NEW 17" MBP w/ LED - Switched from PC - HELP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by amitdoc2b, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. amitdoc2b macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008

    I just ordered a new macbook pro w/ penryn. Its my first apple computer, so I wanted your expert input on if the following features I customized will be very fast or not? I don't know if I really need 4GB ram or not, so I opted to stay with 2 since I do mild video/photo editing, and mainly will just use iworks to type up documents, surf the web, use aol, check e-mail, chat with webcam, watch videos on sites (i.e. youtube), etc..

    2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    MacBook Pro 17-inch HR GL WS (LED)
    2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
    300GB Serial ATA @ 4200 rpm
    SuperDrive 8x DL
    Apple Remote
    iWork '08 (costed $61)
    BkLit Keyboard/Mac OS

    I used the education discount and it came out to $3072 + $258.54 tax, totalling $3345.84. Is this a good deal or a rip off? Is it going to be blazing fast or did I waste my money? And will it take til the estimated March 19 ship date (because of led screens) or will it be quicker? Thanks!!

    PS - I chose iworks 08 over microsoft office, do you think that was a wise decision because I have never used iworks before nor an apple computer..?
  2. tlawski macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2008
    For what you got, you'll have the fastest word processor in the world! :cool:

    I personally think what you got is overkill, but hey, you doesn't want a faster machine than they really need?
  3. amitdoc2b thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    Will there be a noticable slowness in the computer with the 4200 RPM hard drive though? I really wanted the 300 gigs, so I went ahead with it even though the RPM is lower.

    And are there any additional accessories or programs you guys recommend for this thing? For example, what is airport extreme, and does my laptop have this already?

    I already got iworks08 and a remote to go with it.

    Thanks for your help! It is greatly appreciated :)
  4. design-is macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    London / U.K.
    For that, you will be happy for years :) As you already have iLife & iWork, you should need nothing else for what you say you will be doing. Other than maybe a good laptop bag/case.

    Enjoy! :)
  5. kch macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2007
    the laptop will be blazing fast, but that hdd is going to be a big bottleneck.
  6. tanjacob macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2007
    I think the 5400 is just as good a choice as the 7200. But the 4200 is just too slow. It might be more cost effective if you got yourself an external drive.
  7. amitdoc2b thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    thanks for your guys input. i hope its not super noticably slow. i just cant see my laptop (even if i got an external) with less than 300, and before the specs were released i was hoping for 400gb - thats why i still opted to go for the 300gb.

    overall do u think the laptop price is worth the specs i got? is it over-valued or undervalued? and can anyone else tell me if they are getting a quicker ship date than me after ordering the new 17" led screen?

    finally, someone mentioned above that i got ilife. does that come for free with macbook pro? because i only purchased iworks.
  8. xpovos macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2007
    iLife is included with every shipping Mac.

    The 4200rpm drive will be a bottleneck, but you should just wait and see how it performs for your daily usage. If it's unsatisfactory to you, you can always go for a WD Scorpio 320GB 5400rpm or the upcoming Samsung 500GB drive (which I think is supposed to be 5400rpm; anyone want to correct me on that?)

    Is the laptop price worth the specs you got? A resounding hell no. But you wanted a MacBook Pro. Every single MacBook Pro is woefully overpriced when considered purely in terms of its hardware spec. The model's value only becomes apparent in the more subjective, less tangible benefit of a superior overall user experience---mostly due to Mac OS X.
  9. amitdoc2b thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    Thanks for your input! So I don't know anything about installing hard drives, how would I get that samsung 500gb one installed when it comes out? What does it cost to install (not including the hard drive price itself) and where should I get it done from?

    In terms of other Macbook Pros of 17inch stature, do you think I picked a good system for the price I am paying compared to other buyers? I know you guys here probably know the ins and outs of whats the best value for these notebooks.. I tried my best to configure it where anything that can't be expanded is at the top right now (i.e. 2.6 ghz) while others (i.e. Memory) can be changed later if needed.

    Finally, I wanted to ask one more thing. I have a 3 year old laptop thats an HP with 3.2GHZ and Pentium 4. How much faster will this 2.6GHZ w/ Penryn be in comparison? The lower numbers from the past confuse me.

  10. Adokimus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Total overkill for your uses. Assuming you like the 17" screen size (which is perfectly fine), I would cut costs by getting the 2.5 GHz standard processor (save $250 plus tax on 0.1 GHz that your uses will NEVER ONCE notice the difference on). Also, why 300 GB? Save money by using the standard config HDD. It will be faster and you only sacrifice 50 GB that you will unlikely use for the uses you described (save another $100 plus tax). I'm all about buying an awesome machine even if you don't need it, but you're going a little extreme. Gotta look at cost/performance benefits. As for high-res LED, I think that is worthwhile (at least all of your uses involve looking at the screen).
  11. Zeos macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2008
    The 4200 rpm drive will slow everything else down, no matter how fast your processor is. I would suggest at least the 5200 rpm.

    As for iWork vs. Office, Office Student & Teacher might be a better choice if you're already good at working with Office form your PC days. I have both and find myself using Office since I'm already so familiar with the way it works.
  12. Adokimus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Answers, I have answers over here...

    (1) If you are uncomfortable following online instructions (as it isn't as simple as replacing RAM), then I would buy the drive on and take it to a certified mac technician near you to have it installed.

    (2) No. Check my above post. You did NOT pick a good system for the price. The 2.6 GHz processor upgrade is possibly the most ridiculous price for performance increase ratio ever. And I mean that with regard to intense video editing... and you'll only be internet browsing with it. NO NOTICABLE DIFFERENCE. Also, the HDD can be upgraded later, and I think the 300 GB 4,200 rpm option will be too slow and a bottleneck for your system.

    (3) Again, 2.6 GHz is not worth it. At all. Unless you are stinky rich and need to be #1. No need to max it out just to say you maxed it out. Look at the numbers and benchmarks. Apple loves you though.

    (4) It will be so much faster that I was struggling for a way to express it to you. Google or wikipedia the "gigahertz myth" to get more info on this. Basically, all basic consumers like yourself look at is the processor speed, so companies like Apple and Intel focused all of their marketing on this and it reinforced the idea that the first number you saw was the only number that was important. It is not. Pentium 4 was at the absolute peek of this almost dishonest marketing practice and deceit. As chips started to get too hot, without real performance benefits, they were forced to change their marketing, but the myth still lives on with consumers. Other important numbers: The number of cores (2 in the MBP, one for Pentium 4), the front speed bus (800 Mhz on the new macbook pro, vs. 400 Mhz Pentium 4), the cache size (6 MB vs. 512 KB on Pentium 4), and all this is multiplied by two for the MBP because of the 2nd core. Then there's increased memory speed for the RAM, better efficiency, new coding instructions, and the list goes on and on and on.

    You probably didn't read that, so: "The MBP will be a lot faster."
  13. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    To the OP if your order hasn't shipped yet I would recommend calling Apple to see if you can change the order a bit. I am inclined to agree with the other posters about this not being the perfect configuration. While I don't agree with anyone that your config is overkill because there's no such thing as an over spec'd computer.
    Computers become outdated quite fast so there's nothing wrong with future proofing it even if your uses are minimal.

    Recommendation, get the 2.4 Ghz CPU and the 200GB 7200 rpm HDD. Go to and order 4GB of ram as ram is dirt cheap these days, you can sell your old ram back to several ram retailers on the web.
    Ram gets used up a lot if you use tabbed browsing and have lots of windows opened but tabbed browsing kills it. You can never have enough ram although OS X runs beautifully on just 1GB.

    Pentium 4 vs. the Penryn? Don't confuse the clock speeds, they don't compete with each other. The Penryn is a dual core system with a much higher cache, shorter processing stages and a more efficient 45nm architecture. The key is efficiency and not clock speed.

    The best combo for any computer is a fast hard drive, decent CPU and lotsa memory.
  14. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    That hard drive is going to kill your work. Basically for your uses the only thing you need to do quickly is open applications which is hard drive dependent. You should DEFINITELY get the 7200 rpm drive, if you need the space then you could settle for the 5400 rpm drive, but please please please don't get the 4200 rpm drive, they are crap. If you really need the space, get an external (which you can use for time machine anyways). Also, your money is MUCH better spent buying 4GB RAM from than upgrading the processor if not keeping both already.

    Bottom Line:
    1. Get faster hard drive - A MUST
    2. Spend money on ram rather than processor (or both if you want the best), but in terms of performance, 4gb of ram will be more noticeable than 0.1ghz upgrade in chip.

    To see the comparison google "cpu benchmarks" - you will find your answers there

    One more thing: if you plan on sharing your work with anyone or doing presentations NOT on your own computer (which is more often than not when giving presentations) you will NEED microsoft office. There will be compatibility errors in the conversion process of iwork and office, guaranteed!
  15. amitdoc2b thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    Thank You Guys!!

    I wanted to thank you all for helping me out.

    I cancelled my order, and made a new one..

    All the specs are the same, except I changed the 300GB/4200RPM to 250GB/5400RPM. Basically its the stock model for 17" but with the LED Glossy Screen. The cost is now $2708 + 15 s/h + 228.06 tax, totalling $2951.06. Compared to before at the beginning of this thread, I saved about $400!! And my performance on my macbook pro should be superior to what it was before, right??

    Its now: 17" LED Glossy, 2.5GHZ, 250GB/5400RPM, and remote.

    I'm also going to get Microsoft Office for MAC now instead of iwork08 because of the conversion problems on other PCs.

    What do you guys think now??

  16. oliverlubin macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2002
    agreed. go with standard config + high-res screen. then load up on RAM. OWC is a good source. that extra 50gb isnt worth it and you'll want to get an external 500GB drive anyway for timemachine, so you'll have plenty of extra storage. i think you'll be happy you did and it may even arrive quicker.

    p.s. does anyone know of a source where you can do some level of BTO that does not charge sales tax?
  17. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    I'd recommend a stock low-end 15" and use the extra money for an external monitor and an external firewire HD.
  18. oliverlubin macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2002
    same here actually and if you do go that route, it may be cheaper to buy it from after rebate and no sales tax.
  19. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    MUCH better! I would still get the 7200 rpm (I think it is worth the money), but the 5400 rpm is at least decent. Now you just need to go to and get 4GB RAM for that sucker and you'll be good to go.

    One thing you could consider if you are serious about office work is installing vmware fusion or parallels desktop and running office 2007 through that. You can get office 2007 ultimate for $60 (this is not a joke or a scam, I bet my life on it) from if you are a student (or know a student) - I did it and it is the best deal I have ever found for office, period. That way you could run office 2007 (the industry standard and save all files in compatibility mode 1997-2003 formatted files). You will never have a problem with conversion errors (which you still might from time to time with mac office but much less so than with iwork). Plus, office 2007 is much nicer than any other office product (but that's my opinion).

    To do this little set up you will need to buy:
    1. Office 2007 Ultimate - $60
    2. VMWare Fusion or Parallels (you can search the threads for people's opinions on which one is better) - ~$50-80 (but there is a free trial of each to see which one YOU like more)
    3. OEM copy of Windows XP Home - $99 on
    So we're talking about $240 (which is the price you saved anyways) to run all windows programs and get a superior office program, plus you wouldn't have to buy office for mac ($150 if I remember) - so the net cost is an additional $90. I think it's worth it for $90.

    Good luck and enjoy your beast of a computer.
  20. amitdoc2b thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008

    I would love to add the 4GB ram but I don't know how to install it if I purchased it. For the type of usage I described at the beginning of my thread, would I see a difference (if so, big or little) if I upgraded the 2gb memory to 4gb??


  21. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    It is so easy to install it is ridiculous. It tells you how to do it in the manual that comes with the macbook pro. Basically, flip it over, take out battery, unscrew THREE #00 philips head screws (you can get a screwdriver for $2 at any hardware store), pop out ram, install new ram, and screw it back up. You'll be fine. Apple makes a killing on selling overpriced RAM, don't buy it from them.

    The time when you will REALLY notice that 4gb ram upgrade is when you use windows under vmware fusion or parallels desktop. Basically, you are running windows virtualized "within" mac os x leopard. This process is more dependent on RAM than any other component of the computer (chip, hard drive, etc.), so yes, for $130 or whatever the price of ram is from crucial, it is definitely a worthwhile upgrade, and especially if you choose to run windows virtualized. If you choose to virtualize windows vista (not xp as I suggested you do), then it is a MUST as vista is a RAM hog.
  22. oliverlubin macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2002
    it really is that easy. here's the instructions (also look in the materials supplied with your new MBP):

    Crucial and OWC ( are both good. I only suggest OWC b/c they are mac focused and have a good reputation in the community. $95 see here: World Computing/53IM2DDR4GBK/
  23. Adokimus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Probably not a big difference for your uses, but I still recommend it.

    Don't know how? Best thing to do is a YouTube search, and make sure you get the right tools. I listed three great videos to help you out below:

  24. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    Perhaps I'm too late but...

    2.5GHz 17" LED - with 7200RPM HDD and replace the Superdrive with a 500GB Samsung - People overlook the 512MB GPU

    If weight is a concern get the Time Capsule rather than the Samsung HDD
  25. PkennethV macrumors 6502a

    Aug 16, 2006
    4GB of RAM is total overkill for your uses right now. IF by any chance you do need more in the future, just get it then as prices only come down.

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