First MBP -Sept '12 - Refurbs and Docking Stations?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Reg88, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Reg88 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    #1
    Hi,
    In the next two weeks or so (around the beginning of October 2012) I will be getting my first Macbook Pro (15" - non retina).

    1) I am going to by refurb and looking at the store now, the Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.3GHz Quad-core Intel i7 at around $1500 suits my needs. It was released June 2012. I am in no rush to get this machine, but I'd like to pull the trigger in the next few weeks. The buyers guide says it's neutral. Is now a good time to buy the 15" MBP listed above? It's power is more than enough for what I need to do (light CS6 with small files).

    2) My current laptop is an HP that has a fantastic docking station and I cannot seem to find a dock that people generally like for the MBP. The dock I have charges the laptop, and I like that I don't have to connect and disconnect the peripherals directly to the machine every time. Is there a high-quality dock I can get for the MBP? What do the graphics/video professionals out there do?

    3) In terms of the dock, I also have a 21" external monitor (DVI or VGA - no display port). How do I go about connecting this laptop to this machine? Is a display port to DVI (or VGA) the best way to go?

    4) I see that the machine comes with 2x2GB of RAM. How difficult is it to replace RAM in this machine, and it is best to pop in an 8GB module for a total of 10GB, or is it more stable at 2x8GB for 16GB total?

    Thank you very much in advance for your advice!
     
  2. Oofie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #2
    -Cant really answer the first one, I would rather go with a late 2011 15" for more savings.

    -This is the dock Ive seen: http://www.hengedocks.com/ Not too bad of a price, but you have to use an external mouse and keyboard.

    -The dock I linked will use the mini display port and you just have to get a separate adapter for VGA / DVI / HDMI

    - You can do one 8gb and a 2gb stick. I dont think you can really see the difference in performance. Of course a lot of people will also recommend going dual channel. IMO, doesnt make a difference. More ram is more ram.
     
  3. Reg88 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 8, 2010
    #3
    Thank you. I will check it out. As for the 2011, I really thought of it, but for $170 more I get parts that are a few months old vs a few years old. From a power perspective the 2011 will be fine (see "3.0GHZ core2duo iMac/12GB above), but since I'm planning on keeping this for years, I think the 2012 may be a better choice.
     
  4. Oofie macrumors regular

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    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #4
    gotcha about the price :cool:

    As for adding more ram, its fairly easy. Just take off the bottom cover and pop out the old ram by pulling on the tabs, install the new ram (just make sure the notch is properly lined up) and just reinstall the cover.

    EDIT: You can watch videos here for ram install http://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/macbookpro_15_unibody_mid12/
     
  5. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    The RAM in these is very simple to upgrade. I would hold off for now, but when you do decide to upgrade, it's always best to buy RAM in a 2-stick bundle of matched pairs so that you don't lose that dual-channel speed.

    Although having a 2GB dimm and an 8GB dimm will technically work, it won't be dual channel and won't be as "fast" as if you had 2x4GB in there as a matched pair.

    However, with RAM prices as cheap as they are these days, and only getting cheaper, might as well go for the 2x8GB shabang.
     
  6. Reg88 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 8, 2010
    #6
    Thanks. Along those lines, does the 2011 RAM @ 1333Mhz make a difference vs. the 2012 @1600Mhz? From my PC experience (which is extensive) I would think no -- unless you are transcoding video or folding proteins...?
     
  7. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

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    Sep 8, 2011
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    Boston, MA
    #7
    Negligible difference, if any. The only reason to go for the 2012 models, in my opinion, would be for the USB 3.0 support.
     
  8. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cimmerian End
    #8
    It's a solid time to buy a MacBook Pro - won't see a refresh for a bit a think. As far as RAM, I would go either dual-channeled 8GB or 16GB. It's quite cheap.
     
  9. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #9
    I don't think it's a bad time to buy at all. While I could be wrong, I don't actually think we'll see an update until somewhere in the June-September 2013 realm given potential shipping dates on Haswell. In terms of late 2011 compared to 2012, the 2012 has usb3, which is nice. Neither is really a bad buy. They're only staggered a bit. The big jump was at Sandy.

    Not really. People have used 1600Mhz in the 2011s too. I'm not sure whether it runs at 1600Mhz, but differences in the speed of ram aren't as significant as just having enough of it.
     
  10. Reg88 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 8, 2010
    #10
    So I'm days away from the purchase and I was in the Apple store today and I asked about these two machines from the refurb store (late 2011 15" 2.2 QC i7 MBP sandy bridge vs 2012 15" 2.3. QC i7 MBP ivy bridge) and he told me that:

    1) the IB is much better than the SB (for battery and cooler running)?
    2) the graphics in the 2012 are significantly better than the 2011 (GT 650M/512MB vs. hd300/hd6750M).

    Are these valid points? Again -- I'm basic CS6 with the largest file I work with being a 10-15MB RAW file. Is the 2012 processor a newer version of the i7, or is it simply a 2.2 to 2.3 bump in the speed?

    Thanks for all for the continued advice. This is my first Mac laptop so I want to get it right!
     
  11. TRAV9614 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #11
    1. I am pretty sure that Ivy Bridge processors are about 15% faster than Sandy Bridge. They are a newer version and are not just a 2.2 to 2.3 speed bump.

    2. The new NVIDIA 650M/512MB is about 60% faster than the older AMD Radeon HD 6750M.

    I myself have the 2.3 2012 model and am very happy with it. I personally think that it is worth it to spend the extra money on the 2012 because it has Usb 3. Keep in mind that the 2011s are almost a year old.
     
  12. Reg88 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 8, 2010
  13. whdigital macrumors regular

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    Jul 22, 2011
  14. Reg88 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 8, 2010
    #14
    So it's months later and I did go for the 2012 refurb for a little more $ and I have NO REGRETS. (Other than the fact that it's SO nice that I don't want to take it out of the house and that I want to buy another one to take back and forth to work every day)!
     

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