MacBook Pro for uni... also, why do rabbits have big ears and yet they can't fly?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jackgbanks, May 12, 2011.

  1. jackgbanks macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2011
    Bonjour all!

    A couple of weeks ago I posted a thread about possibly getting an iPad 2 for when I went to university.

    Having thought about it, I realised that I was mad: my BlackBook is slowly dying and an iPad is about as future proof as a piece of toilet paper whilst not quite being up to spec for my needs. As gorgeous as the iPad is, it is a pure luxury...

    So basically, a MacBook Pro it is and I wondered what you lovely rabble thought about this spec:

    13" 2.7 GHz i7 500Gb 8Gb Ram.

    I think I'm going to go for the i7 and the 8Gb of ram in order to make sure that it has the spec to keep it damn fast and at the top of its game for at least three or four years.

    As above, any thoughts on this would be wonderful :)


    ps The question about the rabbits is just something random that popped into my head... imagine if rabbits could fly? How scary would that be!
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Unless you do something CPU intensive, just stick with the base i5 model. Buy the RAM from aftermarket to save $. If you don't need much HD capacity, think about an SSD.
  3. altecXP macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    For the $200 you are paying Apple for 8GB of 1333mhz ram you could have saved $100 and bought 1600MHz 8GB for only $99.
  4. Sankersizzle macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    just to touch on the rabbit thing for a second- i would ABSOLUTELY love to have a flying rabbit as a pet. imagine a rabbit gliding around your house and landing on your shoulder when company arrives, or something. that would be excellent in every sense of the world.
  5. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    Sounds like cost is a concern (should be for most students). If that is the case, consider getting the base model. Unless you are doing intensive things, like encoding HD video or doing 3d rendering, the i5 is actually overkill for most anything an average user does.

    I would also hold off on the 8gB of RAM, at least buying it directly from Apple. The upgrade kits are dirt cheap, and you likely only need 4gB of RAM if you are an average user. Hold off, upgrade later, and save some more money.

    Same with the hard drive. You can get a bare 7200rpm drive relatively cheap and install it yourself. You will get a performance boost and save some cash. Slap the original drive in an enclosure and use it for backups. Win.

    Trying to future-proof generally fails. The difference between i5 and i7 in a couple of years is not going to look significant in my opinion.

    Hope this helps.

    Dogs aren't dangerous.
  6. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    You have never owned a rabbit! A flying rabbit in the house would be like being in a *****-shower.

    Don't get me wrong. I love rabbits. They're delicious.
  7. KwanMan macrumors regular

    May 12, 2011
    I would go for the base model instead. The i7 hardly gives the i5 much of a speed boost and for $200 more its not worth it. The extra 180GB of hdd space also isnt worth the price. As for the 8GB ram, go aftermarket definately. I've just got the base 13" model and upgraded the ram myself cos i need it to run matlab simulations for uni.

    I'm in the UK so I'm not sure about US prices but it was £70 for 2x4GB of Crucial ram and I sold the old 4GB on ebay for £35. so it basically only cost me £35 for the upgrade (20 bucks??) and the stuff is defo cheaper in the US
  8. jackgbanks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2011
    Thank you all for your responses!

    It sounds like it is much cheaper then to go for the base 13" and just to upgrade the hdd and ram when and if needed. Any ideas on where I could get that 8 gigs of ram from?


    ps That book (Watership Down) looks fricking amazing! Rabbits! Woo!

    Also, if it was an anamtronic but incredibly realistic flying rabbit, then it would be a win win situation!
  9. vomer macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2007
    I would suggest you wait a few more weeks. free ipod touch promo should be coming soon ;)
  10. ComputersaysNo macrumors 6502


    Apr 15, 2010
    Rabbits can fly. It's the landing that's causing problems.
  11. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    What year is your MacBook?
    Have you maximized the RAM and tried an SSD drive?
    it could make you gain some speed meanwhile prices go down a little bit.

    Anyway check the Apple refurbished store they updated it today.

    I'll wait for lion to be released and then buying the updated MacBook Pro next year. Maybe the i7 would run better with Lion?
  12. mac00l macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2011
    Im an IT student. The base model 13" i5 is more than enough processor wise. But 4GB of RAM is not enough, at least not for me.

    I can comfortably work with a virtual machine running XP (with .net, sql, chrome, and some other stuff with 1GB), a few pages, itunes, and that's it. If I open any browser in the osx, I run out of RAM, and the swapping makes it quite slow.

    I've never taken my processor above 60% of usage.

    And for the go you can play SC II in low with native resolution, and it delivers ~80-100 fps.

    Not a gaming laptop, but it does anything I want it to do while on the go (I'm not one of those waiting in the library playing games in Ultra settings, that's what a desktop in a room is meant for)

    Bottomline is, go for the i5, and use the few extra bucks left to immediately upgrade ram.
  13. Sankersizzle macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    Dude! We would obviously give them diapers. What are we, animals?
  14. jackgbanks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2011
    Helllloooo again,

    Thanks for all your suggestions. I think I will go for the i7, but not get the upgraded ram, but instead buy that from Crucial for less than half the price!

    I'm a student so Apple lovingly give me a 15% discount and I've been saving for a while as well!

    Out of interest, would the 8Gb of ram and the i7 make it easier to run Windows 7 on bootcamp? I have a dislike for everything Microsoft but I had the RC for Windows 7 on my old laptop and found it pretty good. And i also have a nasty feeling that I may need to run Windows for some of the stuff at my uni.

    Thanks :)
  15. hmg, May 13, 2011
    Last edited: May 13, 2011

    hmg macrumors member


    Apr 17, 2004
    Sydney Australia
    3rd party RAM is a good idea... BUT... recommending 1600MHZ RAM is only suitable for the 2.2GHz quad core i7 (and probably the 2.3GHz quad core i7).
    In a 13" or base model 15" you will not get any benefit from installing 1600MHz RAM.

    As you can see in the Intel comparison table here:,52231,53463,50067,52227

    Only the 2.2GHZ QC i7 supports it (and a handy 16GB too if Apple allows).
  16. ThaDoggg macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2010
    Peterborough, Canada
    Save some money and go for the base model. If you need alot of storage you could upgrade to 500GB or get a SSD for a lightning fast MBP.
  17. altecXP macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    Wow, thanks for the info, I thought they had the same memory controller.
  18. hmg macrumors member


    Apr 17, 2004
    Sydney Australia
    very welcome :)
    The table also shows that the base 15"'s 2.0GHZ quad is actually the worst featured of the MBP CPUs. Of course it is still faster than the i5 in the 13"....
  19. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    The upgrade priority you should be looking at is this

    1) SSD
    2) Ram
    3) CPU

    The SSD will make a tremendous difference in performance in everything you do on that system.

    The ram will only benefit you if you actually need it. I'd wait till you have the laptop running the apps you will use on a normal basis. Then, look at Activity Monitor's System Memory tab. If you see a lot of page outs and \ or a lot of swap used than you will benefit from more ram. Otherwise it will not help your performance more than a tiny amount.

    Lastly the CPU, the i5 to i7 is a very small upgrade. Considering the price Apple charges for this you would be better off buying a SSD with that money. If you have the budget to do both than go for it, there is a small increase in speed. However, the CPU upgrade will not produce a comparable increase in speed to the SSD.

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