2.8 vs 3.06

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dquack, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. dquack macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Fort Bragg, NC
    I know a million people must ask this question, but here is a million and one. I am looking to buying the new MBP. I currently have the 2.0 Ghz 15" MBP. I am in the military and every 3 years I buy a new laptop then send my old one down to the kids. I was looking at the 17" with the 3.06 Ghz processor. I was looking at the price though and it is $250 for the processor upgrade. I use my MBP for gaming since it allows me to game while deployed or stuck in some god forsaken airport. I have the money already set aside for the 3.06, but don't want to buy it only to be told it wasn't cost effective. I am also upgrading from the 15" to the 17". I like the better graphics on the 17", 3 USB ports (2 drives me crazy), and the 8 hour battery life compared to 7.

    Problem being is I am stuck in Germany and I went out in search of a 17" to make sure I wanted the bigger laptop, but the stores here only had the 15". I was hoping to hear from anyone who went from the 15" to the 17" or someone that decided to take the 3.06 compared to the 2.8 and their reasons or thoughts. Thanks in advance.
  2. kntgsp macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2004
    Your're in luck. I'm in Germany and actually just purchased the new 17'' model. I have a friend who works works for a video production studio and tried out his 3.06. Then I tried the 2.8 in the store. You really won't notice the difference. The games are far more dependent on the 9600GT. Particularly if you're playing at the native resolution of 1920x1200 or 1680x1050.

    I do a lot of gaming on my laptops, nothing extreme, mostly just left 4 dead, call of duty and the like. You won't notice one iota of difference playing them. At least I didn't. If a game is getting lousy framerates on the 2.8, it'll still get lousy framerates on the 3.06. They have the identical graphics setup.

    Also, the 15'' has the same GPU as the 17'' Unless I read your post wrong. So if you don't need the extra screen real estate you can always jump down to that.

    I had the late 2008 unibody 15'' and I just wanted the higher resolution screen (I can't stand the lousy resolution on the 15).
  3. kntgsp macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2004
    Also, if you'd like me to try out some games and give you framerate numbers, etc, I'd be happy to.

    I had Left 4 Dead on my old 2.53Ghz 15'' unibody maxed out at 1440x900 aside from shadows and it ran great. I doubt I'll be able to do the same at 1920x1200, but I might try clocking the 9600GT a little higher in Windows via RivaTuner. I had the 9600GT desktop variant in an old BYO PC running CSS and other games at 1920x1200 maxed, so I'd imagine with a little tweaking I should be able to get close to the settings, even though the mobile variant is a little slower than its big brother.
  4. airplaneman macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2009
    Get the 2.8. It's not worth $250 for a couple MHz. What matters most in gaming is the GPU. Get the 2.8 and the highest end GPU. That will be more than enough :).
  5. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
  6. adamjackson macrumors 65816

    Jul 9, 2008
    Exactly. I've sold computers for years and when quoting someone I'll always recommend getting the warranty from Dell or Apple.

    Then I show them what they need (usually mid-range computer) then give them the cost difference of going high end. If they can afford it, they're usually happier.

    I have the 3.06 and I'm such a loser that I had the 2.93Gh model before and upgrade just for the 3.06 waste of money? Sure but I love the new machine.
  7. dquack thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Fort Bragg, NC
    I mostly like playing PC games cause they are alot cheaper then mac games. I was hoping I could find speed tests between the 2.8 and 3.06, but couldn't find anything yet. It doesn't seem like a good choice but like I said I do have the money for the 3.06. I also like the 17 inch cause I can get the matte screen which is great for me cause with the military I am always going places with it so the glossy screen wouldn't be a good option.

    I am thinking of the 17" 3.06. I have heard from quite a few people that they bought the 3.06 and didn't regret it. Have to go with the 500Gig HD a SSD is nice but not big enough for me. Thanks for all the advice so far.
  8. CoreyMac macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2008
    I have the new 2.8GHz MBP June 2009.....its as fast and as hot as I need it to be lol. This thing gets HOT, I'm sure the 3.06 gets even hotter....and you wont see the difference.....the people telling you to get the best you can afford.....the high end 15" 2.8 or 17" 2.8 is virtually the same as the 3.06 ...you're just saving a couple hundred bucks off the retail price and a few bucks off taxes.

    You wont get more than 2 fps more with the 3.06.

    Get the 2.8GHz w/ the 512MB 9600M....15" or 17" thats you're call....I like the 15"
  9. diogodasilva macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2008
    I think different.. if you will be using you computer for 3 years, and spending the 250 extra wont be a problem.. then go for it... in the long run you will have a "higher end" machine.. even if the difference is not that noticeable..

    In my case: I live in Brazil.. and change my mac every year.. so I always buy custom built MBPros with the highest configuration coz when I sell it I know I will be able to get a higher price...

    For example, this week I sold my non-unibody mbp 15" 2.6 here in brazil and with the money I got from the sale I bought a new 15" 3.06 ...

    I buy in america, use it for one year than sell it in Brazil for the same price I paid coz over here they cost 2 to 3 times more than in Europe or USA... The buyer here is happy to buy for a good price.. and I am happy for having used it for one year and not losing a single penny.
  10. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Remember, the CPU is not the bottleneck these days. So getting a 3.06GHz over the 2.8GHz won't be much of a difference as between one with an SSD and one without. Also, note that the CPU will be throttled down to how much data the FSB can deliver.
  11. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    If you buy the laptop and gaming is a concern then I would wait for next revision,the 9600M GT is outdated now, and should be due for replacement next revision.
  12. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    I bought the 2.8 for the reason of I'll get a SSD once price comes down and to me that's the bigger difference in performance from the scores that I've seen so far. Either way you can't make a bad choice just one costs more now or in six months when 500GB SSD drives are cheap and better road tested.
    Enjoy your new 17" which ever one you go for!
  13. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005

    Running on my 15" 2.93ghz MBP, I can run at the 1440x900 with everything on high/max, with MSAx4, Anisotropy x 8, and thats with Multi-Core disabled (as I get hiccups) and it runs smooth as butter.....

    Crysison the other hand....... aghhhh! ;)
  14. dquack thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Fort Bragg, NC
    Thanks for the help I am off to buy my 17" 3.06 with the 500Gb HD:):eek::):D:):p:). Thanks for all the suggestions and advice.
  15. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    A wise decision, IMO.

    You can upgrade the HD, you can upgrade the memory, but you can't buy a faster processor later.

    barefeats have some teseting on the 2.8 vs. 3.06 for objective results, but personally given the frequency with which I buy a new computer - let's say 3 years. That upgrade costs less than $10/mo and you are never left wondering what might have been if you had upgraded....

    bias note: I just bought a 17/3.06/matte/500 as my first mac laptop (have imac and mac pro x 2 already). I plan SSD within a year and upgrade to 8gb ram in a year or so.
  16. diogodasilva macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2008
    wise choice... you can always go for an aftermarket SSD cheaper and with much better performance than the one supplied by apple.. and as our friend above said, you cannot upgrade the cpu.. so there you go...

    When you can.. go for SSD.. If I understood right you are on the move a lot... SSD, no moving parts.. virtually impossible to damage the drive.. 1500 G resistance..

    again.. you won't regret!
  17. Trebuin macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2008
    Central Cali
    I've been considering the 3.06 vs the 2.8GHz as well and here is what I have been thinking:

    I do this trick: buy a higher end CPU, and down-volt it & downclock to increase battery life and help the notebook run cooler. I do this with my current dell and I have dropped the CPU temp by 20C idle and 10-15C max. The battery life shot up from 2.5 hrs to 4.5 hours on average usage. I had a lower speed CPU and it runs hotter than the higher end CPU downclocked, even though the high end CPU runs hotter when nothing is changed.

    The main thing with this is that I am looking at reducing temp, but I don't know if it will apply here because if the 3.06 chip is merely an overclocked version of the same chip running 2.8, then it would be smarter just buying the 2.8. In the Dell's case, the chip is the same, but it is not overclocked, so i can take advantage of the efficiency difference.

    Main considerations:
    I use the CPU a lot with encoding and photo editing.
    I don't like hotter notebooks
    The $270 (edu discount) does not bother me so much considering I'm already going to pay around $2054 on the high end 15".

    This is just me getting ready, but I'm waiting until around late Feb to March of next year to buy this. I'm thinking there will be at least one upgrade by then. I'm waiting because I won't need it until then and I'm hoping for either an ATI card or an nVidia card further away from the 8"666" series. I haven't heard much bad about the 9600 yet. I'm also hoping apple brings the express slot back...but that's just dreaming.
  18. diogodasilva macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2008
    on the macbook pro the 3.06 is a different cpu.. not the same 2.8 overclocked... neither the other way around...
  19. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    What store has these in stock? Or were you off to get your phone/computer?
  20. dquack thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Fort Bragg, NC
    I bought it 2 days ago and it has already shipped. Can't wait till it comes here! I bought it online through the Apple store government purchase site. Got a 17" MBP 3.06 4 Gig ram 512 video matte screen with the VGA adapter. Will purchase the extended warranty online through Ebay - only costs $170 but through Apple costs $300.
  21. Ramik macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2009
    Denmark, Copenhagen
    Might wanna check this thread out before purchasing it trough eBay.

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