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I wouldn't personally consider the MacBook for anything serious. Nearly every aspect of the Pro is bigger, better faster. You could certainly get by with a MB, but it would get bogged down more quickly than a MBP. The quad-core MBP rumored to come out next month would be great.
^I agree. If the MBPro is an option for you, forget the MacBook.
Obviously quad core would be a big advantage. But anyone have any experience with render times from the same or similar projects?
The thing is they both have 2.x ghz processors with up to 4GB of ram and a 5400rpm HD (though technically you could do a 7200 on the MBPro) The graphics card (or lack thereof) is obviously a disadvantage for the Macbook, and then there are the things I don't completely understand, like the system bus and the L2 Cache etc.
But the key specs that AE relies on (processor speed, number of processors, ram, HD size and speed) are virtually identical, which led me to wonder just how much difference there would really be.
Bus speed is a huge part of the equation and the MacBook really lacks. Also, the types of drives you can connect are pretty limited. The 7200RPM is a huge step up on the internal side.
My wife has the latest and greatest MB and my 2.5 year old MBP still blows it away even with the same amount of RAM.
This might help. http://www.barefeats.com/mbook3.html