Is a Macbook Pro Worth the Price?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by Blitzball, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Blitzball

    Blitzball Semi-Pro

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    I'm a college student who does video editing, some graphic design, and a lot of writing. I already have an ASUS Gamer's Republic laptop, but it's 17.3in and very bulky/heavy, so taking it places is very difficult. Not to mention it has awful battery life. So several friends have urged me to switched to Apple products. Since I need decent processing speed for video editing, I figured the Macbook Air is out of the equation. So is a Macbook Pro worth spending over a grand even with the student discount? Which model should I get? And is Final Cut Pro (the editing software) very good? I know a lot of video-related jobs and interns require knowledge of Final Cut.
     
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  2. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

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    Yeah, most design jobs these days use Mac's. Friends who work in advertising, fashion websites and film makers all work on Mac's. Personally i'm not a designer of any kind, but after switching to a Macbook in 2007, working on a PC at work has me tearing my hair out :)

    The new ones coming in the next few months sound very interesting, the new chips have had alot of hype and there are other new features that interest me. This summer when was when i'd planned to upgrade, but i'm holding out for the next generation before Christmas.
     
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  3. snoflewis

    snoflewis Hall of Fame

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    it's such a polarized argument. i have one, and i dont regret it. if you consider the resale values of used macs and whatnot, it's not THAT much more expensive from a financial standpoint.

    as far as newer models, macbooks update over the summer, and the MBPs have already received the new chip upgrades about a month ago.
     
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  4. fundrazer

    fundrazer Hall of Fame

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    Sounds to me like you didn't really know what you were getting into when you bought the Asus. They're great laptops by the way (I'm getting one for my next notebook), but it seems you were caught off guard by it's build type. It's more of a desktop replacement type of notebook where it's expected that you'll have the thing plugged in more often.

    Here's what I'm 99% sure of. The Asus model you have probably has as good or better specs than a Macbook and you probably paid anywhere from $500-1000 less than you would buying a macbook. I mean, they're running the same hardware as windows based notebooks now, but the macbook prices are massively inflated.

    The old recommendation was usually this, get a desktop for gaming and the heavy work and then get a cheaper lighter notebook for doing homework/browsing and that kinda jazz. It seems like the Asus is more than capable of handling your current needs in a computer, so, I'd recommend keeping that as your "desktop" and picking up another notebook for taking to class.
     
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  5. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

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    Yeah, the updates at the end of July weren't anything special imo. They're saying they hope to have the Broadwell chip ones out by Christmas, i'm hoping those (whenever they do come out) will be more exciting.

    Either way, as you say, you can't go wrong with any Mac as far as i'm concerned.
     
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  6. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    In this case, you don't have a choice.
     
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  7. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    oh, the irony :rolleyes:
     
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  8. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    you wont regret getting a macbook but there are cheaper alternatives from other brands that you wont regret getting also. Isn't more the software not the brand?
     
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  9. Andyroo10567

    Andyroo10567 Professional

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    Assuming your going towards the Retina display model, its a good option to choose from and you shouldnt have much regrets other than not having Windows if thats an issue.
    Processor, the cheapest option for Retina display is an i5. There is really not a big difference between i5 and i7 that you would be able to spot other than better benchmarks. So no need to throw that extra $300 on the table for bragging rights. i5 works fine on editing and rendering. Not sure if hyper threaded or not but the more cores the better on renders.
    A Nvidia GT 650M has a G3D benchmark of about 1300. Obviously it wont rank up against desktop GPU's.. Laptop GPU's have the same architecture as the desktop gpu counterpart but have different performance, obviously due to the size of the chip. To compare to another well known laptop, the Dell XPS 15 with a GT 640M chip, the 650M scores about 300 more points.
    Memory is soldered to the board so its non upgradeable. If this laptop is used for long term its a good idea to opt in for 16gb.
    Make sure to buy an external harddrive or external ssd if your going to use a lot of storage.
    Its pretty good for a laptop but if your not in desperate need of portability, building a desktop is a much better option and can cut down the cost.
     
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  10. Andyroo10567

    Andyroo10567 Professional

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    Its not necessarily the brand but the hardware... The brand is just a bonus. :) Asus has good options to choose from as well like the N56VZ.
     
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  11. ArliHawk

    ArliHawk Hall of Fame

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    In our experience, yes. We've had a Macbook pro for 3.5 years. We couldn't get a PC laptop to last more than 1.5 years
     
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  12. fundrazer

    fundrazer Hall of Fame

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    Must be something to do with how you've taken care of your previous notebooks then. My notebook is from 2006 and still in fine shape.
     
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  13. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    If you choose a MacBook, do yourself a favor, and get it form here:
    The refurbished items carry the full 1year warranty, and you can save a good deal of $. I've bought every Mac I own from there over the last 6 years and have never had a problem. However...

    You need to watch the site for a few days, even a week, to get the best deal. Some items show a '30%' discount, when in reality, its 30% off what it was valued at 2 years ago. You need to check processor speed, memory, graphics card, etc. against what they are selling new today as it may only be a 10% savings by today's #s.
     
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  14. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I have both PC and a new Macbook pro. The macbook just works so flawlessly that I have zero issues with anything. The key is to have as much RAM as possible. I'd also suggest the newer models with the SSD. The load time is minimal. I just upgraded from an older 2010 model.
     
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  15. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    Not too familiar with Final Cut, but it sounds like you definitely should strongly consider investing in a Macbook Pro. Apple products are extremely high quality and you can use your Asus PC still for gaming, high level computational things, anything that takes a lot of memory, etc. and your Mac for general purpose browsing and for school because of the extra battery life. I personally have a Dell XPS 15 and also do not like the low battery life that I get on it when using it at school and am considering getting a Macbook Pro as well. If you are also interested in coding, keep in mind you need a Mac to be able to work on iOS development on Xcode. That doesn't work on a PC. Another option is to download Linux on your PC but I don't think that would give you what you want, so maybe don't do that xP
     
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  16. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Agree, in the past my dell laptop had to replace motherboard after 6 months of use.
    My kids macbook pro are going on 5 years with no issues whatsoever.
     
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  17. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Ive always looked at Macs as a perfect fit for the creative types and PCs for more then engineering/IT type. This is a generalization , but basically there are people who like to use their computer for editing video, music, photos..etc and just want it to work reliably and stoutly.

    Others like to tweak their computer and upgrade, maybe use it as a media server..etc and they are going to lean more towards a PC and probably be huge Linux fans.

    It is very similar to the Droid versus iPhone debate. Which is why there is no right answer, it is more about your personality type and what you want from a device.

    My favorite devices are Apple because they are extremely reliable. While I know how to build a PC (and usually build 1 every year or so) and really appreciate both sides, I find myself leaning towards apple for all my devices now because it fits how I like to work.
     
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  18. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    If you are doing video editing you should not get a laptop, you will be wasting money and time.

    You need a desktop with at least a quad core i7 processor, at least 16gb of internal memory and a very good video card that supports CUDA or Open CL.
     
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  19. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    The new Macbook pro I have comes with an i7, 16 gigs and the video card is an NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 2048 MB.
     
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  20. ArliHawk

    ArliHawk Hall of Fame

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    They were all treated well and different brands. I must say the Sony PC lasted the longest. But good try on blaming us.
     
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  21. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Nice machine, but if you can fork out that kind of money you can get yourself a hexacore desktop with a Quadro card. Much more performance for the same amount of money.
     
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  22. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yes but see my prior post on that.
     
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  23. Chico

    Chico Banned

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    It is worth for one reason only, you don't have to deal with Windows and all the junk and nonsense that comes with it.
     
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  24. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

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    Yes it is. And ditto chicos comment
     
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  25. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    It depends on what you'll be doing with video editing, visual effects. etc.
    When it comes to video editing, you'll need a good graphics card, RAM, the fastest multi-core CPU you can get and fast external drives. USB 3.0 at least.
    If you laptop isn't fast enough rendering can take quite a long time.

    If you'll be going into more serious visual effects (e.g. using Autodesk software) then you'll want to use a high-powered PC desktop, and use the laptop for less intensive tasks.

    You'll definitely want max RAM for graphic design as having multiple files open and many layers can eat it up quickly.

    You could always make a hackintosh laptop with one of the partitions booting to OS X.
     
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  26. THE FIGHTER

    THE FIGHTER Professional

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    up your memory, or opt for the higher end processor if you plan on running multiple editing softwares at once.

    the bare minimum 4gb is going to get worked.

    If you do decide to up your RAM or your processor, you might as well buy the 15 inch instead.

    Final Cut Pro 7 is quite good and is learnable. FCP X is... you'll see. There is always Adobe Premiere
     
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  27. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I have both an Asus laptop and a Mac Book Air. The Asus is for Microsoft specific work and the Mac is for everything else. Once you get used to the Mac, you realize how annoying Windows is.
     
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  28. Blitzball

    Blitzball Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm pretty sure I'll get a Macbook Pro with upgraded specs: plenty of RAM, a good graphics card, etc. I don't do much with visual effects (no Auto Desk) but I do toy around with photoshop. I'll be using the laptop mostly for editing short films and web-series episodes, along with school assignments. I think I will keep my ASUS as a sort of "desktop" for games and revisiting other editing softwares.

    Since I've had a bad experience with the portability of the 17+ inch ASUS, I'm hesitant to go for the 15in MBP. Unless there's a substantial difference between the 15in and 13in, I'm going with the latter. However, I'm not sure when to buy one. Should I wait for the newest model which supposedly comes out later this year, or just buy one now?
     
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  29. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    I think that Broadwell won't be out until next Spring at the earliest and more than likely late Spring. Broadwell M might be out late this year but it would most likely be a part for MacBook Air models. I think that Broadwell will be a great chip but it appears that Intel has had yield problems with 14 nm (not surprising as everyone is having some kinds of problems below 28 nm along with HKMG and Finfets).

    My MacBook Pro is from 2008 and I use it daily. It's a great system and has the power that I need for work and a lot of other stuff but I do video transcoding on a Dell Nehalem Core i7 system (from 2007). I do some video editing on the MacBook Pro using iMovie but it's fairly slow on my Penryn system. I also use a Dell XPS M1330 from 2008 at the office for displaying real-time trading charts. This recently replaced a Compaq r3000z from 2004. Nothing wrong with that system except that it runs XP which isn't supported anymore and I think that I'd have device driver issues trying to get Windows 7 running on it. It's slow as a dog too with a single-core K8 processor.

    MacBook Pros are nice for a lot of things but they can get pretty hot doing CPU intensive work. That's the tradeoff with thin and light laptops - it's hard to move enough air to keep the thing reasonably cool. Your Asus is probably much thicker and the fans can probably move a lot more air to keep it cool.

    There are many Ultrabooks that cost around the same or even more than MacBook Pros. Take a look at the Razer Blade - $2,400 with some nice specs but overall a decent amount more money than the MacBook Pros.

    One advantage in buying Macs is that the price includes future operating system upgrades so you might save a few hundred or more over the life of the system.

    If your school has or is near an Apple Store, then there's more value to one of them. One of the benefits of buying a Mac is access to training, repairs, and accessories but it's only an advantage if you're near a store.

    One last advantage of a MacBook Pro is that they've kept the same, basic power adapter design. There is a generation two design but you can get an adapter to use generation one power bricks. Macs are popular on university campuses so you may be able to get a charge from another student in a pinch if you don't have your adapter handy. They're pretty easy to buy as well - you can get them at Best Buy. For some reason, other manufacturers seem to make a different power brick for every model they make. If you want one for home and dorm, you have to order a second one and it's not going to be usable for your next system.
     
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  30. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    NO! You can find a used deal with Apple Care. As long has it has some Apple Care left you're good.

    Also, you may want to look again at a maxed out Air with 256 ssd and 8gb RAM since size and bulk seem to be a concern.

    I personally have a mac but envy the ROG laptops.
     
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  31. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    The only Windows laptop that I like right now is the Razer Blade. A coworker just bought one and he loves it. They start around $2,400 and they make the MacBook Pro look like a discount model.
     
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