Getting a 15" - help!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Spadoinkles, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. Spadoinkles macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #1
    Hey guys.
    I will be traveling overseas within a month and will (almost definitely) be purchasing a 15" macbook pro, mainly for university (you strange Americans call it college). I'll be saving comfortably over NZ $1000 (Around US $800) simply from buying a relatively highly-specified model, to use while studying a Film degree and to meet my ever-increasing needs of processing my photography (large events & weddings) and of course, my film work. (Lighter everyday tasks included).

    I've been caught up in many different suggestions of configuring my macbook pro. Speaking with many friends of mine, some recommend I stay away from an SSD mainly because of the price-capacity ratio, and the fact that given my budget, the 128GB wouldn't suffice. Additionally if I were to add a larger conventional drive into Optibay, that would essentially rule out most of the advantages of SSD (apart from boot & launch time which I barely care about). Hence he reocmmends I wait out around 2 years before I 'rejuvenate' my mac (around halfway through its expected lifespan) with an SSD that should be larger, cheaper and more reliable.

    On the other hand, I've been really keen to do a 128 + 500/750/1TB configuration. I would store all my non-important things in my larger drive, and only important apps, OS and my current project files in the SSD. This would give me all the advantages of an SSD for my work that really does matter, and the non-important apps, music, thousands of emails & others in my conventional drive, which would be completely free of OS and large apps like CS5, FL, protools and the lot. I'll quite definitely be running Windows on there. 8GB RAM (with hopes of 16), antiglare, 2.2 with 6750M are pretty much certain.

    Since I do produce a significant amount of work through my DVD drive though (when I say significant I compare with the majority of users who touch it once or twice in their lifetimes :eek:) and retain the 128GB SSD. I could add a 32 or 64GB SD card, to leave more or less permanently in my Mac, for things such as my music files, email, and generally not-too-important stuff, just to boost the data strapped to my Mac. I would then run a FW800 500-750GB drive, and probably a larger >1TB desktop hard drive at home. This is a sketchy idea since SD cards cost even more $/GB and are much less reliable (and around the speed of a 2-year-old HDD)

    I quite like the idea of running an iPad via Air Display actually - I will have my home television when I'm watching movies or simply want a crap-quality but large display to work on, but since I'll be traveling a heck of a lot, using an iPad as a small external display does make sense compared to a full desktop LED display. For one, I can carry it everywhere, it's essentially a carry-around monitor I can use on my film sets (since I import footage straight into a Mac to save importing time), I can easily stow it away from my desk, and there's probably much fun to be had on it :p

    The biggest dilemma would be the fact I'd be wanting an even mre portable machine (MBA come Ivy Bridge), and I'm skeptical of this MBP over a longer term. I always drive every bit of juice from every bit of technology I have - in the last eleven years I've been through:
    1 AMD Athlon desktop and 1 Late-06 Whitebook
    1 ancient throw-at-a-brick-wall-proof Samsung phone, and last year my HTC Desire
    1 Creative Zen Touch
    You may have doubts at the absurd amounts of waiting time I play seeing my highly demanding uses but I take enormous amounts of care over my products - my five year old Whitebook still sees 86% or roughly 3 1/2 hours battery capacity (according to coconut) and has only just surfaced its very first body crack despite everything I've thrown at it from Premiere Pro, Final Cut, Photoshop and Parallels :D

    Suggestions please? And no, I think it's time to move on from my whitebook.
     
  2. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #2
    The classification for college is a single school. University is multiple schools. We have plenty of colleges here in the US ;)

    Go with an aftermarket 750GB/1TB hard drive for now.
    Also go with aftermarket 8GB RAM.
    The 15" is portable enough; I carry it everywhere. Also, it's like having an entire workstation in your backpack as compared to a weak little iPad.
     
  3. vitzr macrumors 68030

    vitzr

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Sage advice. I too carry my maxed out 15"'MBP very regularly. It's a great laptop, especially for resource intensive work like I do. None better.
     
  4. Spadoinkles thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #4

    Heck yes. Well, I see many people carrying the 15" and have a friend who walks around with his old pre-unibody 17" too.

    8GB afteramrket is a definite - saving of about NZ$90 through that (ahrdware prices are ridiculous over here in New Zealand..)

    How much better would a 750/7200 perform than Apple's stock 500/7200? Definitely looking at a 7200 for the sake of video encoding and we don't really get 1TBs here (that are 9.5mm and don't break in 3 months at least).

    Any recommendations over the SSD-HDD combo?

    If I get a optibay-ish thing. OWC or MCETech?
    Buy the SSD from Apple, or get a third party (Intel/OCZ) 120GB?

    Right now it's either stock Apple 128 + WD Black
    or aftermarket Intel/OCZ 120 + Apple stock 500 (Which is probably a cheapo WD or ****achi)

    Thanks :)
     
  5. Sonhascome macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Location:
    Maryland
    #5
    yea compared to windows pcs the 15" MBP is really very small, and easily portable.I would definitely recommend the 15" and upgrade it with aftermarket parts like the guy above mentioned.
     
  6. Spadoinkles thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #6

    Like above.. please read - I'm seeking advice to my HDD setup. I've decided on the 15" with antiglare, 6750M and aftermarket 8GBs of RAM already.

    Thanks :)
     
  7. awer25 macrumors 65816

    awer25

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    #7
    Get the cheap $24 optibay from eBay - the MCE and OWC are way overpriced for the same thing.

    As for the SSD, the Apple one is slower, but has less issues. I'd still vote for aftermarket SATA3.
     
  8. Spadoinkles thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #8
  9. awer25 macrumors 65816

    awer25

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    #9
    Get the first optibay - it has the Apple mounting holes to screw down the adapter.

    As for the HDD setup, I wanted an internal 1TB drive anyway, so I got the Apple 750GB and put it in a FW800 enclosure. I then installed the aftermarket 1TB and SSD. The Apple one is fine though.
     
  10. Spadoinkles thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #10
    First one's cheaper too!
    What are my possibilities of making my old superdrive an external USB/FW powered one?

    Have only heard bad and worse comments about 2.5" 1TB drives. They don't seem to come in 7200rpm anyway so that'll be out of the question. Leaning towards a WD Black if anything.

    I'd keep the SSD in the normal hdd bay and a cnventional 500 or 750 in the optibay am I correct? Hmmmm..
     
  11. awer25, Oct 24, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011

    awer25 macrumors 65816

    awer25

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    #11
    Sorry, I got the links confused. I meant second one that's ~$24.

    As for enclosures, the best value is just to buy an external Asus for $20 after rebate. Alternatively, you can spend $30 to buy just an enclosure from Maxupgrades that looks just like the Air's superdrive. It matches the MBP better but isn't build as well as the Asus. It is obviously slot load though, which is nice. I have both and still find myself using the Maxupgrades one more.

    Regarding HDDs, if you're doing the SSD+HDD setup, the RPM of the secondary storage drive is really meaningless. You'll get a lot more use out of the more reliable 9.5mm 1TB drive than the smaller 7200RPM one, and won't even notice a difference in speed. Spindle speed mostly helps with latency, which is a non-issue on storage drives where you read/write large, single files.
     
  12. Spadoinkles thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #12


    Hmm I was advised otherwise about the 5400 vs 7200, at least for video encoding if my files happen to be too large for the SSD. 7200 definitely allows for realtime whereas a friend of mine working on a 5400 showed me the difference - for general tasks I understand they're mostly similar though.

    The main thing that has put me off 2.5" 1TB are just the huge amount of failures I've heard - first hand too.

    As for the DVD enclosures these are sold in our local stores too and I'd definitely buy as little as possible from overseas after a bad experience a year or two ago :/
     

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