what is new about the lower end MPB and purchasing advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rawdawg, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. rawdawg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #1
    Disclaimer -- Please forgive me. Having been a loyal Mac user since the early 80's and long time poster on other forums I'm not a newbie. But with my demanding work schedule and professional pursuits spread thin I find myself in a revolving circus keeping up with latest gadgetry. Specifically I'm in film/tv and technology in that industry changes so rapidly I barely learn something before it is replaced. With that in mind it's difficult to keep up with the advances in the Mac world...

    For some time I've been holding out on purchasing a new Mac. I currently use a G4 Dual 1.25 FW800-- 7 years strong!!! I could have benefited from an upgrade sometime ago but never had a valid excuse to shell out the $. Knowing I've been planning to purchase a new camera I've wanted to "hold off" until necessary to make sure I get the best.

    I'll be purchasing a 5D mark ii soon unless the people at Red can convince me to hold out for a Scarlet camera. I'm figuring this could be and ideal time to upgrade, although I downloaded some RAW samples and still haven't had too much problem working with them in my 7-year-old Mac (that's the still side, I also plan on doing video which has been slow but doable with HDV on FCP, can't use Color though since no openGL support)

    This will be my first laptop. I've always been against them but there have been many times I could have benefited from portability these past 7 years. Would you say a mac pro is many more times better than a MBP?--suggesting I should reconsider getting a laptop.

    With the recent speed bump now 'could' be an ideal time to make this leap, but I'm still nervous being the cheap guy I am. The lower end model at $2000 seems great being 25% cheaper than the next model up. What are your thoughts on that.

    Other concerns are max RAM on each models (since I've seen conflicting stories on different amounts for each model), 3mb vs 6mb L2 chache, future quad-core, and possible matte finish on 15". I have a 24" Dell so a HD display isn't a major issue.

    I know these wavering questions appear all too often on these forums. However, it is still very comforting hearing the advice from pros like yourselves who are up-to-date and knowledgeable of all the updates. Input appreciated. I really don't have much disposable income so these purchases have been long waiting (camera especially!)-- Please don't hate those of us who are scared to just go out and buy something.
     
  2. glennk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Location:
    Dallas
    #2
    Rawdog:

    What do you intend to do with your MacBook Pro? Graphical work, CAD, imaging, surfing the web?
     
  3. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #3
    On the higher end I will be doing HD editing/rendering with FCP and color correction and exporting for video, and RAW processing and editing for stills (20+mb RAW files). Big stuff, I know... But I'm not overly concerned with speed, mostly longevity of the investment -- that the technology itself won't be quickly outdated by some advancement other than clock speed. More concerned with the system architecture and RAM limit-- the stuff youre stuck with. But I'm not the expert. :)

    I will also be using it for Internet browsing, using iTunes, creating invoices and accounting for my business, and writing-- the basic other stuff.
     
  4. La-vida227 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    #4
    I have similar concerns regarding my future lower level MBP purchase. Basically, I'm afraid that if I wait for the MBP to come with snow leopard installed, it will be able to support at least 16gb of ram. Versus the current MBP which could theoretically handle 8gb (I know the current limit is 6gb).
     
  5. recon731 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #5

    The current 6GB limit on the 15" is due to electrical/heat dispersion issues. Even with Snow Leopard, until a new design refresh, the 15" will probably not be stable with more than 6GB of RAM.
     
  6. rawdawg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #6
    So what do we all think? La-vida gives an example of my exact concern here. We can always rely on technology getting better and at some point we have to make the purchase (knowing it will be outdated). My problem is at such an expensive price point I feel entitled to see if anything HUGE is going to happen soon. Arguable the huge event already happened when the new UMBP was announced (with new graphics cards and such).

    But with the 15" not being 8Gb RAM compatible and the 17" having an option at sale, the carrot is being precariously dangled and naturally it's aggravating. Is it worth a 40% price increase to get the technology that is being intentionally denied the lower models!??---economics :( (The most compelling argument I've read about the 6Gb limit had to do with graphics issues not heat dispersion.)

    My G4 Dual 1.25 was the middle level tower at the time and it cost less then the cheap lowest level MBP! And being a tower it has lasted me 7 years. How long should I expect this MBP to be competitive!!? May not be an issue for those making good money but I work 60 hours a week and am still below middle-class income (just a disclaimer to those more financially fortunate folks who think we need to buy and move on).

    I guess it just makes sense to buy the cheapest MBP in order to justify the purchase of a newer model earlier than if I paid the 40% premium for top of the line now. Since it's all going way of the dinosaur anyhow....

    Any other advice??! thanks!
     
  7. La-vida227 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    #7
    So if I buy the current lower level MBP I won't have to worry about a model with more usable RAM for at least a year?

    Sorry if I am stealing your thread, I Just think we're sharing similar concerns.
     
  8. recon731 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #8
    Yes, that is correct.

    BUT, I stand correct on my previous statement.

    I also did some further digging. The Nvidia chipset that controls RAM (northbridge) in the 15" Unibody Macbook Pros will handle 8GB of RAM. It seems that 8GB is blocked by firmware on the logic board to differentiate from the 17".

    Apple is saying if you want 8GB RAM, spend more for a 17", cuz we blocked it on the 15". In the future, Apple could provide a firmware update for the 15" to allow 8GB. It really is all in Apple's hands.
     
  9. amitdoc2b macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #9
    "Could" .. you're really gambling there .. if you certainly want it in the future then don't gamble. If you aren't sure, the gamble is up to you. If you don't think you'll ever need it, then get the lower end MBPs (i.e. the 15" MBP line).
     

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