13" i5 pro with SSD vs 13" i7 pro standard??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Kaizoku, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. Kaizoku macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    I'm about to finally upgrade from my 07' MacBook to a new 13" MacBook Pro and my budget is about $1500 so what do you all think the better option is:

    i5 processor with 128 SSD OR i7 standard ?? (I have the educational discount, thats how i could get those options within my budget)

    I'm planing to use it for 3+ years and my usage includes programming, web browsing, music, Microsoft Office, and some photoshop (not heavy currently but could be in the future as I just started developing for IOS)!

    Any suggestions as I'm planning to buy one this week??
     
  2. abhic macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    #2
    Wow that was me just last week! I just upgraded from a 2007 MacBook 2.2 C2D + 4GB + 256GB.

    With that budget, the 13.3" MBP is your best bet. Tough choice that, I collected all the reviews for the SSD upgrade or not and you can check them out here - http://bit.ly/fp35F7

    But for your benefit, I would think that get the i7 standard for now & upgrade to a 3rd party SSD after OS X Lion drops. They should support TRIM for 3rd party SSD by then and you would definitely have a beast you can work with for 2-3 years easy.

     
  3. Kaizoku thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for the post, abhic!

    My current MacBook is exactly like yours, except it has a 128GB harddrive. It lasted me for several years and I'm completely satisfied but you know, you gotta upgrade at some point :D

    I actually wanted the 13" regardless of my budget, but 'm debating those two options, especially i5 vs i7, because the processor is one of those things you can't just upgrade down the road. I think I'm leaning more towards your suggestion, mainly for that reason!
     
  4. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #4
    I would recommend getting the base 13". Use the money you save to upgrade the RAM if needed (about $100) to 8GB, and also the hard drive. I would also hold off on the SSD for now unless you think you really need it.

    Take a look at these benchmark tests (scroll down) for the 13" MBP and photoshop. The difference in processors is insignificant while RAM and drive speed make a significant difference
     
  5. Kaizoku thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    #5
    hmm, interesting point, but do you know if using RAM from an outside vendor such as crucial or neweggs affect my warranty? And I don't really need the SSD now but my reasoning was it would be a standard eventually so why not add one now!
     
  6. abhic macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    #6
    Hey
    Quick facts for you
    • RAM
    • HDD
    • Optibay Replacement = More HDD

    are the things you can change whenever and with the best deal you get sometime in the future.

    Screen & CPU you can just not get yourself to chance with a change, at least I can't.

    I say max out your CPU & Screen right now & save up and upgrade bit by bit. In that, upgrade to SSD first! :)
     
  7. Kaizoku thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    #7
    Yeah but I think upgrading my harddrive myself later would void my warranty, I'm going to ask them tomorrow though to see if that's the case!
     
  8. acedickson macrumors 6502a

    acedickson

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    ATL
    #8
    The RAM and hard drive are user upgradeable and don't void the warranty.
     
  9. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #9
    hmm, interesting point, but do you know if using RAM from an outside vendor such as crucial or neweggs affect my warranty?

    As mentioned above, NO. Adding a second drive in the Optic bay would kill your warranty. The little book that comes with the MB/MBP tells you how to do it but there are videos. Replacing RAM takes about 10 minutes. I haven't updated my drive yet but that will take longer, 20-30 minutes assuming you have the correct tools

    And I don't really need the SSD now but my reasoning was it would be a standard eventually so why not add one now!

    The reason not to add it now is price. Why pay more, much more, if you don't need today. I will be picking up a 750Gb 7200RPM drive soon and that will cost about $110. I need the storage but speed is just fine. Besides, the biggest advantage to an SSD is boot time and application load time which come at a huge price right now for an SSD - plus better protection against bangs and bumps since there are no moving parts. With plenty of RAM then once you open a program like Photoshop and then quit it, the extra RAM will have it stored so the second time it will open very fast. For example, I have the stock 320gb slower 5400rpm drive in my MBP - same as the one in the 2011 base 13" . It take about 9 seconds to open Photoshop CS5 and 2-3 seconds to open Aperture 3. If I quit Photoshop and then reopen it, the second time will take about 2 seconds. (I have 8gb in mine). I would expect that time to drop slightly with a faster, more dense drive like a 500gb 7200rpm (about $60) or a larger 750gb 7200 drive (about $110). Apple is not even offering the faster 7200 rpm drive as an option.

    So if I were you I would incline towards the base 13" and pick up RAM and upgrade the drive on my own later on - the longer you wait the cheaper it will be. Microcenter.com has base models for $1099 for pickup only.
     
  10. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #10
    Yeah if you can grab a base 13 for a good price go for it.

    Adding RAM and the SSD is trivial if you buy a couple of inexpensive screwdrivers and can take 10 or so screws. It's really easy.

    Also, the difference in the i5 and i7 is so small that I think it's tough to justify. If I really needed a CPU boost then I'd upgrade to a 15.
     
  11. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #11
    +1

    That's exactly correct. Better to upgrade RAM to 8 GB and a larger hard drive.
     
  12. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #12
    How to upgrade RAM Video
    http://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/macbookpro_13_unibody_early11_mem/

    How to upgrade Hard Drive Video
    http://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/macbookpro_13_unibody_mid10_hd/

    OWC sells tools kits and all sorts of externals and upgrades specific for Mac. One good idea regarding upgrading hard drives is to get a kit from them that includes the tools and an external bus powered case. This lets you clone the hard drive in your Mac onto the new drive, then swap and use the original drive as your backup. For example, here is a link for a Hitachi 500gb 7200 rpm drive DIY kit for USB 2.0 or the same but with Firewire 800 and USB
     
  13. adnoh macrumors 6502a

    adnoh

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
  14. LightSpeed1 macrumors 6502a

    LightSpeed1

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    Jul 13, 2009
    Location:
    Washington D.C.
    #14
    What he said.
     
  15. Kaizoku thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    #15
    Thanks everyone for all the input!

    I think you convinced me on the i5 and investing on RAM and SSD later on, I think I'll get the i5 with AppleCare (for my peace of mind :D) and order an 8 GB RAM online. I'll wait for a few months before upgrading to SSD. My current price with the educational discount is $1099 which is pretty reasonable!

    Also thanks for the videos! I did replace the RAM on my MacBook about a year ago and it literally took me less than 10 minutes. I just didn't expect replacing the harddrive to be that simple too :D

    pretty excited about getting a new machine!! :D
     
  16. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #16
    In case you don't know, you can buy apple care anytime up to a year after the purchase. Also, I would suggest purchasing it from B&H Photo - better price - $191, free shipping, and no tax if you live outside of NY state

    When I had to decide with 15" MBP model to buy it was a no brainer. There were 3 models, the base model, middle and i7. Each was about $200 more than the other with a total difference of $400. Performance wise, for $200 more I got 5% faster, and for $400 more I got only 15% faster - this is only on the most demanding tasks since everyday tasks would see no difference at all. Since I was going to update the ram and hard drive anyway, it seemed my money is best spent on RAM and larger hard drive to boost performance much more than the 5-15%. Also, in a year or two or three when it is time to sell, those differences will mean little to nothing for value just like a 2 year old 2.2 vs 2.5Ghz C2D would means today.

    Also, if you do go for a SSD, then either wait for trim on Lion or consider the much faster OWC SSD's which do not suffer from degradation over time like some other brands including the Apple stock SSD. Check out this link at OWC - scroll down to see why this is a highly recommended drive for macs without trim
     
  17. Kaizoku thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    #17
    Vintage Point,

    I know about the one year thing, it's just that I was planning to do so with my MacBook back in the day then since nothing happened in the first year I felt it was not needed and spent the money somewhere else :p. Ironically, my super drive stopped working in the second year and since I wasn't covered they didn't fix it. Long story short, I just want to get it out of the way since I can afford it now :D oh and thanks for the info about lower price, but interestingly enough, I just found out that with my educational discount, I can get AppleCare for $183 (without tax), gotta abuse this before graduating lol :D
     

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