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Macbook Pro laptop...too expensive?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Baderup99, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. Baderup99

    Baderup99 Guest

    Im looking at purchasing a laptop to run Pro Tools. My school and the rest of the world uses Macs. Im not against Macs at all but a $2300 macbook pro seems pretty hard to justify.

    MacBook Pro, 15-inch, 2.33GHz
    • 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    • 2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
    • 120GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    • SuperDrive 6x (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

    I know pro tools also works with windows. Can i make my own custom windows laptop for cheaper and almost as good as that macbook? I'll strictly be using this for audio mixing/recording and maybe a little bit of video.. so does that $2300 price tag worth it?
  2. freesignal

    freesignal Active Member


    Macbook (not Pro), 13.3", 2.0 GHz
    • 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    • 2 GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1 GB
    • 80 GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    • SuperDrive 6x (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

    $1356 with Apple Student Discount. Almost as nice and you save almost $1000. If you can't afford to sacrifice that 333 MHz and 1.7" of "Screen Real Estate", check out Apple's Refurb Products. They offer the same warranty on Refurb products as they do on New. Plus you can buy the extended warranty. At any rate, drop the Student Discount on dat Azz if you choose to buy.
  3. moisiss

    moisiss Active Member


    I love the Macbook Pro... it's a great laptop... but it is a little overpriced.

    Check this out...


    Xplorer X5-6800, 15.4", 2.33 GHz
    - 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    - 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM
    - 120 GB SATA drive @ 5400
    - 8x DVD rewritable drive
    - 1680 x 1050 screen resolution
    - ATI Radeon x1600 with 256MB dedicated memory

    You also have the option when you customize to kick the HD speed up to 7200 RPM... an option that is only available in the 17" Macbook pro... as is the 1680 x 1050 screen resolution.

    The Macbook that freesignal posted is a pretty good deal... but you could still get a better comp for cheaper or around the same price with the Cyberpower laptop.

    Xplorer X5-6800, 15.4", 2.0 GHz
    - 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    - 2 GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM
    - 120 GB SATA drive @ 5400
    - 8x DVD rewritable drive
    - 1680 x 1050 screen resolution
    - ATI Radeon x1600 with 256MB dedicated memory

    (I would get this build over the first one.. I mean come on.. almost $400 for a chip that is .33 GHz faster... no way!)

    This is a little more expensive than the Macbook... but you could always choose to get 1 GB of RAM or something (if you have a copy of the operating system (windows) you could save some more money by taking that off..) Also notice that this is a better deal than the Macbook because you get a video card with dedicated memory (256mb) whereas the Macbook only has onboard video and the screen res. on the cyberpower laptop is a better. This cyberpower is closer to the Macbook Pro specwise than the Macbook.

    I would probably opt for the 7200 RPM HD also... can't get that in a Macbook. :(

    All of the Apple laptops, on the other hand, come with a lot more software than the cyberpower laptop... so that might be an issue for you if you want all the software... but I have all of the software I need already and would rather not have a bunch of extra crap preloaded onto my comp. (just my personal preference).

    As to whether or not the price is justified for the Apple laptops... I think that is a personal choice. They are the best looking laptops on the market... hands down... and you get to use OSX which for some people is a must. Personally, I don't have enough money to worry about asthetics and I know what I'm doing in Windows enough to not have all of the common issues (like viruses and stuff) that are associated with Windows.
  4. VonRocK

    VonRocK Active Member

    I used to think that an operating system was an operating system. So OSX has some nice features, it can't be that great.

    Then I started using OS X and just can't go back. The Macbook Pro is one sweet computer. Well worth the price, especially if your DAW is going to be a multipurpose machine. It's more than just hardware that you are buying into.

    Drink the purple cool aid.
  5. eveaudio

    eveaudio Guest

    ...I'm not too up on custom laptops, but I see a red flag in moisiss' post

    "I would probably opt for the 7200 RPM HD also... can't get that in a Macbook. "

    Whatever you do, get an external 7200rpm firewire drive for your audio. Writing audio to the same drive as the program and OS drive is a bad idea (even worse if you partition it!). A 7200rpm drive in the laptop seems like a waste...

    (As a Mac guy I'll also add that you'll get GarageBand in the deal - not bad thing to have around for quick and dirty recordings or demos...)
  6. moisiss

    moisiss Active Member

    The only reason I would get a 7200 RPM HD is that I have had trouble in the past running sessions off of my external HD (7200 RPM) connected through firewire... I always assumed that it was due to the difference in the data thoughput of a firewire 400 connection as opposed to SATA connection. I could be wrong though.

    At any rate, it is only my personal preference... It certainly wouldn't hurt performance...
  7. Baderup99

    Baderup99 Guest

    Ok so if i can run Pro Tools on a PC or Mac and i already know windows very well, and i can get a nice pc laptop that compares in performance to a Mac, is there any other considerations for getting a Mac then? Im very good with my windows, never had a virus and keep it up-to-date and very clean.
  8. VonRocK

    VonRocK Active Member

    You can run windows on your mac, but you can't run OS X on your wintel box.

    Gohere and read a bit.

    I'm biased, so other than running a better operating system, and quality tested hardware that all just works well together, I'd say there are no other considerations other than all the ones pointed out in that link. And probably a bunch more.

    Obviously, a windows box will get the job done also. There are plenty of satisfied wintel users out there. You have declared to be capable of the maintaining a clean Windows system, and I'm sure you know how to CtrlAlt+Del your way out of tight spots, so maybe the windows route is the way to go.

    All kidding aside;
    Make sure to double check specs. If you are basing your purchase on hardware specs, make sure to take a good look. Especially if this computer is also going to be used for school and everyday use. Things like wireless 802.N and bluetooth may come in handy.

    And you are right. The Macbook Pro costs a lot of money. So does any leading edge, top of the line portable computer.

    Good luck on your research and eventual purchase, and make sure to let us know what you get!
  9. Baderup99

    Baderup99 Guest

    thanks Vonrock, when you 19 years old its funny trying to ask your Dad, "hey dad I was wondering about a laptop for school but its kinda expensive.... Ok how much like $1200? "ummm more like $2200....HAHAHA. And of course its pretty hard to justify that to a parent.

    Anyway, we'll and I got more research to do, and a lot of money making to do over the summer. ha thanks!
  10. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Because of the low track count with PTLE, you really don't need a Macbook Pro, a Macbook would do you will have to work hard to reach the limit with any core2duo machine Mac or PC.

    In fact I have no problem running Live, Logic Pro, DP5 on a Core Duo Mac mini, and I'm doing more than the 32 track PTLE limit, and it's not even breaking a sweat. I've yet to get the cpu meters to 50%.

  11. Baderup99

    Baderup99 Guest

    Ive got another question. If I do get the Mac i want to put another gig of ram so ill have 2 gigs. On apples website its like an additional $175-200 for 1 more gig, thats ridiculous, can i buy a gig of notebook ram from like CompUSA and put that in a macbook pro?
  12. freesignal

    freesignal Active Member

    I ordered 2 of these babies last month for my macbook. http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16820231069 Works like a charm. This was the cheapest I could find. Basically all laptops (including Macbooks and Macbook Pros) come with 2 slots for RAM, usually in pairs, i.e. 2 - 256 MB sticks of RAM to make a total of 512 MB. So, what you can do is order two sticks of these for roughly $130 shipped. Pull out the 2 - 512 MB chips that the Mac Pro come with and sell them on eBay or something and recoup some of that $130 you spent. That would be what I would do, instead of paying an extra $200 for 2 Gigs from Apple, you could end up paying around $80 total (depending on how much you make on the sale of the original gig of RAM).

    P.S. People will try and say "Oh, well that's a cheap brand of RAM, bok, bok, bok.... " That's horsesh*t. As long as your not a hardcore gamer, it doesn't matter. PNY is Kingston is G. Skill is any other No-name brand. They're all made by the same Chinaman over seas.
  13. Baderup99

    Baderup99 Guest

    I can get this with my student discount for $1,857.95
    I think I'm gunna buy another gig of ram for it off of newegg so ill have 2 gigs.

    MacBook Pro, 15-inch, 2.16GHz
    • 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    • 1GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 1x1GB
    • 120GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    • SuperDrive 6x (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    • MacBook Pro 15-inch Widescreen Display
    • Backlit Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English

    This also comes with Apple's 3-year warranty plan and when of those sleeve cases....good deal?
  14. freesignal

    freesignal Active Member

    Pretty friggin' SWEET dude.
  15. Antho

    Antho Guest

    Ahh there's so much cool software (a lot of free too!) that a mac can't run

    i'm in a similar dilema my friend. Been on PC's for bout 16 yrs now (good ol' DOS :) .The main reason I was considering a mac is because of the 6pin firewire connector which supplies BUS power to a portable recording device which is a major consideration for audiop on the go! i still haven't found a PC which has 6 pin firewire. I'm crapo with laptop knowledge, so maybe theres a way to ad a PCMCIA card or something with 6 pin FW .

    QUOTE "Obviously, a windows box will get the job done also"

    said like a true macperson lol...it will MORE than get the job done if you know how to use the thing and keep it clean!
  16. freesignal

    freesignal Active Member

    Mac User rebuttle: You can install Windows on a Mac, you can't install OSX on a PC.
  17. Baderup99

    Baderup99 Guest

    Yeah I'll think ill go with the macbook pro. First of all those machines are just true power houses, they are just so pumped up. But I think im going to install windows on it as well. You're right there is a lot of software on windows that you cant run on mac.
  18. Baderup99

    Baderup99 Guest

    Hey have you ever installed windows on a mac? Like can you just switch between the two OS as if they were applications, or do you have to restart the computer each time you want to switch between OS's.
  19. fourone3

    fourone3 Active Member

    Pretty sure you have to restart to use one or the other. It's like (or is) a partition if I understand it correctly.
  20. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    There are virtualization apps like VMware and parallel's workstaion that allow you to run XP in an OSX window safely behind a UNIX firewall.

    Boot Camp Apples's product allows you to boot to XP, it creates a windows partition, and emulates the PC bios that macs lack.


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