College MBP Questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Tydog07, May 10, 2011.

  1. Tydog07 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    #1
    Hi everyone, here is the deal, I need a macbook pro for 4 years, maybe even grad school if it's still working well and I don't have the cash. I am having trouble deciding between the 13" (2.7) and the 15" (2.2) , money isn't a deciding factor.

    I will use the computer to type papers, listen to music, watch tv/movies (primary display/won't be bringing a tv), Moderate HD video editing, moderate photo editing, perhaps some games (i haven't had a computer in awhile that could handle games), and general internet browsing.

    I know that I may be buying overkill now, but I want to buy better now so that in 3-4 years, it'll still hold its own.

    I'm 6" 0" and weigh 205lbs., does the extra weight really make that much of a difference to me, I don't think I'll mind a couple extra pounds, especially with the extra performance/screen real estate.

    Without doubt I'll be getting a hi-res glossy if I go 15", why do so many people not recommend it? I feel that so many people have the glossy from the 13" (no option but to have glossy) that it'll be ok if I have it too, weird reason I know. But I think I want glossy for the video editing/tv/movies. I'll remind again that this will be the only thing I'll watch tv and movies on. Does the hi-res really cause that much eye-strain, I'm concerned about that.

    I want to have a 7200RPM drive instead of a 5400RPM, I cannot afford an SSD initially and maybe in my 3rd year of ownership, the prices will come down enough so I can trash the optical drive and put a SSD in there.

    Do I need applecare/one-on-one? I rather avoid the cost and I'm pretty computer savy, so I rather avoid it.

    What can I do to insure this thing from theft, accidental causes?

    I cannot afford the 8GB ram from Apple, is it worth it to upgrade from a 3rd party retailer say a year from now when I would have more money?

    And lastly a different type of question, I have two 21" widescreen dell monitors, can i use them simultaneously with the computer? Don't let influence your advice on 13" vs. 15", I will probably not even use them.


    Thanks in advance, I know this topic is beat to death.
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    15" higher model (2.2) if you also want to play games.

    Get a good bag and weight difference don't matter.

    Display: try in store.

    Insurance? Maybe.

    RAM: third party is fine.

    Display: just about all laptops can do only 1 external display. You can buy USB adapter for additional displays.

    There might be back to school promo soon.
     
  3. Tydog07 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    #3
    Alright, I was leaning towards the 15" (couldn't you tell??? :rolleyes:), there is just too many performance upgrades that it has (final cut pro w/ hd footage would rip the integrated graphics up!), I'll most likely do a sleeve, and try to find one with a small pocket on it to hold small things (id card, flash drive).

    I've had a hard time finding a hi-res glossy display, it's tough.

    I'm looking into putting it on my homeowners insurance, any good 3rd party companies that cover laptops?

    Ram I'll upgrade in the future.

    I figured as much as far as the display goes, I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask.

    And I'm also looking into that back to school ipod promo and the free printer!
     
  4. 42streetsdown macrumors 6502a

    42streetsdown

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Gallifrey, 5124
    #4
    Even the baseline models will be decent in 4 years. i used a 10 year old G4 tower for a couple of years before i bought my current iMac. The tower ran great despite being old. And my iMac is now 4 years old and I can run Portal 2 at high settings (obviously not a rigorous benchmark but you get what i mean)
    My point is Macs have staying power.
    Of course, if money is no object then go ahead and buy something kick ass.
     
  5. aramosc macrumors regular

    aramosc

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #5
    you should get the 13" for what you will be using it for the 13" will be powerful enough and you can save a few bucks. with thunderbolt you should be able to connect up to 5 devices including monitors (when people start making them) but for now you can connect one external via minidisplay.
     
  6. aramosc macrumors regular

    aramosc

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #6
    but i guess if money isnt object you should buy an imac and a macbook air. it is computer nirvana.
     
  7. Tydog07 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    #7
    Well I don't have the money for two computers, but I will spend money on one good one.

    If I buy now, will it be hard and terribly inconvenient to upgrade to lion from snow leopard? I want to buy now but I don't want any incompatibility problems when I upgrade. Is there any other disadvantage to buying now and then upgrading the OS later?

    Should I think about getting a magic mouse? They look pretty cool and could be useful, but is the trackpad on the macbook pro enough?
     
  8. halledise, May 10, 2011
    Last edited: May 10, 2011

    halledise macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    #8
    15" is the go

    whilst being a huge fan of the Air, my recommendation to you for your purposes and longevity of ownership is to buy the 15" MBPro to the best specs you can afford.
    don't worry about the 7200rpm over the 5400 rpm at this time - you can always upgrade later and use the 5400rpm as a backup disc when you buy a SSD.
    also keep some $ aside to upgrade to 8gb memory as you go along.
    as already mentioned, 3rd party memory is fine and reasonably priced compared to some. ensure you buy a recognised quality brand though and flog off your 2x2gb modules on eBay or similar

    at this point in time the 15" is way ahead of the 13" MBPro and you'll be surprised just how snappy the new models are.
    if you are able, head to a reseller for a play on the respective models.

    AppleCare can be purchased any time within the 1st 12 months of ownership and the free 90 phone support that comes with a new unit should get you thru any teething issues in the first instance

    good luck :D
     
  9. Tydog07 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    #9
    What is the resale value typical of these laptops? How much could I sell the 4GB of ram for?
     
  10. halledise macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    #10
    geez that's a tough one.
    depends on how old it is when you sell it, how much warranty left etc, what condition it's in at the time, what software is left on, etc.
    but after 1 year and in pristine condition I'd say 70-80% of purchase price.
    a tad more for maxed out memory and extended warranty.
    plus it depends who's looking to buy that particular week.


    Aus$60 for 2x 2gb sticks
     
  11. Tydog07 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    #11

    Ok, and my mom is looking into buying a 13" base model MBP for basic browsing, email, photo viewing (not editing), no video editing, for work stuff and itunes/ipod-----kiddie stuff I know and I know the base 13" will be enough, but if she buys now, how hard will it be to upgrade to mac os x lion? Will everything be switched over smoothly, or is it a lot of manual file transferring? Her old laptop is dieing and sooner would be better than later, but not if it's a PITA to upgrade the OS to lion once it comes out.
     
  12. halledise macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    #12
    if your Ma is after a Mac for basic then she should look no further than a MBAir.

    all current Mac portables specs are heaps good enough for Lion.

    Migration Assistant is the go for transitioning from one Mac to a newer one.

    it's all good :D
     
  13. Tydog07, May 12, 2011
    Last edited: May 12, 2011

    Tydog07 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    #13
    Well the 13" baseline air is $150 (student pricing) more and it doesn't have as good of specs, she like the mbp better, that is of current, we'll see when the new airs come out in june.

    And we're going from windows to mac, so I don't think migration assistant is the right tool, I want to know how hard it is to upgrade the operating system to lion if I buy now and then upgrade in the summer.
     
  14. halledise macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    #14
    the 13" Air has it all over a 13" MBPro despite what you may glean from the specs and the screen's heaps brighter too.
    but it's your call …

    as for migrating from a pee.cee to a Mac, there are a number of ways - Apple Support knowledge base is your friend here:
    http://goo.gl/Co7s1
     
  15. w00d macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    #15
    I dunno.... I thought I wanted a 13" air... lots of reasons to like it! It's a great machine. I actually bought one and used it for a couple of days, and returned it for another 13" MBP.

    In the end... MBP13 had:

    • Much better battery life
    • Not really that much bigger, let's be realistic here, it does weigh more but it's essentially the same size and it sure as hell is not what I would call bulky or heavy by any means
    • Much faster CPU! Yes I can notice this for sure, I write software that takes a while to compile. Also running VMs this makes a difference having the i5 CPU.
    • Speaking of CPU.... it's a hard sell to buy a high end laptop with a SLOW older gen CPU. Yea yeah yeah it's fast enough for a lot of stuff but come on, the i5 blows it away. In three years, are you going to be happy with a 1.8Ghz C2D?
    • Easier to upgrade RAM (not possible on MBA unless done at time of purchase) - also larger max RAM possible
    • Smaller resolution; I could go either way on this. Compared to a proper desktop (27" imac) any laptop is going to suck (relatively) for all day use. At least you can plug the laptop into a big monitor if you wish.

    What about the SSD in the Air you may ask? Yeah that rocks, there is no reason to not get SSD if you can swing it. I dropped an Intel 120GB SSD In my MBP immediately.
     
  16. callison macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    #16
    as i said in another thread, speaking from plenty of late-nights writing papers, be sure to get something with a back-lit keyboard. it is not always acceptable to have lights on and stuff if you have roomates. This saved me many times as i could crawl in bed and finish writing a paper while my roomates slept. i highly recommend choosing a computer with this feature. it seems miniscule, but you will be much happier with it.
     
  17. halledise macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    #17
    horses for courses ;)
     
  18. w00d macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    #18
    Agree completely! The big problem is they are both incredible machines, and it's hard to complain about either one, unless you figure out that the other model is the one that actually suits your needs better! It's not an easy choice.

    Another way to pick a laptop is to ignore what is on the market, and imagine if you could design a laptop from scratch. What features and specs would you want to have on it? What compromises are you willing to make? What compromises are you NOT willing to make? If you could have any screen size & resolution what would it be? How important is battery life, etc. Then go and see what is the best match.
     
  19. Tydog07 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    #19
    Gentlemen, this conversation is not about MBA/MBP, it is simply to ask how much difficulty I will incur if I decided to purchase a mac laptop now and then upgrade the os on the same laptop when lion comes out? If Apple has made it easy (no silly file transferring and all/most of my apps will transfer), I could buy sooner rather than later. I hear the next os will debut on the mac app store, so i could see this being easy.
     
  20. halledise macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    #20
    as stated before, you will have no problems when lion debuts
     
  21. Tydog07 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    #21
    Alright thank you, so if I already have a printer, would it be wise to get the free $100 version and sell it in favor of a magic mouse?
     
  22. Tydog07 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    #22
    I found a in new condition magic mouse for $40 on craigslist, should I bite? Will it work on my windows pc until I get my MBP? Is it work it to have a real mouse when using the macbook pro?
     
  23. Tydog07 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    #23
    Bootcamp

    If I get a copy of Windows 7 Ult. and run boot camp, how much cpu/ram/gpu power can I give to running Bootcamp, am I restricted? Is it stable enough to run games/heavy apps?
     
  24. macman312 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia --> Cincinnati,OH
    #24
    Got the 15" higher spec 2.2 i7
    4GB ram plenty for the moment- but memory isn't expensive get a upgrade as you need it.
    750GB hdd
    also got the printer &ipod deal
    definitely get insurance
    I would get apple care
    With the monitors because of thunderbolt your MBP can deffs run both (I think)
    THe lady at the apple store said buy the higher spec because it is "future proofed" so it should last you at least 4-5 years. See this article http://www.infoworld.com/d/computer...ook-pro-the-last-notebook-youll-ever-need-169
     

Share This Page