about to buy MBP need help with last minute descision

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dpope, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. dpope macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2006
    After waiting for a long time I'm planning to get my first mac (in ages anyway). Its actually on reserve for me in a store and I'm going to pick it up tomorrow. They only had stock models so I asked them to reserve one of the lowest end MBP with only 120 GB hard disk. My preference would have been for a 160 GB since its PMR and also the extra space might be nice (so far though I have an 80 gb sony with multiple different OSes installed and I still have a fair amount of free space so I'm not sure it will become an issue). I could have the 160 GB model built to order but I was told by the local apple people that it would take 1-2 weeks to get here. I've convinced myself that having a stock model rather than a custom model will make my life easier in the future if I have a problem and need a repalcement. Also, if I really needed more space I could always upgrade or get an external disk ...

    I've read around about the difference between the 160 PMR and the 120 LMR but I just wanted to get feed-back on whether this is right descision? Is the hassle of a custom-built model worth the difference in performance between a PMR and LMR? Does OS X use up a lot of disk space (for apps I mean)?

    I've also read that some of the 120 Gb drives are randomly PMR. Any idea if I can check this when I'm in the store? Is there a way to tell without booting up the machine?

    I haven't yet descided about glossy or matt. I don't want to start a flame war about this but I don't every do any serious graphics stuff (I use my machine mostly as an academic) so is there any reason not to get glossy. The reason I lean towards glossy is that I have a Sony viao (with X-brite (tm) ;->) now and (although I'm not sure) I think this its a glossy screen and I'm perfectly happy with it. Does anyone know if all the recent (2 years old) sony 17" have glossy screens and is this the same time of display as on the MBP?

    thanks in advance
  2. miniguu macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2005
    HD size depends on your needs I suppose. Just an example: On a 120GB HD, I have a 15GB partition for XP, 12GB in Library, 12GB in Applications, 1.3GB system, 17 GB movies, 6GB music and 1GB pictures, and some misc stuff. I'm left with 42.6GB on the Mac partition and 11GB on the XP partition. It's more than enough for anything I would use in the near future.

    I have a PMR drive, and you'll need to boot it up and look at About This Mac to tell.

    I'm very pleased with my glossy display, so this may be a little biased. To me it's like a matte screen but better. In virtually all indoor settings, it will behave like a matte screen with more vibrant colors. Basically you'll be alright unless you sit with a bright light right behind your head. Outdoors, it's can get very shiny and reflecty depending on where you are and how much sun is behind you. I personally don't mind the shiny, but I can imagine it would bug the f out of some people.

    I've taken a gander at some of my classmates' lappies, and the MBP glossy is very similar to Sony and Toshiba glossy screens.
  3. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I'd say go with matte, it's much better than the glossy IMO. In my house, both my dad and older sister have glossy screens and they are a pain to use, first because they are much harder to use in general for me because of glare issues, everything looks way too oversaturated, secondly because they are much harder to clean and the smudges get very annoying. A glossy is something I would never want to have on my main computer, that's why I went matte. And I'd say go with the stock model, if you have a problem with it, it'll be much easier to swap out and if you don't need that much storage space then it'll be fine. I'd suggest going over to Fry's (or some other place, Fry's is just really cheap) and buying another 1GB of RAM, or if you want matched RAM for better performance, then get 2GB of RAM in a kit.
  4. fargo macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2006
    Just check for the following:

    - Uneven LCD
    - Grainy LCD
    - Electricity leakage from case
    - Moo sound
    - Overheated case
    - Freezes while playing or working on intensive applications

    BTW, Apple delivered used machines to some customers, so be careful.

    Good luck :rolleyes:
  5. danielbriggs macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    I'd go with Matte. And unless you NEED the storage, don't bother with the CTO. 120G's is fine!

    Good luck!
  6. dpope thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Thanks for all the responses - I'm very excited to finally be getting this thing. At first I was set on glossy, now I'm vascillating. I guess I'll decide last minute in the store ;->

    What exactly do you mean by uneven LCD? When you say grainy - do you mean visibly so?

    I'll try to get the guy in the store to boot it up and check if its PMR but how exactly can I tell? I saw some other posts but there all people showed was the model number of the Hitachi disk (from the System Info window). Do you have to just google this number or is there somewhere you can specifically check if its a PMR directly from within OS X?

    As I said, I haven't had an apple for ages. If this is a fresh laptop will I be able to just boot it up in the store and check for PMR and then ask they guy to return switch it if its not PMR or is there some setup I'll have to do right after booting (i.e. picking a username, etc...) that might mean they won't let me switch the laptop? Is there a way to check directly from the bootloader before OS X actually boots up (so as to bypass the aforementioned issue).

    again, thanks ;->
  7. miniguu macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2005
    The last time I bought an Apple instore, you had to buy it first before they would let you open the box.. And then they would make you pay restocking charges if you returned it for another, if there aren't huge major things wrong with it.

    Grainy refers to a screen that looks dirty or looks like there's a pattern underneath the screen. You can test this by looking at one point and moving a window around.
    Unevenness refers to uneven lighting/bad viewing angles. Basically if you open a new safari window and maximize it, some parts of the screen look dimmer/darker.

    Happy shopping :)
  8. fargo macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2006
    Read these threads: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=248689 and http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=251352

    Make sure you run the notebook in the store first. If they don't allow you to do this, then don't buy from them.
  9. dpope thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Now you guys have terrified me almost into having second thoughts. The one unquestionably good thing abuot the Sony 17" I currently own is that it has what must be one of, if not, the best laptop screens I've ever used. Its 1920x1200 and I just checked it for any backlight unevenness and didn't find any at any brightness setting. I'm already sad about downgrading to 1440x900 and now I have to worry about uneven brightness...

    I'm not really backing out but I will try to push to get them to let me check out the display before I buy the laptop. Hope it works.

  10. miniguu macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2005
    Are you purchasing at an Apple store or elsewhere? You could always try to convince the employees to let you try it out before buying. If not, you should spend some time looking at the display models, and see if the screen is something you would find acceptable or comparable to your current Sony.
  11. fargo macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2006
    The fact is that Apple puts low quality LCDs in its notebooks and prices them high! So, I think it would be better to wait for next MBPs revision and hope for better machines, unless of course you cannot live without Tiger :)
  12. akadmon Suspended

    Aug 30, 2006
    New England

    You should have no qualms about asking to check the machine out before you leave the store. Although it's not standard Apple Store policy, I would be really shocked if they refused to let you do a look&see. I did that with my Mac Pro that I just bought last Friday. In fact, I did the entire software update right in the store because I didn't want any surprises. And yeah, up until a few days before I bought the Mac Pro I too was considering buying a 17" C2D MBP. :rolleyes:

    So go ahead, take charge of your MBP fate. If there are any obvious issues with the machine, return it on the spot and get another one. If you're a picky old bstd like me, I suggest you get to the store right after it opens and plan to spend a few hours at the Genius Bar :D
  13. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    I was also in the similar situation OP is in. I wanted to get the C2D MPB pronto. I was alos interested in getting 160 G HD option. But, I decided to go with the stock (120G one) as I would like to have an option for a quick exchange. With aluminum casing, once the open-case repair is done, the unit won't be the same anymore (some misalignment of the case or bent case).
    I think PMR is a little bit over-rated. PMR's main benefit would be larger HD capacity. If you are getting 120 G PMR and LMR, i think there won't be much of a different. Also, my LMR 120 G unit in MBP is made by Fujitsu. All of my Macs so far (15" Ti, 12" PB, 15" PB, 12" iBook") have/had Fujitsu drives and none of them crapped out on me during my ownership. My MBP has a Fujitsu LMR 120G HD.

    MBP has both FW 400 and 800. For extra storage, I use external Lacie or Maxtor drives.
  14. dpope thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Hi All,

    I just want to thank everyone for their help and advice. I bought my new MacBook Pro 120 gb (standard lowest end model) with a glossy screen last Thusrday. They let me check it at the store before buying it and I couldn't see any problematic uneveness in the screen brightness or any graininess so I bought it (it was also they only model they had in stock so I didn't have too much of a choice ;->). So far I'm extremely happy that I haven't had any problems with it (an early fear that my function key was somehow inverted turned out to be just my inexperience with OS X). The screen is very nice and it doesn't seem to heat up too much. I thought I heard a whine twice but the second time it turned out to be my girlfriends pc laptop nearby ;->

    Anyway, I will post my first impressions tomorrow for those who might value them and also setup a pole to see how many people really are or are not having problems with their MBPs.

    thanks again
  15. Legolamb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 27, 2006
    North of where I'd like to be
    My new 17"MBP

    So I'm on my new MBP 17" (160 GB, 5400rpm, 2GB RAM, matte, ) bought from Apple Store in Laval, Quebec on Friday. I tested it out in store briefly. Got home, tested it with every app I had. It is so quiet that all I can hear is my tapping on the keyboard. Kind of soft feel, but nice. I am glad I opted for the matte screen; the glossy in the store was way too much visual info for me. Yes, it's a little warm now, but not too unpleasant (it's cold outside:) anyway). Yes, it's a drop heavier than my PB Titanium 15", but not uncomfortable. Yes, it's expensive, but considering what I paid to max out my previous PB, this was relatively a good price (student discount).
    So far, so good/great. Good luck with yours.

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