MacBook Pro 2011 15" 2.2 or 2.4 GHz? Dual-Screen Setup?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by BlackF, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. BlackF, Feb 11, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012

    BlackF macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2012

    I'm planning to buy one of the current MacBook Pro 15", but I'm not sure if I should buy the 2.2 GHz low end version or the 2.4GHz high end version.

    The 2.4 GHz version has a AMD Radeon HD6770M, but it's underclocked, so there should be no big difference to the HD6750M in 2.2 GHz model.

    I think most of the time I will use the MacBook at home where it will be connected to a 24" monitor with a FullHD resolution (1920x1080) and maybe I will also use the MacBook display at the same time (dual screen).
    I'm a computer science student and I will need the MacBook for developing software and so on. But I don't play many games.

    So now my question:
    Is the Radeon HD6750M in the low end model capable for a dual screen setup? Because it has only 512MB VRAM. Or should I better go for the high end version with 1GB of VRAM?
  2. macchiato2009 macrumors 65816

    Aug 14, 2009
    get the 2.2 instead of the 2.4

    and invest into a good SSD and take the anti glare option

    because the gain from 2.2 and 2.4 is barely noticeable on a daily use, unless you have an intensive use like video editing, but still, no much gap
  3. BlackF thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2012
    I would definetly take the anti glare display! :)

    But are you sure that there won't be any problems with the HD6750M (512MB VRAM) when I use two displays?
  4. Medic278 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2012
    New York
    I agree get the 2.2 the difference will likely never be noticed by you. Also you shouldn't have a problem running two screens. I also concur that investing in an SSD is a good idea.
  5. BlackF thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2012
    Okay, so it even shouldn't be a problem if I want to play a game in fullHD resolution on the external monitor?

    I don't know but buying a laptop nowadays with only 512MB of VRAM sounds a little bit strange/old, because even the cheap consumer laptops already have at least 1 GB. ;-)

    Is the size of the VRAM important for Photoshop? Because I need it sometimes.
  6. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    The Radeon 9700M in my PowerBook G4 (64 MB VRAM, about 7 years old) was perfectly capable of running a dual-screen setup. This question has been moot with regard to every Mac capable of running a dual-screen (non-mirrored) set up. Apple wouldn't build the functionality into it if it couldn't do it.


    If by "fullHD" you mean 1920x1080, then it depends on the game you want to play. Some of them will work fine, others won't. If you want to game, you'll want the high-end MBP (and you'll want to install Windows in BootCamp, as performance when booted into Windows is SIGNIFICANTLY better as far as gaming is concerned).

    It all depends on what you need.

    Photoshop has a few GPU-related features but it won't matter much one way or the other.
  7. BlackF thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2012

    Of course a dual screen setup was always possible. But I think the requirements for the latest Mac OS X version has changed during the last 7 years. ;-)

    I've only asked the question about the dual screen setup with the Radeon HD6750M because I read a review on where they said the following:

    Is there anyone who has a mulit-monitor configuration with a MacBook Pro?
  8. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    So has the hardware ;)

    A better GPU is always better in general. That's more or less the point that statement made. I'd like to know what, exactly, they're referring to. If they're referring to a 3 monitor setup via Thunderbolt (that would make more sense with the term "multi-monitor" vs "dual monitor") then I can see how a GPU with a larger VRAM size could definitely smooth things out.

    Me! I run a 22" 1080p monitor (mDP to DVI) as well as the 13" MBP's monitor. I don't even have a dedicated GPU, but I don't experience any significant performance issues. Some of the system animations are slightly slower, but not enough to be noticeable unless you're looking for it. FCP, Photoshop, etc all run fine with 2 monitors. Games aren't an issue since they ignore the secondary monitor entirely.

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