Buying late-2011 MBP - got some questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jon08, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. jon08 macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I'll probably be purchasing the late-2011 MBP 2.2 Ghz, 500GB HDD, Radeon 6750M (512MB)... for $1707 @ either B&H or Amazon.

    Now I have a couple of questions I'd like to ask you guys about:

    1. 500GB HDD is not enough for me, so I'll probably be purchasing a Scorpio Blue 750GB to replace the stock drive. Should I just go for an early-2011 MBP with 750GB HDD and 1GB GPU instead - for about extra $200? Or is Scorpio much better than the Apple stock drive?

    (Scorpio Blue would cost me $140 compared to getting a 750GB stock drive + slightly better GPU for $200 in that early-2011 MBP).

    2. I'm planning to get a 120GB OWC Mercury Extreme PRO 6G SSD - so it's best to put the HDD into Optibay and the SSD into the HDD bay if I were to use the SSD as my boot drive?

    3. 8GB RAM - Crucial or Kingston?

    Kingston: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139481 (is this the one that works in MBP 2011?)

    Crucial: what's the difference between these 2?

    http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-CT2KI...5YWI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1320850449&sr=8-2

    http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-204-p...JQQI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320850449&sr=8-1
     
  2. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #2
    First, I'd wait a couple of weeks for a Black Friday sale - Amazon prices should be around $1,650 (based on last years deals).

    Second, I would not get a scorpio blue but instead a scorpio black - that's what I use and I bought that from Amazon. The difference might be as much as 30% faster read/write times since the black spins at 7200rpm vs the blue at 5400 rpm. Prices for hard drives are a bit steep at the moment due to floods and such in that part of the world. But, aside from that get the 750g black for bigger and faster then either use the original drive as a backup or just sell it on ebay. Mine is partitioned so that 625gb of space is reserved for my photo library making it easy to just clone each partition...

    As for RAM both are good but also consider OWC ram. It costs a pinch more but 1) they will offer a rebate for your old ram (about $14 for your old 4GB and 2) they have a lifetime warranty where they will A) help troubleshoot over the phone and B) send you replacement RAM before you send back the bad set - this lets you use the good stick if only one of them goes bad. This happened to me last December when I had a bad stick as part of a bad batch then they took care of me so I was never down.
     
  3. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    As for Black Friday sales, I wish I could wait that long, but I'm actually leaving the States next Friday, so I won't be around for Black Friday...

    Although I am tempted by a 7200rpm HDD, I'm still hesitating mostly because a) they tend to be loud(er) than 5400rpm HDDs (I work in a quiet environment so I really wish to have a quiet HDD) and b) they tend to vibrate...

    As for RAM - doesn't Kingston offer lifetime warranty for their RAM also?
     
  4. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Well the BF deals would only save about $50 so ordering from B&H might be best. B&H like Amazon will have free shipping but B&H free shipping goes out the next day while Amazon may take a week depending on this or that. Just remember that B&H is closed on friday afternoon and saturday so you may want to order Thursday - if you order early in the morning it might go out that day.

    As for the noise of the Scorpio Black drive mine is dead silent. I can feel a slight vibration in my fingertips but it is barely noticeable. As a matter of fact I wrote a blog about this drive last April when the prices were actually lower than today - I paid only $109.

    As far as lifetime warranty on RAM, yeah, other vendors have that but OWC will ship out replacement ram before you need to ship back the old ram - a MBP will run on one stick. Kingston may replace the ram but what do you do while you wait for that replacement after you've sent in both sticks? My OWC replacement went out the next day. Ideally if you have bad ram you will have a problem very quickly instead of months down the road. However, these are all very good companies so there should be little worry.
     
  5. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    May I ask where do you keep your Scorpio Black? I planned to put it into the Optibay... Wouldn't it be louder if it were there?
     
  6. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Oh, and another question: do you think it would be a good idea to have an SSD for booting and then a Scorpio Black 7200 for storage?
     
  7. Ferry888 macrumors member

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    #7
    That's the exactly the way to do it.
     
  8. Vantage Point, Nov 10, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011

    Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #8
    My Scorpio black is my only drive in my MBP. Adding an SSD will certainly reduce boot times but I can wait the 35 seconds and more often than not my MBP is in sleep mode and not shut down. Keep in mind that if you add a second drive to replace the optical bay that you will void your warranty - perhaps best to do this after the end of the first year to be safe. Personally for my own needs the advantages of an SSD are not significant enough to want or need one but for some people those advantages are welcome. Application load times are rather small on mine and once an application is loaded/opened and then closed they reside in the ram so reopening is more or less instantaneous. I use Photoshop which can use plenty of RAM at times so I am maxed out at 8gb. If photoshop needs more then it will use the hard drive as a scratch disk and if that disk is an SSD the difference will be noticeable for those heavy tasks. I may upgrade my 2010 MBP to a 2011 because that model can take 16GB of ram - a bit too expensive now to consider but that would be a nice inexpensive upgrade a year from now. Also, if you are thinking that a 5400 rpm 750gb hard drive will take care of your storage needs, and an SSD will take care of your performance needs, then consider that the read/write times of your stored data will still be slow - noticeably slower than a 7200 rpm drive.

    Perhaps you should look into a hydrid drive like a Momentus XT. I know they come in 500Gb but not sure about 750gb yet

    I would suggest doing your upgrades in increments to gauge performance with respect to your needs to see how it goes. start with 8GB ram and more storage than you think you need and see how it goes...
     
  9. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #9
    I see, thanks... I might still get a 7200rpm Scorpio Blue to install in Optibay and an SSD as my boot drive.

    One more question: I was at Best Buy the other day and the employee said that Macs come with OSX Lion installed on a separate partition so if you want to do a clean install, you'd do it by booting into that partition.

    Couldn't I just delete that partition and install it from a USB drive the "regular way"? I don't want to have a separate partition + the actual Lion installed on my disk...
     
  10. Vantage Point, Nov 12, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011

    Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #10
    I don't have Lion so can't answer that one. I suggest starting a new thread to ask this.

    My 750Gb scorpio black is partitioned so that 625Gb is for my my photos and the rest for my regular stuff. Makes it easier to backup since I back up using Carbon Copy Cloner to clone each partition - plus I also do Time Machine but not on the 625GB partition.
     
  11. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Right now I don't even know if buying a Scorpio Black is a good idea as the prices are rather steep - $179.99 @ Newegg... That's expensive. :/
     
  12. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

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    #12
    With the prices of hard drives right now, I'd buy the early 2011 MBP.

    You can save some money by buying a refurb from Apple - they're $1699 + tax. For the hard drive and extra graphics memory, I think it's worth it. It's in stock right now.

    Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.2GHz quad-core Intel i7
     
  13. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #13
    But it says ships in 7-10 business days... I'm leaving the country on Friday...
     
  14. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Yeah, Most hard drives are made in Thailand which has been flooded which is why hard drive prices have soared at least 50% of more. I paid only $109 for mine last April. Prices will drop depending on whether the damage has hurt the equipment... So in a few months prices will hopefully drop down.

    If you are leaving this week I suggest ordering your MBP today from B&H photo - order early enough and it might go out today. Unless you live in NYC there is no tax - it's the tax that narrows the price difference from a refurb to a new model and B&H has a starts off with about a $100 discount + tax savings and that is about $240 savings vs apple refurb + tax.
     
  15. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #15
    I just ordered from B&H - got the late-2011 2.2Ghz i7 15" MacBook Pro along with FREE Parallels Desktop 7 + free shipping all for $1707 - a pretty good deal I think.

    Now I need to decide whether to get Scorpio Black 750GB or Blue 750GB... I really would prefer a quieter drive, but from what I read on their website, the avg. noise on Blue is 22-25 db, while Black is 28 db... Doesn't seem like Black is much louder?

    I also wish to have a speedier HDD (obviously a SSD would be perfect, but I need storage), which is what Scorpio Black would be, right? For pic browsing, music, etc.
     
  16. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #16
    The B&H deal is one of the best around. Great store and as a photographer I have ben purchasing from them for years.

    All I can say is my Scorpio black is dead silent but I know some people do have some sound. Ironically when I first purchased it and cloned my original stock drive to the SB it did rattle in the dock I used to hold it but it made no sound at all when I mounted in my MBP.

    Another way to go is the Hitachi Travelstar from B&H which is in stock at a reasonable price of only $134. 750gb 7200 rpm. I believe this is what Apple uses when one upgrades
     
  17. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Does anyone know where I could find some benchmarks that compare Scorpio Blue 750GB & Scorpio Black 750GB?

    I would like to see how the speeds compare...

    And would the 750GB version of Blue be faster than my current 500GB Scorpio Blue?
     
  18. Vantage Point, Nov 14, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011

    Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Does anyone know where I could find some benchmarks that compare Scorpio Blue 750GB & Scorpio Black 750GB?

    I would like to see how the speeds compare...


    7200/5400 = 1.33x Keep in mind that the speed difference is only for reading or writing data and with many tasks there are other things going on. If you are loading or saving a large file you will see a difference. If you are booting up or loading an application the first time after boot you will see a difference. Once software is loading and then closed it usually lives in the ram so if you open it again it would open almost instantly since it does not need to load off the hard drive. But if you are doing calculations which are CPU driven and have plenty of RAM then the hard drive speed might have little influence.

    Make sure you pick up 8Gb of ram as that will make a difference. I use photoshop and when I run low on ram it will use the hard drive as scratch so a dense 7200 rpm drive will have an edge over a lower density 5400 rpm drive but a SSD drive will be significantly faster but slightly slower than having enough ram.

    And would the 750GB version of Blue be faster than my current 500GB Scorpio Blue?

    Yes. Both designs use double platters so the 750Gb will have 50% more density so faster read/write times. Also, as the drives fill up more data is stored on the slower, inner portion of the platters making read/write times slower. Bigger is always better assuming the same number of platters. So a 1TB 5400 rpm drive will fit in a MBP but it uses three platters of 333GB so that will perform about the same as a dual platter 750gb drive of the same speed - but the 1TB drive will perform much better if you are storing about 700GB of data as that would slow the 750gb drive and of coarse cripple a 500gb
    http://macperformanceguide.com/Storage-WhyYouNeedMoreThanYouNeed.html

    I think you should buy a 7200 rpm drive when you get settled from a place that you can return it if you are not happy. Faster is faster but only a few people hear theirs - perhaps it wasn't fastened properly... I think if you go with a slower drive you will always wonder if you should have.... I know is mine is dead silent and holds about 550Gb on it with most stored on a second partition - easier for backing up...
     
  19. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Thanks for your reply. I already ordered Corsair 8GB RAM over the weekend and I also ordered OWC Mercury Extreme PRO 120GB SSD + Data Doubler today. I also went ahead and pulled the trigger on Scorpio Black from B&H for $150 (I know, not cheap), though it's going to take about a week for them to get it back in stock. Hopefully the latter won't be noisy in my Data Doubler.
     
  20. photographypro macrumors regular

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    #20
    Go amazon Prime!

    Funny, I had the same questions, and ordered the 2.2 Late 2011 2.2 from Amazon. I wanted it fast, so I signed up for a trial Amazon Prime subscription, which gives you free 2 day shipping, but I paid only $3.99 and got it overnight. Ordered at 2:30PM, and had it at 11am the next day! I will then cancel the free Amazon Trial. I also went with Corsair RAM, for only $49 and it is tested in Apple's lab, with a lifetime warranty. Gave the stock drive to my son, with my old computer, and kept my Hitachi 500GB 7200 Travelstar, which has MUCH better reliability ratings than the Seagate drives which Apple uses. Would like to get a 750 Gig 7200 rpm drive, but the Seagate's have horrible reliability.

    If you look at MacWorld reviews, the Late 2011 2.2 has almost identical performance specs to the early 2011 2.2 in graphics - the 1 gig vs 512 doesn't seem to make any difference. The overall speed is a bit slower, but I think that is due to a slow stock hard drive, which I've replaced.

    The other HUGE reason to order from Amazon, I used their credit card and got ONE YEAR INTEREST FREE!!

    And I'm a professional photographer and have huge respect for B and H.
     
  21. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #21
    The other HUGE reason to order from Amazon, I used their credit card and got ONE YEAR INTEREST FREE!!

    And I'm a professional photographer and have huge respect for B and H.


    Hmmm, I have an Amazon CC and don't get any free interest. I guess that is for new members/owners? I do get triple points when I shop at Amazon and since I am also a photographer I do most of my shopping on either B&H or Amazon and sometimes eBay.

    Personally I am still debating on whether to upgrade my 2010 to the same model mentioned above. The refresh makes it more attractive and hopefully another $40-50 savings on black friday. If I go for it then I would likely swap my scorpio black drive and put it in the new one and take the new stock drive and put it in my 2010, then pick up more ram. I lose a lot since my 1 year old MBP would sell for about $1,200 minus at least $100 for ebay fees. The reason to upgrade is that I fear the next refresh will be a design change and I worry if Apple will move towards the cheaper 16:9 ratio and also up the standard resolution - high res is murder on my eyes. The design right now is perfect - expect for the lack of USB 3.0
     
  22. jon08, Nov 16, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011

    jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Damn, they canceled my Scorpio Black order @ B&H because they are unable to get hold of it...

    Does anyone know any other place where I could order it for about $150 or below?

    They sell it for $180 at Newegg but I think that's just too expensive. Is Next Warehouse reliable??? http://www.nextwarehouse.com/item/?1018873_p3g

    Or should I just go with Scorpio Blue 750GB instead?? I've read a couple of reviews and they mostly state that it could have been faster...

    What about Seagate Momentus 750GB (5400rpm)?
     
  23. jon08 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Oh and btw, how do I connect my Dell H2311 external monitor to this late-2011 15" MBP?
     
  24. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I wouldn't hesitate to get the Hitachi 750gb 7200rpm drive instead. As a matter of fact I was waiting impatiently for the release of this drive which took long after it was announced a year ago. So instead I picked up the Scorpio Black.

    As far as connecting a monitor you will need an adaptor like to plug into the Mini-display/Thunderbolt port. I have a NEC monitor and use one of these. The one you need depends on the connection HDMI, DVI, VGA... The go for about $30 from Apple store, Best Buy, B&H, Amazon...
     

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  25. Val-kyrie macrumors 65816

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    The Hitachi 7K750 7200 RPM 750GB HDD is a fine hard drive. I upgraded to this from the stock 5400 RPM HDD and could not be happier. Quiet drive with excellent performance. Intensive tasks use a little more battery, but well worth the trade off.
     

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