What do I need with a Macbook Pro 13"?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Ash9414, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. Ash9414 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I'm looking to buy a new 2.66GHz Macbook Pro 13.3" in the autumn (fall) when the "Back to School" discount is running where you get the free iPod touch and printer.

    What I would like to know is what peripherals and other accessories might I need to buy with it. I'm thinking of getting both Office 11 for Mac and iWork 10 when they are released so I can use the good features of both suites. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    First of all, get the 2.4GHz MBP and save the money towards peripherals and AppleCare, you won't notice the difference between 2.4GHz and 2.66GHz.

    External HD for Time Machine is almost a must. Speakers, external monitor, mouse etc are up to you, do you want/need them?
     
  3. Ash9414 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I don't think I need AppleCare because I'm purchasing it on the HE store in the UK, so I think you get 3 years of hardware replacements. I'm sure I've read this somewhere.

    I was thinking of getting the WD My Passport for Mac 500GB external hard drive so I can back up my files, and I've seen someone say it is best to get one about 1.5x the size of your laptop HD.

    I've decided to go with the 2.66GHz because I believe it will last me longer and the HD is 70GB bigger. I don't really feel confident in unscrewing the case and installing a bigger HD, and I've heard it costs quite a lot to get Apple to do it.

    I would like to get an external display and mouse etc but that's going to cost me another £400+ for all of that and I really don't have the money. I'm only 16 and I don't really have any money, my family isn't rich etc.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    Ahh, okay. You get the 3-year warranty anyway so not needed

    That is pretty confusing IMO. You want to pay more for basically nothing (70GB more HD space) but then you don't have money for other nice peripherals?

    You can get display + KB&mouse for less than 250£

    Installing HD is easy but you can use your external HD to store files too

    IMO you should get the base 13" and then buy ext monitor and other stuff with the money
     
  5. breathesrain macrumors regular

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    #5
    It would still be cheaper to forgo the faster processor and choose the hard drive option you prefer while configuring it in the Apple store. Alternatively, just hone up on the many, many installation guides available for hard drive replacement. It's really quite simple on the newer models, and you won't void your warranty or anything. Seriously, here's an example:

    The BTO option for a 500 GB, 5400RPM drive on the 13" is about 140$. I bought a 7200RPM 500GB drive and a solid external enclosure, both for a total of 110$. That means I have 30 extra dollars, a better 500 GB drive, and an extra 250 GB drive to use as a backup or extra storage. It's totally worth it; just do a bit of research and make sure you have the two tools you'll need- a Phillips #00 and Torx T6, available in an easy pack here: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/TOOLKITMHD/
    You even get a few extra tools for if you need to do this on a different computer.
     
  6. Ash9414 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    The external display isn't a necessity tbh, and won't the higher CPU speed increase the life of the laptop? I want it to last about 5-6 years, maybe a bit longer so I will have it to the end of uni. This is a big investment for me, and I think getting the bigger one know will benefit in the long run, especially when they upgrade the processors in the future. Talking about refresh, do you have any idea about when the next one will be?
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #7
    The CPU difference is so tiny that you can't notice it without a nanosecond stopwatch

    Next update won't be before September, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is in Oct/Nov
     
  8. Ash9414 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Would the "Back to School" discount still be aviliable at that time? I've heard that the UK offer seems to start later and end later, around the early December time.

    Also, I found this case/sleeve for a MBP 13", do you know what the difference is between them? They are the same price.

    http://www.goincase.com/products/detail/neoprene-sleeve-cl57098/1
    http://www.goincase.com/products/detail/neoprene-sleeve-plus-cl57408/1
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    It usually ends in September as new iPods come then. Don't wait, MBPs were just updated. If you wait for late 2010, you should wait for 2011 as Sandy Bridge comes than and OS X 10.7 is only half year away and then Ivy Bridge is near let alone Haswell and DDR4, better SSDs and GPUs..... :rolleyes:

    The second one looks better IMO, there are 1000000 threads about sleeves though, just read them
     
  10. Ash9414 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    What's Sandy Bridge? This will be my first Mac so I'm not really up to scratch with all the terms yet. Oh, and Ivy Bridge and Haswell?
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #11
    They are CPU architectures from Intel. I just used them to give you the idea that waiting game is endless and may not be satisfying.

    Just buy now and think about ext monitor etc later on if needed
     
  12. Ash9414 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    By now you mean in September, yes? The free printer that I get with the school deal will help me out quite a bit when I have to print off school work and other stuff so I'm going to wait until at least then.

    IMO, I think the 13" has reached pretty much the limit referring to the internals. I've read about how they couldn't use i5 because there's simply no room, and the i3 would be more of a downgrade so I feel happy in getting the current model. Would you see any difference in 2.4GHz and 2.66GHz when playing light games such as Sims 3?
     
  13. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #13
    Don't forget you'll need some adaptors with your mbp. Sooner or later you'll want to connect it to a beamer, so the mini-display-port to vga adaptor is almost a must. Depending on what external monitor you want to buy, you may also need a mini-display-port to dvi or hdmi or display-port adaptor.

    Once upon a time Apple included standard adaptors with their laptops.
     
  14. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #14
    Before September as the promo ends in early September

    Well, the main problem is that there aren't much iX chips suitable for 13". i5 and i7 are used but 15" and 17" so having one in 13" would be ridiculous. i3 wouldn't be much of an upgrade and then, you would be forced to use the integrated Intel GPU which ain't that good. 13" has never had a dedicated GPU due lack of space so the only option was to use Core 2 Duo and separate but still integrated 320M.

    This has been discussed to death. C2Ds are dirt cheap and i3 would be a downgrade, so Apple made the right decision. i3 is also 35W while current C2Ds are 25W. Sandy Bridge will concentrate on power efficiency and current info shows that most mobile CPUs will be 25W, which is good for 13". SB is year away still so we shouldn't worry about that

    I just installed Sims 3 on my sis' MacBook which has 9400M and it runs flawlessly at medium settings with 1280x800 res, so it has no problems
     
  15. Ash9414 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    If I get an ACD 24" then I won't need the adaptors will I? However, I was thinking of getting this external display:

    http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/.../EN/index.idx?pagetype=prd_detail&tab=feature

    What do all you think and what adaptors would I need for this display?
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #16
    Don't get the Apple one, you're fine with cheaper one. You need Mini DisplayPort to DVI, but again, don't buy the Apple one, 3rd party ones are less than 5£
     
  17. Ash9414 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Thanks for your help, you've really made me feel good about the decision to buy the current version of MBP. I'm guessing your sister's Macbook has the 2.26GHz processor, which would suggest that the 2.4GHz would be fine for me.
     
  18. Ash9414 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Does the MBP have a 16:9 display because that's what the Samsung display has and I'm not sure if it would be compatible otherwise. Would I need to buy a DVI cable too, or is one included with the monitor?
     
  19. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #19
    Yea, it's the 2.26GHz

    MBP has 16:10 but any external monitor is compatible, the aspect ratio or resolution don't matter. I'm using 16:9 BenQ with my 16:10 iMac

    It comes with DVI cable, I think, not 100% sure.
     
  20. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #20
    No, it's a 16:10 display, but it can easily output a 16:9 resolution. You will likely need to get a DVI cable, as most only come with VGA.
     
  21. Ash9414 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Ahh ok, I'm not intending in buying the monitor straight away, perhaps a year later when I have some money. Because that would mean that I would have to buy a KB and mouse too, and since the monitor doesn't have USB ports like the ACD, I will probably need the wireless versions of the KB and mouse.
     
  22. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #22
    get the uni macbook for 800 at microcenter

    best buy you will make and will last you for many years

    processor speeds dont mean anything really...........

    any computer today will handle school work juuuuust fine lol

    for instance....in day to day stuff, i CAN NOT tell a difference between my uni mb and my 2.7 ghz quad core mac with 8 gig ram and an 8800gt videocard

    unless you absolutely need it, it is just a placebo effect

    LONG gone are the days where a computers speed is all about the processor. It is but one of MANY factors

    what? no you can use a monitor without a dedicated kb or mouse...you use your laptop keyboard and trackpad (though i would reccomend a cheap dedicated mouse in that case)
     
  23. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #23
    Definitely go for the bluetooth mouse, although, if you are going to be doing any sort of work in excel or with numbers in general, you will want the usb KB with the number pad. The wired KB actually has two USB ports in it, so you can connect a printer or whatever. Only problem with that is that you can't use them for high power devices such as an external HD.
     
  24. Ash9414 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I live in the UK, so I don't think the Microcenter approach would work for me.

    By Bluetooth mouse, you're suggesting the Magic Mouse, yes? And although I may use Excel occasionally, I don't think I will use it enough for the numerical keypad so a wireless KB should do fine.
     
  25. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #25
    Any mouse will work with your laptop. Get what you like and what feels comfortable to use

    Same with a keyboard if you decide to get one
     

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