Base 2.4 MBP upgraded with 4GB+SSD, or 2.53 MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rogersmj, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #1
    I'm probably going to buy a MBP soon, and I'm going to spend about $2k. I'm looking at the refurbs; the base 2.4 is $1700 and the 2.53 with 4GB is $2k.

    I do a lot of Photoshop work and other processor/graphics intense apps. Do you think I should

    a) Buy the 2.4 refurb for $1700, then buy 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD from NewEgg for a total cost of about $2100

    or

    b) Buy the faster 2.53 refurb with double the graphics memory and 4GB RAM out of the box for $2000, and wait out the SSDs until a 256GB or larger becomes more affordable

    I'm inclined to do the latter, option b, because it gets me more processing power (which I cannot upgrade later, unlike the hard drive), and I'm not convinced a 128GB SSD is big enough but I can't spend $600 for a 256GB right now. Also, it gives me a "future upgrade" to look forward to ;)
     
  2. lucero1148 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    #2
    I'd choose the faster model at 2.53mhz with the 4gb RAM. I've the 2.4mhz with 250HD/7200 and added the 4gb RAM kit later on from OWC and installed it myself. A noticeable difference in the performance of my MBP in that I can open as many programs while working without slowing down or crashing of applications because of lack of memory.
     
  3. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #3
    I belive the 2.53ghz has more cache too. I would spring for that. Then you can always upgrade the drive later. Plus, SSDs are getting much better and cheaper at a very fast rate.
     
  4. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    The 3MB of extra cache is make almost zero difference; there is no reason to pay for the fast machine unless you need the negligible extra in speed. You will get a lot more performance buying the 2.4GHz model and getting the extra RAM and SSD.
     
  5. striatedglutes macrumors 6502

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    USA
  6. rogersmj thread starter macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #6
    I am aware that SSD is really fast and really great, but my point against getting it right now is that:

    a) I'm not sure 128GB is enough, and...
    b) I can upgrade to SSD in maybe 6 or 9 months, hopefully when 256GB is cheaper, whereas the processor and cache cannot be upgraded for the life of the laptop

    Knowing that...do the SSD recommenders still think I should get a 128GB SSD now and try to live on it for the time being?

    Also, this will be a work machine...I need it to be reliable. I can't be screwing with firmware updates all the time or -- God forbid -- a dead SSD in the middle of a trip to a client. Are they ready for primetime? Can they really be depended on? In combination with wanting to wait for the 256GB SSDs to get cheaper, I guess I'm also hoping for a bit more maturity to the technology.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    Whenever I start debating which model to purchase one of the factors is which components that are not upgradeable. For me, I chose the 2.53 because of the increase in vram, speed and cache. None of those items could be upgraded after the sale. You can always put an SSD in the computer and in fact if you wait you'll be able to get a larger SSD for less money.
     
  8. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #8
    If the computer in your signature is still valid, my advice is to stick the SSD in that computer; it should work out and be as fast the newer unibody MacBook Pro; plus in the time being you can wait for the next laptop revision and possibly cheaper SSDs.

    Now if that computer is not available, then the 2.4GHz would be a good choice. I should point that that I'm recommending the 2.4GHz model regardless of whether or not you need or can afford the SSD or not; even if you just wanted a good ol' HDD, I'd still suggest the 2.4GHz model as the cache, extra RAM, slightly bigger HDD, and VRAM is not worth $500 in my eyes. If I were to buy a MacBook Pro right that, I would go for the 2.4GHz model and upgrade the RAM and drive.
     
  9. raysmd macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    #9
    I disagree and recommend going with the 2.66. If you ever find the need to use 8GB of RAM in the future then you'll need the 2.66. With the 2.4 or 2.53 you're stuck with 6GB.
     
  10. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    Yes, but don't you think that kind of throws this thread out the window? If the OP is going to spend $2500, then why would the OP bother asking which of the other computers to get?

    Also I'm willing to doubt the OP needs 8GB of RAM. And by the time he does, he can probably afford a new computer that defaults at 8GB.
     
  11. melchior macrumors 65816

    melchior

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2002
    #11
    If you still have the classic 2.4 MBP, stick with it and upgrade to SSD + RAM. there is zero advantage to the unibody over the classic.

    that aside, there is also zero advantage to the 2.53 if you are paying full price for the upgrade. (it doesn't hurt if you're getting it for free). the only plus, is you can get a slightly higher resale value, but not enough to justify paying for it in the first place.

    seriously.
     
  12. rogersmj thread starter macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #12
    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    The issue is that the 2.4 older MBP in my sig is a work machine, and I've just accepted a new job at another company...which is probably going to issue me a PC laptop (yuck), but will probably allow me to use personal equipment if I want. I thought maybe I could negotiate an allowance from them to purchase what I want, but no. So sometime soon I'm going to buy a MBP for myself, and I'm just trying to get the most bang for the buck. Normally I would just go with the higher powered one, but we're trying to save for a house, yada yada...you know how it goes ;)

    EDIT: Wow, looking on local Craigslist I just found a guy selling a brand new, never used 2.66 / 4GB / 320GB Unibody MBP with 3 years of AppleCare for $1700! I already confirmed it's (likely) not a scam, it was a gift and he needs cash and we'll do the exchange in person next week if this works out. Wow!
     
  13. JonHimself macrumors 68000

    JonHimself

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #13
    Can't wait to see how that plays out! Good luck!
     

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