Need 2011 15" Macbook Guidance

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Augustana, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Augustana macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    I am fairly literate in computer jargon, but have nowhere near the technical knowledge of many of you out there. I think i am going to go with the 15", 2.2, leaving it at 4gb RAM (for now) . . . . my question is the hard drive. They give you the option of 750gb @5400 and 500 @7200 (if i remember right). Is the 7200 significantly faster, and the one to go with? If there isn't a ton of difference I'll just take the space but if the difference is noticeable i would much rather have the speed. Is the 5400 a significant bottleneck? Not in the market for SSD (too costly) otherwise i would do that now. I would like to upgrade in the next year or so to the SSD. Any heat issues with the 7200?

    How bout the screen? Is it worth the upgrade to Hi-Res?

    I have music (about 2000 songs now, add maybe 25 per month), pics, and various other spreadsheets and documents. I don't game much, but if i do they aren't real graphic intensive or robust games. My wife does some photoshop work, by no means alot though (think 6 hours/month). Spend alot of time on the net. I am probably considered "joe average" computer guy. Please provide any guidance for a Mac newbie. Budget is 2000.

    Thanks in advance for everyones time and help.
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Given your budget and uses, the lower-end 15" might be a good option. Regarding the hard drive though, 7200 RPM does give you a nice boost in speed, to roughly the performance of a desktop hard drive. I have a 7200 RPM model in my computer and it actually runs cooler than the 5400 RPM drive it replaced, so I wouldn't expect any heat issues.
  3. Augustana thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    Thanks for the help. Why would you recommend the lower end 15"? Do you suspect i won't notice any difference in processor speeds for my use? Then just upgrade to the 7200 HD? That would save some cash which is always nice.
  4. thecommonwealth, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

    thecommonwealth macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2011
    You won't notice any difference between the 2.0 and 2.2 Ghz processor. The current MBPs CPUs are more than adequate for your current uses. Instead of questioning 5400 vs 7200, save the money and get an SSD - even a smaller disk than you might want. You can always upgrade this later and switch it out to an external drive or add an SSD in the ODD.

    Lower end 15": Excellent for most users. The biggest difference here is in the graphics - which comes into play with heavy gaming, 3D rendering, and displaying video on external screens. Also, might be a bit of an impairment in terms of future-proofing the machine, since you cannot upgrade the graphics at a later date.

    Higher end 15": Definitely better graphics (6750M; 1GB vs 256mb dedicated), but honestly, probably not necessary for typical computer users. Processor upgrade alone certainly not worth the upgrade.

    You say SSDs are too expensive, but you could save $400 choosing the lower end 15" and put that into an SSD upgrade now (I recommend OWC SSD - a little pricey, but exceptional quality and they also offer some trade in value for your HDD). Also, SATA III SSDs are coming out shortly, and SSDs prices will start to drop.

    As far as high-res - I would say yes. You will be looking at this screen for the entire time you own the computer, so for me that justifies spending a little extra. Glossy/anti-glare is personal preference.
  5. KumaYama macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2011
    Newcastle, UK
    Just reading this, and I have just now ordered a 15" with the 7200 rpm. I'm certainly an average Joe, but my mate at work (the computer technician) recommended the faster speed. 500GB is still a lot of storage space.

    Have you considered any way of getting an edu discount? Might mean a bit of lying but is well worth it (15%, so over £250 worth it!)
  6. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Yes, I've bought two Macs with the education discount, but I've never lied about it.
  7. Augustana thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    I can get the Government discount legitimately, but its only $100 off. If the education discount is 15% i'll just have my bro-in-law get it. He is still a student. Seems legit right? then he can gift it to me. that will give me enough for a big SSD which it sounds like i should get from someone other than Apple?

    thanks again for all the advice from everyone! Although it pains me to look at that Ohio State avatar everytime i read this! I'm a Hawkeye!
  8. Doors6767 macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2008

    It's a no brainer. Get the 2.2 15" MBP with high res. You can always upgrade the RAM and hard drive later. I think it's the best bang for buck for processor, screen and graphics if your going to buy 2011 MBP

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