Purchasing my MBP soon:

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Nonentity, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. Nonentity macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2007
    However, I'm still stuck between the low end 15" and maxing the memory or get the high end 15" without the memory upgrade, I'm looking to do some FCP editing, some photo shopping and gaming on my machine. Will the extra 128 Graphics make a difference or is it all in the RAM?

    Thanks! :apple:
  2. blurb23 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2007
    You'll need the RAM for Photoshop.

    The extra 128mb of VRAM doesn't help that much... something like 8-12%, I read somewhere. But that might be completely wrong. Regardless, the base MBP's graphics are just fine.
  3. Mac One macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2007
    You've got to remember that you can upgrade RAM down the line, but not the video card (or processor) in the MBP. If you think you may need the VRAM then it would be better to go for the 2.4.
  4. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    This is true, but the 2.4 is a bad deal compared to the base. The base gives you a lot for its price, and most people, even with Photoshop, probably won't notice the difference (or much difference) between the 256 and 128. I'd say that the $500+tax difference between the two can be put towards better things. Heck, put that money aside and you'll be able to replace your current mbp sooner (but only if you find it sluggish or not functional).
  5. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    I remember a few months back, I went with the lowest of the choices of the MacBook Pro (15" 2.16ghz w/ 1 gig RAM). One of the biggest reasons I went with the lowest build was because it had just one RAM slot occupied with a 1gb stick - if I had gone with one of the next models, it would have been 2gb of RAM with 1gb sticks in each slot, and then when I upgraded to 3GB RAM, one of those 1GB RAM modules would have to go to waste.

    I have since updated to 3gigs of RAM. I'm looking to get another MacBook Pro soon too for my wife to replace her iBook. I wonder if the builds are gonna change when Leopard rolls out later this month. But as of right now, I'm taking the advice in this thread and grabbing the lowest one again.
  6. Nonentity thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2007
    i've heard that photoshop can be a bit of a memory hog. Anyone know how FCS works on the low end MBP? would that run better with more vRAM?
  7. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    Don't worry about it unless you're going into After Effects/Motion. 2D stuff is easy on a graphics card.

    Get the base, save the $500 in a "new computer" kitty and get a new computer sooner (overlapping this next purchase) or sell this one when it gets older sooner.

    The problem with Apple is that they're often really slow about releasing new CPUs. If you're waiting until your computer dies, you will probably end up getting a new one at the end of a cycle.
  8. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    hey guys, just wanted to rekindle this thread a little bit... I want to place my Apple MacBook Pro order, but need to decide between the two 15" builds available. Right now, I can go with both of them as refurbs at 1699 and 2199. But I dont know if I would get Leopoard so I don't want to place my order just yet. Both of them seem to be coming without Glossy, which is what I want. I'm going to see how much cheaper a refurb is than an education discount, if it's not much, then I'll just buy a new one using my education discount.

    Any thoughts?

    I bought the 15" 2.16ghz in March using the Education discount for $1799 and at the time, it was the lowest build. I just maxed out the RAM and I've been good. I'm hoping to do a lot of editing on this machine.

    The full prices are 1999 vs 2499
  9. mm1250 macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2007
    The EDU discount vs. the Refurb discount is only $100/difference on the base model. It's pretty much a no-brainer to go ahead and buy a NEW, unless 100$ is going to make-or-break you.
  10. macpluslaptop macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    Given the excellent experiences most people have with Refurbs, plus the same 1-year warranty from Apple, I say why not take a chance, get a Refurb that's been thoroughly tested and save $100?

    That's what I did, and my MBP was 3 weeks old when it shipped to me. Have had it for 3 months and it still seems perfect. Better than new, possibly, since it was tested so completely before I bought it.:)
  11. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    Yeah, since refurbs are so reliable, and I plan to get the 3 year warranty anyways, I will probably go for the refurb if it's available in the build I want. though $100 is a small fraction of the price, it's still $100.

    I know I want a 15", and I know I want a non-glossy screen. If that configuration's available, then I'm set. However, there could be other factors too. For example, when I bought my 15" 2.16ghz macbook pro back in march, I also wanted Final cut express and at the student discount, it was $99 extra. Had I not bought the macbook pro as a student (it wasn't available on the day I bought it so I didnt have a choice anyways), I believe it would have cost me an extra $200 so the savings were gone right there.

    this time around though, I'm not sure if I need anything extra with what I'm getting.

    The big question is just what 15" to get - the 2.2ghz or the 2.4 ghz. It's a $500 price difference. My plan is to max out RAM for sure. Is there any other reason to get the $500 more expensive option?
  12. sammyman macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005

    I don't think the $500 is worth it. I got the 2.2 and love it. It is fast for everything I do, including photoshop and video stuff.
  13. NomadicTy macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2007
    For those who feel that the 128 megs of video ram is okay for "video stuff", does that include editing HDV's? Does FCP use RAM or video ram for high def editing?

  14. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    Thank you sammyman, this is the kind of response I was looking for. Do others agree?

    Yeah, wondering this too NomadicTy.. I plan to be working with HDV off my Sony HC1 camera.

    Update: I thought I'd see if I could maybe choose the lower option and upgrade the video card to fill in the gap for a hundred bucks or so but it looks like the only thing I can do is just upgrade the HD as follows:

    Hard Drive
    A Serial ATA hard drive gives you more space for data and applications. Choose among several capacities at drive speeds up to 7200 rpm.

    Learn more Loading...

    120GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    160GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm [Add $75]
    200GB Serial ATA Drive @ 4200 rpm [Add $175]
    160GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm [Add $225]

    (these are non-education prices). Is the 7200 rpm HD beneficial in anyway? I plan to use an external for whenever I want to do major editing
  15. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    Sammyman (or anyone else for that matter), what if the price difference was $400, then would it maybe be worth it? I have the opportunity to use a $100 off coupon if my purchase is greater than $2k. The 2.2ghz 15" Macbook Pro refurb is $1699, but the 2.4ghz 15" macbook pro is $2199 so if I went with the better model, I'd spend $500 more, but get to save $100.

    Actually, as of right now, the 15" macbook pro 2.2ghz refurb isn't even available anymore so my only option is to either get the 15" 2.2ghz macbook pro at the educational price of $1799 or the 15" 2.4ghz macbook pro refurbed at $2199 - a $300 difference in price.


    Also, any thoughts on my question above on the Hard drive for the macbook pro?
  16. Brianstorm91 macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2007
    Cambridge, UK
    It's noticeable but, nothing special.

    I'd get the lower rpm internal HD and save that money to put towards a nice external HD like the one featured on the OS X Tour video.
  17. sweetie81 macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2007
    if you mean worth to take the 2.4 GHz. No :) I'd go for the smallest one and upgrade to maybe 4GB of RAM. You won't notice any difference while you're working with it. When I had informatics a teacher told me that 300MHZ can be felt because the computer works ca. 30% faster if everything works well.

    That said 200MHZ aren't a big deal and as long as you don't need any second of time because you're an important movie creator I'd go for the above mentioned one.

    So to cut it short. Invest in more RAM and buy the 2.2.
  18. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    Thanks for the feedback sweetie81. I will definitely upgrade the RAM all the way to 4GB. I just checked on OWC (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/MacBook/Pro/Core2/) and I'll probably get either the OWC 2GB stick for $85.99 or the samsung original or $145.97. I'll figure it out over the next few days.

    I can understand you saying that the $400 price difference isn't worth it for just an extra 200mhz, but what about the extra 40gb of HD space and the better video card in the 2.4ghz model. Still not worth it? If so, I'm just going to grab the 2.2 ghz 15" Macboook Pro for $1799 w/ the education discount
  19. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2006
    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    Another reason to get a refurb is that you can save some more money by going with a business agent. I myself went with otechs and got back a $60 rebate on my refurbished macbook pro (http://otechs.com/rebate)

    (on this forum, PM techound1 for more details)

    But the final price diff between the edu rebate and refurbished rebate for me was $160 total.. and my macbook pro that arrived looks brand new so I'm happy.
  20. dongmin macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2002
    Personally, I think the best deal is to get it through Amazon with their $150 rebate and no tax. The Apple store will add about $150 to your price.

    Amazon: $1999 - rebate = $1849

    Apple Ed store: $1799 + tax = $1947

    Apple Refurb: $1700 + tax = $1839

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