MBP 17 (AG, 3.06 Ghz, 4Gb, 7200 RPM 500 Gb HDD) On-going Review!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NovemberWhiskey, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2009

    I should clarify that this is an on-going review, where I continuously post my thoughts and discoveries as I use my MBP more and more.



    Just got my MBP 17 with the listed options. I was really excited; I ran downstairs when I saw the truck out my window.

    Opened it up, and was very impressed by the packaging.

    I just cleared off my desk, and plugged in the computer.

    Can I start to use it, or do I have to wait for it to fully charge?

    I remember reading somewhere that I should wait for it to fully charge, and wait 2 hours after that, and then I should unplug it and use it until the battery is exhausted. I think this would be important for the first charge cycle outside the factory. The battery indicator has full bars, although the magsafe adapter glows amber now. When I first put it in, it was green, but it turned amber within 10 seconds.

    My main concern before even using it is that I noticed that the bottom panel is "loose". When I press the center of the panel, you can feel a little give/play, and sometimes it makes a noise. Sometimes, I feel it even when I pick it up!

    I didn't notice this on any of the units in the Apple store. I picked them up to see how they felt, and they were rock solid.

    Anybody else have the same problem? Will Apple replace it?

    Anyways, I am really excited to start using it. I can't wait!

    I will keep you updated, and update this review. :)

    BTW: What is that black plastic wrapping for that comes with the user-guide and the DVDs? It is just empty, black/clear plastic. It looks like it should have a DVD in there...am I missing something?
  2. ColinEC macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2008
    The bottom of it feeling slightly loose or soft is normal; I have a 13" MBP and it does the exact same thing - nothing to worry about!

    You could calibrate the battery now if you wanted to, or you could wait because you'll have to let the computer sit for five hours after it runs out of power.

    I don't remember having any clear black plastic, it may just be protective film. You should have two installation discs, power cord and extension, manual, Apple stickers, and I think some sort of cleaning cloth (which could be what you're describing).


    Just opened my MacBook Pro box up and I see the black wrapping - it's just the cleaning cloth wrapped up in plastic.
  3. Eithanius macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2005
  4. NovemberWhiskey thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2009
    Haha, I feel like I am giving real-time updates here.

    The magsafe charger just changed from amber, to green.

    I think it was anywhere from 30 min-1 hr for it to fully charge from the factory. I would guess more on the 30 min side of things. Maybe even less.

    So I am going to be an OCD Jobling and wait 2 hours before I turn it on.

  5. NovemberWhiskey thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2009
    lol. I can't believe I didn't pick up on that. It just looked like empty plastic wrapping. Thanks!

    I will post some pics up as soon as I get access to a camera. Yes...I am without a digital camera...
  6. MacModMachine macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2009
    would you happen to have a 15" pro you can do a comparison with, i just recieved a high end 15" free from apple , i was looking to have it upgraded to a 17" and im just wondering footprint difference / heat diff / res comparison.

    thanks !

    some pics?:D
  7. NovemberWhiskey thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2009
    So I finally fired her up.

    First thing I noticed when I tried a spotlight search is....

    I have the 7200 RPM HDD Beep.

    And it froze the computer for something like 5-10 seconds.

    I also got a couple of clicks/other noises later.

    So far, in the short time I've used it, it has clicked/beeped several times.

    The anti-glare screen is great. I have NO reflections.

    I set up my MBP and my old Dell (with a glossy screen) side-by-side and I opened up my blinds behind me. The MBP is fully usable, whereas I cannot see anything on the Dell screen.

    There is definitely a sacrifice in color/sharpness. The stock backround looks really bad on the AG screen. It looks amazing on the glossy one though.

    I think that the AG is the way to go if you will be using this computer where you cannot control your lighting conditions.

    I checked out the bottom panel some more, and I have definitely concluded that there must be something wrong with this unit. I remember picking up multiple units in-store, and non of them felt like this. They felt pretty solid; there was no give/play. This one feels flimsy. Definitely not something that belongs on Apple's top-of-the-line laptop.

    Does anyone use a Logitech MX Revolution with their MBP? I am finding the tracking to be imprecise. It is not bad, and it tracks smoothly on screen, but it is nowhere near the level of smoothness as it is on my old Dell.

    Are there any reasons or fixes for this?
  8. NovemberWhiskey thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2009
    I can tell you that the MBP 17 looks tiny when the lid is closed.

    When I was charging it, I couldn't believe this was a 17-inch laptop. It has a very small footprint.

    I don't have a 15'' to compare it to, but from my experiences in the store there is no real-world difference in terms of portability. You are going to be carrying a laptop either way, and the 17'' only adds about 1 inch on each side, and weighs something like 1 lb more.

    I am 6'2'', and weigh 200 lbs, so weight has never been an issue for me.

    The only thing is that a 17'' laptop may limit your choice of bags/cases.
  9. MacModMachine macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2009

    my macbook pro is my ONLY machine and i think ill get the 17" mostly for resolution.

    size is important to the point i want to be able to use it on a desk comfortably without it being a eyesore.

    i have my 2 intel ssd's ill be dropping into it.

    and of course the 8gb ram upgrade will come in a few months for me.

    the AG seems like a interesting option, ill probably choose that option.

    thanks for the input.
  10. NovemberWhiskey thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2009
    I love the glossy display too, but it is really bad when there is glare.

    I chose the AG option so I can get AG while I am on the move (when I can't control the lighting); I will be buying a glossy ACD so that I can plug it in when I can control the lighting (in my room).

    The sharpness does suffer, so you will just have to weight the pros and cons. It is really a beautiful display thus far, and you won't miss the glossy unless you have them side-by-side to compare.

    If you have the money for the AG + glossy ACD, I think that is really the best of both worlds.

    I wouldn't worry about the size of the MBP17 or it being an eyesore. I think the portability of the 15 over the 17 is really being blown out of proportion. I can maybe see a 13 vs. 17 argument.

    I don't think you will regret the 17 inch option.

    Keep in mind that the added resolution will make everything very small on the screen. I find myself leaning in to read some things. If you change to a lower resolution, everything becomes blurry.

    I am going to go through my programs and change the magnification/font size for everything. Unless there is an easier way to do it across the entire platform.
  11. Ride9650 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    Hey OP, just out of curiosity, can you hear a very high pitched ringing noise coming from the left side when the brightness is on about half to 3/4 of the way up?

    Oh and for the mouse, Its not the MX, but Im also using a logitech mouse and things got alot smoother for me when I installed the logitech control center software

    Lastly, I don't think you have to worry about the bottom panel, mine flexes slightly too. The reason you probably didn't notice it on the display models is because it really only flexes around the area of the hard drive, at least, that has been my observation on mine.
  12. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    Congrats, BTW did it come with the Seagate 500gb 7200.4 drive?
  13. NovemberWhiskey thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2009
    Yes, I do hear the high-pitched ringing. It is there at 3/4, and at max brightness. I think it is even louder at max.

    I didn't notice anything until you told me, and I had to put my ear right next to the laptop--so that it was almost touching. It doesn't bother me otherwise. I don't have any canine in my family. :) But what is causing it? If it is a defect, I'd be worried about that.

    The logitech software seems to have helped, but it is still not as good as on my Dell. Anyone know why or if there are any fixes?
  14. Ride9650 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    Not sure if its a defect, wish I knew. General consensus from the geniuses and applecare seems to suggest that it is, but no one I've spoken to seems to have a clue as to whats causing it. Mighty annoying for me. At least yours doesn't seem as loud as mine which I can hear standing up and about a foot away.
  15. NovemberWhiskey thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2009
    Are you sure it is not the fan?

    Yeah, mine is really quiet and I cannot hear it when I am just sitting here typing. I have to put my ear 1-inch away from that area to hear anything. Even then, it may not be the same thing you are describing. But there is a faint high-pitched noise.

    Anyways, I just unplugged to see what kind of battery life I am getting.

    I have been unplugged for 29 minutes now, and I am 3 bars below max brightness.

    6:27 is the current readout.

    The readout jumps all over the place. I was down at 2:50 min at one point, and when I turned the brightness all the way down, I get 8:50.

    Just jumped to 6:35. I just have FFx open, two tabs, and nothing else going on besides posting this.

    Is there a better way to view batter life? Some users were talking about how it shows the health of the battery (cycles, etc.) Where to I find that?
  16. NovemberWhiskey thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2009
    I've been browsing the web, playing with the computer's settings, and downloading iwork 09; I've been unplugged for 4'21'' now and it says I still have two hours left.

    This is the longest lasting battery I have ever used in a computer, but it is still short of the 8 hours claimed by Apple.

    Also, I've noticed that the HDD problem is really much worse than just a beep here and a click there; the HDD is actually freezing up and skipping. When I open the lid after putting it to sleep, it does not turn on instantly like on my Dell, or any of the other MBPs I've tested in-store. There is a stutter, and a little flicker.

    When I am trying to minimize windows, or when i hover over the dock, there is a delay before the desired action occurs.

    The computer runs COOL all over the top surface. I love it. The Dell was really hot, and I am surprised by how cool the MBP is. I am very impressed with that aspect.

    I also just noticed that each of the LED indicators represents 1 hours worth of charge, and I think that is just brilliant.

    The edges really are sharp. I never noticed this in the store--even when I was looking out for it. I think it's because they don't have any chairs in the store, and so you are in a position where you wouldn't notice the edges.
  17. NovemberWhiskey thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2009
    To give an update, I just installed Win7 RC via bootcamp. I used the Bootcamp assistant to partition the HDD; when I restarted to install Win7, the Win7 intall wizard had some problem with the partition Bootcamp made. It said that partitions must be in NTFS format. Anyways, I just selected the partition, and clicked on "format" in the installer and everything went off without a hitch after that.

    I've noticed that the laptop is just all around snappier in Win7. Thus far, I was really unimpressed by the performance in Leopard. However, I do think that the performance issue is due to that hard drive click-beep problem. I haven't had a beep/click/stutter yet in Win 7. It does sound like the HDD is constantly spinning though. So maybe that is what is going on?

    I can't seem to get aero to work in Win7, and I have no sound. I'm going to go through installing some drivers and see what happens.

    To update on the battery, I made it from 5PM-11PM unplugged. I went through various brightness settings, wireless on, browsing, installing, bluetooth off, keyboard lighting off--and it lasted about 6 hours in leopard. I was amazed and blown away as I had never had a laptop last longer than 2:30 before, so it was really exciting. It's still far off from 8 hours though. I guess you need to be below half-brightness to reach that goal. I don't see how that is possible at anytime during the day unless you have the lights very dim.

    Let's see...

    Oh yeah, and while unplugged, the laptop was SO COOL to the touch. I couldn't believe how cool it was. But after having it plugged in for a while, the top left quadrant of the laptop became burning hot. Way hotter than the Dell. I mean, if you leave you finger just above the keyboard and below the hinge, I am pretty sure you can get a burn--literally. Is this normal? I've noticed many display models at the Apple store were hot too while they were plugged in.

    The power brick is BURNING hot.

    This keyboard is really starting to grow on me. I didn't like it to much at first, but it is actually quite nice.
  18. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000


    Nov 14, 2008
    Why does everyone ask for pics? Its exactly the same as the pics on apple.com or all of the other people who posted pics on here. Most people take the pics w/ their camera phone and they suck anyway. Unless you want it to prove op actually has a mbp 17. In that case, it is a sad sad day for OP if he or she is making this up just to get feedback and comments.
  19. NovemberWhiskey thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2009
    um, my CPU temp is 131 degrees F???

    HD @ 101

    CPU heatsink @113

    Enclosure bases at 86-97

    GPU @ 113

    This thing is burning hot. Is this normal?
  20. huussi macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2008
    Those temperatures are normal.

    When gaming i am getting temps as high as 90C (194F) on the GPU/CPU.

    When idle, they are around 35-45C (95-113F)
  21. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    MacBook Pro 3.06GHz benchmarks

    We've got the 17" MacBook Pro 3.06GHz in our test lab. We're running a mixture of CPU intensive benchmarks whose results we hope to publish today or tomorrow. We'll be comparing it to the 'late 2008' MBP 2.8GHz as well as to the iMac 3.06 and Mac Pro 2.93 (8-core).

    We've had requests to include results for the 2.93GHz MacBook Pro but don't have access to that config. If any of you have that model either in 15" or 17" form factor, please contact me. The CPU intensive benchmarks we are running do not require any financial investment since we use free or demo apps.
  22. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    Who's we? And is the late 08 2.8 MBP the same as the mid-2009 one?
  23. Mactagonist macrumors 65816

    Feb 5, 2008
    NYC - Manhattan
  24. Dwalls90 macrumors 601


    Feb 5, 2009
    With all respect, what is the purpose of this thread other than flaunting your 3K machine? I don't see any review whatsoever.

    That said .. Congrats?
  25. NovemberWhiskey thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2009
    flaunting? what are you talking about?

    I have been updating the review continuously. Did you even read any of the posts?

    I never once flaunted anything, and I have been posting a lot of things I have observed.

    Are you on drugs?

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