Choosing my 15'' MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PurpleShaman, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. PurpleShaman macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2007
    hey fellas,

    I'm planning on getting a 15 inch MBP very soon, and I was having a bit of trouble deciding which one I should settle on. I'm a college student that does a good amt of laptop work in classes on battery. on top of that I game a decent amt (Starcraft 2, MW2, ect...nothing too hardcore) and I do a good bit of work with music programs like Logic Pro and Protools. Here are some things I'd appreciate advice on:

    1: the high res upgrade. I've seen a couple of high res screens, and it just seems like the texts become so small. I've heard that enlarging the texts make them look bad? Also, will gaming on high res essentially reduce the quality and fps? As for videos and pictures, i have to admit they look better than the 1440 standard screens!

    2: which 15'' gpu/cpu should i choose? Is there that big of a difference between the 256 graphics and the 512? I've read that the 512 really only makes a difference when you hook it up to an external. Also, is the i7 that much stronger than the i5? I've also heard things about the i7 being rough on the battery.

    3: RAM. I was curious as to how much of a difference an 8GB boost would be? Will a 8GB low end i5 perform better than a 4gb i7? I know that some applications and softwares require more CPU power, but what can the 8GB upgrade get me?

    Currently, I'm looking at around a $2000 budget, and that would get me the stock i7 book with my student discount. If I go with the low end i5, I could essentially go with an 8GB upgrade and maybe even squeeze in a hi res upgrade.

    What do you guys think?

  2. MikeinJapan macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2010
    1)Yeah I agree that the normal screen is better and my i7 should be here soon with standard res screen. The high res is nice but I would rather have the comfort when reading. Hi-res will reduce FPS for sure.

    2)256 or 512 is nothing to do with external but the size of the images and textures you are playing with. If you play a game with rich textures then the more memory the better but the GPU itself is the most important.

    3)i5 is cool as it has hyper-threading (its 2 cores but is in theory 4 cores). i7 also does this but has turbo mode which means it can go up to 3.33ghz (I am not sure on the speed (but quick)). For logic this will help a little. Basically if you can afford to and what the laptop to last buy i7. You can upgrade RAM and HDDs but not the CPU. In the laptop world buy the best you can that is not upgradable and upgrade what you can later when you have the cash.

    8 RAM is a little expensive at the moment and is only going to get cheaper and is overkill for you. I am going 8GB soon only because I need to upgrade my mini to 4GB and I don't want to buy 4GB and then have 4GB from the MBP and the original 2GB from the mini doing nothing.
  3. pjcforpres2020 macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    1. Take a look for yourself, and if you want anti-glare you have no choice in the matter.

    2. The i7 is a faster CPU, and you get a stronger GPU setup. But you have the same GPU speed in both devices, and the RAM for the GPU is more about video editing than it is about gaming, gaming craves a speedy GPU to keep up with the unpredictable nature, where as a video can be buffered and so forth since it is very predictable. All in all, though, the 2.4 i5 is more than capable of handling your needs, and many members on here have reported this as well.

    3. 4GB of RAM is a lot as is. You won't see a speed increase unless you have lots of programs open at once, or have massive files open etc... think of it this way, RAM is short term memory, and ROM(hard drive) is long term memory. While increasing RAM improves how much you can have on your mind at that moment in time, it does not speed up how quickly you can recall your other memories. The best rule of thumb is if you use more than 80% of your RAM on a regular basis, it is worth the upgrade (check out OWC for all your RAM needs, the NuRAM stuff is getting great reviews).
  4. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    Buy the base i5 or upgraded i7. You would be fine with the base i5 though. Do not pay apple for overpriced ram or harddrive upgrades. Do them yourself post-purchase if necessary. Furthermore you have not really listed anything that cannot be done with 4gb of memory.
    If you do not like the size of the text on the high resolution display, do not get it. You should get the display you feel comfortable using. Apple does not support resolution independence, so your only opinion would be to zoom in on every window.
  5. a.jfred macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I bought the base model 15", and the only time I ever see a "problem" with RAM is when I'm running a Windows 7 VM (which I'm giving 2MB RAM to) - at which point, it "maxes" out the 4GB RAM I have, but everything still runs pretty much smooth as silk. I've been able to run Phoshop 7 & import RAW files with no problem.
  6. JCCash macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2008
    Max our ram out. This is where I purchased my RAM:
  7. diablo2112 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    If you qualify for the educational discount, with $200 of the i7 model and $100 off the base i5, the high-end is probably worth the extra dough. It will come in at just about $2000 for the regular screen.
  8. PurpleShaman thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2007
    hey guys, thanks for the replies. just out of curiosity, are RAM prices likely to go up or down from now? from the OWC site, $250+ just seems a bit pricey for an 8GB upgrade at this point. if the prices are looking to go down I think I might go with the i7 and wait to buy my own RAM.

    also, a bit more about the 330M 256vs512: can someone give me a more detailed explanation about the differences between them? what exactly is the difference? Are their clock speeds and other specs the same? will i see a significant increase in fps with the 512 in a game like MW2?

    thanks again, appreciate the help
  9. puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Get the i7. You can always upgrade the hard drive and RAM later, but you can never upgrade the CPU/GPU.

    Always get the most processor you can afford IMO.

    FWIW though, going against the graim, I'm always happy to pay Apple for RAM/HDD upgrades. Done at the factory, ready out of the box without cracking it open, and no sweating if Apple's gonna chew you on your upgrades come warranty time, or even toss your Intel SSD, both of which I've seen happen here regardless of what anyone here says Apple's official policy is.
  10. VladM macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2008

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