15" MBP - Which specification is best

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by comradejon, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. comradejon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #1
    I have posted on here before and you were really helpful, but since then my budget has increased and thus I can afford to look at the standard Macbook Pro 15" rather than contemplating merely the 13". The standard seems to pack plenty of power, but the graphics card difference between the two models (256mb vs 1gb) seems huge.

    Looking at benchmarks, the difference is only really marked on very recent games, and the relatively little computer gaming I do tends to be older games (Counter Strike, Rome Total War etc.), but I'm asking the question because I could feasibly afford the better specification MBP.

    A £300 difference seems so substantial, and I'm only going to be using it as a student with the odd game and unlikely to be very recent games, so I just wanted confirmation from usual Mac users (I'm making the jump from Windows before I start university) that that would be best. I can't help but think that if I'm spending so much already, when usually I would never spend above £500 for a laptop, that such a difference is small; but then I remember this is money that could be better put to use elsewhere and that I don't really need the improved graphics card.

    Thanks for your opinions
     
  2. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    The Iron Throne
    #2
    I think that pretty much sums it up. The top end 15" has a pretty good graphics card, but since you don't really need it, I'd go with the base model. I know most people on this forum operate under a max specs motto, but the 2011 base model will be a good choice for you. It will handle older games with no problems, and the biggest performance jump you will notice in day-to-day tasks is the quad core processor. Save the 300 pounds for Apple Care, extra RAM or an SSD or something. Good luck.
     
  3. comradejon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for that. I was fairly certain I wanted the base model but I wanted to double-check really, I don't want to spend an insane amount of money only to find out that in a few years time I should have spent a bit more but what you said seems to fit my expectations.

    I was planning to get Apple Care sometime within the year but not with purchase, however how much do you rate the importance of extra RAM or an SSD?
     
  4. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    The Iron Throne
    #4
    The SSD is definitely not a necessity, and the prices will continue to drop. With the RAM, I'd say it's based entirely on what your usage is like. If you do any virtualizing (Parallels or VMWare with Windows) or plan to run lots of apps together, 8GB is a nice upgrade.

    Most people don't need it though, so I'd order it stock and then see if you need it as you use the machine. My guess is you'll be fine, the 2011 MBPs are very snappy out of the box.

    When you're ready, 8GB of RAM can be had cheap nowadays, at somewhere around $50.
     
  5. comradejon, Aug 12, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011

    comradejon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #5
    Sorry to be a pain and resurrect the thread after you answered my original question, but since you seem to know a lot about this I thought I'd pick your brains some more.

    Two questions to ask really. If I'm going to plonk down £1400 on a laptop, which is so much money for me, then I'd like to do it without there being a new one round the corner. Obviously we don't know when the next one will appear, but would it be worth waiting or not? I don't like the idea that the next one might not have a DVD drive, so if that's the case then I'd rather buy now and get the current model, but if the next Macbook Pro 15" is going to have a better graphics card and processor I can't help but contemplate waiting. What do you think?

    My other question is about Hackintosh. Some of my more anti-Mac friends are compelling me to buy a £700 laptop, something along the lines of a Thinkpad, and then have it dual-booted with Hackintosh. Is it worth the hassle, given the money saved?

    Thanks for that :)

    EDIT: And one more question. The screen issue - I don't really plan on taking it outside a lot so I assumed the screen would be fine, but I've heard there's a lot of glare on the default one so wasn't sure if I should spend more on the antiglare.
     

Share This Page