Film Student: MBP w/ 9400m or 9400m + 9600M GT?!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dw3bb10, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. dw3bb10 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 1, 2008
    #1
    Ok, in a few weeks I start college. I need to purchase my first Mac. Im torn between the $1699 and $1999 models of the 15' Macbook Pro line. So ofcourse, the cheaper the better. I dont mind the slight difference between the hard drive, processor, etc. Im worried about the graphics cards. Ill be working with Final Cut ofcourse, HD video and all. And I want to know if the 9400m card will suffice. And this laptop will have to last me the rest of the duration of college, and i will need it to last. I dont want the 9400m to become outdated so quickly. I dont plan to do much gaming either, PROBABLY just starcraft 2 when it comes out, whenever that is. What do you guys think? Please give honest opinions. I would PREFER to buy the $1699 model because I would be able to get it cheap but if necessary I will wait a few months and get the high end 2k model. Please give me some insight. Thanks.
     
  2. mattyb240 macrumors 6502a

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    May 11, 2008
    #2
    Are those prices with your student discount? My honest advice would be buy the best you can afford, your campass will have necessary requirements, but it is nice to be able to sit in your own private space and complete work. I would buy one with the 9600m, although I don't do any film editing just some 3d stuff.
     
  3. dw3bb10 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 1, 2008
    #3
    With student discount they are 1599 and 1849. the 1599 is a little more in my range. And yea, they dont require anything. But i want my own hardware.
     
  4. mattyb240 macrumors 6502a

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    May 11, 2008
    #4
    Well I guess it depends how much you are prepared to pay for that luxury? As surely an external screen would be necessary to do proper work? What are the requirements of the software you need to buy? Would an imac be a solution? Or is your college to far away?
     
  5. PJM macrumors newbie

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    Oct 16, 2007
    #5
  6. dw3bb10 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 1, 2008
    #6
    Yea, no imac. I need a laptop. I guess i want to know if the 9400m would suffice for working with Final Cut.

    Very good deal. What are the condition of the refurbs? Do they look new? I dont want a scratched up machine.
     
  7. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

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    Jul 9, 2009
    #7
    I would say go for the higher end model.

    I'm usually about saving money, but I think that you will actually benefit from having the higher end graphics card. Especially if you want this laptop to last you the next 4-5 years. Saving an extra $250 now and getting the nicer model will probably help you out in the long run.

    You can also try to get the older MBP where you will loose the battery and a few other things, but you will have both graphics cards. I think that the refurbed models are around $1500 or $1600 and come with a 1 year warranty just like new ones.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #8
    If you're going to use Motion, you need 9600GT. 9400M won't cut it. It's only 300$ too and GPU is quite helpful in video editing.
     
  9. PJM macrumors newbie

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    Oct 16, 2007
    #9
    The refurbs look new and the warranty is the same than the new ones.
     
  10. cjacks68 macrumors regular

    cjacks68

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    May 27, 2009
    #10
    I got a refurb similar to this, but was the 2.53 for $1449. It was a steal and it is in perfect condition, exactly the same as new. I would recommend refurbs 100% now.
     
  11. nws0291 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2006
    #11
    Some even say the Refurbs are better than the new machines because they have been tested again and had all the issues fixed. More often than not your refurb is just a return. I have never bought a refurb because I have always bought the latest model after a big announcement. I know 2 people who have and had no problems and the machines had no scratches.

    Also some people get upgraded specs than what they buy. For instance some people bought a 2gb one and get 4gb of ram.
     
  12. highertechnology macrumors 6502

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    Jul 31, 2009
    #12
    Film School.....

    Go with the 2.66, primarily for the GPU. If you had any other major I would say the 2.53/9400 would suffice.
     
  13. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816

    Sweetfeld28

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    #13
    I agree with the majority here, you'll need the 9400M+9600M GT, for any design using After Effects, Flash, or Video Production, and maybe even Photoshop.
     
  14. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

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    Jul 9, 2009
    #14
    No it will help with programs in FCS and help with video rendering, etc. Photoshop doesn't really use the higher end GPU as much as it uses RAM. A 9400M machine with 8gb of ram will run photoshop much better than a 9600 with 2 or 4 gb of ram.
     
  15. anthemus macrumors regular

    anthemus

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    Denver
    #15
    Currently I use a MacBook Unibody 1st Generation in the field - It has a 9400m, working with FCP7 and DVCPro HD 1080i - Handles everything just fine. If you think in the future you might get into motion graphics go with the 9600. Otherwise make sure you have 4Gb Ram really helps a lot with larger files.
     
  16. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816

    Sweetfeld28

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    #16

    I get what your saying, more RAM is always a plus for Photoshop work. However, Nvidia did release plug-ins for the Quadro series of graphics cards, which are their higher/mid range graphics cards. Photoshop does benefit from them higher end cards reguardless of the gigs of RAM you might have in your computer. The higher end cards just help with some of the workflow, is all that i was trying to say.


    This is a link to Nvidia's website demonstrating what i am saying:

    Adobe Plugin Check for compatible Quadro GPU's.

    Adobe CS4 GPU accelerated plugins, comparison.


    I realize this isn't for laptops, or even the OP's laptop. I just find it very interesting what these video cards are being capable of doing by helping take some of the workload off of the processors.
     
  17. stranger danger macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    #17
    Buy the refurbished last-gen MBP. The pros vastly outweigh the cons.

    Pros
    $1599, same as the entry-level 15" MBP currently for sale
    High-end GPU (9600M GT + 512MB GDDR3)
    Faster processor (2.66)
    ExpressCard/34 slot (You'd like the option of FW400 ports and much more, yes?)

    Cons
    Refurbished unit
    Comes in a brown box, not an original MBP box
     
  18. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #18
    I see what you are saying, but his graphics card would really have negligible effect on photoshop use. And offloading of workload onto a GPU is going to be introduced to macs with OpenCL and Snowleopard. In theory the 9600 would benefit opencl more, but until there are real world tests nobody will actually know. It is going to depend on how the devs choose to use the tech, and there may be little or no difference between opencl on a 9400 compared to a 9600! :D

    But yeah, I was just saying he shouldn't choose to buy the graphics card for photoshop improvements as more ram would be much more valuable in that situation.
     
  19. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

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    May 20, 2008
    #19
    You forgot the con of 4gb(6gb unofficial i believe) compared to 8gb in the current gen.

    It may not seem like a big deal now, but it will soon. Remember when a MB of ram seemed like a lot :p
     
  20. Meever macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 30, 2009
    #20
    Get refurb. save 300 dollars and get the 96oo. Problem solved.
     

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