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Old Feb 2, 2013, 07:27 PM   #1
Wmaph12
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13" MacBook pro advice

Hi all,

So a bit of back story- never had a mac before but am in a situation where I need to get a new laptop as my windows one is on its last legs.

I'm a second year university student that does physics so I quite often will end up processing masses of information using excel, Mathematica or matlab. I'm also going to pursue a PhD so will need it to have oomf over the next few years. Apart from that I will only use it for watching movies and Internet uses as I don't game.

So I'm definitely decided on the MBP 13" but I'm undecided on some of the configurations. Mainly is it worth getting a configuration of i7 processor, 8gb ram and SSD drive or would an i5 8gb hard drive be usable?

I want it to be fast day to day so have been considering the ssd memory (if I get this from the apple store does it just give you the ssd drive or is it hard drive +ssd. Cost is a bit of an issue (no more than 1200- inc student discount) but again I'm investing for the next 3 years. The las thing is how likely is it that retina will become standard in the summer release?
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 07:36 PM   #2
Spink10
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i5 or i7 are both good - its still dual-core

RAM - upgrade yourself - saves lots of $$
HDD - upgrade yourself - saves lots of $$ Apple charges too much for SSD

rMBP standard this summer - 50/50 (I personally think it will still exist at least in the 13inch model - otherwise base MBP price point will be to high - no way apple drops rMBP 500)
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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Will I see the difference in the i7 core given its only duel? If not then I'd get the i5 processor and maybe just do the ram upgrades ( don't want the faff of reinstalling the os from a USB image) also do custome upgrades voint apple warranty?
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 07:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Wmaph12 View Post
Will I see the difference in the i7 core given its only duel? If not then I'd get the i5 processor and maybe just do the ram upgrades ( don't want the faff of reinstalling the os from a USB image) also do custome upgrades voint apple warranty?
i5 vs i7 - doubtful - I am not familiar with those programs and what you will be using the computer for. Movies and browsing will have no difference.

RAM & HDD are user upgradable - meaning it does NOT void warranty. Reinstalling operating system is very easy and hassle free. We can help you on the forums.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 07:56 PM   #5
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Ram and HD upgrades will not void your warranty. Anything else you do...
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 07:58 PM   #6
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Hmm ok so say I went with a stock i5, 4gb ram, 500gb hard drive and then did an upgrade of 16gb RAM, and 128gb ssd I could have a pretty fast little machine for pretty much a grand. I'm guessing the hard drives are easy enough to swap out?
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 08:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Wmaph12 View Post
Hmm ok so say I went with a stock i5, 4gb ram, 500gb hard drive and then did an upgrade of 16gb RAM, and 128gb ssd I could have a pretty fast little machine for pretty much a grand. I'm guessing the hard drives are easy enough to swap out?
Now you are thinking

Very easy to replace.

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http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installi...+Drive/10378/1

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There are several methods for installing OS X on SSD.

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Also - you probably dont need 16GB of RAM - FYI
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 07:49 AM   #8
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....I decided to get the 16gb of ram in the end, mainly for two reasons- crucial didn't have the 8gb pack in stock and then the more logical one of I don't know how much computing power I'll need over the next few years but I do know I'll likely be using said programmes to be modelling anywhere from 1000-100000 pieces of data when I'm doing my research for my dissertation.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 12:41 PM   #9
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Now you are thinking

Very easy to replace.

----------

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installi...+Drive/10378/1

----------

There are several methods for installing OS X on SSD.

----------

Also - you probably dont need 16GB of RAM - FYI
Hey got my mac yesterday and my ram and SSD drive today. I've already installed my ram and know how to physically install the hardrive but don't know what to do about the OS. There wasn't an install disc when I bought it and I don't have an external hardrive. What do I do?!
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 01:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmaph12 View Post
Hey got my mac yesterday and my ram and SSD drive today. I've already installed my ram and know how to physically install the hardrive but don't know what to do about the OS. There wasn't an install disc when I bought it and I don't have an external hardrive. What do I do?!
After installing the SSD, you Press and Hold Command+R and turn the Mac on. Then you follow the on-screen instructions.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 03:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmaph12 View Post
Hey got my mac yesterday and my ram and SSD drive today. I've already installed my ram and know how to physically install the hardrive but don't know what to do about the OS. There wasn't an install disc when I bought it and I don't have an external hardrive. What do I do?!
Get it figured out?
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 04:01 PM   #12
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ok so I don't have to do any sort of installation from either a mountain lion disc or usb? :S all a bit confusing.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 05:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmaph12 View Post
So I'm definitely decided on the MBP 13" but I'm undecided on some of the configurations. Mainly is it worth getting a configuration of i7 processor, 8gb ram and SSD drive or would an i5 8gb hard drive be usable?
I say get the base 13-inch 2.5GHz, preferably refurb, and upgrade the drive to SSD and RAM to maximum yourself. Use the OEM drive for TimeMachine backups. The i7 is a slightly faster processor but it's not like it's quad-core. One last thing, check to see if the programs you intend to use are going to play nice with that Intel 4000. You may also consider picking up a nice 24" Dell monitor to make some of these project easier.
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