Two weeks with 17" MacBook Pro i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by danwilson11, May 12, 2010.

  1. danwilson11 macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2010
    I thought I'd report back on my two weeks with the 17" Core i7 MacBook Pro.

    -The Crucial M225 256GB SSD is fantastic. Mature, dependable firmware with garbage collection, and speeds that pretty much max out what SATA II can offer. It was easy to burn an image of the v1916 firmware and run the update from the superdrive by following the instructions provided by Crucial.

    -With the SSD in, the only thing that's audible during operation is the NVidia GeForce 330M GPU, and you can tell when it's working hard because it emits a crackling noise with a bit of intermittent high-pitched fan. Battery life is notably affected when it's working.

    -GPUInfoMenu v1.5.2 (just made available) is a required download. It allows you to easily shut off the GPU when on battery, because it's really not necessary for most tasks. For example, the GPU fires up needlessly anytime you browse to a site with Flash content using Google Chrome. With bluetooth off, a reasonably dim brightness level, and intel graphics, you can easily get over 8hrs of battery life with heavy use.

    -If parallels is provided enough RAM to work with, and Windows 7 uses an easy-to-draw solid background and "classic"/non-aero styling, then the guest OS works at a speed that feels very close to native. Windows apps in "coherence" mode feel like real peers to mac apps. Turning the GPU off does not seem to affect this, but if parallels is given access to the GPU it forces it to work pretty hard somehow.

    I love this notebook, and have found that I need the large screen size to get any sort of work done that requires multiple apps. Reboot is somewhere around 17s (for windows and os x), and wake-up is less than a second.

    The extra weight is no problem if you get a supportive, comfortable bag. The Incase bag ( is really great.
  2. shadygrove macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2010
    My two weeks is officially Friday evening but I would completely agree.

    I wish I would have done some more research before I bought it and not got the apple SSD and bought my own SSD. It's not bad though. I am totally my start up and sleep times are right on par with yours. I am just wondering how long the drive will last before I have to buy one with garbage collection.
  3. mdewberry macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2003
    Thanks for the writeup! This is the machine that I am considering, however I am concerned with your description of the graphics chip making a crackling noise.. I have an old G4 Powerbook that makes that noise and it is quite annoying (I found a way to turn it off in System Preferences with a setting for lower processing), however I was hoping that this noise was resolved years ago. Is it constant when the discrete GPU is in use? I plan to attach an external monitor so in that case it would be a constant noise..
  4. Arkbear macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2008

    I came up with nothing when I Googled GPUMenuInfo - you're not referring to gfxCardStatus (, are you? If you're not, I'd love the link to GPUMenuInfo so I can check it out.

    My only criticism of my 15" i7 is that the Nvidia graphics card gobbles battery and its not easy to control which applications call for the video card switch. Being able to force the intel graphics when on battery would solve that.
  5. danwilson11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2010
    @Arkbear Sorry that was a typo (now fixed)!

    It's actaully "GPUInfoMenu:"

    @mdewberry The GPU is not too loud, it's just the only thing keeping the computer from being totally silent (as far as I can tell). It's much quieter than a hard drive, for example.
  6. Tegeril macrumors member

    May 12, 2004
    Your discussion of the SSD makes me wish I had one, but I just couldn't justify the cost. I went with the 500GB 7200RPM and have been pretty satisfied with it, though at work someone just got the SSD option in part of an office-wide hardware upgrade order and that thing boots SO FAST. I'm jealous :)
  7. Garrus macrumors member

    Mar 26, 2010
    the apple ones dont have garbage collection ? :confused:
    they are suppose to be last gen toshiba...
  8. shadygrove macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2010
    That is just what I read on here... I shouldn't say it so definitively. I should have stated, "I don't think the apple SSD don't have garbage collection."

    My SSD model is APPLE SSD TS128B. I wish I knew for sure if it had garbage collection, but I don't think it least at this point in time.

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