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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Ubquitious MB vs MBP question

View Poll Results: which laptop is a better deal
Poll Options:
MacBook Pro is a better deal - pure speed baby 7 votes (18.92%)
MacBook is a better deal - less money and almost as fast 19 votes (51.35%)
The discounted Prior Generation MB is the best deal 11 votes (29.73%)
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll
Ubquitious MB vs MBP question
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Oct 14, 2008, 08:10 PM
 
Ok, now that apple has unveiled its latest and greats laptops, the difference between the two laptops is razer thin.

The MBP has a better GPU, actually two GPUs that are probably superior to the GPU included in the MB. The MBP has FW, a larger screen and footprint and the MBP costs about a grand more then the MB.

The question is, how much performance boost will the new GPUs in the MBP provide over the MBs? Because all other specficiations are identical (except for size/weight and FW).

Personally I'd love to have the MBP but I'm having a hard time justifying the cost, especially since I'm happy with the performance of my current laptop (a 2006 MBP). I'm not sure if the new MB's will surpass the performance of my current MBP but I gotta believe it will.
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Oct 14, 2008, 08:27 PM
 
A prior-generation MBP is the best deal IMO. With a clearance model, you can get the bigger screen, better GPU, Firewire and 2.4 GHz processor for the same price as the new MacBook. If you go refurb, you can get an even better MBP for the same price.
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Oct 14, 2008, 10:27 PM
 
The performance difference depends entirely on the apps you use. If they can take significant advantage of the GPU as a general purpose computer, the performance difference will be dramatic.

The new ones are certainly faster than one from 2006.
     
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Oct 15, 2008, 04:10 AM
 
The previous MBP gives you both firewire options and the matt screen.
And DVI and a real track pad button.
Depending what happens with the new version of the 17", the previous generation of MBPs could keep their 2nd hand value for some time, iThinkā„¢.
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Oct 15, 2008, 07:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
The performance difference depends entirely on the apps you use..
My main application is Aperture and with apple (and adobe) relying more and more on the GPU, I'm leaning towards the MBP (the price is killing me). I want a smaller lighter laptop though and I like the small form factor. I'll have the laptop hooked up to a monitor when I'm home but when I travel size and weight are more an issue now then in the past.

If I can sneak out of work early enough today, I'll have the time to head to my local apple store and check them both out.
~Mike
     
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Oct 15, 2008, 08:35 AM
 
Then go to a store, ask a Mac genius if you can try Aperture on one of the MacBooks and judge for yourself whether it's fast enough. Also, if you can't afford a MacBook Pro, then you simply can't afford it.
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Oct 15, 2008, 08:48 AM
 
I'm concerned with this as well. My main concern is game performance, which is for me non existent on my original Core Duo MB. But I noticed they were running COD4 on the MB. Is anyone familiar with the new graphics of the MB? I assume its still intergrated, which leaves me confused how they were pulling off COD4.

When I upgrade, I want gaming to be a very viable option. If I have to go with the Pro I will, but if the MB would do then it's certainly the more attractive option.
     
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Oct 15, 2008, 09:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
My main application is Aperture
Say no more, go with the MBP.
     
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Oct 16, 2008, 01:37 AM
 
Aperture is my primary app. What Mark said, for Aperture
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Say no more, go with the MBP.
Personally I suggest you look at the 17" even a refurbished model.

-Allen Wicks
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Oct 16, 2008, 08:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Say no more, go with the MBP.
I'm setting up a comparison blog on my syslog.me blog and the differences between the 2.4 MB and MBP is razor thin. For 400 dollars more ($1,600 vs. $2,000) I get a much better GPU and FW. The downside is I also get a larger laptop which is what I wanted to avoid. I'm partial to the smaller footprint but since it will be my main machine and my main application is Aperture the MBP makes too much sense.

Of course once I get to the apple store and start playing around, my tune may change
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Oct 16, 2008, 11:10 AM
 
On this particular one, the lack of FW killed the MB for me. I would've lived with this 'new' graphics solution and ditch my Rev.A MBP, but now I'm looking at the last gen MBP at 2.5ghz for $1500.
     
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Oct 16, 2008, 12:22 PM
 
I ended up ordering a refurb 2.4ghz 15"MBP (matte) for $1350 last night. New machines look great and I'm sure perform awesome, but I just can't justify the cost difference in what to me would be virtually the same machine and being forced into glossy when I prefer matte.

Wish the new MB had firewire, then it'd be a no brainer.
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Oct 16, 2008, 01:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by iREZ View Post
I ended up ordering a refurb 2.4ghz 15"MBP (matte) for $1350 last night. New machines look great and I'm sure perform awesome, but I just can't justify the cost difference in what to me would be virtually the same machine and being forced into glossy when I prefer matte.

Wish the new MB had firewire, then it'd be a no brainer.
This is exactly what I did as well. If only the MacBook had FW I would have gotten that in a heartbeat.
     
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Oct 16, 2008, 02:24 PM
 
It's always weird to me that people don't really choose by screen size. That's the most obvious separation to me... if you need a larger screen size, as your main computer or you need a smaller one because you travel often and it's mainly for school, etc...

I always recommend people choose by screen size UNLESS they're some unusual power consideration that they need (for instance, Aperture).
     
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Oct 16, 2008, 05:44 PM
 
I just got back from the apple store to see the new laptops and all I can say is OMG they are certainly a visually impressive computer.

While I was leaning towards the MBP because of the GPU, I found it heavier and larger then I think I really want. The MB is a great size to travel with, and when I start taking classes again next year, lugging the MB around will not be hassle.

The downside is Aperture since I use that quite extensively, but if I got the MB, It will not be my main machine, one for traveling (using aperture), light use around the house etc.
~Mike
     
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Oct 16, 2008, 06:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by chipchen View Post
It's always weird to me that people don't really choose by screen size. That's the most obvious separation to me... if you need a larger screen size, as your main computer or you need a smaller one because you travel often and it's mainly for school, etc...

I always recommend people choose by screen size UNLESS they're some unusual power consideration that they need (for instance, Aperture).
To be honest with you, I used to feel a giant difference between the 12" and 15" powerbook screen resolutions (being a 12" owner and glad I was) but the 13" widescreen of the macbook has really narrowed the gap in screen size (and increased footprint), not to mention that whenever I do serious work I'm plugging into my 24" lcd at home so screen size is no difference to me. Screen quality is an entirely different story though.
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Oct 16, 2008, 07:38 PM
 
The current 2.4Ghz MacBook model.
     
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Oct 16, 2008, 09:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by chipchen View Post
It's always weird to me that people don't really choose by screen size. That's the most obvious separation to me... if you need a larger screen size, as your main computer or you need a smaller one because you travel often and it's mainly for school, etc...

I always recommend people choose by screen size UNLESS they're some unusual power consideration that they need (for instance, Aperture).
This is relatively unique to Mac users; Apple encourages/forces people to choose by factors other than screen size by strongly tying price and performance to screen size.
     
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Oct 17, 2008, 02:29 AM
 
I'm currently contemplating between this very issue. Money is not so important as it's a work computer (so I'm not paying for it). However money does make a difference in that I can purchase the notebook for a nominal fee (same fee whichever I take) after 2-3 years.

I currently have a first gen mbp but need more ram. I mainly use it with an external display (with the cover closed) at work. I take it home every day on a bike, and feel it's quite heavy. Because of this weight I'm considering the macbook. I could get the macbook and a separate 7200rpm drive (not offered in applestore) so that part is mute. I also don't really need the firewire (I can use USB for timemachine and use network drives apart from that)... I don't play games or use any other software that would benefit from having the faster videocard.

My main concerns are ending up with a less valuable computer when I get the chance to purchase it, and the display quality (looking at that display angle comparison thread).
     
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Oct 17, 2008, 04:41 AM
 
What do you mean by `less valuable computer'? The MacBook is cheaper, so I guess you could say it's `less valuable'. If you use an external display at work, the point about the display is moot, too. If you want a smaller and significantly lighter computer, get a new MacBook. The weight difference doesn't sound like much, but I could definitely feel the difference going from a 12" iBook to a 14" iBook or from a 12" iBook to a 15" PowerBook (which is slightly lighter than the MacBook Pros).
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Oct 17, 2008, 06:15 AM
 
Well I'm changing computers at work, and get my current first gen mbp. I don't really need it so I'll end up selling it. In 2-3 years time when the same thing happens with the new computer the mbp will probably be worth more then the macbook (especially since I'd probably get the middle version). So this is what I mean with valuable... Quite a selfish way to be thinking considering it's a work computer...
     
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Oct 17, 2008, 06:42 AM
 
Well, yes, that's true, a ProBook will get you more money selling it. But if work pays for the next one anyway, why not get the one that suits your needs best?

To tell you the truth, even though I've had all sorts of machines over the years via work (including 12" and 15" PowerBooks), in terms of size, I loved the 12" iBook. True enough, the 12" PowerBook was a little lighter and a tad smaller, I loved the iBook 800's price-performance. In that sense, the new MacBook is a really enticing offer.
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Oct 17, 2008, 08:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by x user View Post
On this particular one, the lack of FW killed the MB for me. I would've lived with this 'new' graphics solution and ditch my Rev.A MBP, but now I'm looking at the last gen MBP at 2.5ghz for $1500.
What other options are there to import video to the machine?
Do they make a FW add on for the ExpressCard slot?
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Oct 17, 2008, 09:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by x user View Post
On this particular one, the lack of FW killed the MB for me. I would've lived with this 'new' graphics solution and ditch my Rev.A MBP, but now I'm looking at the last gen MBP at 2.5ghz for $1500.
Why not the new MacBook Pro?
     
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Oct 17, 2008, 09:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
What other options are there to import video to the machine?
Do they make a FW add on for the ExpressCard slot?
They do, but the MacBook Pro, which has the EC slot, also has Firewire.

You'd only need a second Firewire bus for certain specific tasks, like heavy multi-track recording.
     
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Oct 17, 2008, 09:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
They do, but the MacBook Pro, which has the EC slot, also has Firewire.

You'd only need a second Firewire bus for certain specific tasks, like heavy multi-track recording.
I guess the question is this: How do I import video into a (non-pro) MacBook? (I just realized that it doesn't have an EC slot either.)
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Oct 18, 2008, 10:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
I guess the question is this: How do I import video into a (non-pro) MacBook? (I just realized that it doesn't have an EC slot either.)
From what?

My father takes the flash card out of his camcorder and plugs it into a USB card reader.
     
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Oct 19, 2008, 01:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
From what?

My father takes the flash card out of his camcorder and plugs it into a USB card reader.
Digital video camera. It has digital video tape. Not SD. Has a firewire interface. While it has USB, it's only useful for making the video camera a web-cam or taking still pictures. For transferring video, it needs Firewire.
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Oct 19, 2008, 02:33 AM
 
I think the last generation MacBook Pros are currently the better 'deal,' all things considered... but if I were going to purchase a laptop tomorrow it would be the new MacBook.

What's really cool is that the new MacBook is as light as my 12" PowerBook but has a slightly bigger screen and the chiclet keyboard, my favorite.

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Oct 20, 2008, 08:01 AM
 
I would never buy a MacBook unless I truly could not afford a Pro. It is a crippled model aimed at the entry-level market where price is the over-riding concern. I am a firm believer in FireWire 800 for copying/backing up large files.

Nuff said.
     
   
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