New Macbook Pro Advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Major Sparky, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Major Sparky macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    #1
    Ok, I'm sure this question has been asked a thousand times, but if anyone's willing to help me I'd greatly appreciate it.

    I'm dead set on getting a Macbook Pro, from what I've been told by Mac users and people whose advice I trust, Mac is for sure the way to go. The only problem is that I'm having trouble with deciding what options to get and how to keep myself from spending too much.

    This is my list of criteria for my Mac:

    • Fast Web Browsing
    • Clear Video Chatting
    • Ability To Record Music and Run Recording Programs well
    • Run Multiple Programs at once and not have a huge decrease in performance
    • Not be horribly outdated in 3 years
    • Some Gaming, not much, not a priority (I realize gaming on a Mac is limited)
    • Be durable enough to last 3 years

    I'm getting this laptop for college and I'm going to be studying music. I need the laptop to run recording programs and music programs wonderfully. I've decided I'm going to get the 15in Macbook Pro, it seems to be the best value.

    So the options I'm having trouble deciding between are:
    • 2.0, 2.2 or 2.3 GHz i7 processor
    • 500 GB 5400 RPM or 500 GB 7200 RPM hardrive
    • Glossy Widescreen, HiRes Glossy Widescreen or Antiglare HiRes Glossy Widescreen display
    And whether or not to have Logic Express 9 preinstalled on my Mac or get another recording program and use Garageband in the meantime (it comes with the Macbook Pro right?)

    Now as for price, I'd like to keep it around $2200, but $2500 is exceptable if you think the upgrades are worth it. Also, I'm getting the Applecare plan, so that will take up some of my budget as well.
     
  2. cloroxbleach4 macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #2
    Basically all of the 15" will do what you need it to do. The rest is really your preference. Do you need a lot of memory which means you'll need a bigger HDD?

    The screen issue is preference also. I would recommend looking at the screens in person. Some people like glossy, some like it latte.

    Find out what you like and build your MBP according to your budget.
     
  3. Major Sparky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    #3
    Here's the thing, the nearest Apple Store is a couple hours away from me, so I won't be able to go and test out all the things I'm deciding between.

    Basically for the display I don't want it to strain my eyes too much, I don't want any glare (so anti glare makes sense), and I want to be able to use it outside without the sun making the screen impossible to see.

    As far as the processor and other upgrades go, my main concern is if it's going to be worth the upgrade for what I want to use my Mac for? 500GB is plenty of space for my needs by the way.
     
  4. Peteman100 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    #4
    I would get the 2.2, since it come with an upgraded GPU for gaming purposes. If you aren't planning to swap the drive out for an SSD, the 7200 rpm HDD will offer better performance. I personally think Hi-Res is really important. Glossy vs matte depends on preference, but I lean towards matte for a laptop since you will be less capable of controlling glare in a mobile environment.
     
  5. Goohfy macrumors regular

    Goohfy

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    #5
    Completely agree, the 15" will be able to complete your demands, the 500GB 5400rpm should be fine, based on what you've listed.
     
  6. acedickson macrumors 6502a

    acedickson

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    ATL
    #6
    With all of your needs the base 15" would perform perfectly. It saves you a decent amount of money to upgrade the RAM to 8GB (I'd recommend third party) so that running multiple applications definitely isn't a problem. If you're going to stick with a HDD then go 7200RPM. It will be a bit zippier when opening programs than the 5400RPM drive.

    If you prefer the ani-glare screen, get it. I don't have any issue with glare personally but that would ensure that you're happy with your machine.
     
  7. Major Sparky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    #7
    Ok, that sounds good. You recommend upgrading my RAM from a third party source after I get my Mac? Will it void the warranty to change it myself, or should I take it to the Apple Store to get it done by them (do they even offer that service?)
     
  8. acedickson macrumors 6502a

    acedickson

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    ATL
    #8
    It doesn't void your warranty. It's even included in the user manual how to upgrade. You can also find video walkthroughs on Youtube.

    http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/MacBook_Pro_15inch_Early2011.pdf
     
  9. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cimmerian End
    #9
    the point as to whether your purchase is going to be horribly outdated in a few years is arguable and kind of vague. i mean, if you purchase it now and have it for three years, then it's three years "outdated." things are always advancing and it is the obvious assumption that each new model that comes out with better in terms of hardware, so this point seems kind of unnecessary to bring up. whatever specs you purchase now in relation to your tasks will still be the same three years from now, the only thing you may lose out on is new games that come out which, unless you are using boot camp, isn't too big of a factor.

    i would not purchase too many upgrades from apple, unless it's the screen res or software (i suppose, not sure what the price is on it solely, but i am assuming there is a decent pre-installment fee). if you go for the baseline 15'', don't upgrade the hdd to 7200rpm for $100 unless you do not want to have the hassle of swapping parts in and out if you ever feel it may have to be taken in for repairs. if going for the high-end model, go for the 7200rpm 500gb over the 5400rpm 750gb in my opinion. do not upgrade the to a 2.3ghz if you go with this model either, it's $250.

    software aside, i would get the high res anti-glare as it is semi-unique to that computer, being one of the 2/3 mbp model sizes that has it. with recording programs and some gaming, you could simply go with the baseline and it should be able to handle that usage well. therefore, I would just upgrade the screen and go with the rest of the base, including the 5400rpm 500gb hdd. you could always upgrade this yourself for to a 7200rpm hdd for less money, and again that's if you do not want to have the hassle of switching them about, which isn't really a hassle, it's really easy...just something to think about if it's worth the extra money to you. again it's not with the software but that's $1949 w/o tax and well within your price range.

    hope this helps.
     
  10. neuropsychology macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    #10
    How do I get Macbook Pro 2010, Finder tab, Search for, Today to show?

    I ACCIDENTALLY DELETED/ MADE DISAPPEAR Macbook Pro 2010, Finder, Search for Today (Yesterday, Past week are still visible). The result is that sometimes files (e.g., MSWord) are invisible (even in desktop folders for 15 minutes after creation), and I can not search any file made Today.
    How do I get Macbook Pro 2010, Finder, Search for Today back to run/ show as visible in the Find tab option?
     
  11. cloroxbleach4 macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #11
    I'm pretty sure you posted in the wrong thread.
     
  12. Major Sparky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    #12
    Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I'm going to get the base line 15in MBP with the Anti Glare screen as the only hardware upgrade, and with iWork and Logic Express 9 preinstalled and also the Apple Care Protection Plan.

    I'll just upgrade the Hardrive and RAM later if I want to.

    This sound good?
     
  13. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #13
    I wouldn't get AppleCare right away. You have a year under warranty to make a decision about it.
     
  14. Major Sparky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    #14
    Why not? I'm going to be using this laptop at college so there's a decent chance something's going to happen to it. What benefit is there to putting off buying Apple Care?
     
  15. bpeeps macrumors 68020

    bpeeps

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #15
    To save the money initially, but if you have it right now and you're willing to spend it... spend it. AppleCare is a 2 year extension on the provided 1 year warranty (giving you a total of 3 years).

    Mmmm, latte screens! Sorry, I had to! ;)
     
  16. Ach111es macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #16
    Might as well spring 90 for the Apple SSD, it's the cheapest 128GB you can get and TRIM will work.
     
  17. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #17
    The only difference between buying Applecare now, and buying it a year down the road, is the phone support. You get three months of free phone support, so in the first three months you gain absolutely nothing by purchasing Applecare. There is no upside. It is a waste of your money.

    Take that money, put it in a CD instead, and then at the end of the year, buy the Applecare. You'll spend less money, and you'll even make a bit in the meantime.

    And, as an added benefit, you get flexibility. If you decide along the line to sell your computer (upgrade, change to a 17", or any other option) you won't be out two years of support, and can purchase it for something else instead.
     
  18. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cimmerian End
    #18
    how do you figure you will save money by buying the exact same product at the end of the year as opposed to straight away? i guess you save that money for 11-12 months, but it makes no difference, waiting is simply for those who may not want the extended warranty. if you know you want it, buy it as an auto-enroll. it's the same amount of time and the same amount of money either way, whether you buy it up front or before your 1yr expires.
     
  19. acedickson macrumors 6502a

    acedickson

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    ATL
    #19
    It's not $90 on the base 15", it's $180.
     
  20. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #20
    I think the 15" is good enough for you but like said - it is your preference. FYI, not to sound like grammar police but it's acceptable and not exceptable :)
     

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