Hello! I really need help deciding between two similarly spec'd used MacBook Pros.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by circa7, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. circa7 macrumors regular

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    #1
    The computer will be used to run Adobe CS Suite, Final Cut pro, Logic, Cinema 4D and a host of other high performance, demanding professional applications.

    They both have pros and cons, the late 2011 has a better GPU and slightly faster CPU plus more RAM. But the early 2011 model has the SSD. I know SSD affects boot times and makes the computer feel snappier, but I am more concerned with the overall experience. Please help. Im pulling my hair out. They are both the same price.

    System 1 EARLY 2011 $1,500.00 :

    2.3 GHz Quad i7
    Anti-glare screen
    12GB RAM
    512GB SSD
    6750m 1gb GPU

    System 2 LATE 2011 $1,500.00:

    2.4 GHz Quad i7
    Glossy screen
    16GB RAM
    750gb 7200rpm
    6770m (better) 1gb GPU

    Also, im reading all these threads about how its possible to modify the system profiler so it shows different specs. Is this for real? How can I check to make sure the specs listed are legit?
     
  2. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #2
    Definitely the later ("better") one. Not only are all the specs (other than the hard drive) better, but you can *never* upgrade the CPU or GPU down the road, whereas you can always add an SSD should you want to.

    Also, for about $300 more ($1.8K) you can get an Ivy Bridge processor (whereas the two choices you listed are Sandy Bridge), and a significantly better GPU (Nvidia GeForce 650M w/ 1GB VRAM). In fact, I almost bought one of the models you were looking at, but decided to just pay a little more for a better, more up-to-date, more recently released model :p
     
  3. circa7 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Did you get the glossy or the anti glare screen? I kind of like that about the older unit. And is the 6770 really that much better than the 6750, even at the same 1gb of vram? What kind of work do you use your computer for?
     
  4. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #4
    Mine comes with a glossy screen. But are you willing to sacrifice performance, for a better screen viewing when your outside (or directly in the path of light)?

    I'd doubt the 6770 is that much better than the 6750 (but every little spec matters, eh?). I'd have to look up benchmark performance tests.

    However, I did look up benchmark performance tests for the Nvidia vs the AMD card, and the Nvidia totally blows the AMD out of the water. It should make a pretty large difference especially because it seems like you plan on doing a lot of video editing.

    I haven't received my MBP yet (it's still shipping), but I did do a *ton* of research before purchasing it, and chose specs specifically for my intended uses. I plan on doing schoolwork, programming, some graphics editing, and quite a bit of gaming with it (gaming will be by far the most demanding, regarding specs).
     
  5. leman macrumors 604

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    #5
    I absolutely disagree with the first poster above. The first machine is a much better value, especially considering that 512Gb SSD alone costs $400 or more. The CPU and GPU differences are only marginal. To be honest, I would be suspicious why the first MBP is so cheap. The original price on that spec was close to $3000 (the 512GB SSD was a whopping $1100-1200 upgrade option!!)
     
  6. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #6
    His first post says that he is more concerned with the overall performance. He could *always* upgrade to an SSD in the future (especially because they'll only get cheaper) when he needs one. However, he can never upgrade the CPU and/or GPU.

    He also stated that he will be using demanding professional applications, so I'm trying to point out to him that he could get a much better computer oriented towards performance for only $300 more.
     
  7. brig2221 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I agree with the poster that "right now", the first machine is a much better value. However, as time moves forward, that value proposition will start to diminish given it has an older generation processor and GPU.

    I would suggest going with the second machine, and as other have noted, you get the new generation CPU and GPU's which should extend the life of the MacBook. I say that because at any time, you can decide to drop in an SSD yourself. Maybe you don't need a 512GB SSD, and would do fine with a 256GB SSD. If that's the case, you could put one in yourself now for $200 or less, and they will only get cheaper over time.

    In summary, the first model is the best value right now for sure given the large SSD. However, I think the second model will prove out to be the best value over time if you plan on keeping it for a few years, and will still have the ability to be upgraded (SSD) if and whenever you choose.
     
  8. leman macrumors 604

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    #8

    Between options 1) and 2) we are talking about a marginal slight boost in CPU/GPU clocks which translate to max 5% theoretical peak performance and close to 0% difference in real life. Not to mention that a marginally faster GPU won't have any positive effect in the applications OP is talking about, the only field where you might notice a slight improvement is gaming.

    A SSD will have a much higher impact on the overall feel of the machine.

    Its the same gen CPU/GPU, just clocked slightly higher.

    ----------

    Now, this I absolutely agree with. A retina MBP for example is not that more expensive, but brings lots of performance increases across the board with improved usability.
     
  9. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #9
    I was actually mentioning a better MBP, but not an rMBP.

    He'd also have to be willing to sacrifice the optical drive (CDs/DVDs, which he may or may not use as a video editer) for a *much* better screen (on the rMBP). The rMBP does however eat up more power than the normal MBP, he would never be able to upgrade his SSD or HDD, and neither his RAM (everything is soldered in on the rMBP). Considering that he thought about possibly upgrading the SSD, he'd have to order it up front with Apple. By the time he orders an rMBP with 16GB RAM (which he'll want, since he'll be using demanding professional applications), and a 512GB+ SSD, he'll be paying through the roof.
     
  10. leman macrumors 604

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    #10
    P.S. I just looked it up, and the CPU in the first MBP (2820QM) is actually on par with the second one (2760QM) because it has 2MB more cache. Benchmarks of both CPUs are pretty much identical.

    P.P.S. xShane, please, let's not turn it into another rMBP vs cMBP thread. I agree with you that a 2012 model would be a better investment than a used 2011 - let's just leave it there ;)

    P.P.P.S. Professional users have their data on a fast external USB3/Thunderbolt disk (or at leas they should). Another reason to get the 2012 model actually.
     
  11. circa7 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    You're making this so much harder on me :p


    I found a good deal on a 2012 model with a 650m but it's only 512mb VRAM. Will the 650m with 512mb VRAM be much better than a 6770 with 1gb of VRAM? The computer will mostly be connected to a 27" Thunderbolt display.
     
  12. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #12
    Sorry mate, but I'm just trying to make sure you're happy with your final choice :)

    I remember asking the same question about the 650M awhile back, and for the most part, everyone agreed with the fact that the 650M is such a great, powerful card, but how it's a joke how it only comes with 512mb and not a full 1GB.

    Also, when using an external display, your GPU has to work harder to render.

    I'd try to find the 650M with a full 1GB if you can.
     
  13. leman macrumors 604

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    #13
    The 650m is definitely faster, even with 512Mb VRAM. If I am not mistaken, the GPU is not that important to the application you listed anyway (but don't take my word on this one).
     
  14. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #14
    Another very strong point on why to get a 2012 model. The previous models only have USB 2.0 whereas 2012 models have USB 3.0.
     
  15. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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  16. circa7 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    All the 2012 refurbs in my price range come with barely any ram or slow 5400rpm hard drives. I guess Ill keep looking..
     
  17. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #17
    5400 rpm drives aren't *that* bad.

    Also, you can upgrade to 16GB RAM for only $85. I wouldn't let "barely any ram" discourage you from making a purchase (and yes, although only officially up to 8GB RAM, they go up to 16GB RAM).

    And if you don't mind me asking, what's your price cap you're willing to pay for a MBP? Maybe I can help.
     
  18. circa7 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Oh, wow, I thought it was more than that. Not bad. Well, I have a 27" Thunderbolt display in the mail from Apple so I better hurry up and decide on a laptop, otherwise I just bought a $1000 piece of eye candy. :D
     
  19. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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    #19

    ^^^ what he said. They can accept up to 16GB. Upgrade down the road.
     
  20. circa7 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    I really don't want to spend more than $1500 since I'm also buying a 27" display which is $900 with tax for a refurb. I guess I can fudge a little if absolutely necessary. I just found a 2.3ghz retina MacBook Pro with 8gb ram and 256gb SSD being sold locally for $1700. But then id need to buy another HDD and buy more ram. I don't even think I need retina, id rather pay for more horsepower than the display, especially since it will be connected most of the time. Am I missing something?
     
  21. Ploki macrumors 68000

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    #21
    there is 5-10mb/s difference between scorpio blue 1TB and scorpio black 750GB.
     
  22. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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    #22
    Lol why not get a different display or just get an imac?
     
  23. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #23
    You *CANNOT* upgrade the SSD/HDD OR the ram in a rMBP. Everything is soldered in. What you get is what you get.

    Also, you could buy a non-Apple display, for cheaper, with as good, or better specs.
     
  24. circa7 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    I said most of the time, not all of the time. My work requires the portability.
     
  25. Ploki macrumors 68000

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    #25
    Come on, you know better than that. SSD is replaceable. You can't get HDD in though.

    Maybe in 13" down the line..
     

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