2.4 to 2.5 worth it for my needs?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MetaKn1ght, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. MetaKn1ght macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I've been reading these forums for months now, but this is my first post. I've been putting a lot of research into macs for some while now as I plan to finally make the switch and replace my hp desktop with a mac. I've decided I want a laptop and because I like to game a little bit I've decided on the Macbook Pro.

    I'm going into my 2nd year of college and the main things I'll be using my computer for is composing music (Finale 2008, Logic Studio, Reason), web browsing/itunes/etc, and pc gaming (Battlefield 2142, Oblivion, CoD4, TF2, newer released games). I also like to play around in photoshop and do a little video editing. I can't decided between the low end and mid line MBP. Both I will upgrade ram to 4gb 3rd party, so the only difference is .1ghz on each core, 256mb more vram and a larger hard drive.

    Now, to keep this short I'll address my two concerns:

    1. Based on what I'll be doing with the computer, do you think upgrading to the midline MBP is worth the extra $500? I'm trying to justify it but I can't unless the performance gain while gaming a noticeable enough to feel worth it. I intend on hooking whichever one I get to a dell 2408. Will the extra vram help there?

    2. If I'm gonna put this much money into a new computer I want to be able to keep up with if not surpass in performance, my desktop I'm replacing. Here are the specs. 2.6ghz AMD dual core, 2 gb ram, nVidia GeForce 8600 gts 256mb, Vista Ultimate 32bit. How would both MBPs compare?

    Thanks ahead of time for all feedback.
     
  2. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #2
    Your not getting 'just' a .1 ghz upgrade; your also getting an additional 3MB of l2 cache (for a total of six vs. 3 on the 2.4 ghz model)
     
  3. kalimba macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #3
    Plus a hard drive that's 25% bigger, and 100% more RAM on the video card.
     
  4. MetaKn1ght thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    #4
    thank you for the responses. but as for the question at hand, do you think that based on what I'll be using the computer for that those upgrades justify the extra $500?
     
  5. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    No it's not worth it; take the money you saved, buy more RAM and get a 500GB HDD.
     
  6. stealthninja macrumors member

    stealthninja

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    MI
    #6
    +1

    i agree, and i thought to myself reading the thread title: is 2.4 to 2.5 worth it for anyone's needs? I really doubt it would make that much of a difference in normal day to day work.
     
  7. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #7
    Spending that money on 2GB of RAM (taking you to four) will likely provide more performance then that extra .1GHz of clockspeed and 3MB of L2 cache. Or spending it on a 7200RPM HDD will definitely provide more performance (at the expense of battery life).
     
  8. Flore macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Location:
    Dubai
    #8
    He plans to upgrade to 4GB Ram anyway, no matter which machine it is going to be.

    It is hard to answer this question, I do not think that .1 Ghz will make a noticeable difference, however, 3MB of additional L2 cache can help you in daily computing.

    As for the Harddrive, you can always buy an external one, they are cheap, but you also miss out on portability by doing that.

    The speed bump of upgrading to a 7200rpm internal one, as mentioned above at the expense of battery life, might be worth to consider as well.

    Since you do gaming, the additional VRAM will be useful for sure.

    Considering that it is (nearly) impossible to upgrade the GPU, I would probably go for the 2.5 model.
    That gives you enough harddrive space as well, and if you feel the need of an upgrade and have some money at hand, get a 7200rpm and put the internal one in an external case.


    Overall, the difference will be marginal, it just depends on how hard it is for you to spend these additional 500$.
     
  9. Eric. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    #9
    I'm gonna back everyone else and say to go with the 2.4Ghz. Also, to compare it to your desktop, I think the MBP may be faster. AMDs aren't as fast per Mhz from my experience. It'll come down to how the video cards compare, most likely.
     
  10. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    I would go for the 2.5Ghz. Im hoping to game on mine, so i went for it. Also the extra 50Gb of space will get you another 2 or 3 games on there, and the extra cache will speed up a few things, when multi tasking.
     
  11. mBurns macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    How long are you planning on having the machine? If this is a short-term purchase 1-3 years it won't really matter for most games. If you're talking 3+ years, you're going to want the upgraded card and processor.

    I like to use the iBook Clamshells as an example: years ago, people could have purchased the 366 Mhz or 466 Mhz iBooks. Just a 100 Mhz difference, right! Well, that 100 Mhz difference decided whether or not your machine could run the Tiger OS which kept the 100 Mhz slower machines (arguably) in the dust with the gap continuing to widen while the faster ones kept on with newer software.
     
  12. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    The games he is playing can run on 8600M GT and 256MB VRAM is plenty for all that--in fact 128MB would have been fine, so 256MB is more than enough.

    That music stuff does not need a 2.5GHz processor; 2.4GHz is fast enough; that cache difference is insignificant--a few seconds is not worth that extra money spent; standard tasks like web browsing, document editing, etc. can make do with a 300MHz processor, so again 2.4GHz is plenty.

    The music stuff needs the RAM which he will upgrade to, and he will need a big scratch disk, usually an external, but with $500 saved, and since he will buy RAM any ways, it's still $500 for 320GB 7200RPM or a 500GB 5400RPM drive--both good scratch disks for his music stuff. That will leave around $200-$250 for AppleCare, One-to-One, ProCare, computer insurance, protection, anything. Or it could go to savings!

    This computer will be faster than his desktop already and he will have saved a lot of money; think of this way; let's assume he saves the $500... he can then buy a new computer sooner, say when Sandy Bridge is out and he can sell his current machine, get a good price and pay a few hundred more for a new machine!

    Get the 2.4GHz, you don't need the 2.5GHz, I do a lot CPU intensive stuff and I even find it hard to use more than 180% CPU power (2x90%), what is 90%? 2.34GHz! I would get the 2.4GHz, save a few hundred bucks and maybe gotten myself new headphones or something.
     
  13. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    America's Third World
    #13
    It really depends on the complexity of the music, the size (and bit-depth) of the sample library used, and dozens of other factors. For a pop song with 16 tracks using only a few FXs, a 1.83GHz C2D would probably work well. But for more complex arrangements, such as a symphonic work with 64+ tracks, (just one) top-end Mac Pro (alone) may not be able to handle the job.
     
  14. MetaKn1ght thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    #14
    Thanks a lot for the replies, really. I think based on the responses I'm leaning toward the 2.4, which is what I had originally decided on. If the differences are only slightly marginal, and if it would be faster than my desktop anyway then that fulfills both of my concerns.

    As far as my future plans, as this will be my first mac I'm not sure as of now how long I plan to keep it. From what I hear they last a lot longer than PCs do, and have a higher resale value. I'm hoping it will last through the rest of college so that's 3 more years, but I might want to upgrade before then if Apple releases something that entices me.

    That saved $500 could go towards software, hard drive upgrades, etc. I also plan on replacing my iPhone with the 3G, so I'm trying to save money where I can. :D

    Thanks again everyone! :)
     
  15. mBurns macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    Best of luck. It sounds like you made up your mind. For 3 years of use, you shouldn't have an issue with the base MacBook Pro!
     
  16. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #16
    Having owned the 2.4 and the 2.5 of both penryn, the 2.5 model with the 6mb of cache + 512mb vram is well worth it. Just multitasking is alot faster with less hiccup and especially driving an external monitor is alot better as well.

    Trust me Ive owned it all and for a good amount of time, you will be glad that you got the 2.5ghz model. The 2.4 model is great for the price but overall experience was lacking and felt broken compared to the 2.5 ghz model.

    Especially for 3 years use the $500 will seem like almost nothing in that time for the overall better experience.
     
  17. Flore macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Location:
    Dubai
    #17
    ^^ He has a point there...

    Accumulated over three years, the 500$ is really nothing.. less than 50c per day.. But if you say you have good use for them, go for the 2.4ghz.

    You will not regret it i'd say. however when you see the beachball... :p
     
  18. MetaKn1ght thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    #18
    hmm...good point. That is another one of my concerns. I don't want to look back a year or two from now and which I had just gone for it and got the better model. That happened with my iPhone. I got it at release and opted for the 4gb to save $100. Since I never owned an ipod previously, my library was tiny. Now a year later I'm dying for more space. Well I've learned my lesson there and when I upgrade to 3G, I'm getting the 16gb.

    $500 spread out that long isn't much at all. Now I'm back to going back and forth on which one to get. I suppose I'll just have to decide when the time comes. Thanks to everyone for the advice, and any more is still welcome. :apple:
     
  19. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #19
    dont listen to others.

    the 2.4 is fine. Save your money and buy the iphone.

    my 2.4 feels no different than my wifes 2.5. identical machines, and most the time we get them confused. I have to either open iphoto or look at the ram in the machine, to know which is which! :)

    save your cash.
     
  20. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #20
    How about this; go to the store, ask the sales guys, buy the computer and don't regret it.
     

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