MacBook Vs. MacBook Pro

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
go2guy
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MacBook Vs. MacBook Pro

Post by go2guy » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:06 pm

I am in the market for a new Mac laptop and needed some advice... I currently have a IBook G4 running Live 5.2 and want to upgrade both computer and software. I just read an article in Future Music (issue 195, December 2007) which advises someone who is using Live for producing music that the Macbook is plenty. They go on to mention that unless you are using video the Macbook should be enough. I am seeing more and more djs using the Macbook Pro though and wonder if they know something I don't or are just posing or following the trend. I use my Live to dj and wondered if the advice would be different since I dj instead of produce.
What do you guys think? Is there really that much difference if I load up the Macbook with maxed out 4 gig of RAM? The price difference from the Macbook to the Macbook Pro is significant!! Any help and advice would be appreciated

Atypical
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Post by Atypical » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:20 pm

IMO the Macbook Pro is a better choice if you're playing out a lot. It's sturdier than the Macbook. It seems more appropriate to bring it to concerts and gigs as it is build more solidly than its smaller collegue. It looks more reliable to me....

Performance wise you'll do fine with a Macbook, it has enough CPU muscle to keep to happy for a while.

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formatk
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Post by formatk » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:35 pm

get a macbook. If you think you need a pro version (metal casing), in my opinion it is more show than function. I've got a macbook, coming up to 2 1/2 years old now and still going strong. I'm an animator/director by day and use it for 3d, video and very intensive work. runs fine, it's all a pro placebo. Though i am hanging on a couple of weeks to see what the new pro laptop line will be. A 13" macbook pro with multi touch and a fast graphics card would be nice
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dorsch
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book vs pro

Post by dorsch » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:47 pm

I agree,

i have my macbook for nearly 2 years now. I´m happy with it.
You´ll be just fine, even for live gigs, if you keep some simple things in mind:

- you need a cover for transportation (i have a crumbler neopren whatever)
- don´t put the macbook on the bare desk -> use something like a stand or something similar

- do not bring burning smokes near the macbook, for its made of plastic and may melt

Of Course the Pro,has a bigger screen, is more solid and heavier. But way more expensive.

If you don´t mind about the money -> get the pro
If you are a drinking and smoking punk -> get the pro
If you absolutely need a bigger hard drive -> get the pro

but instead of that -> you´ll just be fine with the macbook

greetings
dorsch

SubFunk
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Re: book vs pro

Post by SubFunk » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:55 pm

dorsch wrote:I agree,

i have my macbook for nearly 2 years now. I´m happy with it.
You´ll be just fine, even for live gigs, if you keep some simple things in mind:

- you need a cover for transportation (i have a crumbler neopren whatever)
- don´t put the macbook on the bare desk -> use something like a stand or something similar

- do not bring burning smokes near the macbook, for its made of plastic and may melt

Of Course the Pro,has a bigger screen, is more solid and heavier. But way more expensive.

If you don´t mind about the money -> get the pro
If you are a drinking and smoking punk -> get the pro
If you absolutely need a bigger hard drive -> get the pro

but instead of that -> you´ll just be fine with the macbook

greetings
dorsch
i agree very much with the laptop stand... if you play in not just major venues the DJ table is often abused as a bar table as well.. i had already a sip of beer from a drunken punter in my MBP, luckily nothing happened.

but i bought straight away a griffin elevator laptopstand... and it's great, no worries anymore about spilled liquid or knocked over glasses.

costs approx. 40 dollar is easy to dismantle, very sturdy and super light for transport in any normal bag. a live saver.

otherwise, in terms of power the macbook and mbp are up to paar... i say if you don't need the extra connectivity, then macbook for gigs, it's smaller as well.
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Post by Sales Dude McBoob » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:48 pm

The most compelling reason to get a MacBook Pro, for me anyhow, is the Express Card slot. I eventually want to get a RME Hammerfall MultiFace II and connect through the Express Card. It's faster than FireWire, and it frees up your FireWire bus for an external drive.

I would venture to say that the aluminum body of the MBP is worse for travel than the plastic MB body. The aluminum is really easy to dent and bend. It doesn't take much effort to ding up a MBP. The backlit keyboard is great, but the aluminum is stressful.

So, if you're not planning on using the Express Card slot, get a MacBook.

Akshara
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Post by Akshara » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:02 pm

That article is correct about a Macbook being plenty for Live; and the pro-Macbook advice being offered so far is good advice. Having both at hand, I'll point out some key benefits of the MBP...

The MBP offers both a FW800 and Expresscard interface, which allows the option of advanced I/O interfaces, higher external drive track counts and/or independent firewire busses (including adding a TI interface to the newer Agere chipset models). It's possible to get a 7200rpm internal drive with the MBP, which allows for larger track counts and/or more streaming instruments internally. When side by side, the screen on the MBP (LED model) is more vibrant and offers a wider viewing angle, while the dedicated graphics card on the MBP makes everything more responsive visually, and allows for the possibility of running simultaneous video and audio productions with less strain on the system. And finally, the backlit keyboard of the MBP is very helpful onstage under low light conditions.

garyboozy
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Post by garyboozy » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:20 pm

yup, the MBP's dedicated gfx card means you can hook an external monitor up to it and have high resolution. i run mine through a Samsung 24" lcd screen at 1920 x 1200. afaik, that's not possible on a macbook; you can only run an external monitor at the same res as the macbook's 13" displays

andydes
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Post by andydes » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:51 pm

garyboozy wrote:yup, the MBP's dedicated gfx card means you can hook an external monitor up to it and have high resolution. i run mine through a Samsung 24" lcd screen at 1920 x 1200. afaik, that's not possible on a macbook; you can only run an external monitor at the same res as the macbook's 13" displays
Whoa! Hadn't thought about that. 1280 X 800 is pretty grim on a larger monitor. I assume that's the sme for PC laptops with the built in GMA X3100 as well.

That might change my whole laptop buying direction. Thanks for the info.

icedsushi
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Post by icedsushi » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:56 pm

garyboozy wrote:yup, the MBP's dedicated gfx card means you can hook an external monitor up to it and have high resolution. i run mine through a Samsung 24" lcd screen at 1920 x 1200. afaik, that's not possible on a macbook; you can only run an external monitor at the same res as the macbook's 13" displays
Hold on. Yeah whoa is right. Are you absolutely sure about this? It doesn't sound correct to me.

A few years ago...I think I remembered even the old G4 ibooks able to drive up to a 23" display at full resolution (?). You only needed a dedicated graphics card to drive the enormous 30 incher at the time, which capability was only available on the 15" and 17" powerbooks.

If it's true that it won't run 1920X1200 could be a dealbreaker for me since I have a 23" Cinema display. Instead of us all guessing, I'm going to make a call to Apple and find out for sure.

Akshara
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Post by Akshara » Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:09 pm

On the previous generation Macbook, we are able to run a 24" Dell at 1920x1200 using the mini-DVI to DVI adapter. However... when running dual display mode, the performance is extremely laggy compared to the MBP; and while normal applications do run fine, DVD movies, online videos and the Itunes Visualizer have such low frame rates that they're virtually unwatchable unless we kick the resolution down. 1280x800 works fairly well in dual display mode, and higher resolutions work somewhat better when in clamshell mode or running the external display only.

The 256MB MBP handles both monitors at full resolution in dual display mode, and there is a considerable performance difference.
Last edited by Akshara on Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

icedsushi
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Post by icedsushi » Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:12 pm

garyboozy wrote:yup, the MBP's dedicated gfx card means you can hook an external monitor up to it and have high resolution. i run mine through a Samsung 24" lcd screen at 1920 x 1200. afaik, that's not possible on a macbook; you can only run an external monitor at the same res as the macbook's 13" displays
Ok, I just called Apple to confirm, and this is NOT true. The macbook will drive up to a 23" display at full resolution.

You only need the dedicated graphics cards of the MBP line to be able to drive a 30" display at full resolution.

icedsushi
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Post by icedsushi » Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:19 pm

Akshara wrote:when running dual display mode, the performance is extremely laggy compared to the MBP; and while normal applications do run fine, DVD movies, online videos and the Itunes Visualizer have such low frame rates that they're virtually unwatchable unless we kick the resolution down. 1280x800 works fairly well in dual display mode, and higher resolutions work somewhat better when in clamshell mode or running the external display only.
"unwatchable" and "extremely laggy"? That's surprising. My 12" powerbook's graphics at 1920X1200 on my 23" seem really snappy to me, even itunes visualizer isn't bad at all, etc. I haven't compared graphics card specs between mine and the macbook, but I would think the macbook, being a much newer, much faster laptop would at least be the same speed graphics-wise.

formatk
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Post by formatk » Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:59 pm

I use a high res Lacie CRT with my macbook through VGA for colour work, and runs fine.
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garyboozy
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Post by garyboozy » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:57 pm

icedsushi wrote:
garyboozy wrote:yup, the MBP's dedicated gfx card means you can hook an external monitor up to it and have high resolution. i run mine through a Samsung 24" lcd screen at 1920 x 1200. afaik, that's not possible on a macbook; you can only run an external monitor at the same res as the macbook's 13" displays
Ok, I just called Apple to confirm, and this is NOT true. The macbook will drive up to a 23" display at full resolution.

You only need the dedicated graphics cards of the MBP line to be able to drive a 30" display at full resolution.
i stand corrected (although i DID say 'afaik.. ;))

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