MBP now? Question about specs...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ChitoCrisis, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. ChitoCrisis, Feb 13, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013

    ChitoCrisis macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2011
    Hello everyone. I am strongly considering buying the new 15 inch MacBook Pro. My current MBP from late 2008 doesn't cut it anymore; I got a prompt saying I'll have to replace the battery soon, the usb, firewire, and minidisplay ports don't work either. Surprisingly my MBP still holds well and don't have any issues with performance.

    In the past 2 years I've been thinking about buying a Mac Pro but I've been waiting for the upcoming upgrade. I am not sure if I need a Mac Pro to be honest but I like the idea of having a work station plus I'll be able to upgrade it if I ever have to. I'm majoring in 3d graphics and animation. I haven't stumbled upon any real performance issues with my current MBP though so I'm sure the new MBP will be more than enough.

    Anyways, I'm not very tech savvy, so do you think I'll need 16gb of ram? I definitely plan on playing some games on it but I don't know why anyone would need that much ram in the first place. Software I use regularly are Photoshop, Flash, and Maya. I may look into video editing in the near future and I'm pretty sure the ram will help.

    I'd like to upgrade storage capacity as well but its expensive considering its flash memory. But I guess I can always delete data (such as games that will take up the most space) when I stop using it.

    What do you guys think? Do you recommend getting a MBP now or should I continue waiting for the Mac Pro? I think I'll end up getting both eventually but at the moment I don't use my MBP on the go. I think I will as it will help me get work done outside my home (where there are many distractions).

    Oh and how much do you think I can get for my late 2008 MBP? Keep in mind the ports (usb, firewire, minidisplay) do not work and I need to replace the battery. Other than that, everything seems just fine. I don't know how much they go for and I could possibly sell it to my sister for the right price. I don't expect to get a lot for it though.


    Edit: The difference between Retina MBP and Classic is simply flash memory and higher screen resolution right? Will the Retina MBP perform better? I heard flash can make a difference. If I buy the classic, I can upgrade the ram myself (unless 8gb is the limit) and I don't really care about 'retina' display. I plan to hook my MBP to an additional tv for more space to work with.
  2. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Video tends to be more CPU-constrained than RAM-constrained. 3D rendering tends to take a lot out of CPU and a fair amount out of RAM. Graphics and photo applications tend to take huge chunks out of RAM. And of course, if you're multitasking at all, the more RAM the better.

    You know your own usage best. You say that you're not experiencing any performance issues, so the amount of RAM that you have now is probably sufficient. You can check for yourself by opening Activity Monitor after you've used your computer for a day or two of your usual tasks. Check the System Memory tab at the bottom. How much memory is listed as being free? Do you have any page outs? How large is the swap used? If the swap file is in the gigabyte range then you would definitely benefit from more RAM, even if you don't realize it. You would arguably benefit even if it were 256 MB or more.

    Is it critical to have your storage on-board? You would get more for your money by using external hard drives.

    Your current computer is serving your needs well, but it sounds like it's starting to suffer hardware failures. There's always something newer and better around the corner, so there's a benefit to waiting and buying only when you absolutely need to. The question is how badly you would be affected if your current computer were to die on you unexpectedly. If you can't afford that, then get your upgrade. If you really like the idea of using your laptop as a portable device and think it would make a big difference, then get your upgrade.

    I don't track the prices, but the hardware failures are going to take a lot out of it. My guess would be less than $300, possibly less than $200.

    The difference is the screen (retina has a higher pixel density) and the form factor. The retina is thinner, lighter, and has two Thunderbolt ports. However, it lacks a built-in CD/DVD drive, the RAM can't be user-upgraded, and the solid state drive is unusual and not quite so easy to upgrade, either. The "classic" MBP can easily be upgraded to 16 GB (and the Sandy Bridge models and above should be able to take 32 GB, although at the moment nobody sells 16 GB on a single RAM module), and the hard drive can be swapped out for a SSD if you like.

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