New MacBook Pro: Help When Choosing Specs

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MetBook, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. MetBook macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Like many of us, when the new line of computers comes out I want to be the first one at my university pulling out the brand new MacBook Pro from bag. I, however, am a PC and I know very little about the internal specs of a computer and I want to be fast when deciding. I have a general sense about these things but when I'm upgrading off of Apple's website, I won't know what I should pay extra for and what I should keep at the base level that is offered. Can anyone offer me a bit of help to these questions?

    1. Hard Drive: Space is an obvious one as you'd like to get as much space as possible but when should you weigh the amount of space against how fast (RPM) the hard drive runs on? If a Solid State Drive is offered, what are the advantages and disadvantages against a computer with much more hard drive space.

    2. Processor: We all know that faster is better however faster comes at a higher price. Does a certain type of computer user only need a certain processor speed? (ie. Does a faster processor make everything faster or only when you truly test your computers speed capabilities as when you'd open multiple, high-intensity programs)

    3. Memory: Perhaps I might ask the same questions as the processor speed: Does a higher memory capacity only becomes useful if you use your computer in a "high-intensity" way or does the computer always function better with a higher capacity RAM.

    4. Display: I know this question is posed a lot however everyone's answers seem to be catered to their own experience. Can anyone offer me an objective list of advantages and disadvantages of both the Glossy and Matte screen?

    BONUS: I'll be using this computer for basics such Internet Browsing, Microsoft Office, Music, etc. as well as using it as my work computer and also managing websites. Even though we don't know the specs of the newest MacBook Pro, what should be most important to me in terms of the things I've listed above? (Do you need any other bits of information about me in order to better help answer the question?)

    Thanks a lot in advance.
  2. MetBook thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    I realize that this might take a bit of time for someone to respond however it's really important to me.

    I've had my HP Pavilion dv1000 for 3.5 years. It is a has a 1.7 GHz processor, 990 MB of RAM, a 90 GB hard drive, and only 14 minutes of battery life.

    It's my first Mac and I want it to be great. It might take you a few minutes to help explain these few questions I have to me but it will mean a lot. Thanks so much and I hope you take the time to write.
  3. Tex-Twil macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2008
    you forgot to tell something important. What will be your usage of the notebook ? edit: oh sorry I read too fast :)

    For the glossy/mate, there are threads about this with people telling their experience so it is useless to discuss this again here ;) This one for example is just next to your own thread ... you could have seen it

  4. MetBook thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Microsoft Office
    Word Processing, Excel, PowerPoint
    Internet Browsing
    Website Management
  5. 2Sticky macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2005
    For the things you will be doing why don't you get a MacBook?

    The MacBook Pro is for professionals, people who will be using intensive software packages.
  6. Tex-Twil macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2008
    I also think a MacBook could be enough for you. It will anyway be muuuuuuucch more faster that your current notebook :)
  7. Tex-Twil macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2008
    Well have more RAM is always useful but for internet, world processor, 2 GB is usually really enough. I think that an operating system takes/uses more RAM if it has more. So the difference can be visible even in a non intesive usage
  8. Nipz macrumors 65816


    Nov 1, 2006
    For the things you stat i would def get a top end (might as well if you going to keep it for a while) MacBook and use the money u save on something worth while, instead of wasted aluminum :)
  9. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2008
    Erm... for what you're doing, your current notebook already outstrips your needs.

    However, get a low-end MacBook. They'll just look like a mini-MBP.
  10. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    I'm assuming you prefer the higher quality and larger screen that comes on the Macbook Pro.

    So even though you aren't a 'Pro', for what you've described a Macbook will meet the needs, and the base Macbook pro will as well.

    Perhaps you should pick up one of the refurb Macbook Pro (current models) to save a few bucks and still get the bigger/nicers display.
  11. azharc macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2008
    Firstly, SSD drives will be hella expensive, read this article to really understand what you're dealing with

    When it comes to RPM-age, 7200RPM if you really need the speed - this will be for stuff like video/audio editing and encoding where you really don't want the lag. You won't notice the difference if you're just surfing or accessing mail. However, it isn't that expensive to upgrade, and if you're willing to compromise on space, go for it. If you're into gaming at all - it can't hurt.

    I have a 2.5Ghz processor and hardly ever use anywhere near 100%. Even while running some 10-15 applications, multitasking with spaces, editing with Photoshop, encoding in iTunes, there's no lag. So even if you were to go for a Macbook with something less than 2.5Ghz - it's fine - it's fast, really fast, and you have nothing to worry about .

    More RAM never hurts. From my experience, in general everything is a wee bit more snappy but it only shines when you really tax it. Unless you need it, there isn't a need for it unless you have the money to spend.

    I think it's better you check both out in person. Every person has a preference. Mine is glossy because everything is so vivid and contrasty - and the reflections (which aren't as bad as people say except specific backlighting situations) don't bother me.

    Hmm... I'd say screen size actually. I don't like the Macbook's small screen size. Since you don't have to worry about performance - I'd say go with the one you actually like most - i.e. when it comes down to design, practicality, portability etc.

    All the best, hope I was of some help.
  12. MowingDevil macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2008
    Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
    Yes indeed, I think his opening statement is rather revealing.

  13. mbcollins93 macrumors member


    Aug 22, 2008
    i just remember, always try to put more of your money into a better processor or ram than a better hard drive. I Have a LOT of music on my computer and do music making and have not filled up 100gb.

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