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Please! Dell D830 or MacBookPro? Audio Interfaces
Old 23rd August 2007
  #1
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Please! Dell D830 or MacBookPro?

I am currently a PC user, but I am fluent with both OS and like both equally. I have never owned a mac before and am now considering buying a new laptop for my audio needs. here are the specs.

Latitude D830 - $1,892.92
-Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7700 (2.40GHz) 4M L2 Cache, 800Mhz Dual Core
-15.4 inch Wide Screen WUXGA LCD Panel (1920x1200 pixels)
-2.0GB, DDR2-667 SDRAM, 2 DIMMS
-160GB Hard Drive, 9.5MM, 7200RPM

MacBook Pro - $3049.00 (same specs but 15" screen =$2,649.00)
-2.40GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
-17 inch Glossy Wide Screen LCD Panel (1920x1200 pixels)
-2.0GB, DDR2-667 SDRAM, 2x1GB SO-DIMMS
-160GB Hard Drive, SATA, 7200RPM

More to consider, I just purchased the 1616M interface with the PC Card, and the MacBookPro doesn't take PC cards. I may be able to return this item, but that is something to consider, I will need to find another interface that is comparable and compatible.

Another thing to consider, I recently stumbled upon an additional harddrive for the Latitude D-series notebooks that takes the place of the CD/DVD drive, so I would basically have dual hard drives in the same computer and could use them individually for tracking and running the system and programs, just like if I had an external harddrive (but no clumsy external cables and enclosure, and no additional power plug necessary).

All that said, it really looks like the MacBook Pro is $1000+ more and not as convenient. What would you do?

Also, there is an option to go with the 15" macbook pro, which would make the price with all the same specs = $2,649.00

The laptop weight and dimensions do not matter to me, besides, they are roughtly the same dimensions and weight...
Old 23rd August 2007
  #2
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Do you really want to get this started? You're going to get a myriad of responses from fanboys on both sides of the the fence that will have nothing to do with which platform will be better for the way YOU work.

And comparing a Mac to a PC is not a like-to-like comparison, even if they are identical hardware as yours appear to be. The bottom line with this is whether you work better in OS X or Windows. Choose your application first, your operating system second, and your hardware last.

Personally, I use a Mac because I like Logic and I like OS X. Your experience with that configuration could be dramatically different from mine. If I remember correctly, you've been using Cubase, correct?
Old 23rd August 2007
  #3
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Assuming that your DAW of choice works on both platforms: The MBP will probably require less tweaking and troubleshooting both initially and in the long term than the Dell, and if the computer isn't going to be dedicated purely to DAW work you won't need to futz around with firewall and antivirus software with the Mac.

Depending on the sort of work you're doing, if you want to go with the Mac option, you might consider getting one of the non-pro Macbooks. The screen is smaller, but they're really powerful and much cheaper. (I use one myself.)

Hope this helps,

Trent
Old 23rd August 2007
  #4
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That is correct, I use Cubase, and all of my other software is OSX compatible, except Izotope Trash (I think). I have used both OS enough to be familiar with them, but have never truly given Mac a shot (Never owned one).

So I was simply giving identical hardware with pricing, to see if there is anyone who could tell me whether the additional price of the mac would give me benefit using the same software I am using. But at the first sign of fanboy mudslinging, I will request the thread to be locked down...

So is it truly purly personal preference? Because I personally like the way the mac looks a lot better, it just seems to be a solid machine. but the PC is so much cheaper and gives me some additional conveniences. I am equally as fast at either OS, or at least, I can be given some time in the apple OS. I guess I am asking, is it worth the additional cash to give Apple a shot.. too subjective a question? hah
Old 23rd August 2007
  #5
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The computer will be used mostly for DAW work, but will also include some personal note taking and web browsing etc... nothing too drastic, I probably won't have any programs installed that aren't music related.

What does the MBP offer that is substantially better than the regular macbooks?
Old 23rd August 2007
  #6
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The regular Macbooks are great, I have a Pro and it's a monster. I use it for my DAW, photoshop, web, music, chat, everything! I wouldn't trade it for anything, excpet maybe a MacPro, but besides that its great. But you can save a lot of money with the regular Macbooks.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #7
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what do you lose by downgrading to a macbook from the macbookpro?

backlit keyboard? bigger screen? a few megahertz? a faster harddrive? what else?
Old 23rd August 2007
  #8
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ricfoxx's Avatar
Macbooks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akoppenheffer View Post
The regular Macbooks are great, I have a Pro and it's a monster. I use it for my DAW, photoshop, web, music, chat, everything! I wouldn't trade it for anything, excpet maybe a MacPro, but besides that its great. But you can save a lot of money with the regular Macbooks.
My Regular 2.0gHz White Macbook is faster than any desktop I have had with ZERO problems. I use it for mostly mixing and it takes a TON of Plugs to bog it down!

Ric
Old 23rd August 2007
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEcho View Post
what do you lose by downgrading to a macbook from the macbookpro?

backlit keyboard? bigger screen? a few megahertz? a faster harddrive? what else?
Mac Book has FW400, MBP has a FW800 port as well(though i believe it's on the same buss as the 400). Also i believe the internal HD on the MB has a max RPM of 5400 where the MBP can house a 7200RPM HD.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #10
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macrae11's Avatar
 

I was just checking your numbers on the Dell site, and I got a few differences.
1 they don't have an option for a 160 gig HD, and the price came out to $2109, not $1892, with only a 120 gig HD.

So given that and the macbook comes with FW800, and what appears to be a superior video card, the playing field seems much more level.

That being said, the 2 hard drives in one laptop would interest me greatly, and you've already got the hardware for the Dell.

I think it pretty much comes down to personal preference at this point. I bought a Dell a few months ago. Strongly disliked it. Now i'm back on the old G4 powerbook for portable stuff.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #11
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I get a better deal on my Dells because of the company I work with, Sorry, I forgot to mention that.

here is the link to that site with the extra HDD

100GB ABSplus Module Bay for Latitude D Series & Inspiron - Backup Solutions - CMS PRODUCTS

Last edited by hduncan; 23rd August 2007 at 09:05 PM.. Reason: add link
Old 23rd August 2007
  #12
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gardinen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricey View Post
Mac Book has FW400, MBP has a FW800 port as well(though i believe it's on the same buss as the 400). Also i believe the internal HD on the MB has a max RPM of 5400 where the MBP can house a 7200RPM HD.
Though the HD in the Macbook is far easier to replace then on the Macbook Pro AND you will not loose your warranty.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEcho View Post
That is correct, I use Cubase, and all of my other software is OSX compatible, except Izotope Trash (I think).
FYI,
Trash works in OSX and I'm pretty sure Izotope has updated all their software to MacIntel.

Dan Carter

P.S. to the poster above, the word is spelled "lose" not "loose"
Old 23rd August 2007
  #14
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excellent news, in that case, there is no software related reason why i should not switch to a mac.

so its all down to personal preference and cash...

I am going to go to the local mac store and play with the mac book and see how I like it. that will just have to be my final deciding factor..


do I fall in love with it? or is it just another machine.. if its just another machine, the price will dictate my choice.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkEcho View Post
what do you lose by downgrading to a macbook from the macbookpro?

backlit keyboard? bigger screen? a few megahertz? a faster harddrive? what else?
The MBPs all come with an ExpressCard slot, which may or may not be useful to you.

I'm not a "fan" of either Apple or Microsoft. At work, I use a PC laptop and have few if any problems with it. When I was shopping for a laptop for recording purposes, I initially planned on sticking with a PC platform, but in order to get one that was optimized for audio work and maximally compliant with Firewire (I have a Presonus Firebox for i/o), I would've needed to go with a specialty manufacturer like ADK, and at that point there was no cost advantage over an MBP. I wound up going with a regular Macbook mainly because it was cheaper and did everything I needed to do and would run Bootcamp, which made it possible to use Sonar (which is the DAW I was using at the time). Everything worked OK, with no more tweaking than was required on my Windows laptop. I did ultimately switch over to Logic and found that, as advertised, everything was plug 'n' play when running under OS X. I realize, however, that some Windows users have no problems with their DAW setups.

It might be worth doing some research to see if people are happy using their Dell laptops for audio work and what, if any, problems they're running into.

Hope this helps,

Trent
Old 23rd August 2007
  #16
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Hey Dark Echo

I had a 867MHZ Powerbook back in the day. I used it for years and it served me well. It really convinced me to switch to Apple all together (I now own three Apple computers). The OS is VERY stable. That's important to me. I had a Dell that was an absolute nightmare for me. I spent more time configuring that thing than actually writing music.

Going back to my Powerbook. The computer was stolen from me. And while that sucked, I got a nice insurance check for it. I walked into the Apple Store ready to by the modern equivalent (Mac Book Pro). When I thought about it, I talked myself out of it and downgraded to a Mac Book. Here's why.

2GHZ is a lot of power. My 867MHZ Powerbook handled almost everything I threw at it and the Mac Book is like six times faster (I'm guessing). I don't know how processor intensive your sessions get, but I have never been disappointed. I figure if you were doing serious tracking where you would need a sick amount of power, you'd be saving up for a desktop instead. I love my Mac Book. I use it for hours everyday. I'm actually typing this message on it right now.

I didn't need the FW800 or the extra real estate of the Mac Book Pro. I mean, a 17" laptop is practically a desktop. I am perfectly comfortable with the screen size on the Mac Book. The other cool thing about getting the Mac Book is that a pimped out one costs $1200 less than the pimped out Mac Book Pro. That money can be used for more gear.

In the end, you will be purchasing a new system, that is more stable and better suited for audio. You no longer will have the same worries about viruses that you once had on the PC. You say you have used a MAC before. As long as the interface felt good to you, I say why not? As you stated, it looks better too. The little things (looks) do make your experience a better one.

In the end, the decision is yours.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #17
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Thanks Bex,
I think what I need to do is actually go to the mac store and give the mac book a good old fashion feeling. I think If I see it in person and test the keyboard, look at the screen, see how it responds to the mouse etc, it will help me decide. I know how dells work, ive had three up until this point, and while they all do me well, I think maybe the mac just has something that they dont. I just want to see what the hype is all about, if there is any truth to it, and I dont think that with Apples reputation, that I can go wrong either way...

the only thing holding me back is the Dells ability to have dual harddrives (eliminating the need for an external one) and the fact that I have an expensive 1616m that I cant use with a macbook. =(
Old 24th August 2007
  #18
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The dual hard drive thing is cool, but I'd rather own a Mac with an external HD than a Dell with 2 internal hard drives. This is of course just my opinion. Plus, external hard drives are small and will be only getting smaller as time moves on.
Old 24th August 2007
  #19
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hogo's Avatar
 

+1 for the mac
Old 24th August 2007
  #20
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I went to the mac shop last night and played with the macbook and the macbookpro. I was actually a little dissapointed in the apparent build quality... the screens seemed a little flimsy, like they would slingshot and wobble back and forth when you poke them. I didnt really like the way the keyboard felt and I think that the screen on the macbook is smaller than I would like.. The macbook pro had a better screen hinge feel but on both laptops, the camera is located where where your finger goes to open the lid, which I can only imagine allows for finger print smudges on the lense.. sort of a bad Idea I thought. anyways- After playing with them, i wasn't too impressed by the feel, they just don't FEEL that sturdy.. Which is really dissapointing because I was hoping the mac would wow me into buying it.. I dont know if the materials are totally durable and just appear to be cheap, but I was saddened by the trial. I will be getting a Dell, most likely with XP due to the lack of total compatibility with vista just yet. Vista is sleek enough to give me the nice GUI aspect that mac has been sporting for a while, and I think the dells are a better built laptop at a reduced price, especially because I get a good deal on them..

thanks for your input everyone, it was very helpful!!
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