Is going for the 2.5 Ghz Non-Unibody 15" Worth It?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by groove-agent, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. groove-agent macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Hey all,

    I currently have a 17" Santa Rosa and am looking to go to a 15" for weight purposes. I originally bought a new unibody 15", but did not like the glossy screen. So at the moment, I'm hunting for a 15" non-unibody. I'm going to miss the performance of the new 15s, so I'm trying to get the fastest 15" non-unibody I can find.

    Anyway, this leaves me to a 15" 2.4Gz and a 15" 2.5 Ghz. Obviously a 2.5 is harder to find as I believe it was the high-end 15" before they went to the unibody. Obviously 100Mhz isn't going to make a huge difference, but I did notice that it had 6 MB of cache vs the 3MB cache of the 15. Also, the 15 has twice the video memory (512MB) compared to the 2.4Ghz which is great because I like to play World of Warcraft on occasion.

    Does anything think it's worth paying a little extra money for the 2.5?
     
  2. fartheststar macrumors 6502a

    fartheststar

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    #2
    A little extra - yes, for the things you described.
     
  3. mike5411 macrumors regular

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    #3
    2.6 ghz was the highest BTO option on the previous generation mbp
     
  4. Battlefield Fan macrumors 65816

    Battlefield Fan

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    #4
    I don't know how soon you need a new mbp but apple MAY (since 17" has it) add it as a BTO option. That way you will have up to date specs.
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #5
    The previous 15" MBP isn't going to be noticeably slower than the current one. We're talking about a few percent based on tests. I rarely care what the actual specs say. I haven't seen any test that has shown that the 2.4 GHz Unibody 15" MBP has a speed advantage over the last generation 15" MBP "classic". Same goes for the 2.53 GHz and the 2.66 GHz options.

    The difference in graphics performance isn't much either, and neither is screen brightness. If anything, blacks won't be as black, but you'll also notice more grey levels in dark scenes. Look at this comparison.

    The old model also has a better battery life overall. If you're only surfing the web, then there won't be a difference. However, when watching a movie on battery power, there seems to be a significant difference. See here.


    Depending on the price of the previous 15" MBP 2.5 GHz version, I'd get it.
     
  6. kajitox macrumors 6502a

    kajitox

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    #6
    I really personally don't think you'll notice much of a difference. I would spend the money upgrading the RAM instead and you'll see visible performance differences.
     
  7. thekingrobert macrumors newbie

    thekingrobert

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    #7
    I had a similar problem like this but i picked the 2.4 because it came with a software package
     
  8. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

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    #8
    I got the 2,5 classic when the Unibody came out. Mostly because of convenience of having FW 400 and 800 as I use it mostly for video editing. I can´t compare it to the Unibody, but I have used it for 5 months now and it really holds up well when pushed hard with HD editing. Go get it.
     
  9. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #9
    As the demands on graphic cards steadily increase over time, the 512 mb card may possibly be usable for a longer period, though I realize the futility of trying to future proof a current purchase.
     
  10. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #10
    The chip on the cards is the same, regardless of whether your have 256 or 512MB vRAM. Unless you are doing EXTREMELY GPU intensive tasks where a lot of vRAM is required (such as playing the latest games like GTA IV and Crysis) you won't see any benefit whatsoever to having 512.
     
  11. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #11
    Yeah, but I could see that extra video ram making a difference a couple of years down the road.
     
  12. Dustman macrumors 65816

    Dustman

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    #12
    He's right about a stronger graphics card lasting you longer down the road, but i'm not so sure it would make a difference if it was just the same card with more MB. Weak video cards is what killed the G3 iMacs. Might still be sort of kinda useful for something now adays if they didnt have that "Rage 128" 8/16 MB card.
     
  13. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #13
    I think you could argue that the last gen 12" powerbook with it's nvidia card with 64 meg of video ram is slightly more usable today than the last 12" ibook with its ati card with only 32 megs.
     
  14. G.T. macrumors 6502a

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  15. zero85ZEN macrumors regular

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    #15
  16. groove-agent thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Thanks for your reply.

    I'm not sure if I agree with the above. I ended up buying a 15" MBP and currently own a 2.4 17" Santa Rosa. I'd say the speed improvement is quite noticeable. The uMBP is definitely peppier and more responsive. When playing World of Warcraft, you definitely notice the speed difference. I can run with all the advanced options on comfortably (full screen glow, advanced shadows) while the Santa Rosa struggles with the advanced options.

    I can't vouch for the 15" SR battery life, but I know that the uMBP beats my 17" battery life quite a bit, particularly when you change to the integrated graphics.

    The main reasons persuading me to go with the uMBP is the second SATA hard drive option plus the rumours regarding the 8600GT failure. I may have a lead on a SR 15", but if that doesn't work out I might just keep the uMBP.
     
  17. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

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    #17
    You´ll be happy either way. As regarding WoW, the 17" has a full HD (1920*1200) screen don´t it?
    The 15" only has 1440*900 so it should run the game easier?
     
  18. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

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    #18
    I don't think they're that hard to find. I regularly see the 2.5 MBP classic in the Apple refurb store. They do go quickly but they always come back :) you might want to try there

    Also in terms of performance, I dare say they're pretty much equivalent to the current unibodies so you won't be losing out there. The only wildcard is the 8600 gpu but if you're not gonna be stressing the card out all the time, I don't foresee any failures happening soon.
     
  19. groove-agent thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Good point.

    But you should see WoW on the new 24" cinema! I'd like to see my SR pull that one off. :)
     
  20. groove-agent thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    After all my complaining about the new uMBPs, I've decided to stick with mine. I just didn't want to stick with the 8600GT given it's track record.
     
  21. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #21
    The 8600s are fine. It won't give you any trouble. It's only the earlier ones that caused trouble. The 2.5GHz version costs roughly 1G less than the 2.66GHz uMBP. That's official refurbished from the Apple Online Store.
     
  22. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #22
    If you don't mind me asking, what's your source for this assertion? There's articles on enquirer and tom's hardware which state that they all may have problems. Then again, these articles all seem to date from late summer '08.
     
  23. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #23
    Here's where I got my info:

    Engadget

    So if the GPU fails, at least for Apple, Apple will replace it for free and out of warranty. This is similar in the repair policy as regards to the cracking palmrest for polycarbonate MacBooks.
     
  24. groove-agent thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Now if you get it replaced, do they replace it with a non-defective one or do you have to wait until that one fails?
     
  25. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #25
    Non-defective one I'm pretty sure. NVidia knows that they messed up so the next batch(es) of that GPU will be correctly made. It's actually one of the Taiwan-based semiconductor manufacturing companies (forget whether it's TSMC or UMC) who screwed up, not NVidia. NVidia designs GPUs and tapes out to one of the Taiwan companies. I think it was TSMC but I forget. :D
     

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