MBP 13" Configuration Help

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pyronutter, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. pyronutter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 14, 2010
    #1
    So I have wanted a MacBook Pro for a long time and I am finally in a place to do something about it, I've read through countless threads to help choose the best configuration but there's nothing specific about what I am considering.

    I'm thinking either 2.66GHz processor, 8GB of ram, and either 320GB or 500GB hard drive.

    Or 2.4GHz processor, 8GB of ram and the 128GB SSD hard drive and then save files on an external hard drive I have.

    So really I was hoping you could tell me what you think will give the best overall performance and which is the best upgrade, feel free to change my combos if you feel there is a better one, I will only really use it for browsing, word processing, maybe the occasional simple image editing, and very rarely gaming but it's not essential.

    Thanks for any advice you can give me.
     
  2. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

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    Mar 18, 2010
    #2
    The performance with the SSD will be much better than the regular HDD. The difference in performance between the 2.4 ghz and 2.66 ghz is barely noticible.
     
  3. pyronutter thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 14, 2010
    #3
    I've read that people have added an SSD after for a cheaper price and that they are much faster, is it hard to replace it, would it void the warranty and is it easy to install Snow Leopard onto, for that matter does the MacBook come with Snow Leopard on a CD to install? A lot more questions for which I apologise, just really don't want to be disappointed with what I do!
     
  4. pyronutter thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 14, 2010
    #4
    Ok sorry to add another post to my own thread, but after a days research on these forums I've thought that 2.4GHz is the best processor to go with as I won't notice a difference between the 2.66GHz, and 4GB ram will be plenty and 8GB is really overkill and then to add in a 256GB SSD as 128GB really wouldn't be enough.

    So the set up i'm thinking of ordering is:
    2.4GHz C2D
    4GB ram
    256GB SSD

    Again I'm really sorry to ask again, just going to be my first Mac and I want perfection!

    Thanks
     
  5. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #5

    I got the 2.66 as a graduation present, and even though I like having that little extra performance it is pretty much negligible and if I was in the market buying one with my own cash I would get a 2.4 and get a faster HD (7200 rpm, hybrid, or ssd) with the $200. If you can spend a little more and deal with a limited capacity (≈$220 for 80gb) then you can get an ssd and I would highly support that. They are SOOO fast. I am waiting till I can get a little more storage for that price, but if you can deal with 80gb get it. As far as ram goes, 8gb is a bit overkill. I couldn't imagine even power users or most gamers needing more than 6gb. Just another way to save money on something you don't need, cause 6gb will give you more than enough.
     
  6. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #6

    WHHHOOAAA 256 gb ssd will run you probably $400-700. If you can find one for cheaper than that there is probably a very good reason (not ALL ssd's are good). I would even be suspicious of a $400 256gb ssd. And like I said, if you are a power user or gamer a 6gb ram upgrade may help but if you are a normal user 4gb will be fine.
     
  7. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #7
    You know what, I honestly think your stock 13 inch is going to be just fine for you. If I were you, I would wait 2 or 3 years for an ssd. It should be a little cheaper (look at how much cheaper flash drives are now) by then, and you will be laughing your ass of when your computer seems faster than all of your friends brand new macbook pro's. Unless of course iOs takes over by then, I guess they'll be iPad Pro's. If you are going to be doing some serious video editing or some sort of rendering, then your upgrade list is good. But if you are just doing some photoshop here and there, presentations and documents, and surfing the internet, you will be more than happy with a stock 2.44
     
  8. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #8
    I came very close to buying a 2.4 Ghz 13 inch MBP and an aftermarket 256Gb SSD. I would have upped the RAM to 8Gb, though. I would have needed it because I run Windows 7 apps in a VMware Fusion virtual machine in Unity mode. It's a memory hog. If your uses will be limited to more or less everyday tasks, I think that 4Gb would be just fine for you.

    By the way, the reason I decided not to buy the 13 inch MBP was not because I hold it in low regard. I decided not to buy only because I couldn't quite bring myself to give up on the idea that Apple will update the Macbook Air sometime.
     
  9. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #9
    Meh don't get an air. They will always have lower performance, the lack of a cd drive is going to get you in a pinch one day, it still has the same foot print as a 13 inch, and the bag you need to carry it kind of renders the thinness useless. A macbook pro is plenty thin enough, and a bag for it will be only slightly thicker than an air bag. At least with a netbook sized computer the loss in performance is ok because it's footprint is smaller. The air kinda seemed to start the useless product releases from apple.... first that, then the magic mouse, then the ipad (or should I say ipod touch xl), next is going to be an ios desktop.
     
  10. pyronutter thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 14, 2010
    #10
    Thanks very much for all the advice you all gave, I guess I was just pulled towards an SSD because of the sheer speed increase and silent running of the laptop.

    Maybe getting the 8GB of ram as I might need to run Windows 7 because that is what I currently use, and then get a normal hard drive then upgrade it when the SSD price comes down would be my best bet for a bit of future proofing.

    I did fall in love with the MacBook Air but practically I think the 13" MacBook Pro is much better for me.
     
  11. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #11
    I think built in optical drives are largely irrelevant these days. Thus, that the MBA doesn't have one worries me not a whit. I have given a lot of thought to the 13 inch MBP versus the MBA dichotomy and, but for the MBA's being limited to 2Gb of RAM, the MBA comes out on top. If the MBA is updated and provides 4Gb of RAM, I'll almost certainly buy one because, its light weight, the 13 inch MBP is 50 percent heavier, and svelte form factor mean that much to me. I agree, though, that the MBA is not for everyone, but for those who appreciate its virtues, it's the only game in town.
     
  12. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #12

    it is cool that it fits in a manilla envelope

    it would just be cooler if it did so AND it was slightly bigger than a dvd case (to allow for a decently sized keyboard)

    I constantly need a cd drive unfortunately, I want to be rid of using physical means of storage like that.
     
  13. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #13
    Are you doing parallels or bootcamp? Something like parallels would definitely benefit from 6gb, 8gb might still be a bit overkill but it may be worth it. the bootcamp way is going to demand a bigger capacity HD, not more ram. And I don't think you should do an aftermarket HD now if you are planning on ssd later... it just seems kinda silly since the stock ones are plenty fast.
     
  14. pyronutter thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 14, 2010
    #14
    I would almost definitely need to use Boot camp at some point, as I have used PC's all my life. I would upgrade to 6GB ram over 8GB but 6GB isn't an option when buying the MBP and I want to do as little aftermarket upgrading as possible. If I need a lot of space on the HDD for Boot camp then it seems I definitely can't afford a big enough SSD, if I ordered it from Apple with a 256GB one then I'd have to have 2.4GHz processor and 4GB ram because of the cost of the upgrade, so I'm leaning towards the either 2.4GHz, 8GB ram, 500GB HDD or 2.66Ghz, 8GB ram, and 320GB HDD, they both come to very similar prices, so really it comes down to either .26Ghz or 180GB
     
  15. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #15
    As much as I admire the MBA, I would be the first to concede that it appeals to a relatively narrow segment of laptop users. Those who think that the extra 1.5 pounds the 13 inch MBP has is no big deal should by all means avoid the MBA. The 13 inch MBP is cheaper, more powerful and feature rich out of the box, and is expandable in ways the MBA is not. In short, those who don't think the MBA's sleek design and extraordinarily light weight are worth the premium it costs and the compromises it imposes should go for the 13 inch MBP instead.
     
  16. Reapur macrumors regular

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    May 5, 2010
    #16
    The MBP is already really silent. Save your money and get the 500 gb 7200 RPM drive which will be plenty fast and quiet, for what you are using the machine for this is perfect. Then in a couple years when you can get more storage/$ with SSD then upgrade to it if you like. Im not sure if you need the 13 inch for a reason but if you can afford the 15" MBP then go for that over the 13" it will feel a lot less cramped on the display because of higher resolution and could allow you to be more productive. The weight difference is minimal.

    As for noise, the only time your Mac will make noise is when you are running flash apps like Farmville, or gaming on it for a long time. The fans are silent the vast majority of the time and only crank up when doing those two tasks for me.
     
  17. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

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    Mar 18, 2010
    #17
    Same with me, hard drive noise is barely noticeable and fans are mostly quiet. But when they do rev up, playing games and such, they are insanely loud, like louder than any laptop I've used.
     
  18. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    Apr 12, 2008
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    Tulsa
    #18
    I would prefer the 13 inch MBP to the 15 inch model. The 13 inch is more than a pound lighter than the 15 inch model and is nearly 2 inches less wide and 1.5 inches less deep. The entry level 13 inch MBP is $600 cheaper than the 13 inch, too. I used a 13 inch model extensively last week and was hardly ever aware that it had less screen real estate than my own 17 inch. The same goes for the difference in screen resolution. If I were buying a new MBP right now, the 13 inch model would be the one I picked.
     
  19. pyronutter thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 14, 2010
    #19
    Just thought i'd thank you all for your advice, it was very helpful.

    Thought i'd also share that after all my crazy spec ideas I just went with the base MacBook Pro 13" and then upgrade maybe a little earlier than originally planned, and I have to say it is truely beautiful!

    Thanks again
     
  20. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #20
    Exactly, the minimal compromises in performance are worth the lighter weight, better battery, more attractive form factor, smaller footprint (you really notice this one on the road, I own a 15 inch pc and my 13 inch mbp the smaller dimensions make this nearly night and day), and significantly lower price. I don't see why people need a larger screen in a portable computer. In fact, I wish I could get the smallest screen possible with a decent keyboard (10 inches?). Besides, there is just something less attractive about the 15 and 17 in my opinion...something elegant about the simplicity of having the keyboard take up most of the computer and having no speaker grilles.
     
  21. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #21
    Great computer btw
     

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