Help Me Config My 15 "MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cuse7284, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. cuse7284 macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2010
    Freelance graphic designer in serious need of a new macbook pro. Decided on the 15" current Macbook Pro but wanted some advice as far as my configuration. Here is the one I think I want:

    15" macbook pro
    3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    8GB RAM
    500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm Hard Drive
    Matte Display
    Apple Care

    Still, even with an education discount (grad school) its still around $3,200 which is expensive. I have no problem spending around this much knowing that my computer is my career (photoshop, illustrator etc) but still.

    Wanted to see if anyone has any input on what I might/might not need to add to the 15" confirgation. For example maybe I only need 4 GB and can get more later.

    Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    ps. I am not waiting for an "update" so please do not respond with that advice. Ive spent plenty of time on the "waiting for.." thread. Thanks
  2. atari1356 macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2004
    You won't see much of a difference in speed between the 2.8GHz option and the upgraded 3.06GHz. I'd save the $270 and get the 2.8GHz.

    Also, consider getting the 8GB of ram from a third party, like OWC ( Going by this, it looks like you can get an 8GB kit for as low as $350:
  3. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003
    I think you have made a great selection! Here are my humble suggestions:

    1. Are you buying the 8GB RAM from Apple? You can save yourself a bunch of money if you buy from New Egg or another 3rd party and do it yourself.

    8GB of RAM really is nice! I teach at a university and freelance on the side. The extra ram really helps with Photoshop and VMWare.

    2. Just a thought: If you bought the RAM 3rd party and went 2.8 Ghz, would that offset the price enough that you could go 17"? Not that there is anything wrong with the 15" but I bet you could use the extra resolution (1920 x 1200 vs 1440 x 900) as a GD. :)

    3. Do you know anybody in higher education? Best Buy gives $250 off for educational pricing. I just bought my MBP in November and that is what they gave me (I had to show them my faculty card but I believe its for students too).

    Good Luck!

  4. cuse7284 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2010
    Thank You

    I was given the suggestion to upgrade to 3.06GHz bc theres no way to upgrade once you decide on this. Figure if I have this computer as long as my last apple laptop (powerbook , which lasted 5 years!) then I might as well go all out and do this.

    As far as the RAM, i was also told that I can get this much ram for much cheaper somewhere else besides apple. BUT I was also told that with the new unibody design it makes it harder to install?! and could possibly void applecare for this portion of my computer?! Not sure if that makes any sense...

    Thank you very much for your feedback. I really really really do appreciate it
  5. WHM macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2008
    I see nothing wrong with your choice...but I would buy the extra ram elsewhere !! Much cheaper... I always max my laptop ram after taking delivery
  6. cuse7284 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2010

    RE the 17 inch. I went back and forth on this forever and here's my thoughts. I have always had 15 inch laptops. They always have felt the perfect size for me. Yes the 17 has been recommended by everyone else in my field (bc of the extra real estate as well as the higher res) but I travel a lot and like to have the flexibility of the 15 that the 17 doesnt have. I already scoped out a 23-inch Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 which I plan on using with the 15 inch to give me the bigger screen I needed while at home. I just think the 17 is overkill and never feels comfortable to me...


    Was there any issues getting it installed on the unibody? Any idea bout this apple care void thing? Also, if I bought it cheap online, dont I then have to pay someone to install? How much does that usually cost?

    Sorry for all the q's
  7. Sneakz macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  8. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    $3k is way too much for a c2d system. i know you said you don't want to wait for a new update, but unless you need the laptop right now, and don't have another one to hold you over, wait until the update.
  9. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    There is a an door holding the ram in, held in by two screws, it's not hard to install. Same goes for the hard drive, you can upgrade it yourself for cheaper.

    Apple cannot void your warranty if you replaced your ram, it's considered a user replacable part(same goes for your HD), whoever told you this is flat out wrong. Also, the magnuson-moss warranty act prevents any company from voiding warranties due to modification to their product unless they can prove the modification is what is causing the problem their product is going into warranty for. (Basically, two very good reasons why your buddy is totally wrong, one being a Law.)

    3.06Ghz is your call, I doubt you'd see a difference in day to day use, but it certainly can't hurt.

    Hope this helped!
  10. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    The 3.06 is only 9% faster than the 2.8. Even a few years down the line you probably won't notice the difference because something else will be a bottleneck (most likely the hard drive or GPU or USB2.0). Imagine if you had a computer with a 3GHz Pentium 4 right now. Now imagine you had a 3.3GHz Pentium 4 instead. Both are going to be really slow compared to a current Core2Duo or i3/i5/i7. Now take the same thing and project it ahead. It won't matter if you have a 2.8 or a 3.06 when everything else is twice as fast and 4 or 8 or more cores.
  11. cuse7284 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2010
    I know. Your right. But im out a computer. I actually might have found a way to get my harddrive that blew out on my powerbook replaced for free (died under 1 year warrenty). If thats the case, I will most likely just use my powerbook until something new comes out. Regardless, this has been extremely helpful information. I appreciate all the advice
  12. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    You already heard some great advice here. Like others have recommended, I would purchase the RAM elsewhere and also step down to a 2.8GHz CPU. I would suggest that the money that you save, you put towards an SSD. That will really put your computer into overdrive. If you're willing to go that route, you may want to step down your MBP to the cheapest HD Apple offers, and then get an after-market SSD. If you need more capacity than what your SSD will offer, you can pick up a 500GB FireWire 800 WD Studio drive for a little over $100. That would keep you pretty mobile and you would have one fast system. Alternatively, if you're willing to do that, you can remove your SuperDrive and put in an extra HD in the empty bay. You can get an HD adapter that you'll need for about $50.
  13. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    You do realize you pay 3000 bucks for a Notebook that is slower than some 800 bucks Samsung or Acer Notebook with Arrendale. Not that I wouldn't say a Apple is worth some money, but it doesn't make much sense to max out a config like that, which is slower than some sub 1000$ Notebook anyway.
    Just take the standard config and upgrade the RAM yourself if you can't wait.

    If you want a serious performance increase get OCZ Vertex Pro 2 or LE or Crucial/Micron RealSSD C300 with the new SandForce Controller. That is a seriously fast SSD and since the harddrive is often the biggest bottleneck, it makes a big difference. It is 400 bucks for 128GB/100GB though and twice as much for double capacity. But if you don't miss the extra hdd space it is at least a more than noticeable difference compared too 300$ for an indistinguishable CPU upgrade. And it helps battery life a little too and off course it is dead silent.
  14. clindner macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2006
    I was wondering if you had considered getting an iMac and a MBP together?

    You could get a more powerful system for less money with the iMac when you are home, and have a cheaper than $3200 laptop for when you are mobile.

    Then, when the newer MBPs come out, you won't feel so bad about spending money on that, not having spent 3 grand on an outdated machine.
  15. robotkiller macrumors 6502


    Oct 25, 2009
    I would not get the 3.06 over 2.8. I would also max out the memory with aftermarket RAM ( as opposed to Apple RAM. SSD HDD is also a great idea.

    I know others have said this already, but it bears repeating. Spending over 3K on a Core2Duo 15 inch laptop with 1440x900 resolution is absolute lunacy. I recognize the need to get a computer right now but you should really wait when spending this much money.
  16. CP123 macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2008
    If the OP followed the advice here, how much will he/she save?
  17. cloroxbleach4 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2007
    If you're buying the high-end 15" MBP I would consider purchasing the ADC student membership and save some money with your one-time hardware discount.

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