Urgent - New Macbook Pro 13 inch choice (Processor vs HardDrive?)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by steveeldonkerr, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. steveeldonkerr macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    hi all!
    so ive been doing alot of research and reading through threads to help me decide which Macbook Pro to buy, however I thought if i posted my situation maybe some of you could give me some personalised feedback.

    So ill be starting University this fall, i want a machione that is fast, with a large enough hard drive to store videos (as i will be studying abroad, so want to rip my DVDs to the harddrive for storage). Im also a keen musician and am seriously considering getting myself an audio interface to go with Logic 8.

    So, the questions. Firstly, will even the low end 13 inch pro be able to handle logic and run it well?
    Secondly, i then have to choose between the 13 inchers (im thinking ill get the 13 inch for greater portability then use a display).
    So, my original thinking was to get the low end macbook, then add the seagate 7200rpm 500gb hard drive and 4gb of ram from crucial.

    However if i bought the higher end one, i would have the greater processing power (2.53) and the 4 gigs of ram, the hard drive would also be large, but not as large or as fast (maybe a problem with logic?). And i dont think i would be able to justify purchasing the 500gig hard drive if i bought this system.
    The total price (including upgrades) of each sysem is virtually identical.

    so to sum up, the tricked out low end one, or the standard high end one.
    Dont forget ill be getting the 120gb ipod classic with either system, which could of course act as an external hard drive for videos etc.
    What is a better choice, faster processor, or faster and larger hdd?

    thanks so much,
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Faster HD, you won't notice the faster processor. If you need lots of space, buy an external HD or enclosure your former HD (that one which came with computer)
  3. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    I'd say faster processor.
    If you need more drive space, you can upgrade in the future, or buy an external.
    But the processor is not user serviceable, and so you'll never be able to upgrade it.
  4. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    buy the faster processor.

    you can buy a 7200 rpm 500GB hard drive for $149. that is less than 10% of the computers price (if you include apple care , let alone software).

    also prices will fall so you might get it cheaper than that. on top of that if you're traveling you will need a backup disk anyway. you can use the stock internal HD for that.
  5. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    There is no reason whatsoever for anyone to buy the high end 13" MacBook Pro. The processor is only slightly faster - it's from the same generation and doesn't do anything which the lower model cannot. It will also age and therefore depreciate in value at the same rate as the lower model.

    In day to day use you will not notice any faster performance by buying the better computer. Yes, your software might launch a split second faster but is that worth all the extra money to you?

    My advice is to buy the cheapest model (it includes a backlit keyboard like all the others) and upgrade the hard drive yourself. If you find you need more RAM then upgrade that yourself as well (it's pretty unlikely that you will need more than 2GB RAM though).
  6. steveeldonkerr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    thanks for the replies. i realised as soon as id posted that id made a mistake on the pricing;

    low end 13 inch: $1099 (student discount)
    7200rpm 500gb hard drive: $140
    4gb ram: $65
    TOTAL: $1304

    high end 13 inch: $1399.

    the 120gb ipod costs effectively 20 bucks with each.

    so its basically 100 bucks more, for which i get a faster processor, the same ram, but a 180GB hard drive which is slower.
    what are your opinions now?

    also, i take it from the silence that Logic would run well on both systems?

    and how much noticable difference would i see with a 7200rpm hard drive as opppsed to the 5400rpm one?

    would this difference be greater with a faster processor or not?
  7. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Difference between 5400rpm and 7200rpm is almost like day and night, the difference is easily noticeable. But processor bump (.27GHz) isn't really noticeable, in some games you may get few FPS more that's all.
  8. steveeldonkerr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    hmmn. okay.
    does anyone know what the business with Snow Leopard and OpenCL is?

    andm whichever machine i buy, will they have a long enough life time, (4-5 years would be great) without becoming too obsolete. i dont have to have the newest edition of every programme. but i dont want to be stuck in the dark ages either.
    and logic 8, anyone, will it run fine?

    also is there an argument for getting the 15inch, and going for broke? or would a standalone screen be better (ive seen some nice ones for $140), and have the 13 inch for portability.
    i dont think id be getting the screen right away, might see if i can get it as a birthday present.
  9. shoppy macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2007
    I have all three macbook pros in various numbers and I have always used teh 9400 graphics. I have used cs4, final cut pro and it;s worked for me. Then again I don't make my living from the machines. To be quite frank to switch over to 9600 graphics. I am not retired my 12" powerbook and this base 13" with 4gbs of ram and a 500gb wd hard rive, is going to my main machine for travel. It is perfectly powerful enough for me.
  10. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    Do that, logic will run great ;)

    We've actually discovered that the 5.4k drive is faster, makes less noise, runs cooler, and consumes less power!

    (Western Digital Scorpio Blue)
  11. steveeldonkerr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    thanks for the reply,
    thats an interesting article. so ill save $50 by buying that over the seagate drive. but will i lose anything at all, the differences seemed so small, i guess im just wondering if it will hurt me one day in the future.
    so, just to check, you would choose the WD one, over the seagate one. bearing in mind what ill be using it for...?
    it also doesnt have that g-force thing which the seagate has, how important is that?

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