Math Student Needs Advice on Which 15' to Get

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by eUnique, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. eUnique macrumors member

    May 22, 2011
    Hello all; ever since I decided to get a MBP, rather than upgrade my old MB I have struggled to pick which model I need (want lol). So that was 2-3 weeks ago, and immediately wanted the 2.3 Ghz, but then realized my money would be better spent elsewhere. So now it boils down to the 2.0GHz or the 2.2GHz model. And either way I want to install a SSD in the main bay and put the old HDD in the optibay.

    Unless I'm missing something the only differences are:

    200 Mhz in the processors
    Faster or Bigger HDD
    Better GPU with 4x the memory

    Since the HDD won't be my main drive, is there really a difference between the 5400 and the 7200 RPM models?

    Lastly the things I want to do on my MBP:
    - Adobe Master Collection - (to be honest I don't know much about it, but a business friend is "investing" in me so eventually I will be using all/almost all of the programs, he says)

    - Mathematica, and also my field of studying in prime number theory; so some programs I write will involve ungodly large numbers, and numerous algorithms. But I'm not technology savvy enough to know how much power I need; and how much of a difference there is between the 2.0 and 2.2

    - Will be doing programming in various languages, database creation and analysis

    - Logic Studio or something of that nature, it would be as a hobby

    - Starcraft ll

    - Parallels only for a few windows programs, but none of those are intensive programs

    What does everyone think?
  2. superericla macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2010
    I suggest the higher end MacBook Pro. Since you'll be playing Starcraft II, the (much) better GPU will greatly benefit you and the higher end Pro is more "future proof" in a sense.
  3. skier777 macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2010

    For $300 you get the processor upgrade, larger HDD and faster GPU. The processor and GPU are with the laptop for life, so once you buy it its too late to upgrade these.

    If you're going to be writing a lot of code and using Adobe CS I would also suggest upgrading the screen to hi-res, since you can fit a fair bit more on the screen at a time, and its only $90. You only get one shot at upgrading this.
  4. bniu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    go the refurb route and get a 2.3 CPU. That's how I basically got my 2.3 upgrade for free.
  5. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    Starcraft II isn't particularly demanding, I don't think you need the 6750 over the 6490. In most games, unless you are driving a high res external display, VRAM isn't too important and even then the extra VRAM is only missed at 1080p or higher. Photoshop uses the GPU but I don't think it pushes it too hard either.

    There is a difference between the drives, I haven't used both but I bought the 750GB 5.4k RPM over the 500GB 7.2k RPM because the platter density gave it a speed advantage in most tests. I believe the faster rotation only helped in random access which didn't suit my needs so much. I don't think the 500GB 5.4k drive loses out too much compared to the aforementioned two.

    I don't think the 2.0 -> 2.2 with the CPUs is worth it for that alone.

    Okay so (my 2c) : GPU... not a priority, HDDs...okay, CPUs... not a huge advantage. Maybe spend the difference saved on the higher res display? For the stuff you've mentioned, I would take all the pixel space I can get.

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