Need advice on buying a 13" MBP 2.66GHz

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by laserbeam273, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. laserbeam273 macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2010
    Hi all, just joined macrumours after months, if not years, of following the main page!

    I need some advice on buying the latest 13" MBP 2.66GHz. I've done some searching around, but still have some questions. Currently I have a 15" MBP (Early or Late 2008) 2.4GHz w/ boosted RAM 4GB and a 7200RPM 200GB HDD, and a 8600M GT 256MB on OS X 10.5.8.

    Reason for upgrade: I'm starting to take my mac to uni/work each day and it's a bit fat, i.e. with its case (case is 49cm/19" diagonally - new case may be a temporary solution) it barely fits in my fairly large bag. The 13" also weighs 0.4kg/0.88lb/0.0274 slugs less. I also wouldn't mind a more powerful machine.

    What I use/plan to use my mac for:
    - OS X: Currently web browsing and document work, occasional video editing on iMovie (maybe Final Cut Pro if I get real keen on it), and games, specifically Civilisations IV and freeware like x-moto
    - Windows: Have XP Bootcamp at the moment to play DiRT, would like to get Civilisations V, and also MYOB accounting software and Microsoft Office 2003 or the most recent - undecided on that one. I'd like to put the games on Bootcamp and the work software on Parallels/VMWare to maximise efficiency.

    I'm in Australia, so this is in Aussie dollars. I can sell my old 15" MBP for about $1,000-1,300 I reckon, and I can get the new 13" MBP for $1,800, or $1,925 if I get the 500 GB HDD (may not be necessary considering I'm only using 150 GB at the moment). Net cost is around $650 or so I guess.

    So basically, I'm looking for the computer with the most flops (FLoating point Operations Per Second)... haha sort of. I definitely want an upgrade in computing power, otherwise it's a big waste of money in my perspective. But half the reason is also to downsize on my mac, and get the 10hrs battery life!!!

    So the questions:
    The most important question:
    How much faster will the 2.66GHz 13" be compared to my current 15" MBP? Note I'll mainly be using the MBP screen so the lower pixel count should help. Might use a cheap 17" LCD display for some gaming.

    The other questions:
    1. My current case I think has a flexible plastic sheet surrounded by neoprene or equivalent - it protects it really well, and the zip doesn't scratch it on the inside. Also has a second full-sized zip for other stuff - not necessary IMO. What's a good case that'll protect the MBP well when surrounded by textbooks and knives and gravel and stuff (who knows!), but fit rather snugly to conserve space for a 15" and a 13"? And is available in or ships to Aus? And is suitable for putting on my lap with the MBP on top?

    2. MBP update - heard it's either late 2010 or early 2011 - any thoughts, will it be big/worth the wait?

    3. When is 7200 RPM particularly useful, and how much better is it? Does it decrease battery life?

    4. If I get XP for bootcamp, do I need to buy another full license for XP for parallels/vmware, or is one license enough for the machine?

    5. For DiRT and Civilisations V, is it worth getting Windows 7 or should I just stick with XP?

    6. Upgrading HDD and RAM - if I put it in myself, does it void warranty?

    7. Applecare - I got it for my current MBP, haven't really needed it, any repairs would have been under $300 anyway. For all the finance and business gurus out there, regarding expected outcome and such, does apple lose money from it and therefore it is a net plus for consumers, or does apple make money from it and therefore it is a net loss for consumers?

    8. What are the odds of getting a MBP fixed/replaced if it has a dead pixel or any other minute flaw?

    9. Buying refurbished macs from Apple, buying second hand - what are your thoughts? I can probably save around $200 going refurbished, and maybe $400 or something going second hand. Is it worth it?

    10. Should have I made separate threads for this massive amount of questions? :)

    Thanks in advance!
  2. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    Here's my input-
    2. Rumors say only minor GHz speed increase-maybe this year; possible upgrade in Q1 2011 if MBP follows along on past time-line updates-But that's a big maybe.
    4. Your license should be good if you use Bootcamp and then add VM or Parallels
    7. IMO, applecare is worth it. Period.
    9. Refurbs are as good as new MBPs if they meet your spec needs and a way to save a couple of hundred bucks. You can still get Applecare before the warranty wears off.
    BTW, I have a soft Turcano case for my 15MBP. But it probably won't do for knoves? - is travel that rough in the Outback?:)-etc. You can MRoogle to look at numerous threads on cases. http://mroogle.*************/
  3. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    Save your money, get the 2.4ghz version and buy yourself a good SSD (SandForce or better)
  4. iggypod macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2010
    I'll second that. The difference isn't significant to be noticeable in most cases.
  5. TopHatPlus macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2010
    Southern Ontario
    i disagree with the previous suggestions, the 2.66 is a bit of a power upgrade, it has a little fast front side bus, so it will be noticeable but not huge,i went from a 2.16 ghz intel core 2 duo to a 2.66 intel core i7 and that was an unfathomable leap, the speed is unreal. Also the ram is ddr3 now which means its almost twice the speed of ddr2 per GB, so 4 GB is much much faster then your current 4 GB, and changing hard drives/ram does not void your warranty changing screens and logic boards does. I am suggesting you get the 500 7200 rpm HDD it does sue slightly more power but only when you need the speed, and the 500 GB is very nice to have that is what i am currently running in my 2010 15" mbp and i have no complaints, i will be buying a SSD but not until there prices are 1/8 of what they are. If the games you play on windows xp then you do not need to upgrade to 7 its more a want/need. As far as apple care is concerned, if apple did not make money they would not offer it, that would be bad business on there part but! i know several people in my social network who over the years had some semi major issues, disk drive stopped working, logic board quit, hard drive failed etc which are not major but on there third significant fix apple gave them a brand new mbp after they had owned theres for 3 years, so will you need it? not necessarily but if you don't have it and you do it will be the cheapest thing you never did. I owned my previous macbook for 4 years with no apple care and had no issues, but my new mbp IS getting apple care.

    let me know if you have any other questions =D
  6. Mac-key macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
    a 2.66 i7 would definitely be an upgrade - however, the OP is looking at a 2.66 core2dou in the 13 inch model. this would NOT be much of an upgrade from the base 13 2.4 core2dou
  7. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    the high end MBP13 2010 C2D 2.66ghz is a total waste of money!

    The P8800 CPU is almost identical in price as the base MBP13's 2.4ghz C2D P8600 and yet apple charges a $300 premium for it.

    Besides it is only .26ghz faster (less slow if you will) and you will *never* notice that difference other then in synthetic benchmarks.

    so either the base MBP15 2.4 i5 or the base MBP13 2.4 C2D are the smartest buys. However i doubt the MBP13 2010 will be any faster then your 2.4ghz MBP15, the videocard is the only improvement i see apart from your weight issue.
  8. laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2010
    Thanks for the responses everyone! It sounds like I wont be getting much of a speed upgrade going to the current MBP 13" then. I guess my options are:

    1. Hold on and try make my current MBP work (get a smaller case, bring a power adaptor everywhere), and get an upgrade when there's a more appealing MBP offer
    2. Go with the baseline MBP 13"
    3. Go with the not-so-suped-up 2.66 GHz MBP 13"
    4. Get a nice 15" MBP

    I'm inclined to go with 1, as I think 2 and 3 wont really be worth it, and 4 is a bit expensive and unnecessary for me at the moment. I'd rather have tried my hardest to make my current MBP work well for me and find it doesn't suffice, then upgrade, I think.

    As for the size and weight issue, I'm guessing a lot of people carry 15" MBPs around with them? I think my real problem is the oversized case, and the weight only when I carry my MBP along with textbooks.

    I've heard a bit about Sandy Bridge - is it that amazing, and what are the odds of it actually getting on a MBP anytime soon? Apple always seems to wait a bit before sticking in a new processor.
  9. laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2010
    Oh and I'm sold on the whole refurbished thing now. It saves $200 from the student discount price, which is already $100 below the standard price. The only problem is that there isn't too many refurbished macs in Australia - no 2.4GHz 13" at the moment, just 2.53 and 2.66.
  10. phantomspacecop macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2010
    Ann Arbor, MI
    If you're interested in computing power, I'd recommend the low-end ci5. It's the extra boost for all your basics, plus the Adobe Suite, multi-tasking, animation, casual games and whatever else you need on the go. But to consider $$$ + size, the low-end 13inch, from my research, can keep up with that just fine with 2.4Ghz. I may sell my 13inch(that I don't have yet :D) in a future school semester for a 15inch, unless I get too attached to the 13inch. But as long as you're in the market and you're selling, why not go for the low-end Ci5 from the student or refurbish store? Also buy your new HDD from newegg, save a bunch!

    One of my friends has a 15inch and she never complains about the weight (though she does drive around...if you have a whole bunch of books I don't personally think it's worth it lugging that thing around).

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