The cleverly designed options in MBP - which is better value?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by EBH, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. EBH macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2009
    I have a white macbook from early 2007 (the nov 06 update) and it's getting slow (despite 4 gb ram and 320-7200 hdd), the case is cracking and the screen suffers from from the flicker syndrome. So I think I can justify getting a new one... As hundreds of other posters I'm not 100 % sure what to do...

    A new MBP will be my only computer and I'll use it for my studies which include all the basic stuff + GIS, which can be quite demanding depending on what you work with (I've used my MB so far, so of course the 13" could do the job). But I also use Aperture a bit, and I suspect I'd use it more if my computer was more capable. I'd like to be able to play the occassional game of FIFA, Madden, BF1943 or similar, which I can't right now. All in all, this points to steppeing up to a 15", I think I could deal with carrying it... However.. it is freekin expensive..

    But if I go for it - I might as well do it right: I need a 500gb hdd for my collection of photos and I've set my mind on the hi-res screen...

    So I guess my question is how do I get what I need for the different tasks for the least money?

    - Should I go for the 15" base model and switch the hdd when I need to? (I can take a few more shots before I get to 320gb...). What are the pro/cons for swapped/Apple hdds?

    - Should I go for the mid 15" with a higher clock and an "original" hdd 500-5400? or 7200?

    - Should I go all the way and get the high-end 15" with i7 and 512mb vram? Is it better value and will it last longer?

    I obviously don't buy a new laptop every time Apple updates so this will also be an investment - it's not just meant to last a year or so. 3-4 is what I expect to get from it... So in a long-term pespective, which of the 15" will give me most value for money?
  2. runplaysleeprun macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    If money was an issue, I would get the base model, swap the internal HD down the line (or buy an external), and put some of that extra money into RAM. If you don't know this already, don't buy the extra RAM from Apple, they will rape you on their prices...
  3. man02195 macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2010
    Can you go to the apple store and check out the 13, 15, and 15 hi-res? Since you replace so infrequently, i'd go for the 15 hi-res model.
  4. EBH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2009
    I guess money is an issue to the extent that I think its an obscene amount of money for a laptop.. However, if I get over myself:) the last few hundred dollars wouldn't matter all that much. But I already think its an expensive machine, so unless it really prolongs the estimated lifetime or increase the joy of using it I'll probably do what you suggest. I also upgraded the ram in my current mb when it had one leg in the grave and it was like a brand new machine so I know what it can do.. And no, I'd never go for the apple ram, but thanks for the heads up :)
  5. EBH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2009
    Been a huge fan of the 13,3" size and the protability it provides up until know. However, I don't think I can resist getting an iPad when it lands here Europe (which adds to the getting over the price problem), so I don't want to get two products that are too similar, if you know what I mean. Small, portable, but not that much power. I know there's a huge difference from the iPad to the 13", but I'd still be without a machine that could really handle the tasks mentioned. Plus, I really fancy the high-res, pics look gorgeous on it.. Well.. Haven't actually seen the 15 high res, but compared the standard to the 17" which I've read has roughly the same ppi as the high-res...
  6. highscheme macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    go for the base model 15" and upgrade to high-rez matte screen

    Get a huge external for your added space.
  7. mk1ap macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2009
    go with the highest 15" model
  8. EBH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2009
    Could you elaborate this? Everyone else seems to suggest the base model...

    Does i7 and 512mb vram represent a significant increase in e.g. Aperture performance?
  9. BigBeast macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2009
    My $.02

    Here we go- How to figure which model is YOUR model. I'll try to explain myself through clear thoughts:)

    The base model MBP is a great machine. It has PLENTY of computing power- for all of your needs including Aperture. I have a 2007 MBP (awaiting the new 2010 MBP you see in my sig) and it handles Aperture fine.

    If you want to play games you have two choices IMO. Either the base model with SD screen- the 256 vram seems to handle gaming well- Or if you want a Hires screen go for the i7. With 512 vram, it may help to have better gaming performance due to the video card neeing to pump out for the higher res screen.

    If gaming is not an issue for you, the base model i5 is a great value. The mid level has a negligible increase in computing power for the extra money- don't buy it. If you want a larger HDD, buy one from new egg- a 500GB 7200rpm drive will run you about $80 (I think Apple charges $100 for it unless you're upgrading an i7 - then its $50).

    If you want the best performance- get the configuration in my sig. (I like the matte screen but others don't- it's about 50/50 in opinion over matte or gloss). The i7 DOUBLES benchmark computing performance than my 2007 MBP. PLUS getting the high end always increases device life if you want to keep it indefinitely of don't like selling them on eBay.

    Hope this helped. Just my $.02
  10. sweetice2007 macrumors 6502

    Sep 21, 2007
    I had the same issue before I ordered my machine. I use to have a 13" few year ago along with a 20" iMac which I have at the moment but my new MacBook pro will replace the mac.

    I'd personally recommend getting either the high res 15" or the 17" mbp. The extra screen space really does help especially if your using it for photography but I guess it depends how often. Good for gaming too. I don't think you'll see too much of a diff between i5 and i7 to be honest so I went for i5. The hard drive you can swap yourself if you wanted to and it would be cheaper or you could keep it at 500gb 7200rpm. I figured I would pay extra for the 7200 as ssd is way too expensive for me right now. And I went for anti glare as it's so much better I feel! and I wAnt to upgrade ram to 8gb soon but too expensive at minute through the online store.

    Again I'm not the kind to refresh every year :)
  11. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    Are you running 10.6?

    Also, if you're near an Apple Store, the Genius Bar should sort the crack issue out, dunno about the flickering though.
  12. EBH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2009
    I am running 10.6 yes.. I live in Denmark and apparantly Apple will only fix the cracking issue within the first three years here...
  13. EBH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2009
    Do people generally agree with the statement that the base model along with high-res screen isn't a good idea for games?

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