Advice on buying a 17" MBP please

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mcorkin, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. mcorkin macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2012
    Hi all, very long time reader, first time posting a q.

    I decided to upgrade my old 2.16GHz iMac of the past 6 years.

    Saw a deal on a used (but excellent condition, and not stolen) late 2011 Macbook Pro 17", i7, 750g drive, 4g RAM, Intel HD 3000 and Radeon 6770 with 1 gig on board. Price is solid at $1600 and I can still extend the Applecare.

    It will be a primary machine holding vids, music, and some work data, will be running daily tasks (email, calendars), and will see some Photoshop and Illustrator use, potentially some at mid-high level. I'm planning to use it for some video editing (light) over the next couple of years and I'm also a gamer.

    So, a few questions if anyone has the time or inclination:

    1. Overall do you guys think this is good value for the machine? I've few hours of research today and can't seem to find anything too negative on it, are there any notable probs I may have missed?

    2. I'm interested if anyone has used this processor and card combo on newer games like Guild Wars 2 or Diablo 3 and, if so, how does it hold up? I've seen the card benchmarks but I'm curious if anyone might have the actual experience.

    Please feel free with any other comments or thoughts as, atm, I'm on the fence as to whether or not to pick it up tomorrow night.

    My thanks,
  2. 0x000000 macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2011
    If you're a long time stationary mac user, why not settle for a new iMac again? Apple is supposed to launch new ones next tuesday.

    The 17" is pretty damn large, somewhat limiting mobility. It's also not exactly a laptop you'd frequently have on your lap, due to it's size and weight. I really wonder about why one would want to get such a computer. But you may have your reasons.
  3. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    1. The price does seem very well.
    I bought the one older, the early 2011 model for 2600USD.
    So, the newer version, under 1 year dropping to 1600 is great.

    2. The game runs well as long as you install proper drivers.
    My older GPU, 6750M can run them fine.
    I managed to run Shogun 2 which is graphic intensive and ARMA II on VMware Fusion and not bootcamp.
    Overall, I think for the price, the newer machine is great.
  4. vpro macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2012
    Yes and yes.

    Do it, get it. You won't regret and it is a stupendous decision. Upgrade the heck out of it once you do.
  5. mcorkin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2012
    Thanks for the advice guys. Think I'm going to wait until Tuesday to see the new iMacs, if nothing really new or Wow! appears I'll go for the laptop.

    The final internal debate I'll be having with myself is that upgrading the 17" (applecare, memory, new install discs) will cost almost as much as a new 15" with a superior graphic card (a 650M over a 6770), more RAM (8 v 4), and a years warranty. But I do like the 17" screen.

    Its a tough call. Damn you Apple.
  6. skitzogreg macrumors 6502


    Oct 31, 2007
    Keep in mind on the rMBP you can run the display in 1920x1200 mode, virtually giving you the same screen real estate as the 17", USB3, lighter, overall better, and only with a 2"(ish) sacrifice.
  7. whitedragon101 macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    If this is your only machine and you are not getting an external screen its a no brainer. Go for the 17" . I went from a desktop to a 15" as my main machine and over time it just eats at you how small it is. For all day work where a laptop screen is your only screen 17" is the sweet spot. 15" is a laptop in addition to your desktop or in addition to an external monitor. 17" is an all in one desktop replacement.

    Here is a good way to think of it. Will you spend more time using the laptop, or more time carrying it?
  8. elmarjazz macrumors member

    May 26, 2010
    If you are using your computer more on the desk than carrying it around, and no external monitor, the 17" is the way I would go.

    Although I like and think the retina display is very nice, when sized to 1920 x 1200 everything is [yes sharp, great contrast and colour, but... ] smaller. The 17" screen is also very good and from my side by side comparison at normal working distances very close to the retina.

    Unfortunately the 17" is discontinued, so if you do want one the options are; used or from the APPLE on-line refurbished store.

    I just picked up a refurbished 17" 2.5Ghz from APPLE at a good price, looks new with a 1year warranty and I can get APPLE CARE if I choose within the next year. Thought I better get it while I can and will max it out with 16gb of RAM, move the HD to the optical bay and get a SSD drive for the main drive.
  9. vpro macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2012
    What is wrong with you people?

    What is the matter with people now a days. You carry a lot of weight around, look at your bodies, sheesh, an extra 6 pounds to carry around only strengths you over time, teaches you proper posture and attention to careful movements. It is a completely body, mind and spirit practice to have a 17" MacBook Pro, trust me I've been 'lugging' one around since early 2007. It is the perfect machine for everything I need to do as a recording artist. I carry a large, custom 32 stringed, 24 lbs instrument (guzheng) around my arm and the mbp on my back almost every single day, the standard instrument of its kind is 14 lbs and 21 strings. Don't type about carrying around extra weight, come on, what ever ! You weaklings ! You want real power and the best screen size for a notebook computer go with the 17" MacBook Pro, stop calling it a laptop, you're not supposed to use them on your lap any ways duh !


    - Example of an intelligent human being right there folks.
  10. MT0227 macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2009
    A few things to consider If you go with the MBP, you will probably want to do the following

    1) Swap the 5400 RPM HD for a 512gb or 256gb SSD
    2) Move 5400 RPM HD to the optical bay or get and external drive housing and convert the 750gb HD to external for additional storage & backup
    3) Add 4gb of memory

    This will 1) speed up the MBP considerably and 2) provide the internal transfer rates you need for Video Editing as well as the additional storage you will need when you also factor in your Music, Photoshop and Illustrator needs.

    As previously mentioned, I highly suggest taking a look at the new or recent iMacs. You will be able to get a new machine with more screen real estate and current hardware for not much more than addding the above to the $1600 cost of a used machine.


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