Laptops forum

General discussion

Macbook Pro Vs. Alienware M7

by symetrisg / February 26, 2009 9:31 AM PST

I'm a videographer/filmmaker so I'm in need of a laptop for heavy video editing plus gaming and everyday use. I've been looking a lot at the new Alienware M17 and was on the verge of buying it, then my brother suggested the the new macbook pro. I've been weighing the options and I like aspects of both of them. Can someone please help me decided wich would be best for my needs?

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Macbook Pro Vs. Alienware M7
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Macbook Pro Vs. Alienware M7
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Tough call.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2009 10:08 AM PST

Gaming? The PC.

Video editing with Final Cut Pro HD? The Apple.

Why not keep the gaming on some cheap desktop?
Bob

Collapse -
pc
by symetrisg / February 26, 2009 10:11 AM PST
In reply to: Tough call.

I would but I do a lot of traveling and need one for all

Collapse -
If you're travelling...
by fbbbb / February 26, 2009 11:03 AM PST
In reply to: pc

Then the XPS Studio 16 might be a better alternative than the Alienware on the Windows side. The Alienware would be a real boat anchor. Both the XPS 16 and the Macbook are in the <7lb range, and this is really the maximum that most normal people could (slightly un)comfortably carry in the course of regular travels.

The 17-inch Macbook Pro has decent all-round specs. I can't really make any truly valid personal comment on it as I don't have one yet (will be a couple of weeks since I've only just ordered them) but I have to say as an owner of the smaller Macbook Pro and the aluminium Macbooks, while the 'unibody' concept is a looker and it feels premium, it doesn't result in the strongest structure out there - and this will be doubly true for the 17-inch (the main reason the battery isn't replaceable is that making it s would have weakened the chassis further). And while previous Macbook Pros were prone to denting, these are more prone to bending (and in the case of the Macbook Air's I've had, actually have to be bent back into shape infrequently) - which is a potentially more serious issue.

The XPS 16 - and I can actually speak now from personal experience as I have one - is more traditionally constructed with a magnesium inner frame, and is certainly more likely to tolerate a heavier beating than a 'unibody' machine. It's a capable performer especially if you load it out and it'll still be notably cheaper than a Macbook Pro, while pretty much matching it in terms of general performance (yet to be confirmed personally, but the core components including the graphics chips are virtually identical in terms of performance).

e.g.:
2.66 17-inch MBP, 4Gb, 320Gb 7200 HDD, iLife, Final Cut Express, Microsoft Office H&S and 3-year return-to-Store Applecare = $3697.
2.66 XPS Studio 16, 4Gb, 500Gb 7200 HDD, Sony Imagination Studio (direct equivalent to iLife + Final Cut Express), Microsoft Office H&S and 3-year onsite support with accidental damage and theft protection = $2515.

That's a thousand bucks you can put towards e.g. the full-blown copy of Sony Vegas. The XPS 16 screen is also 16:9 - so you can view and edit HD video natively.

If you want longevity away from a power socket, the Macbook Pro definitely has an edge in that it can switch between integrated and discrete graphics - and while my experience with Apple's claims vs real runtime on my Macs leads me to believe that the 17-inch definitely doesn't have an 8-hour endurance (Air - claimed, 5 hours: real: 3.75 on extreme power saving modes with a barely visibly dimmed screen - the percentage of this disparity is pretty typical for all Apple notebooks) - still, a 6-hour potential power-saving endurance with the integrated low-power graphics switched in is not bad at all. The non-switchable-ATI-graphics Dell - with the heavier 9-cell battery - delivers about 3.75 hours of power-saving-mode runtime which is definitely worse, but it's not bad in absolutes and you can also buy additional batteries to swap - and if you do intend to work in the field, the ability to carry several batteries with you may be crucial.

In terms of gaming, the Alienware clearly has the edge over both the Dell and the Apple, both of which will perform similarly... but are you willing to tolerate the ~*4lb* increase in your portage?

Collapse -
If you're travellin
by fbbbb / February 26, 2009 11:06 AM PST

Then the XPS Studio 16 might be a better alternative than the Alienware on the Windows side. The Alienware would be a real boat anchor. Both the XPS 16 and the Macbook are in the <7lb range, and this is really the maximum that most normal people could (slightly un)comfortably carry in the course of regular travels.

The 17-inch Macbook Pro has decent all-round specs. I can't really make any truly valid personal comment on it as I don't have one yet (will be a couple of weeks since I've only just ordered them) but I have to say as an owner of the smaller Macbook Pro and the aluminium Macbooks, while the 'unibody' concept is a looker and it feels premium, it doesn't result in the strongest structure out there - and this will be doubly true for the 17-inch (the main reason the battery isn't replaceable is that making it s would have weakened the chassis further). And while previous Macbook Pros were prone to denting, these are more prone to bending (and in the case of the Macbook Air's I've had, actually have to be bent back into shape infrequently) - which is a potentially more serious issue.

The XPS 16 - and I can actually speak now from personal experience as I have one - is more traditionally constructed with a magnesium inner frame, and is certainly more likely to tolerate a heavier beating than a 'unibody' machine. It's a capable performer especially if you load it out and it'll still be notably cheaper than a Macbook Pro, while pretty much matching it in terms of general performance (yet to be confirmed personally, but the core components including the graphics chips are virtually identical in terms of performance).

e.g.:
2.66 17-inch MBP, 4Gb, 320Gb 7200 HDD, iLife, Final Cut Express, Microsoft Office H&S and 3-year return-to-Store Applecare = $3697.
2.66 XPS Studio 16, 4Gb, 500Gb 7200 HDD, Sony Imagination Studio (direct equivalent to iLife + Final Cut Express), Microsoft Office H&S and 3-year onsite support with accidental damage and theft protection = $2515.

That's a thousand bucks you can put towards e.g. the full-blown copy of Sony Vegas. The XPS 16 screen is also 16:9 - so you can view and edit HD video natively.

If you want longevity away from a power socket, the Macbook Pro definitely has an edge in that it can switch between integrated and discrete graphics - and while my experience with Apple's claims vs real runtime on my Macs leads me to believe that the 17-inch definitely doesn't have an 8-hour endurance (Air - claimed, 5 hours: real: 3.75 on extreme power saving modes with a barely visibly dimmed screen - the percentage of this disparity is pretty typical for all Apple notebooks) - still, a 6-hour potential power-saving endurance with the integrated low-power graphics switched in is not bad at all. The non-switchable-ATI-graphics Dell - with the heavier 9-cell battery - delivers about 3.75 hours of power-saving-mode runtime which is definitely worse, but it's not bad in absolutes and you can also buy additional batteries to swap - and if you do intend to work in the field, the ability to carry several batteries with you may be crucial.

In terms of gaming, the Alienware clearly has the edge over both the Dell and the Apple, both of which will perform similarly... but are you willing to tolerate the ~*4lb* increase in your portage?

Collapse -
My kingdom for an edit button... again.
by fbbbb / February 26, 2009 11:17 AM PST
In reply to: If you're travellin

Sorry about this - the first post was submitted in full but only partially appeared, and it took ages for the second repost to 'stick' - then I went to the Alienware site to reconfirm the weight of the M17x, (which I did consider waiting for - before I bought the Dell XPS M1730).

I hadn't realised Alienware added the M17 - I was only aware of the M17x. That makes the comparison a little closer as the M17 is lighter than the M17x - but we're still talking about a ~3lb increase on top of either the Dell or the Apple, not to mention a significantly lower runtime especially if you're going CrossFireX to make such a notebook truly worthwhile.

If you actually want to carry this around on a regular basis, I'd still point you to the Apple or the Dell. If you want the power that the Alienware offers - well, then the choice is obvious.

Collapse -
Then what's more important?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2009 11:04 AM PST
In reply to: pc

Some confuse what they need with what they want. The Apple can play games too. But FCP HD is great stuff.
Bob

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
icon
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
icon
Laptops 19,436 discussions
icon
Security 30,426 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
icon
Windows 10 360 discussions
icon
Phones 15,802 discussions
icon
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions

Tech explained

Do you know what an OLED TV is?

CNET explains how OLED technology differs from regular TVs, and what you need to know to make the right shopping decision.