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Macbook Pro or Dell Latitude D630?

Discussion in 'Apple/Mac' started by surrealillusion, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. surrealillusion


    Aug 23, 2007
    Hey everyone as fellow Nikon users I'm wondering what everyone's preference for post-processing is in terms of laptops (I've already got a 3Ghz quadcore desktop if I need raw processing power). I also posted this in the PC forum as I want to get as much feedback as possible before making my final decision.

    I've currently got two options since my laptop took a drink (literally, someone spilled a martini on it)

    Dell Latitude D630

    Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 (2.5Ghz)
    14.1" WXGA+ screen
    Vista Ultimate
    1 Gig of Memory (cheaper to upgrade myself after)
    5 Year basic warranty and 5 Year Next Business Day On Site support
    120 Gig 7200 RPM HD
    8X DVD+-R/W
    6 Cell battery
    Intel 3945 Wifi
    Touchpad with fingerprint reader
    5 Year completecare
    128 Meg Nvidia Quadro NVS 135M

    Price: $1517

    On the Apple side of things:

    Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 Ghz
    2 Gigs of RAM
    250 Gig 5400 RPM HD
    15" Widescreen LED display
    Backlit keyboard
    Superdrive 8X
    512 Meg Nvidia 8600M GT
    1 Year Warranty

    Price: $2399 (Refurb)

    So here are the pros and cons I can find for each so far:


    No LED LCD
    No backlight keyboard
    Not as powerful of a video card for casual gaming
    OS will not be as stable


    No modem
    No serial (both of these items are useful to me as I work in IT)
    Applecare warranty does not cover accidental damage (I think)

    Now rumor has it that there will be new MBP's released as early as next week, but I can't really hold my breath and wait as I don't have a personal laptop for work atm. The price on the Dell might even be cheaper as we are a reseller and I might see even more of a savings on the system.

    Opinions, suggestions, rants? :)  It's a fair amount of change to sink into a post-prouction environment but it doesn't need to be the do it all as I have another system if needed. What about software packages? Do Mac users really have no crashes when using CS3 or Lightroom? How does Aperature stack up against Lightroom?
  2. dwind

    dwind Guest

    Depends on what you want to do with it. If you get a macbook and run primarily windows stuff, get the Dell. If you want a mac then get the mac. It is a good machine.
  3. demosaic

    demosaic Guest


    None of that spec-sheet stuff matters much. The biggest difference, by far, is the operating environments. Do you prefer Windows or OS X, and are your apps available for your preferred OS? Base your decision on that.

    I have a MacBook Pro. 99% of the time, it's waiting for me, and only 1% of the time am I waiting for it. So hardware performance isn't an issue -- the deciding factor is the user experience, which is very, very different than Windows.

    I will say this, though: the MacBooks I've used have about 1/4 the battery life of Dells. If you wanted to do serious photo-editing on a transcontinental flight, you'd have to fill your backpack with spare batteries (which isn't allowed anymore).
  4. deanr

    deanr Guest

    Well, I am an Apple Systems Administrator, and that makes me a little biased. You really can't go wrong with the MacBook Pro. Opt for a larger hard drive and max out on RAM (4GB from Crucial for around $90.00) and you can run Mac OS X and Windows. There is the added benefit of no viruses (to wipe out your photos which haven't been backed up because you are currently traveling to another location), no spyware (spyware will slow down a Windows computer to the point of rendering it useless and/or very slow), and no malware. My university recently had to wipe 100's of Windows machines because of a new virus that spread so fast that an anti-virus gateway did not detect the virus before it was too late. Didn't affect Macs though :)  You can run Mac OS for photography and Windows for Office apps (if you really want to).

    Think graphics superiority and support superiority. The MacBook Pro has better graphics options. Poor graphics hardware equals poor enjoyment of your photography and more hardware calibration for you..

    Dell's customer support sucks to say the least. HP is currently blowing Dell out-of-the-water with sales and service, so if you want PC avoid Dell. Apple, by the way, is constantly rated number 1 in service and customer value. There is a reason for Apple being number 1. Superior customer service and self-support which is second to none.

    Just IMHO.
  5. surrealillusion


    Aug 23, 2007
    Definately see where you're coming from deanr regarding viruses/spyware/malware on Windows boxes. As an Windows Administrator I see a lot of it. Mind you my home PC experience is completely different as I haven't been hit with any viruses in the longest time, normally I sandbox all of my downloads to a Linux system and run an occasional AV scan.

    Support-wise, I used to work for Dell and I know the support can be painstakingly brutal, but I found with my previous D620 support was much better than the Inspiron line. Having a tech come out to swap out parts, not to mention a free replacement laptop for accidental drops, spills, etc is a bonus.

    Our IT company deals with pretty much all of the main players so laptop options are not an issue, price is part of it, and longevity is another. This will probably be a laptop for the next couple of years if not more, and the more functionality I can get out of it the better.

    The only thing holding me back at this very moment is that the applecare warranty is your basic parts and labour warranty. I wish they had something that covered accidental damage.
  6. I am also a Windows admin and I type this on a MBP. I've had both and even a thinkpad between and it is true, the OS makes the difference but the hardware also plays a large role. The build quality on the MBP is second to none and the display blows any notebook display away that I've seen. I recommend the Macbook pro but also run a windows desktop at home to balance out the two and keep me in check. :biggrin:
  7. ChrisA

    ChrisA Guest

    Don't think about the hardware so much. What you are deciding here is if you are going to be stuck with Microsoft Windows or if you will be moving on to Mac OS X. With OS X you get to run some software you can't get for Windows. Like Aperture and the iLife suite.

    You ask about Aperture v. Lightroom. I assume yu've looked at LR. If not doownload it and try it out. Aperture has some of the same functions if you lookat spec sheets. But what spec sheets don't talk about is "style". LR tends to impose a workflow on the user and has a much more simple organizational structure. Some people like this and don't like Aperture's flexibility. If you use Apple's iTunes and understand "smart playlists" and how you have group this into folders then you will understand Aperture. Light room appeals to those who like to stay with the concept of folders and files.

    Bottom line, here is how to decide. Pick your software FIRST then buy the hardware that runs that software best.
  8. surrealillusion


    Aug 23, 2007
    Well given all the rumors and speculations of when an update to the MBP would be coming I decided in the meantime to go ahead an order the Dell system. I will probably buy the new MBP when it comes out though so I can have the best of both worlds, I appreciate everyone's feedback!
  9. rocketliv

    rocketliv Guest

    100% agree with this. I have a macbook pro and it runs 100 times faster then my Dell Desktop did and it has less RAM! My Desktop had a 3GB RAM, my macbook pro has a 2GB RAM.
  10. SMH77


    Feb 11, 2006
    Can someone answer a question regarding the statement above for me? My question is this: When running a Mac with VMware Fusion and running a Windows OS on the Mac, do you still need to run anti-virus software on the Windows partition to protect it? I won't be connecting to the internet via the Windows partition, but have an 'infected' laptop I'm considering replacing right now and am scared to move over files I 'know' to be clean onto my Mac Pro (that has Windows 2000 running via VMware)--and I'm thinking ahead towards replacing my laptop with a MacBook Pro 15".

    Please help me understand the security risks of running Windows on a Mac. Thanks.

  11. Alan.Tran


    Jun 5, 2008
    The windows installed on your mac is still susceptible to anything windows is susceptible to. That said, it will only affect the windows partition of your hard drive and cannot affect your mac at all.
  12. ugodrainville


    Mar 13, 2008
    Also with the new version of Fusion, 2.0, you are now provided with a 1 year subscription to McAfee AV for free. Unity in Fusion 2.0 is fantastic...I am running it on my Macbook with a Windows XP VM that i use for work (i too am a Windows administrator) and there isn't anything that i can't do in that XP VM on my Macbook...

    Look at Fusion as being a must have $70 purchase if you are a bipartisan (windows and mac) user...along with max RAM for the machine...

    BTW my XP VM has 1GB of RAM allocated to it...I also have a Vista VM that has 1GB of RAM allocated and I can run both at the same time without any real issues on my Macbook...
  13. Toby D

    Toby D

    Mar 7, 2006
    Yes, but any virus won't touch the mac side. Thats what I've come to understand.
  14. ChrisA

    ChrisA Guest

    The only reason to go with the Windows PC is that you can't afford to buy the Apple product. Apple simply ignores the bottom 2/3rds of the market. Once your budget goes over about $1200 there is no reason at all to stay with MS Windows
  15. ChrisA

    ChrisA Guest

    The Effect of any virus or other software is limited to the Windows Virtual machine.

    You said "partition". This is not correct.

    When you run Windows inside a VM the VM is not in it's own partition. VMware keeps the Windows disk image inside a FILE. That file is just like any other file on your mac. For example you could in theory email the entire Windows Virtual machine or save it to a DVD or when you back up your Mac the Windows disk image file is also backed up. After all it's just a file.

    OK back to the effects of a virus. the effect is limited to the file that contains the windows disk image. Worst case is the file becomes totally corrupted but you have a backup because yo have been backing up your Mac.

    VMware also gives you one more level of protection that you do NOT get with a real Windows system. On the VMware console is a "snapshot" button. Clicking it saves the entire state of the VM. you can take any number of snapshots. So after the Virus does it's damage you can restore from a snapshot and put your Windows system back the way it was in about 5 seconds. Of course these snapshots eat up disk space n your Mac but now days terrabyte drives are only $160 each Space is cheap.

    I used VMware on a Linux system at work and I use FMware Fusion on my Imac. I can move disk images between the Linux system and the iMac. All I need is a small external drive to move the VM
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