MacBook Pro: 1.83 or 2.0? 5400 or 7200 HDD?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Volans, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. Volans macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2006
    Just a mere two questions :)

    I'm coming from a 12" iBook G4 that I sold two months ago, so to say this will be an improvement is an understatement. I was planning on waiting until a 13.3" MacBook Pro was released, but now I think I want the larger 15.4" widescreen that the current model offers. I found this size perfect after playing around with them at the Apple store and even when I was using my friends 1GHz TiBook.

    Anyway - is the difference in processor speed and the hard-drive rotation speed worth the price? I'm torn between either the 1.83GHz or 2.0GHz processor, and the 5400RPM and 7200RPM hard-drives. Obviously, I didn't have these nice little choices when I purchased my iBook, so now I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.

    Will battery life be significantly less with the faster 7200RPM hard-drive?
    Will I really notice that much of a speed increase with a 2GHz Core Duo over the 1.83GHz model?

    I'll be honest here - I am leaning more towards the 2GHz model, simply because it automatically comes with a larger hard-drive (100GB vs. 80GB), more RAM (1 stick of 1GB RAM vs. 1 stick of 512MB RAM), more video memory (256MB vs. 128MB) and the faster processor, for $500 more than the 1.83GHz stock model. If I upgraded the specs to match the 2GHz model (minus the processor and video memory), it would make the difference $230. And with my education discount, I can snatch up the 2GHz model for $2299.

    Also, one more thing: would anyone recommend or not recommend purchasing one of these units refurbished? I'm only asking because I saw the 2GHz models for $2199 when they were available - which is less than my education discount. I know of the issues with the current models (heat, whine, etc) - but what would you do?

    I have the cash to spend - but I'm trying to be somewhat savvy here financially. I have a 2GHz 20" (Rev. B) iMac that I use at home as my "main" system, which I plan on using for another year or two. The MBP would serve as my transition machine until I'm ready to fully switch to Intel with a new iMac. Until the Adobe suite of applications is universal, I still plan on doing all my major graphic design projects on my iMac - so there's no issue in that area.

    What would you do? Sorry about all the indecisiveness - I just need a bit of guidance here ;)
  2. smokeyboi macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2006
    if you have the cash to is obviously not an issue. so if I were you, I would definitely get the 2ghz/7200rpm model. i'm not sure if the speed difference compared to the 1.83ghz/5400rpm model will be significant, but it's probably worth it.
  3. Volans thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2006
    Thanks for the response.

    I guess I should clarify: Yes, I have the money to spend, but I don't necessarily want to spend it. Make sense? In other words, I'm trying to be frugal with my money here.

    I don't want to spend more for a few upgrades just for the heck of it - I would only spend the extra money if it was worth it from a technical standpoint.

    But thanks for your help!
  4. LACOSTE macrumors member


    Jan 10, 2006
    Hmmm i think you should get the 1.83Ghz MBP model instead.... and fully upgrade the RAM to 2Ghz ... or... the best option i can think of is to buy the 1Gb RAM model, and buy a 1Gb stick of RAM elsewhere... you save about 30-40% of the pice of the ram from apple. Remember that in MacOS processor speed is not nearly as important as RAM, and if you trying to save $$$ this would be a smarter option.

    In my opinion, If u already have a G5 iMac 20" at home, i will discourage you to switch to intel just yet until Leopard comes (which was rumoured to be as early as October).

    You're not considering the MacBooks? I think they would be a smarter buy. Wait out for the rumoured late April/ early may release.

    Since you are looking for a 'transition' machine buying the MBP now.... then 3 months later when the Merom chip arrives (probably will be a BTO for the MBP) MBP would get a better battery life and more efficient processor. So as i said earlier, processor speed should not be a priority... the switch to intel means that the processor speeds gets upgraded more frequently (look at the sudded speed hump a few weeks after the MBp was announced).

    Right now, i myself am sticking with my 12" PB and 20" G5 iMac combination. Originally the portable wont get upgraded until Leopard arrives. To quell my lust for a MBP, i bought other apple stuff like the iPod Hifi and spent some money on new utility SW that recently turned universal (eg omnigraffle, iWork 06, FCP, etc). But now that the Bootcamp and virtualization craze has come in... my resolve has changed... I just ordered a MBP a couple of hours ago :D. And yep i got a 1.83Ghz one and a third party stick of RAM to make it upto 2Gb RAM.

    I guess the question we should be asking is how much of a difference in performance for Windows running on a mac would a 1.83Ghz vs. 2Ghz vs 2.16 Ghz make? But really i dont really care that much... all im gonna use XP on a mac for is Photoshop and MSN. :rolleyes:
  5. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
    My vote:

    2.0 with the 7200 drive. You'd hate to put down all that money and later on second guess yourself for not going with the upgrades. Trust me, I've been in that situation
  6. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    i'd definitely go for the higher spec model, it will be more future proof especially when you ocnsider the better graphics card.
  7. sunfast macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2005
    I'd do it for the VRAM. 256MB is an awesome amount.
  8. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    I say to go for the 2GHz MacBook Pro w/ the 100GB 7,200rpm HDD. I remember a test done many months ago comparing the battery usage between a notebook with a 7,200 rpm and a 5,400 rpm HDD and the difference in power consumption was minimal.
  9. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    That it is sunfast. :)

    Although, I can't wait to see some Mac compatible video cards with 512MB VRAM. :D ****drool****
  10. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2004
  11. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I'm not sure what you're planning to do with this computer, so it's hard to advise you. You say that you will use the imac for Adobe CS, so what will you use this for? If it's a just a portable, messing around system like your ibook was, the 1.83 with 5400 RPM drive will be way more than enough. If you're planning to do serious work, the upgrades may be worth it.
  12. joshwest macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2005
    I was in the same position. !.83 or 2.0 because with the difference i could of picked up a 20" ACD w/my student discount. But i decided to bight the bullet and go 2.0 id respect my self better later when they have a upgrade and my 2.0 is sitting with a price tage that the 1.83 has now and the 1.83 is out of the MBP and upgrade option to the forth Coming MacBook. But the 2.0 is well worth it and quite speedy with just a gig of stock ram. I have had the heat and whine issues but other than that its a very pleasing machine. My other Machines are a 12" PB and 20" rev b 2.0 ghz iMac and im super satisfied with this machine. I find myself in my bedroom now instead of the office on my bed with the MacBook Pro. The Screen is literaly breath taking compared to say the Powerbook screens. Hopefully the MacBooks will get these as well or at least a step up to the old Powerbook screens. But just my .02 go with the 2.0. you'll thank me
  13. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    Yes this is important to consider. The 5400rpm drive is fine for almost anything you do day-to-day, unless you are heavy into video or audio work.

    We will eventually see drives that use different technologies that blow the 7200rpm away, so save the money now and use it to upgrade the drive later. :)

    Or... wait until Firewire 800/E-SATA ExpressCards are released and get an external drive. $100 is a great start toward a drive that will be 2 or 3 times faster than any internal laptop drive.
  14. w8ing4intelmacs macrumors 6502a

    Feb 22, 2006
    East Coast, US
    I had a 2.0 but then sold it and got a 1.83. I do a good amount of video and photo editing, and I don't notice any significant difference in performance. I use an external drive (160GB, 7200rpm) for video editing, so the notebook drive speed isn't that important.

    If money is somewhat of a factor, I see a $600 difference between a stock 1.83 and a 2.0 with a 100GB 7200rpm drive. Use the $600 to buy any or all of the following: more RAM, an external hard drive, an external monitor, case/sleeve, or AppleCare.

    sorry, I just thought this was funny
  15. 3mph macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2006
    I just bought the 2.0 Ghz with the 7200rpm HD, since i didnt need 2 gig mem, i went for the 2 x 512 and got the 7200 for the same price.. I'm waiting for it to come...:cool:
  16. joshwest macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2005
    it was a fast typo and i fixed it.
  17. visualanté macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2003

    mbp screan looks no better than my powerbook...mines the last g4....mines the same quality
  18. Volans thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2006
    True. That's what I was thinking.

    I don't do any serious audio/video work, but it will be wonderful working with Photoshop while I'm on the road with the MBP's beautiful display. This is the main reason I sold my iBook - the screen was so dim. Plus, I'll enjoy the extra screen real estate found in the 15" model.

    Thanks for the insight everyone.

    I'll think about it for a while longer. Right now, I'm leaning towards the 2GHz model. It will last longer - and that 256MB VRAM makes me drool. I'm just worried that if I order a BTO MBP with a 7200RPM drive in it and have a problem (excessive heat, whine, pixel-related issues, etc) that Apple won't be as willing to replace it for me, unless I have the stock model. Perhaps I'm being a bit cynical about it, though.
  19. Hunts121 macrumors regular


    Mar 21, 2005
    I recently put a 7200 rpm HD (segate momentus) in my PowerBook (no not a macbook lol) and I can say I notice a big difference. Then again I had a 4200rpm before so I should hope so. It made a big difference with Final Cut Pro and Adobe Photoshop...I dunno if that helps you at all
  20. excalibur313 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
    That is an excellent point. I'm in the same position and I've been debating that to myself. What do you guys think?

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