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Aaron Waite Aaron Waite
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Quad-Core Hipster Power Pro

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A new MacBook put through the gauntlet

I finally broke down and joined the dark side. Citing high-demand professional needs, I broke the bank and invested in a new MacBook Pro. Now, surely you're all thinking that this computer (whom I fondly refer to as Wheatley and/or The Intelligence Dampening Quad-Core) was obviously going to raise my productivity to new heights at work.

Pfft. No. Gaming.

Yes, yes, I know, I can hear you guffaw from here. 'Aaron,' your snide verbal swipe starts, 'Macs were never meant for gaming. You should have bought an Asus for half the price if you wanted to game, you hipster douchecanoe.'First off, shave your neckbeard. Second, listen to my plea for understanding whilst downing your Red Bull.

I have a very Mac-centric workplace, and much of my troubleshooting is for Macs. If I need to do, say, a Remote OS Install, I need to have something on-hand instead of scrounging around for another Macbook. I also love OS X for productivity, because it's a nice, clean interface that makes me feel like I can do 15 things at once without getting lost in the shuffle. It's a streamlined approach that I fully enjoy working with. After years of shunning trackpads, I've actually found myself preferring the ability to use multi-finger gestures brought in from the iOS over the familiar precision of a mouse. It all fits together with the intuitiveness you've come to expect from Apple.

Another factor that drove me to buy a MacBook was personally watching multiple MacBooks go through years of professional abuse, seeing them survive everything up to and including the impending zombie gerbil apocalypse (start building your running wheel traps now!). If I'm going to make a multi-thousand dollar investment, I want it to last as long as possible, and I don't want to feel like I need to give it the white-glove treatment all the time. The unibody structure is sturdy, with nary a hint of flimsiness anywhere. For someone who has to travel back and forth quite a bit, the fact that I know this is going to hold up under mild to wild duress is worth the steeper price of admission for me.

Getting back to my original point, for gaming purposes I dual-booted Wheatley with Windows 7 so I could still have access to the full breadth of my 120 Steam games (Summer Steam Sales, amirite, people?). With a 2.6GHz quad-core i7, 8 gigs of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GT 650M, it chews through most games at high settings, although my personal preference is to lower a few settings to keep my framerates at 45 or higher. 'Just Cause 2' ran at 40 fps (frames per second) with just about everything maxed, 'Fallout: New Vegas' defaulted to Ultra High settings and 'Deus Ex: Human Revolution' ran as smooth as butter on high settings.

I ran into a few hiccups on the way, however. First off, getting Windows 7 to install required multiple attempts after it kept hanging on a step during setup. I spent a good portion of the first day finagling with Boot Camp in an attempt to bend it to my will. Another concern is that in Windows the MacBook Pro runs hot, and by hot I mean reaching temperatures of 175 degrees Fahrenheit. After a bit of research, I've discovered that this is fairly normal and generally doesn't affect performance or promote long-term damage. That's still way more heat than I want my processor putting out, but getting a laptop cooling pad would likely alleviate these thermal woes to a fair extent.

All in all, I'm more than happy with my purchase, more than worth my hard-earned cash even with Apple's inflated price point. The MacBook Pro has met my expectations, both professional and off-hours, with flying colors, and I'm looking forward to using it for years to come.

I still won't bring it into Starbucks, though. I may have joined the dark side, but there's still such a thing as going too far.

Specification notes: 15' model, 2.6GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, Turbo-Boost up to 3.6, 8 GB of RAM, 1TB HDD, 1 GB Nvidia GeForce GT 650M (2.6GHz 15' model only), Hi-Res Antiglare Screen, OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.1, dual-booted with Windows 7 SP1.

Aaron Waite bought his MacBook Pro after years of his sister inundating him with subtle Apple indoctrination.


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