MacBook Pro Purchase Advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by valypan, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. valypan macrumors regular

    May 21, 2002
    Hello everyone, I just found out Lion will not support my current beloved MacBook Pro, so I am ready to upgrade, however I am faced with a few choices and I need your good advice on how to proceed.
    Here are the issues:
    HARD DISK choice between 750 GB with 5400 rpm and 500 GB with 7200 rpm
    I have always ever only had 5400 rpm, so I am worried the 7200 rpm might be noisy. I play low-end graphic games, use Garageband to play/record guitar and all the other standard Mac programs like iPhoto and iWeb. No Photoshop or any advanced graphic stuff. Would the trade-off be worth it for me or should I stick with the larger slower hard disk? My current disk use is 200 GB, and I would like my new MacBook Pro to last me another good 5 years.

    MACBOOK PRO SCREEN: Is it worth it to upgrade to the hi-res display? I would love crispier graphics for my games and photos, but would it be noticeable for someone like me who does not use photoshop or other advanced graphic programs?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. movieboy23 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2007
    HD: Given the programs you most frequently use, I would stay with the 750 GB @ 5400 RPM. You don't need to worry about any added noise with a 7200RPM hard drive, but in your case since you're not doing any heavy reading/writing to the hard drive, the 5400RPM drive will suit you just fine. The main question you should be asking yourself is whether you'll need more hard drive space in the future or whether you'll need a faster drive to handle faster reading/writing capabilities. If you see yourself continuing with the programs you currently use and not expanding much beyond that, then stick to the 5400RPM drive. If you see yourself getting into photo/video editing or more advanced graphics stuff, then you might consider the 7200 RPM drive.

    Also, for what it's worth, the 5400 RPM drive saves you battery life, in case that was one of your concerns. And the 7200RPM drive will inevitably fail faster than the 5400 RPM drive, which is a concern if you plan on owning the machine for five years.

    SCREEN: The screen upgrade on the 15" (which I assume is the machine you're looking into) would really only be noticeable if you're a photo editor or if you're a videophile like myself. The only place where the screen bump will be evident is in gaming, but if you're still doing low-end graphics games, then the standard 1440x900 resolution will suit you. However, it's only a $100 upgrade to the higher resolution screen. My best advice would be to go to your local Apple Store and test drive both screen resolutions and see for yourself which one you like better.

    While you're at it, test out the difference between the high-res glossy and anti-glare. If you like working with your machine outside, then the anti-glare is a must. If you instead use your machine primarily indoors and you want colors to really "pop", then it may make sense to stick with the glossy.

    Hope this helps
  3. valypan thread starter macrumors regular

    May 21, 2002
    Movieboy: Thanks for your extensive reply! You have brought a lot of new info to my attention. The games I play are mostly adventure games, which have relatively low graphic requirements, however I am strongly considering branching out a little to other games like Sims Medieval or Star Wars Force unleashed. While this is maybe a small concern, would the faster hard drive have any noticeable influence on such games? Right now I am definitely leaning towards the larger slower HD as I don´t see myself getting into photo/video editing anytime soon.

    As for the screen, I would like to opt for the hi res display. I don´t have the chance to visit an Apple store in my vicinity, but if the screen bump might be evident in gaming, I would strongly consider it.

    Thanks again! You have been very helpful!
  4. Tears Apart macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

    Jun 10, 2009
    Outside Closer
    I would have no doubts in re to 7200rpm vs 5400rpm: go for 7200rpm, the boost in performance is very noticeable.

    As for screen, I am all for high-res, but some people in this forum (allegedly a small percentage) seem to have trouble with the high density of the screen.

    As for glossy/AG, I love AG and wouldn't be able to work looking at myself the whole time ;)
  5. zenio, Mar 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011

    zenio macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2011
    Congratulations on choosing a new MBP!

    I've bought just about every Apple laptop made from day one and that includes the new 15" 2011 MBP. They are fantastic.

    1) After reading about your needs, I highly suggest the 7200 RPM HDD, and compliment you for staying with a conventional drive. I've used plenty of these and they are fast cool & quite. You will not notice any additional noise over the 5400.

    EDIT: Battery life is absolutely the same as a 5400, these new drives of the last three years are very efficient.

    Although I've got lots of experience with a wide variety of SSD's now, I'm really happy that your sticking with the conventional drive. SSD technology still needs another year or two before it's truly ready for prime time.

    2) In my experience the finest display for _all uses_ is the hi-res, antiglare. You will love it. I do everything on mine including a lot of photography and I wouldn't use glossy if they gave me the computer for free. It's simply a mirror. Don't listen to this nonsense about better colors on the glossy, it's simply not true. And this is coming from a man with side by side long term testing & usage experience.

    So there you have my take on it. Enjoy your new Mac!
  6. iZero macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2011
    Agreed. Having had both, it's certainly not true that the AG has a lesser color/display quality than the glossy. The AG is a beautiful display, no loss in quality at all. But having both also, it's also exaggerated sometimes, how reflective the glossy is in actual use. I use mine outside, inside, in many light conditions, it's rarely noticeable, and never a bother. I like using it much better. But for some people it's really annoying. It is un-usably reflective if you use it at extreme angles/improper placement relative to your eyes in high levels of light. The AG, it makes no difference where you place it, it doesn't reflect. It really comes down to personal preference, the extreme arguments for/against either, are wildly exaggerated in all cases. But I agree if you'll be in extreme lighting a lot, go for the AG.
  7. valypan thread starter macrumors regular

    May 21, 2002
    Thank you for the input!

    So you think the fastest drive would be better? I would not mind a faster drive of course but it would be a trade-off with less space and possibly shorter lifespan, so the speed would REALLY need to matter for me to pick the fast drive. My current MacBook Pro has always seemed snappy to me and I can only imagine how much faster the new MBP will be, so I am not sure the extra HD speed is worth it for me...I am still debating so any opinion is appreciated!

    As for the display, I am familiar with the glossy and I can see how it is reflective, however I will be using the MBP mainly indoors so probably won´t be needing an AG display. My main question though was about the hi res vs normal it worth it the extra 100 dollars?

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