2011 MBP 15" Spec Advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tbch2325, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. tbch2325 macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2010
    Hi all,

    Im buying my first Mac at the weekend (woot!) but am unsure of some of the choices as my OSX expierence is very little. Firstly the most intensive thing I plan to do with this machine is run a few games. What I would like to know is whether the 8GB upgrade option is worth the extra money or should 4GB be sufficiant? Also as HDD space isnt a massive issue, would the 500GB 7200RPM drive run and load apps quicker? Does anyone know if this drive drains the battery more than the 5400 drive?

    Im definatley getting the proccessor and screen resoultion upgrades, do games generally run good in parrells/vmware or do they work better in bootcamp? Will the extra 4GB RAM help the game run better in parrells?

  2. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    I would get 8Gb of ram because you want to use windows and OSX but dont buy it from Apple! Buy it from a 3rd party and do the upgrade by yourself. Its much cheaper. The 7200 RPM drive uses a bit more power, but its effect on battery life is negligible.
  3. Benito macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2010
    Toronto, Canada
    I agree, get the 8 GB RAM on the aftermarket. I just did my RAM upgrade two nights ago and it couldn't be easier. Remove 10 screws on the bottom of your MBP, the pop the old cards out and put the new ones back in. Put the bottom plate back on screwing the 10 screws back in. Reset the system BIOS and voila, major RAM upgrade. It is totally worth the $100 more or less for the RAM.
  4. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    I would go with the 7200rpm drive. You might take a small hit on battery life, but you'll probably see a performance improvement.

    As far as the RAM goes, it could go either way. I wouldn't buy it from Apple, so in that case you might as well go ahead and get it with the stock 4gb. Try it for a while, if you're bumping up against the limit or getting close to, then upgrade. If 4gb ends up being fine, then you've saved your money. You can always upgrade down the road if your needs change, and the longer you wait the cheaper it will be on average.

    I wouldn't run games in a VM, they don't give the game real access to the GPU, the VM has to emulate a basic GPU in software. Definitely use bootcamp for gaming.

    The extra RAM would help with running VMs if you want to run them for another reason. You can pull up your Bootcamp installation in a VM for example if you just want to do some light work, transfer files, etc.
  5. terzinator macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    Do what now?
  6. ovrkast macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2011
    I too would suggest getting the 8GB, but I'm not sure how beneficial it would be for gaming, however, it definitely will provide you with a more smoother environment when running Parallels. ;)
  7. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    About to ask the same thing :confused:
  8. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Intel Macs use EFI, not BIOS.

    Buy it with 4GB of RAM, max it out to 8GB aftermarket. I recommend crucial's memory (www.crucial.com). Definitely get the 15" model with the AMD Radeon HD 6750M instead of the model with the Radeon HD 6490M as the graphics are substantially better on the former. Get the faster RPM hard drive as data transfer rates will be faster.
  9. tbch2325 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2010
    Cheers guys. I think ill be going for the 7200 drive with the 8GB RAM then. With the aftermarket RAM, wont this void the warrenty?

    Quick question on the SDD option, does anyone know if it will increase battery life? Debating whether I should just get a 128GB SSD option (apps/games/windows) and use a SDXC card to store photos/videos if I run out of space. Bad/Good idea?

    Thanks again
  10. jimmyhii macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2010
    I'm wondering the exact same thing too :) sorry if im kinda hijacking the thread, but does anyone also know how much usable space will be available with the 128GB SSD option? IMO the upgrade price for 15" MBP to an SSD is pretty good and tempting..
  11. tbch2325 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2010
    Me too... Only thing is I would probably have to partition 40GB for Windows 7 (possibly 50/60GB) leaving only around 60GB for OSX and the rest of my stuff. Ideally if I could keep an SDXC card in my laptop and store my photos/music/videos and point iPhoto etc to the SDXC card then that would be ideal.

    Anyone know if this is viable?

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