MBP buying advice...13 or 15, dual graphics or single, buy now or wait?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by student_trap, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    Hello guys,

    After a massive hubbub with apple not returning my money after sending my faulty macbook back, they have given me £150 ($240) off of a new mac purchase in addition to my student discount, and I am trying to consider what mac to buy. I have a mac pro (2.8 octo) as my main computer so this would be for library usage at uni and photoshop when away from my mac (which happens quite a lot as I travel around the country a fair bit).

    My ideal mac would be a 13" mbp with a matte screen, but this is obviously not an option, so I have been looking at the 15" models.

    My options:

    15" 2.53 + matte screen and applecare at (after discounts) £1060 (saving £550/$880)


    15" 2.66 + matte screen and applecare at (after discounts) £1216 (saving £600/$960)

    The 2.66 is at the absolute top of my budget, but has the dedicated graphics.

    Some questions:

    1. When are these things due to be updated? I think that both would be fast enough, but i'd hate to think that by waiting a month I could get much better value

    2. Do you think that it is likely that apple will make a matte screen option for the 13" next revision

    3. What are the pros and cons of the dedicated graphics? Do people usually just find themselves staying on the integrated option for most of the time?

    4. any other advice that you have would be very helpful
  2. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    1. If you are absolutely desperate, buy it now. You could always sell it on eBay and upgrade to the newer model. If you can wait, you might as well see what happens next month.

    2. They might and might not - I highly doubt it though. Sucks..

    3. I'm always on the 9400M. Only time I'll go onto the 9600GT is when I'm playing a game. Apart from that, the 9400M is very capable - it can handle games relatively well too. Downside to the 9600GT is it uses more battery power, not really a big deal.

    4. If you can afford it, I'd say go for the 2.66GHz model. The dedicated GPU might come in handy one day, and you get a slightly larger hard drive. It'll retain it's value more too than the 2.53GHz model.
  3. DanBUK macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2007
    Thanks for the info on the 9600GT Kilamite- am I right in thinking that if you do want to use the 9600GT for something, you have to reboot?

    I am in a very similar situation to thread starter Student Trap and I am also a little concerned that the next revision will have worse overall graphics/battery performance- if they use Arrandale (i.e. the new core i5 or i7 mobile chips) coming in January then it will have Intel's integrated graphics offerings which I think they are branding as something like 'Intel HD' but are I think a bit weaker than 9400M integrated chips currently used. That means all the line might have to have separate dedicated graphics card to not go backwards in performance. Or they may stay on Core2 duo for another product cycle, missing out the new processors all together.

    I think I am going to wait until the new year, see what is on offer and then if not appealing, could go and buy a used or refurb 15" current gen one with the 9400M and 9600GT.
  4. hackum macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2009
    I think this is what will happen with a new processor upgrade in the summer. But yeah it's only a guess.
  5. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    You have to log out and back in again. Bit irritating, but quicker than a reboot. There apparently is the potential for them to switch on the fly, just Apple has decided not to include this for whatever reason.

    The current rumour is Apple is asking for custom Arrandale processors that don't have the integrated graphics. Either way, they could offer a dedicated GPU as well, so it isn't as if you'll be stuck with integrated graphics if you get a 15" MacBook Pro (Mid-High end range).

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