Could really get some advice on which option to pick!!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Hercules, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. Hercules macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2011
    Hi everyone,

    Before I get into the dilemma I face, let me tell you my primary purposes for a computer: web surfing, watching videos/youtube, word processing, running parallels, reading articles. I am not planning on doing any video editing, graphics design, photoshop etc, but I may be doing some photo editing.

    This is what I currently own:

    Late 2008 unibody 15 inch MacBook pro 2.4 ghz 4gb ram
    27 inch apple cinema display
    1st generation iPad

    My MacBook pro has now become slugglish and so I'm looking to replace it. I am a college student and therefore value portability lol. I would like to purchase a Mac Mini and use it with my cinema display (would give me that desktop feel without having to plug and unplug my laptop everyday - very annoying lol). Money is not an issue and I don't plan on getting it until the summer.

    Here are some options I have come up with


    Buy 2011 15 inch MacBook pro 2.2 ghz 4gb ram, 256 SSD (I know this is overkill for what I do but I need my laptop to be as future proof as possible as I am going away for grad school and probably won't be getting a new laptop for another 3-4 years)
    Purchase Mac mini when it gets updated later this year and hook it up to cinema display
    Sell iPad and get 11 inch MacBook air (seriously debating this)


    Buy ultimate 13 inch MacBook air when it gets updated with icore chip hopefully this summer (love the slim profile and great battery life, pissed that it only comes in glossy screen)
    Buy Mac mini for cinema display

    After having the 2008 15 inch MacBook pro for 3 years I really appreciated the larger screen size compared to the 13 inch. I am also a huge fan of the anti-glare screen and can honestly say that one of the main reasons for why I want the new 15 inch MacBook pro is because of the anti-glare option. I think the 7 hour battery life is not bad, much better then the 2 hours I'm getting off my current MacBook pro lol. I also plan on having 20 Internet tabs open, watching video, and reading PDFs all at the same time and don't want it to be sluggish.

    On the other hand, the 13 inch MacBook air would be great because of it low weight and slim nature. I've heard it doesnt get very hot or loud which obviously ar bonuses. It has a great screen resolution and battery life.

    Can anyone give me advice on what I should do? would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you very much
  2. Sjhonny macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2011
    The land of the cucumbers
    Why do you use Parallels for? I'm a 'college' student myself, but for my courses I heavily rely on AutoCAD (which doesn't run as smooth as it should on the mac side). I didn't even consider virtual machining windows (to much extra RAM, cpu cycles, sluggish graphics).

    And what are your perspectives on the photo editing? I once rendered a panoramic view out of 21 12 MP photo's and OS X told me my start-up disk was full at the end of the process (5 GB remaining, where there was 80 remaning). + I for example have an extensive music library. I just swapped the fabric standerd 500 GB samsung in my 2009 (mid summer revision) 17" for a WD blue 1 TB, because is was,'t even able anymore to create a boot camp partition (two weeks a go).

    VM's take lot's of space up on your pc! (base installation is like 5 GB).

    But nevertheless as you said, the 15" is probably overkill. Unless your intending to game or do use some other graphic intensive applications.
  3. MrVinney96 macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Holland :)
    :apple:If you dont do any processor intensive things, i would say macbook or basemodel macbook pro. with pro, you get core i5, sd and many other things better than macbook.:apple:


    :apple: iPod touch, 3rd gen, about to buy 15" 2.2 GHz MBP 2011.
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Well, if it were me, I'd without question do #1. I got the 17" version of the MBP (with 5K hard drive, as I'm waiting for updated OWC SSDs to add one), and the quad 2.2 is RIDICULOUSLY fast. I actually have yet to really strain it even a little. The 27" screen has obvious advantages (I have a 27" iMac), and the IPS panel makes it preferable to even a matte MBP, but unless Apple goes all-in on the Mini, it's unlikely to be anywhere near as fast as the MBP.

    A single DP connection seems pretty minor in terms of docking a MBP with your monitor (if you use a wireless keyboard and mouse, there's nothing else to hook up), but that's obviously a matter of taste.

    That setup is actually very close to what I would consider my dream setup; I have a general-duty MBP that I use most of the time, a 27" iMac for "that desktop feel" and things that I need either a big screen or color accuracy for (although it's now actually slower than the laptop, which is impressive given that it's got a nearly 3GHz 4-core i7), and if I ever get my wife to okay it I'd love a MBA for ultraportability--the times I don't want to lug my 17" desktop replacement around. The iPad is great (my parents have one), but for what I do I think I'd get more use out of an Air. I also have an older mini that serves as a HTPC/server, but that's different from your intended use.

    Tip: You were probably planning on doing this anyway, but as soon as you order your MBP go to OWC and order yourself 8GB of RAM. 16GB apparently works, but is exorbitantly expensive, and probably will remain so for quite a while.
  5. Hercules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2011
    What are the advantages/disadvantages of buying SSD through Apple?

    Does OWC SSD have TRIM support?
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I missed your additional question on this thread until just now, and you might no longer care about the answer, but:

    The OWC SSDs do have TRIM support, but far more importantly for using a Mac right now, since there won't be TRIM support until Lion, they do automatic garbage collection--VERY good automatic garbage collection. A professional photographer did a side-by-side comparison of several SSDs, writing and deleting massive amounts of data to measure performance over time, and the OWC SSD was the ONLY one he tested that didn't lose any performance at all over time. According to's reviews, they also don't seem to suffer from any of the periodic hiccups that a lot of SSDs do--the maximum time of an access is still quite low, while a lot of SSDs--cheaper ones and even some good ones--periodically have pauses ranging form a few hundred milliseconds to over a second.

    The advantage of buying an SSD from Apple direct are that it's pretty much guaranteed to work smoothly, it's covered under your stock warranty (and AppleCare, if you get it), you don't need to install it yourself, and in the case of the high-end current generation MBPs, the price difference between a 750GB 5400RPM hard drive and a 128GB SSD is only $100--quite reasonable. They're also reasonably good SSDs in general--quite fast, if not as blazing as OWC's, and they support TRIM when the OS eventually does.

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