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Moving from an old "pro" machine to a new consumer machine.
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New York?
2007-03-01, 16:28

When I purchased my first Mac, knowing considerably less than I do now, I went with a "pro" machine:

PowerBook G4 12", 867 MHz, 640 MB DDR SDRAM, 60 GB hard drive.

At the time, this was absolutely top-of-the-line from what could be purchased from the on-line store, with BTO options. I now realize it was way, way more than I needed at the time. But I feel like buying pro helped to future-proof the machine for me. If I hadn't had an unfortunate coffee-spill, I'd still be (happily) using it, and would've continued to do so until Leopard came out. It was a little slow four years on, but overall it performed very well for me. ( I miss it).

My issue is that I now understand quite clearly that I am not a pro-user. My most-intensive use is some occasional video-editing (which I do on an iMac G5, which is a little slow for my taste, but still fine). Eventually, I'd also like to learn Adobe. Other than that, I'm a casual, on-the-couch user. I've never regretted picking the computer I did, though, because for four years it soldiered on, and the early excess capacity later turned out to be just enough capacity to get me by.

But now I'm nervous about moving down to a consumer-model (thinking about a MacBook, 2.0 GHz, 2GB RAM, 160 GB HD). I really want to pick up a computer that will last me for another four years, and the pro-models have proven to me they can last that long. Obviously the MacBook will be a revelation compared to my clunky PowerBook. But will it hold up over time?

So, my dilemma: should I pick up the maxed out MacBook, or should I think about a maxed-out MacBook Pro 15". The difference in price (for me, with an education discount) is $800. That's not a killer for me, but it obviously hurts. The 15" size is not as desirable, but I do like the keyboard and other design elements on the 15", as they are simply more familiar to me.

What do others think? Does anyone have a similar experience, moving from an old "pro" machine to a newer consumer machine? Do people think the MacBook will hold off age for at least 3-to-4 or so years, from the perspective of a casual user? Four years from now, will I be able to do basic photo-editing/video-editing on any laptop I could purchase right now? What about handling large PDF (which my PowerBook struggled with) or similar tasks (tasks that will expand in demand to utilize expanding processor capabilities)? Will the MacBook's integrated graphics cause my machine to be limping 2 years on? Any thoughts at all are helpful.

p.s. Sorry to start a new thread, but I couldn't find anything comparable.
Sneaky Punk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2007-03-01, 16:46

Personally, I went for the Macbook Pro, for the reason of future proofing, and because I like having a dedicated graphics card. That being said, if you only do light tasks 90% of the time, then I'd say go for the Macbook. It's only .16 or .33Ghz slower (in other words hardly at all) and unless you work with 3D apps and play games, the dedicated graphics card doesn't matter.
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