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I think the 7200 RPM drive will make a more dramatic difference in real world performance than the small bump in CPU clock cycles or the GPU RAM difference. The battery life will, obviously, take a hit but 5400 RPM HDD's generally make laptops feel slow compared to their desktop counterparts.

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Thanks, fellas. I've yet to pull the trigger, but may do before the month is out. I'm looking at ?1604 for a 4GB model with a 7200rpm 320GB HDD (or ?1534 if I opt for the 250GB drive of the same speed - which I may actually do and then replace the drive one day in the future should I ever find I actually need more space).

 

Are any of you using a notebook as your primary computer? Although I tend to use my trusty old iBook more than my PC this change would mark the first time I even stick with a laptop for system intensive software and photographic work. I was just curious how any you you felt in using one as your main system.

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I used the old MacBook - and now my new MacBook as my primary machine. I only power the desktop on to play GPU intensive games (Crysis, etc). This was not how I "planned" everything out initially but it is how I ended up using the machines for the past year or so now. The old MB and now the new one are faster and/or more convenient for my daily stuff like video editing, browsing, email, encodes, etc. despite the desktop having significantly better specs. I play most PC games on the new MB too now - I only use the desktop when I have more time to play or want the higher specs of the desktop.

 

I'd guess you will feel just fine with a notebook as your "primary" for most stuff but, also remember its limitations vs. the desktop - fewer ports for external devices (usually) you will likely have a smaller screen than whatever you use on your desktop now and you'll probably want a separate mouse. Hope all goes well with your new machine either way you go - Good Luck man :)

Edited by Magness

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I've been using a "Late 2006" Macbook Pro as my main machine for about a year. The only thing I feel like I need is an external monitor to connect it to when I need more screen real estate.

 

Also, I'd definitely go for the 7200RPM drive.

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For what it's worth, I have a 7200 RPM 320 GB hard drive in my white MacBook. I would not go back to 5400 RPMs if you paid me. If you want a real desktop class machine that you can bring with you, the faster hard drive and a full 4 GB or RAM are the way to go.

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I also have used a "late 2006" MacBook Pro for my primary computer for the past 2 years with no problems. The most intensive stuff I do on mine is iMovie, iDVD and Aperture 2. No complaints here!

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An update on my Aluminum MB

 

I had some time over the weekend and I was wondering about better performance in games and specifically Fallout 3... As previously posted, It was playing nice and smooth at the settings I listed but, I had never really tried to adjust the settings much after that as I was happy with the performance and - to be blunt - I was absorbed in the game so hadn't looked at the settings menu since :). Anyway, I went back into settings and let it auto set everything and it basically just turned everything back up to Medium or higher (+HDR, water reflections back on, etc). I launched the game and compared the spot I was playing in last and sure enough there was almost No preformance difference <woot> The game plays really well on these settings - I didn't run fraps or anything but I would say it was at the same framerate in general play which is awesome. There was a noticable stutter when more than 3 enemies were on screen at once but it was momentary, almost like it was "loading" for a sec. I did not find this stutter to be a problem in actual play (using VATS) - just a difference I noticed so am now passing along :)

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I used the old MacBook - and now my new MacBook as my primary machine. I only power the desktop on to play GPU intensive games (Crysis, etc). This was not how I "planned" everything out initially but it is how I ended up using the machines for the past year or so now. The old MB and now the new one are faster and/or more convenient for my daily stuff like video editing, browsing, email, encodes, etc. despite the desktop having significantly better specs. I play most PC games on the new MB too now - I only use the desktop when I have more time to play or want the higher specs of the desktop.

 

I'd guess you will feel just fine with a notebook as your "primary" for most stuff but, also remember its limitations vs. the desktop - fewer ports for external devices (usually) you will likely have a smaller screen than whatever you use on your desktop now and you'll probably want a separate mouse. Hope all goes well with your new machine either way you go - Good Luck man :)

 

I agree with the 7200RPM drive, I'm really glad I went with that option.

 

Dan, for almost the past 3 years a MacBook Pro of some sort has been my primary machine.

 

I've been using a "Late 2006" Macbook Pro as my main machine for about a year. The only thing I feel like I need is an external monitor to connect it to when I need more screen real estate.

 

Also, I'd definitely go for the 7200RPM drive.

 

For what it's worth, I have a 7200 RPM 320 GB hard drive in my white MacBook. I would not go back to 5400 RPMs if you paid me. If you want a real desktop class machine that you can bring with you, the faster hard drive and a full 4 GB or RAM are the way to go.

 

I also have used a "late 2006" MacBook Pro for my primary computer for the past 2 years with no problems. The most intensive stuff I do on mine is iMovie, iDVD and Aperture 2. No complaints here!

 

I knew I could count on all of you. Many thanks.

 

I forget who here is using Time Capsule. Anyone? I was curious if they are suited not just to back up, but for storage of music files to be accessed by one of those Squeezebox players which I've been considering buying.

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I have a time capsule, we use it to share media files between my MBP and my wife's MBP. It was going to be the source for her Time Machine backups, but its just too slow over 802.11g. I did not know that a squeezebox could read from a Time Capsule, my AppleTV sure as hell can't as it needs iTunes.

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Daniel;

 

I have a Time Capsule, but I'm using it only for backup. To stream music from my computer to my home theater system, I am using Air Tunes and an AirPort Express. It works great, and can even be controlled with the Remote App for the iPhone or iPod Touch (if you happen to have one of them).

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I have a time capsule, we use it to share media files between my MBP and my wife's MBP. It was going to be the source for her Time Machine backups, but its just too slow over 802.11g. I did not know that a squeezebox could read from a Time Capsule, my AppleTV sure as hell can't as it needs iTunes.

 

Apparently one of the more recent Squeezebox software updates allows for such a marriage with Time Capsule. I?d basically be looking to play FLAC files (or Apple Lossless) and send the audio to a Squeezebox which in turn would be connected (via coax) to the pre-amp in my home theatre.

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So basically to do this you need either the Squeezebox Classic or the new Squeezebox Duet. It would be really nice to be able to do this. But for $300 or $400 its pretty expensive. Next gadget item up for me to purchase is a SlingBox Pro HD.

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It appears so, yes. I was looking at getting the classic model myself. I did a search for time capsule related posts on the Logitech/Slim Devices forum and there were a good few results about getting the two to work together. So yes, a Squeezebox and telling the SqueezeCenter software to find media on the Time Capsule Drive seems to OK.

 

As someone with so much film music in my collection I am so often lumbered with albums with cues out of sequences or spread over multiple discs (the new Indiana Jones music set being an example of both) and I’m really starting to nudge myself towards selling my CD transport setting up a music server now…. plus I knew a few who splashed out truly obscene amounts of money on ultra high end transports who now prefer the quality of digital streaming properly ripped CDs and encoded FLAC files.

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Okay, what do you guys think about using an AppleTV in lieu of a Squeezebox? I really like using the Remote app on the iPhone as a means of finding and selecting music in my library. I know that the AppleTV only comes with either a 40 or 160 GB drive, but I also know that it can tap into drives over a wireless network in order to access content. Would one be able to stream content through an AppleTV controlled by the Remote app?

 

Also, I've been using SteerMouse the last few days to try to hone in the settings of my Mighty Mouse to more closely match feel of a PC mouse. I had tried using it before, but I had difficulty mapping Expos? and Spaces to the third and fourth buttons respectively. Now that I've figured that out, I think I'm finally getting to a point where the mouse feels "right" for me. I currently have the tracking speed set to x3.0 and the sensitivity set to 250 (whatever that means). I may do some additional tweaking, but at this point, I'm pretty happy with what I have. i highly recommend using this application if you do not like the feel of a mouse on an Mac.

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Okay, what do you guys think about using an AppleTV in lieu of a Squeezebox? I really like using the Remote app on the iPhone as a means of finding and selecting music in my library. I know that the AppleTV only comes with either a 40 or 160 GB drive, but I also know that it can tap into drives over a wireless network in order to access content. Would one be able to stream content through an AppleTV controlled by the Remote app?

 

I’d have thought that'd work OK, but then it's odd Kelley mentioned issues even streaming from Apple's own external storage like Time Capsule. I looked into such an approach a little while back when I was enquiring here about potentially having an AppleTV based video server to store my DVDs and free up some shelf space. I've decided just to do something for music now though.

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Would one be able to stream content through an AppleTV controlled by the Remote app?

Yes, with the catch that for video it only works with one library at a time (and you'll have to have computers running iTunes to stream content, it can't access content on a bare network drive by itself). All this and more in my incredibly nitpicky review of the AppleTV (really though, it's pretty great - Remote.app and AirTunes are awesome).

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Okay, what do you guys think about using an AppleTV in lieu of a Squeezebox?

 

I've personally been eyeing an Apple TV for awhile now. I've streamed to a friends with no problem whatsoever (but not with a Time Capsule). The Apple TV is also really easy to hack and restore to the factory settings with a USB stick. With that possible, Boxee becomes and option for you.

 

Im really hoping the Apple TV is a big focus for Macworld, but coming from Jobs' own mouth, it doesnt sound like it will be. He's publicly stated that it's still a "hobby" and that due to the economy and VC funding, it will probably stay that way through '09.

 

I really hope he's wrong, because with things like Boxee, Plex, and especially Netflix on Blu-Ray players, on the 360, and the Roku, I think Apple would be making a mistake just sitting back too much longer.

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It would be great if Apple could get an all you can eat video plan going through the AppleTV, that would surely cause sales to go up.

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Question for Mac folks running Windows with bootcamp.

 

I have just purchased a new HDD for my MacBook pro.

 

I think that with Time Machine, it's pretty easy load up my current Mac partition on the new Hard Drive. What I have questions about is how to copy the Windows XP partition to the new Hard Drive, if it's even possible.

 

Anyone out there done this? Thanks.

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I don't remember all the steps but I will try to list them out below. Check MacRumors or one of the other sites for a guide though to be safe. In my case, it wasn't too hard to backup and restore the Windows install or anything, it was just time consuming :) And you'll need an external disk or something to hold the Windows drive image...

 

First: Make sure you have a current Time Machine backup...

Launch Disk Utility and make an image of the Windows drive - this should be stored on your external disk. You can of course, also use SuperDuper or any of the other disk imaging apps available for Windows.

Once thats done, install the new drive and use the Time Machine backup during the setup process when prompted to restore all your Mac stuff.

Once your up and running on OS X and all is good with that setup, use BootCamp to partition the drive however you want and on reboot start the Windows installation.

The main thing at this stage is to format the drive - you won't actually need any of the Windows files.

After Windows prompts you to reboot, do so but- hold the Option key and reboot back into OS X instead of continuing the Windows install process.

Delete any files on your new Windows install and use Disk Utility to restore the drive image you made earlier to your new Windows partition.

 

Hope that helps but, again - make sure you check a guide as I'm going from memory here and may have forgotten a step. :)

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