New MBPs... a few questions...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jezatron, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. jezatron macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Location:
    Sunny South Coast
    #1
    Hi all, first post.

    I have had a 17"MBP 2.4ghz Intel Core 2 Duo for YEARS now and have been hanging on for the spec bumps as I have needed to replace for a while but was conscious improvements were coming.

    I have quite a few questions and was hoping for some informed answers, but thought best to ask here rather than the apple store so I can get a more genuine and less sales orientated response!


    Question 1 - Proper Refresh?
    I know there are rumours of redesigned models in spring but are we expecting them to be worth waiting for? My eyes are suffering due to the loss of backlight on my MBP and I'm thinking replacing now is a priority.

    Question 2 - Processor Bump
    I generally look to future proof my purchase by spending a bit more to make sure it will last. Im looking at bumping the spec up to 2.5ghz quadcore as I know the 'brain' is the only bit I can't really bump later. Any tech heads know if the difference between quad 2.4 and quad 2.5 will be noticeable?

    Question 3 - Mac RAM vs Crucial RAM
    In the past I have used crucial for ram upgrades; but I never had the apple care. Whenever I have spoken to staff in apple stores they have always agreed that crucial made more sense from cost point of view, and that it was the same as what they use / same quality...

    a - if i get crucial ram does anyone know if I void apple care?
    b - in the unibody macbook pros is it as easy to install ram yourself?


    Question 4 - Battery
    Obviously with my 'archaic' macbook pro Im used to the battery housed to the exterior and being fully removable. I'm on my 3rd or 4th battery with this macbook pro as they have always swollen and split eventually.

    I worry with the battery being nested inside the unibody frame
    a - dont they overheat?
    b - when they go bad, doesn't it make it really difficult (costly) to fix?
    c - on numerous occasions over the years my MBP has just totally frozen.. and the only way to rectify has been to take the battery out, put it back in, and start up afresh. How the hell do you solve freeze ups on the new ones?
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #2
    1. Sounds like you need a computer now, and it's pretty much guaranteed that it will be around 6 months before the new ones, so I'd say that's not a great option to wait.

    2. Don't do it. It's a lot of money for something you will never notice. All it does is make Apple more money, because by the time the 2.4GHz is out of date and slow (that will be a while), the 2.5 will be right there with it.

    3. I wouldn't ever buy RAM from Apple, it's ridiculously overpriced. It will not void your warranty, although keeping the old stuff around to put back in if you have to send it in isn't a bad idea. Sometimes if you send it in, it will come back in stock configuration, because Apple just wants you to have to spend more money. It is a very easy procedure though, only takes but 5 minutes. All of this also applies for upgrading the HDD.

    4. a. There generally aren't overheating issues
    b. If they swell, they will likely be replaced for free, and they are also supposed to last 1000 cycles, so I wouldn't worry about that.
    c. If it freezes, you should just be able to hold the power button for a few seconds and it will shut off.
     
  3. lighthouse_man macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #3
    If the backlight on your computer is the only reason for you to upgrade, then get yourself a USB light accessory. If the redesign is in the next update, then it should be worth the wait even though there has been that history regarding first batches of major revisions. I have a similar setup to your computer and it's still got a couple of years to go.
     
  4. TheRdungeon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #4
    The batteries are still really easy to replace, just take the bottom cover off
     
  5. gorskiegangsta macrumors 65816

    gorskiegangsta

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #5
    Question 1 - Proper Refresh?
    In your case it would really be impractical to wait another 6 months if your current model is barely usable.

    Question 2 - Processor Bump
    If I were you, I would just get the 2.4GHz i7 (quad) CPU and not waste $250 for only marginal improvement you'll get with 2.5GHz i7, but it's your call.

    Question 3 - Mac RAM vs Crucial RAM
    Crucial, Kingston, G.Skill, etc.. are of the same quality as the so-called "Apple" RAM

    a - if i get crucial ram does anyone know if I void apple care?
    No, you do not.

    b - in the unibody macbook pros is it as easy to install ram yourself?
    Relatively easy. All you need is a small philips screwdriver to remove 10 screws on the back plate (you can refer to iFixIt guide for help at ifixit.com)

    Question 4 - Battery
    I worry with the battery being nested inside the unibody frame

    a - dont they overheat?

    No.

    b - when they go bad, doesn't it make it really difficult (costly) to fix?
    Not really. It's around $150 in under 10 min in amy Apple store. Keep in mind that the newer internal batteries are designed to last years (3-5 yrs, depending on your usage).

    c - on numerous occasions over the years my MBP has just totally frozen.. and the only way to rectify has been to take the battery out, put it back in, and start up afresh. How the hell do you solve freeze ups on the new ones?
    The new models very rarely freeze. However, you can easily handle a freeze by force shutdown (i.e. hold the power button for around 10 sec).
     
  6. jezatron thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Location:
    Sunny South Coast
    #6
    @alust2013

    Thanks for reply.

    1. Agreed.

    2. Is the 2.5 really not gonna be noticeable? I mean, I always think of the brain as being the most important bit?

    3. how do you mean... "back in stock configuration"? Like they would take out my 8MB of ram and put 4gb std back in it?

    With the HD I was planning to bump the initial spec to 256SDD as I have a couple of 1TB external HDD for storage so thinking my main priority here is helping my new MBP to be and stay fast.

    4. Maybe because they are internal and need less protection they have thinner case, and so overheat less? LOL I don't think 1000 cycles lasts long. I work all day and often a lot of the night on my MBP.

    ----------

    It's not the only reason. I rinse my MBP. It's probably had 20 yrs use in 5 or whatever.

    The only original parts remaining as far as I'm aware are the bottom shell case and the processor. Its had a hard time.

    The backlight is the last straw and conscious that I only replaced the top half of the clam shell (i.e. the screen half) a year or two ago and it's already difficult to use I'm just ready generally to get on to the next one. I do also find mine to be pretty slow these days working on it.

    ----------

    oh ok cool thanks. Psychologically it seemed like it would be a lot harder as I viewed it as sealed / welded into a block of aluminum I think.

    ----------

    @gorskiegangsta

    Again, many thanks for taking time to give such a detailed reply.

    1 - seems unanimous so far at least (I'm pretty much decided I'm doing it just waiting for someone to say 'You're an idiot for not waiting til may because__').

    2 - Again seems fairly unanimous so far. If I hadn't asked I would have definitely specced it up to 2.5 though. What is the point of them offerring 2.5 if it's not noticeable?

    Also... if you have 2.4 dual and you upgrade to 2.4 quad... is it naive to assume it would be twice as quick?

    3 - On the subject of RAM i just checked and crucial = £43 for 8gb kit, Apple £160! Have used crucial in past and had no probs so feel quite comfortable with that as long as it doesn't void apple care or warranty or anything.

    It's funny though, I feel a lot less happy about doing a HD upgrade myself.

    4 - Ok good to hear people saying the batteries are ok. I just found the ones on my model to be horrendous so was a real worry!
     

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