Author Topic: Is a mac book worth it  (Read 14705 times)

bloomers100

  • ACME's Head of Sexual Health and Family Planning
Is a mac book worth it
« on: December 18, 2016, 06:09:17 pm »
We need a new laptop at home. I can get a i7 16gb Dell for £799. The Apple equivalent is gonna cost at least £1200 and that would be i5 and 8gb.

The hardest thing it would have to do is video editing.

Is Apple worth the extra a money? We have iPhones and iPads in the house.

What do our experts think?

Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2016, 06:23:33 pm »
No.
If you need any more convincing of this, watch some of Louis Rossmann's videos or read his Reddit AMA

I'm not sure which Dell you are looking at (even some of the i7's are dual core now) but the Apple i5 will certainly be dual core.
For video editing, a quad core CPU would be a better choice. You are looking for Laptops with CPU models suffixed HQ (e.g. Core i7-6700HQ) rather than U (Core i7-6500U)

A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

Dibdib

  • Fat'n'slow
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2016, 06:25:23 pm »
Speaking as a (relatively new) Mac convert... probably not.

That's not to say the Macbook is poor value for money - without knowing exactly what Dell you're looking at, I'd question whether an £800 Dell has a Retina-quality display, the same battery life, the low weight or the build quality of a Macbook. It obviously won't have macOS, which to me is worth some premium at least.

But none of the current Mac laptops really have the oomph you'll probably want to video editing, where pure grunt is important and you'll probably really benefit from the extra RAM.

Personally my next computer will be a Mac, but not one of the current laptop offerings. If I had to shell out the cash now it'd be the £1250 21.5" iMac.

Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2016, 06:25:51 pm »
I have a couple of iMacs and an iPhone.
Stuffs between them works pretty much effortlessly and seamlessly.
And is much nicer to use than anything windoze based (I have a windoze lappy)

Dibdib

  • Fat'n'slow
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2016, 06:38:50 pm »
To add, on the build quality/longevity topic - I'm currently typing this on a late 2009 iMac, maxed out with a 1tb drive and 16gb of RAM. Running the latest macOS, but this might be the last upgrade it gets. Seven years old and almost spotless - the optical drive was dead when I bought it but otherwise it's never skipped a beat. Not bad for £150 from a guy on Twitter.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2016, 06:53:58 pm »
If it's for home use then why a laptop?  Particularly if video editing is on the cards.

My OS-agnostic take on it is that Apple laptops are very good at being laptops (size/weight, the all-important battery life), but relatively poor at being desktops (expandability, ports, price to performance ratio).
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2016, 06:57:14 pm »
As a collection of parts, no. You'll get better spec for far less. And the recent price hike is plain silly.

As a machine that pleasant and easy to use, I'd say yes. I don't buy other things on the basis of a component list and the sum of their prices, so I'm not sure why thst logic should apply to computers. The screen and human interfaces are a lot more important to me than how many GBs it has. I just want a computer that works with minimal faff and delay. Once upon a time I used to like playing around with computers. These days I want to switch them them on and do stuff. As for macOS vs. Windows, I cry every time I have to use Windows. I think there's some kind of subliminal reprogramming of users that goes on, it's the only reason they're not all rampaging through the streets venting years of fury. It's take a lot to get me back to Windows. It's saying something I'd rather use Linux, and that's like a crash-course in Win95 nostalgia.

All my Macs have lasted forever, there's a 2009 Mac Mini under the stairs pretending to be a NAS, my 2011 Macbook Air still runs rings around a recent Dell. Yes, yes, someone somewhere will have bought a Mac that turned out to be faulty.

But then people get rather strangely impassioned by computer choice. Personally, it's fridges. Man, I never tire of badmouthing people who chose LG fridges. I mean seriously, P34454s! You can get a Samsung with a P34643X compressor for half the price.

Video editing covers a variety of sins – certainly a Macbook will handle splicing together home video clips etc., but high-end stuff really does benefit from significant oomph. Video transcoding is processor intensive, but to be honest, nothing that overtaxes a modern processor. If you're planning to take on Pixar, of course, that's pro territory.
!nataS pihsroW

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2016, 07:05:29 pm »
The screen and human interfaces are a lot more important to me than how many GBs it has.

This is the other problem with laptops, generally.  A perfectly good machine can be let down by an overly reflective screen, poor trackpad or insane keyboard layout.  The only way to know for sure is to fondle them.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2016, 07:14:44 pm »
The screen and human interfaces are a lot more important to me than how many GBs it has.

This is the other problem with laptops, generally.  A perfectly good machine can be let down by an overly reflective screen, poor trackpad or insane keyboard layout.  The only way to know for sure is to fondle them.

Good point. And no matter how much I like my Macbooks, I'd still rather do 'real' work on my 27 inch iMac. There's always a compromise in using laptops, I find.
!nataS pihsroW

Dibdib

  • Fat'n'slow
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2016, 07:25:59 pm »
Thinking about it, if you have a monitor/mouse/keyboard already, the self-build parts list Afasoas posted in another thread would probably be a good start and would probably out-muscle a Macbook - and at just £350 ish, plenty of scope for upgrading the CPU and RAM if you do want something even more grunty.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2016, 07:27:36 pm »
For video editing, it depends on the machine. My early 2013 MBP 15" smashes through HD footage as if it wasn't there.

If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2016, 07:55:42 pm »
The screen and human interfaces are a lot more important to me than how many GBs it has.

This is the other problem with laptops, generally.  A perfectly good machine can be let down by an overly reflective screen, poor trackpad or insane keyboard layout.  The only way to know for sure is to fondle them.

I'd add, aim to buy a business laptop rather than a consumer orientated one. They tend to have better chassis, less reflective displays, better keyboards. Batteries, HDD, RAM and even often the CPU is replaceable and more accessible too. It's possible to take them to any half decent technician to be repaired and some manufacturers are offering inclusive 3 year on-site warranties.

As a collection of parts, no. You'll get better spec for far less. And the recent price hike is plain silly.

I don't think anyone is recommending anything on the basis of it being 'a collection of parts'.

As a machine that pleasant and easy to use, I'd say yes. I don't buy other things on the basis of a component list and the sum of their prices, so I'm not sure why thst logic should apply to computers. The screen and human interfaces are a lot more important to me than how many GBs it has. I just want a computer that works with minimal faff and delay. Once upon a time I used to like playing around with computers. These days I want to switch them them on and do stuff. As for macOS vs. Windows, I cry every time I have to use Windows. I think there's some kind of subliminal reprogramming of users that goes on, it's the only reason they're not all rampaging through the streets venting years of fury. It's take a lot to get me back to Windows. It's saying something I'd rather use Linux, and that's like a crash-course in Win95 nostalgia.

All the operating systems have their strengths and weaknesses. I've read that through a few times and it sounds like miss-information. W10 is reasonably snappy, even on my Celeron laptop. The UI is better than it's ever been. It's not particularly hard to use - even my mother is quite adept with it. The networking stack is much better than in Linux or macOS. And I say that as an everyday Linux user. W10's legacy support for older applications and older hardware is second to none. It has all the features you'd look for in any operating system - powershell scripts to interact with Excel spreadsheets? Yes please. Edge isn't my first choice of browser, I don't like that you can't switch the spying features off and the extra features like Xbox I'm no fan of either. But I find it hard to criticise W10 for either it's lack of usability, reliability or how 'fast' it is.

As for Win95 nostalgia, I'm not sure I could liken using any current Linux distro to Win95. Cinnamon is a bit like XP, more by design than by accident.

I'd like to iterate that each OS does have it strengths,

All my Macs have lasted forever, there's a 2009 Mac Mini under the stairs pretending to be a NAS, my 2011 Macbook Air still runs rings around a recent Dell. Yes, yes, someone somewhere will have bought a Mac that turned out to be faulty.

I couldn't recommend Mac's for hardware reliability.

Quote
But then people get rather strangely impassioned by computer choice. Personally, it's fridges. Man, I never tire of badmouthing people who chose LG fridges. I mean seriously, P34454s! You can get a Samsung with a P34643X compressor for half the price.

There's a reason for this, and that's the way that the fondness for Apple's offerings is mind boggling. They aren't exactly a panacea for usability or ease of getting things done that people perceive them to be. If that were the case, I'd be using one to type out this message. And I wouldn't find myself offering so much support to the small number of Mac users in my work place. MacOS is like a sandbox which offers a good veneer of usability but it doesn't hold the users hand in quite the way it needs too. It doesn't stop users from filling their disks up to the extent the machine takes a long time to boot and becomes hellishly unresponsive. It doesn't give the user a clue what's going on when network connectivity is broken because the routing table is missing a default entry. It doesn't tell the user that networking isn't working because Bonjour has decided to saturate the network interface. And whilst the finish on them is very nice, the actual build quality is awful. So is the way they seem to treat their customers. Don't take my word for it, watch some of the repairs undertaken by Louis Rossmann and judge for yourself.

Yes it's nice that the interface is so consistent across a range of apps and it's nice how it just works with other Apple devices. And yes I could possibly entertain the idea of recommending Apple products if they weren't so ludicrously overpriced.

Quote
Video editing covers a variety of sins – certainly a Macbook will handle splicing together home video clips etc., but high-end stuff really does benefit from significant oomph. Video transcoding is processor intensive, but to be honest, nothing that overtaxes a modern processor. If you're planning to take on Pixar, of course, that's pro territory.

Again there's some level of naivety here. Laptop CPUs fall into two camps - workstation CPUs and ultra-mobile CPUs. Those in the former camp are intended for use in 'mobile workstations' whilst the latter are intended to sip up as few electrovoles as possible in order to prolong the life of increasingly small batteries. Small to save weight and bulk of 'ultra-portable' laptops. For anything more than rendering 720p you really want a CPU from the first camp. And that in MBP guise is very spendy. Not that Apple make it easy to discern what CPUs are in their devices these days.
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2016, 08:00:59 pm »
If it's for home use then why a laptop?
Space, convenience, sociability.  Not everyone has room to give over to a sodding great tower, laptops are generally pretty quiet so you can sit on the sofa in the bosom of your family, rather than locked away elsewhere in the house, and still get on with your IT related trivia.  And when you're done you can stuff a laptop out of sight in a small cupboard.
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

Dibdib

  • Fat'n'slow
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2016, 08:08:14 pm »
So what would you recommend then, as a "business" laptop?

There's a reason for this, and that's the way that the fondness for Apple's offerings is mind boggling. They aren't exactly a panacea for usability or ease of getting things done that people perceive them to be. If that were the case, I'd be using one to type out this message.

So what you're saying is that because you don't like them, they're inherently bad and all the many people who disagree with you are wrong?

Dibdib

  • Fat'n'slow
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2016, 08:09:46 pm »
If it's for home use then why a laptop?
Space, convenience, sociability.  Not everyone has room to give over to a sodding great tower, laptops are generally pretty quiet so you can sit on the sofa in the bosom of your family, rather than locked away elsewhere in the house, and still get on with your IT related trivia.  And when you're done you can stuff a laptop out of sight in a small cupboard.

But it's still a largely unsuitable tool for the job, in the same way that you can time-trial on a Brompton but I doubt anyone would recommend buying one for the purpose just because you can hide it under the stairs when you get home.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2016, 08:10:09 pm »
If it's for home use then why a laptop?
Space, convenience, sociability.  Not everyone has room to give over to a sodding great tower, laptops are generally pretty quiet so you can sit on the sofa in the bosom of your family, rather than locked away elsewhere in the house, and still get on with your IT related trivia.  And when you're done you can stuff a laptop out of sight in a small cupboard.

Valid reasons, although I'm compelled to point out there's plenty of middle ground between a laptop and a "sodding great tower", some of which can be admirably quiet (which isn't that hard compared to a laptop's fan once it gets going).
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2016, 08:25:35 pm »
Valid reasons, although I'm compelled to point out there's plenty of middle ground between a laptop and a "sodding great tower", some of which can be admirably quiet (which isn't that hard compared to a laptop's fan once it gets going).
For instance (he said mischievously) this 21.5" iMac I'm typing on. Completely silent at the moment.

"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2016, 08:29:26 pm »
So what would you recommend then, as a "business" laptop?

It's a vague question, the answer to which depends on actual use case.
Dell Latitude or Precision
Lenovo T4/560.
HP Elitebook/Zbook

There's a reason for this, and that's the way that the fondness for Apple's offerings is mind boggling. They aren't exactly a panacea for usability or ease of getting things done that people perceive them to be. If that were the case, I'd be using one to type out this message.

So what you're saying is that because you don't like them, they're inherently bad and all the many people who disagree with you are wrong?

No, that's you choosing to ignore the justification I gave for my opinion, which immediately followed it.
A handful of years ago, I'd have probably bought an iMac for photo editing had I been able to afford it. That's the strength of Apple's marketing. But now supporting a small number of Mac users and loaning an MBP for a few weeks after repairing it, I've come to realise that macOS is not all it's cracked up to be.

If it's for home use then why a laptop?
Space, convenience, sociability.  Not everyone has room to give over to a sodding great tower, laptops are generally pretty quiet so you can sit on the sofa in the bosom of your family, rather than locked away elsewhere in the house, and still get on with your IT related trivia.  And when you're done you can stuff a laptop out of sight in a small cupboard.

But it's still a largely unsuitable tool for the job, in the same way that you can time-trial on a Brompton but I doubt anyone would recommend buying one for the purpose just because you can hide it under the stairs when you get home.

Suggesting that laptops are an unsuitable tool, is a generalisation too far. Inevitably a suitable laptop is going to be much more expensive than it's desktop equivalent, and top end desktop versions will invariably be more powerful. But there are Laptops designed as mobile workstations expressly for more demanding and critical workloads. Hence you can even buy Laptops with Xeon CPUs.
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2016, 08:38:21 pm »
I tend to regard Mac OS as a less brown version of Ubuntu.  It does the same sort of stuff, and isn't Windows.

But fanboys and programmers aside, people don't use operating systems, they use applications.  Which tends to make arguing about the relative merits of one OS or another largely academic.  Either you have to use a specific OS because your important application only works on it, or your important apps are cross-platform and it comes down to what's most familiar and/or least irritating.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2016, 08:53:08 pm »
Hackintosh.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2016, 09:46:02 am »
Quote
But then people get rather strangely impassioned by computer choice. Personally, it's fridges. Man, I never tire of badmouthing people who chose LG fridges. I mean seriously, P34454s! You can get a Samsung with a P34643X compressor for half the price.

There's a reason for this, and that's the way that the fondness for Apple's offerings is mind boggling. They aren't exactly a panacea for usability or ease of getting things done that people perceive them to be. If that were the case, I'd be using one to type out this message. And I wouldn't find myself offering so much support to the small number of Mac users in my work place. MacOS is like a sandbox which offers a good veneer of usability but it doesn't hold the users hand in quite the way it needs too. It doesn't stop users from filling their disks up to the extent the machine takes a long time to boot and becomes hellishly unresponsive. It doesn't give the user a clue what's going on when network connectivity is broken because the routing table is missing a default entry. It doesn't tell the user that networking isn't working because Bonjour has decided to saturate the network interface. And whilst the finish on them is very nice, the actual build quality is awful. So is the way they seem to treat their customers. Don't take my word for it, watch some of the repairs undertaken by Louis Rossmann and judge for yourself.

Yes it's nice that the interface is so consistent across a range of apps and it's nice how it just works with other Apple devices. And yes I could possibly entertain the idea of recommending Apple products if they weren't so ludicrously overpriced.

I would hazard that you're not a 'normal' user'. I don't care who Louis Rossmann is and to be honest I've never had to a repair a Mac and I've no intention of taking one apart. I don't know what a routing table is, and I'm pretty sure my enjoyment of life isn't being unnecessarily impinged by this fact. I just want a computer that's easy and quick and use, mostly silent, with all the apps I need, and I get that from a Mac – and why I continue to buy them. Yes, you pay more, but then it's a package of features and design that I've not seen elsewhere, and in the few look-a-like products, has been about the same price. I only update a computer every five years-ish, so a couple of hundred quid is neither here nor there. Of course, they're not the cheap option, and you can a perfectly functional computer for less. Some things cost more than others. This fact, I understand, comes as a surprise to a lot of internet users.

It's a preference, it doesn't really matter what flavour of computer or OS in 2016, they'll all get you to the same place. The question posed was 'is a Macbook worth it?' Evidently a lot of people think so, or they wouldn't be buying them. But it's a personal choice. As Kim says, go prod one, for me it's about the entire machine. Lordy knows, I spend enough time sitting in front of one the bloody things, I've no wish to take shortcuts with the screen and keyboard. If you're a user who likes to faff around with the inner workings of hard- and software, it's probably not the machine for you.

This new Macbook Pro doesn't break a sweat with a 1080p video, I'm tweaking one as I write this.
!nataS pihsroW

bloomers100

  • ACME's Head of Sexual Health and Family Planning
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2016, 11:04:39 am »
Wow an avalanche of opinions, thanks.

What spec is the mac book pro you are using on video please?

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2016, 11:23:32 am »
Macbook Pro 13 inch retina, Core i5 2.7GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Iris Graphics 6100.

In all honesty, unless you have significant processing needs above and beyond the average user, such as very significant big data processing or production-level video, any mid-range or above off-the-shelf computer today is going to be more than capable.
!nataS pihsroW

bloomers100

  • ACME's Head of Sexual Health and Family Planning
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2016, 11:27:29 am »
Is that quad or dual?

It's only go pro type footage that might make its way onto youtube

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Is a mac book worth it
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2016, 11:40:36 am »
Says 'dual core' in the system details.

I doubt you'd have any issues with editing simple camera footage. You're not rendering special effects. Any computer wouldn't break a sweat.

If you have the budget and you want a Mac, get one, it's the only way to be sure. I swapped from Windows many years ago (OK, I have a mothership Dell but I just persuaded them to get me the non-policy Macbook to replace it, though they never asked for the Dell back) and I've no regrets.
!nataS pihsroW