What to look for in a Mac

So... I've been a mac user for quite some time now and I've loved every day of it. Sadly my macbook just went through a bit of a stress test (ran over by a less than observant driver). So here I am looking to get a new macbook (pro). I know everyone and there mother has asked what the best computer is, but I'm wondering about some specifics.

I'm opting for the macbook pro series for 3 reasons so far... Screen Size / Resolution, the ability to hold up to 4 GB of ram, and the option of the 7200 rpm HD. Within this... for music writing purposes only... is the .2 increase in Processor speed and 256 mb graphics card worth $500? How much of a difference will each really make? I see the difference in hard drive size, but I'm not curious about that because I'm swapping to the 7200 HD no matter what.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Peace...

Edit:
Just found this link https://www.tapspace.com/forums/index.php?topic=1817.0
But I'm still looking for additional input. Thanks.
I did know, and I'm definetly taking advatage of it. $200 off on the computer, $50 for the 30GB Movie iPod, and a free printer... Works for me. Thanks again and I'll let you all know how it works out... Peace...
[quote author=Josh Champagne link=topic=1868.msg9259#msg9259 date=1184702339]
Oh hey, don't forget to check out the student discounts if you haven't already. Most schools offer a discount on Mac stuff, it'll get you a couple hundred dollars off. Not much in the big picture, but to a college student it's quite a bit. :)
[/quote]


Not only schools but the Apple store provides educational discounts as well, both online and brick & mortar. If you go to an Apple store bring a student ID. They will only discount on in stock basic machines. If the HD or RAM is an upgrade you will need to do this online. Software, monitors, etc. are also available through the online store.


Ted Boliske
Oh hey, don't forget to check out the student discounts if you haven't already. Most schools offer a discount on Mac stuff, it'll get you a couple hundred dollars off. Not much in the big picture, but to a college student it's quite a bit. :)
Champ... Thanks, that seriously helped. To me it looks like unless I'm doing some serious gaming, video editing, or image rendering... no need for the boosted graphics card. As for the processor, I think I can deal. Especially beings that I was comfortable with apps running under rosetta on a slower processor. With universal apps and a faster processor, I'll be golden.
Here's some benchmarks to help you out: (not specific to audio applications, but it will give you an idea of the processor difference in general)

http://www.macworld.com/2007/06/firstlooks/mbpbench/index.php

http://www.barefeats.com/rosa02.html

Even the difference between the graphic cards is fairly negligable:

http://www.barefeats.com/rosa03.html
[quote author=ted_boliske link=topic=1868.msg9254#msg9254 date=1184688902]
Something to consider regarding the graphics card, I believe the MBP laptops allow for a second monitor that actually works as a second monitor and not just a mirror of the laptops screen. Just a thought.

Ted Boliske
[/quote]

Both the macbook and macbook pro allow for a second monitor as far as I know (I had the macbook and loved using the second screen).

[quote author=Bryan Harmsen link=topic=1868.msg9255#msg9255 date=1184690746]
A few answers...

For your laptop, you'll want the fastest processor you can get and the 7200 HDD because realtime playback is controlled/affected by the processor and harddrive, especially when DFD is being used.  As far as RAM goes, what kind of scores will you be loading/playing back? If all you are doing is loading percussion scores, then 2GB of RAM would probably be enough. Many people fail to realize that having a good processor and harddrive on a laptop are more important than a boatload of RAM.

As far as the video card goes, having a better video card would help with the screen redraws, especially if you're using Sibelius. However, it might not be worth that extra cash.

Hope this helps.
[/quote]

I'm not really worried about the redraw rate, just because I haven't had many problems in the past with this (running sib4 under rossetta on the 1st gen 2 ghz macbook). As for RAM use... Most projects will be small sections as in just brass, just battery, just pit, etc... With the occasional full ensemble writting... I'm getting the 7200 HD and I'll be able to upgrade the ram through someone other than apple if I need to later. So really it's coming down to the processor.

So is the difference between 2.2 and 2.4 ghz worth about $400. As a college student, that looks like a semesters books right there. I'm still curious for anymore feedback, but I'm leaning towards:

Macbook Pro 2.2 ghz
2GB RAM (upgradeable to 4 GB if I need it for more sounds)
160 GB 7200 RPM HD
15 inch screen
and the 128mb Nvidia Graphics card

Thanks again... You guys are always of great help. Peace...
A few answers...

For your laptop, you'll want the fastest processor you can get and the 7200 HDD because realtime playback is controlled/affected by the processor and harddrive, especially when DFD is being used.  As far as RAM goes, what kind of scores will you be loading/playing back? If all you are doing is loading percussion scores, then 2GB of RAM would probably be enough. Many people fail to realize that having a good processor and harddrive on a laptop are more important than a boatload of RAM.

As far as the video card goes, having a better video card would help with the screen redraws, especially if you're using Sibelius. However, it might not be worth that extra cash.

Hope this helps.
Something to consider regarding the graphics card, I believe the MBP laptops allow for a second monitor that actually works as a second monitor and not just a mirror of the laptops screen. Just a thought.

Ted Boliske
[quote author=Josh Champagne link=topic=1868.msg9252#msg9252 date=1184675842]
The graphics card won't make a difference for music writing. You'll see some performance increase from the processor, but it won't be a huge difference, maybe around 5-10%. The biggest advatage will definitely be in the RAM.
[/quote]
That's what I was thinking...

To clarify, I'm deciding between the two 15 inch macbook pros. Peace...
The graphics card won't make a difference for music writing. You'll see some performance increase from the processor, but it won't be a huge difference, maybe around 5-10%. The biggest advatage will definitely be in the RAM.
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