How much speed(cpu/processer) do I need

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JoshOohAh, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. JoshOohAh macrumors member

    JoshOohAh

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #1
    Hey, whats up? ... long story short like most people on this site who have had and still are having bad experiences with windows. I was first going to build a computer but i thought why would i put myself through this torture again sure it would run faster for the price but to me i like to broden my horizons and try new things. Also I got some b-day money and i plan on getting a small loan from my parents for a brand new macbook pro (13 inch). I figured now was the perfect time because i know someone in university who i can put the macbook's name under and get a free iTouch!!!!!! plus save $100 off the cost.

    So I was browsing the new prices and I plan on ordering it this weekend so I needed to make up my mind on the speed(cpu/processer) I need. I plan on having 4 GB of ram and 250 GB HD. The main use out of it would be for a few adobe programs such as: Dreamweaver, Flash Professional, Photoshop, Fireworks, Indesgin. Also I plan on having MS Office for compatiblity, iWork, Final Cut Pro (not using it to its full potential just simple things like green screening and some graphic effects), Skype, Msn, Virtual desktop (if thats what its called where you run windows within your mac in a window), and firefox. Should I go with the 2.26 ghz or the 2.53 ghz configuration I'm leaning towards the 2.26 but I feel it will be too slow and i might somewhere down the line regret it?

    I do have a second question which is very simple. What information is needed on the apple site to prove your a university student and get the iTouch/$100 discount because i need to ask the person i know for that stuff so i can have it this weekend?


    THANKS FOR ANY HELP!!!
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    It's only 266 MHz of difference. One clock speed multiplier. That amounts to seconds shaved off if you're lucky.
     
  3. illegallydead macrumors 6502a

    illegallydead

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado!!!
    #3
    The difference is pretty insignificant, all said and done. You may notice a bit of a difference, but IMO probably not enough to justify the upgrade cost. The RAM and the HDD speed will make the most noticable difference. On that note: are you getting a 7200rpm HDD? They do make a very noticable difference in system "snappiness", so I would highly recommend them.

    As for what you need: if I recall correctly, all you needed was a university email account to sign up. You may need a student ID #, but I don't recall needing that. Apple is pretty good about just trusting that you will do the right thing, which is pretty nice :)
     
  4. JoshOohAh thread starter macrumors member

    JoshOohAh

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #4
    thanks for all of that but i believe 7200rpm isnt an option on the apple website for the 13 inch macbook pro

    also i will ask to set up an account under the person i know in university's email and ask for a student ID since you never no.
     
  5. mrj205 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Virginia
    #5
    You will be fine with the 2.26. You should be fine down the road, but I always advise people to buy what they can afford. The 2.53 will probably have better resell value down the line. The US Apple Store (online) doesn't require any documentation/information to get student pricing. You simply have to agree to a waiver saying you are a student/educator/buying for a student.
     
  6. JoshOohAh thread starter macrumors member

    JoshOohAh

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #6
    THANKS! but i dont plan on reselling my laptop i will get the absoulte most out of it until it there is a problem that cant be fixed and then take any useful parts out eg.ram and then blow it up
     
  7. giffut macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #7
    Here ...

    .... are the "Terms and Condition" defining purchase via the Apple Store Education: http://images.apple.com/promo/pdf/BTS09_TermsConditions-US_v2.pdf

    Now regarding memory and harddrive: I wouldn´t buy it from the Apple Store itself, but from a recommended third party, like OWC here: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Apple_MacBook_MacBook_Pro/Upgrade/DDR3 You see the 4GB (2x2GB modules) listed here for US$69,- and a 500GB 7200rpm HD drive for US$99,- - get them there. For the same money you get much less value from Apple. You won´t loose any warranty on switching those parts: they are user servicable. Keep the old harddrive just in case you need to send in your MacBook to Apple for warranty repairs.

    4GB is a best spot for your workload at the moment; 4GB modules are too expensive anyways. A 500GB 7200rpm drive gets you one of the fastest interl HDs at the moment. The next step would be a good SSD drive - but they are pretty costly, too. Like already mentionned: the .3 difference in CPU speed is just that: a 10% gap, nothing more. In real world performance you won´t notice it, that´s just for sole CPU based crunching, like heavy rendering (if you would be serious about those, you wouldn´t choose a MacBook anyways, as this is Mac Pro territory).

    What is most important for you is to get a external harddrive to backup your MacBooks internal drive. I would recommend this here: http://www.newertech.com/products/ministackv3.php Get what you can afford (if you need to save here, get the drive cage and HD separately). For backup it would be good to clone your MacBooks harddrive to the external one. If you get a 1TB or even 2TB drive, you can partition it and dedicate one of those exactly the same size as the HD in your MacBook. The good reason for this is to have a bootable copy of your system HD, just in case the one in your MacBook goes belly up. Use another one for a time machine backup. If you can afford to buy two external drives, you can use one of them for a separate time machine backup - just reduce the update frequency to 12 hours (that´s my recommendation):http://timesoftware.free.fr/timemachineeditor/

    As it was already mentionned: Choose as you can afford, but choose wisely. And never buy for future, but for now ;-)
     
  8. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #8
    Recently bought a keyboard from the Apple store - I did have to give them my SID number and university, FYI. Also, I take it you are getting Final Cut Express for chroma-keying (just curious).

    Also, with what giffut said.... Yes on all that. But personaly, if you are going to drop $100+drive price on a MiniStack v3, use the FW800 cable to make sure you aren't choking the throughput of the hard drive.:D
     
  9. illegallydead macrumors 6502a

    illegallydead

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado!!!
    #9
    As giffut has said, it is much better to upgrade these components yourself. You will get higher quality components, more options, and all for a better price. Do not be intimidated about doing this yourself; even though you now have to take off the whole back, it should still be a straight-forward procedure...
     
  10. JoshOohAh thread starter macrumors member

    JoshOohAh

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #10

    THANKS A LOT FOR YOUR HELP!!! but i have a few questions based off what you said

    1. would you recommend this hd http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Seagate/ST9320421AS/

    2. how would I install Leopard on it after buying the new hd?

    3. I still dont understand why i need an external drive to have a backup of my files? I know you mentioned something about having one for time machine but I dont know if i need my files to be backed up? maybe you can prove me wrong but im just curious
     
  11. illegallydead macrumors 6502a

    illegallydead

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado!!!
    #11
    1. Don't know, I have Western Digital myself...

    2. Check out this guide

    3. If you don't know why you need backups, well, then you definitely need backups. Mac's are not infallible (yet :p) and may be just as prone to hard drive failure as PC's. In the event that that does occur, having a backup of your data allows you to get back on your feet quickly with your OS just the way you left it, and without losing ALL of your personal data. Trust me, you want backups.
     
  12. JoshOohAh thread starter macrumors member

    JoshOohAh

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #12
    thanks for the guide and i was wondering if i could use this adapter http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer Technology/U2NV2SPATA/ and attach my 500 gb current pc hardrive (format it) to it and use that as an external drive? or could i even use the one that comes with my mac since im buying mine from a 3rd party?
     
  13. giffut macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #13
    Yes, ...

    ... this adapter would work, but do use it carefully, because bare HDs have their electronics open in the wild - you don´t want to touch them with anything else than air. If it´s a backup drive, a case would give it some minor protection against those instances. I would only use it for situations, where you need to access a harddrive fast or in between installation.

    Now: For a clone of your system drive, you want a firewire based case, because then you just can boot your MacBook from it, when emergency keeps knocking. A good shop for cases to search for would be http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/

    Backup is essential - when you loose the harddrive, your machine´s head is gone. We people can´t clone our heads, but with computers, you can do. Believe me: Very soon you will have precious things on there you don´t want to loose. And it will happen right out of the blue, you can´t possibly predict it to react fast enough. Just deal with it: When you use a computer, you utilize a backup strategy. The easiest and most reliable would be to have a cloned system drive; a timemachine backup might follow. That means two somehow complete replications of your system files, one of them bootable and therefore immediately workable (and the possibility to repair the failure from there).

    I learned it myself the hard way; and even with active backup strategies you might come into very sweaty situations.

    PS

    I don´t endorse those resellers, but I heard nothing but good things from them. Any recommendation from the forum here should give you substantial quality choices.
     
  14. JoshOohAh thread starter macrumors member

    JoshOohAh

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #14
    i understand why i need backup and thanks for helping me understand so i do intend to backup drive but i didnt fully understand what you were saying about getting cases? do you mean i should get a protective case for my current windows hd (after i format it) if i use that adapter? and you mentioned something about having one for backup and one for time machine i thought they were the same thing? You explained that one is bootable but then what would the purpose of the other one be?

    THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP SO FAR! sorry if my questions have been a little stupid but i just want to ensure my mbp is perfect
     
  15. giffut macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #15
    No, ...

    ... I just meant when dealing with bare harddrives, do be very very cautious, that´s all: Be gentle, be soft ;-)

    A case protects a harddrive from those "first contacts", so to speak - but it´s no necessity - it does help, though. Do also think about, that with those adapters you reattach a harddrive much more often, which certainly can wear out the connectors - this happend, e.g., to me with a SATA drive. Oh boy, was I pissed, as even a hardwired repair didn´t resurrect the HD. The connector was gone, the HD itself perfect, but I no longer had access to it: 350GB of high resolution negative film scans where gone - a couple of weeks work (You see: You just can´t swap the HD´s logicboard with one from a similar drive, as firmware saves individual information about defunct sectors asf.).

    Murphy´s Law - "Do you no ever forget it" (Jim Passadena).
     
  16. JoshOohAh thread starter macrumors member

    JoshOohAh

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #16
    alright so i decided i am going to use my current windows hard drive as a backup (after i format it). then my friend and i are going to build a case to make it look cool and cut out a hole for the connector to get in and a latch to open it up and take the hd out

    AND THANKS A MILLION FOR HELPING ME WITH THE PURCHASE OF MY NEW MACBOOK PRO
     

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