Upgrade 15" low end macbook pro or buy the high end?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Lisa89, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Lisa89 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    #1
    My old 2007 15" Macbook Pro is almost dead and too slow, so i'm looking for a decent replacement. I'm not sure wheter to go with the low end 15" version and upgrade it with 8gig of ram, or buy the high-end one. The high end has more vram and has better benchmarks, but since i have a limited budget i can't upgrade the more expensive one to 8 gig. My guts says to buy the low end and upgrade it, but i'm' not completely sure...

    Option 1: Low end 15" with 8gig ram & 512MB vram + hires anti glare screen
    Option 2: High end 15" with 4 gig ram & 1G vram (and maybe later upgrade to 8 gig, but it probably won't come to that, i wanted to do that with my old laptop but never got around it)

    I will use it mainly for indesign, dreamweaver, photoshop and illustrator.
     
  2. Xcallibur macrumors 6502a

    Xcallibur

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    Jul 24, 2011
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    #3
    Most definitely option 1; to be honest the base 15" model isn't that different from the higher priced model, the increase in CPU hertz is negligible, therefore the only difference is the 512MB extra VRAM, the actual GPU in both models are more or less the same, aside the increase in VRAM, so unless you continually handle gigantic graphic files, I see no reason to warrant the purchase of a higher-end 15". The increase in RAM and upgrade to the high-resolution screen is defintely a more worthwhile and substantial purchase.
     
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #4
    You do know you could upgrade the RAM by yourself for all of 30 dollars or so?

    Depending on your usage(which you didn't mention) either option would be good.
     
  4. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #5
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Low-end with hi-res. Don't buy the RAM from Apple, get it after and save some money.
     
  5. D.T. macrumors 604

    D.T.

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    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #6
    RAM is an easy and cheap user upgrade, the display [more or less] is not.

    If you intend on using the integrated display at all (vs. using your machine as a "portable desktop" with an external all the time), the 15" HR display is really fantastic. The G vs. AG is kind of subjective, but I opted for the AG, outstanding outside, crisp, great color reproduction.
     
  6. Lisa89 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 30, 2012
    #7

    I have an external 27 inch screen, but i want to use my laptop whenever i want and don't want to worry about possible sunlight falling on my screen. I have an AG screen on my old MBP which i really like, so i think it will be worth the extra cost. I will use my MBP for graphic design/ print-related stuff, so color matching is quite important to me. The glossy screen just isn't that accurate. I have an external monitor, so i could do without AG screen, but it's indeed nice to have.
     
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #8
    The MBP only has a TN panel, so colour reproduction isn't exactly the best on it in the first place. A nice external screen with an IPS panel would probably serve you better insofar as colour reproduction goes.

    Though I do feel the Anti-glare has colours closer to printed media than the glossy does, but that's just me.

    If you do a lot of rendering, the higher-end processor may be a good idea, as it could cut down a bit on your waiting time, it all depends if that extra productivity is worth it to you. The graphics card is essentially the same in both cases so that wouldn't hold you back.
     
  8. Naimfan macrumors 601

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #9
    I agree with the others who suggest getting the base 15" and upgrading the RAM yourself.

    The value in the current 15" MBP lineup right now (Late 2011) is in the base model. That's a change from the Early 2011 lineup, where the 2.2 GHz model was the better value.

    You're very unlikely to see a difference in processing power from the current 2.2 to the 2.4, and you'll gain more for what you do by spending $40-50 for 8 GB of RAM and installing it yourself.
     
  9. bdodds1985 macrumors 6502a

    bdodds1985

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Tartarus
    #10
    low end and upgrade the ram yourself. put an ssd in it too, if you don't need the space and want faster use of your apps like photoshop. I think if your apps run fine on an older macbook then there is no need to upgrade to the high end version. I did this and now my high end is pretty much the same as the low end minus the graphics card. I also went with the anti glare and i don't think it shows the greatest colors as far as blacks on videos but i could not see myself staring into a mirror on the normal screens with a laptop. I do have two TB displays at home that I have yet to use, but I am sure indoors with the right light they will not disappoint.

    and, if you search for it im sure you will find hundreds of people asking the same exact question here in this forum with the same answer: it's your computer, only you can make that choice. but i understand your question and i did the same thing when i first joined the forum.

    but seriously, save your money and buy the low end and upgrade the ram yourself. why pay $200 for something you can buy for $50? and if the ssd catches your eye, i would only buy from apple if you decide to get the high end one. good luck, i had a tough time making up my mind to, but either option you go with, im sure you will be happy.
     
  10. bdinger macrumors member

    bdinger

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    #11
    For your uses, the option 1 - low end with the HR AG - would be perfect. I second those who recommend upgrading the RAM on your own, in fact were I in your shoes I'd instead choose part of the RAM money and get Apple's SSD upgrade. My co-worker bought the base MBP with the 5400rpm drive, and it's pretty noticeable in the speed department. Even the 7200rpm drive is a good upgrade, but the SSD will definitely make your life better.

    I second all the opinions about the AG after owning both in the current form. The AG hires display is simply brilliant.
     
  11. akhbhaat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    #12
    The current low end is basically the same machine as the high end version for most of 2011, with a bit less video memory, which is not a huge issue given the relatively low resolutions that laptops run. By far the better deal right now (it was a tougher call before because the high end model had a significantly better GPU--that is no longer the case).

    I'd definitely put some of the difference into an aftermarket RAM upgrade (which is what, $40 now?), the higher res screen and possibly an SSD.
     
  12. squeakr macrumors 68000

    squeakr

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #13
    The early 2011 high end (the 2.3) also had a better cpu processor. The cpu processor cache was larger and much more robust than was offered in the lower end models. Don't sell it short, as some have even found that it was a better cache than is currently used in the new high-end.
     
  13. Lisa89 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    #14
    Thanks for all your responses! I've (finally!) been able to make a decision and will buy the low end one with the AG screen. I've found a local shop who sells ram-memory at really cheap prices, so i will upgrade it afterwards.

    For the ssd, it would be nice to have but since my budget is limited i'll hold off on that one. The computer i'm using now (MBP 2007) can't even open chrome decently so i guess a new one will already make a lot of difference. With or without ssd. :)
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
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    Boston
    #15
    Good choice, I think option 1 was your best bet.

    Good luck with your new machine.
     
  15. rebelmac macrumors member

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    Jan 11, 2010
    #16
    My low-end, hi-res anti-glare just came in. I upgraded the RAM to 8GB with Crucial which was $46 and a Crucial M4 SSD. You won't be disappointed with the low end. It's fast and the anti-glare screen is top notch. I have good eyesight and the hi-res is a nice addition.

    If you can swing it, you might consider a smaller SSD to install Lion and your applications on. Then keep your files on the HDD that comes with your system. The SSD really makes a difference.
     
  16. Lisa89 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 30, 2012
    #17
    I'm thinking about replacing my superdrive with an extra SSD. Now, I have a 120Gig harddrive, but i find it annoying that most of my 'extra' files are on my external device. I don't use my superdrive much anyways... Some extra harddrive in the laptop would be nice. But i'll have to do some research if i don't void my warranty. And get some extra money together :eek:

    I'm so looking forward of getting my new MBP! It will be a killer laptop :D Nice, after all that waiting... thinking... waiting...
     
  17. KipCoon macrumors regular

    KipCoon

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    Aug 23, 2000
    Location:
    ATL
    #18
    I pondered the same and in the end, I got the low end, (just picked up today) with the anti glare high rez display and I bought a 8gb Crucial kit on amazon for $39. I was going to get the high rez display no matter what so I opted to spend that extra $300 on a good 256gb SSD instead of a slightly more powerful cpu and gpu.



    Go with your first option, you will be happier with that display.
     
  18. Naimfan macrumors 601

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #19
    You do void the warranty by removing/replacing the optical drive, as it is not a user-serviceable part.

    If you have a problem, you can re-install the optical drive, but it's a bit of a nuisance. Just get something like the 750 GB/7200 RPM Hitachi (or other favorite drive maker) and run with it.
     
  19. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    Seattle
    #20
    The warranty is not voided.
     
  20. Naimfan macrumors 601

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #21
    Yes, it is.

    The optical drive is not a user-serviceable part, and if you bother to read the warranty, any service or modification of a non user-serviceable part by unauthorized personnel voids the warranty.

    Of course, if you reinstall the optical drive and the warranty issue isn't related to the removal/reinstallation of the optical drive, Apple would have a very difficult time proving anyone swapped the optical drive out. But from a legal perspective, removal of the optical drive renders the warranty void.
     
  21. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #22
    No, Apple renders the warranty void, the mere removal of the optical drive does not. I am well aware of what is a user serviceable part and what is not, as well as what the warranty states.

    Semantics, maybe, but case in point I have the Maxupgrades kit in my MacBook Pro. Recently had some issues, took my upgrades out, put the original equipment back in and my machine is being repaired under warranty right now.

    The point is, the warranty is void only if Apple voids the warranty, the mere act does not void the warranty. It does qualify as an act which can be used to justify voiding the warranty. This distinction is why you can put the original stuff back in and Apple will be none the wiser.
     
  22. Naimfan macrumors 601

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #23
    Wrong. As I said, from a legal perspective, the act itself is what voids the warranty. Whether Apple exercises its power to do so or not is moot.
     
  23. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #24
    If that was the case, my laptop would not be getting repaired right now.

    From a "legal perspective" Apple has to void a warranty and the burden of proof would be on Apple to show that the nullification of the warranty is justified.

    In fact, the warranty doesn't even state what you say it does:

    The key operative is "Damage caused by." In other words, if you don't cause damage, you are still covered.

    In addition, the docs say nothing about the nullification or voiding of the warranty by those acts. I would love to see your source, maybe I am missing something.

    Another source, for completeness, covering the general hardware warranty.
    http://images.apple.com/legal/warranty/docs/cpuwarranty.pdf

    Again, the mere act does not void the warranty. Any warranty nullification is at the determination of Apple.
     
  24. nate.the.great macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    #25
    Why not get the early 2011 high end model with the anti-glare hi-res display for $1599?

    http://slickdeals.net/f/3818312-Mic...-Anti-glare-February-2011-2-3GHz-Core-i7-1599
     

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