17" Macbook Pro, or Quad Mac Pro? Help me decide.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Ahheck01, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. Ahheck01 macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2006
    17" Macbook Pro, or Quad Mac Pro? Help me decide.
    The mobility of the MBP would be nice, but I need to make sure my needs are met in the office before the luxury of mobility.

    I will be doing a lot of testing and reviewing of productivity applications on multiple platforms, so I'd like to run Linux and Windows within OSX most of the time. I would have two, eventually 3 monitors for the Mac Pro, but the MBP is limited to 1 external monitor.

    I would have 8GB ram in either. What I'm wondering is how big of a difference a 2.9ghz quad core makes vs. 2.8ghz dual core in the MBP? Other than the extra USB and FW ports, that's all I see an advantage in. The apps I'll be testing aren't by themselves labor intensive, but I may be doing a lot of web dev and graphics work in photoshop and whatnot in OSX while having the other OS's running - that will be the peak of my workload.

    So, thoughts on dual core vs. quad - worth losing mobility for 2 more cores?
  2. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Quad-Core MBP's might be released in October.
  3. Snowbound macrumors regular

    May 19, 2008
    If you don't "need" the mobility, the mac pro is clearly a better computer. For the price of 8gb ram in the MBP, you could probably put 12 or 16 in the MP. Plus the triple monitor option would be very nice. My vote goes to the MP.
  4. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
    If you don't need portability then definitely get a Mac Pro plus a 24in Apple LED Cinema Display and your set!
  5. Ahheck01 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2006
    Unfortunately, I don't have the ability to wait until then to equip my office.

    I would say the advantage of mobility exceeds the advantage of a stationary 3rd monitor. Will 8GB vs 16GB matter for my uses?


  6. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
  7. thomahawk macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2008
    Osaka, Japan
    well you need to find out if you are really going to be on the go and mobile

    if you are going to be off and about more than or even the same amount as you'll be in your office. then i suggest going for the MBP

    but if you are staying in your office most of the time, then just take the mac pro.

    as far as i can see both options will do well with what your doing so either device will help you out. just need to decided whether to go mobile or not. the MBP can go desktop but as you said its only going to give you 1 external monitor
  8. Ahheck01 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2006
    Yeah. I have a 13" unibody macbook (non-pro, no FW :( ) that can suffice for my mobile device for now, so I may just go Mac Pro. Open to further comment, however.
  9. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    You want to run virtualization? Go quad-core (or octo-core) and buy 16x1gb RAM. It will make all the difference.

    Also consider a couple of Dell 24" monitors for the desktop if cost is a concern.
  10. thomahawk macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2008
    Osaka, Japan
    then why not use your macbook to do your mobile work. for not so intensive uses. and use your mac pro for your power workstation. it is a workstation after all
  11. Dreamail macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2003
    Overall more bang for the buck

    Had exactly the same dilemma.

    Coming from a 12" PowerBook I felt the 17" MBP, even though much more portable than a Mac Pro, is not really my idea of 'mobility'. It is too huge to comfortably use lounging on the sofa or in a coffee shop or on a train or plane (economy seating). These define 'mobility' to me and the 17" is really not all that mobile in these cases.
    It would be a 'mobile compromise' from the start.

    Add to that the fact that a quad-core Nehalem CPU can run 8 concurrent threads, vs. 2 concurrent threads in today's MacBook Pros, so in ideal cases you're not seeing double but quadruple the performance! For almost the same price...

    Also I thought about getting a 30" monitor, just because the 2560x1600 resolution means so much more space than even 1920x1200.
    In case you also consider running your 17" MBP with additional external monitors, it becomes even less mobile - plus the cable spaghetti.

    If you intend to run a lot of virtual machines concurrently, eventually you would want more than 8GB of RAM. With the Mac Pro at least you have the option to upgrade in the future.
    The MBP has a hardware limit in the Nvidia chipset to 8GB, so that will always be it.

    If at some point you really find that you need mobility as well, you still have your MB. As you will have your Mac Pro you can easily get by with your lower spec MB - it might be just enough for what you need on the road, plane or coffee shop.
    As a companion in future even that rumored tablet might do.

    In the end I went Mac Pro simply because current laptops are sorely underpowered compared to what the Nehalem CPUs can do.
    And being able to chose my GPU is also nice.

    So far I'm very impressed with the speed and power. The Mac Pro really is a 'beast'.

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