Overkill? Suggestions Welcome!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nope7308, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    I've been waiting for the MBP revision, but now Steve has thrown a complete curve ball and I'm left befuddled. I need to buy a new computer, but I'm not sure which configuration would be best for (1) my needs/preferences, and (2) my wallet. To complicate matters, this is my first ever Mac.

    Here is some relevant info...

    Proposed Tasks:
    - Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and light video editing
    - The odd game (nothing particularly demanding)
    - Multiple Apps (8+) running simultaneously
    - Office apps, internet, movies, music, and all the usual crap

    I'm only an amateur photographer, so the glossy screen isn't a huge concern (although it isn't my preference), and I can live with the lack of FW 400. That said, I would really prefer a 15" screen and I want this thing to hold its own for at least 3 years - and survive for at least 5.

    Clearly, the MBP is overkill for what I need to do (I think), but I'm still leaning toward it because of the 15" screen and the arrival of Snow Leopard (SL). Essentially, I wanted to invest in the screen and the CPU since I can't upgrade them at a later time, but given the proposed changes in SL, it seems that I should also invest in the video card. This inevitably leads me to the 2.53G/512MB model with 6MB cache and 4GB RAM.

    SO, what do you guys think? Is this complete overkill or a future investment? I'd be willing to spend up to $2500, but at the same time, I don't want to be throwing my money away.

    All suggestions are welcome, but please keep them constructive. Thanks in advance!

    P.S. I actually don't mind the new design - I really like the trackpad - but those damn 'chicklets' make me want to puke!
     
  2. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    For all those things, the 2.53GHz model sounds like the computer for you. Obviously don't upgrade to the 2.8GHz model; just isn't really viable.

    If the computer is as strong and durable as Apple suggests, it should last you 5 years.
     
  3. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #3
    What about the base MBP at 2.4G and 3MB cache? Essentially, this boils down to (1) processor speed, (2) cache size, and (3) VRAM.

    I'm going to upgrade to 4GB of RAM regardless, so I'm trying to figure out of the 2.53 model is "future-proofing" or a simple "waste of money".

    Keep the responses coming!



    After crunching some numbers, here is the difference after the student discount:

    MBP Option 1:
    - 2.4G, 3MB cache
    - 4GB RAM
    - 320 HD @ 7200
    - 9600M 256MB
    TOTAL:
    $2,335 CAD

    MBP Option 2:
    - 2.53G, 6MB cache
    - 4GB RAM
    - 320 HD @ 7200
    - 9600M 512MB
    TOTAL:
    $2,545

    SO, is the 6MB cache and 512MB vRAM worth the extra $210??

    Thanks again!
     
  4. mscofield macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    #4
    I'm in that exact same situation!
    Strange to hear so many talk about the useless vram, the very small CPU difference etc.
     
  5. Logos327 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    #5
    Apple computers are very very good at holding their own for 3+ years. While you may not need the power of the MBP now, who knows what the future will hold for you. Maybe you become a little more serious about photography or gaming, or video editing? The screen size is also an easy differentiator.

    I say go with the most expensive MBP you are willing to buy.
     
  6. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #6
    Not to belabour the point, but...

    Is the incremental processor speed, 6MB cache, and 512MB vRAM worth the extra $210 CAD given (1) my needs/preferences, and (2) the upcoming Snow Leopard release?

    I'm firm on buying a MBP, but I need to decide between the base model and the 2.53. Thanks again people!
     
  7. Nipz macrumors 65816

    Nipz

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    2.53Ghz is the one i would say is best for you. and the $210 extra is nothing over 3+ years!

    If you dont go for that and got the 2.4 make sure you go for standard ram and get 3rd party and DIY!

    Youll love either one :)
     
  8. xgfx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    #8
    I'm stuck in this befuddle too. I'm a graphic designer so have similar needs to you. I'm fairly sure i'm going for the higher model (but downgrading the hd drive to 250gb @ 7200rpm. because it's faster than the standard 320gb one in it, and gets me £30 back). It's really hard to justify for the potentially incremental performance boost gained now. But with the advent of Photoshop, and Snow Leopard taking control of the GPU to speed stuff up, I want to have "the best" gpu available. As well as this may help if I do play some games. I'm sure the chip and cache size will also help snap up the performance in general.

    I figure if i'm going to spend over a grand (british pounds) on a laptop I might as well do it properly. I want this thing to last me a long time due to the money being spent on it. And i'd rather try to prepare it as much for the future as possible, the only way to do that is to buy "the best" now. The GPU, CPU and Cache is not exactly something I can upgrade in the future.
     
  9. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #9
    Usually I would agree, but not with the new MBPs. The RAM is DDR3 which is very expensive among all third party vendors. In the end, the savings wouldn't be that great and replacing RAM in the new machines is said to be a pain (compared to the HD at least).

    I've been thinking along similar lines, but a few other threads have been questioning whether the upgrades will result in any noticeable/substantial difference (even taking Snow Leopard into account). Hopefully someone can give us some well-reasoned cost/benefit analysis on the jump to the 2.53G model.
     
  10. xgfx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    #10
    Well there is a thread around somewhere that has a graph showing the difference between the previous generation 256 vs 512 which takes into account the bigger cache and slightly more mhz.
    The differences ranged between 0% on some applications (i think mail was one of them) to a 11% increase on others. Was quite a few in the mid range seeing Most were anywhere between 4-11% increases. Of course this gap could widen with the new tech. I'm sure Apple wouldn't put all that gear as a standard option if it didn't provide some sort of benefit.

    I think I'm going to quit thinking about it and just take the plunge and forget all about it until the day it gets delivered. I will most likely be overjoyed with what I've bought regardless.
     

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