About to order a Unibody 17" - a few questions..

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by juliancs, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. juliancs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    #1
    Hello folks

    After selling some guitar gear and saving up, it looks like I can afford a new 17" MBP.

    At the moment, I have a 2.3 C2D, 3GB RAM, x1600. So it's quite a big upgrade! I have a few questions I'm sure most of you can answer.

    1. Is there a big difference in DDR2 and DDR3 RAM? I'm 'only' getting 1GB more, but since its running at almost twice the MHz, I expect quite an improvement.
    2. I'm going with 4GB initially,because apple charges too much at the moment for the upgrade. I know not a lot is known about this, but I assume simply taking the whole bottom piece off will give me access to the RAM?
    3. I want to play a few games on Boot Camp. With the new 17", it looks like it will be able to handle most of them. However, is there any advantage of me buying Vista? Or should I just stick with the XP I have (can XP read DDR3 RAM, etc..)
    4. The loss of a firewire 400 sucks! Will I lose performance if I get a 400->800 adaptor? I have an audio interface and harddrive dasy chained to my 400, and I need them.

    That's all for now. These are my planned specs:
    2.9GHz upgrade,
    4GB RAM
    320 7200 upgrade
    Anti-glare (matte)
    Applecare.

    I can't wait :)

    Thanks folks!
     
  2. Mark2000 macrumors regular

    Mark2000

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    #2
    1. You should see a big difference between 3gigs of DDR2 and 4gigs and DDR3. Not only is there a spec and size increase, but you now have a matched pair.

    2. The Ram will be easy to upgrade yourself by just unscrewing the bottom of the case. And by the time you can afford it there will be an iFixit guide for sure.

    3. Vista has DirectX10 which doesn't come with XP. DX10 has better effects and such. But instead of buying Vista, hurry up and download the Windows 7 Beta. Its better than Vista and its free for the time being.

    4. I don't thing an adaptor will slow you down at all.
     
  3. duffyanneal macrumors 6502a

    duffyanneal

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    1. Is there a big difference in DDR2 and DDR3 RAM? I'm 'only' getting 1GB more, but since its running at almost twice the MHz, I expect quite an improvement.

    Not much of a performance difference. There is a power savings.


    2. I'm going with 4GB initially,because apple charges too much at the moment for the upgrade. I know not a lot is known about this, but I assume simply taking the whole bottom piece off will give me access to the RAM?

    Yes.

    3. I want to play a few games on Boot Camp. With the new 17", it looks like it will be able to handle most of them. However, is there any advantage of me buying Vista? Or should I just stick with the XP I have (can XP read DDR3 RAM, etc..)

    No real need to switch to Vista. The only real advantage of Vista, if you can call it that, is DX10. From what I know only a few games require DX10, and even those have been made to work with DX9. The performance hit going to Vista is pretty obvious. If you already have XP then you're set. It works fine in Bootcamp.

    4. The loss of a firewire 400 sucks! Will I lose performance if I get a 400->800 adaptor? I have an audio interface and harddrive dasy chained to my 400, and I need them.

    I'll pass this to someone with experience, but just taking a stab at I would not expect any problems. You may even be able to get away without using an adapter. A lot of the FW HDDs have FW800 built in. You could daisy chain the audio interface to the HDD with FW400 then from the HDD to the MBP with FW800. Obviously, the chain will only operate at FW400 speeds, but that's what you're doing now.
     
  4. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #4
    It isnt a massive improvement, but it is noticeable, the main time you'll notice it is when you have more than one intensive application open doing work. For example photoshop, fireworks, dreamweaver and flash. Or if your using lots of Spaces.

    Pretty much, it wont void the warranty either as far as we know. I would assume Macbook Air rules for this one at the moment as its a similar process. The 8GB upgrade does cost a lot from Apple your right, but you wont find it cheaper anywhere else, (remember your computer comes with 2 x 2GB RAM, so you'll have to buy 2 x 4GB to upgrade to 8GB not just 1x 4GB stick)However very very few people will need 8GB of RAM until June, as OS X is only a 32bit OS.

    Stick with XP, yes Vista has Direct X 10, but Vista hogs your system resources, and so games will run better with XP overall, however to be honest on this computer im fairly sure unless your playing Crysis in maxed out graphics settings its going to be hard to notice the difference between XP and Vista since its such a high spec machine.

    I dont notice any performance loss on my 15" MBP at the moment, infact I swear its faster, someone mentioned its something to do with the newer FW Processor but i've never looked into that.

    DONT get Applecare with the Machine!!!!! Do what everyone recommends on this forum and buy it on Ebay in a year and save 80%!!!!!!!!!!! You dont need it for a year, and your throwing your money down the drain.
     
  5. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    No there aren't many advantages to DDR3 yet. DDR3 may be faster in terms of clock, but it also suffers from higher latency with negates the advantage of a faster clock.

    Yes you can upgrade the RAM later and Apple isn't charging all that much for the upgrade. It sounds like a lot, but when the computer was introduced, that was the price of 2x4GB of RAM.

    Well Vista offers DirectX 10 which you can't get with XP. With the 9600M GT, don't expect to run a lot of recent games in full resolution.

    I don't see how you can lose performance by running a slower connection through a faster port.

    No OS X is 64-bit or else how would Mac Pro's access 32GB of RAM…
     
  6. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #6
    1. DDR2 and DDR3 are different ram and NOT compatible with each other.

    2. plenty of info if you search or look at the guides.

    3. If you have xp SP2, try it. Note xp 32bit can use only about 3gb of ram.

    4. Firewire 800 is faster than 400. No loss of speed with adapter.
     
  7. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Location:
    North Korea
    #7
    OS X is 32 bit, with added capability to support more RAM, come on you know that.
     
  8. juliancs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    #8
    Hi folks

    Thanks for the replies.
    A few things to clear up:
    1. I'm getting the student price, so my apple care is only 70 US dollars.
    2. I'm not planning to "mix" ram..
    3. Is the 9600 really that bad? I want to play games like fallout 3, company of heroes (works on my laptop now), WAR online if possible. Stuff like that. Does not have to be max graphics at all. I usually play at native res though to stop it from stretching, but with the 17" new res, I don't think.
    4. I expected more from having DDR3 RAM. I'm sure it wil be better.
    5. I'm still unsure about Vista, but I guess I'll grab windows 7. If direct 10 is not nEEDED, then I'll stick with XP.

    Thanks!
     
  9. TheSVD macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
    #9
    i would personally recommend using XP as vista takes more system resources naturally to run. Whilst you may get dx10, do remember than you will also be running games at a very high res!
    I use xp and its fantastic, i have used vista and found less performance due to it hogging resources!
    and yes XP reads ddr3 just fine :)

    Also check my thread on my unibody gaming performance - yours will handle stuff just fine if mine can, just look at your spec compared to mine :p
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=7025793
     
  10. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #10
  11. stovetop6872 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    #11
    Where can you get it for $70 dollars? The best I can see on the Education Store is $239!!
     

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  12. juliancs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    #12
    '

    I was a bit off - its 82 Us dollars. I'm in the UK, at a uni. :p
     
  13. stovetop6872 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    #13
    LUCKY!!! Are you on campus getting it or through Apple?
     
  14. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #14
    Leopard is 64 bit. The kernel is 32 bit, the app environment (cocoa) is 64 bit. That means developers can and do create 64 bit applications, that makes it a 64 bit operating system.
     
  15. FunkTechNician macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    #15
    im bout to buy this too.

    im curious is it worth it to spend the extra 1000$ for 8gb or should i wait till it gets slightly cheaper? I will be using it strictly for editing video and audio Pro Tools and Final Cut Pro

    also reading bout the apple care thing. I shouldnt waste my money on apple care til later? why is this? does it have a 1 year warrenty or something?

    also what is this about running XP? how does that work?

    this is going to be my first mac so im kind of lost on some of this

    sorry for stupid questions
     
  16. speedy523 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #16
    Basically for the Windows OS, if your going to game go with XP. Drivers are the most stable, and has the best overall performance all around for pretty much all games out or you would want to play atm. If you want, you can use Vista for dx10, but dont use the Win 7 moment. As of right now, it has the worst gaming performance out of XP, Vista and 7, with significantly lower frames than both XP and Vista, while Vista is usually about on par or a little lower than XP.

    As for upgrades, like you talked about ram, i would actually recommend going for an SSD in the future over more RAM. 4 gigs of DDR3 should be able to last you while, and you really only need 8 gigs if your going to be doing a lot of video editing or virtual machines and such. For everyday use, as well as current gaming, you'll get the most of the SSD as most everyday usage such as internet doesnt really improve with more ram, and as for games, there biggest bottleneck is hard drive speed, so if you want better performance, the SSD is the way to go.
     
  17. FunkTechNician macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    #17
    ok then this is my question

    should i stick with
    2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    and get
    256GB Solid State Drive instead of getting 320GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm

    or
    stick with the 320GB 7200 and get 8gb of ram instead. i can get 1 or the other and video editing is my main thing. i can always store files on an external. was a good tb or bigger external for the mac?

    i know this is off topic but whats a good printer for mac?
     
  18. amitdoc2b macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #18
    u can get the canon one free after rebate if u purchase with ur mac on the apple website. i personally use an hp 4680.

     
  19. winninganthem macrumors 6502a

    winninganthem

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #19
    I think that since you're getting such a high specced machine, you might as well use Vista on it. Vista runs very fast on my MBP, and DX10 makes newer games absolutely gorgeous.
     
  20. Mark2000 macrumors regular

    Mark2000

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    #20
    Did I mention Windows 7 Beta is release stable and FREE until February 10th? Go get it! Buying Vista now is idiotic. It sucks. 7 is reasonable and free until its final release. Then you can buy it.
     

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