MBP i5 vs. i7, Hi Res, drive swaps and some observations

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by diablo2112, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. diablo2112 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010

    New here, hello. I've owned and upgraded 2 of the new MBPs in the last few days, learned a few things, and thought I'd pass along a couple of observations. Perhaps a bit of this may be useful to someone else here.

    I've been in need of a new laptop, had macs long ago, and decided to pickup the new MBP. My local Best Buy had the low end i5 15" model which I bought last Wednesday. Fantastic laptop, but everyone here knows that already, forgive me for being a bit late to the party.

    I decided to upgrade the hard drive, and purchased a 500 GB Seagate 7200 rpm. Installed this, and found the vibration from the high rpm drive to be very annoying through the aluminum chassis. So, returned the 7200 Seagate for a 5400 WD 620 GB drive. Easy swap, no vibration in this drive.

    Lesson 1: the 7200 rpm drive I installed was noisy and vibrated compared to the 2 5400 rpm drives I tried.

    I partionned the new drive to install Windows, and dropped in a fresh copy of W7 with bootcamp, another easy install. Yeah! Best of both worlds. FYI, the 2.4 GHz i5 MBP scored the following Windows Experience Index ratings (with the 640 GB Western Digital drive):

    Processor: 6.7
    Memory: 5.9
    Graphics: 6.4
    Graphics 3D/Gaming: 6.4
    Primary HD: 5.9

    On Friday night, I made the mistake of stopping by the local Apple store. Saw the 15" i7 with hi-res 1680x1050, anti-glare display. On paper, the specs didn't seem that different than the normal 1440x900. In person, simply night and day. Just no comparison. And the matte finish was huge. To top it off, I qualify for the education discount (on a one-year university appointment) which Apple gave me right in the store. So, as George Thorogood would say, Out the door I went. New i7, hi-res display, much-drained bank account....

    It had taken me about 8 hours to setup the prior MBP with the dual partition, transfer of my files, etc. Figured I'd have to repeat this with the new MBP. I put the original 320 GB drive back in the first MBP, and installed the 640 GB drive in the new hi-res model. Viola! It worked right off the bat! Both the OS X partition recognized the new hardware, and the Windows 7 partition rebooted once after it recognized the new hardware as well! I was under the impression (having used Time Machine in my original disc swap) that the drive was tied to a particular machine.

    Lesson 2: upgrade/swap of the new MBP was a breeze. Just installed the new hard drive, and was good to go. 10 minute upgrade.

    Lesson 3: no comparison for me hi-res anti-glare to regular glossy. Highly recommend the anti-glare the whole way.

    In use, I found the i7 perhaps marginally faster than the i5, really hard to tell. In particular, applications seemed to open a "bounce" or 2 faster than the i5. FYI, I reran Windows Experience Index on the new i7 2.66 GHz processor. All results were identical, except the processor score. It was

    Processor: 6.9

    Just loving the MBP. The old one goes back to Best Buy today. I will probably have to swallow the restocking fee, but the educator discount I got on the new MBP more than covers this.

    Thanks for reading. Excuse the long first post.

    Joe M.
  2. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816


    Oct 8, 2008
  3. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Good to know you're satisfied with the anti-glare choice; I guess Apple was smart to only ship the anti-glare to the stores with only their i7 models :p
  4. cmanbrazil macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2010
    Maybe it was your drive, because I just bought the 15 inch base model, put the drive I had in my other macbook pro -7200 hitachi, and it runs well. The only time I feel any vibration is when the fan comes on, and that's not bad.

    the hi res issue i understand your point. I bought the low res the day it came out, and while I am content and actually do like the glossy screen, I can see a time where I might kick myself for not getting it. While it is extra money, you are already paying a lot of money, what's 150 more?

    I would prefer to get hi res on a larger monitor, so I will be looking for a good external monitor to meet this need.
  5. NOTORIOUS187 macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2009
    Thanks for the post. I'm curious to hear other stories regarding the 7200rpm drive since I'm planning on ordering it as well.
  6. tann macrumors 68000

    Apr 15, 2010
    Nottingham, England
    Firstly, great post! Learnt a LOT from it! I've been searching around for the WEI numbers quite a bit and thank you so much for posting them!

    I wonder how the memory would do with 8gbs of ram instead of 4.

    Thanks again for the great post! (Seriously if the post was a facebook status I would definitely 'like' it ;) )
  7. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Sorry, but what are you asking here exactly?
  8. NOTORIOUS187 macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2009
    He's wondering how the computer will perform with 8gb RAM compared to 4gb. Not that hard to figure out, bro.
  9. easepease macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2010
    I know its a bit random but only 6.9? I built a budget PC tower 3 months ago and the i3 530 had a 6.9, the rest were all the same except my harddrive was a 5.6... I have macs as well, just always gets annoying that that tower was only $400 and it has the same stats as a $1700 laptop. But then again you get what you pay for, not in the specs department but in the ease of use and looks, which I find worth it :)
  10. the_wallcrawler macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2003
    Bummed to hear about the 7200 drive as I have the same one on the way. Hope its a "your mileage may vary" type of thing.
  11. diablo2112 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    Thanks all. Regarding the 7200 rpm vibration I experienced, it was a Seagate drive I installed. I can't comment on the Hitachi, which I believe someone else mentioned (and is the source for the OEM 7200 drives?).

    Took the i5 back to Best Buy, they were very good, and didn't charge a restock fee. That coupled with the $200 educators discount on the i7 made this a worthwhile swap.

  12. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Excellent first post.

    My Z is going back too.

    How do you find with weight / size difference going from the Z to the 15" MBP?

    Did you consider the 13" MBP? I realize it may not have the power you wanted, nor anti glare but it's more comparable in size. The Z to a 15" seems like a big leap as far as size weight is concerned although you get the bonus of the larger screen.

  13. inffest macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2010
    Hi, I have ordered the new 15" MBP i7 hi-res antiglare with 500GB 7200 rpm, is it a seagate? a good one? the thing is i can still cancel my order and go for the 500Gb 5400 rpm Hitachi if thats a better HDD overall! what do you think? Please help me out cause i've been having this dilemma for 3 days now.....and i need to wait 10 days and extra $50! so is the MBP with 7200 rpm that i ordered WORTH the price and wait?!?!

    Please let me know asap as if i need to cancel my order i should do it asap!

  14. GSN macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2010
    This is the WEI of my HP Envy:

    Attached Files:

    • WEI.JPG
      File size:
      45.8 KB
  15. 2contagious macrumors 6502a


    Apr 29, 2008
    even more impressive that the macbook pro i7 scores 6.9 and the HP envy only 0.1 points more: correct me if I am wrong, but the HP envy has Quad Core i7 processors right? The MacBook Pro uses Arrandale i7 (Dual Core).
  16. GSN macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2010
    Yea, Envy use i7 quadcore (8 thread) without intel GPU.
  17. paintballswimgu macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2010
    i also have a seagate 7200 rpm 500gb drive, the newest one out. I recently installed it, i thought the vibration would drive me crazy when i was installing the operating system. Turned out it wasn't the drive, it was the cd-rom drive. I had a different HD (same model) in my old mbp, it clicked nonstop, but didn't really vibrate. My new one is the replacement from seagate.

    PS. Seagate customer service, and there returns/echange policy is terrible. Western digitals seems to be the best after i looked around. My next drive will be a WD or a SSD

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