MBP Questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MSM Hobbes, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I've opportunity to buy a new MBP [at a 25% discount - thanks :apple: :cool:], and as an avid amateur photographer, with high interest also in music (recording, etc.), along with some other graphics and video work, my ~4 yo MB is not able to keep up... (neither is my ~4 yo iMac, but that will be upgraded later this year - have two boys and a lady that also use these, oldest boy will be freshman in college in couple weeks, youngest starting 7th grade). So, plan is to 'give' the MB to the youngest boy, and then the MBP would be mine, letting oldest boy and lady draw straws over use of the current iMac... and the following are the specs am currently considering:

    15-inch: 2.2 GHz
    2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    4GB 1333MHz
    256GB Solid State Drive
    MacBook Pro 15-inch Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen Display
    Intel HD Graphics 3000
    AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB GDDR5
    Built-in battery

    First question - thoughts on SSD vs. the other "standard" offerings? All my dig images, etc. are on external HD's, with FW400 and 800 capabilities. There are advantages of SSD [no moving parts, longer life, etc.], but at a cost of higher price + lower size,,, for digital photography (using Lightroom & Photoshop), and other uses mentioned above, is the SSD route 'better', long-term?

    Secondly - thoughts on the hi-res anti-glare screen,,, main use would be in my office, no direct sunlight, just ambient light from couple windows. This type of display is best (accuracy, etc.) for photo rendering, right?

    Any other thoughts / comments / suggestions are welcome. Thanks.
     
  2. shyam09 macrumors 68000

    shyam09

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    #2
    Question 1:

    I can only answer question 1 as i have been in that position too. Question 2 i will leave for a more professional mac user with the knowledge and experience :)

    SSD's are really great. Of course if i remember correctly, SSD's haven't been around as long so no one knows the life of one [i could be thinking about hybrid drives [SSD + HDD in one, but i think im 90% correct with what i just said :D]

    that being said, my personal suggestion as well as many other people on MR would be to buy the standard drive for that model, and then get a third party SSD and do the upgrade yourself. there are videos on youtube and google that will aid you in the process if you are not sure. You can even search MR, im sure there is a thread somewhere :p

    In the meantime you could search on the net for SSD's that are cheap!
    check out newegg or amazon.. also check out MR's.. there are many questions that relate to which SSD people should buy, and many MR members have helped them greatly :) A forum search won't hurt :D

    And for comparison sake, apple sells their 256 GB SSD for 500 bucks, whereas on newegg you can find them for much much cheaper:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...E&N=100008120 600038487&IsNodeId=1&name=256GB

    It's your choice though :D
     
  3. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I completely agree, however you could keep the standard hdd that will come with it and use that for about a year, then when ssd prices are further lowered you can then put one in your computer for a fresh burst of life and the computer will feel brand new again, thus prolonging the life of your computer
     
  4. MSM Hobbes thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Cool,,, thanks, hadn't thought about swapping out the HD for a SSD. That would be interesting / positive option - get less expensive SSD, and then use the Apple HD for other purposes. Will search for what SSD to get, how to swap - like said, hadn't thought about that route. Thanks :cool:

    PS: with that said, guess too then makes more sense to get the faster [7200 rpm] yet smaller [500GB] versus the slower [5400 rpm] yet larger [750GB] for cost savings & performance benefits?
     
  5. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

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    #5
    glad to be helping, do you need the extra space ? or is 500gb fine
     
  6. MSM Hobbes thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Extra space is "always" a positive, no? ;) But at the sacrifice of platten speed,,, is the trade-off worthy, esp. if will then be taking this HD out of the MBP and installing into a home-brew external HD? I've a few externals already, 500GB-1TB,,, ones I use and then back-up copies, of images/photos, music, videos, and etc.
     
  7. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

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    #7
    well i have a 5400 rpm drive in my macbook and ive heard around the forums that the difference to 7200 rpm is negligible and the big point of return is at the 10000 rpm mark
     
  8. shyam09 macrumors 68000

    shyam09

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    Oct 31, 2010
    #8
  9. Athonline macrumors member

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    May 11, 2011
    #9
    As I am an armature vivid photographer -even work as a part-time photographer- with high interested in music, videos and games more or less we are in the same position. I have a similar model (check my sign.) with the one you listed.

    Question 1: Go with a SSD! Trust me, you will love it! Photoshop opens in like 1-2 seconds, Ameture instantly, I do complex HDR work in no time. Moreover moving around big folders with photos, mp3 and videos was never any faster! Everything just "runs" quickly and smoothly. You can -if you know how to- replace your hard drive with a solid state on your own and use the solid state drive as an external. As I was getting student discounts and considering the prices of third-party SSDs in UK and Cyprus it wasn't worth it for me. I prefer to go with the Apple way and have for sure Trim support. Trim support: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRIM while no 3rd party SSD has it, it was possible (and I guess in Lion as well) to enable it. As this is my first Macbook Pro, I didn't want to play around just to save 5-10 pounds! Perfomance-wise I don't think there was going to be any major difference.

    Question 2: High-Res Anti-glare is a must for photographers. Anti-glare screens offer exactly representation of the photos as they are seen on the paper plus you can use them outdoors. Personally on photo shootings I may end-up uploading some photos on the spots. Anti-glare comes handy as with a glare screen in a high-contrast environment the MBP works better as a mirror than a MBP! All photographers I know prefer Anti-glare. It is bright enough and Apple's displays are top-notch so don't worry for colours and clarity!
    Think it like this: you prefer to have a display that is great at playing movies and viewing photos with your family but using it outdoors in sunlight is hard and will eat your battery (as you need brightness at max) or have ad display that is extremely good at playing movies and viewing photos but excels at editing photos/videos as it is: what you see is what you get and it is usable outside.

    Suggestion: Upgrade your RAM to 8Gbs. If you plan to run a virtual machine (as I do for some software) 8Gbs is a must. Even if you don't there is a big performance boost, especially in Photoshop, Aperture and other photo-editing software.
     
  10. treestar macrumors 6502

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    Feb 28, 2010
    #10
    I'm in the same boat and everything Athonline says is good advice. FWIW I have the glossy screen because I wanted the 13" and I don't hate it, but matte displays are much better, especially simulating colors and light.

    Really, I'm not going to bother giving my input because Athonline says it all. Get an SSD and get 8 GB. I will say that you can manually TRIM your SSD if you get a non-stock drive. It's easy to do regularly in Disk Utility.
     
  11. Sam235 macrumors member

    Sam235

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    CA
    #11
    thats a brilliant idea, i was thinking of getting an SSD now, but now i think i will just wait, maybe in a year the price of the 512 will be the same as the 256 :D
     
  12. MSM Hobbes thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    All - thanks MUCH... based on suggestions here & elsewhere in the RL world, following was game plan:

    To save from the Apple "tax", order as follows:
    15-inch: 2.2 GHz
    2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    4GB 1333MHz
    750GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    MacBook Pro 15-inch Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen Display
    Intel HD Graphics 3000
    AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB GDDR5

    And yes, upping the RAM was a given... done so on my iMac (thanks Crucial), and will do same here. Along with also swapping out the HD for a SSD in near future.

    But,,, when looking at cost of 3rd-party SSD's,,, WOW! :eek: For once, unless I'm not finding less expensive options, it appears that the price of an Apple components is actually very close to what others charge [for now].

    So, modify the above, and now with a SSD... but would 128GB suffice (for next year of so)? Main role of the internal HD in my case will be to have the apps, programs, s/w running the machine - with all the data, files, images, etc. on external HD's. And then when cost of 3rd-party internal SSD's drop more, then swap this out for larger version down the road. Adding up all the current + potential other s/w programs that could potentially have, maybe 30GB would be needed... is this a fairly accurate estimate? If so, then 128GB would be more than enough, to hold all the apps side of things, right? (again, one reason for the 128 instead of larger is cost savings... I've a oldest boy going to college this coming week - need to save dollars where I can, but while also getting best bang for the buck,,, esp. as this device will need to last me / us for many many years.)

    Again, MUCH thanks to all - very much appreciated. :cool:
     
  13. shyam09 macrumors 68000

    shyam09

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    #13
    it should be fine as you seem to back everything up on external HD's. But I do have a question.

    The last paragraph in your post above, kinda confused me. So are you now getting the SSD from Apple?
    If yes, i would still go with the third party option as they provide much much better performance and speed when compared to the ones Apple provides [or so i have read and heard :D]
    Sure it would save you trouble buying from apple, but if you check out the links i gave you for newegg, you would see that the prices for a 256 GB SSD is much much cheaper then what apple says.
    As a final note, we have labor day, thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday [provided you live in USA of course], Christmas, all coming up. You night be able to snag a great deal then. But Bottom Line, 3rd Part SSD > Apple's Standard SSD :D

    Now if the answer to the question is NO, then i truly apologize for wasting your time reading these three paragraphs :)

    Have fun using the new m:apple:c! Hope you L:apple:VE it!
     
  14. Athonline macrumors member

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    May 11, 2011
    #14
    Personally I use and Apple's SSD 256Gbs. I don't think you will see a game-changing performance boost from a third party SSD maker. Similar price 3rd party SSDs don't offer a that much of performance boost, unlike top of the line drives designed for servers, pro video editors and gamers with money to burn.
    I first use a SSD more than 4 years ago, waay before the SSD blast as I worked for a few days (needed work experience for my CV) with my uncle who is the IT department director of an international company. I can recall we were installing some SDDs worth 100 000 euros each! to local offices servers and had the connected via Fiber Optic cables to the computers. In papers the performance should be "astronomical". In reality? Normal applications and file handling didn't have that much of a performance boost. However when we turn on 4 virtual machines (2x SeOS, 1x Windows Server and 1x Fedora) and had the server connected to the rest of the network then yeah the drives (configured in RAID 2 if I can recall) started shinning. My uncle couldn't believe the performance boosts they had. In the long run they paid off.
    Back over here, as you can see from my example unless you absolutely need the performance, you won't be able to notice it that much. I don't say if he moves a file of 100Gbs won't see a difference, but we are talking about extreme scenarios that don't seem to fit into OP case. As an IT manager student myself I have to say that the most important thing for a system builder is to have a system adapted to the end-user's needs and not base on extreme scenarios. The reason he says that the price of Apple and Newegg are similar maybe is cause he has a 20% off from Apple.

    To OP:
    128Gbs is fine if you connect an external hard drive and keep most of your files there. Personally out of 256 I have 20Gbs left as I have 2 Virtual Machine images (50-60Gbs each),40Gbs videos than I will move to an external plus more than 50Gbs games. I will recommend pay some extra money and get a 256Gbs. If you will stick with a HDD for now then get the 500gbs 7200RPM. If I can recall right Apple let you choose between a 720Gb 5400RPM and a 500Gb 7200RPM.
     
  15. MSM Hobbes thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    shyam09... lol, my pardons - but yeas, my last post may indeed somewhat confusing, as the writer of that post is himself confused :eek:. (and btw, don't apologize - I enjoy reading all comments / suggestions,,, 'tis how I learn)

    Maybe I'm looking at this wrong [heck, I'm a metallurgical engineer / quality manager, not an accountant ;)], but when adding on the 256SSD to the MBP, Apple charges $500 for that option. Now when I look at the link you kindly posted earlier (and looking at other sites too), I see similar sized SSD's for "similar" price. Couple that with being honestly ignorant of swapping out a HD, and somewhat fearful of fricking the "brains" of this non-expensive device, then I get tad concerned, and then lean towards just letting Apple install such for me, "TRIM features" and all included right out of the gate.

    For example, per your link [and again, thanks!], there is this option:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147064 which is currently going for ~$400... which saves me a "mere" hundred clams,,, BUT, now true,,, I get the benefit of having a 5400rpm 720GB (or 7200rpm 500GB) hard drive that I get to remove and use into a new external storage.

    Athonline - if do stick with 'normal' HD, will get the larger/ slower route: 750GB @ 5400rpm... from majority that I've read, seems that the faster access doesn't really trump the 50% extra space. However, I would greatly appreciate cons against that view. Likewise, if I do go the route of SSD from Apple, considering that the internal HD can be swapped out later, when prices are more palatable (and more nerves / fears are manageable regarding such an action! :eek:),,, then get larger version.

    So, boils down to following options:
    a) Apple 128SSD [$100 option adder; replace later w/ larger cheaper SSD]
    b) Apple 256SSD [$500 option adder; this remains in the MBP]
    c) Apple 500GB [no cost diff; replace later w/ SSD when prices decrease]
    d) Apple 750GB [same cost, same path as 500GB option]
    - one benefit of c) and d): have a normal HD to use externally, and also no extra cost to the upfront purchase

    Urghhhhh... :confused:


    ps: again, thanks sincerely to all... would buy ya's a cold/warm drink of choice if could. Am not normally so fricking confused, but between work, RL, and desire to make this purchase opportunity "right", am getting tad lost in the trees,,, thereful everyone's comments / posts are indeed appreciated.
     
  16. treestar macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Don't burden yourself with a non-stock SSD. I usually suggest people do it to save money, but you've expressed your fears and you don't exhibit the ability to follow through with the tweaks to set it up right. You're right to let Apple do the work for you.
     
  17. Athonline macrumors member

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    #17
    Don't panic! Panic = Bad thing! From the options listed I will go with b) to get a SSD right away, especially if you don't have any experience replacing drives in a MBP. The 7200RPM vs 5400RPM is depending on the end-user. For me and my workflow I prefer speed over space. Especially since you can get a 1TB external drive ridiculously cheap these days if I need extra storage for back-ups and other files. Oh and if you plan to use TimeMachine I suggest you to get 1TB at least. Your worse option is a) since you don't save money instead you pay for for less. My honest opinion 256Gb SSD.

    I have another suggestion to you. Your son gets 15% off from Apple. Get it with him. This way you will save 15% from the price and get that extra 20% VAT return or whatever it is afterwards.
     
  18. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

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    #18
    this!!
     
  19. Athonline macrumors member

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    #19
    This what? :)
     
  20. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

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    #20
    you got the idea brotha
     
  21. MSM Hobbes, Aug 17, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011

    MSM Hobbes thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Lol - well, I didn't have my towel with me past few days [my lovely lady of the house actually had the audacity to wash it! :eek:], so yea,,, looking into the unknown and the need to get a decision done quickly was blinding me a bit. So, earlier this afternoon, I made the order - and yes it was coincidentally w/ Option #2... but now the same wonderful laundry, etc. lady is questioning that move, wondering why I would sacrifice valuable internal HD space capability (via 500 or 750GB) for a bit of speed increase. Frick... were is my beer :rolleyes:. But anyhow, my MBP is on order, now just need to sign some papers, a bit of this and that, kiss some of my boys' inheritance away, and hopefully ~10 days this powerful machine will be dancing on my lap.

    10k points for all of yas... ;)
     
  22. Athonline macrumors member

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    #22
    Nope:p I am not an English native speaker and still not that familiar with some slang :p But anyway I think I got it!
     
  23. Athonline macrumors member

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    May 11, 2011
    #23
    It isn't a bit of speed increase! The differences between a SSD and HDD even in consumer grade applications is great and your SSD will shine when you see your photography editing software run super-fast! Space isn't everything. I used to believe that as well, now I don't. I even saw a server with 128Gb primary memory for OSes and virtual machines and having the rest in RAID-Racks.
    SSD >>> HDD by far, in terms of performance but also with no moving parts you can use your computer on the go without risking damage the drive, it is more shock "proof" (no need to test it there :)), you get better temps and noiseless operation (expect when the fans kick in). As for the power consummation it is an urban legend. A SSD consumes as much as a Hard Drive and in some operations a really tiny, minor amount of more energy (0,01W or smthng like that if I can recall). Nothing game changer or that will decrease your battery.
     
  24. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

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    #24
    exactly this, go into the apple store and try opening apps on a non ssd and then an ssd, witness a miracle of modern day engineering :cool:
     
  25. shyam09 macrumors 68000

    shyam09

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    #25
    or if you are too lazy to go to an apple store :p
    simply go to youtube, there are literally thousands of videos comparing an SSD to a HDD including start up, launching of apps, shut down, and much much more :D

    though you may be more excited if you visit the apple store and experience it in person
     

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