Am I on track? MBP decisions....decisions...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by paisios, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. paisios macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2008
    So, I'm a long time mac user. Not so much in the know as far as tech stuff, but I get around. I'm mainly an artist/musician when you boil it down and that's what I use my mac for mostly, so I'd like to hear what you have to say.

    My latest machine is an imac / g5 / 20" / 2ghz / 2gb sdram / 250gb hdd. I'm about to go for it with a MBP. Selling my imac to a good friend to help offset the cost a little (woohoo!).

    I've been searching around and have found some very valuable info that has helped me decide what to purchase, so thanks for that.

    I would just like to run this past you to see if I'm getting the message, so to speak.....

    I'm thinking I go for the MBP 15" 2.4ghz and keep it pretty standard. 200gb 5400rpm hdd (bummer it is slow), standard 2gb ram (pretty good), Matte screen (glossy looked interesting but..).

    Now, I would like to have more ram and a faster and larger hard drive. So, would make more sense to go standard and upgrade myself or to just go with the apple option of a 200gb 7200rpm? Is there a reason they don't offer more size options? (noise/heat/power drain?) My external drive is 500gb, would it make more sense to have my internal drive the same size since I plan to use the external as a backup? Or should I go for the apple options? Are there downside to the third party larger hard drives? (noise/heat/power drain?) Looking for some advice on what to do with my storage dilemma. I'd rather not have to get another back-up for my back-up since it's larger than my main drive. Ya know? (I've got a 80gb and a 10gb in an old g4 (y!kes machine...d'oh) that could be used as another backup I guess?????)

    Also I guess I should not purchase applecare through apple? Look online for a steal?

    Sorry if I have asked some questions that you've heard a million times.....

    Many Thanks in advance!

  2. mustang_dvs macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2003
    Durham, NC
    The big problem with 3rd party internal 2.5" SATA drives is that the breather hole is typically located exactly where the MBP SATA cable adheres to the drive case. I ruined a very nice, new Hitachi drive by covering the hole (you don't have a choice) and suffered some data loss. Plus, make sure you're very comfortable opening the case if something goes wrong -- a non OEM drive will void the warranty if the Genius crew spots it.

    As for the external -- it makes sense to have a larger backup than the primary drive, so you can maintain an incremental backup.

    I'd order the RAM from Crucial and save a few bucks, but hold onto the original RAM in case you need warranty repairs.

    As for AppleCare, L.A. Computer Center is the cheapest retail, but it can be found cheaper on eBay (search for the appropriate part number), but if you buy in-store, take pity on the poor Mac Specialist (or whatever their title is these days) and buy .Mac from them, so that their manager doesn't chew them out for a bad attachment rate.
  3. paisios thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Thanks for the reply!

    I guess my main dilemma at this point is hard drive options....

    I was torn between the 250gb @ 5400rpm and the 200gb @ 7200rpm. Extra space vs. SPEED. I'm leaning toward speed, but once I saw that you could possibly have both in a third party drive...well it's tempting.

    Should I just go with the standard 200gb @ 5400rpm and upgrade later? If what you say is true then maybe it's best to stick with what apple offers? Perhaps they have good reason for only having those options?

    But ram is a definite go with 3rd party. Save a lot yes?
  4. Whits macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2007
    I would go for the 7200rpm. When I bought mine the max that I could get for that speed was 160gb and i've done fine space-wise. Just get an external hd with firewire 800 and/or eSATA if you are going to be using it frequently. 3rd party ram is half the price of apple ram.
  5. paisios thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Cool thanks for the input!

    I guess I should mention that I've got quite a bit of music, pictures and artwork on my machine right now. Currently I have 38gb free space on my drive and could stand to archive about 54gb worth of old graphic design jobs.

    It would probably blow to go down to a 5400rpm after being used to a 7200rpm (g5). Does the faster drive really drain power faster? I've heard different claims?

    Are third party drives a bummer? Would it make sense to go with a third party equivalent (or better) drive and save money? Is it really any cheaper?
  6. surferfromuk macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2007
    I've got a Lacie d2 Firewire 800 with my Macbook Pro...they work very nicely together...I've never really noticed the performance of the HD being a'd only really benefit from a 7200rpm if you were doing heavy video work - and even then Apple recommends you run the scratch disk on an external drive and leave the internal drive for apps and system...

    If your a musician you'll find the Macbook Pro runs Logic very nicely on the 5400rpm drive.
  7. paisios thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Awesome to hear that!

    Aside from messing with my home videos, I don't do much with video.

    So, sounds like going stock is a good route. Unless I opt for the extra space 250gb 5400rpm.

    I used to do a lot of large format work. Super huge psd files. But not so much anymore, so I guess I would be cool with the 5400rpm. It's weird cause I feel like I'm taking a step back, but maybe I don't need that extra juice now.

    Would I even notice the difference between the hdd speeds after coming up from a g5 2ghz?
  8. ben.mcmahan macrumors member

    May 6, 2008
    5400 is actually faster in some circumstances.

    the test is a little old but the patterns should hold.

    the added heat and battery drain probably not worth it. this is my opinion, i agree, it's a subjective decision - it might be partly based on perception though - convince yourself you have the 7200, and it may feel snappier, :)
  9. paisios thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Killer info there. Big fat THanks!

    I'm loving the idea of going with the stock mbp. Saving some coin!

    First inclination is to go big and bad, but after getting on this site I've learned so much! THis site ROCKS! Can't wait to get my new machine and get back on here to learn more and more about ways to maximize my mbp experience!
  10. surferfromuk macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2007
    Interesting - FW800 drive is faster even than an internal 7200rpm.

    P.S - Paisios - If you get an external drive ensure you leave journaling off and you uncheck the 'put hard disk to sleep when possible' option under the 'energy saver' preferences when on mains power.

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