Decision: MBP 2.2Ghz vs Current Generation

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Standard, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Standard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    I'm majoring in Web Development & Animation this September and I need a new machine. I will be using all of Adobe's Creative Applications, Coda, Modo and some others. The only games I really play are World of Warcraft, TF2 and CoD4. Their requirements are listed below;

    World of Warcraft

    Mac System Requirements

    * OS: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or newer
    * Processor:
    o Minimum: 933MHz G4/G5
    o Recommended: 1.8GHz G5/Intel
    * Memory:
    o Minimum: 512MB RAM
    o Recommended: 1GB DDR RAM
    * Video:
    o Minimum: NVIDIA or ATI graphics processor with 32MB VRAM
    o Recommended: 64MB VRAM

    Call of Duty 4

    SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS:
    Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP/Vista (Windows 95/98/ME/2000 are unsupported) Microsoft DirectX(R) 9.0c (included)

    HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS:
    CPU: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 2.4 GHz or AMD(R) Athlon(TM) 64 2800+ processor or any 1.8Ghz Dual Core Processor or better supported
    RAM: 512MB RAM (768MB for Windows Vista)
    VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA(R) Geforce(TM) 6600 or better or ATI(R) Radeon(R) 9800Pro or better
    SOUND CARD: 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
    HDD SPACE: 8GB of free hard drive space
    INTERNET: Broadband connection and service required for Multiplayer Connectivity


    Team Fortress 2 Minimum System Requirements

    CPU: 1.2 GHz Processor
    RAM: 256 MB
    Graphics Card: DirectX 7 capable graphics card
    Windows 2000/XP/ME/98
    Mouse
    Keyboard
    Internet Connection
    CD or DVD rom drive

    Team Fortress 2 Recommended System Requirements
    CPU: 2.4 GHz Processor
    RAM: 512 MB
    Graphics Card: DirectX 9 capable graphics card 256 MB
    Windows 2000/XP/ME/98
    Mouse
    Keyboard
    Internet Connection
    CD or DVD rom drive

    Team Fortress 2 Ideal System Requirements
    For running the game smooth in 1280x1024 with High Quality graphics.

    CPU: 3.4 GHz Processor
    RAM: 1024 MB
    Graphics Card: Radeon X800 or Geforce 6800
    Windows 2000/XP/ME/98
    Mouse
    Keyboard
    Internet Connection

    I can't decide between the current generation MacBook Pro base model:

    15-inch: 2.4GHz[ $1849 educational discount/B]

    2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    2GB memory
    200GB hard drive1
    Double-layer SuperDrive
    NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 256 MB

    VS

    15.4-inch widescreen display $1549

    2GB memory
    120GB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 128MB of GDDR3 memory
    Built-in iSight Camera

    Both computers will have their RAM bumped up to 4GB. Which do you guys recommend for me? The second option is more affordable for me as I can get more accessories that I require, but I would like optimal performance for my uses.

    Thanks,

    Standard

    [edit] I currently just sold my FIRST GEN MBP 15.4" 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo, 1.5GB Ram, Mobility Radeon x1600 128m - least to say it wasn't performing too well, in comparison for you guys.

    [edit2] I just found this machine as well -

    15.4-inch widescreen display $1749

    2GB memory
    160GB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 256MB of GDDR3 memory
    Built-in iSight Camera
     
  2. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    #2
    I bought the previous generation 2.2 MBPro a while ago over the current version.

    I got about a 40% discount and a 2 year warranty so it was worth it for me.
     
  3. Standard thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    Thanks, but that doesn't really help me. What do you do with it?

    Any more suggestions?
     
  4. jag00 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #4
    I have the $1549 last gen model with 4gb of ram. I use it for web development, gaming, some photoshop, and heavy office kind of stuff (excel, word, project, visio under parallels). For me the performance is quite pleasing. I tend to keep a lot of applications open and switch between them quite frequently without notice any slowdowns.

    Playing COD4 (using bootcamp) is reasonable as well. As long as you don't jack up the settings to the highest quality the game plays without any problems. I'm not a fan of judging game performance on fps benchmarks so I couldn't tell you that I get 30-40 fps. What I can say is that game plays fine and looks great using their optimal settings configuration (I tend to turn on a few extra options and resolution and have noticed little performance loss)

    Based on my own experience, I think the machine will serve you well for your purposes.
     
  5. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    #5
    I use it for some gaming, GTA III, need for speed carbon.

    But primarily for Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Dreamwaver, Flash and Lightroom.
     
  6. jroller macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #6
    Based on your usage, I would recommend you pursue the configuration that will provide the greatest performance. I don't like the smaller HD's in the other configurations you have given. I think you will hit the ceiling before you know it.

    Definitely, upgrade to 4 gigs of RAM, but not. Consider the 7200 RPM HD as well. I recommend the first configuration. I suspect you will be appreciate it more in the long run.
     
  7. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Up the irons
    #7
    I own the 2.2ghz Macbook Pro and it's a nice little machine. Not sure how well Call of Duty 4 will run but for everything else you listed, it will perform well. I'm willing to bet a Mac Pro would serve you better. Go find a used Mac Pro and install a better graphic card. Hell, I'd even recommend building your own rig for a lot less. Unless you're looking to use OS X.
     
  8. Standard thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    I would like a Mac Pro, but I need portability in my second year of Uni for my intern. I guess I will go with the new MBP and get accessories to make it my temporary desktop.
     
  9. Denali9 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    #9
    Hi,
    Because you play games, go with model with highest video ram you can afford. it'll give you a few more fps and may play newer games...

    BTW, i have the 2,2 and love it but if i were to buy now, i would go with 512 vram.
     
  10. Standard thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    No can do on the 512mb GPU, it is only 128mb memory bus. This means 256mb of RAM is inaccessible.
     
  11. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    is this actually true? Why do people pay more for the 512 mb of ram then?
     
  12. Standard thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    It's true, I will find proof when I get home from work. But do a forum search, I've made threads about this already.
     
  13. amac4me macrumors 65816

    amac4me

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    #13
    Considering that you'll be your major is development related, you may want to consider the Apple Developer Connection Student membership.

    http://developer.apple.com/products/student.html

    You pay $99 to enroll in program (Apple verifies your enrollment). You get a kit that includes Mac OS Leopard, a t-shirt, and a one time hardware discount that can amount to quite a bit of money.

    For example, the top end 15-inch MacBook Pro is discounted $500, thus you save $401 dollars by enrolling in the program. This is cheaper than the student discount and argues for getting the current generation model.

    Just check the terms and policies of the program to ensure you'll be meeting them.
     
  14. Standard thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #14
    Is the discount off the retail or educational price?
     
  15. amac4me macrumors 65816

    amac4me

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    #15
    The discount is off the regular price but the net result is that it works out cheaper than the student discount.

    Note however that Apple is running a promotion for education buyers. From the Apple Store:

    If you’re a student, teacher, or staff member and you buy a Mac with your education discount between June 3 and September 15, 2008, you can get a free iPod touch or iPod nano after rebate.​
     

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