MBPro 15" v 17" and other extras advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by aki, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. aki macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #1
    Hi.

    I'm thinking of getting a mbp sometime after Jan 08. I will mostly use it for simple things BUT sometimes I will do a little video editing and a little casual Windows-side gaming.

    First question is, how irritating is the 15" display when editing? At the moment I work on a 20" iMac and I am comfortable working with that display size. I will continue to do most of the editing on the iMac but there will probably come a point where the g5 iMac no longer runs apps or runs them fast enough and I will end up doing more work on the mbp. Is 15" usable or not really? Obviously is a matter of personal opinion but I'd be interested if anyone has strong thoughts.

    Second, I notice in the benchmarky things that the 15" mbp is often (slightly) outperformed by the 17". I thought they had the same hardware - what's the technical reason for the small differences in performance?

    Third, for the first time I'm going to buy non-Apple RAM. Is there any way to buy the mbp from Apple so I don't have to throw away memory when upgrading to the full 4 GB? Ie. is there a buy with one memory slot only filled option?

    Fourth, internal hd, 5400 or 7200 rpm hd? I'm trying to shave as much cost as possible, but there are sites like this http://barefeats.com/5472.html which suggest that a 7200 rpm drive is worthwhile for video work. Does anyone have personal experience? Do you think 5400 v 7200 rpm has any impact at all on day to day use of the OS?

    Lastly, re reliability. Apple first-time products are getting a reputation for being a bit risky and a lot of people say "wait for the revision" and so on. When (I'm presuming when) the penryn MBP arrives in 08, is this (likely to be) a major change to the hardware ie. does the MBP become a "Rev A"/Risky product at that point? Or is it (likely to be) more in the way of an upgrade and hence lower risk? I know there's an absence of facts but one of the reasons I have liked Apple in the past has been reliability and I'm scared about getting a problem machine...

    Any thoughts welcome, especially from mbp users who do do video/windows gaming! Thanks.
     
  2. fs454 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #2
    I'd honestly go 15".

    I have the 15 and I do heavy FCP work and while it's smaller than my 1920x1200 LCD at home, it's not that bad at all. I love the 15" because it packs all that the 17" has in a smaller package weighing only 5lbs.

    The identically spec'd 15" vs the 17" shouldn't be outperformed in either's favor, may have been a fluke.

    Also, i've never seen a way to order it specially with the RAM, but I may be mistaken.
     
  3. fs454 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #3
    Oh, and as for drives...I run a 160gb 5400RPM drive in mine, and it's pretty fast. My scratch disk for footage is often an external Western Digital Passport 160gb 5400RPM as well and it doesn't miss a beat.

    7200RPM will see your apps loading up a bit faster, but how much faster I don't exactly know. I'm a sucker for speed and this drive has been very satisfying to me, but if I were to do a capacity upgrade on my MBP anytime soon I'd grab the largest ,fastest drive around.


    I'd go right ahead and buy it, Apple will definitely support you if you encounter a problem, but it shouldn't scare you away.
     
  4. dreamsandart macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    #4
    Yes the 17" is a bit fast in the Barefeats tests, as they say it may be the 17" is clocked faster, maybe because Apple felt the larger 17" case can take the heat issue better.

    I got a 17" with the HD screen myself a couple months ago. Nice to have the larger [24in equivalent] display for editing and space for extra things built into the computer.

    With the new option (wish they had it when I ordered mine) 7200/200 drive I would have gone for that, unless you really need the max space of the 250GB drive. Can't say if the 5400 is that much slower, but if you are going to be doing video editing I'd go with the max speed at every step.

    RAM has gotten so cheap, that just replacing the 2MB that come with the computer for 4MB is not an issue I feel, just do it.
     
  5. aki thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #5
    Thanks for the advice, all very helpful!

    One question about external storage for videowork. I tried to use an external 7200 rpm drive with the g5 iMac (via FW 400) and FCP a few times and performance was terrible. I don't know if I was setting up something wrong (can't think how) or if there was/is something up with my FW port but for whatever reason it didn't work and ever since then I've avoided using FCP with external drives.

    What's the deal with the MBP and FCP and external storage? Is FW400 fast enough? Is FW800 fast enough? Do those SATA adapter things exist for MBPs and is that a better option?

    (This is just a btw - as I say I'm not really buying it as a video machine - but may as well futureproof as much as I can afford.)
     
  6. djejrejk macrumors 6502a

    djejrejk

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Location:
    Uhh...
    #6
    In my experience, FW800 is very speedy. I have not used it for video work, however it works great with high res photo work.
     

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