Need some advice on my first Mac.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by solid0mike, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. solid0mike macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2010
    My financial aid refund was finally given to me, and I'm in need of a laptop. I'm on the go constantly, either at school/library/friends almost never in my dorm where my iMac lies.

    I want to purchase a MPB.
    My budget is 2100$ so I can afford a base line 15'' (w/ antiglare) right now, but that 256ram on the gpu really bothers me. I can't do 13" because I feel that the screen is too small.

    I looked on the refurbished MBP, and found an antiglare 15":
    Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.8GHz Intel Core i7
    Originally released April 2010
    15.4-inch LED-backlit antiglare Hi-Res widescreen display (1680 x 1050 pixel)
    4GB (2 x 2GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    500GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR3 memory

    For $2,055.67 after sales tax.

    and the 15" 2011 model that I want is:
    2.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
    4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    128GB Solid State Drive
    Intel HD Graphics 3000
    AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB GDDR5
    MacBook Pro 15-inch Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen Display
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

    For $2,407.48 after sales tax (using Ed. discount)

    Basically I will be using:
    Parallels with Win7
    (Planning on buying an Optibay and putting a 750GB on it)
    Java coding through Win7
    Starcraft I and II
    Photoshop, Fireworks, Flash and Dreamweaver
    MS Office (Mac)
    Email, FB, Youtube, itunes, skype, homework.

    I'm a Comp. Engineer major if that matters.

    So yeah, would the 2010 model be suffice for the next 3 years (planning to use it throughout college and making it last) or will saving an additional 500$ (might take me about 2 months, since no job) and buying the 2011 model worth it?

    I don't "need" a laptop right now, but I will in the upcoming weeks/months. Thanks for hearing me out guys! :D
  2. iPhone1 macrumors 65816


    Apr 2, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Save for a 2011 model or give the money to your parents so they can buy a new laptop.
  3. leftywamumonkey macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2010
    For that little of a cost difference, go with the 2011 mode. $90 for an SSD is a good deal.
  4. v66jack macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2009
    London, UK
    Have you considered a 13" MBP? Much better for traveling around with and they tend to be cheaper, I had to use a 15" for a while and it was just too big to be practical on the go.
  5. solid0mike thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2010
    Yeah I actually considered it. My roommate from last semester owned a 13", so it looked nice, but still I mean. I wouldn't want the feeling of being "too small". I have my old G5 iMac in my desk, so I'm sort of looking for a desktop replacement also.
  6. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    Always go with the latest model, they are way faster than anything releases before. 15" is great. 13" video and screen resolution is not worth their cost.
  7. solid0mike thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2010
    Okie dokie :D

    Thanks Guys. I'll save up for the 2011 Model. Hopefully I'll have it by the end of April :)
  8. 87am macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2011

    At least seriously consider the 13 inch. It might sound small, but from personal experience it makes a HUGE difference when you are going back and forth from class all day. You certainly can run all those programs on the new 13, and could still get a decent monitor within your budget for gaming, photoshop, etc. But you know yourself best, if you gotta have the fastest thing out there then grab a 15! Keep in mind Apple does have a 14 day return window, which is ample time to evaluate how computer works for you.
  9. v66jack macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2009
    London, UK
    I had exactly the same concerns as you before buying, when you try them in the shop the 15" feels so much easier to use. But in real life, carrying it in bags, using on little coffee shop tables the small size is a real positive. Plus it can do all the stuff the big boys can do.

    I bought a 15" Vaio in the summer because i needed to run some windows stuff for a while, it was a nightmare to carry around in comparison.
  10. solid0mike thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2010

    You guys are seriously making me consider a 13" big time.

    But I've heard bad things about the HD 3000, that its a fail/crap. Mind you, I'm not that educated when it comes to GPU's since gaming/graphics have always been my least interest. Will the HD 3000 be suffice enough for what I want to do? Also, not having an anti-glare option really dissapoints me, since I don't want to commit to a laptop where I'll try to avoid lighting as much as possible due to the glare =/
  11. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    Those require good video processing capabilities.
    Maybe you don't see an immediate need for the faster and powerful processor and video cards, and in the near future you will be trying to do some projects that might be different from what you initially thought.
    Having a better computer you will be more efficient and capable of doing things faster.
    From my personal experience, having a good Mac has always been a key advantage in my academic and professional life.
    Since I was a kid, doing typical homework projects with a MacPlus back in 1986 (some might thing those were an overkill), it allowed me to stand out with the results and focus on delivering better projects, instead of simply delivering the minimum that was required, or wasting an enormous amount of time like my peers, who were trying to figure out how to complete their projects on their loaned PCs, me having all in a single 800k 3.5" floppy disk was great, they juggling with several of the old bigger ones.
    Been able to run any virtual machine is a great feature that you will enjoy during the following years.
    The new MBPs are a great piece of technology, with the Thunderbolt I/O they are currently the most future proof portable computers out there.
    Think in the future.
    You will be able to do more experiments and connect more things to the new model than what you will be able to do with the former one.
    If you are serious about trying to do more things (leisure included), the new model will suit you better.

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