Help me build a MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Julius Caesar, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. Julius Caesar macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2011
    Hi all, I could use some advice picking a MBP (both size and CPU/HD/ram selection). Right now I'm leaning towards the 13" model because my old laptop is a 15.4" windows book, and I wish it was more portable. I will be using a monitor or tv at home, so screen size isn't important, but I would consider going to 15 inches for the better hardware.

    I will mostly be using my computer for normal web stuff. However, I can't stand it when a computer runs slow. I should be able to download torrents at full speed and be able to watch 1080p videos with 15 tabs open on my browser and iTunes open.

    Will the base MBP 13 handle all of this? Can it handle games like starcraft 2 on medium settings?
    I read here that the i7 upgrade is probably not worth it for the price. Is 8gb ram overkill? I've never had a SSD. Is it a good upgrade to get?

    Sent from my Nexus S using Tapatalk
  2. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
    Considering that Starcraft 2's Mac requirements are an intel Core 2 Duo processor and 1gig of RAM, the 13" with an Intel dual core i5 and 4gigs of RAM would far exceed those requirements. Keep in mind that most here use the Mac for more than just playing games and surfing the internet.

    A SSD vs. traditional HD would be more beneficial if you were doing photo or video editing. 8gigs of RAM would help if you really need to have 15 tabs open on your browser at once.

    As to downloading torrents, aside from the legal aspect of that, keep in mind that less than legal software can potentially damage a computer, even a Mac.
  3. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    If only SSD's offered a decent amount of storage and were price/performance valued. Maybe someday they will offer up some 1 or 2 TB units that are reasonably priced. I have a 750 GB HDD in my MBP and find that it is a bit " small " at times. I find myself offloading old work, that is not really all that old on to an external HDD.

    I went to 8 GB RAM because it offered more " bang for the buck " performance when it came to photo editing and have multiple large files open at once.

    In that respect the RAM was the more beneficial upgrade.
  4. Julius Caesar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2011
    My experience has been that you need to far exceed the minimum specs for a game for it to be playable. I've just found an article on Anandtech that shows starcraft 2 to be unplayable with medium settings on the 13 " mbp (16.5 average fps). On low it's much better at 45.6 fps on average which is good enough for to have fun.

    Actually, this first thing i've read that made me consider other options like the envy 14 which perform better according to this article and cost less.
  5. CampDavid macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2010
    RAM wise I've jsut ordered my upgrade with Crucial.

    8GB RAM from new is £160 in the UK. Crucial charge £59.99 and the excess memory will go into my 2010 iMac making it a no brainer.

    I'm not really noticing any sort of performance issues at the moment but for £30 a machine it seemed worthwhile upgrading
  6. orfeas0 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    First of all, get an iphone. Just kidding.
    To your question, I would suggest the 13" but add an ssd. It will become a really fast machine, and quite cheap. You won't have much storage with the ssd, that's a disappointment, but have you considered optibay? If you don't need the dvd reader you can remove it and add a hard disk in its place.
  7. Julius Caesar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2011
    If I get an SSD I will either swap out the optical drive or get an external USB disk with at least 500gb.
  8. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    i would just go for the 13'' if starcraft will be minimal and you are willing to play on low during those times. not much sense in spending much more money for a 15'' just for starcraft. if you game a reasonable amount, you may want to go for the 15'' for the ded graphics, and maybe other alternatives to a mac if you game a lot. in terms of ram, upgrade it aftermarket. it's too overpriced to upgrade from apple directly. a ssd is probably the most worthwhile upgrade, but again you should do that aftermarket.

    if you want a mac and want to run games from time to time or quite often, i would suggest a low-end 15'' with 8gb (only cause it's cheap) aftermarket ram and ssd and use the stock hdd in an enclosure for your media files.
  9. Romeldo macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2011
    Well if you're just gonna surf the web on it, the 13" model should be sufficient. It has a pretty decent processor for everyday tasks but for gaming it probably wont be as good because it only uses integrated graphics. My old 13" 2009 mbp couldn't handle games very well but surfing the web was no problem. But upgrade to a SSD if possible because it really speeds up performance.
  10. Julius Caesar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2011
    Good call on the aftermarket ram -going to 8gb this way saves about $100. About the ssd: According to Anandtech only Apple's ssd will have TRIM support from the OS. Does this mean that an aftermarket SSD will degrade on performance after a while compared to Apple's offering?
  11. tombubi macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2011
    15 inch one has a dedicated graphic card while 13 inch one uses an Intel one. So if you want to play games, 15inch may be a better choice.
  12. RoyalFlushAK(s) macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2011
    OMG, Getting an Mac to play games and surf the Internet?

    Man---, that's some solid and serious reason to get a Mac and focus on games. lol, lol

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