Need Advice on MBP configuration for needs

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Hatchet, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Hatchet macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2007
    Baton Rouge
    Ok, so I am getting a MBP this week but I am having trouble deciding which MBP fits my needs at this time.

    I am a web designer who uses Adobe Creative Suite quite often (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator (large files)). I'll also use this for all business tasks (Office, internet, email) along with personal (itunes, photos, etc). I will notbe doing any video editing.

    I know of 1 thing for sure, I am getting a matte screen so I have to order it from

    So, in terms of processor speed (2.5 - 2.8) what is the difference in these? Will i see a major difference?

    I am also most likely going to go for the 320 or 500 GB harddrive? Does 5400 or 7200 RPM matter with these?

    In terms of graphics, do i need to go with the 9400 + 9600 and if so, what is the difference between 256 and 512mb in these cards?

    In terms of updates, is the MBP due for any upgrades soon?

    Any and all advice is appreciated. I want to make sure I am getting a machine that will last me 2-4 years.
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    There is not a huge difference, but is a difference. If you are not doing any rendering the differences you will notice will be most noticeable on start times.

    You can do this upgrade yourself. What fits your needs better. I'd definitely get the 7200.

    I'd go with the upgraded one if you plan on using it in portable mode.


    I would back off of the processor update and put that money to replacing this machine earlier. Sure your machine will last for two years and be fine, but you will want to upgrade most likely, just consider that.
  3. Hatchet thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2007
    Baton Rouge
    I appreciate the response.

    I'm guessing rendering would be for video editing? I don't plan on doing that.

    In terms of hard drives, does the 7200 produce more noise and reduce battery life?

    Any difference in the 9600M with 256mb vs 512mb for my needs?

  4. snakesqzns macrumors regular


    Apr 26, 2007
    Yes 7200 is louder, but not by much. It will generate more heat and drain the battery faster.
  5. Freewayjim macrumors regular


    Aug 2, 2008
    Metro Atlanta
    For what you are doing you will be OK with the 5400 RPM HD.

    Also, they have the Matte screen 15's & 17's in the Apple store, no need to order one.

    How much are you willing to spend? my rule of thumb is buy as much as you can comfortably afford

    Good luck with your purchase.
  6. Hatchet thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2007
    Baton Rouge
    The matte screen at my local Apple Store is only available for the 2.8GHz model but im not sure I need that much processor.
  7. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    just a little FYI you can upgrade via Apple to a 500Gb 7200 rpm HDD for $150 or you could buy one for $120 off install it yourself and have 1 500 gb HDD and the 320 gb one that came with the computer.

    I mean its stupid how much they charge you for those HDD, but then again some say its stupid you pay that much for an Apple computer. :rolleyes:

    either way my battery life hasn't changed very much since I upgraded to a 7200rpm drive.

    and if you are a using Creative Suite I may stay away from snow leopard at the moment. There are some issues with PS and Dreamweaver which scared me enough from not upgrading. However anything but CS3 is working alright...adobe will at least patch the issues for CS4.
  8. ktubaugh macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2006
    Columbus, Ohio
    The difference between the processor speeds is not the most important thing to consider. The L2 Cache plays a big role in performance. The 2.8GHz is the only one that has 6MB of L2 Cache. The 2.53GHz and 2.66GHz have 3MB. The big question is whether it will make a significant difference for your needs. In my opinion, No. It only makes a big difference for processor intensive applications.

    Go for the 7200 rpm hard drive but don't buy it from Apple. You can pick up a 500GB, 7200 rpm Seagate HD with a five year warranty from Best Buy for $120. Here is the link:

    Also, pick up a SATA hard drive enclosure for the spare drive you remove from your MBP. You can then use this "old" drive for Time Machine backups. Here is one of my favorites (because it's tool-less):

    Unless you are planning on gaming, doing video editing, or playing back HD content, the NVidia Geforce 9400 should be fine for your needs. If you plan to do any of these tasks, the 9600 is a better choice. The 256MB is fine but the 512MB would offer better performance.

    You never know when Apple will drop updated MacBooks and MacBook Pros. The new unibody models were introduced in October. Updates were released at the last media event. The event promoted the unibody MacBook to the new 13" MacBook Pro and introduced some much needed features (Firewire 800, SD, 7 hour battery, etc). Even though the media event scheduled for tomorrow should focus on music, it may also offer some insight on future machines. It's never a good idea to buy an Apple product before a major event, so watch it closely before making your purchase.
  9. Hatchet thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2007
    Baton Rouge
    Do the Apple Retail stores carry a ready-to-buy anti-glare 15" MBP in store?

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