Potential MBP convert - want to compare my current Win 7 desktop specs with MBP 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by strangegeek, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. strangegeek macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2010
    Hi all,

    Sorry if this seems a bit rambling but I'm not currently a Mac user but I would really like to make the switch soon and have a few questions I was hoping some of you could offer your opinions on.

    I want to switch from my desktop machine to a MBP - Here are the specs of what I have vs. what I'm considering:

    AMD Athlon 64x2 Duel Core Processor 5600 2.80 GHz
    Windows 7
    4 GB of Ram

    Macbook Pro 13" (2009 model)
    2.53 GHz processor
    upgrade to 8 GB of Ram

    My question - will I notice a decrease in performance if I make the switch? I mainly use my PC for web surfing and playing World of Warcraft (the only game I play on it) I'd say I'm an average user but I do like to have a lot of programs running at the same time.

    My other question is with the new MBP update rumors flying around should I wait and see if that update would out perform my desktop? I don't need to have the "newest and freshest" hardware out there but if waiting a few months (at most until June) would raise my performance I'm willing to hold off.

    Thank you in advance for any advice you'd like to give.

    Oh, and since this is my first post - Hi everyone!!!


  2. DLovett macrumors member

    Feb 23, 2010
    Hi and welcome to MR.com,

    Processor wise the C2D in the 13" will surely outperform your old Athlon X2. What graphics card does your current desktop have?

    The 9400M in the MBP isn't very powerful, but will easily run WoW at a decent level of detail.
  3. zipa macrumors 65816

    Feb 19, 2010
    That 8 GB of RAM will be a total waste of cash for the sort of use that you're describing. Also buying it from Apple is another huge waste of money. If you really think that you need it, buy it online somewhere and install it yourself.
  4. strangegeek thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2010
    Hi and thanks for your thoughts!

    Here is my current graphics card:

    Nvidea 8600 GT N

    Would this set up be a up/down grade to the MBP ?

    Zipa - I'm hesitant to try installing RAM myself since this will be my first laptop and my first Mac, but I'll check around my area and see if there are any stores that can add it after purchase. I don't want to do anything to void the apple care plan I will purchase when I buy it.
  5. TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    The 9400m will be a step down from the 8600. You will still be able to play WoW, but you will probably looking at having to adjust some game settings contrast to your 8600 to get good performance.

    Upgrading RAM does not void your warranty with Apple! If you are going for 8gb of RAM it makes a lot of sense from a cost perspective to simply do the upgrade yourself.
  6. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    Rumors are that the new MacBookPros will be out within a few weeks, and at most within 2 to 3 months. If that is acceptable, then wait.

    I also agree, buy the RAM upgrade online, and install it yourself, it will be 1/10th the price (maybe not that much but a lot).
  7. ARF900 macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2009
    9400 M would be a downgrade, but it will run WoW just fine.
  8. Gata macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2010
    First off, the 8 gigs is unnecessary. You only need that if you run processor-intensive applications. Other than that, you are pretty well off. Just don't run WoW at the highest settings. The 9400m just doesn't have that kind of power, as it is an integrated graphics chip.
  9. Mindinversion macrumors 6502


    Oct 9, 2008
    Before my wife stole it I used a 2.4Ghz Alum macbook [non pro, limited edition ;) ] as my only machine. Ran a LOT of WoW on it.

    Things to consider:

    Without fan control installed, I hit 90+c EASY in Northrend/Dal. Setting it to max fan @ 70c resulted in low 70c temps. The bottom of the unit is solid, so a cooling pad is really not a GREAT solution. I used a small [6.5"] plug in desk fan and positioned it to blow lengthwise across the keyboard. Helped keep it 6-8c cooler ;)

    If you run 1x AA and turn down distance, ground clutter, shadows off, it runs decent. By decent I mean maybe 15-25 FPS Dalaran, 30FPS with Vsync/triple buffering on in windowed mode. This is NOT on the macbook screen however. I used a mini display port out to a 24" acer monitor. 10 man Uld/ToTC had no serious issues [never ran it in ICC] Had some real issues with gfx lag in HoR beginning trash pulls.

    I would recommend, if you have the money for 8 gig ram, possibly look at spending it on a 15" macbook pro with dual graphics? 8 gig is *WAAAAY* overkill in both price and necessity. You won't regret the 13" if you go that route, but you might appreciate the extra graphics horsepower.

    just a thought ^^
  10. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    The AMD Athlon 64x2 Duel Core Processor 5600 @ 2.80 GHz is a Windsor model and came out about the same time as the Core 2 Duo CPU's hit the scene. The C2D CPU's were clocked a little slower, however, so they're roughly about the same speed as the 2.16 C2D...

    So to answer your question, the GPU and CPU are either worse or about the same as the current Macbook Pro. You won't see the major CPU speed bump until Apple comes out with an i5 or i7 laptop.

    So yeah. Don't buy anything until Apple upgrades.
  11. strangegeek thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2010
    Wow! Thank you all for the great advice - keep 'um coming :)

    A note about the 8 GB of Ram choice - the main reason I'm considering this is because this is going to be my main machine for as long as possible - I'm tired of buying a windows PC and having to either replace/upgrade most of the components within 12 months or so. I've heard that macs have a much longer "active" life, I'd LOVE for it to be sufficient for my needs for 3-4 years. Since this is the case I was trying to stuff as many extras under the hood as possible. Is this implausible do you think - the life expectancy + performance? If this is totally unreachable expectation then I may need to rethink my entire list of choices.
  12. strangegeek thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2010
    Additional note about my choice of upgrading the RAM - I need a lot of multitasking capabilities: I usually have several programs running at the same time: 4 or 5 firefox tabs, email, calendar, to-do, plus what-ever widgets (I think that's what Mac calls them - please correct me if I'm wrong).

    My windows 7 PC does a decent job of multitasking (4 GB Ram) - it's also a 32-bit system - I think Macs are 64 bit, correct?

    I may be going to an Apple store this weekend sometime to shop around - any advice on questions I should ask?
  13. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2009
    Well, sorry to inform you that Macs and other PCs use the same components and the current line up of MBPs are quite a way behind using old hardware.

    The 8600 is a dedicated graphics card while the 9400m on the 13" is a integrated. Don't quote me on this but I somewhat remember that the 8600 is about 3-3.5 times "faster" than the 9400m. I know I tried WoW on my MBP and I ran it at the lowest settings at native resolution fine, I could run it at lowish-medium settings but FPS would take a hit.

    Also as others have stated 4GB will still be plenty, and even if in the future you do need to upgrade for some reason do it then as RAM prices will drop. I was playing with my desktop and had around 4-5 games (Crysis, Dragon Age, ect) opened in windowed mode fully loaded before my 4GB of RAM peaked.
  14. Kyleptrsn1 macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2010
    4GB works perfectly fine with 5+ Safari tabs open, iTunes, Mail, Skype, and iWork. Oh and thats with Youtube and/or Hulu open in Safari. If you plan on upgrading the ram, wait a while longer. Prices on 8GB ram sets will continue to drop. Right now they are way too expensive at $400 or so for Crucial.And that really is only necessary for power users running Adobe Creative Suite and a few other programs.

    OSX multitasks way better than Windows in my opinion. And for what you're talking about doing 4GBs would be perfectly suitable.

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