Macbook Pro: Upgradable Sound Card and 8800M GTX??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SolracSelbor, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. SolracSelbor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #1
    Hi guys,

    1)
    This is my first post here. I am currently a PC user but I really want a mac and am getting no where with vista. What I wanted to know is if you can add a sound card to the MBP, I love watching movies on my laptop now and i use a 5.1 surround sound system on a Audigy sound card. I am planning on waiting for the new ones in January but it will definaetly be a 17'' High rez screen (still not sure about glossy or matte tho).

    2)
    Also, I am a college student and I wanted to know if anyone has had experience with lugging around the 17'' MBP, whether it's a nuisance or not.

    3)
    Does anyone know if the New MBP will have an updated graphics card, the current one is horrible, and I dont want to give up gaming just because the MACs cant handle it.

    4)
    Whats the best and cheapest way to get a Mac? I was told that since i am a student i should purchase the student developer membership and use my one time developer hardware purchase. Is there any other way?

    Thanks everyone for helping me out! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa..etc...etc:apple:
     
  2. StealthRider macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Yokosuka, Japan
    #2
    1.) If you can find an ExpressCard/34 or FireWire sound card, then you can add a sound card. However, the MBP supports 5.1 optical output in its stock configuration.

    2.) I have a 15" MBP, but I spent some time "lugging" a 17" PowerBook a couple of years ago. It's pretty big, no question - forget using it on airplanes or putting it safely on those little tiny pull-up desks they love in college lecture halls.

    3.) The current card, the 8600GT, is absolutely not a bad card. Remember that you're dealing with a thin-and-light notebook here, not a 2" thick gaming machine. If you want to do heavy gaming, go with one of those. If the card is updated in the next revision, it'll be a step up, not a jump to an 8800GTX.

    4.) ADC does give a huge discount, but, again, it's one-time only. If you think you'll ever want a more expensive machine than this MBP, skip the discount this time and use the regular student one.
     
  3. Adokimus macrumors 6502a

    Adokimus

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #3
    1) Might want to try this: http://us.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=209&subcategory=669&product=14064

    ...or some other add on. Nothing internal.

    2) Lot's of threads on this. Search 15" vs. 17". The general consensus is that the 17" is a little heavy to carry around daily. But, it's the thinnest lightest 17" out there and some people have no problems with it.

    3) Current graphics card is really not horrible. And we won't ever see the 8800 in the MBP. I'm as sorry as you are, but if you need that power get the new alienware laptop coming out soon. Or get a desktop PC if you're a gamer. Current Macs aren't designed to be primarily gaming machines. You should probably examine what your needs are and if the MBP is right for you.

    4) Unless you're a developer, you might just want the regular student discount. But, I think there is a guide on the ADC. Give it a check.
     
  4. SolracSelbor thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #5
    The alien ware is a bit too pricey, and I am trying to veer away from windows altogether. I forgot to mention that I am also big on photography and film making, which is another reason I want the Mac. However, because I also like gaming, I don't want to have to give it up cold turkey.

    :apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple:
     
  5. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #6
    To be honest - get a XBox360 or PS3 for gaming and enjoy your Mac for everything else.

    If you are in filmmaking - Adobe offers a great deal for students on production studio.
     
  6. skuzzy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Location:
    Cape Town, SA
    #7
    The only question that you have that I am going to attempt to answer is the size/portability of the 17" MacBook Pro.

    I plan on getting the 17" primarily because of the high-resolution option which comes in quite handy with photo editing/general editing. I don't know what other purpose it would serve to the average user (if that is what you are) other than the extra desktop real-estate.

    If portability is a must, 15" is the way to go. I only use a laptop for one period a day at school and then it spends the rest of its time chilling on my desk so moving a 17" about won't really be an issue (compared to other 17" laptops, the Mac is a light). However, I also know that the size difference is not as big as one thinks its only 1.75cm on each side, but apparently it makes a huge difference? Or maybe it is the extra 500g that you are carrying about, I am not sure.
     
  7. SolracSelbor thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #8
    What about the extra USB port that you get with the 17 inch? Is it worth it?
     
  8. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #9
    How much would you pay for an extra USB port? I wouldn't value it very much. And about laptop sizes; the 15" model feels just right.
     
  9. socamx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    #10
    Honestly there is nothing wrong with the video card the Macbook Pro has, it runs UT3 at max settings for me fine, and I only have the 128 MB version of it.

    My question is, why buy a laptop for gaming? You can't upgrade video cards in them. Sure there is that Nvidia slot for video cards but you can't really go out and buy a new video card and swap it in. You're better off keeping a desktop for gaming, keep windows on it for that sole purpose and it'll save you from having to reboot into bootcamp for windows-only things.

    The only reason to get the 17 inch Macbook Pro (over the 15 inch) is for the larger screen real-estate which comes in handy for things like photo and video editing. An extra USB port is hardly a buying point. So far I'm fine with the 15 inch one, haven't felt cramped while in Photoshop.
     
  10. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
  11. The Red Wolf macrumors regular

    The Red Wolf

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    Occi Dens Pacifica
    #12
    It's a DELL!

    Same money if not more for a big hot loud video card that gives you maybe 20 FPS more... But you loose Firewire 800 and LED display backlighting... And it's thick, and is loud, did I mention LOUD!

    Oh yea, and it's a bloody DELL. (Just says Alieum-Warez on it) I would be disgusted, Alienware sold out to Dell, it's that simple. From a support standpoint I've repaired them, the motherboards are propriatary and either out of stock or not available at all. Also the DC/DC boards give out...

    No MAG SAFE!

    Ugh...

     
  12. The Red Wolf macrumors regular

    The Red Wolf

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    Occi Dens Pacifica
    #13
    High Res Display

    There is a massive difference betwen 1950X1200 and the 15" model. One USB port...

    Also it gets better millage out of the larger battery... One USB port...

    And it's not that much heavier... Hell, one book for a class is heavier.

     
  13. The Red Wolf macrumors regular

    The Red Wolf

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    Occi Dens Pacifica
    #14
    You will never find a more capable video card for fighting scum and villainy...

    Okay... Now I'm angry... the 8600m GT is a massively powerful card and can be over-clocked in the MacBook Pro so long as you do the thermal paste repair/upgrade. There is not a single game available for the Mac that doesn't run on this card. I'm so sick of "It's not a 8800m GTX with 1 GB RAM!" Wah... That would up the price, ad a half inch to the case and have a fan that would rape your ears... That and they just released the 8800m GTZ with 512MB well past the Rev C. MacBook Pro creation date.

     
  14. Adokimus macrumors 6502a

    Adokimus

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #15
    Hey Red Wolf... calm down. The OP seemed to be looking for a gaming machine, and in particular the nvidia 8800 graphics card. My advice was that he might be looking at the wrong machine for those needs. That was sound advice. While I don't know the benchmarks offhand, an additional 20 fps is nothing to gawk at if you're a gamer. Your argument that "it's a bloody Dell" is unconvincing. I don't even want to aknowledge it. Sure, the OP will lose FW 800, but it didn't appear the OP needed FW 800, and that standard will be blown out of the water by USB 3.0 soon enough anyway. And the OP won't lose LED as he was looking at the 17" MBP which doesn't have LED backlighting to begin with. Further, the full alienware specs are not released yet, and it may very well have an LED screen. Additionally, Alienware, even after being bought out by Dell, is known to have had solid reviews and dependability.

    The OP has since said that he is more concerned with the OS being mac and with his uses going beyond gaming. With that knowlegde I would point him back to the 17" Hi-Res MBP. But, my initial advice was appropriate given the OP's original parameters.

    Calm down fanboy, Dell isn't the devil.

    -Ado
     
  15. Adokimus macrumors 6502a

    Adokimus

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #16
    Sorry, I forgot to address the lack of a mag safe. Is that really your closing argument? Really?
     
  16. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #17
    The card in the MBP is the best card you can get for slim notebooks. If you really need a gaming machine then theres Alienware and Dell XPS, it will be awhile untill nvidia makes a slim card faster than the 8600. As for OS X, if you really need to then there are other ways to run it than just on a mac...
     
  17. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #18
    The 17" is the better 'do-everything' notebook IMO in Apple's range, if just a tad unwieldy if you're taking it everywhere. It's actually not hideously huge compared to the 15". It is definitely more useful. If everyday portability isn't critical then it's a better option in my opinion. Weightwise, a travelling all-up weight with a PSU - <600g isn't a huge difference.

    [​IMG]

    Both laptops are way too heavy - and badly / delicately built - for me to consider for regular portage, so I just use both machines as DTR-lites for going further than the point to point journeys I make with my Dell XPS 'full' DTRs. And as such I also find the 17" more useful. Statistically speaking I've also had fewer outright functional issues with 17" machines than the 15"s, although being bigger but just as thin the 17" has reduced structural integrity than even the 15", and I've experienced two 17" that developed an asymmetrical droop on the lower case. Deformations on the upper case are too frequent for me even to notice much these days. But one major advantage of the 15" for external use is definitely the much brighter screen.

    Awwww Red Wolf.... did the nasty Dell man hurt you? Do you actually have any experience of these machines you trash, or do you just pull these arguments out of the air?
     
  18. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #19
    The Mobility Radeon HD 3800 series might do it, being made on 55nm and all :D
     

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