First post - Recommended MBP 17inch configuration?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by delaloi, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. delaloi macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2010
    Before I get flamed, yes I have done a lot of forum searching and reading and have narrowed my questions quite a bit before posting this. :)

    I am about to become a first-time convert to the Mac world. I need a new laptop at home. My main work machine will remain an office-provided PC. The prospect of a good battery, fast boot time, and superior music & entertainment software (and a bit of style) has me looking Mac.

    The most common thing I will use the Mac for is watching streamed sports in HD ( and ESPN Player). I will also try some light movie editing and music recording, maybe a bit of gaming. I want a laptop so I can move around the house a bit, but I will not leave the house with the computer much. So I'm looking at the 17 inch MBP, as I think I'll enjoy the bigger screen. This seems to be a less popular model around here than the 15 and 13 (is there a particular reason for that, or is my perception off?).

    I am not highly price-sensitive (if an option seems worth getting, I'll get it) but don't want to be wasteful. I also don't want to wait until next Spring for a new upgraded MBP model to be released, unless there is reason to think a current purchase is going to seem really weak by comparison quite soon (questions below are related to the "unless" part).

    Based on comments here I have decided to get the AG screen, even though the shop I visited did not have one on display. I also intend to stick with the 4MB RAM, and upgrade myself to 8MB if I see the need (saving the Apple €360, which seems excessive). I have 2 main questions left:

    First, the processor upgrade from 2.53 to 2.8GHz costs €360, not a small amount. Before the 2.8 offer came out I was thinking of getting the 2.66 (€180) but now I'm not sure. Many people think these CPU upgrades are not worth the money, but the opinions I have seen are mostly directed at the 15 inch MBP. Does it make a difference for the 17 inch screen? In any case, is the 2.8 likely to have a significantly longer effective life span than the 2.53?

    Second, I am leaning toward the 7200rpm hard drive. Would the additional €540 for the 256MB SSD be a worthwhile upgrade?

    Finally, I am assuming AppleCare (another €349) is more or less obligatory. Yes?

    Many thanks in advance to the experts who spend time answering questions like these for us newbs.

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    1. The CPU upgrade isn't really worth it for you as your usage isn't very CPU intensive. That 360€ can be better spent on something else, like SSD for example.

    2. SSD is a good option but I wouldn't get it from Apple. They are slower than other drives and also tend to cost more. Get the 7200rpm for now and decide on the SSD later on. One option is to replace the SuperDrive with an SSD to get both, SSD and HD (that way you can get relatively small SSD for OS X and apps, like 60GB).

    3. IMO AC is worth it but that's a preference thing. I would get it but you don't have to get it now, you can buy it at any time during the first year.
  3. kyllyr11 macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    +1 I will be purchasing a 17" core i5 in a few days and do not see the CPU upgrade with the price. I will be getting an ssd instead, which will be a bigger performance gain. I'll be looking at a vertex 2 or agility 2 for my ssd.

    Also just buy AC towards the end of your 1st year.
  4. Hankcah macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2010
    Since you are saving money on the RAM and prob installing it urself, get the faster processor.
    Don't get the AppleCare. IMO, if you know how to swap a harddrive then you can learn to fix something else as well. Unless you know you treat your computers like crap, then get it. Plus ur covered for a year before u have to decide on the AC. Plus you say it wont leave ur house, so seems like it would be a waste.

    ALSO, you wont be flamed at all since we all know you will become a Mac ONLY workhorse soon. I was the same way with my first mac, then it became the only thing I use.

    We're excited for your purchase!

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