MBP: Is the $500 difference in 15in Worth it?!?!?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tophustyle, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. tophustyle macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2007
    I have a MB that i bought a year ago. I freaking love this thing! I upgraded the hard drive and a few other things... I use this MB for everything other than gaming! I love this computer so much, but I wish I had a little more power for video editing and web design (Im just now getting into it!)! Im going to purchase a MBP in the next few weeks and I really need some advice on what to do! IS IT REALLY WORTH THE EXTRA 500 BUCKS IN THE 15in MODEL? Im not super savvy when it comes to tech specs, I just know that I have been a mac user now for the past year and I will never use a pc again! Please help me out! Thanks!:apple::confused::cool:
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    No, there is a ~10% performance boost but that's not enough to justify the price difference.
  3. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    I don't think it is worth the extra $$$. I'd say the samething about the iMacs too, but thats just MO.
  4. vicious7 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2007
    Jacked into the net...
    I think it depends. If you are going to be doing graphics intensive stuff, need more screen real estate, burn dvds, or a number of other things that sets the MBP apart for the MB, then the price difference could be worth it.

    It solely depends on what you need a computer to do for you and whether that computer can deliver.
  5. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    Here we go again....this was brought up so much around June 5th onward..
  6. spjonesi macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006
    I love mine. The extra $500 gets you the bigger drive as well as the faster speed. Sometimes the drive gets left out. You could either get the 2.2 with the 160gb drive from Apple at 2074 plus tax which comes to about 2200 at 6% tax, or you could get the 2.4 from amazon, stock config only, matte only, for 2349 with no shipping and no tax -AFTER REBATE-. For $149 more I preferred the 2.4. Though I also got the 7200rpm drive.

    just something to consider, I suppose.

  7. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    Are you asking whether the $500 difference between the entry level MBP and the mid-level MBP is worth it?

    If so, I would say I don't think so. Stick with the entry level MBP unless money is not an issue. Also, as others have already stated, if you are not going to game the MB you have is probably pretty good.

    The only reason I sold my MB CD was to get the 8600GT in the entry level MBP SR 2.2 but I really like to play the occasional RTS game in Windows under bootcamp.

  8. fr4c macrumors 65816


    Jul 27, 2007
    Hamster wheel
    stick with the 2.2 MBP, it'll be more than sufficient for your needs. use the money you saved on others things such as RAM and faster HD.
  9. phuong macrumors 6502a

    Aug 16, 2006
  10. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
    For $500 you are paying for a 9.1% speed bump and 100% more VRAM.

    You may be interested in the following comparison posted at Bare Feats - SHOOTOUT: MacBook Pro 2.2 versus 2.4 (and 128M versus 256M VRAM)

    Comments about video memory:

    The 15" MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo (256MB GDDR3 video SDRAM) was at most 9% faster than the 15" 2.2GHz MacBook Pro (128MB GDDR3 video SDRAM). If we average all the results, it was 5% faster. Suspiciously, that 9% maximum gap corresponds to the 9% difference between the 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo CPU clock speeds. At least for graphics intensive apps like 3D accelerated games, it can be argued that the extra video memory doesn't buy you anything.

    Comments about cost difference:

    As for price difference between the "good" and "better" 15" MacBook Pro, it's more accurate to say $425 instead of $500 if you configure both the 2.2 and 2.4GHz models identically (with the same 160GB 5400rpm drive). So you have to ask yourself, is the 9% maximum performance advantage worth 20% more money? And how much is that 9% advantage worth in terms of your time savings over the life of the machine?

    When more VRAM is useful

    Is there any situation where you could put the 256MB of GDDR3 SDRAM to work? I suppose if you are running your MacBook Pro in dual display mode with an external 30" Cinema display, which assigns 128MB to each display, it could help. And if you are running a video memory hungry pro application like Motion 3, it could help. We're still trying to find a way to quantify this.
  11. rev316 macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2004
    I hear where you're coming from. I had a MBP Rev 2... whatever the core duo model was last summer.... Anyway, it was a tuff decision; but I justified spending 500 bucks for my upgrade. Do I feel it? No. Do I feel better about it? Sure.
  12. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    That is an important point. The life of the machine should be measured in terms of how long you keep it, not its useful life.

    Since the Intel Macs came out I've purchase 2 machines in 10 months versus 2 in 5 years in the powerpc days. Buying the latest and selling the prior seems to be a lot more viable now.

    Depending on your personal perception of value, the delta is not significant considering the potential gain some of these upgrades provide. Of course financial wherewithal and tolerance for the minimal disruption any upgrade causes will temper the desirability of regular upgrades.

  13. Squonk macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2005
    That hits home with me. Is it worth $500 (or $425 to be precise) today for the 9% performance increase in CPU performance? For me, coming from my PowerBook, I doubt it. But, looking 2-4 years down the road (yes, I will probably be keeping my system that long), will that 9% allow me to keep the system another 6-12 months? Who the heck knows. But, that is how I will be looking at this question in Dec/Jan when I'm ready to spring for a new machine.

    I am tempted to pick up a refurb C2D MPB 2.13 for $1499 and crank up the RAM and the hard drive to a 200/250GB with the money savings.
  14. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006

    Precisely! The longer you plan on keeping the system, the more viable the higher end system becomes. If you are going to flip in the next 6-18 months that extra $$$ may be better spent on the next revision's entry-level.

  15. prady16 macrumors 6502


    Aug 24, 2006
    Right There --->
    Spoil yourself dude! Go for it!
    Silver aluminium looks much better than the glossy white!

    Why not wait for Leopard instead of buying it now?
  16. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    I agree, though I plan on keeping my next machine for several years longer. My P3m 1.2 with 384MB of RAM still runs and if I were to reinstall the OS and remove a bunch of junk it would still run well. That machine is nearly 5 years old and I see my wife using it for probably another 2-3 years (email, surfing, music and pictures). That means that the total life span is going to be between 7 and 8 years (or 84 and 96 months). Which equates to $4-5 per month for the extra $425. Very reasonable in my opinion. Of course, I'm also trying to use this to justify spending the extra dough on a refurb hi-res 17" because if it has a lifespan of 7-8 more years (which, with 4GB of RAM, it ought to) it would only cost $24-31 per month.

    My point is, if you spread the extra cost out over the total lifetime, it doesn't seem like much. But I agree that if you upgrade less than every 3 years, don't do it unless you have to have the latest and greatest.
  17. Squonk macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2005
    Well said! Bravo! :cool:
  18. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    Excellent way to justify larger purchases. never works for me because even if I say I'm keeping it for 5 years, I inevitably upgrade in two!

    BTW, Gwinnett Rules! :cool:

  19. Squonk macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2005
    What is with all the GA people today? And in the same thread too...
  20. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Ditto. But if I didn't have the need to have the greatest of everything I own, and if I didn't have as much money, I would love a nice 2.2 ghz. It is more than enough, and is a better deal than the 2.4 (coming from a 2.4 owner)
  21. iToaster macrumors 68000


    May 3, 2007
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    2.4 'cause it'll bug the heck out of you wondering what you're missing. Trust me, I got the 2.4, but I'm now scolding myself for not getting a HD 17"... but hey, the thing looked huge next to it...
  22. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004
    Both are great models... just take the "9% increase only" comments with a large grain of salt.

    Barefeats comparisons are flawed in a way. They predominantly use old game engines, written 2 years ago or more. Of course there is not going to be great differences in the 128MB vs 256MB model on old game engines.... they aren't written to take advantage of that much VRAM. Doom 3 requirements are 64MB of VRAM, with 128MB recommended.

    If you ever get into anything GPU dependent, written recently, you will notice a difference in the two models. This will only get more apparent as time goes on and applications become more demanding. This is not just games. Many apps are increasingly becoming GPU dependent.

    When I buy desktops I buy upgradeable ones. When I buy a laptop I buy as much machine as I can to future proof myself.
  23. OTA macrumors newbie


    Aug 7, 2007
    I hate the midness buying.
    Buy the entry level or save more money and get the 17´´ version.

    Try 17´´ on craigslist, the sealed ones. It worths, for sure.
    Or refurb 17´´ 2.4ghz.

    But DON`T BUY the mid level.
  24. D1G1T4L macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2007
    Savannah, GA
    If you game I'm sure it will be worth it to you as gamer.

    Me I don't game and was not worth it for me. The money was better spent on RAM and a larger Hard Drive (still waiting for them to arrive).

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