Few questions about buying new MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bobsakamano, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. bobsakamano macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2008
    I had a few questions about a new MBP I was wondering if anyone could help me out with.

    First, I'm leaning towards the lower model (2.4 with the 256 mb of VRAM). If I'm just doing photo editing, office type stuff and some gaming, will that extra 256 mb of VRAM really make a difference worth the $500?

    Secondly, I'd like the faster hard drive, but want to buy the computer in the store rather than online. I'm thinking of buying, on Newegg, a Western Digital 320 gb 7300 RPM for $110, then using the hard drive that comes with as an external. Is it relatively easy to replace the hard drive and reinstall the OS from the DVD they give you with the computer? Does replacing it void the warranty?

    Lastly, do the RAM slots have to be identical? In other words, can I get the 2 GB model and then buy a 2 GB stick from Newegg and have 3 GB? I need the computer this week and would like to avoid customizing online. From what I can tell, it seems like these upgrades would be cost effective.

    Thanks much for any help.
  2. nope7308 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    First, the $500 price differential is misleading. For $500 you are receiving:
    - Slight processor jump
    - Double the cache
    - Double the RAM
    - Double the vRAM
    - 70GB more HD

    So, if you compare the two models with the same 4GB of RAM and 320G 5200rpm HD, the price difference amounts to $250 for the slight processor bump, double cache, and double vRAM. If you're using an edu discount, then the numbers change even more (you get an extra $100 off the higher end model, if I remember correctly). Whether or not you need that extra power depends on what you'll be using the computer for. Right now, the performance difference won't be substantial, but that may change once snow leopard is released (along with more demanding applications).

    Buying an HD from a third party vendor will not void the warranty. To replace the HD, you simply remove the battery cover and remove the screw that holds the HD in place. It looks fairly simple and you don't have to be a techy to do it.

    I'm not quite sure I understand your RAM question. You'll have to buy DDR3 RAM which is really quite expensive at the moment. Believe it or not, Apple's RAM is aggressively priced and you probably won't save that much if you go to a third party vendor. Depending on how soon you need it, you may want to purchase the RAM in store when you buy the computer.

    Hope that helps...
  3. bobsakamano thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2008
    Compared the two models and you're exactly right. With the education discount, when you get the same RAM and HD in the two models, the difference comes down to $150 (2330 to 2480). At that point, I think I'll just get the higher end.

    So just two more questions. How big a difference will the extra RAM and speed on the HD make? Will I definitely want the extra memory and HD speed going forward? If I'm going to wind up upgrading in the future anyway, I'd rather just spend the money now and get it over with.

    Thanks again.

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