Flash storage? Other options? Upgrades?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by eprater2013, May 7, 2013.

  1. eprater2013 macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2013
    Kentucky, USA
    Hi! I'm new to this site, and seeing I have several questions regarding the MacBook, I thought this would be the place to start.

    I am about to purchase a MacBook Pro, and being I am not technologically savvy, I'm not sure which features I should pay to upgrade, and which I should leave alone.

    I know for a fact I am purchasing the MacBook Pro 15" with Retina Display.

    I will be using the MacBook for my undergraduate degree, (which I'm majoring in Biomedical Sciences), therefore I will have several biology, medical, anatomy & physiology, and math classes. I also plan to use the MacBook for Medical School in a few years.

    I also plan to use the MacBook for personal use, storing my iTunes library, pictures, etc. but also want to have room for all of school papers and documents without the risk of running out of space.


    Should I upgrade the processor from 2.7GHz to 2.8GHz?

    Should I upgrade the 512gb of flash storage to the 768gb?

    Thanks so much for everyone's expertise!
  2. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    Is all the software you're going to use Mac compatible?
  3. eprater2013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2013
    Kentucky, USA
    I'm not sure...I would assume so, as many other students attending the same school have a MacBook.

    At this point, the only software programs that I know I will be using will be Blackboard, and a math software, which I know has a version for Mac products.
  4. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    From what it sounds like you'll be using the Mac for, the processor upgrade doesn't sound necessary.

    And as for what size SSD, a lot of people are just fine with 512 GB. It all depends how large the files you'll need to keep and how many of them. Although a lot of stuff can accumulate over several years of use.

    Another thing you didn't mention was how much ram. You might want to consider 16GB especially since it looks like you're planning on keeping it for several years.
  5. johnnnw macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2013
    I'm just fine with 256GB. I have no reason at all to need to store 500gb of movies on my daily computer like some people seem to do.

    Get a external drive, carry the files you need.
  6. eprater2013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2013
    Kentucky, USA
    Thank you all for the advice. What exactly does the processor do in the MacBook?
  7. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    Processor upgrade:

    I would say no. .1 GHz and a few MB cache does not warrant $250 unless you constantly push the limit of CPU power on the machine. Geekbench shows it to be around 5% more powerful, so avoid that upgrade.

    SSD upgrade:

    No. In my opinion, $400 is too much for an extra 250 GB SSD. In fact, it's kind of ridiculous. Go with the 512, and perhaps put in a proprietary OWC SSD when prices fall soon (they are currently at around $600 for a 500 GB SSD).

    BTW, are you ordering the base model 15" rMBP, then upgrading to 512 GB SSD and 2.7 GHz processor? Or, are you just going the highest stock model with 16 GB RAM and the above items?

    The processor processes all the tasks you throw at the computer. Making a math calculation, for example, taxes the processor because it is a big process. Opening iTunes also uses the CPU, but it is more of a RAM issue.
  8. eprater2013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2013
    Kentucky, USA
    I plan to purchase a customized version from apple.com and choose which features I want. I do plan to go with the 2.7 GHz, although I'm not sure on much else.
  9. negativzero macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2011
    You might want to pony up for more storage space. As far as I know a lot of software for biomedical sciences is windows only so you will have to bootcamp, especially if you have computational biology classes. Ditto all that statistics software you will be using for biostatistics and those software you will need for simple DNA and protein modelling.

    I'm sure your school's labs will have those software but when you want to do your work over the weekend you will need those software on hand.

    Take it from someone who is a postgrad in biomedical science.
  10. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    Right, but is the version you want with none of the upgrades you are debating $2299 or $2799? If it is the latter, it comes with 16 GB RAM, which is probably the most important upgrade because you cannot upgrade the RAM afterwards are a little better CPU will not be that helpful in the future.

    I would just go base. $2799 for 512 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM, 2.7 GHz processor. The 768 option is a ridiculous price; don't think about it unless you really need 768 of storage. For word, you don't need that much. The 2.8 upgrade is also a very specialty upgrade and one which I would steer clear of due to the low performance gain/money spend ratio (5%/$250)
  11. onirocdarb macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    Why go with the 2.7?
    As many posters have already said, that money would be much better spent on more ram, a larger ssd, or some peripherals.
  12. eprater2013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2013
    Kentucky, USA
    I have been researching the difference between the Retina and without. I wasn't aware that the Retina Display model did not have an internal DVD drive...so now I am beginning to rethink the Retina model...

    Any suggestions?
  13. TheMTtakeover macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2011
    How big is your current iTunes library?
  14. eprater2013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2013
    Kentucky, USA
    My current iTunes library currently has around 300 songs, and will be expanding immensely when I get my new MacBook.
  15. fskywalker macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2009
    You can increase the SSD capacity later as it resides in a card that can be removed, but a 768 GB SSD will cost you around $1k on Ebay. You get to keep your factory supplied SSD card, which you can put on an exterior enclosure. If you can afford the bigger drive, would suggest to go for it.
  16. thecurryman macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2012
    honestly, if you are planning on being a science major then you wont be needing that. I am a science major myself (ive taken calc 1&2, orgo, bio, genetics, etc...) to be completely honest, all you will need is the base model (the lowest configuration) with 16gb ram. The only reason I say that is 1) the most processor intensive task you will do is probably going to be writing papers ;) 2) get the upgraded ram because as time goes on, tasks become more and more ram intensive. And trust me, once your in medical school there wont be time to research buying a new computer if yours cant handle it (you will be studying all the time) so id get the ram at 16gb but then leave everything else base (you can get an external hard drive)
  17. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    CPU upgrade is worthless and overpriced if you won't utilize it by making a profit on the added speed.

    SSD upgrade to 512gb for sure.

    2.4/16/512 is plenty.
  18. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    With the new MacBooks being announced in 1 month, I'd just hold off if possible. Surely you're not starting your degree until September time? Just judging by UK University - not sure about US.

    I won't bore you with technical details about what's expected with the new models, but simply; faster processor, better graphics, possible larger/cheaper SSDs. The latter is probably the only one that you'd be interested in...plus the fact you're spending money on new technology, rather than buying one-year old technology. At this kind of cost, that's important to some.

    Do not be fooled by the "New" on the Apple website. They bumped processor speeds by 0.1GHz a few months back to allow them to significantly drop the price of the 13", and have used it as a marketing opportunity.

    For the sake of a few weeks, better to wait (if you can) than spend $2500 on a MacBook that's going to be 'obsolete' from a manufacturing point of view in a matter of weeks. Whilst the current one will more than handle your needs, a newer model obviously provides better future-proofing and enhanced performance.

    Read this for more info: http://gizmodo.com/now-is-a-horrible-time-to-buy-a-laptop-496028699

    The whole argument is rendered irrelevant, though, if you really need this laptop now. Fact is, if you need it now, you've got to buy it now ;)
  19. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    I would check again on what OS most of your software will be running. Engineering used to be rather Windows heavy. If it is true what one poster said and you end up running bootcamp a lot the Apple notebook is a waste.
    Apple notebooks can run Windows but you loose most of the touchpad functionality and a lot of battery life. A real Windows notebook is simply better and more functional in Windows.
    Better to take a look at a Samsung Series 7.
    I costs much less. Has the optical drive although I consider that unimportant today. Usually software is provided from online servers and homework and stuff too. Only people that live in rural areas with bad internet still need optical drives.
    Battery life is much better on the Samsung especially compared to the Macs Windows battery life. The retina screen just is much less efficient than Samsung's 1080p Panel. It has great contrast panel. Is matte.
    You can add an SSD which is much cheaper in retail.

    Unless you want OSX I wouldn't choose the retina MBP. Not if you will end up booting into Windows often.
  20. fskywalker macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2009

Share This Page