$200 worth the upgrade to high-end model?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by euphrus, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. euphrus macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2008
    Hey I was planning on buying a MacBook pro 15 inch and I have had a hard time deciding between the base model and the top of the line model. *I don't think I plan on doing any excessively intensive stuff maybe some iLife editing, casual gaming, the usual web browsing, handbrake, rare use of Photoshop and some CAD; Here are my two options:

    Base model:
    -15 inch high res glossy screen
    -4gb ram
    -500gb 7200rpm drive
    -AMD Radeon HD 6490m with 256mb of Gddr5
    -2.0 ghz quad core i7 CPU

    High end model
    - 15 inch high res glossy screen
    -4gb ram
    -500gb 7200rpm drive
    -AMD Radeon HD 6750m with 1gb of gddr5
    -2.2 ghz quad core i7 CPU

    I think the low end model would probably suit my needs but I was wondering since it is only $200 more with the education discount is it worth it? Since I can't upgrade the gpu and processor down the line but I can upgrade the ram. Money is not that much of a concern but I could use the extra money towards a ssd when prices come down. Is it worth the performance/ future proofing?
  2. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    For $200, you might as well get the higher end one.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    If the only difference is a .2 speed in the CPU, I find it hard to believe you would be able to tell the difference outside of synthetic benchmark test. I would take the $200 and buy a SSD. That will make a HUGE and very perceptible difference in every day use.
  4. aesp533262 macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2011
    I'm in the same boat. Here's how I'm justifying my purchase. Just like you said, these are non upgradeable parts....consider the upgrade as just the video card upgrade and the .2 clock speed on the processor as a bonus...not to mention the additonal 250 hd that comes with this model....hope this helps....

    Sent from my SPH-M900 using Tapatalk
  5. aesp533262 macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2011
    Thought I might add.....I am not personally sure what I am going to be using my machine for...but I would hate that when I decide that I need to do something that I can't do it ..or be kicking my self in the butt later cause I didn't spend the $200 bucks...

    Sent from my SPH-M900 using Tapatalk
  6. iPhone1 macrumors 65816


    Apr 2, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    If you're going to spend that kind of money anyway, another $200 is going to kill you.
  7. nwlight.com macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2011
    Personally, I think the video card upgrade is worth it. Granted, I am not sure that I do anything that really needs it. However, the difference is stark in the benchmarks and since I plan to keep the laptop for up to 3-years, I would be kicking myself if I found out later that I want to play games or if Aperture uses the GPU heavily.
  8. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    I'd say go for it. I was in a similar situation and ended up going for the 17 inch.

    I also never thought about it at first, but I ended up purchasing off of Amazon which saved me close to $400.

    No tax in most states, but even with tax they sell less than Apple so it's worth it.

    High end 15 at apple: $2199 + tax
    High end 15 at amazon $2,075.36 and no tax
  9. bossmanjunior macrumors member


    Dec 3, 2010
    the gfx card alone is worth 200. im biased though cause i have the high en one and absolutely love it.
  10. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    I would get the high end model. For $200, a faster cpu and vid card is worth it imo...it'll probably hold its resale value better ;]
  11. SPEEDwithJJ macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2008
    +1 to the above opinion. Good luck. :)
  12. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I had the same dilemna as the OP. I wanted/needed a quad core machine for my VM's I run. So I new I needed to go 15", but I wasn't sure if I wanted the baseline 15" or the high end. I ended up going for the high end for a couple of reasons: 1. I wanted an SSD. That was only a $100 dollar up grade on the High End Machine as opposed to $200 on the low end 15", 2. The company I work for gets an 8% discount from Apple on anything over 2K, but only 6% below. Instantly that made the difference off of the base of each only about $300. 3. I figured that while I don't game, the high end model would mean that my MBP would be more future proof and allow me to use it for more years to come (unlike my 2009 13" MBP which barely runs even basic games).

    I know that #2 really doesn't help most, but #1 and #3 gives you a lot to think about.

    P.S. I really recommend the Hi-Res display. The "standard" screen is just pathetic for a 15" screen.
  13. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    100% worth it. 750 MB more VRAM, better processor, and a faster (500 GB 7200 RPM) or larger drive (750 GB 5400 RPM) depending on what you choose to do. Definitely worth 200 bucks.
  14. docal97 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2006
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

    The base model will be able to so everything that you can throw at it. It screams....
  15. Apple 26.2 macrumors 6502a

    Apple 26.2

    Jan 1, 2011
    What up, 212?!
  16. Eternal 28 macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2008

    I though it was $400 more or $300 more for students..
  17. euphrus thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    It usually is $300 more For a student but if you are planning on upgrading to a faster 7200rpm drive on the base model anyway it becomes a $200 difference between the two models
  18. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    If you choose the 7200 RPM drive in the low end then it's a 210 difference for students. If you stick with the 5400 RPM drive in the low end then it's 300.

    EDIT: Beat me to it.
  19. Tonepoet macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2010
    Looks like I'll have to suggest the higher end model yet again. For more casual needs, I'd typically want to advise against it but since you have an educational discount, I'd say it'd be a worthy future proofing investment.

    The average span of a collage education only lasts 4 years, which is also the average upgrade cycle for a new computer. Since you might not have access to the discount when you're out of collage, you might as well utilize it while you've got it. It may extend the life of the computer drastically, since required hardware resources are ever increasing despite software optimizations and many people are willing to pay $150-300 for a GPU upgrade alone to keep them on par and the processing speed certainly can't hurt the lifespan of your computer either.

    What you can upgrade later is your RAM and HDD, possibly at a much better value than what can be had now with at the rates hardware depreciate at. So in your situation, I'd keep those as an ace in the hole until you think it's time to get a new computer to try and pocket the difference. A few hundred of dollars worth of upgrades is much cheaper than a whole new computer.
  20. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    That's my thoughts too. I think it's a smart move for students.
  21. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
  22. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you can spare the $200 and don't need the performance that the higher-end model affords you, I'd still say to get it as the more money you put into any computer purchase at the time of purchase, the longer it'll last you. Now, if you don't do anything or will ever do anything that is GPU intensive, that logic might not apply here. I'd also be shocked if down the road an OS feature in a version of Mac OS X in the distant future cut off the 6490M but not the 6750M, but you never know. I will say that the 200MHz difference between the CPUs of the two models is very unlikely to matter. Certainly nowhere near as much as the 2MB cache difference between the 2.2GHz CPU and the 2.3GHz CPU would.
  23. Tonepoet, Mar 13, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011

    Tonepoet macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2010
    I'd care to disagree on this point based upon the numbers we know today as the low end 13" macbook pro of this generation clocks at 2.3 gigahertz and beats the high end 17" 2.8 gigahertz macbook pro of the last, showing that deceptively smaller clock differences may count for a lot more this generation. Besides that, neither of those are quad core processors, so on the 15" the difference may count for double. Granted you may not multitask enough for quad core to make a difference in its own right but that's where turboboost kicks in.

    That having been said, I suppose futureproofing is more in competition with future advancements than things of the past.
  24. TheFarmer macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2011
  25. Patman macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2003
    ^ this

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