warranty and send the old one to the factory to get fixed.
 
Yeah, Mac systems really are great - especially for what you'd like to do - but I agree with win7guru: upgrades on them are far more complicated (Mac has a very proprietary platform), and having a dedicated video card will aid you well. You can get yourself a very well built Windows laptop for considerably cheaper, but then, you're subjected to Windows is all.

It will be up to you, and up to how much you want to spend. No doubt that a Mac will serve your needs best.
 

Apparishion

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May 13, 2013
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To KDLH,

First, the short version of my suggestion is; go with the mac. You should be far better off and a lot happier with less less manual work to get going.

Now, laptops CAN be upgraded. Anyone who says otherwise, either doesn't have a clue of what they're talking about, or are speaking too simply, and potentially leading with misinformation. Laptops are a lot like cars. Sure, all cars have a battery, engine, seats, windshield, wheels etc.. and even some automakers design their vehicles to have standard electrical interface, mechanical footprints, and outputs on parts to be somewhat interchangeable. However, you aren't gonna go get a VW bug, and start swapping parts with a Cadillac anytime soon. You can upgrade some components and hard ware rather simply and quickly.. I.e. HDD / DVD / RAM / fans.. etc. Upgrading the Mainboard(s) and video boards is possible and doable, and if someone wanted to REALLY get crazy with them, upgrade beyond the confines of the case structure. And that all depends on how tech savvy the user is.

Typical PC makers who support the PC platforms use standardization of interfaces and voltages to support a wide market. Problem is, you could purchase a component that will work, and does, but under-performs, or is made from impure copper wiring or shotty soldering, or poor craftsmanship, or even barely finished software driver support. You won't find that with an Apple product too often. Does happen! But rarely. Apple won't go to market for software or hardware that isn't fully polished. And for that purpose, the hardware and software is a bit more pricey.

I have Apple products and PC products at home and at work. It just depends on what you want to do with them. I have a $4,000+ gaming PC at home, and a $4,000+ work Apple MacBook Pro at work. I love my gaming pc for playing multiple games or multiple instances of the same game on one computer. I also love my MBPro for its ease of use, and versatility for 3D graphics, images, and video software. I should also mention some of the software "limitations" of Macs. Excel vs Numbers etc. While Excel is more common and definitely more familiar on a day to day basis, it does out perform by ingenuity of ease of use vs numbers. Yet as Numbers may be more polished, and much less likely to "glitch" or "crash", you do lose some versatility.

Finally, one consideration. PC platforms generally do not have a user friendly program to run both Mac OS on a PC based system. However, Apple does offer several OS standard applications to have bootable Windows, or side by side operating systems with WinX and OSx at the same time. To me, this potential opens far more options as a stand alone laptop or computer than any PC I have built, bought, or found.
 

lightsong

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Jan 27, 2013
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Macbook Pro has not yet released its Haswell update... You may want to really consider waiting until its released before pulling the trigger (It will most likely not be available until after school has started). But your going to get better graphics, battery life, and probably others. Some time in September is when most are predicting Apple releases the info about the new macbook's
 
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