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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > New MacBook Advice...

New MacBook Advice...
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Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Oct 31, 2006, 05:07 PM
 
Hey Folks,

I'm a virgin in these parts, so please be gentle! A long time ago I had an Apple LC520, but made the switch to PC's when I headed to university. I'm now in the working world (aviation), and am using a Dell Dimension 4100 desktop. It's only a 797MHz, 128 RAM, 27GB HD Pentium 3, but it has sufficed up until now.

Recently I bought an 80GB iPod, and love it. However, my USB's are only 1.0, so speed is lacking. On top of that of course, my current HD is only 27 gigs so I can only back-up about 3400 songs.

Which leads me to ask for help and suggestions from any of you helpful Mac lovers. I'm needing a computer (laptop) for what normal users out there need, and maybe a bit more. From everything I've read and researched, I've already ruled out PC's for good...

What I really want is a compact laptop (13" preferred), but has enough capacity to do what I want it to, ie: storing songs and video, running x-plane flight simulator, photo and video editing, music editing, and the capacity to not just mirror but also have the ability to expand the 13" screen through the use of peripheral LCD's for a larger work area when at home. I want to be able to run quality video through projectors as well.

So, even though I've answered my question of which Mac suits me best, do you folks believe that the current Macbook's (not Macbook Pro's) have the ability and capacity to carry out all that I just wished for? Does one even exist yet? Or is everything I'm speaking of only come in the form of a MB Pro?

Thanks so much in advance! I haven't received the best input to my questions over the phone with the various Apple stores, as they all seem to disagree with one another for some reason... Hopefully I'll find a helpful answer from one or more of you here!

Cheers,

GS
     
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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Nov 1, 2006, 09:06 AM
 
you should get the 1.8(3) GHz model of the MacBook with Maxed out RAM and a upgraded HD. Maybe 80GB or 100GB.
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Nov 1, 2006, 09:17 AM
 
I wonder if the intergrated graphics that is in the MacBook will be sufficient for you to
a. play flight simulator decently.
b. video and photo editing.

I have a MB and I use it for some light to medium photoshop work and to be honest its slow, now I only have a gig and I understand some of the slowness is a result of that. Running Aperture on my MB can be painful at times and I've found that the 13" screen can be a little small when it comes to photoshop.

If you're looking to do any serious video/photo work and want to hook up external displays I think the MacBook Pro is a better choice.

Also don't forget the about the glossy screen. It oversaturates colors and that impacts your ability to edit photos. I use my macbook to store photos when I'm away from home. I wait until I get them to my desktop to edit.

While the MB is a very capable hands it sounds to me your needs are little beyond what it can produce and if you opt for the MB you may be a little frustrated especially with the intergrated graphics.

If you do opt for the MB (actually the same goes for the MBP) throw in as much ram as you can afford 2gig is a minimum that you should be considering.
Michael
     
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Nov 1, 2006, 06:18 PM
 
Photoshop is running in rosetta so I can understand why that would slow. Have you run apeture on a machine that has a graphics card and see how slow it is there. Just curious.


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Nov 1, 2006, 08:52 PM
 
Hey guys,

Thanks for the replies! Most of the advice I've heard is similar to what you guys are saying... I've got a buddy who is a die-hard PC guy and knows more than I will ever know about computers, and he agrees about integrated graphics cards - they just don't pull their weight well when it comes to games, and x-plane is no different in that regard as it requires better than normal graphics cards.

Now with that said and the advice you all have given me to this point, what are the rumours saying about MB's? Will there be anything more powerful in a 13 inch coming out in the new year?

In regards to the photo and video editing, I do plan on running external displays (2 other large flatscreens if the price is right) - in addition to that, I've learning more about window media centre and am wondering if Macs can do the same type of audio/video managing...?

Thanks again folks for your advice! Much appreciated!

GS
     
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Nov 29, 2006, 04:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by gorgesailor View Post
Hey guys,

Thanks for the replies! Most of the advice I've heard is similar to what you guys are saying... I've got a buddy who is a die-hard PC guy and knows more than I will ever know about computers, and he agrees about integrated graphics cards - they just don't pull their weight well when it comes to games, and x-plane is no different in that regard as it requires better than normal graphics cards.

Now with that said and the advice you all have given me to this point, what are the rumours saying about MB's? Will there be anything more powerful in a 13 inch coming out in the new year?

In regards to the photo and video editing, I do plan on running external displays (2 other large flatscreens if the price is right) - in addition to that, I've learning more about window media centre and am wondering if Macs can do the same type of audio/video managing...?

Thanks again folks for your advice! Much appreciated!

GS
Thread Revival: Because it doesn't seem like anyone answered your question.

MacBooks (and even MacBook Pro's) have support for only one external display. You could buy a display splitter from Matrox, but they run upwards of three to four hundred dollars.

MacBook's are made for consumer's with casual web browsing, music, photos, etc in mind. And that's all they will ever be. Apple will continue to improve the specs on them, that's for sure, but I would be surprised if they ever do what you have expressed the need for them to do. (By the time they support your flight simulator, it will probably be very outdated, and you will have a new flight simulator that the new MacBooks still won't support).

You would be much better off with a MacBook Pro. Next to a Mac Pro, they are the best machine you can buy from Apple (performance-wise).

Can Mac's compare with Windows for audio/video managing? Mac's are naturals with these things. Your question should really be "Will Windows ever be as good as Mac for audio/video managing without the need of third party software?" Your Mac will be ready to do all of these things straight out of the box, and with more style than a Windows machine could ever dream of having. Why should you have to buy a special copy of Windows that has very little support in order to run Media Center. Every new Mac has Front Row and so much more. Preinstalled and ready to go.

I hope this helps, and I hope I wasn't too late with jumping in!
 Certified AppleCare Technician
     
   
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