Need some advice on whether to upgrade or not

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by GadgetAddict, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. GadgetAddict macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    So here's the deal. I've got a maxed out MacBook Pro 15" mid 2010. By maxed out I mean,

    High-Res AG
    2.8 i7
    8Gb Ram
    120 SSD
    ... I'm sure you know the rest

    Ram and SSD are upgrades from OWC. Needless to say that it is pretty fast. Geekbench gives consistent scores 5900-6000.

    So the most anticipated upgrade to the new line of Pro's is the inclusion of Sandy Bridge chips. From what I understand this would mean a boost in processing power and better GPU. But I have no idea of the specifics. For example what would be an anticipated benchmark score? Just an estimate. Reason I'm asking is because if the expected increase in power is in the 10-20% range I don't see a me selling my current Pro to get the new one. If it's expected to be more I'd consider it.

    One would recommend waiting for the new line to be released and then decide what to do. However, I am afraid I will loose much of the resale value if I decide to sell after the introduction of the new Pros.

    Lastly, would I be able to use my current 8Gb Ram with the new line? I mean, does the introduction of Sandy Bridge mean new Ram specs?

    I know there's much speculation going on here but any thoughts will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Nobody can advise you on if you should upgrade, because you list impressive specs but do not explain what you use your machine for. I can tell you now that your setup is overkill for facebook. Geekbench scores don't really mean much without context.
  3. idea_hamster macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2003
    NYC, or thereabouts
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    There will be a RAM upgrade from 1066 to 1333, so you won't be able to keep your ram.
    The only possible scenario where I could see an upgrade helping significantly is if they offer a quad-core BTO option, which would be a major shift in Apple design (35w to 45w).
    Also, you won't lose as much resale value as you may think.
  4. vnle macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2010
    I was in the same exact position as you except my MBP is a 17 inch and a late-2009 model which means it has a C2D in it. I was thinking of selling mine because I wanted to downgrade to a 15 inch and the Sandy Bridge will be much more of an upgrade. So, I recently came to a conclusion: if I can sell my mbp for enough to cover the cost of a new one or even if I have to put out ~200, I would sell it. I believe I can since I'm moving from a 17 inch down to a 15 inch If I can't, then I won't. Will you lose any money over selling yours and getting a new one? Because currently, you have some very impressive specs that upgrading the processor won't be much of an improvement jump. You could wait for the generation and then you would see a bigger boost. :) What do you use yours for?
  5. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    Someone is just really bitter about Facebook.

    Personally, I wouldn't upgrade the computer you have right now. I'd wait another year or two.
  6. GadgetAddict thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Many thanks for your input!

    I need as much processing power as I can get because I need to run Win 7 on a VM on which I run graphics design applications. And I also need the portability otherwise I would go with a desktop system. Things would be so much simpler and cheaper for me if Autodesk offered their products for the Mac platform as well. They recently offered Autocad but that is not enough for me.

    So far my experience has been ok but certainly not great. I don't know which is the bottleneck in using a VM, the processor, the amount of ram or the GPU. One thing I have noticed is that the SSD helps in loading times but when I'm working on an application it makes no difference. I am thinking to upgrade since my experience is not exactly how I expected it to be. I know my MBP has good specs as is and would probably last for another 2-3 years.

    I am raising these questions because as I understand, the specs of the new Sandy Bridge chips have been announced. And it's comments like this from Anandtech that make me think if I should sell right now!

  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    The bottleneck in the VM is the VM itself. Use bootcamp, that way you'll get all the processing power your computer can muster. A virtual machine is more of a crutch than an actual work tool, sandy bridge will do nothing for you.

    It's pretty simple, the resources you're using to run the 2 OS'es at once are ressources that your autodesk suite cannot use. The VM is limited to the amount of ram you give it, and emulate a crappy graphics card, not the one you have. In the end, you get a major performance hit whenever you do anything processor or graphics heavy. Save yourself the hassle of reselling your computer for a marginal(read barely noticeable) change in VM performance.
  8. xdbuix macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2008
    yeah I do agree with these other posts. Sandy bridge wont do much. Your specs are already impressive as it is
  9. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    I have heard that running intensive programs in Windows through a virtual machine can be less than spectacular as you have mentioned. Ever thought about running Bootcamp? This way Windows can use your hardware natively - 100% speed and 100% Windows compatibility. I think it would make more sense than selling your maxed out 2010 MBP for a new one. That 2.8 i7 should last you a very long time to be honest.

    EDIT: Someone beat me to it above..haha. I think BootCamp is your best option. You have an impressive machine.
  10. GadgetAddict thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Well of course I know I can do the design work on Bootcamp. But I thought I could have the best of two "worlds" by using a VM. And right now I'm close but not exactly there. That's why I was wondering if the newer models will be a bit more powerful to get me to where I want. Sandy Bridge specs have been announced but I don't know what to get out of them in practical use.

    I guess I'll stick with my precious for now until Apple releases a quad core MBP. Then I'll reconsider. Thank you very much for your thoughts, it's always great to discuss with some awesome people in this forum!:D
  11. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Maybe you should look into VM performance. What kind of VM are you using, Parallels, VMWare or VirtualBox? Parallels generally wins on performance benchmarks - - but VMWare is more stable, while VirtualBox is ... well .. free.

    As for the configuration, how much RAM have you assigned to your VM? With 8GB RAM in your Mac, I wouldn't assign more than 4GB, since that will start to slow down your host.
  12. skidmarc macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2011
    I can vouch for this. I have two other OSes I run in VM and it puts a huge strain on the system. If you wish to truly run any OS other than Mac OS you should use BootCamp and boot into the individual OSes rather than run them simultaneously if your are using them intensively.
  13. junk macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2011
    A VM will not give you the best of two worlds. It gives you some of the good bits of both worlds. If you want top performance, that's not something a VM is likely to give you any time soon.

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