New to Macs here. Couple questions on the two 15.4" MBP options

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Chase R, May 8, 2008.

  1. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #1
    First off I'd like to say that I'm sick of PC's! lol anyways onto my question.

    I've narrowed down my laptop search to the 15.4" MacBook Pro. I'm an engineering student, Aerospace to be exact, and getting ready to transfer to SDSU. I want to be able to run 3D CAD software very well which is why I chose the MBP over the MB. So I have a few questions regarding the two 15.4" models:

    How much better is the 2.5GHz processor (6MB L2 ache) compared to the 2.4GHz processor (3MB L2 cache)?

    They both have the NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT graphics card, however, one has 256MB of GDDR3 memory while the other has 512MB of GDDR3 memory. I'm not really an expert here so what does this mean? How much better is the 512MB version than the 256MB version? Is it really that noticeable?

    I also heard that lately the MBP's have been shipping out with Boot Camp that runs Windows programs at 64-bit instead of the advertised 32-bit. Is this true?

    Also, is 4GB of SDRAM worth the $200?

    I'm just trying to see if the higher-end 15.4" version of the MBP is worth the extra money over the base model as I'm working off a college budget here. Sorry if this is a lot of questions.

    Thanks
     
  2. Dragonforce macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

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    London (Ealing) UK
    #2
    You won't feel any increase in speed. Its measureable, but you won't feel it in daily use. The extra $ going from the 2.4 GHz to the 2.5 GHz model isn't worth it, but the $ for the 4GB of RAM are. Just make sure to not buy the RAM from Apple - buy it from Newegg or something and upgrade it by yourself. Its easy as pie and done in less then 5 minutes. And you don't void your warranty.
     
  3. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #3
    Yes the processor makes a big difference to the bigger cache. Depending on what your doing, ditto for the graphics.

    Don't buy the RAM off apple, buy it off newegg for $70 and fit it yourself, its easy and theres loads of tutorials on youtube etc. and it doesn't void the warranty.
     
  4. Chase R thread starter macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #4
    Thanks for the reply. I think I will probably end up sticking with the 2.4GHz MBP and upgrading the ram myself like you both said. What about the Boot Camp question... is that true or not? Would 64-bit make the running of Windows native software, such as SolidWorks, even faster?
     
  5. Dragonforce macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

    Joined:
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    #5
    A big difference ?

    You can't be serious... it makes a difference of maybe a couple of seconds computing time if you put like 100% load on the cores - and the graphics RAM will most likely never put to use, not even by games. Theres a couple of interesting articles and benchmarks at www.barefeats.com

    Seriously, the differnce between the 2.4 and 2.5 GHz stock models is minimal. It just enlarges your epeen if you have the 2.5 GHz model over your friends epeen, who "only" has the 2.4 GHz model :D

    Bootcamp accepts 32 bit / 64 bit Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and 32 bit / 64 bit Windows Vista. Its your choice which you want to install.
     
  6. Chase R thread starter macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #6
    Haha thats pretty funny you bring up the epeen.

    And thanks for the clarification on Boot Camp.

    What about the choice in hard drives. Will there be a noticeable difference between the 5400RPM HD and the 7200RPM HD (both 200GB)? Worth the extra $100?
     
  7. Dragonforce macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Location:
    London (Ealing) UK
    #7
    If you work with large files, you will notice a difference. A bigger difference than 2.4 GHz > 2.5 GHz (3 MB 2nd L Cache > 6 MB 2nd L Cache) :D

    A 7200 RPM drive tends to be more noisy, cause more vibrations and eats up your battery faster than a 5400 RPM drive. Its up to you if you want to upgrade. But yeah, like I said, you'll notice it. Apps start faster, Mac boots faster, etc.
     

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