Puzzled by the options

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hendrik84, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. hendrik84, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2011

    hendrik84 macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2011
    I'm going for a 2.2 MBP 15" this summer and I'm having a hard time deciding on the options/upgrades.

    What I'll mainly use it for is Logic Express 9 and some internet browsing(multiple tabs open, most of the time). And maybe some Photoshop down the road.

    I'm just not really sure what specs I need for that.

    People keep praising the SSD but would the SSD be better than 8GB RAM for say Logic?

    I've been thinking of getting these specs:

    8GB RAM
    750GB HD
    Hi-Res Antiglare

    What do you guys/girls think?

    Then maybe go for SSD at the end of this year if the prices have gone down a bit? It's just so expensive to buy an SSD now, even the 128GB because then I'd have to get an HDD to put in the optical drive for storage and whatnot. So much hassle. I'd prefer to keep it simple.

    Ps. Great forum. Been lurking for some while.

    No Logic users? Or anyone in the know? :confused:
  2. 1quick1 macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2008
    I would buy the RAM outside of Apple. I got 8gb shipped for $65 on sale from Newegg.

    SSD is an option I wish I had. I postponed as I'm waiting a year or so for prices to come down some but a SSD would be a very useful upgrade.
  3. hendrik84 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Excuse my n00bieness but would that Ram be of the same quality as Apple. A 185$ price difference seems suspiciously big.
  4. Robbug macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2010
    The SSD option as your main drive with a follow on add in for a storage drive is very very price friendly.

    For some reason, Apple has always charged a bit much for RAM. Back when we were at G4/G5s or first round intel, it made better sense (not much if you knew hardware well enough). Now-a-days it's almost criminal to have them install that RAM for you when you can save a huge chunk of change and get decent aftermarket RAM.

    It appears Logic Express eats up RAM but I am not sure you would see a huge performance benefit if you skip the SSD.

    I am a paid photographer and amateur videographer. I purchased the 256GB SSD with 4 GB RAM. I yanked my optical drive out and stuck in a drive bay with a 750GB 7200 Seagate drive. For input and output operations, I see a marked improvement. I have yet to get any page in/outs with just 4GB but that may well change when I get into my video editing again.

    If I were in your shoes I would go with the SSD and get the RAM later. As of now, if you go for an aftermarket SSD, you start running into the realm of Windows with compatibility problems or issues - as evident on these forums. The extra $100 for a 128GB SSD with no issues is hard to compete with. Again as with anything YMMV. I imagine by the summer many of these issues people are writing about will iron out and an aftermarket SSD will be just as easy to drop in as RAM - course not as cheaply.

    Yes RAM prices do correlate to quality - the key is to get it from a reputable dealer. Not saying buying from new egg is bad or anything - far from it...just do your homework before purchasing.
  5. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Buying any upgrades from computer manufacturers is always more expensive than just buying the upgrade from an outside vendor. Dell, Apple, HP, etc. Especially for PC manufacturers, they make most of their money off of the over priced upgrades than they do the actual unit.

    As long as you buy RAM/hard drives/etc. from a reputable dealer and read the reviews of what you are buying, the quality of the components can be just as good, if not better, than buying from the manufacturer. Manufacturers are hoping that the average consumer believes their parts are better (or do not want to hassle).

    All of my Macs have had memory upgrades by me.
  6. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    If not the SSD (which I still recommend) then at least do the free swap to 500GB 7200RPM... the 5400RPM is soo slow.. If you need the extra 250GB space, then okay. WD makes a god 750GB 7200RPM drive I can recommend. Put it in my optical bay. Woot!
  7. hendrik84 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Thanks for the info guys!!

    So now I'm thinking of:

    4GB (upgrade to 8GB from newegg. just hope it doesnt affect the warranty?)
    SSD 128GB and put a 500-750GB HD in the optical drive,(is that easy to do yourself like the RAM upgrade is suppose to be? and again, will it affect the warranty?)

    128Gb seems so small though, it won't fill up fast if I install all applications on it?

    Appreciate the replies!
  8. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    I have the SSD for OS and applications on my 120GB. Then under system preferences - accounts I changed the home folder director to "Jonathan" on my HDD. New programs install to the SSD and whatever you drag from .dmg files into the applications folder on the SSD. Everything else is directed to the HDD's home folder like music/movies/documents folder (which is how I like it).

    As for size, I am only half filled (60GB) on my SSD after OS and applications. And 40GB of that is from World of Warcraft and Starcraft II. So even if you had some crazy ridiculous applications, you won't get filled unless you start putting your work files, raw images, movies etc onto the SSD directly. I just work off the HDD and use the ssd for loading apps etc. No lag this way either.
  9. Derango macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2011
    Upgrading RAM doesn't void the warranty.

    This however, technically will. The two user serviceable parts to the Macbook Pro are the RAM and the Hard Drive. Replacing the optical drive with the opti-bay stuff is definitely something you're going to want to undo if you send it in for repair. I mean, if you put it back the way it was before you swapped the drives, they're most likely not going to know, so it's not a big deal.

    Sometimes it's kinda a *winkwink* thing and they look the other way, but...technically it's not a supported repair under the warranty and they can tell you to take a hike if they see it in there.
  10. Robbug macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2010
    Ram upgrade will not affect warranty.

    Optibay replacement will raise questions if you turn that configuration in to apple for repairs. In other words if you ever have to take your computer to an Apple store you should revert to default configuration. This is easy.

    The optibay job is fairly easy - here is a video of it in action:

    Optibay video by OWC

    I personally purchased the upgrade from maxupgrades.com

    It took 30 mins - I was careful

    Any harddrive upgrade/manuevering will not void your warrenty - UNLESS - well you damage the computer in the process. Just like with a RAM install. Again if you're comfortable with messing around with this stuff it's super easy.

    Also look at ifixit.com under their repair videos - you'll find that access to most everything in your laptop is a thing of engineering design beauty. If only all manufacturers thought like this.

    128GBs if kept to only applications shouldn't fill up - Of course I remember when I installed a 250mb drive into my old old PC back in the day and my buddies laughed at me and said I would never fill it up.

    Currently on my SSD I have my 256GB partitioned for 200 Mac and 50 Windows with my 750Gb split 650/100 for media.

    On my SSD mac partition I have 140Gb left with all my main apps - Photoshop, Aperture, Office 11, and World of Warcraft installed plus bits and bobs of other apps. My 650 holds my media - photos, music. I keep my video off on an external for network serving.

    General rule of thumb - SSD for only your critical daily or commonly used apps. Your data on another drive (extra internal or external).
  11. hendrik84 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2011
  12. Robbug macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2010
    Yes, I have that exact HD in my MBP right now with my optibay upgrade from maxupgrades.com (same type from OWC).

    As to the ram I will defer.

    As to HDs fitting - all slim 2.5" drives should fit (I think labeled as 9.5mm thick) The larger sized 2.5" (12.5mm) will prove a more difficult issue. The drive you posted is a 9.5mm thick 2.5" drive.
  13. 1quick1 macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2008
    Have the same RAM in mine. That was the set that was on sale for $65 when I (and what seems like a lot of people on this forum) purchased.

    Apple uses standard computer parts for the most part. Stuff like RAM and HD's are interchangeable between Windows and MACS.
  14. hendrik84 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2011
  15. Gr80Likes2Boogi macrumors regular

    Oct 3, 2009
    NoHo, CA
    I use Logic 9 for work every day. 4gb RAM is fine, and I'm running off a Core 2 duo!

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