Need advice on MacBook Pro purchase

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jersey10, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. jersey10 macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2004
    I am purchasing a 13 inch MacBook Pro in the next week or two and am trying to decide what upgrades to get. The purchase of this computer is being heavily subsidized by my employer, so money is not a huge concern. The computer will not be used for any really intensive programs, but I would like something that will open and run programs as quickly as possible and that can run multiple programs at the same time quickly (and since the cost is being subsidized, I am interested in getting the MacBook that will perform the best and quickest for my purposes). The computer does not need to have a ton of storage as all my photos, videos, and music are stored on my iMac at home. Thus, I don't expect to store much at all in the way of music, photos, or videos on the MacBook. The basic choices I need to make are the following:

    2.4 or 2.66 Ghz? (I'm thinking of the 2.4)

    4 or 8 GB RAM? (I'm leaning toward the 8 GB)

    250 GB hard drive or 128 GB solid state drive? (I'm leaning toward the SSD).

    Which of these upgrades do you think are most worth it? Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    SSD will give you the most boost in overall speed, then comes the RAM (if you have many open documents or applications) and then the CPU (the 266MHz difference is not really noticeable).

    I recently upgraded my MBP (2009) with an SSD and ever since then it is really fast when opening applications, like two to four seconds for Photoshop and Safari in less than a second (as it seems).
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    2.4, no question

    4GB unless you have a lot of stuff open at once. I haven't been able to max out the 4 in mine.

    SSD will give you a faster overall experience, so if money's not an issue, get that.
  4. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    SSD > RAM > CPU in terms of the most performance gain from highest to lowest for you.

    You don’t have to get the SSD from Apple, they are not that great compared to the third party SSDs like the SandForce based SSDs. Intel is working on getting the G3 SSD out as soon as possible as well as SandForce’s 2000 series with Indilinix’s JetStream (ETA Q1/20111).
  5. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    like hte above poster mentioned
    SSD > RAM > CPU
    with that being given umm. buy the HDD (trust me on this please) and spend the money on an SSD (3rd party).. if you look around the threads you could buy intels X25 SSD.. one of the best in the market!
    one question when you say money is not a problem can you clarify a bit more? i know the whole subsidy and all... but if your employer is subsidizing it (and im guessing that mean "paying" for it) then go for the best specs (why not?)

    personally if you want to be kind and save money.. then the 4GB shall suffice, and the 2.4 Ghz is great how it is.
    just get the normal 250 GB HDD and buy the third party Intel X-25 SSD.. its cheaper than apple's and much much better performance
  6. jersey10 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2004
    Thanks to all for the great advice. What I mean regarding the subsidy is that the employer is paying most, but not all, of the cost of this computer. Because I am going to have to pay for only a portion of the upgrades, I am therefore willing to do more upgrades than I normally would. But since I am going to have to pay some portion of the computer and upgrades, I don't want to get the maxed out model unless it will really benefit me.

    On your suggestion to purchase a SSD from someone other than Apple, I've seen this advice elsewhere as well, but how hard is it to swap out the hard drive that comes with the computer for an SSD? Is it something I could easily do myself? I don't have a technical background and the idea of doing this makes me nervous. And would getting a 3rd party SSD be advisable because it would be cheaper or because it would offer better performance than Apple's SSD, or both?

  7. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Easy, done in ten minutes.

    And the advantage of using a third party SSD is getting a less expensive one and a faster one.

Share This Page