From 1st Gen to Now Gen. A 17" review.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MacRumorsReader, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. MacRumorsReader macrumors member

    MacRumorsReader

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    #1
    I had (and still have) been using a 1st gen MBP that has 2 gig of RAM, a 2.16 processor and a (just installed) 500 GB hard drive. It has served me well these many, three years.

    But it is also the main house machine and since I am starting school next week, I wanted a machine that I could take with me. The school program is basically a full time job: 10 hour days (including travel) and enough homework to fill up the long three/four day weekends we get through the summer.

    But enough about that. Let's get to the machine. To start: If you want to see pictures, the are everywhere; online. Mine looks just like all the ones that match the spec in my signature.

    I am really liking the big button/clicking trackpad. It's very easy to use and all the "gestures" make it a breeze to navigate the big thing. Also, being able to "right click" using two fingers and a push is really cool, to me. I'd also like to say a word about computer screens: How does anyone really appreciate (if that's the right word) a glossy screen over a matte screen. I dislike glossy screens so much, I payed the "Apple premium" just to avoid it. Don't get me wrong, though. I had thought that when I did buy me a new portable, it'd be the 17 incher.

    Going from 2.16 to 3.06 and from a bus speed of 667 to 1076 and from DDR2 to DDR3 RAM is noticeably faster even without arbitrary tests. I've not whipped a stopwatch but everything is wonderfully faster. Go to and waking from sleep (which I didn't think could get any faster), launching applications, start-up, surfing the web, playing around in Final Cut Studio (as well as more serious work); It's all just faster.

    And prettier.

    The screen is amazing. The jump in resolution from 1440 x 900 to 1920 x 1200 (A 56.25% increase in real estate) is just icing. The brightness, the overall "look", this thing just POPS! ...and that's with a matte screen!

    The optical drive is better, too. Well, that's enough about that. Only because I'm thinking of dropping it and adding in another 500 GB drive that I will stripe RAID for SPEED! I think it doubles the performance? (yeah, that's supposed to be a "ha-ha" funny).

    Switching between video cards is about the dumbest thing ever. To do so, you go to the Energy Saver Pane and click a button. That should be the end of story but alas, you must logout/login. That means if you are working on something you have to save it and then re-open it. I'm guessing most just put it on the 9600M GT and leave it. Also, why didn't they put in a better mobile card. Better ones exist. It must be one of those cost saving measures. Besides, it's still an upgrade to me. My 1st gen MBP has the Radeon x1600

    Other quickies: I like the keyboard although I wish the keys were aluminum. It's way cool to be using the machine, unplugged and look up and see that I still have over 6 hours left. I don't know what they (Apple) were thinking by not having an ExpressCard option on the 15. I think that'll be a quick refresh in say... 2 months. The new machine is 1 lb. heavier and then 1 inch deeper and a little under 2 inches wider. I think that's pretty impressive. I was able to install all the software in about half the time that it took me to do it all the 15 (I just reinstalled it all when I upgraded the drive). CS3 crawled to an install on the 1st gen but made great time on the new machine.

    Programs that I installed: CS3, Final Cut Studio (lots of fun programs!), Shake and Microsoft Office. Then I ran all the updaters and they took just as long as installing the programs.

    I have been naming all of my Apple devices with "Silver" in the name. My iPod is Little Silver, my 1st gen is Big Silver (Now Bigger SIlver with the new drive), my (free) touch is Silver Touch and the new machine is simply "Silver" or Ag for short.


    Any questions?
     
  2. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030

    NovemberWhiskey

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    #2
    I'm going to purchase the same MBP.

    Are you running any virtualization software (VMware Fusion, Parallels, Virtualbox, etc.?)

    How does it run? Delay/drag/battery life?

    How about bootcamp?
    battery life?
     
  3. MacRumorsReader thread starter macrumors member

    MacRumorsReader

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    #3
    I haven't set up any Windows stuff. I did on my old machine but I haven't used any of it for at least a year.
     
  4. kockgunner macrumors 68000

    kockgunner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    #4
    Thanks for taking the time to write this nice review. Wow, it the new 17 inch machine that much bigger than the old one? What do you mean when you say it's impressive though--that they managed to make the computer have better specs, but made it bigger in the process? I would think making it smaller or the same size would be more impressive. I agree about having a different keyboard though. The new ones seem quiet at first, then they get shiny and clacky.
     
  5. MacRumorsReader thread starter macrumors member

    MacRumorsReader

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    #5
    What I am saying i that it isn't all that much bigger than the 15". Like I said in another thread: an inch here, a couple of inches there and a pound heavier.

    But you get 56% more screen and 50% more processor. Of course I'm comparing it to a three year old machine, though. Not to mention the machines are different all around: 15 vs 17.
     
  6. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030

    NovemberWhiskey

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    #6
    I totally agree. I really don't understand how people think the 15'' is that much more convenient in terms of portability.

    Is it really 56% more screen though? Is that because of the added resolution when compared ot the 15?
     
  7. MacRumorsReader thread starter macrumors member

    MacRumorsReader

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    #7
    Yeah. It's based on pixels. The "math" is above.
     
  8. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #8
    OP:: argh! just argh! i am incredibly jealous! i am still currently on my 2.16GHz CoreDuo MBP like you were, i am pretty sure i will be stuck on this machine for a good 2 years because i cannot afford anything new.. its so slow and painful - i run FCP/DVD SP, parallels, office and 20 tabs of safari normally all at the same time haha!! painful! so have fun with it!!!
     
  9. gødspeed macrumors regular

    gødspeed

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    I'm getting the same machine (except, glossy)... should be here tomorrow!
     
  10. sascha h-k macrumors 6502

    sascha h-k

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    vienna / austria
    #10
  11. simonpickard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
  12. sascha h-k macrumors 6502

    sascha h-k

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    vienna / austria
    #12
    please search here in the forum .. ;)
     
  13. LedCop macrumors regular

    LedCop

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    #13
    I have a few comments though.

    It seems lots of upgraders here came from first gen classic MBPs... who went on to buy the first gen unibody. :D (The 17s are still sorta first gen I think).

    I agree that the logout thing is dumb. I'm sure Steve Jobs thinks it's stupid too. Hopefully Snow Leopard will fix that. And I must confess, I waste my discrete graphic card by running it usually on the 9400M. :eek: First reason is that logout thing! If I need to suddenly pick up and go, I really don't wanna have to close everything, logout and start all over to get the best battery life. Second would be the extra heat of the 9600M GT.
     
  14. MacRumorsReader thread starter macrumors member

    MacRumorsReader

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    #14

    VMWare had a good "no hoops" academic discount that i took advantage of. It's running way better than I remember.

    I'll most like set-up a "real" Windows experience (with Boot Camp's help) a little later.
     
  15. MacRumorsReader thread starter macrumors member

    MacRumorsReader

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    #15
    Thanks for the numbers. They look pretty nice to me.

    Any gaming comments?
     

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