Macbook Pro 2.4ghz for college?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by willw77, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. willw77 macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2008
    Hi everyone I'm just starting college and majoring in journalism which requires the use of a laptop. I will probabley use it to write mostly but will probabley do some graphics layout and video and photo editing in some of the required broadcast and layout classes so I'm guessing the macbook pro would be better suited to this then the macbook. I'm also wondering about the 2.4 vs. paying $500 more for the 2.5ghz? I would like to be able to use this laptop throughout most of college without having to upgrade. Based on some of the research I've been doing here and elsewhere online it looks like the 2.4ghz with 4GB of ram and the 200GB 7200rpm hd would offer the best value in cost/performance. Am I correct in thinking this? What would you recommend? Should I buy now?
  2. rockthecasbah macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2005
    Moorestown, NJ
    I think you're making a good choice with the MBP over the MB since you'll be doing graphics and video stuff. Here are my thoughts on everything else you mentioned:

    - The speed difference you'll feel between a 2.4ghz and a 2.5ghz machine will not be very noticeable. In my opinion, it is probably not worth the $500. That seems to be the consensus from others in this forum before, but confirmation from someone else would be helpful.

    - I'd recommend 4GB Ram for your MBP but DO NOT BUY APPLE RAM. It's a waste of money, you can upgrade it yourself from Crucial for $100 less at least for a paired set of 2GB sticks (or buy a single "unpaired" stick for about $50). Apple's installation costs are not worth the benefit since popping ram in and out is a piece of cake. Plus there are many tutorial videos online... If you don't want to mess with it that's fine but you should look at a self installation video on youtube to judge if you'd be comfortable replacing it yourself.

    - The hard drive question is a little complicated. People have debated the performance of the 7200RPM HDs and whether they are worth the upgrade over the standard 200GB or an upgraded 250GB. Some say the higher speed reduces battery life, which I cannot confirm nor deny. Others say that the speed benefit you get from the faster drive isn't very noticeable, so if it were to reduce the battery life it may not be worth it. Since it's a portable and you want it to last through college, I would suggest going with the 250GB upgrade rather than the faster drive. It's greater capacity will definitely be a benefit to you, and since it only costs $45 it's pretty cheap :)

    - In regards to the buy now/buy later, I say buy now. I don't believe the Montevina upgrades will be available before your college starts (assuming end of August), and certainly not before the free iPod deal ends. You should buy now, sell the iPod if you don't have a use for it, and enjoy a great MBP. Furthermore, the major performance upgrade will come with the Nehelem processors that won't arrive until at least January.
  3. DarkRevenant macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2008
    In regards to the slightly smaller but slightly faster hard drive, it also depends on how much space you think you will use. I am fairly sure I've read (however correct me if I am wrong somebody) that a near full 7200rpm 200gb hard drive will be slower than a 5400rpm 250gb hard drive with just as much space used. Also, I have also heard that the faster hard drive will use more power, however like before I am not 100% sure of this.
  4. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    doesn't the 2.5 have other benefits such as a faster video card and larger HD?
  5. keehun macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2008
    I would say that the $500 isn't really worth it. Even though there are those graphic memory updates, hard drive updates, and 0.1GHz upgrade, you won't be able to notice much. The graphics upgrade may be really nice, but definitely not worth the $500 you'll pay for it.

  6. jincongz macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Don't forget teh cache size, which might or might not matter to you.
  7. willw77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2008
    Well I went with the 2.4 Macbook Pro from the online apple education store today along with a 16gb ipod touch because of the rebates their giving away. I added a 250gb hard drive with the MBP but I'm also planning on upgrading the RAM later myself. I'm sure I'll be enjoying it and will let you all know when it finally gets shipped to me.
  8. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    Excellent choice. Congratulations! Even if you like to play games, the baseline MBP is plenty fast :)

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