Macbook Pro: which processor speed?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by J.K., Dec 17, 2007.

  1. J.K. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    #1
    I am both new to these forums and Mac computers. I have finally decided to buy a MacBook Pro.

    However, I am not sure which processor to choose, the 2.2Ghz or the 2.4Ghz.

    I tend to have lots of applications open at once, I would use spaces often, and would like smooth coverflow, and aqua effects.

    Will I notice a significant difference between the 2.2Ghz and the 2.4Ghz processor options?

    Will I notice a significant difference between the 128mb and 256mb graphics cards if I don't play games?

    Cheers,
    J.K.
     
  2. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #2
    Delay your purchase until the middle of January.
     
  3. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #3
    Unless you need the MacBook now, in which case buy the 2.4.
     
  4. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

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    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #4
    x2 and if i were you i would just max out the ram instead of worrying about the processor speed. but again wait and see what comes out of january. then come back here if you have questions about a purchase!! ;)
     
  5. J.K. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    #5
    Thanks for your replies. I need a laptop next week, so I cannot wait until January.

    I appreciate your replies but I was looking for something a little more detailed. Could someone please elaborate some of the responses?

    Cheers,
    J.K.
     
  6. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #6
    Your processor speed won't make nearly as much of a difference as the amount of ram you add to the computer. If I were you, I'd get the base speed (2.2ghz?), and simply add 4gb of ram myself for $90. Your performance in that configuration will exceed the fastest MBP (2.4ghz?) running 2gb of ram. Good luck. I'd also advise you to buy refurbished to lessen your chances of having to deal with a defective product, particularly if you're going for the 15" MBP, which has been plagued with yellow screens since they switched to LED backlighting.
     
  7. skyrider007 macrumors 65816

    skyrider007

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    Location:
    Bangkok
    #7
    Get the 2.4GHz 15.4" MBP. I own and highly recommend it. Basically you benefit from having a dedicated graphic card, aluminum build, back-lit keyboard, and larger 15.4" LED-lit screen.
     
  8. jameskohn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #8
    There is so much that goes into this buying decision, including budget and how long you like to keep your computers. I'm a strong advocate of getting the most powerful machine you can afford. I have a number of reasons for this. For starters, we all know how fast technology develops. While there is no way to make a new computer purchase "obsolescence proof" there are things you can do that will make it be productive for a longer period of time. Get the best specs you can afford: you will enjoy it longer and it will be worth more when you finally do decide to sell it. In the mean time, you get to enjoy the benefit of the more powerful computer.

    That being said, for other than financial reasons, I definitely agree with RAM over processor.

    If I couldn't wait until January I would buy my 15" MBP with 2.6 (bto), 4GB (3rd party of course), and the fastest & biggest hard drive available (200Gb 7200rpm???). This will be an amazing machine no matter what happens on Jan 15th. It will last you a long time, and it will have good resale value well into the future.

    Best of luck!
     
  9. J.K. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    #9
    Thanks for your help. The two options that I am considering are:

    2.2Ghz
    4GB Ram
    250GB Hard Drive

    OR

    2.4Ghz
    2GB Ram
    250GB Hard Drive

    Which will be faster?
     
  10. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #10
    The first one, due to the RAM, when working with demanding applications, or heavily multitasking. Otherwise, you won't really notice a difference between the two.
     
  11. jasonliu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    #11
    i'm going to go against the conventional wisdom and suggest you buy somewhere in the middle of the technology curve. It's pointless trying to future-proof your purchase, and your pay a disproportionally more for the bleeding edge. the only differences between the 2.2 and the 2.4 are processor speed, better video card, and larger hdd. processor and hdd shouldn't figure in your decision at all (processor speed bump only incrementally improves performance, larger internal hdd pointless because portable externals are so cheap). so unless you do alot of video work and need the double video ram, i would say the 2.4 isn't worth the extra $500.
     
  12. J.K. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    #12
    Thanks again for your insight.

    I find this confusing because I currently have a [windows] laptop with 1GB of ram, and almost never go over 60%, while at the same time I have a 2Ghz processor which frequently gets up to 100%.
    Does this mean that I won't notice a difference between 1GB of ram and 4Gb ram?

    Which contributes to smooth coverflow and aqua effects most- processor or ram?

    Will I notice a difference between the 128mb graphics card and the 256mb graphics card if I don't play games?

    I appreciate your help!

    Cheers,
    J.K.
     
  13. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    May 30, 2007
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    Midwest USA
    #13
    I suspect that that will depend entirely on the application being used -- some are more processor dependent, some are more RAM dependent. But, you can always put in 4 gig RAM to the 2.4 model for $100 from OWC, $150 from Crucial, you can't change the 2.2 gig processor to a 2.4.
    .
     
  14. InLikeALion macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Location:
    Greener places than I used to live
    #14
    Why don't you tell us what uses you have for your computer and that would help us give more suitable advice.

    Coverflow/"aqua"/eyecandy transitions, etc... work smoothly from a combination of factors. You need enough vram to run eyecandy smoothly, and future OS revisions will only require more. But expose, et al won't run smoothly if the computer is paging out to disk handling a bunch of open or ram hungry apps. Also, if the processor is maxed, asking the computer to do fancy switching/transitions will also be choppy. These all effect it's smoothness, but for differing reasons.

    If you do really intensive stuff, then I would also suggest getting the faster-yet-less-capacious 200 gig HDD as that can help you see a "significant" speed up in what is typically the biggest bottleneck in modern computers.
     
  15. haoqfu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    #15
    definitely go with the first config. you will absolutely benefit more from memory upgrade than 200Hz faster in cpu.
     
  16. ktbubster macrumors 6502a

    ktbubster

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    US
    #16
    2.2 ghz SR MBP refurb = 1699 (1800 with illinois tax) + 100 for 4gb of ram (third party!) = approx 1900.

    2.4 refub = 2099 (2120ish) +100 = 2220ish... is 320 worth more for the extra .2ghz and double video ram? Judging by what you said about your old computer, you probably don't need it.

    I'd go with the 2.2. It's a wonderful machine (I love mine) and handles plenty with ease. I think saving the money is a good idea, and you can always up the ram from 2 to 4gb later (obviousl 4gb will fly, but you might not even need it righ away, and adding ram later is always a nice way to treat yourself to a speed bump mid life of the computer :) )
     
  17. dante@sisna.com macrumors 6502a

    dante@sisna.com

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    #17
    I just bought this setup, except in a 17" high res. 2.6ghz, 4 gig ram, 200 gig 7200rpm. Today I ran Windows 2000, and Vista in VMWare Fusion while using photoshop in OSX. I was testing website development in windows playing heavy flash video.

    This machine smokes: I am not concerned about what I'l' "miss" come January in favor of the PROVEN stability of this machine and LCD Screen. Due to it's current high end nature, I'll get great cash for it next fall when the NEXT and REAL MacBook Pro comes out.
     
  18. queshy macrumors 68040

    queshy

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    #18
    As others have said, wait til MWSF. New updates may be coming.
     
  19. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #19
    MacMall, 2.33, 2Gb, 160HD, 256 MB video, Leopard, iLife '08, no tax, free shipping - $1999 after rebate. It will do all you need plus more for fewer $$$.
    It's what I did.
     
  20. resonate macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    #20
    only santa rosa mbp accepts up to 4gb ram

    it may be worth noting that while tha macmall deal is sweet, only santa rosa macbooks pro accept up to 4gb ram, whether you need that or not. the previous mbp accepts up to 3 gb.
     
  21. Brianstorm91 macrumors 65816

    Brianstorm91

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    Cambridge, UK
  22. killerwhack macrumors regular

    killerwhack

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    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    #22
    The RAM makes the mac able to switch between applications with less delay. If the machine has to swap out a bunch of data to disk in order to switch applications, the machine will seem slower. I agree with the other posters that for general use of many applications, the 2.2ghz machine with more ram will "seem" faster than the 2.4ghz machine with less ram.

    If you were into running arduous calculations like 3d models or FFT calculations, then the faster machine is the way to go but few people need the absolute fastest.

    If you do not play games, you will not notice the difference in graphics cards.

    To qualify my comments, I have a core duo (2.0ghz) with two gig running tiger and I have a core 2 duo (2.4ghz) with four gig running leopard. Because of the demands of cover flow, my ad hoc assesment is that the core duo machine seems as fast. In other words, the leopard machine has more cpu cycles but then leopard uses more cpu cycles so the net gain is near zero.

    For smooth coverflow and aqua effects, I would say it is driven by cpu.
     
  23. Hmac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #23
    I used to order Mac stuff from MacMall. I even had a business account there. Then, a few years ago, they started getting kind of weird - reliability and customer service kind of fell off.

    Before any of you buy anything from MacMall, be sure to look at their reviews at resellerratings.com.

    http://www.resellerratings.com/store/MacMall
     
  24. killerwhack macrumors regular

    killerwhack

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    #24
    Another issue - software

    The MS Office 2004 package is old and so still contains power pc instructions and runs on intel macs through the rosetta power pc layer. This means it is slower than applications provided by Apple (Safari, iphoto, Iwork, etc)
    Next month, MS is releasing their Mac Office 2008 package which contains Intel instructions - known as a universal binary. This should improve the speed a lot! I run Adobe CS2 which is still a powerpc binary and uses the rosetta layer. I have read that Adobe CS3 is much faster because it is a universal binary.

    So the software you run will make a noticeable difference. Third party software you run will not likely affect coverflow and aqua effects, though.
     
  25. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #25
    Yeah, their customer service is pretty much nonexistent, but they did come through with everything as promised.
     

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