Can I configure A High End MBP on Apple.com?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by HowBoutIt?, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. HowBoutIt? macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    #1
    Hello-
    My current main computer is a 2008 MBP that is gradually failing or I should say dying a slow death. Teaching several grad courses online, a laptop computer is a necessity. I was going to go with the rMBP but thought a better bet for now wold be a well configured MBP. I was surprised that I can't configure it with more RAM. With the web platform and the programs I need to install so that the teacher's version of WebCT works, I need at least 12 gb of RAM. The dedicated graphics card is good, the HD is OK, but I do not have the knowledge to get the RAM and install it myself. I would not even know what type to get so that it matches what is already installed. I have to be ready to use an ethernet cable in case I lose my wireless connection during class time. We do have one day a week where we all meet in a virtual classroom on the WebCT platform, and I can tell who is there and who is not. anyway, in looking at my options in configuring a new MBP, I am disappointed that there are not better options. Does anybody have any idea how much RAM the current MBP can hold? I could see if the Apple Store would fill all the available slots for me with RAM. Just disappointed right at the moment. The rMBP is an option but to risky given that I need a higher degree of reliability with the notebook I decide to replace and be the main machine I use when I am teaching.
     
  2. Birdmagnus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    #2
    You could buy 16 GB ram from a third party site and install it yourself, it is really simple.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1270#link2

    and if that doesn't help, you could search youtube for videos of people replacing their ram and just follow along.

    As for which ram is compatible, type in "compatible RAM" in the the search box and you will find a few post with different recommendations.
     
  3. Ploki macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #3
    Really? I think the new MBP is quite stunning. The rMBP and cMBP are practically the same.
    rMBP is as reliable as cMBP, and to be honest, if you upgrade to SSD and full-blown RAM you're better off getting an rMBP because it's cheaper...

    comparison:
    base high end cMBP: 2199$ if you add RAM: (99$ OWC, if you add SSD: ~550$ OWC Mercury 480GB) >> ~ 2850$ (+100$ for hires screen) > ~2950$
    base high end rMBP: 2799$ if you add ram: (200$ apple) >> 2999$

    base cMBP: 1799$ (4GB) (99$ for ram, ~250$ SSD 256GB) >> ~ 2150$, you get only 512GB VRAM.
    base rMBP: 2199$ (8GB) (200$ for ram) >> 2399$


    At the current RAM and SSD prices, rMBP is priced *quite* aggressively.
     
  4. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a

    NewishMacGuy

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    #4
    One of the benefits to going with a cMBP is that you don't have to pay Apple's sky-high upgrade charges and you can get even better configurations (more RAM, faster / bigger drives, Fusion Drive).

    The cMBP is really easy to upgrade. Any modestly internet savvy person could learn everything they need to know to upgrade and buy the right parts inside of an hour. Installing RAM and an SDD takes less than an hour as well, tack on another 30 minutes of installation and set-up if you want a Fusion Drive. The most time consuming thing to the whole process is running the RAM test (not required but a good idea) and reinstalling the OS on the new drive, both of which are automated processes handled by running a program.

    If you want a totally awesome machine for a lot less coin:

    1. Buy the base model of the processor that you need - and unless you're doing heavy lifting, the base processor will probably be more than enough for the lifetime of the computer. Save some serious additional coin by buying from CL, or Apple's refurb page in the store if you can't find what you need in your area on CL.

    2. Buy the RAM upgrade (8GB is usually fine for most folks) from the cheapest reliable supplier (Crucial, Corsair, G.Skill, Kingston, PNY are some that I have used). Bad sticks happen occasionally, just test it with MemTest when you put it in and be OK with having to swap a stick out if you need to. The upgrade should cost between $30 and $70 depending on whether you get 8GB or 16GB and how good a sale you can manage.

    3. Buy an SSD or hybrid depending on your space needs and budget. If you don't need the Superdrive you could do anything from installing 2 780GB SSDs in RAID and either double your capacity or speed, down to just putting in an $80 1TB 5400rpm drive in the HDD slot to upgrade your capacity alone. One interesting and price efficient option would be to buy a cheapish, smallish SSD, put it in the optical bay (with a caddy which costs between $10 & $50), and combine that plus the stock HDD into a 620GB or 756GB Fusion drive. The directions for that are here: http://tomasz.korwel.net/2012/11/04/apple-fusion-drive-on-late-2010-macbook-pro/. If you do need your Superdrive and want to keep it really cheap but have lots of space, you could just replace you stock drive with a $129 750GB 7200rpm hybrid. That will give you a significant boost in speed for most of your everyday tasks without sacrificing your wallet or your storage space.

    Have fun!

    ----------

    That's at Apple's fairyland pricing, which is designed to steer you towards the rMBP because in the long run (and possibly in the short run as well) it'll produce higher margins for Apple. Or in your case at OWC's similarly fairyland pricing. Try someplace that has real prices, like Amazon.

    At real world pricing for upgrades, the rMBP is quite a bit more expensive.
     
  5. Ploki macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #5
    Okay, I'll meet you halfway:

    shave off approx 30% off the upgrades and you're there. (Ram ~70$, ssd ~370$)

    So for the high end model the math goes like this:
    2999$ for rMBP,
    ~ 2700$ cMBP.

    roughly 300$ for the Retina screen and an extra thunderbolt port and a HDMI port, minus optical drive and FW800+Ethernet combo.
    I personally wish they'd replace the FW800 on the cMBP with a second thunderbolt, but on the other hand they know WHY they did not do that...
     
  6. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a

    NewishMacGuy

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    #6
    That's a fairish estimation, but I bought 16GB of RAM for $59 2 months ago and the OCZ Agility 512GB drive can be had on Amazon for $317. Factor in the tax differential on the upgrades (you likely pay taxes for Apple's) and you're closer to $400 than $300, which'll be just about a 15% premium. Add in the secondary market value of the parts you're left with if you DIY upgrade and you're at 20%

    Figure that HDMI, 2nd TB port, and 1lb of weight loss is a wash with GigE, Superdrive, and upgradeability (being generous). The Retina screen is awfully nice, but not sure it's worth $400. It wasn't to me anyway.

    Admittedly, the base config is closer. The tipping point will be when the Retina ships with 512Gb standard in the base config. Having the base ship with 256GB (and 128GB in the rMBP-13) at the current prices is a bit of an "eff you" on Apple's part.
     
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #7
    Install the upgrades yourself. Don't say you don't have the means or knowledge, that's simply not true.

    Answer this simple question: can you use a screwdriver without stabbing yourself in the eyes repeatedly in the process?

    If you answered no, you are skilled enough to install RAM in your MBP without paying out the butt for Apple's crazy upgrade pricing.

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing+MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Unibody+Mid+2012+RAM/10772/1

    As far as how much RAM it can hold, the answer is 32GB, but 16GB SO-DIMMs do not exist yet, so you're stuck with 16GB as a maximum at the moment. I'm sure somewhere in the next year or so we'll starting seeing them appear on websites such as newegg, probably for outrageous prices (it was roughly $1800 or so when 16GB came out)
     
  8. HowBoutIt?, Dec 15, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012

    HowBoutIt? thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    #8
    snaky-

    If you get Applecare on the new MBP and do these installs yourself, what does that do to the Applecare you paid for on that machine?

    I do not have the knowledge I need to get the right kind of RAM (know how much RAM the new MBP can take) and properly install the RAM. You obviously do not understand when people do not have the knowledge you have.

    Being in the medical profession that is like me telling you to suture up your own wound next time you need sutures rather then going to a medical professional to do it. "don't tell me you do not have the means or knowledge, that simply is not true."

    I will say it again, I do not have the knowledge to install RAM. Apparently you do and because you do you think everybody else has the knowledge. Kind of a sad attitude you have.
     
  9. Birdmagnus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    #9
    If you search youtube, you can find plenty of video of people swapping their ram in their macbook pro. So all you have to do is get the right tools and just follow the video.

    As for your Applecare, I'm pretty sure that it doesn't void it as long as you don't break anything else in the process of swapping. Just make sure that you put in the original parts back in when you take it into an Apple store.
     
  10. HowBoutIt? thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    #10
    Bird- not to keep making a big deal out of this, but if I do config a new MBP, get the most RAM I can get, is it best to do it that way and then find out how much more RAM I can add, or get the least amount of RAM, and add the rest myself. Isn't there a max that the current MBPs can take and doesn't RAM come in certain size "sticks" for lack of a better word? I now nothing about the details that it would seem one would need to know so they do not waste $$ in configuring the laptop, and then once I get the new MBO, know if how much RAM to get, in what size Sticks, etc. It does not seem like an easy thing for me to do especially when I research it there are some important points one must consider when upgrading RAM.I read in an Apple Article that the latest MBP they covered had a maximum memory of 8 GB. Is it even possible for me to have a total of 16 GB of RAM in a new MBP I get from apple.com?


    Is this article saying that the latest MBP has 2 slots with max 8 GB in each slot, which would total 16 GB?
     
  11. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #11
    The 2011 and 2012 models can accept at least 16GB of RAM. Upgrading the RAM and HDD does not affect your AppleCare warranty. The parts you install will obviously not be covered by Apple, but they should have their own separate warranties. I do suggest that you keep the original Apple parts in case you take it in for service and the tech claims that the 3rd party parts you installed are causing the problems.
     
  12. HowBoutIt? thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    #12
    OK, so you say at least 16 GB. Now if I want to install the RAM myself and I am configuring the MBP with the SSD, what should I do as far as the rAM the machine comes with? I won't be able to get the exact same RAM as the article recommends, but how will I know how much RAM to get, (how many sticks and how much each stick?) it is confusing top me and nobody can tell me the answers they would want to know. This is information I would need to know so that I am not ordering RAM I do not need and RAM that is compatible with what is already installed in the machine. why doesn't apple have a conf with the max amount of RAM, I would just pay for it so that I know it is done right. to me it is worth paying the extra since if I do it on my own I am just making a bunch of guesses.

    what is your opinion on the best display to get? I have always had the anti glare but i see how 2 options are more expensive.
     
  13. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #13
    Keep it in case you have issues in the future. The extra RAM could be useful for troubleshooting purposes.

    The maximum SUPPORTED amount of RAM in the cMBP is 8GB. If you want to go with what Apple offers to sell, that is all you can get. The hardware itself works just fine with 16GB of RAM, in a 2 x 8GB configuration. A quick search on newegg brings up more than a dozen different sticks of RAM that will probably work with your computer. I'd suggest reading through a few customer reviews to narrow down which models work.

    Here are a couple of good ones. In my opinion, of course:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231582
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233265

    I prefer anti-glare, but I've never been given the option because none of the 13" models offer it.
     
  14. HowBoutIt? thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    #14
    Thanks T5

    I just saw that I could get max 8 Gb so I thought that is all the MBP will accommodate. Do you get the 16 Gb from the article on mid 2012 MBPs taking 2 slots of 8 GB?

    there is a ethernet port in case I lose my wireless connection while teaching, right? do you know if the TB to HDMI will work with this MBP to get the TV as the display?


    do you think the 512GB SSD is a major waste?

    will I need any TB cables? I will get speakers too, looking at the B&W.
    What is AirPlay?

    should I get some USB 3.0?
     
  15. JohnnyComeLatly macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #15
    Find a "B" student in one of your classes who seems technically savvy and offer to bump his next assignment grade to an A if he installs the RAM for you. Offer an A for the semester if he buys it and installs it too. (Kidding! I kid, I kid!) :D
     
  16. HowBoutIt? thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    #16
    If I could get the specific questions anybody should want to know if they were going to install RAM answered, I would take the chance. Having no idea what comes in the notebook to begin with and if I should change all the RAM or leave what comes in the MBP and add to it are all questions. I did read it is not good to mix and match RAM but keep it all consistent. Unfortunately all the course are taught online via WebCT. the university is back east.Plus the idea is not one I would follow through on given the situation.
     
  17. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #17
    If you're not comfortable doing it, don't do it. It's reasonably easy by design, but you do need the correct screwdriver size. In some systems it takes a little force to fully seat the ram. Someone mentioned G.Skill and Corsair. If you look at Newegg, both have a number of reviews where people mention DOA sticks or failing tests. I'm not sure if memtest is updated to ivy bridge yet. That was a problem for a long time. Normally I'd say go with Crucial. They're a subsidiary of Micron, and they do test on Macs. You pay a little less for it on Newegg or purchased directly, they guarantee compatibility through their memory finder. Whatever you buy, it should be tested after installation. If you're sending it in for warranty, a lot of people do suggest swapping in the original memory. iFixit has guides for this stuff if you want to look up how it's done.
     
  18. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #18
    OK, lets be simple here, you want to upgrade your would be mbp 15, get the base model and dont upgrade anything (except for the screen, high res anti glare is very recommended):

    1) What RAM to get

    You want SODIMM ram, the sticks are smaller than the DIMM ram used in desktops.

    I have filtered some ram here in this link that will work
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...06178 600213067&IsNodeId=1&name=16GB (2 x 8G)

    2) What SSD to get

    I have a clear preference in terms of SSD, stability.

    So I do advise to go for Samsung 830, Samsung 840 pro, crucial m4 and plextor m5

    here are some links:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...01077 600414919&IsNodeId=1&name=257GB - 512GB

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...01455 600414919&IsNodeId=1&name=257GB - 512GB

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...01323 600414919&IsNodeId=1&name=257GB - 512GB

    2) How to install the ram and the SSD

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZuZFFBJMfg

    its simple and its easy, just be careful. Good luck
     
  19. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #19
    I'm simply stating that the only knowledge you need(as it so happens, it is also the means used for the upgrade) is the proper use of the proper screwdriver, as it truly is the only tool you need to use to swap RAM in a MBP. It may seem daunting to play in electronics for a lot of people, but in reality, a simple glance at instructions(such as the one I posted up) will tell you everything you need to know. I'm not particularly mechanically inclined nor very apt with my hands, yet I did it in all my own computers without any instructions. It's a rather straightforward process. A simple piece of labeled paper on which you write which screw goes where goes a long way against errors.

    I am merely attempting to save you some money, but if you truly are a doctor, then money is much less of an problem, thus you can disregard this post entirely.

    As far as Apple Care goes, it will not be void, though should anything go wrong with your upgrades: say you upgrade to an SSD and more RAM yourself and those break, you'll have to take it up with the manufacturer of the hardware you bought for warranty, not with Apple. Apple provides instructions on how to change both the RAM and hard drive in the MBP's manual, so both these are considered user replaceable.

    I'm not sure I follow your analogy with your medical profession, though I congratulate and thank you for having a job that is very useful to society. Comparing unscrewing ten screws to suturing one's own self is kind of far fetched, I think I'm not wrong if I say these two definitely aren't the same level of difficulty.
     
  20. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #20
    No, Intel has datasheets which indicate how much memory their hardware can address. The processors used in the last 3 versions of MacBook Pro are capable of addressing at least 16GB of RAM. In addition to what Intel has documented, many people have also tested it and found that it works just fine.

    Yes, the computer has Ethernet. I'm not familiar with thunderbolt to HDMI adapters, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.

    It would be a waste for me, but I don't know what you're going to use the space for. If you can get away with using a 256GB drive, I'd save some money and go that route.

    You should get thunderbolt cables if you have any devices that need them. You probably don't need to buy them. AirPlay is Apples name for streaming audio and or video to an external source via WiFi.

    If you need any USB 3.0 devices, sure.

    To be totally honest, besides the question about the Ethernet port, everything you've mentioned makes me think a retina MBP would be PERFECT for you. You can order it with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. It has an HDMI port, so you wouldn't need an adapter. It's fast, extremely portable, and has a beautiful screen.
     
  21. Poisonivy326 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    #21
    Things are dropping in price. I was able to get 16 GB or RAM for less than $60 and a 512 GGB SSD drive for under $400. the cMBP is the last of the easily upgradeable Macbooks. You open things up with a screwdriver, and boom, new parts go in, old parts go out, and you don't have to pay the Apple premium. Just something to consider.
     
  22. HowBoutIt? thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    #22
    Thanks all for your help. It seems like it would seem fairly simple if I had done it before. This is why I came here. Was to first get some pointers on what configuration would be good to get and what would be things I could upgrade.

    There is some great information here, but since this is all new to me the more I read the more confused I get. Since I need 16 gB of RAM, I will have try to install the RAM myself or get the rMBP.

    I need to go back and reread some of the post to really focus on what they are saying. For example if I get a new cMBP, there will be some RAM installed, but one of the Apple articles I read says if you upgrade to more RAM make sure it is compatible with what is already installed. Furthermore, since there is 8 GB of RAM I think in the base model is there 2 sticks of 4 GB in each slot? if that is the case I would need 2 additional sticks of 4 GB each but this has to be compatible with what is already installed.

    With the MBP I have now (the one that is dying a slow death) was so easy to upgrade when I first purchased it. things change I guess.

    so I am reading there is a chance that Apple will do away with the cMBP next year? There is some mentioning of another type of MBP which I have never heard of. I will have to research that.
     
  23. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #23
    What article is this? cMBPs have only ever had two RAM slots. If you want 16GB of RAM, you MUST install 2 x 8GB. All you have to do to make sure it works is match the specs. If you goto Crucials website, it'll tell you exactly what RAM you can use in your computer.

    If you've upgraded a MBP already, you have already got this down. It sounds like you're making this way harder for yourself than it actually is. Have you gone to iFixit to read through some of their guides?

    It's entirely possible that Apple will drop the cMBP next year, but you'll still be able to buy one as a refurb for some time after that.
     
  24. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #24
    I just suggest a light surface where the screws won't roll around to ensure that you can keep track of them.


    The MBP can take 2 sodimms. You'd have to remove the original ones to install the upgrade. A few notebooks on the PC side can accept 4 dimms, which is how some of them get 32GB in a notebook.

    The 2012s don't seem any more difficult than prior years unless we're talking about the retina version. I won't personally touch the first version of that.

    The other is the one labeled retina. It's an updated design. The cMBP just got a spec bump. No ports changed. Display remained the same. They still use a 2.5" HDD by default.
     
  25. HowBoutIt? thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    #25
    I understand that I need 2 X 8 GB but that is a new cMBP without any RAM. I was trying to do this so that I do not have to waste RAM since a new machine comes with RAM installed already (not enough as I want) but I was hoping there wold be a way since there is RAM already in the mac, how could I install what I need to use what comes in the machine and still purchase what I need to equal 16 GB and have it work with what is already installed. I commented on your remark about how easy this is. I ask that you please stop telling me I am making this harder than it is.I do not think I am but you do. You have said that enough so let's drop your feeling about how I am making this harder than it needs to be.
     

Share This Page