The Smoke Has Cleared
I had two objectives to accomplish with whatever we did. The first and primary objective was to get myself into an Intel-based notebook so I could give my G4 PowerBook to my sister. My secondary objective was to get myself set up to run Windows so I could free up my 20 inch Apple Cinema Display to send to my son, Tim. As it turned out, the decision I made probably didn’t have much to do with the latter, though I’m still working on that.
Once in the store, we took a look at the black MacBook first. I showed my wife how a ceiling light could refract off the MacBook’s glossy screen, but she still liked the glossy’s brighter contrast. The MacBook was okay by her, but the few minutes with the MacBook convinced me I didn’t want a glossy screen. I also became convinced I didn’t care for the MacBook’s plastic look. They just didn’t look as classy as the previous generation G3 iBooks and couldn’t compete at all with the 12 inch PowerBooks we had been using. I didn’t like the idea of hauling around the 15 inch MacBook Pro’s larger form, but I was feeling like its bigger screen would be appreciated. So, within the first few minutes, I knew the truth for me was that I was going to get a MacBook Pro, despite the greater expense.
I spent a few moments looking at a couple of 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo models. Playing with Office 2004 revealed they were fast, as fast as my dual processor 2.0 GHz G5 PowerMac, no small feat since they were running Office under Rosetta. The store didn’t have any 2.16 Core 2 Duo models on the floor, only 2.16 GHz Core Duo models. They were visibly slower than the 2.33’s. That left me with some silent doubts about the speed of the 2.16 Core 2 Duo models, which I suspected were halfway in between the two sets. We went down to eat dinner in the Galleria’s Food Court where I chewed on what I had seen. I really liked the 2.33 models, but they were $500 more than I had planned on spending. Were they really worth the extra money?
With my wife’s educational discount, the 2.16 models were pricing at $1799. However, those models only included 1 GB of RAM, so my real cost would be $165 more. That put the whole thing at $1964. The 2.33 models came with a full 2 GB of RAM, and I had no intention of loading more than 2 GB of memory in any MacBook or MacBook Pro because of the cost. 2GB PC2-5300 DDR SO-DIMM modules are running about $630, almost 5 times the cost of a single 1 GB stick! The 2.33 model was running $2299 or so (again with the educational discount), making the price difference between the two a $322. For that money, you got a CPU that was .17GHz faster and 128MB of extra video ram. Kind of overpriced if you ask me.
After eating, we went back up to the Apple Store and talked to a staff member about there not being any 2.16 Core 2 Duo Mac Book Pro’s on the floor. One salesperson said they simply hadn’t been directed to put those models out on the floor and he didn’t know why, though I could guess it was to try to move the 2.16 Core Duo models already there. That’s a poor strategy, if you ask me. The 2.16 Core 2 Duo’s are slightly faster and the performance delta between the 2.16 CD and the 2.33 C2D can be seen, leading to flat sales of the 2.16 CD and no sales of the 2.16 C2D. But I digress. The bottom line for me was that I was happy about what I was seeing on the 2.33’s and not sure about the 2.16’s. It made less sense to me to spend almost $2000 on something I might not be happy with than $2500 on something I knew I would be. I opted for the 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo model.
I spent a couple of hours last night using Firewire 400 and OS X’s Migration Assistant to transfer my data and applications from my G4 PowerBook. After that, I ran the Software Update utility which only chose to upgrade copies of Pages and Keynote. I ran through Adobe Photoshop’s and Illustrator CS2 activation transfer schemes, authorized iTunes for the new machine (after deauthorizing my old one), and removed traces of Classic (OS 9) no longer needed on the Intel MacBook Pro. I updated the Logitech mouse driver and Flip4 Mac to Universal versions but otherwise made no other changes. I had no problems at all with the new machine.
For the moment, my plan is to run the MacBook Pro in parallel with the dual G5 PowerMac and my Windows PC. But I may have come up with an idea that will allow me to completely replace the PC with the MacBook Pro. If it works. For more on that, stay tuned.