MBP i7 15" high-end specs is it really worth it to buy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by robertbrian23, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. robertbrian23 macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #1
    Guys, i'm in a position if it is really worth to buy the high-end specs rather than the normal one. or would i wait for the SB...

    i'll be using it for:
    dual boot - bootcamp (Windows 7 64bit)
    - vmware/parallels (Windows XP)

    for certain games. Does SC2 good on Mac? or i really need to use the parallels or bootcamp?

    i've read a lot of threads/posts here about the discrete graphics for bootcamp and slowness if i use parallels. so no to gaming? or a normal resolution for SC2 on Mac OS X is already ok?

    i'll use Windows XP for my work especifially Siebel CRM which uses a lot of RAM.

    other than that - normal tasks - movies, mp3, surfing...

    please be more specific on which is really a good steal with the money and not the normal if you have the money buy the high end specs. :)

    not too much in a hurry but i'm using my office laptop as my personal as well. :)

    so i may really need to have a personal laptop in due time. :cool:
     
  2. seong macrumors 65816

    seong

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    Feb 11, 2010
    #2
    Paralles?
    Then MBP 15" High-end will be enough.
    It has higher resolution, so everything will be crystal clear.
    BTW, as you've probably seen, the new MBA has higher resolution despite the same 13" screen (also the 11" model). We should be seeing a new models coming in January-February or June (at the latest.)
    ALSO, the SC2 runs great on my 13" MBP with low settings (not all, but some set to medium.)
    You should be getting around 60+fps with medium settings (no real difference between the medium and high and ultra. Just more detail, like little lamp on bldg, etc.)

    If I were you, I would definitely wait, unless you reaaaaaaally need it.
     
  3. robertbrian23 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #3
    thanks dude. i may really need to wait then. because it is really not worth it if something would really come out with almost the same price. hope it would be by january then.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    For the additional cost, I don't think the i7 is worth it. I don't think you should buy it.
     
  5. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a

    Fubar1977

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    #5
    I`m totally with Abstract on this one, for the most part you simply won`t notice the difference in the hi-end i7, the money is better spent elsewhere.
    An SSD would be a better investment than the (marginally) faster CPU and will speed up most things instead of just CPU intensive stuff.
    Just my 2 cents.
     
  6. robertbrian23 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #6
    thanks for your inputs.

    does the i5 2.4 or 2.53 with nVidia GT 330 256mb is enough for SC2, Sims 3 future sims? or the upcoming diablo III. i know it is for games.
    normal settings would be enough for me or semi-high settings.

    or do i need the lowest i7 entry? 2.66 with GT330 512mb?

    and since i want windows 7 as well do i need to max out the ram - 8GB? thanks in advance.
     
  7. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a

    Fubar1977

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    #7
    I would personally avoid the i5 2.53, really not much better than the 2.4 and does not (imo) justify the extra cost.
    I don`t really game on the Mac so others would be better qualified to answer your gaming questions but I suspect the i5 would be sufficent for your needs.
    I just prefer to spend my money on more tangible things rather than bigger numbers.
    The increased graphics memory in the higher end models may be worth it in your case tho.
     
  8. robertbrian23 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #8
    thanks dude. do you think i need 8GB ram? because of the dual boot with windows 7? and would that help games like SC2 as well since i won't open SC2 with other applications open like itunes or quicktime
     
  9. kingtj macrumors 68020

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    #9
    Hmm.....

    I *just* bought a Core i7 17" Macbook Pro over the weekend, actually. (I currently own a late 2008 model 15" with 2.8Ghz Core 2 Duo, but I'm putting it up for sale.)

    I haven't yet played SC2, so can't give you specifics on how it will/won't perform in different configurations.... but especially for people who plan on dual-booting into Windows 7 on their MB Pro? I'd think the 8GB RAM upgrade is worth doing. (I'd probably shop around though and buy it after the fact from whoever has the best price. I wouldn't pre-order it from Apple that way or you'll pay a premium.)

    Both OS X and Windows 7 are pretty good about allocating any unused RAM they see as cache memory to make things open more quickly after the first time you launch them and so forth. Considering that, there's really no such thing as having "more RAM than you need" -- unless you're talking WAY excessive amounts that are well above the max. you can put in a notebook.

    Also, although the benchmarks I've seen (www.barefeats.com and so forth) all indicate the Core i7 doesn't give much of a performance boost over a cheaper i5 ... that's also using OS X Snow Leopard. I felt like, as long as I was spending thousands on a new portable anyway, I may as well get the better CPU for a couple hundred bucks more, hoping it "future proofs" it if OS X Lion comes out and turns out to make better use of an i7. I also haven't seen anything really benchmarking the Macbook Pros with i5's vs. i7's running Windows 7 ....


     
  10. robertbrian23 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #10
    the one that i'm planning to buy by the end of the month, i've estimated it to use for 4-5 years time.

    it is really a ripped off for apple to sell the add'l 4 GB ram with that ridiculous price. but i'm really tempted to buy just because of the dual boot. T_T
     
  11. Blu101 macrumors 6502a

    Blu101

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    Sep 10, 2010
    #11
    You'll be fine with the 256MB:

    330M 256MB vs 512MB: http://www.barefeats.com/mbpp22.html
     
  12. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a

    Fubar1977

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    #12
    More memory never hurts, especially if you want to run VM`s and games on it but 8GB might be overkill if you just want to run games etc.
    If you plan on using something like parallels or VMware fusion to run windows/OS X at the same time then I would get the 8GB, otherwise stick with 4GB and see how you go, you can always add more ram later if required.
    I would also avoid buying RAM off Apple if you can, they charge a fortune for extra memory.
     
  13. robertbrian23 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #13
    this would void apple care warranty right if within warranty? i'm not in a country where there are too many apple tech stores out there and i doubt those not so good technicians in our country knows more a thing or two for macbooks. that is why i'm scared also to upgrade later on.
    but if the i5 2.53 with 256mb gt 330 with 4GB mem can help with those games - SC2, diablo III in the future... plus if OS X lion would still run fast. mid model would be fine.
     
  14. tharris0101 macrumors member

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    Apr 15, 2010
    #14
    Do you get the education discount? If so, you get $200 off the base price of the 15" i7. You only get $100 off the base price of the low end i5 15". That was enough to sway me to the i7 model. From everything I've read, the i7 IS faster by around 10%. The extra video RAM and having the 500gb HD by default was the icing on the cake.
     
  15. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a

    Fubar1977

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    #15
    I really wouldn`t bother with the 2.53 to be honest, either go hi-end or lo-end with more ram, the middle option 2.53 seems to be the worst model in terms of value for money (imo), the (unnoticeable) speed bump from 2.4 to 2.56 is the only real difference although the 2.53 may have a larger hard drive too, I forget.

    You CAN swap the RAM in an MBP (and also the hard drive) without compromising your warranty, but if you are nervous about this then by all means have Apple fit more Ram (it`s just more expensive than just about anyone else tho :()

    If you don`t want to run OS X and Win7 simultaneously then I suspect the 2.4 i5 4GB will do you just fine, that`s the one I went for and I fully expect it to still be perfectly useful 3 years from now, for my purposes at least.

    With deeper pockets I would have gone for the i7 with 8GB but I suspect my day-to-day experience would be little different from my i5.
    These are just my opinions though and your use may vary greatly from mine, the last thing I want is to suggest you buying an unsuitable machine and I you have deep enough pockets the i7 fully loaded will ,of course, stay useful for a bit longer speed wise.

    I typically upgrade at 3 year intervals but I suspect I could do 4+ with my current machine. (all my previous windows laptops are dead/dying 2-3 years in, hence my switching to Macs in the first place and I have never regretted the decision for a second)
     
  16. robertbrian23 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #16
    thanks for the advice. does i7 would cause more heat? i want to maintain the mac i'll be buying for 4+ years. i'm buying by the end of the month coz i can't wait even further... :D

    about heat issues? it depends more on the CPU, GPU and ram right? the larger ram, cpu and gpu would coz too much heat?
     
  17. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a

    Fubar1977

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    #17
    The i7 will run hotter than the the i5 if you push it hard, same with any cpu. The more powerful the cpu, the hotter it runs as a general rule.
    I honestly feel that the i7 is overkill in a laptop for most people right now unless you have particularly cpu intensive jobs in mind such as HD video editing.
    A few i7 users may well jump on me for saying so but, again, I suspect many people with i7`s would do just as well with the hi-end i5 and plenty of ram.

    To reiterate, the hi-end i5 with 8gb ram and (if you can run to it) a SSD will give you a very capable macbook indeed and would, in my opinion, give you a better allround machine than simply spending the money on the i7.
    I fully intended to run windows in parallel on my MBP but it turns out I don`t have any "windows only" software so I never bothered.
    Booting into windows rather than running it in parallel with OS X requires noticeably less RAM.
    Sadly, at the moment, if you are a keen PC gamer then you will be wanting windows on there as the Macs game catalogue is somewhat lacking :(
    but dual-booting would be a cheaper option (needs less ram and the Mac will do it "out of the box" without you needing to buy parallels or VMWare Fusion).
     
  18. robertbrian23 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #18
    good for you dude. currently i check the stores if i can apply for those discounts here
     
  19. robertbrian23 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #19


    Civilization V is already available in Mac right? how would it fair as well? hmmmm.

    i5 2.66 with 256mb with 4gb/8gb ram or the i7 2.66 with 512mb 4gb/8gb ram

    if i5 is sufficient enough for the OS X lion
    and for 4gb ram for the dual boot for the windows 7 and/or XP
    and 256mb nvidia for the games

    but for windows in dual boot it will use the intel graphics card right? not the nvidia?
     
  20. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a

    Fubar1977

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    #20
    i5 is more than sufficent for Lion, the new MB Air is lower specced than this (C2Duo/2gb basic) and I`m quite sure it will run Lion beautifully.

    For me, I would go with the i5 with 8gb for longevity and consider a SSD with the money you save over the i7.
     
  21. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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    #21
    I got the i7 and it runs starcraft 2 on high/ultra easily, but if you cmd-m starcraft into a window you will notice that it really takes a toll on anything not starcraft and slows it down quite a bit. Also, since starcraft has impossible to use game chat me and my friends use skype to chat along with starcraft and everything works fine, my advice just spend the extra to get the i7 and better graphics, dont buy the ram because its way expensive from apple and ssd wont do much for playing the game...just loading it initially.

    I also run bootcamp for CAD/CAM programs like Mastercam and Solidworks but I use XP Pro and it does great, tried Parallels 5 and 6 and they both suck and I would avoid Parallels like the plague now. They seem to have a website forum that only promotes Parallels because I posted a question about how to remove there crap because it had files hidden everywhere and I used the dmg to uninstall it and all of there terminal commands and it was still everywhere so I did a clean install to get rid of it, but needless to say that thread never got approved so thats what made me reinstall osx.
     
  22. robertbrian23 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #22
    thanks for the inputs.

    now for the pricing - does apple really check if i'm a student or working from any schools/education office?
    :cool:
     
  23. kingtj macrumors 68020

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    #23
    There are always different ways to look at things, but...

    I have to disagree on the SSD drive. I know SSDs are really cool technology, but when I look at their high prices? I just don't see how so many people can justify them purely for "performance reasons"?

    As someone else said, once your app or game is loaded, the SSD does little or nothing to help speed the program up. It only helps with the initial loading time. And unless you're loading something really big (like the initial start-up time to load OS X itself), the difference is pretty minimal. A fast 7200RPM hard drive will launch most OS X apps in a matter of 1-2 seconds.

    Honestly? The biggest benefit I see for an SSD drive is the vibration/shock resistance. Laptop hard drives always seem to crash with a lot more frequency than their desktop counterparts, and the only reason I can see for that is the vibrations from moving around a laptop all the time takes a toll on them. An SSD should be immune, having no moving parts in it.

    Still, until prices come down, I find extra storage capacity to be FAR more useful than the benefits an SSD offers. It's over $1000 to get a 512GB SSD in your laptop! I can buy a 1TB Western Digital drive that fits in the Macbook Pros for about $119 on Amazon.com!


     
  24. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a

    Fubar1977

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    #24
    I do agree that SSD`s are somewhat overpriced compared with HDD`s at the moment, merely suggesting that the op may wish to spend some of the savings from the i7 (which, as I said before probably won`t make much appreciable difference) on more memory (which will) and possibly an SSD if funds are available (which also will).

    I understand it only speeds up data access, however most apps will benefit, even if only slightly, from this wheras going from 2.4ghz to 2.66 for example won`t benefit much at all.
    Even the least power hungry apps will hit the hard drive, little point in having a blistering cpu and bottlenecking it with slow data access (imo).
    Most people who have gone down the SSD route, on these forums at least, seem very happy with the overall performance gain.

    As I said before, I do not really know the op`s budget so an SSD should really be considered as more of a "luxury" upgrade at the moment and really, none of us started buying Apple gear because it`s the best value computer available at the price, it ain`t (no offense intended ;-) )
     
  25. tjb1 macrumors 68000

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    #25
    Ok, anything about medium in Starcraft 2 will require 512 mb vram which is the i7 package. Running Starcraft 2 on recommended settings, 95% high peaks cpu usage at 158% while only peaking disk activity 27mb read. Dont buy an SSD, upgrade to 8gb ram from 3rd party and spend the money on the 2.66 i7 and a 7200rpm apple or momentus xt hybrid. My Momentus XT loads Starcraft 2 in 5 seconds the first time, 2 the second time and if I played it regularly it would only be faster
     

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