2.66 or 2.8 or 3.06 processor for 15" MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MagCat, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. MagCat macrumors newbie

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    Jul 3, 2009
    #1
    Hello. I've decided to purchase a 15" MacBook Pro, but need some feedback/advice on the processor choices.

    I don't work with graphics or video or audio. I mainly work with databases and text files. However, I have have VMWare Fusion running all of the time to access GoToMyPc and to use my PC-based accounting system.

    An Apple representative said I should do fine with the 5400 rpm hard-drive and it would save on battery life, which is important to me.

    However, I don't know much about processor speeds and their affects on battery life and speed and how it relates to my situation of always running the VMWare Fusion/XP operating system.

    Should I go with the 2.66, 2.8, or 3.06?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!
     
  2. rick3000 macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

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    #2
    You're going to be relying more on RAM than the processor with what you mentioned, and you probably won't need a 7200RPM drive. So I would say get the 2.66Ghz and 5400RPM drive.
    Unless you only upgrade every 4-5 years, then the 3.06Ghz is worth the extra money so your MBP won't get outdated as quickly.
     
  3. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #3
    Is price at all important? And are you solely talking about processors or would you upgrade the remainder of the differing features.
     
  4. deliciousss macrumors newbie

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    Jul 3, 2009
    #4
    You will be fine with any of those three processors. However, it comes down to how much are you willing spend and will you be upgrading next?

    Battery life is also effected by a lot of other factors such as the backlighting on the keyboard, the screen brightness, background apps, and what not
     
  5. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #5
    I mean the difference in the processor speed, is not as much as most assume it is. The other stuff is way more important. Your battery life is taking a large hit anyway because of virtualization.
     
  6. MagCat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Price is a factor for me. My last PowerBook died after 3 years, so I expect to upgrade in another 3 years. What other upgrades would you recommend? The $1000 to upgrade the RAM really isn't a financial option for me.
     
  7. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #7
    I'd say go for the standard 2.8 and start from there. Obviously the ram upgrade I would not recommend from Apple...
     
  8. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #8
    A 2.8GHz machine would do fine then. If you are really concerned over performance, then a higher clock will help ease that concern. Besides, VMware wll surely benefit over a higher clock (everything does). However, you should really look into more RAM capacity as Virtual Machines gobble up memory as if it were ice cream or snow balls on a +100*F hot & humid summer day.

    However, the 3.06GHz option has a higher power consumption, so in the benefits of higher battery life, its a no go choice. 2.8GHz is a sweet spot.
     
  9. MagCat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Thanks. What do you mean by a "higher clock"? I'm not very term savvy.
     
  10. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #10
    Faster Processor: 2.8 vs. 3.06...Just another term. I just think that the 2.8 gives you features that are worth it, when comparing it to the 2.66 for the minimal price upgrade.
     
  11. MagCat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    If speed becomes an issue with 4GB Ram, can I upgrade after the fact? If a 3rd party does it, does it void the AppleCare warranty?
     
  12. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #12
    No it does not. RAM is user replaceable.
     
  13. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #13
    It does not void the warranty. However if you get it serviced, be sure to take it out, as Apple is known for stealing the ram (yes, seriously) when they repair your computer. Apple even kindly posts instructions about how to upgrade it.
     
  14. MagCat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    I suppose I could have my 80-year old mother do it. She's great with hardware but she can't install software. I'm just the opposite.:)
     
  15. MagCat thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Thanks you!!

    Thanks so much to everyone for their advice and the fast responses. I think I'll probably go with the 2.8.
     
  16. Some Guy 555 macrumors regular

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    May 26, 2009
    #16
    Before the WWDC I was faced with this same decision: Do I want the 2.93 or stick with the 2.66?

    I decided on the 2.66 for the following reasons:

    1) Better battery life (varies but for me its about 10-20 minutes).
    2) HEAT (seriously, this notebook is HOT. The 2.66 reaches 88C while gaming... the 2.93 can reach almost 100C.... I am afraid what the 3.06 would do while I was using the notebook... no thanks, I'll keep my mbp working and not burn.
    3)Benchmarks are not that much different. Xbench results have shown me that the 2.93 gets a 185 to 200 rating for the processor. My 2.66 gets 175 to 190 (usually closer to 190). I'm not spending $300 for that.
    4) It's a ripoff for the price. Seriously, if you look up the prices for these processors they are around $80 to $200 each. They are charging you $300 for it.
    5) I wanted a SSD more than a better processor which would show no real world difference to me. With $300 banked, that would pay for half of an intel SSD.
     
  17. reallynotnick macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Isn't the 2.8ghz a 35W processor and the 2.66ghz a 25W processor, personally I would save the money and go 2.66ghz. The speed difference is nothing really between the two.
     
  18. Unprocessed1 macrumors 65816

    Unprocessed1

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    Jun 23, 2008
    #18
    If you want your MBP asap just get the 2.8

    The 3.06 upgrade is negligible and will take an extra week or two to get in your hands. I went through the same dilemma and decided an SSD upgrade would be better for my money.
     
  19. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #19
    The difference is the base model 2.66 vs. the base model 2.8 - the other additions will make a difference.
     
  20. arcobb macrumors regular

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    #20
    I've got a 2.2 ghz MBP ... love it. I still try to figure out what it can't do. Still has 2 GB ram and while I can make it hang if I open every program ... (maybe ... does pretty good) ... it works great. And it's nice to know that I can upgrade 4 GB when I have then need. I use CS4, iLife apps, VMware and edit the occasional movie. I've had it for 2 years now and feel like I have years to go with this machine before I need more, especially with a portable.

    My 2 cents is to go with the 2.66. Yes, the 3.06 processor is 500 Mhz faster but it is in the same processor generation (or close to it). I think you'll be very happy taking the 2.66 to the coffee shop to write papers or edit a movie. I guess if you said you worked at Industial Light and Magic and made transformer movies for a living I'd feel a little different.

    As for harddrives ... they are easy enough to replace when you need. This machine came with a 120 GB and I upgraded about 4 months ago to a 250 GB drive. Now its got plenty of space I need.

    The one consideration I can see for the future is the graphics card because of the new methods for taking advantage of processing power for other tasks. While I'm excited about the possibility this could bring ... I think its in its very beginning stages of using it and are a few years of from everyday use in a major way. In apples portables they market the machines to use the 9400m unless you are gaming or using heavy rendering 3d apps then you use the 9600M GT. I believe the default is 9400m out of the box and you have to turn on the 9600m if you want it.

    So in short I'd go 2.66 and stock HD ... unless you need more storage right away ... even still I'd buy my own drive put what I want in there.

    Just my 2 cents ... hope it helps! :)
     
  21. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    #21
    2.66 = 3mb cache
    2.8 and 3.06 = 6mb cache

    of course there are going to be a few to argue that the cache will not make a big difference, in my case it does along with the extra clock cycles....

    i selected the 2.8 and i am currently awaiting a 3.06 BTO 17" upgrade this 2.8 is a great system but i need more juice.

    virtual machines run smooth, but start to stutter when i do some more intensive mac apps.

    i came from a 2.4 and the 2.8 was a significant performance increase and the extra cache makes the virtual machines more agressive.

    hope this helps
     
  22. Some Guy 555 macrumors regular

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    May 26, 2009
    #22
    2.66 is NOT 3mb of cache. Unless the newer ones have the cache halved then that may be.

    My Early 09 MBP has 6MB of cache.

    The 2.66 is a T9550

    http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=37130&processor=T9550&spec-codes=SLGE4,SLGEL
     
  23. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    #23
  24. Whackintosh macrumors 6502

    Whackintosh

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    #24
    What he said. Only the 2008 umbp 2.66 has 6mb of cache. Crazy, huh?
     
  25. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

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    #25
    no.....he said

    2.66 is NOT 3mb of cache. Unless the newer ones have the cache halved then that may be.

    My Early 09 MBP has 6MB of cache.

    The 2.66 is a T9550

    2.66 he is assuming is 6mb when its not....then proceeded to tell us that his has 6mb....which is irrelevant considering its only avail. refurbished.
     

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