Is the Thunderbolt port a deciding factor for you?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by LurkinTuff, May 1, 2011.

  1. LurkinTuff, May 1, 2011
    Last edited: May 1, 2011

    LurkinTuff macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hi,

    Ive spent the last week or so obsessively deliberating which MBP to buy. Ive come down to either a 2011 MBP 13" and peripheral display, 2011 15" hi-res antiglare MBP (2.0Ghz), or a 2010 Refurbished 15" hi-res MBP(2.66Ghz i7). My question is this-- and I know it comes down to preference and purpose, but just want to hear some opinions-- Is the thunderbolt port a deciding factor for you? i.e. Between a 15" refurb and 15" 2011, both with the hi-res matte display, not being too concerned with the difference in performance, just Thunderbolt or not. Ill be upgrading to 8GB RAM in all cases, and eventually a SSD.

    My only reason to go with the refurb is the difference in price= more $ for other stuff.

    Ill be using it for photography, namely editing photos in Photoshop, LightRoom, etc. I use an external LaCie d2 Quadra 1TB for storage/backup and I would eventually get the Little Big Disk if iI got the 2011 MBP. I also travel by car quite a bit, and Ive been spoiled by the portability of an MBA.

    Thanks All, much appreciated
     
  2. letoast, May 1, 2011
    Last edited: May 1, 2011

    letoast macrumors newbie

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    #2
    I've been thinking a lot about this too, and I've come to the conclusion that Thunderbolt finally puts MBPs on proper footing as serious computers (the recent inclusion of quad core chips certainly didn't hurt, either). It may not be of great benefit to someone who constantly works away from their home base, but it's wonderfully empowering when docked to a few peripherals -- aside from the forthcoming external RAID options, I'm particuarly intrigued by Sonnettech's PCIe box products. I'm looking forward to having a few extra displays connected to a video card in such a box.

    I can see how Tb on an MBP will win over many people who were previously torn between an MBP and iMac or MacPro. And in my own case, I've waffled between a current upper-model 15" and the likely forthcoming Sandy Bridge MBAs. But the aforementioned (near-future, pending release of Tb products) possibility of finally having a laptop with no performance compromises is too good to pass up for me... in conjunction with the quad core chips, of course.
     
  3. LurkinTuff thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Thanks toast. Do you have any idea what kind of speeds Id see with a thunderbolt to eSATA adapter plugged into a LaCie d2 1TB @7200 RPMs?

    Is the speed limited by the interface; Is a thunderbolt>USB 2.0 adapter going to be faster than USB 2.0 ?
     
  4. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    #4
    the speed is limited by the interface, so if your using usb-thunderbolt your not going to see anything above your normal usb connector, the same goes for sata, which would be either sataII or sataIII and would this limit the transfer speeds at 3gbit/s or 6gbit/s, not that that would matter as your ordinary 7200RPM drive probably wouldn't hit 2gbit/s
     
  5. CorporateFelon macrumors regular

    CorporateFelon

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    #5
    Why not just wait until the current gen starts showing up in the refurb store? Thats what I'm doing.

    My main deciding factor, If thunderbolt is really going to take off I'd like to have it just in case. Since I dont upgrade as often as other people.
     
  6. bcburrows macrumors 6502

    bcburrows

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    #6
    For me it was simply having a lighting bolt!

    POW
    :D
     
  7. ThaDoggg macrumors 6502a

    ThaDoggg

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    #7
    I went with the 2011 due to the Thunderbolt but also due to the great spec upgrade especially for the 13". If you are considering the 13", a 2011 model is definitely recommended.
     
  8. LurkinTuff thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    I dont upgrade often either, nor do i want to. I want something which will last me until it starts falling apart.

    How long until the current ones show up in the refurb store? Six months or so?
     
  9. Gold89 macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I'm looking at the same question and to me it just comes back to the huge CPU leap that the quad core provides.
     
  10. bcburrows macrumors 6502

    bcburrows

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    #10
    Depending on what you are doing with the new line up, the performance jump, I think, can be either barely noticeable (certainly not worth the money) and epic.

    Everyday tasks - boot up, general app usage, little quicker
    video editing/encoding - my 2.66 C2D took 40 mins, my 2.2 i7 takes 6

    upgrade worth it IF your doing processor hungry tasks, else carry on waiting I think for the next big MBP iteration / re-design
     
  11. kaminokage macrumors newbie

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    Jan 13, 2010
    #11
    Last month I bought 2011 BMP 15” 2.2Ghz – and it’s damn fast. It’s my first MAC so I can’t’ compare it to a previous gen in terms of usability/speed, but my previous C2D laptop worked much slower than new laptops with i7 onboard. I would definitely go with 2011 line and if you’re working with Photoshop the better choice IMHO – 15” MBP.
    There was a good advice probably to wait for a refurb. 2011 MBP’s.

    Thunderbolt – well, it’s always nice to have something new, but we didn’t see any periphery for it yet :D Regarding Harddrives, I still think the better choice will be Network Hard Drive. Never have to plug it in/out :p
     
  12. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #12
    I have an early 2010 MBP and I can tell you that one of the biggest shortcomings is decent IO capabilities. FW800 is outrageously expensive and still really slow.
    I never quite understood why there is no eSATA/USB combo port even if USB 3.0 was still difficult to implement as it needed another chip. USB 3.0 is really cheap and simply using eSATA is really cheap and fast and useful.
    FW800 only cuts it for some professionals who don't care enough about the cost and do not care about investing too much into one platform.

    In this respect I wouldn't buy a non thunderbolt MBP if I meant to keep it for a 2-3 years it should be an important factor. It doesn't have to be deciding as it still works with out and backups too but it would transferring data to external drives worked 3-4 times as fast.
     
  13. ZombieZakk macrumors 6502

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    Feb 23, 2011
    #13
    i would say either the refurb 15 or the 2011 base 15" and stay away from the 13 for your needs.

    my question is what is the price difference you would be looking at between the two machines as that is your best bet to judge them.

    My factor is always performance above all else as that is what is most important to me. the thunderbolt port is nice but honestly will be some time before we see a couple of devices utilizing it.
     
  14. 100Teraflops, May 2, 2011
    Last edited: May 2, 2011

    100Teraflops macrumors 6502a

    100Teraflops

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    #14
    +1

    Sound advice. IMHO

    OP, If you do not mind a gently used computer, then the refurb is a great option. Check the refurb store daily, as computers literally fly from the refurb section. Of course assuming you want a refurb to save some scratch.

    Also, Thunderbolt was not a deciding factor, but nonetheless a factor.
     
  15. CorporateFelon macrumors regular

    CorporateFelon

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    #15
    I'm sure it'll be sooner than that, but honestly I thought it would have been by now.


    I has any one seen the 2011 models in the refurb store yet? I just fairly often and have yet to spot one.
     
  16. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

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    #16
    When the TB MBPs were announced I immediately sold my '09 13" and '10 15". I did so because 1) I think TB will be widely supported sooner rather than later, 2) I wanted to get good money for my machines while I could -- I think non-TB MBPs will be harder to sell as TB takes hold.

    I bought an '11 13" to replace my '09. I have not yet replaced my 15" yet as I'm waiting for 10.7 next month.
     
  17. jljue, May 2, 2011
    Last edited: May 2, 2011

    jljue macrumors regular

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    #17
    If my Late 2008 15" MBP died, I'd get the 2011 with TB just for the simple potential of periphery options. My MBP has an ExpressCard 32 slot that will allow me to get an eSATA adapter to get faster data transfers to an external HDD that is not possible without a Mac Pro, old MBP, or a newer 17" MBP. I know that the adapters aren't there yet, but imagine the ability to hook up to two networks at once without using WiFi (TB to Ethernet Adapter) and a couple of TB and/or eSATA hard drives at once without having to resort to USB or FW400/800.

    Waiting on the Mac Mini refresh with TB is simply the reason why I am holding off on a Mac Mini purchase for home as a file server. If there is not refresh this year, I'll get a used one with FW800; if there is TB, I will get a brand new one and wait for a TB-eSATA adapter.
     
  18. letoast macrumors newbie

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    #18
    I haven't seen any 2011 MBPs, but for comparison, I thought the new MBA took two months.
     
  19. ///M5 macrumors 6502

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    May 14, 2009
    #19
    Well, I just picked up a 15" MBP 2.66 i7 8gb 256 ssd high-res glossy w/ AppleCare from a friend, the laptop is in mint condition. Paid $1800 for it.

    I was about to buy a maxed-out 13" Air but thought the MBP's value is much better than the Air.

    What do you guys think? Would you go for that MBP or the Air?
     
  20. LurkinTuff thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    I'd go for the MBP in a heartbeat.


    Ive been on the refurb site every day for the past week or so, no 2011s. I guess we'll see sooner or later. I have no problem with refurb. My current MBA is a refurb, got it in march 2009. I literally used it until falling apart (screws falling out of bottom case, hinges loose, I/O door loose, NO sound, video playback messed up) got it serviced and now its like new though, and applecare paid for itself plus $40. I had a hell of a time deciding between 13" MBP + peripheral display vs. 15" hi-res MBP. Im so use to the MBA that 15" feels so big and klunky. Even though its only a pound more than the 13".


    Thanks All for your input
     
  21. LurkinTuff thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Now, in the refurb store, they have a few 15" hi res MBPs from 2010 with the i7 cpu (2.66, 2.8) These are the dual core i7's right? Are these much slower than the current 15" MBP.


    I think another reason why I want the 2011 is because I love the silver bezel around the display, as opposed to black glass.
     
  22. Lenas, May 2, 2011
    Last edited: May 2, 2011

    Lenas macrumors newbie

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    #22
    The CPU is a more legitimate reason to upgrade than the TB port is. I can't even get my TB port to output video, pfft.

    Here's a benchmark of my 15" 2011 mbp (8gb ram) vs my late 2010 21" iMac (4gb ram): http://browse.geekbench.ca/user/Lenas/profile - I'll be upgrading the iMac to 8gb soon for a true side by side comparison.

    The GeekBench blog itself posts some pretty impressive numbers as well, showing the 2011 generation in some cases to be almost 80% better than the last gen: http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2011/02/macbookpro-benchmarks-early-2011/
     
  23. CorporateFelon macrumors regular

    CorporateFelon

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    #23
    The high-res antiglare 2010&2009 models also have the silver bezel as well.
     
  24. maclaptop macrumors 65816

    maclaptop

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    #24
    It's all Hype at the moment, including the old fashioned copper wire they used instead of the fiber optics the system was designed for.

    Eventually they'll get around to doing it right. Just like the BS of giving the phony name of "Thunderbolt". Apple marketing hype at it's finest. Anything to make it seem like it's far better than anything else on the market.

    That's the benefit of staying up to date on this stuff, without the knowledge you can easily be conned. It happens everyday, especially with Apple, they are the masters of manipulation.

    I'm not hating on Apple, Just calling it like it is :)
     
  25. johnnj macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Thunderbolt never played a part in my decision to upgrade from 3/09 15" 2.66 to the current one. I was after i7 quad and better display.

    That's not to say I won't take advantage of it at some point, but for now to me it's irrelevant.

    Does this thing not have an IEEE designation? Yet another Apple product with a name I feel funny saying.
     

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