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Macbook Pro Now or Wait?

Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 2:20am

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wdy

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Hey everyone!

I was thinking of purchasing my very first mac computer this week. I am looking at purchasing the Macbook Pro. I've done much research and its exactly what I want but now I'm a bit hesitant.

Apple is scheduled to have WWDC Conference June 11-15th talking about new apple technology. I'm worried th at this could mean a big update for the Macbook Pro. At the same time I'm worried to wait because of maybe a possible jump in price. I'm just a student and I don't have a whole lot of funds so I couldn't afford anything greater. Although I'm also worried on missing out on something big.

I was wondering if I could get some of your advice on what you think I should do. I understand the Macbook Pro right now regardless is very powerful and I'm sure I'd be impressed for mobile video editing.

Thanks in advance.
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 2:31am

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tyguy2021

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Hi,

They might update it at wwdc, there are rumers they are releasing a ultra thin laptop that would be .7 inches thick.

Another clue to an update is they just updated the macbooks, so the macbook pros might be next.

I don't see them rasing the price, but they might a little. Most likely nothing major.

The macbook would be an awsome setup and I'm sure you will like what you get.
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 2:34am

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wdy

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By my understanding I should just go ahead with the Macbook Pro is what your saying..
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 2:36am

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tyguy2021

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It's one hundred percent up to you.
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 2:40am

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wdy

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I just don't want to miss out on anything huge and than be disappointed or unsatisfied.
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 2:41am

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CX3

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Why not just wait another 2 weeks or so to see what happens?
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 2:46am

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Gibs

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I'm going off to college this fall and I also plan on purchasing a MacBook Pro. I've pretty much decided, however, to wait until late July to purchase it. Since I do not really need the laptop over the summer, I figure I'll wait until I need it for school to buy it.

Unless you plan on using it a lot over the summer, I'd wait, because they did just come out with a MacBook update, and it wouldn't surprise me if a Pro update is on the way.
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 3:16am

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wdy

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It'd definitely come into great use over the summer. My other prob was just my pc isn't worth much really and I've had a few offers for $400 and this money would go towards helping me to afford the Macbook Pro.
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 3:22am

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SGB

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Even if apple raised the price on the Macbook Pros, you'd still be able to purchase in one of the apple stores or even somewhere else for a while. And if they did raise the standard price, they'd probably also offer the configuration you wanted for the same price or cheaper.

Whats happend in the past (so far as I know) is that the prices generally stay the same, just the specs go up with these laptops.
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 4:19am

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Slayerking

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Meh get a PC
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 4:35am

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FreshMentos

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I would wait and see what apple has to show. If it's too expensive, then you could just buy an older macbook pro from a apple certified reseller like MacMall.

MacMall Link: http://www.macmall.com/
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 4:40am

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Slayerking

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so i get negetive rating for stating my own personal choice? lame
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 4:46am

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wdy

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Thanks everyone for all your responses smile
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 5:32am

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Redhawksrymmer

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I agree with CX3, I would wait until after the WWDC Conference, since they might introduce some new things for the same price. But if you really need it right now I'd say go for it, since Macbook Pro is a great computer.
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 6:10am

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SGB

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Slayerking wrote:

so i get negetive rating for stating my own personal choice? lame
You weren't rated down just for stating your own personal choice, because you didn't do that. Read up: http://fxhome.com/support/faq_cache/rating.html#a4

Since he had already decided that he definitly wanted a mac, and he even new which model he wanted, your post telling him to get a PC was well worth skipping over, therefore it was rated down.

In any case, I think waiting to get the Macbook Pro is a good idea, but you should deff get it eventually. I had the money to get an iPod the day the video iPod came out, but I decided to wait since a fullscreen touchscreen model was probably going to come out soon. That was what, a year and a half ago now? So don't wait indefinitly, if they dont release it in June, I'd say just buy it.
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 12:50pm

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pdrg

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Mac or PC, etc etc - no matter what you want, you always get a better deal for cash the day before you need it!

Computer prices go down, not up. Stuff becomes obsolete, so if you buy something now that you won't need for 2 months, you'll probably pay over the odds.

Granted, Apple have a non-competitive stranglehold on their market, so the fashion choice of platform is all your own (there's so little difference between Macs and PC's now it's laughable - a Mac is really just a slightly fancy linux implementation on Intel/PC hardware now). I'd still suggest waiting and seeing though, whatever you choose smile
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 1:11pm

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Magic_man12

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I'd wait it out and see what is new

Slayerking wrote:

so i get negetive rating for stating my own personal choice? lame
welcome to the internet! smile

-MAGIC
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 4:54pm

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er-no

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Every few months a new one will come out that will super-seed the current top range Mac. Just buy one and be happy with it, the increases in models won't range that much and the difference won't be too noticeable in the MacBook Pros. I waited a long time before I brought the Duo Core one, and I couldn't be happier, but in that time I waited I could have been just as productive on a single core one.
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 9:06pm

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Xel

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Wait, if you are getting macbook pro, as I will be, when the next rev comes out. Check this page out. It gives predictions based on time to market of previous revisions of each product, compared with how long it has been since a revision last came out. It's pretty useful.

http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 9:10pm

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Klut

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At least wait until the end of june. If nothing has happend, buy!

(I'm waiting for October, cause I don't want to pay more for Leopard...)
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 10:23pm

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A Pickle

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I'm probably going to get flamed for this...

...but have you considered a non-Macintosh laptop for video editing? It's not that I'm opposed to Macs (though many here will say otherwise) it's just that I find the MacBook Pro to be a bit underpowered as far as mobile video editing goes.

MacBook Pro's aren't cheap notebooks, so it seems as if you're considering spending that much money, I'd have to advocate Alienware. They deliver Windows-based computers that are bloat free and well-configured from the start. About the only thing you need to add is a security suite. Alienware's lineup of workstation-class notebooks include the 17" Aurora m9700, the 19" Aurora mALX and, in the not-so-distant-future, the 17" Aurora m9750. All of these notebooks feature the option of dual hard drive RAID 0 configurations, ranging from anywhere between 160 GB to 500 GB. They all offer the option of up to two Nvidia Geforce Go 7950 GTX graphics cards, one of which vastly outperforms the MacBook Pro's Mobility Radeon X1600 in workstation-class OpenGL graphics. If I were to take a bet, I'd say one of those cards probably beats the X1600 in workstation-class DirectX as well. The trouble with all of these notebooks (save for the as-yet-unreleased m9750) is that they utilize somewhat pokey single-core AMD Turion 64 processors. All of them do feature full keyboards with numeric keypads, integrated microphones/webcams.


Alienware Aurora m9700


Alienware Aurora m9700

Another, perhaps less-preferable option, would be the 17" Superman Returns Special Edition notebook, which features the option of two hard drives, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a numeric keypad on the keyboard, and an ATI Mobility Radeon X1800. ATI's graphics cards tend to do better than their Nvidia equivalents as far as DirectX performance (though Nvidia cards tend to do better in OpenGL). ATI's driver support seems to be better than Nvidia's in Windows Vista, as well.


Alienware Area-51 Superman Returns Edition Notebook

If you're uncomfortable spending that much, HP offers a line of 17" notebooks (the Pavilions dv9500t, dv9000t, and dv9000z) offering dual core processors from both Intel and AMD, dual hard drives (up to 240 GB) and Geforce Go 7600 graphics cards. Depending on which model you select, you'll have the option of an AMD Turion 64 X2, an Intel Core Duo, or an Intel Core 2 Duo. All of these laptops have the option of an integrated microphone AND webcam -- and it's got a numeric keypad built-in to the keyboard. In fact, the only real trouble with these HP notebooks is their tendency to ship with a frustrating level of bloatware, a lot of which is completely unnecessary when installed with Vista.


HP dv9500t


HP dv9000t and dv9000z

Sager, a small but incredible notebook making company, offers a notebook (the NP9260 series) with a desktop Core 2 Duo (which is considerably faster than the notebook Core 2 Duo), dual Nvidia Geforce Go 7950 GTX graphics cards, dual hard drives in a dual-configuration, RAID 0 configuration, or a RAID 1 configuration, an integrated webcam and microphone, a numpad on the keyboard and a 1920x1200 resolution screen. This is, without a doubt, the fastest notebook money can buy today. Obviously, a fully-specced version of this configuration can be pricey... which may lead you to the NP5760 series, which offers pretty much the same thing but with only one graphics card, so it's a good deal cheaper.


Sager NP9260


Sager NP5760

Just a thought. While I really love a lot of the features of the MacBook Pro (illuminated keyboards are wonderful, and I'm glad Apple's trying to solve the tripping-over-notebook-AC-cord problem), I find that the MacBook Pro falls far short of some PC notebooks as far as capability in mobile video editing, which surprises given Apple's "dominance" in video editing.

As I'm sure many of us here know, the filmmaking hobby takes up a LOT of hard drive space. Sadly, in the interests of keeping the MacBook Pro thin and sexy, Apple has included only one hard drive, putting it on par with most run-of-the-mill PC notebooks in video editing aptitude. External hard drives don't particularly cut it, because they're external interfaces (usually USB or Firewire) aren't fast enough. The only way to really get around that limitation is to have multiple internal hard drives, in a RAID configuration if possible. That allows you to not only capture and export DV in the fastest manner possible, it will allow you to capture and export HDV in the fastest manner possible.

Additionally, the graphics horsepower in the MacBook Pro is somewhat lacking. If you ever play games, or if you ever want to do any bit of 3D animation, the underclocked Mobility Radeon X1600 in the MacBook Pro is woefully unprepared for the task. As mentioned above, ATI cards tend to do better rendering DirectX code where Nvidia cards do better in OpenGL. Why Apple chose the ATI cards, given that they don't even HAVE DirectX in their operating system is somewhat beyond me... but they did. Nevertheless, the standard Mobility Radeon X1600 isn't a particularly fast card to begin with. The under-clocked one in the MacBook Pro is going to be slower.

Finally, and I'll admit this one is a bit of a personal preference... the MacBook Pro's peak screen resolution is 1680x1050 on the 17" version. Most 17" PC notebooks offer resolutions of 1920x1200 which, apart from being able to natively display 1080P HD video, has plenty of legroom for an NLE timeline. Plus it's really nice looking.

That's just me. I think the MacBook Pro is a great notebook, it's just... surprisingly ill-equipped as far as a content-creating workstation goes (at least, relative to the alternatives).
Posted: Mon, 28th May 2007, 11:43pm

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er-no

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That all is very well A Pickle, but at the foremost the Mac has something software wise no Windows PC can have, and that is the Final Cut Pro suite and all its sister programs (DVD Studio Pro etc ec) Nothing, in terms of power/money and efficiency in any format can outclass Final Cut Studio.

In my opinion a MacBook Pro is for professionals, there really wouldn't be any point spending so much money on a machine like the MBP's and then not using it to its full potential. Your alternatives are well chosen and thank you for the information, I feel a lot of users on here could benefit from reading what you've said, however the other side of the coin is that Mac's just work better for what you've discussed, video editing. Having edited on nearly every available software platform and many different hardware configurations, nothing stands against having an external drive and my MacBook Pro on the go, and when I'm not on the go, I can have a secondary Apple Monitor connected, its so easy, so straight forward. and yes... It just works.

Did I consider a non-Macintosh laptop for other things, like image editing and perhaps a bit of gaming? Then well yes, I would consider the choices, just not for editing.

As for the speed of external drives not being fast enough? Either FireWire protocol is very capable of handling the data rates
involved in the online editing process of nearly any format available, and if your editing film resolutions of 2k for example, you'd be editing offline using a program like Cinema Tools.
Posted: Tue, 29th May 2007, 12:10am

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SlothPaladin

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Do NOT buy an Alienware laptop, my friend had a top of the line laptop from them and he had more computer problems then anyone I've know, there desktops are awesome though.
Posted: Tue, 29th May 2007, 1:46am

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A Pickle

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er-no wrote:

That all is very well A Pickle, but at the foremost the Mac has something software wise no Windows PC can have, and that is the Final Cut Pro suite and all its sister programs (DVD Studio Pro etc ec) Nothing, in terms of power/money and efficiency in any format can outclass Final Cut Studio.
This I won't dispute, but PC's are more than capable of doing their fair bit of professional video editing. There are PC alternatives capable of doing anything a Mac can do, though perhaps not in a single, convenient package like Final Cut Studio. Make no mistake, Final Cut Studio is the single best video editing platform out there -- however, I feel that the PC has alternatives that can be an equally apt tool.

er-no wrote:

Your alternatives are well chosen and thank you for the information, I feel a lot of users on here could benefit from reading what you've said...
You're welcome. I was just pointing out alternatives, if the OP does, in fact, choose a MacBook Pro, then I hope he enjoys it. Quite frankly, I'm waiting for Apple to release a MacBook Pro with dual hard drives/a better graphics card/numeric keypad... that'd be the perfect computer (in my opinion). In the meantime, however, I felt like it wasn't a crime for me to put the alternatives out there.

er-no wrote:

...however the other side of the coin is that Mac's just work better for what you've discussed, video editing.
While I respect and admire FinalCut Studio and the Apple Macintosh platform, I believe that statement is debateable in a thread other than this one. I'll just say that I think the choice of platform for video editing is a personal, rather than technical one.

er-no wrote:

Having edited on nearly every available software platform and many different hardware configurations, nothing stands against having an external drive and my MacBook Pro on the go, and when I'm not on the go, I can have a secondary Apple Monitor connected, its so easy, so straight forward. and yes... It just works.
In all fairness, I've done my fair share of editing on both platforms and, at least initially, my experience with Macs was less than Apple's marketing would have you believe. That said, I don't believe Macs are bad for video editing -- that would make for quite the ignorant statement given that the majority of professional video editing is still done on Apple computers.

I used to do my bit of editing on an external hard drive as well. Then I used only my internal hard drive on that notebook, and performance is greatly increased. USB or Firewire external drives, while they work for video editing, they are slower than internal drives by a considerable amount.

As a self-professed Windows user, you should know that it isn't a particularly difficult operation to connect and utilize an external display. I wouldn't be considering Dell's 27" External LCD display if it weren't.

er-no wrote:

As for the speed of external drives not being fast enough? Either FireWire protocol is very capable of handling the data rates involved in the online editing process of nearly any format available, and if your editing film resolutions of 2k for example, you'd be editing offline using a program like Cinema Tools.
There are plenty of PC-based 2K editing solutions, and notebooks aren't necessarily exempt from that category.

SlothPaladin wrote:

Do NOT buy an Alienware laptop, my friend had a top of the line laptop from them and he had more computer problems then anyone I've know, there desktops are awesome though.
As a very satisfied Alienware notebook owner, I feel compelled to ask whether or not the problems your friend experienced were a result of PEBKAC or if they were legitimate complaints...
Posted: Tue, 29th May 2007, 8:34am

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ben3308

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er-no wrote:

...nothing stands against having an external drive and my MacBook Pro on the go, and when I'm not on the go, I can have a secondary Apple Monitor connected, its so easy, so straight forward. and yes... It just works.
Not to play the devil's advocate here, as I'm sure wdy has made up his mind about getting a Macbook Pro, but you say this as if only a Mac can offer these things with such convenience and ease; and that is just patently untrue.

I edit stuff all the time on my Inspiron 9400 with a portable, USB bus-powered 60gb scratch disk, and when I get home, I can plug it easily into my projector through an HDMI-out port, press Fn+blue monitor icon thingy, and view HD stuff on my projector.

I mean, really, any good, expensive notebook should be able to do this. To imply that only Macbooks can do it is just foolish, and, no offense, daft.
Posted: Tue, 29th May 2007, 8:45am

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Joshua Davies

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Wait a couple of weeks for sure.

The MacBook Pro is due an update very soon and it should be worth it as the current MacBook Pro (the one we have) isn't as fantastic as it should be in several ways (terrible graphics card, overheating and the screen isn't as good as it could be).

While these are serious flaws there are equal flaws in just about every laptop on the market both PC and Mac. I've yet to experience any laptop which isn't weak in at least 1 area.

Er-no waiting for the Core2Duo rather than the CoreDuo (they never made a single code MacBook Pro) might have been slightly pointless due to that being the only update to the hardware but the next version might have some more significant changes. Higher quality/resolutions screens are rumoured as are faster processors and a significantly better GPU. There is even talk of a better case design (to stop it getting as hot as the sun). All or some of this might not happen but I would say it is worth the wait.

When will people stop with the Mac vs PC debate! It was obvious from the first post this was not an issue here... For an editing laptop the MacBook Pro is fantastic (mainly because Apple makes the best software around if you can afford it) and it will tan your legs from its heat (bonus).

Both Macs and PCs can edit perfectly well but I would edit on our MacBook Pro over my PC desktop purely because of the software on the Mac.

A Pickle wrote:

I used to do my bit of editing on an external hard drive as well. Then I used only my internal hard drive on that notebook, and performance is greatly increased. USB or Firewire external drives, while they work for video editing, they are slower than internal drives by a considerable amount.
No, not at all. The Firewire 800 drive we have plugged in to our MacBook Pro is faster than the internal drive (by far). Its also faster than the drives in any of our desktop PCs.

I must also say that everyone I know with an Alienware system in the UK (which is only a handfull of people) has said they fall apart, overheat and have the worst support around. The 2 Alienware laptops I've used have been very fast but built appaulingly. Most of these users have moved on/gone back to Dells (who I generally think make very solid laptops).
Posted: Tue, 29th May 2007, 9:13am

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SlothPaladin

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A Pickle wrote:

SlothPaladin wrote:

Do NOT buy an Alienware laptop, my friend had a top of the line laptop from them and he had more computer problems then anyone I've know, there desktops are awesome though.
As a very satisfied Alienware notebook owner, I feel compelled to ask whether or not the problems your friend experienced were a result of PEBKAC or if they were legitimate complaints...
Tons of hardware problems that showed up after the warranty expired and they couldn't all be PEBKAC, just a slew of nasty problems, he's never had trouble with any of the other computers he's owned. It was an awesome system new but it just went to s*** after about a year or so. Problems with the power supply, over heating, keyboard (many keys quite working), network card and LCD.

We still have an OLD HP laptop running like a champ and still in use (apart from the LCD dieing, but its used for old school games hooked up to another monitor and it works great)
Posted: Wed, 30th May 2007, 6:42pm

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A Pickle

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schwar wrote:

...and it will tan your legs from its heat (bonus).
Lawl. lol

schwar wrote:

No, not at all. The Firewire 800 drive we have plugged in to our MacBook Pro is faster than the internal drive (by far). Its also faster than the drives in any of our desktop PCs.
This would surprise me, given that the Firewire 800 drive you speak of is probably nothing more than a desktop 3.5" hard drive inside an enclosure with a SATA/IDE > IEEE-1394b adapter. It's possible that the "drive" in question is an array of 3.5" drives in RAID 0 all communicating through that adapter, just as it is possible that it's a 10,000 RPM 3.5" desktop drive attached to the adapter. Whatever the case, an external drive is not simply arbitrarily faster than internal hard drives.

In any case, I'm sure Firewire 800 is plenty fast enough -- I was talking about USB and Firewire 400. I'll be clearer in the future.

SlothPaladin wrote:

Tons of hardware problems that showed up after the warranty expired and they couldn't all be PEBKAC, just a slew of nasty problems, he's never had trouble with any of the other computers he's owned. It was an awesome system new but it just went to s*** after about a year or so. Problems with the power supply, over heating, keyboard (many keys quite working), network card and LCD.
Man. That's a shame. Well, I hope that doesn't happen to me. biggrin
Posted: Thu, 31st May 2007, 2:46pm

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KMP

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I heard from that a new version of the macbook is supposed to come out some time this year I think. I running a new macbook pro right now and I would have waited but I had to have it for certain reasons.
Posted: Tue, 5th Jun 2007, 1:54pm

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FreshMentos

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I really hope that you decided to wait.

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?nnmm=browse&mco=A1AA1545&node=home/macbook/macbook_pro

But really, Even if you didn't wait, it isn't too big of a deal because the originals are still really good.
Posted: Tue, 5th Jun 2007, 9:25pm

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SteveW

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The MacBook pro have just been updated so it is prob a good idea to get it now. best thing to look at when thinking of buying a mac is Mac Rumors Buyers Guide.