Purchasing a 2.93GHz Unibody 17.. Questions bout 8 GB of Ram Or SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by FunkTechNician, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. FunkTechNician macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2009
    So I am about to purchase within the next day or 2 from the apple store site a 2.93GHz Unibody 17in Mac Book Pro

    My questions are is it better for me to get 8gb or ram or the Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH160G1C5 160GB SATA Internal Solid state disk drive? I have about 1200$ extra so I can get either one. But which will I see the most speed from?

    Let’s say I stick with 4 GB of ram. Should I just get whatever hard drives the supply on site being the 320GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm that it comes with and buy the ssd Intel from Newegg? Or should I get the ssd on the apple site? Also let’s say I do that. What’s a good external hard drive that’s 1-2 tb?

    Or should I get the 8 GB of ram and get the 320GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm and just get the SSD later?

    I need the speed for rendering audio/video/photo.

    For programs such as adobe Photoshop/aftereffects, final cut, pro tools, avid...

    I was going to just get a Mac pro but I need the portability of a macbook pro

    Another question concerning apple care should I purchase it on the site when I buy my Mac for 239 or wait 8 months and buy it off eBay for around 180??

    This is going to be my first Mac computer. I’m tired of doing editing on a pc. It’s just not for me anymore.

    I would also like to run sometime of windows as well I don’t know if vista or xp would be for gaming, etc

    I really dont like using the notebook mouse either. whats a really good mouse to get?

    last question?
    What is the best backpack with a lot of space for me to get? 300 and under

    i was thinking about this one
  2. iisarenotnobody macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2008
    you can't replace the Hard drive or Ram on the 17" well you can, but its a way bigger hassle than the 15" or 13" since the entire bottom is sealed because of the battery

    I say go with the SSD, apps won't recognize the 8GB or use it completely
  3. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    I personally would buy 8GB of ram and then wait. And buy a bigger faster Intel SSD drive later in the year as they will come out. A faster Intel drive of 260GB or more sounds tempting, your machine would fly.......
    It will be my only upgrade in the future when they come down in price and are faster plus at least 320GB, should give me a nice performance boost :D
    As for weather you can take the bottom off easily or not, well we will have to wait for someone to tell us cause not even the manual is up on Apple's website yet.
  4. miguelito macrumors member


    Jan 31, 2009
    On the speed issue: I would expect that, with Leopard, you'd get more bang for the buck from a fast SSD, but Snow Leopard might be different. If you're using Photoshop CS4 or below, this is still a 32 bit app so it cannot use any mem past 4gb, so the 8gb won't quite help there.

    On the Booq bag: I actually have the Python, have had it for 2+ years now. It is a great bag. However, I have found a problem with this bag. The computer slips in a pocket that essentially puts it between your back and what you're carrying in your backpack. It is my (more or less unscientific) impression that the screen gets pressed on fairly often in this configuration (particularly with a loaded bag). I have had my mbp 15" screen develop mild dark "smudges" (for lack of a better word). The screen was in fact replaced in Oct 07 b/c of this (still under warranty) and the new screen developed similar smudges. Since I use this machine mostly for Photoshop on the go, I will not putting my new mbp in this bag. I will likely still use the bag, since it is pretty good.

  5. FunkTechNician thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2009
    so what bag then would you say? so upgrading the ram/hard drive on a 17 is going to be difficult? i really want the bigger screen
  6. miguelito macrumors member


    Jan 31, 2009
    Wish I knew. I'm inclined towards a shoulder type bag, not sure. I have a few Tumi's around the house so I might give that a try before deciding. I'm really a backpack kinda guy, unfortunately, so I am guessing the best solution for me might be a laptop-only shoulder bag with the Python for all else.

    Would love to hear about a backpack with a hard-shell case, but I don't think that exists... :)
  7. FunkTechNician thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2009
    what about putting a sleeve over the macbook and putting the macbook with a sleeve over it in the backpack? will that fit or make any sort of difference?
  8. speedy523 macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2009
    well between the SSD and the RAM, id go with the SSD as it impacts performance much more directly then RAM does.

    I'd also wait a week or two and see whether or not apple's 256gb SSD is Samsung or not, as the Samsung is supposed to be the fastest overall SSD.

    As for upgrading, i wouldnt expect it to be much of a hassle. Basically unscrewing a few screws on the back cover to expose the hard drive and ram slots. Also since apple says it is user replacable, i would expect it to be quite straight foward. But in event it is hard or you dont want to do it, you can always bring in your new parts to the apple store for them to put it in.

    But yeah, personally, i believe the SSD has a much larger impact on performance over the adding 4 gigs of more ram to have 8.
  9. nippyjun macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2007
    don't get either. I'd wait and see if the system is fast enough as is. Prices on memory and ssd's should be much better as the year goes on.
  10. rhyx macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2008
    If you definitely want one or the other then get the SSD.
  11. speedy523 macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2009
    id agree with you, but the problem is, as of right now Samsung isnt planning on selling their 256gb SSD retail, but instead only to computer makers such as Apple or Dell. So i'd personally say wait and see if Apple's comes with the Samsung, and if it doesnt, you can hope to find it on ebay if you still want to get the Samsung.
  12. dandelion- macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2009
    If rendering is your key focus, go for the ram ;)
    SSD is good, especially when you are always on the go.

    But why don't you simply get a macpro instead?

    *general rule for mac (or everything), only get them when you need it. Otherwise keep looking ;)
  13. Thistledown macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2002
    If you do choose to go with the RAM, I would suggest saving the $1200 Apple will charge you and go with a third party. OWC has 2 - 4GB chips for $750. The price has come down a lot in the last 3-4 weeks.
  14. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Hands down SSD, best upgrade I've made in 15 years, next to 3g graphics. :D
  15. harodude macrumors regular

    May 7, 2007
    On the last day at Macworld, I had one of the Apple reps show me how easy it was to take off the bottom. He even had access to an inside picture/diagram too. It was simply 4 or 6 screws and it just came off like a restaurant tray.
  16. nutts macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2007
    Without a doubt the SSD.

    I have an SSD in my MBA, and compared to the 'normal' 5400rpm hard disk in my MBP it flies. I can tell you now, without any doubt, that my next MBP (likely at the end of this year) will have SSD. I don't want a machine without it now.
  17. NightSailor macrumors 6502


    Feb 24, 2008
    Try the Brenthaven Bags

    Good Luck
  18. FunkTechNician thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2009
    thanks for all the replys. thanks NightSailor for such a detailed reply.

    sounds good ill wait for the samsung SSD

    The new trackpad? you mean whats on the unibody i will be buying?

    i actually have 2 seagate 1tb hard drives. the only problem is with the big issue with 1000s of them bricking cause of firmware it kind of bothers me. but if i can use what i have and just put then in an external case that would be great.

    What would be a good Hard drive case that i could put each one in or both of them in? I prefer firewire over usb.

    is this one any good?

    as far as the backpack it was a toss up for me between that Brenthaven and this one

    as far as getting a mac pro instead. I would but i need to travel with it so that's not an option right now. I need it for school as well. i don't think that have backpacks that fit towers yet lol. But maybe soon they will
  19. infernohellion macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2006
    I would also go for the SSD if I have the money. (Which I don't but my next planned upgrade would surely be the SSD, not the RAM).

    SSD would affect the performance directly since all the computers right now has the bottleneck at the HDD. Imagine when you can launch almost all the application only with a single jump on the dock.

    About Windows, if you are not using it for games, why not try Windows 7 first before purchasing a copy of anything? I don't know if this unibody 17" would allow 64-bit versions of Windows or not but my current 17 MBP is not capable of 64-bit versions of Windows.

    But surely I would be with Windows XP for sure. Vista is a big no-no for gaming. Even with DirectX 10, my games (COD4, COD:WAW, Bioshock) still run a lot faster on XP! The difference is quite significant! I am able to turn on "specular maps" on COD4 and obtaining the same FPS as specular maps off on Vista.

    Backpacks, you should also take a look at Incase Nylon Backpack. It has a lot of great reviews on the Apple Store. I ordered mine too but it's not with me at the moment.
  20. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007

    Eh? I think your getting a little confused (i could be wrong) From my experience the 1Tb Seagate's don't have any actual firmware issues to my knowledge, I have a couple running on the other machine and they're faultless. The drives that do suffer in the past, we're their newly released 1.5Tb...
  21. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    Thanks for that buddy, that would sudgest you can easily upgrade the machine yourself without breaking the warranty.
  22. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Just stick with the 2.93, the 4gb of RAM, and bump up to the 320gb 7200rpm HDD. Then in a year the price of DDR3 RAM will have halved, the price of SSD's will have halved and you can go on an upgrade rampage.
  23. relativist macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2009
    I Agree with this, the hard drive and RAM can be upgraded later, for much less than it would cost now. Unless, of course, the extra capacity is needed for some reason.

  24. miguelito macrumors member


    Jan 31, 2009
  25. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Is that a typo? What exactly are 3g graphics?

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