Replacing 2008 15" MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Nightex, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Nightex, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011

    Nightex macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    #1
    So my 2008 15" MacBook Pro has bit the dust (logic board). However the new 15" MacBook Pro aint gonna cut it, for one incredibly annoying reason no PCI Express! Who the hell uses SDXC?
    Also I'm really short on cash at the moment (been between work for near 2 months, starting up again in 2 weeks, need a compy, but going to be a while before the cash starts flowing). I was really hoping to get another year out of my MacBook, but at $1000AUD for a repair it just aint worth fixing.

    Why do I need PCI Express?
    I'm a sound designer and event audio engineer and run a Firewire audio interface. I also run a couple of Firewire hard drives for storage, I need the firewire speed for writing/reading multiple 24bit 192khz aiff audio tracks.
    The problem is that having both the audio interface and drives on the one firewire card creates a huge amount of pops and clicks and noise.
    I got around this in the past by using an additional Firewire card in the fantastic PCI express card slot on my 15".

    What else do I use my compy for?
    The usual.. and then a bit of gaming (I like RAM with my graphics)

    What about the 17"? It has PCI Express.
    17" laptop is too big and I'd really really need to keep this under $2500

    Do I NEED a laptop?
    No, probably not. But it is amazingly handy, I need it outside the studio maybe once a fortnight. But when its in the studio I use a wireless keyboard, mouse and a separate kick-ass monitor.

    So... what do you guys think?

    I'm actually *shudders* *almost spews* considering a PC (Mac user since 1988)
     
  2. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #2
    I feel you on the PCI express port. Should I upgrade in the future, I'll probably buy the 17in.

    Why don't you see if you can buy a second-hand early 08 macbook pro from ebay, craigslist, etc?
     
  3. Nightex, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011

    Nightex thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    #3
    I've actually bid on a couple but got outbid by fools paying ridiculous amounts for them. Last one I bid on went for almost $700! :eek:
    At that price I may as well get mine repaired, least then it would have a warranty.

    I've also been looking into the idea of thunderbolt to firewire converters, but can't see any retailing yet and I'm guessing they won't be cheap.
     
  4. Nightex thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
  5. soundguy15 macrumors member

    soundguy15

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    #5
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_6 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8E200 Safari/6533.18.5)

    The new thunderbolt display has FireWire built it. It's only $999 ;)
     
  6. Nightex, Jul 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011

    Nightex thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    #6
    Bargain!

    But seriously... it would really seem that Apple no longer make a computer that suits me. And why on earth did they get rid of the PCIe slot from the 15"?? Especially when you can pick up a reasonable cheap PCIe card to read SDXC!!!

    I don't want a giant laptop and a screen I hardly ever use and 1gb gRAM. Also I can't afford the 17" and it would mean replacing my beautiful water-proof shock-resistant road case, my wonderful crumpler bag and my neoprene skin or replacing my fantastic (expensive) audio interface.

    Ideas?
     
  7. Nightex thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    #7
    415 views of this thread and the best suggestion is buy a 3 and half year old mac... :(

    Replacing the audio interface is not a viable solution, so replacing the drives would seem to be the only way. USB is too slow so I'm just crossing my fingers and praying that thunderbolt to firewire converters come out relatively soon and don't cost a stupid amount.
     
  8. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #8
    Buy a new Macbook Pro (or refurb from the Apple store) and then add a FW800 hub. Depending on which one you get, it will allow you to add another 6-8 ports. You would have to lug around the port and have a place to plug it in. That will also give you access to T-bolt and all of the accessories that should be popping up over the next year. Just google FW800 port and you'll see the (somewhat expensive) options that are available.

    If adding a hub causes your recording to have noise, then you could return it and hold out for an affordable thunderbolt external hard drive solution. I certainly hope we getting close to seeing affordable external thunderbolt drives!

    In the meantime, until cheaper T-bolt external drives appear, you could up the storage of your internal to 640GB and offload the data to external storage when you aren't recording. I know that is limited, but just how much space does audio take up anyway? Certainly not enough to worry about.

    So, those are just a few of my ideas. I'm in the same boat as you. I have the 2009 unibody (2.53ghz core duo) and am using the PCI for eSATA. I'm hating the idea of having to swap it out in the near future (due to needing something faster). While plenty fast, the current MacBook pros are very limited in regards to I/O. Too bad that Apple is so smug about USB 3.0! :(

    http://www.nitroav.com/store/product.php?productid=113
     
  9. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #9
    I'd love to sell it (that 17in quadcore is begging me to buy it), but I don't want to burn more cash for a new one.

    You don't necessarily have to get an 08 model. Why not try some of the 09/10 express card models?
     
  10. will waters macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
    Great Britain
    #10
    Thunderbolt

    Can you use thunderbolt instead of FireWire? This would obviously be a lot quicker?
     
  11. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    London/Norwich
    #11
    Only real option you have is looking for a used 17" on ebay or on Apple's refurb store. It's the only option you have until thunderbolt drives become cheaper
     
  12. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #12
    Sure, but 3rd party hardware for TB is non-existent at the moment.
     
  13. anthony11 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #13
    You're missing the point. The OP does not lack for ports - the OP reports problems doing audio and disk operations at the same time on a given FW bus. Sticking an expensive hub in there probably isn't going to change anything.
    Some video software won't work with an internal drive on a laptop and requires FW. Maybe audio software is the same, though I'd think the data rates are lower.
    The Macbook Pro has never had PCI Express. Some of them had ExpressCard slots, which were often rather problematic. I wasted a lot of time trying to get an EC aircard to work reliably and not rain kernel panics. I've read lots of similar problems with EC eSATA cards, and most ExpressCards out there are the larger form-factor that won't even fit in my 2007 MBP. The USB cell-data unit I got instead worked beautifully right out of the box.
     
  14. Nightex, Jul 31, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011

    Nightex thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    #14
    Thanks for everyones input, yeah THX, hubs still create nasty noise issues, tried that before getting the (thanks for pointing out Anth) Firewire Express Card not PCIe. (Which by the way I've never had a single issue with)

    And1ss, I didn't realise there were unibodies 15" with Express Card slots. I'm still keeping an eye out for a good deal.

    The best thing in my mind is wait for a thunderbolt to firewire converter and hope (tho I imagine it should be pretty safe) that it doesn't create noise or cost the world.
     
  15. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #15
    The late 08 unibodies or early 09 should still have the express slot.
     
  16. Nightex thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    #16
    I've been doing some research and it would seem that the 15" unibody express card 34 slots were PLAGUED with problems, kernal panics and the like (possibly why they were pulled). So I will have to stick to looking for early 08 or 07 urrgh :(

    And we're still far off a new release of Macbook Pro's and no date for thunderbolt converters, I hate this pickle!!!
     
  17. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #17
    You make me value my early 08 computer so much more now :).

    The day it breaks down...I don't want to think about it.
     
  18. Nightex, Aug 4, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011

    Nightex thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    #18
    Maybe thats why its impossible to find one for a decent price on ebay
     
  19. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #19
    Yeah, I love the build of the 08 style mbps and I'm sure many people will are the same.
     

Share This Page