MBP rookie questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rijno, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. rijno macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2010
    Hi everyone!

    First of all, I'm a total rookie, I've been reading these forums for quite a few months now but never posted before.
    I'm a student, with a crappy old HP laptop. Last September I got the Iphone (got to admit, best purchase I've done in years, what an awesome device!). Somehow, I think my Iphone has infected me with the Apple virus, as I've become so fond of the ease of use Apple seems to infuse their products with, I decided to replace my dying HP with a MBP. Obviously, I've read many threads about whether to buy now or wait for the next gen. I already made up my mind and decided to wait one way or the other. There are some issues I have some questions about nonetheless.

    As usual, my use will be that of mailing/web browsing/word processing etc etc. However, I do like to play games every now and than, so I think I will go for the new middle or high end 15" with (hopefully optimus or similar :)) dedicated grahpics.

    I'd like to read up a bit about graphics cards, as currently I do not have a clue which cards will grant how much performance, and to what extent processor speed and RAM require a good graphics card to obtain best performance. Some links would be appreciated :)

    Also, some other stuff about hard drives:

    I've read some stuff about SSD's being the bottleneck for most laptops right now, anyone can confirm this?

    What are the expected prices of the SSD's in say, a couple of weeks/months? (whenever the new gen is released)

    Also, if it turns out I cannot afford an SSD (I'm a student after all ;)), is there a large difference between the HDD 5400 and 7200 (and the SSD)? I don't care a lot about battery life, MBP batteries already seem to have an infinite duration compared to my HP and at most places where I will use my laptop I will have power supply.

    One last thing about advice being given in these forums that I do not totally agree with:

    I know the C2D will fit an average users' (including myself I assume, I don't do heavy movie/fotograph processing, just gaming every so often) needs for at least the upcoming 4-5 years, but wouldn't the new generation fit the average users' needs for longer than that? Even though you might not use the full potential of a MBP C2D right now, does that mean that you won't in a couple of years? Of course, with this attitude you can keep on waiting as technology keeps on evolving but even though you do not use the full potential right now, wouldn't it be wise for anyone (unless you really really really need it) to just wait out a little longer with this new update just outside the door? More power and a longer lifespan for the (most likely) same price. Instant gratification is a quite good argument, but nonetheless, it is short-sighted in my opinion.

    Hopefully you guys will give me some slack, I'm new here :)

  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Actually I believe the opposite is true. The performance of SSDs improve the overall performance of the laptop, not hinder it.

    There are no expected prices for the future because nobody really knows. Perhaps they'll go down in price a small amount, but that's just a guess.

    Personally, I'm waiting for SSDs to go down in price significantly because the cost per gigabyte is so high. The difference between a 5400 and 7200 drive is speed. Both consume about the same amount of power so you'll not see a decrease in battery life or heat on the 7200 model. So things that are disk based, like booting up will show an improvement with a 7200rpm based drive.

    My only piece of advice between a C2D vs. arrandale (buy now vs. wait) is that if you need a laptop now, then buy one now. They're fantastic machines. If you hold off on purchasing the laptop, then that's your better option.
  3. mastercool10 macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2009
    all new technology will drop in price, that's a given.

    Most of your questions are quite vague.
  4. Patriks7 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2008
    Sorry, but that's not entirely true. A hard drive with a high capacity @ 5400rpm will be faster than one with a small capacity @ 7200rpm. When I bought my MacBook Pro, I got a 250GB @ 7200rpm, but soon found out it was not enough for me capacity-wise. I then got a 500GB @ 5400rpm and it is as fast, if not faster, at all tasks. I also didn't like the 7200rpm hard drive, because it was loud. When I was working at night, I could hear it pretty easily. I can still sometimes hear my 5400rpm, but not as much.
  5. Mindinversion macrumors 6502


    Oct 9, 2008
    I suspect you somehow got a bad drive. I have yet to see comprable systems with comprable data sizes that will run faster with a 5400 revolution per minute drive than a 7200 revolution per minute drive. The one in my wife's macbook is whisper quiet, and much faster than the 5400 it came with.

    As far as gaming on the current macbook line, you really need to check out the system requirements on the games you play. The 9600m is alright, but it is not going to outperform many of the much cheaper PC notebook alternatives out there. I'm not saying it WON'T run them, but you may find you need to turn down settings to get them to run fluidly. Google "game X on mac", see what comes up. Find out how it's run for others and at what settings.

    Also realize. If you buy now you are buying end of life hardware at the same premium it was sold for "as new". The current macbook pro line is fairly overpriced for what you are getting. Again, I' not saying *DON'T* buy it, just be aware of the situation. I'm also not saying the current macbook pro line is bad by any means. Gaming aspects aside, the current line will most likely do everything you need and then some for years to come.

    As far as waiting for Arrandale, I wouldn't hold my breath at this point. You're very possibly looking at post iPad launch if you're lucky, but it's looking more and more likely that a refresh may not happen until June. I hate to back up the guy that said "if you need now buy now" but that about sums it up. I MIGHT recommend ordering on a Wednesday, though. . . "just in case" ;)
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Except that people will not choosing between a small 7200rpm drive and a high density 5400rpm drive. Comparing apples to apples, a 7200rpm drive will be faster then a 5400rpm drive.

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