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Super laptop for me

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 



I have been thinking about getting a second laptop for awhile now. I would want something that is much more powerful than my current ASUS N61JV-X2 notebook PC with just as great reliability and support to go along with it. After calculating some of the options, I am giving serious thought to getting something completely different: an Apple MacBook Pro 17" with an Intel Core i7-2600K CPU, nVIDIA GeForce GTX 500 M series GPU, 512 GB Solid State Drive, Anti-Glare screen, and Microsoft Office 2011 Home and Business. Of course, some of these technologies are not yet available today. I would be willing to spend up to $5,000.00 USD and I already have the money. I would also be willing to wait until these key technologies become fully available too.


The reason why I am considering an Apple laptop is because I have heard such great things about OS X especially with regard to the upcoming Lion update. The service and support are second to none. OS X is a superior operating system compared to Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. It is easier, more intuitive, and it performs at a much higher caliber with fewer crashes and bugs. OS X is also more stable and reliable and it is more secure too.


Switching over will be a very expensive transformation. I have a copy of VMWare Fusion so I could run Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit with all of my native software applications without resorting to Boot Camp.


I am wondering how many of you guys made the switch over to an Apple MacBook Pro specifically the 17" with all of the hardware and software upgrade options currently available. How was the switchover? Do you have any problems running Windows especially if you own a licensed copy of VMWare Fusion? Was it worth it?


I do not know how long I would have to wait until these aforementioned key technologies become available, but I am hoping that it will not be too long from now. I was going to get myself a Clevo / Sager, but I decided that I wanted something truly different and better.


I am open to suggestions on how to proceed about this. Thank you.

post #2 of 45

wow. 5000$ on a laptop... Are you going to game or do video editing? If not well.. its a waste of money. You might as well buy a normal 17 with normal HDD which will save you about 2-3000$. The different is very little and if you're going to game or do video editing buy a pc laptop. A pc laptop that cost about 2-3 grand are much better than a mac in terms of specs and computing power. Additionally, I do not think that buying a 5000$ laptop is worth it because it can easily be lost, damage, and will be outdated within a couple of years. So unless you have money to burn, I suggest not to buy a laptop that cost more than 2-3k.

post #3 of 45

to answer you're second question, using vmware to boot windows doesnt really work. It will run programs very slowly and crashes a lot. I own a 13" macbook so it might work on the 17". I downloaded vmware for free so I cant really say if it was worth the money but if I did, I would say no.

post #4 of 45
Thread Starter 

To answer your question, yes, I would do video editing on a new Apple MacBook Pro 17" with all of the upgrade options. This is why I need IEEE 1394B which is built into the computer. I have a SIIG IEEE 1394B Firewire 800 Mbps ExpressCard/34 to do video editing. As a matter of fact, I plan on buying Ahead Nero 10 Multimedia Suite Platinum HD this Friday along with Sid Meier's Civilization 5 for the PC.


I agree with you that spending up to $3,000.00 USD on a PC will get me much better hardware and software options. It would also not cause me a penalty to switch over to the Apple OS X operating system.


VMWare Fusion works best on high end Apple hardware such as the MacBook Pro 17" or the Mac Pro workstation. You will need a fully licensed copy to get the maximum benefits from using it. At New Jersey Institute of Technology, we have a very small Apple Macintosh computer laboratory in which we run fully licensed versions of all VMWare products including Fusion. It works perfectly, but they run Apple Mac Pro 2010 models and a few MacBook Pro 17" with the standard configurations.


$5,000.00 USD is a lot of money to spend on any computer, but I have the money and I am comfortable spending it.


I don't know when I will buy another laptop, but I am sure that it must be a laptop. I am going to be moving around a lot of different places so I truly need a mobile workstation or desktop replacement. I would be using it to code C++, Java, PHP, play Civilization 5 (this game requires modern, high end hardware and software to play smoothly), and do video editing.


I would be buying a full High Definition digital video camera with IEEE 1394B from B&H Photo Video Pro Audio store soon too. I will also buy a very high resolution digital camera for high resolution photography work as well pretty soon.


This would mean that I would need Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection.


Finally, I am going to buy an Echo Digital Audio Indigo IOx ExpressCard/34 sound card. It works for both PCs and Macs. It is a high end sound card that syncs with most of the popular multi-track recording software applications on the market and I can record and mix soundtracks, music, and audio on the fly with it. It is for professional audio usage.


So, there you have it.


My understanding is such that a PC or Mac would work in either scenario.


New Jersey Institute of Technology can provide me with VMWare Fusion and Workstation 7.1.2 for free. I can get a student and teacher educational discount for Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection for just $899.00 USD which is affordable.


The only thing that I would still need to buy is a SIIG IEEE 1394A and SIIG eSATA ExpressCard/34 for both my ASUS N61JV-X2 and an Apple MacBook Pro 17" so that I can have a wider selection of digital cameras and video cameras to choose from as well as being able to use my Thermaltake BlacX SATA I-II hard drive dock that has USB 2.0 and eSATA ports. This would enable me to buy very large capacity hard drives for an inexpensive price for massive storage and archival purposes.


Part of me does not want to get another PC because I want something truly different. The good thing about OS X is that the updates are cumulative and the software engineers and designers at Apple intentionally ensure that each update will work on older generation MacBooks, iMacs, and Mac Pro computers.


Microsoft usually requires a significant upgrade in hardware specifications for each successive version of their Windows and Office operating systems as the years go by. This results in the accumulation of older PC hardware for which I really do not have the means or physical storage space to maintain over the years. Furthermore, an Apple MacBook Pro is much more durable and reliable than most of their Microsoft Windows PC counterparts with the exception of semi or fully rugged computers designed for law enforcement, military, government, or field usage scenarios. Those computers cost about the same amount of money as a fully loaded Apple MacBook Pro 17", but they offer far inferior computing power.


As I have said before, I have not decided when to get one and this is merely to solicit opinions.

post #5 of 45

The challenge will be, primarily, in how dependant you are on doing things the Windows way.  Some people can't handle the differences.  On the other hand, many people end up liking the "it just works" results they get.


Beware, however, that while Apple supports legacy hardware to a reasonable degree, third party card makers can be slow in updating drivers for the latest Mac OS X. Sometimes this doesn't matter (the old driver still works) and sometimes it does.

post #6 of 45
Thread Starter 

Yes, this is my biggest concern. As of right now, I still have no idea how OS X fully works. For my job at NJIT, I received a new Apple MacBook Pro 15" with an Intel Core i7 CPU. I was told to install Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 bit and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 in Boot Camp mode and I also had to install Microsoft Office 2011 for Macintosh too. It took me hours to find the directions on Google on how to do this, but I got it right on the very first try. I tried to play around with OS X Snow Leopard, but I gave up after 15 minutes of trying and I wound up surfing the Internet using Safari for 10 minutes before I decided to power off the laptop and work on another Dell Latitude E6410 notebook PC as a part of my job.


Apple makes sexy computers, but I don't know how to use them. I heard that they teach classes for PC users switching over to Apple at their stores. I might sign up for classes.


I expect a learning curve.

post #7 of 45

Well, then a 17" macbook pro should probably suit you well, but dont expect that your laptop will be able to play new intensive games cause the gpu is outdated years ago. I also doubt that it will be able to play Civ V maxed out cause it uses dx11 which require a very powerful gpu. I cant even max out the aa on my gaming rig (Ati HD 5870 oc@920 mhz, Phenom x4 oc@ 4.00 Ghz) and I doubt that yours will be able to. Dont get me wrong, the laptop will be able to render models and edit video very well but dont expect it to be able to game. Also, why do you need to get a 500 gb SSD? It only improves loading time by a few seconds and it is definitely not worth the extra 1 grand. You might as well get the normal HDD and replace it with a seagate momentus XT which is a

Hybrid SSD and cost only about 120$. 

post #8 of 45
Thread Starter 

Again, this is only academic right now.


I would really like to be able to play Sid Meier's Civilization 5 with all of the settings turned up to the maximum levels. I think that only a Windows notebook PC will do the trick.


Apple has not announced their updated refresh for their MacBook Pro lineup this year yet.

post #9 of 45
Thread Starter 

Once you experience the performance of a solid state drive, you cannot go backwards.


Hybrid hard drives are up to 40% faster than conventional hard drives, but they are slower than solid state drives.


I definitely will spring for a solid state drive regardless of the cost. It is just too good of a thing to pass up despite the high cost.


For the record, I have no idea if Apple is ever going to manufacture a refreshed MacBook Pro 17" with the hardware specifications that I want. I know that I can get these technologies today if I stick with a notebook PC running Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit from Clevo / Sager for just under $4,500.00 USD.


I may stick with what I know best, but I am of an open mind when it comes to Apple.

post #10 of 45

When you're rendering that clip and the two fans are screaming away while the machine stutters to an early grave, I wish you every happiness wink.gif



If you're going to spend $5K on a higher-powered notebook for heavy-duty media use, spend it on an HP Elitebook 8740w, Lenovo W701 or a Dell Precision M6500.

(In case you're wondering, a world away from Clevo / Sager stuff)

post #11 of 45
Thread Starter 

HP and Dell are out of the picture.


The Lenovo W701DS is my top choice. I will wait until the new Intel Core i7-2600K and nVIDIA Quadro 5000M become available later this year when they do a refresh of their lineup.


Back to the Apple Macintosh MacBook Pro 17". Why did you make your comment? I do not understand what you mean. Please explain it in further detail. Thank you.

post #12 of 45
Originally Posted by Welly Wu View Post

HP and Dell are out of the picture.


The Lenovo W701DS is my top choice. I will wait until the new Intel Core i7-2600K and nVIDIA Quadro 5000M become available later this year when they do a refresh of their lineup.


Back to the Apple Macintosh MacBook Pro 17". Why did you make your comment? I do not understand what you mean. Please explain it in further detail. Thank you.


Why out of the picture? We aren't talking some built-to-price crud here, but rather the best both manufacturers have to offer.


The Pro is a sub-XPS16 (i.e. 'premium low-level consumer') in terms of internal engineering. Under heavy load it can barely keep itself out of max case while spinning both fans at 6krpm.

post #13 of 45
Thread Starter 

I realize that Hewlett Packard and Dell have different customer service and technical support teams and options available for their EliteBook and Precision products, but I am against purchasing any computer from either major brands because I service, repair, and upgrade these systems at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Let me just say that I am underwhelmed and unimpressed. I have not worked on an EliteBook or Dell Precision M4500 or M6500, but I would not want to spend my money on those brands whatsoever.


I can live with a Lenovo W701DS or its future successor by the time that I am ready to make my purchasing decision. I have worked on a stock Lenovo W701DS and it is quite impressive.


Given the future hardware and software purchases that I will be making in addition to spending up to $5,000.00 USD on a laptop, the Lenovo W701DS with all of the maximum upgrade options would be a perfect fit for my intended usages. It is designed for multimedia playback and content creation. It would also do quite well for productivity and computer programming. Lastly, I can play modern computer games on it if need be.


I would get a tremendous amount of computing power with a fully loaded Lenovo W701DS compared to an Apple MacBook Pro 17" for a few hundreds of dollars more, but it would be worth it.


I find that my ASUS N61JV-X2 notebook PC is not sufficient for multimedia content creation anymore. I want to become an amateur photographer and I want to shoot high definition videos, but my current laptop struggles to keep up with me when it comes to manipulating very large RAW images or 1080p resolution videos in excess of 10 minutes in length. Don't get me wrong: it is adequate for the job, but trying to work with high resolution 24bit/96KHz audio tracks, editing 20+ MB RAW photographs, and trying to do post-production editing and splicing of 1080p resolution videos at the same time is nearly impossible on my laptop.


This is why I wanted to look into an Apple MacBook Pro 17" because it is designed to handle these tasks with aplomb. The Lenovo W701DS can master these tasks without breaking a sweat.

post #14 of 45

Looking for a high powered laptop lead you to a macbook pro?... 


If you could find an asus G73JH somewhere, it'll laugh at the puny macbook and only cost ~1.5k. It's a ridiculous performance/value machine. Rivals a lot of people's gaming rigs.

Why not look at a desktop? If you're willing to spend 5k on a macbook... Split it 50/50. Build your self an awesome desktop and have enough left over for a upgrade over your current laptop. 


Macbooks are designed to move product, specifically themselves. Which they do quite well, but I doubt it would be a worthwhile move from your current laptop.

post #15 of 45
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the continued replies to my threads.


I think that you are onto something over there.


I have tried the ASUS G73JW-A1 which is the slightly improved successor to the ASUS G73JH. It was a very powerful notebook PC.


I really do not want to build a desktop PC. I would rather spend the entire $5,000.00 USD on getting one of the most powerful notebook PCs available at the time of my purchase.

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