First time MBP purchase

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by juice99, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. juice99 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #1
    Hello
    I am about to purchase a MBP 2.2GHz quad core (i7) and I have some questions, primarily I will be using it to edit with final cut and plan on using a (HD LCD 1080p) external monitor.

    1. what is the benefit of upgrading to 2.3 GHz for an additional $250?

    2. Are aftermarket memory sticks as good as the "out of the box" Mac?
    I would like to upgrade to 8GB
    Also is 1660MHz more beneficial while upgrading the GB?
    (some of the less expensive after market brands only offer 1333MHz)

    3. what is the best option for the (internal) hard drive?
    the standard 750GB @5400 rpm or do I lower to the 500GB to get more rpm?
    what is the benefit of a Solid State 128 GB at $100?
    4. is the Hi-Rez glossy widescreen worth the additional $100?

    Thank you in advance for any help !
    First time Mac owner
     
  2. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    #2
    I don't use FCP, but I can answer some of your questions.
    1. From what I understand, the speed bump really isn't noticeable. The biggest difference is that the 2.3GHz has an 8MB L3 cache as opposed to the 6MB that the 2.2GHz has. For me, it wasn't worth the extra cash to upgrade. Don't know if it would be for you or not.

    2. Yes. DO NOT buy your memory from Apple. It's extremely overpriced. I got 2x4GB 1333MHz Corsair memory sticks from Amazon for $33. Apple wanted $200. I don't know if the extra cost for 1660MHz would be worth it...I'm not sure that it would make a noticeable difference in speed.

    3. Most people would say that if you're looking for speed, go with an SSD. I got the 500GB 7200RPM drive and it's fine for me, but if you want fast, get an SSD. Your programs will boot faster. You could get an Optibay or something similar to replace your optical drive with an SSD, that way you get to keep the original drive, too. Most people recommend putting the SSD in yourself...at the very least you can take the HD that originally came in your machine and put it in an enclosure and have a nice backup drive.

    4. I think the Hi-Res screens are well worth it. I have heard a few people say that it bothers their eyes a little, and small text can be a bit hard to read. I love it, though. But after having a glossy 2008 MBP, I went with the anti-glare this time, and it's fantastic. If you'll mostly be using an external monitor, you'll have to decide if the upgrade cost is worth it to you or not.
     
  3. eternalife macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #3
    I went the same route you did. I went with the 2.2 - not worth the $250 IMO. As others have stated DON'T buy the apple RAM. Is is super easy to install yourself and MUCH cheaper. For FCP I would go with the 500GB 7500 RPM - That is what I did. I also do a lot of movie editing (although not with FCP). Hi Res Glossy? Do they offer that? I went Hi-Res non glossy and it is Definitely worth it IMO - I'm not a fan of glossy. You need as much room on the screen as you can get. To me that was a no brainer decision - from what I remember it was also a better video card - but I could be mistaken on that one - I don't remember. You will love the purchase.

     
  4. Vudoo macrumors 6502a

    Vudoo

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas Metroplex
    #4
    I customized a 2.2 Ghz 15" MBP with the hi-res matte and 500GB 7200 RPM drive. Then I upgraded to 8 GB 1600 Mhz RAM and everything seems to be working fine.
     
  5. juice99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #5
    First time MBP purchase

    Thanks for the help sweetbrat
    in regards to the difference between a SSD and the ATA drives.
    Mac offers a 128GB SSD (for xtra $100) Are the GB's worth more than the speed (rpm's) or are the GB's more important?
    I checked out Amazon and the aftermarket prices are comparable w/that of Mac.
    Also what is the port used for external monitor? is it the firewire 800 or is there a separate port that I can plug into?
    Thanks again
    juice
     
  6. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    #6
    It depends on what's more important to you. Do you need more storage space, or would you rather have a faster drive? That's a question that you have to answer for yourself.

    For the SSD, the prices may be comparable, but if you purchase the SSD yourself, you get to keep whatever HDD comes in your MBP. You can either take the HDD out and put it in an enclosure, giving you an external HDD for storage, or you can add an Optibay or something similar to replace the optical drive. That would allow you to have an SSD that you could use as your boot drive, and an internal HDD for storage. You could put the optical drive into an enclosure an use it as an external in case you ever need it. It all depends on what works best for you.

    An external monitor will connect through the Thunderbolt port (which is also a Mini Display Port or MDP). If you're using a non-Apple display, I think you'll have to use a Mini Display Port to DVI adapter. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong on that. I haven't connected my new MBP to my external monitor yet so I'm not positive.
     
  7. juice99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #7
    Awesome ! thank you for taking the time to answer my questions
    juice
     
  8. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    #8
    You're very welcome. I hope you really enjoy your new MBP! :D
     
  9. juice99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #9
    First time MBP purchase/juice99

    Thank you for your help eternal life !
    juice
     
  10. juice99 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #10
    Thanx vudoo !
    juice
     
  11. perfeng macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    #11
    Another Newbie --maybe

    i Have also been looking at the MBP and thanks for all the in-site on the ram and the processor speed. I currently run a Dell precision 4300 with 8gb ram, 500gb hard drive and xp64, after 4 tears of continuous use its time to upgrade before it dies. My concern is I run and application called Pro/Engineer (#D Solid Modeling CAD Program) and it does not run on a MAC. So i either need to use bootcamp or VM. I do have experience with VM. How well does a MBP run Windows 7 in bootcamp and how well does the graphics work ? my dell has a separate graphics card and the mpb 15 looks like it does also. I did read where it switches to the separate card when needed, how has that been working ? I asked the local Apple store to show me either of the above solutions and they don't have any in the store. Can that be true? Too much money to drop on a gamble that it will work.
     
  12. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    #12
    If I need to run Windows, I do it through Parallels. I haven't installed it on my new MBP yet, though. On my old MBP it ran fine, but I didn't do any graphic intensive work in Windows. I do know that a lot of people play Windows games on their MBPs though. Hopefully one of them will chime in and give you more info.

    The 15" MBP does indeed have two graphics cards, one integrated and one discrete. It will switch on its own when needed. There's also an app called gfxCardStatus that allows you to see which card is being used, and it also lets you switch between cards yourself if you want to.
     
  13. eternalife macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #13
    I run Windows 7 via Parallels and it works just fine. You shouldn't have graphics issues doing it. You can configure Parallels to supply as much hardware as you want to give it. You should be happy with it.
     

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