Need advice purchasing new MBP.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Echoblue, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Echoblue macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #1
    I am in need of a new laptop. I am looking at purchasing a MBP 15", but not sure how to configure it. I am thinking 2.53 GHz, 320gb serial drive @7200, and 4gb sdram. I work as a graphic designer, so I typically run many of the adobe suite applications: photoshop, illustrator, indesign. Does this configuration sound right or should I go with something different. I don't really understand GHz, or 5200rpm vs 7200rpm, so maybe I have to little or not enough of something. Any advice would be great. Thanks.
     
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #2
    GHz is the clock speed of the processor. If you're running processor-intensive tasks (rendering, calculations, etc.) a faster processor is better.

    The HD you listed will likely suit you just fine. A 7200 rpm drive is somewhat faster than a 5400 rpm drive, but will use just a bit more battery.

    If you're going to be doing graphic design, that machine should suit you just fine, although you might consider either the 17", or the 13" and an external monitor, if screen size is important to you.
     
  3. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #3
    Wait until January/February is the best advice anyone can give.
     
  4. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    Sacramento
    #4
    i agree

    Thats good advice.

    Any Mac made in the last several years is more than enough for your needs.

    I run the entire Creative Suite + Quark 8 + 3 browsers + everything else you need to run a design studio with a 2.4 ghz Core 2 Duo.

    Do you really need the portability?

    Do you have a budget?
     
  5. Echoblue thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #5
    Thanks for the quick replys.

    Unfortunately I can not wait until Jan or February. I am in need of the computer now. I do want a laptop for the portability factor and know I can add an external monitor if need be. I do of course have a budget, so am trying to get the most bang for my buck. Does it makes more sense to get the lowest GHz, and maybe the 5200 rpm drive and save that money to go up to 8mb sdram, rather then the standard 4? Or the other way around and go for the larget GHz and so forth. What has the biggest effect on the machine and overall performance and stability? Is the 320 drive even enough? Thanks for all your help with this.
     
  6. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #6
    I am in school for design and I have a 13" MBP and it works rather well. Next week I am going to be getting a 320gb hard drive replacement for the stock 160 as Photoshop will benefit from it, I am looking to get the following:

    http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digit...1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1259683261&sr=1-1

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002JTX8Y0/ref=cm_cr_asin_lnk

    Hopefully those links work. I want the Acomdata Tanga external enclosure w/firewire 400/800 to use my old hard drive and make the installation easier. Plus having an external time machine backup will be nice.

    I also will be upgrading the ram from 2 to 4, then selling the original 2 gigs for 30 bucks or something.

    http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-CT2KI...500-SODIMM/dp/B001KUL012/ref=pd_bxgy_e_text_c

    Crucial seems to be a good brand. Also ram and hard drive upgrades are really worthwhile upgrades for a designer. You know how large the image files can get! And Photoshop uses extra space as a scratch disk.

    As far as monitor goes, I have the 22" acer x223w and couldn't be happier. It works great with my Macbook Pro. It was only 150 bucks at WalMart. Or 160.. can't remember. But working on Photoshop with it has been cool! Created my first 1680x1050 image last night.

    For a tablet solution I am going to go with:
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/p..._id=1084101&p_id=5553&seq=1&format=4#feedback

    Until I can afford an Intuos. For 40 bucks, this thing is great and everyone seems to like it.


    Anyways those are just some of the things that I use, everyones taste/budget may be different. Now I just need a desk!!!
     

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  7. alent1234 macrumors 603

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    Jun 19, 2009
    #7
    having built more than one PC for myself you get the best bang for the buck buy buying the slowest CPU and spending money on more RAM, better graphics and faster hard disk
     
  8. MacKiddyWiddy macrumors 6502

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    Aug 18, 2009
    #8
    i suggest going with a similar spec 13" macbook and then getting a nice large external monitor... either that or get the 17" the 15" is too big for portable and too small for desktop, it annoys me lol[​IMG]
     
  9. cmcbridejr macrumors 6502a

    cmcbridejr

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    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA
    #9
    That laptop configuration is perfect for graphic design work.

    You will be happy with it. Now go get it!
     
  10. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    Location:
    Sacramento
    #10
    since you need the portability

    best bang for the buck and work wise:

    Stock 13" MBP 2.53 for $1300: http://www.macconnection.com/IPA/Shop/Product/Detail.htm?sku=9899462

    Add any 22" monitor you like, about $200.

    You get the same specs as the low end 15" for a couple of hundred less but its smaller for easy transporting.

    I would skip the drive and 8 gig ram update ($400 even from a 3rd party).

    I run the entire Adobe Creative Suite + Quark 8 on a 2.4 AL iMac w/4 gigs ram and it handles it all without even breaking a sweat. And I'm talking multi hundred meg Photoshop files and 100+ page Quark files with gigs of links. Not some crappy little 72 dpi web graphics and a few 3 panel brochures.
     
  11. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

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    Oct 19, 2009
    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #11
    Or you could buy one refurbished or used. I just sold a 2 month old macbook aluminum 13" with office 2008 disc for 750$. Still on warranty. Ebay has good deals too, just buy from a reputable seller. Or locally on craigs, so you can see the system. Thing sold within a few days.
     
  12. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #12
    Buying off eBay can be hit and miss, I'll second the refurb store.
     
  13. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

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    #13
    Agreed. I would go with the refurb store first.:apple:
     
  14. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #14
    i think refurbs are great, but not in this case

    Although not knowing where the OP is, in my case, here in Calif:

    refurb 13" 2.53 MBP is $1299 + tax.

    brand new 13" 2.53 MBP is $1299, no tax.
     
  15. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #15
    To be clear, you still are legally required to pay tax, unless you drive up to Oregon.
     
  16. Echoblue thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 30, 2009
    #16
    Refurbished?

    Has anyone actually purchased refurbished computers from apple? Is that a safe way to go? What are the negatives?
     
  17. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    Sacramento
    #17
    there arent any "real" negatives

    But I have found varying results.

    One example: bought 2 G5 Dual towers as refurbs, price was great even with tax -- but they were clearly "used". A few scratches on the feet and the insides were "dusty", kind of had this sticky dusty coating. They performed fine.

    Of course, others will say theirs looked brand new. Again, I find it spotty.

    As for the tax issue, pfft. Try owning a business in CA, they tax the ever livin' sheet out of everything. Of the 50 states, CA ranks as the 49th worst state to have a small business in. =( Ive discussed the issue with my tax advisor several times, hes says "forget it"... ymmv.
     
  18. hackum macrumors regular

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    Dec 1, 2009
    #18
    For design I would suggest the anti-glare display.
     
  19. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #19
    It's not perfection - they are however of the quality as new. Plenty of new units arrive DOA, etc...
     
  20. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

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    Location:
    Cedar City, Utah
    #20
    If it is DOA Apple will refund or exchange it so don't sweat it. Like the other posters said, some units will have slight wear. Worth a shot!
     
  21. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a

    pukifloyd

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    Scottsdale
    #21
    Another vote for a refurb!
    as for the specs you couldn't go wrong with them...this is a pretty powerful laptop and should handle your work...

    cheers
     
  22. Echoblue thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 30, 2009
    #22
    So now you all have me on the refurb kick and started doing the research. More difficult to find the exact specs you might be looking for but may have found one even better for price. Found one that sounds like great specs but am just concerned about the drive speed. I have been told the 7200 rpm would be much better for me as a designer and the programs I use. Is it worth giving up a better machine for the rpms?

    MBP 15" 2.8GHz
    4GB Memory
    500GB hard drive: 5400 rpm
    8x SuperDrive
    SD Card Slot
     
  23. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #23
    how much for that one?

    dont obsess over the RPMs on the drive -- you arent going to find a MBP with a 7200 rpm drive unless its custom order.

    you arent accessing the drive all day that its really going to matter.

    EDIT: OK, I see, $1950 + tax. Or $1999AR from Macconnection.
     
  24. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a

    pukifloyd

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    Scottsdale
    #24

    there won't be much difference between the 5400 and 7200rpm drives...if you really want speed then get a ssd :p

    i think you should get the above listed machine.
     
  25. MWPULSE macrumors 6502a

    MWPULSE

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #25
    what this guy said.. The way forward is eventually going to be SSD, but until that happens, the difference for the vast majority of people is negligible between a 5,4 and 7,2 RPM drive. I would jump on that machine from the refurb store that you listed, they go quite quickly i hear on there :)

    PTP
     

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