Macbook Pro Purchase Opinion

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thejoelhansen, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. thejoelhansen macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2010
    Hey Mac community, looking for some help spending some money.

    I currently have a 13" Macbook (unibody, 2.4ghz C2D, Nvidia 320m).
    I'm finishing up school and work at a software company on this machine. Mostly PHP and Javascript programming. Some MySQL.
    However, I use Parallels for IE 6, 7, 8 compatibility testing and Photoshop CS5 at random throughout the day.
    I have around 20 apps open at a time. :\
    Oh, and we play L4F2 at the office on Fridays. My performance in this area is fine. :p

    I want a 15" screen, "real" video card, option for 8GB of ram, and FW800, as Timemachine and Superduper! backups several times per day get tedious over USB...

    Option 1: New, baseline MBP (2.2 quad, 6490m) - $1,800
    Option 2: Refurb, top o line last gen MBP (2.66 dual i7, 330m w/512mb) - $1,600
    Option 3: Refurb, baseline last gen MBP (2.4ghz i5, 330m w/ 256mb) AND a 120GB (OCZ??) SSD and optibay - around $1,600

    These have dominant strengths in either CPU, GPU, or boot disk I/O.

    I guess my questions are, does anyone know if I'll benefit much from the added CPU perk of the quad? If the SSD is my boot disk (throwing the ol 5400 in the optical bay) will it also be used for caching, rather than the secondary mechanical hard drive? What will help the most with multitasking?

    I think CS5 is mostly CPU intensive, and having 3 Parallels virtual machines running in the background is taxing in virtually ever aspect, I'm sure.

    I know there are a lot of these polls in the forums. I'm tired of looking at synthetic charts and hoping for some real world experience with these apps/ hardware.

    I really appreciate your help and input,

  2. nebulos macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2010
    i'm in the market for a new MBP myself and, personally, i wouldn't buy a 2010 model. i don't know much about your CPU usage, (for me a quad is great), but, i thought i'd remind you that the 2011's come with 'thunderbolt', which is supposed to be Charlie Sheen fast. ... seems like quite a selling point if you backup daily. (no thunderbolt drives out yet of course, but soon.)
  3. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    it's a 2.0 quad i7 in the base 15 - and it's just over $1700 from amazon. Going a generation old for $100 savings.. bad choice considering the increases.
  4. Tears Apart macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

    Jun 10, 2009
    Outside Closer
    2011 15'' 2.2 (hi-res for me) all the way. Anything else you might end up regretting it.
  5. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2010
    Lacie are releasing their thunderbolt little big disk really soon
  6. zenio macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2011
    I bought a 2011 & it's great. But NOT because of Apples renamed "Thunderbolt". It's way too early & uses copper instead of fiber optics. So it's all smoke & mirrors marketing (Typical Apple).

    Give it a year or more depending on the acceptance rate and by then you'll want a Mac with fiber in it, not cheesy copper wire.

    If you can grab a 2010 model (I have both 2010 & 2011) you'll be happier since they're bug free and very fast (2.66 i7) The only reason I bought a 2011 is for the quad since I do super resource demanding work. Yet that said I plan to replace it the moment the real fiber machines are released.

  7. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    TB is Intel's work, so stick the marketing comments to them.

    copper is not "cheesy" since it can deliver power. optical can't, which means no mobile TB devices, which means exactly zero chance of displacing USB 3. in any case, there's tons of people complaining about how useless TB bandwidth is at this point, so what good is the additional bandwidth from optical?

    optical TB will likely be fully compatible with whatever ports they're sticking in MBPs right now anyway. the only thing that will change is the cable wiring.

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