Looking for performance help on first Mac purchase

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mush10, May 15, 2010.

  1. mush10 macrumors regular

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    #1
    I have finally decided to take the Mac plunge. I am going with the 15.4 anti-glare for sure. I wanted a 13 inch, but screen and processor options have steered me to the 15. I have been set on getting the i5 w/ 500gb, but am now questioning it.

    I will need to run Paralells to run Windows on a daily basis to run programs for work. Would getting the i7 be a huge benefit here? I am a little gun-shy on cost, which is where the hesitation is. That being said, I can pull the trigger if the performance is worth it. I will be using this as a business and personal laptop. Essentially, business run on Windows and OSx for personal use. Aside from the Windows programs the device will mainly be used for the Internet, multi-media, and heavy photo storage/album creation.

    I believe I would keep this around 3 years before looking to upgrade again.

    I was hoping to hold out for a refurb, but think I am going to pull the trigger at Apple on Monday. I have researched some other places to buy, but am not sure if I will go that route or not.

    I appreciate any advice I can get. Thanks in advance for the help.
     
  2. JodyK macrumors 6502a

    JodyK

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    #2
    Running Windows on my last years 2.66 machine stains it. I would tell ya to either go ahead and get the i5 and upgrade the ram to 8gb if it lags for you or go for the i7.

    I am personally going to get the i7 mid summer. You are going to love your Mac .... Welcome to the party!
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #3
    Get the 2.4GHz and put the money towards RAM and SSD. i7 is only 10% faster, i5 is enough for you, RAM and SSD will do bigger difference
     
  4. mush10 thread starter macrumors regular

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    When you say "stains it" or you saying it is running slow. The mist importnat thing I am using Windows for is accessing a web-based database that has software downloaded to Windows in order to run. In addition, I will use Outlook and really Office in general. All other use will be done over OSX.

    The SSD's just don't seem big enough yet. Will it make that much difference? Maybe I will look at the i5 and 8gb. Is all this upgradeable down the road as well?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

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    #5
    You can buy SSD later on when they are bigger and cheaper. RAM and HD are user-serviceable parts so you can upgrade them
     
  6. mush10 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Just so I am clear. The processor would not be upgradeable in the future? If that is the case, I think I may hope for the best in performance, get the i7 and look to upgrade RAM if I have problems. I definitely want a SSD, but I just can't justify the price right now. Thanks again.
     
  7. Christina1971 macrumors regular

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    #7
    The processor will not be upgradeable in the future, correct.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    CPU is not upgradeable. If you have the $ for i7, get it, but in most tasks you won't notice any difference. RAM and SSD you can get later on
     
  9. mush10 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Thanks for all of your help. I am going to get the i7 Anti-Glare. I just saw a Craigslist ad for an i7 Glossy w/8GB Ram, Apple Care, and VmWare Fusion for 2600. I would love to pull the trigger, but seems too good and I don't want to get ripped off.
     
  10. John Paul macrumors member

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    #10
    Not directly responding to your main question (don't have enough experience), but I did want to point out that besides Parallels, VMWare Fusion is another program that does the same thing. If you do some searches online you should be find plenty of reviews that compare the two. I've used both and for what it's worth, I prefer VMWare. I like the interface better and it seems to me like it "works" better but if you asked me to provide any evidence for that other than my gut feeling, I would be unable to do so. I am sure you will find others who have the same reaction only the other way (i.e. prefer Parallels to VMWare).

    If you go to an Apple Store, usually they have at least one or two demo models on the floor that have Parallels loaded, and one or two that have VMWare. So if you have an Apple Store near you, you might consider asking one of the employees there to show you each of them and see what you think.

    EDIT: Just thought of two other things.

    1. Whether you decide to go with Parallels or VMWare, I'd encourage you first to set up a Windows Partition on your hard drive via Boot Camp. When you later install Parallels or VMWare you can simply have those programs use the Windows partition you've already created. Plus if need be, you can boot your computer directly into the Windows partition via Boot Camp, which would allow you to use Windows programs that (for whatever reason) don't play nice with Parallels or VMWare. (The kinds of things that typically don't play nice are things that demand high-end graphics like video games, but occasionally one hears stories of other programs not working that well also.
    2. If I am not mistaken, both Parallels and VMWare let you download & install fully-functioning demos of their respective programs for 14 (or 30 or whatever) days. So you would have the ability to test out one or the other, or both, before deciding upon which one to purchase.
     
  11. mush10 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    John Paul - Thank you for taking the time to write that info. I am going to have a lot of learning to do for sure. I think I am going to run Windows out of Boot Camp initially and try out the two programs and hope one performs adequately. The main program I will run is essentially a large database where te data is not stored on the computer, so hopefully it will work fine. Aside from that, I will use the Office Suite. Everything else will be OSX I think.

    Thanks again - Hoping to own this by Monday (Assuming my local Apple Store has them in stock)
     
  12. mush10 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Is RAM something that a somewhat novice technical person could upgrade. I am not a technical person in career, but I am not afraid to tinker a little as long as I have good instructions.
    EDIT: I just checked on Apple.com. It looks pretty easy to do. Now I just to research costs.

    I am really concerned about the Windows performance here as my work will all be based out of Windows. As mentioned previously, I do not believe anything I use in Windows should be that taxing, but I want to make sure it works well. I think most times, I would be fine even running out of Boot Camp, but I do want the option and would ultimately prefer running Parallels or Fusion. (Especially as I get more well-versed in OSX) From what I have read, it seems the 4GB of RAM may or may not be enough. If people have other opinions, I would appreciate them. Again, no gaming or multimedia in Windows, simply Office and business related databases. I am set on the i7 since that cannot be upgraded in the future. If I add the RAM, I am at $2500 plus tax with my wife's employer's discount. I am cool with that number, but if I add tax, Apple Care (Is this a must?) and I was thinking 1 to 1 (Not sure if I really need that either as I can find most answers online anyway) that pushes 3 Grand which seems excessive for my needs.

    Thanks again for the input. I am off to the Apple store at lunch to compare the screens again. Leaning heavily Anti-Glare, but want to be sure.
     
  13. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #13
  14. Ash9414 macrumors 6502

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    Man, stop pulling that trigger, you're gonna hurt someone! ;)

    On a more serious note, you could always get the i5 with 4GB of RAM and test it out because you are able to return your computer within 14 days (usually without a restocking fee).
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    Not in US, they ask for restocking fee in most cases. In UK and other Europe, there is no restocking fee (due EU laws I guess). If you did it that way in US, I would ask for a written proof (just tell you are not sure so you want to try). Without any written proof, you're busted.
     
  16. Ash9414 macrumors 6502

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    Oh ok, well he should probably just try them out in the store, they might have Parallels or VM Ware Fusion pre-installed on some of the higher end MBPs which you can use.
     
  17. mush10 thread starter macrumors regular

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    In regards to the the 14 day return, any reason to wait until the WWDC falls within the 14 days to purchase in case something is announced? I can't imagine much would change on the Macbook Pro line, but you never know.
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

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    It's SO unlikely that I would just buy now.
     
  19. mush10 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Hellhammer - Thank you for all of your help. I really appreciate it.

    If Apple has the i7 15 inch Anti-Glare in stock today, I am going to head over to get it. Do you think it is worth the extra $46 (Employer Discount) for the 7200 vs the 5600? I do plan replacing it within the year with a SSD, assuming pricing comes down. I am really tempted to just get the 128 SSD (Only $168 more with the discount), but it just seems too small. I feel like I have heard +'s and -'s about the increase speed vs heat, at the same time for $46 it almost seems silly not to at least upgrade to that.

    Other than that, I think I am set. I am going to order the extra 4GB of RAM. One quick question on that. It comes 2x2, so am I able to simply order a 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM and add it or can it only fit 2 4GB in which case it just makes sense to pull the trigger through Apple.

    Thanks again
     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    46$ sounds fair for 7200rpm upgrade though it's only ~70$ for 7.2k 500GB drive so you could use the 5400rpm as backup drive via enclosure. If space matters, then SSD isn't good you (yet)

    MBPs have only 2 slots so you need 2x4GB

    OWC has the best deal on RAM, 318$ for 2x4GB plus they buy your old 2x2GB for 60$ so only 258$ for 8GB
     
  21. mush10 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    I was afraid of that. I think I am just going to buy it with the 8GB installed.

    I think this will be it then: 15 inch, i7, 8GB RAM, 500 HDD @5400. Looking forward to picking it up.

    I will allocate 4GB of RAM to OSX and 4 to Windows and should have solid performance on both. Thanks for all the help.
     
  22. mush10 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    I went to purchase my MBP today and they wouldn't honor my wife's work discount without her there. It is a little frustrating only because I have her email to me (Same last name), with the link to the Apple website that has her company's discounts. I literally could buy the computer in front of them on one of their machines, but they wouldn't let me buy one in store.

    Anyway, one thing that came up was that if I decide to change the RAM it voids the warranty. Is this true?
     
  23. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #23
    Replacing RAM or HD doesn't void your warranty unless you brake something while doing it, Apple even provides instructions

    http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacBook_Pro_15inch_Mid2010.pdf

    Sorry for taking this long, was helping another member
     
  24. mush10 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Thanks. Now it just sucks I have to wait for it to be delivered.
     
  25. mush10 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25
    Instead of starting a new thread, I figured I would use my older thread from May. I finally ordered my MBP yesterday. I purchased the 15.4 Hi-Res Anti, i7. Thanks again for everyone's help in this thread.

    I have a question as I am trying to figure out if I will need to install Windows or not. If I do, I want it to be the first thing I do. I thought I was going to need to as you can see from my original questions above. However, my new access to our corporate systems uses Windows Remote Desktop Connection to gain access to our work server. I have been searching the threads and internet and I want to make sure this can be done from OSx to a Windows Server to then emulate the Windows desktop on my Mac. I will need complete functionality with this, so if it cannot be done I will install Windows. If anybody has done this and has advice, I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance for the help. I should have my MBP in hand Wednesday or Thursday.
     

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