Wanting to buy a fast mac book pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by EdwardJack, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. EdwardJack macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2010
    Hey guys,
    First post, so I hope this is the right area. I'm not great with computers so please don't shoot me down, or throw lots of complicated computer language at me :)

    Okay here's the thing. I'm thinking of buying a MacBook Pro, now I want a fast one, so when buying do I want:

    1. Increased GHz, if so what does this do?
    2. Increased RAM to 8GB, again if so what does this do?
    3. Buy a solid state drive and what is this? How does it increase performance in anyway?

    Now I understand that this can increase the price quite rapidly, so are there any other computers on the market that are cheaper and still have high Hz (like the 3.08GHz 17" MacBook Pro?) and 8GB of RAM?

    Also I'm actually quite fond of some applications on Windows also, if I install Windows onto my Mac, does it run fast and does it run well?

    Thank you so much if your able to answer any of these questions I've thrown at you. :)
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  3. EdwardJack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2010
    Internet Browsing, Skype and other Live Messengers, Online Gaming, Watching Movies and Uploading Photos.
  4. iDisk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2010
    Menlo Park, CA
    Okay it sounds like you "WANT" a FAST MBP just for the heck of it. Though in reality a Macbook or Air can handle your online desires, heck if the iPad was out I would have said that.

    Welcome to the forum BTW

    /THREAD :)
  5. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    A 13" MBP with 2.26GHz should suffice, unless you mean Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2 with Online gaming, then an MBP with the 9600M is necessary.

    Just for the hell of it I would go with the 17" MBP with 3.06GHz and 8GB RAM, and the 256GB SSD of course.
  6. dolphindolphin macrumors regular

    May 29, 2008
    New York
    I agree with spinnerlys. the 13 inch should be fine, but I would wait until the new ones come out, unless you need one this instant. The consensus seems to be an update this week or next week.
  7. gavin83209 macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    1. GHz is a measure of a processor, or how many calculations a computer can perform in one second. Unless you are gaming or doing intensive audio or video editing, you could probably make do with a 2.0 GHz processor. 3.06 GHz would execute tasks 50% faster, though this is rarely noticeable for easier tasks.

    2. RAM simply stores data that running applications use. If you run out, it writes extra stuff to the hard drive, which is a lot slower than RAM. For the average user, 2-4 GB is usually enough. 8 GB is more for pro users, not worthy of the extra $600 for most people. If you go that route, wait for prices to come down into reasonable rates.

    3. A SSD is a lot like a fast, high capacity internal USB flash drive: the computer will run silently (or close to it) and you don't have to wait for the spinning platter and other parts of a hard disk to find the data. The tradeoffs are size and cost. Apple only offers 256 GB Solid State Drives as the biggest size versus a 500 GB hard disk, and I haven't heard of a bigger one yet. SSDs, in my opinion, are too expensive with too few benefits to be seriously considered at this time.

    As for a cheaper 3.06 GHz MacBook, look for a refurbished 15" MacBook Pro. This is probably about the best deal you'll get in the high end market for a while. Remember that 2.8 GHz is only 0.26 GHz away, a negligible 8% decrease. In this case, 8% for $500 may or may not be worth it.

    A MacBook runs Windows just as fast as an identically spec'd PC. It all depends on which 'Book and version of Windows you use. How "well" it runs always varies between installations and versions. As far as I know, all modern Macs can run 64-bit versions of Windows.
  8. scottness macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2009
    Room 101
    I'd agree. With what you need, a current lower end MBP would be more than adequate. Buying a faster machine doesn't necessarily mean it'll be that much faster for your usage. Save your money.
  9. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Couldn't disagree more. A SSD is the biggest upgrade you can buy for a modern laptop, bar none. If the OP wants a 'fast computer' for his stated uses, nothing will make a bigger difference than a SSD. With a statement like that, I can't imagine you have actually spent any time with a computer equipped with a SSD - trust me - it is painful going back to a traditional drive - it honestly feels like something is broken.

    OP, don't think of a SSD in the same way you think about a normal drive - it is a performance upgrade. I'd recommend you buy your Mac with the cheapes hard disk available, then buy an Intel SSD on your own and install it yourself. This way you save a bit of money, and get the best available SSD, plus have a spare drive you can use for backup or extra storage space.
  10. XxEjGxX macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2009
    in your position the base macbook will be fine, but if you want 'speed' as such then a solid state hard drive will be a big improvement for your photos, and the ram will be the secondary upgrade, cpu speed (Ghz) doesn't really matter for you [​IMG]
  11. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Just a standard Macbook should do you fine for what you want to do.

    Just some advise though:


    However, if you have a bit of money to throw about, by all means, buy the MacBook Pro or even a Mac Pro if you don't mind having a desktop. Increased specs will certainly help your computer system last longer.
  12. ARF900 macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2009
    a 3ghz, 17" MBP with 8 GB of RAM would be overkill, the 13" with 4 GB of RAM and an enlarged HDD would be fine for you. Or if you want more screen size get the base 15"

    An SDD is a solid state drive, it has no moving parts giving you increased performance, battery life, and reliability, but you sacrifice $ and storage space.
  13. EdwardJack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2010
    Thank you guys,
    Well I can't buy this until April/May, so I will wait for the prices to decrease, and hopefully there will be an upgrade by then, thank you very much Gavin for clearing up many gray areas, and explaining everything. Well I think I will settle for a cheaper version with the 9600M, maybe I'll skip out on the £500+ SSD drive (That's right, I'm British).
    Also are there any other computer with the same spec?

    Thanks :)
  14. ARF900 macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2009
    You could get a windows PC with equal or better specs for a lot cheaper, but you would lose the MBPs trackpad, keyboard, screen, battery, and unibody enclosure, and worst of all, no OSX.
  15. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    The macbook pro in my sig is hella fast. Overkill for a lot of people but here is what I use it for:

    Corel Painter
    Unity 3D
    Little Snapper

    It handles everything like a champ. 8 gigs of ram was the best thing I got for it. Oh, and I can run all those at once.
  16. Jtvrm macrumors newbie


    Feb 7, 2010
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Gotta have a SSD.

    I gotta agree with the previous posts. The biggest performance increase your gonna have is from the SSD drive. I've got the maxed out 15" MPB and give it some serious use and I got to tell you the SSD increases overall performance in about 30% to 50%. It takes 5 seconds to boot with my system and it takes 15 seconds to boot with the 500 GB @ 7200 rpm HD system with the same CPU and RAM. So there you go. Buy the entry level model of the 15" MPB and save up to buy a SSD.
  17. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Don't put a lot of hope on a price decrease. Apple keeps the price the same but upgrades features most of the time.
  18. EdwardJack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2010
    Could I buy a separate solid state drive and attach it to my computer?
    Would this be cheaper?
  19. bumzo1 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 31, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    Buying an SSD yourself would be cheaper, I suggest an intel x25m. If by attach it to your computer as in use it as an external hard drive it would be pointless. If you buy an SSD you will have to replace the one that comes with the machine for the best performance
  20. gavin83209 macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    If you can figure out how to replace the internal hard drive, you can put the SSD in there and buy an enclosure for the old drive, such as one of these. I don't know if they ship to the UK, however. Takeapart guides are available on iFixit.

    I have converted an old PowerBook 1400's hard drive into a SSD with a CompactFlash card. It is quiet and pretty fast by comparison to the old 1 GB drive, but the cost of a modern 60 GB+ SSD is still a bit high in my opinion. That said, you are right, I haven't spent much time with a "real" SSD. Only the CF in my 1400.
  21. scottness macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2009
    Room 101
    Not really. If you're going to spring for an SSD, you might as well install it in your MBP. It's incredibly easy to do. Just google mac hard drive replacement or do a youtube search for a video demonstration. I'm loving mine. When the new MBPs come out, I'm throwing my current SSD into the new MBP.
  22. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    No, a CF card is not at all in the same class as a high-end ssd. Yes, the price is high, but how many people spend an extra $300 or more when they option out their laptop to get an incrementally faster processor and a slightly larger hard disk? That same money put in to a quality SSD would make a bigger difference.
  23. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    depending on the types of games you play, you might want to look at the 15" with the dedicated graphics option... the extra screen space makes a difference in many games... I love my 13" entry level pro, and im sure it would suffice for you just fine, but i do not play games on it, thats what my xbox, ps3, and wii are for...
  24. Habitus macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2009
    Where ever my life takes me...

    Honestly, the 13" MBP is the best choice for you. Have you considered this Mac?

    Habitus :apple:
  25. slade1988 macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2010

    Speaking of which: is there any word yet on when the new MBPs might be coming out?

    has anyone heard anything recently?

    (and please no references about the 'ipad'.......;):apple:

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