Which 15" MacBook Pro ?

04grahama

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 24, 2011
2
0
I am a first year uni student with a 5 year old laptop which is rubbish. I want to get a MacBook pro but which one ?

I will be using it for everything. work inciding auto CAD, Internet, gameing, watching HD films. I will also be plugging it into a external monitor with wireless keyboard and mouse.

This will be my first mac. Iam thinking the late 2011 base model 15" with 2.2ghz quad core i7, 512 graphics but with the optional upgrades to a 750gb @7200 rpm hard drive and the high res screen.

Is 2.2ghz enough? Is 512mb graphics enough ? Or should I get the high end 15" mac with 2.4ghz and 1gb of graphics ?
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,780
2,063
Macs and laptops in general can be a bit of a stretch for heavy cad work, but it depends how complex you get. The program could definitely benefit from a superior graphics card, but I don't know if you'll see the difference between macbook pro models in that regard. The 2.2 is fine. You wouldn't notice the difference between 2.2 and 2.4. They all have turboboost, and in the end the base clock speeds listed don't seem to mean much. If they get too hot either one will have to throttle down. I know the macbook pros with integrated graphics are pretty weak with gaming. With the high res or external display that would be even worse.

http://barefeats.com/mbps01.html

I don't know much about their testing method for gaming, but that is one comparison. The slower 2011 model is using integrated graphics.

http://barefeats.com/mbps04.html

There's another. Since that test the base clocks were bumped from 2.0 and 2.3 in that test to 2.2 and 2.5 (cto) today. Apple is using a gimped version of the 6750m for some reason. The PC version has 1GB of vram just like the other, and shows much less difference than is suggested in that link.

http://barefeats.com/mbps03.html

In terms of specs, those gpus aren't that different. Outside of those tests not being able to hold all of the shaders in vram, I don't understand why the difference would be that great unless it's a driver thing. CAD can be intense stuff on a computer, and you should keep in mind that not all of those programs are compiled for OSX. Rhino seems to be in beta, which actually surprises me.
 

taedouni

macrumors 65816
Jun 7, 2011
1,112
27
California
I am a first year uni student with a 5 year old laptop which is rubbish. I want to get a MacBook pro but which one ?

I will be using it for everything. work inciding auto CAD, Internet, gameing, watching HD films. I will also be plugging it into a external monitor with wireless keyboard and mouse.

This will be my first mac. Iam thinking the late 2011 base model 15" with 2.2ghz quad core i7, 512 graphics but with the optional upgrades to a 750gb @7200 rpm hard drive and the high res screen.

Is 2.2ghz enough? Is 512mb graphics enough ? Or should I get the high end 15" mac with 2.4ghz and 1gb of graphics ?
Go with the base model and buy 8GB of ram off newegg now for only 32 USD.
I purchased the premium 15 " version last June and it works amazing . (it's the current base model) .
 

04grahama

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 24, 2011
2
0
Cheers guys thats saved me some money. I just didn't know were to draw the line.
 

miniConvert

macrumors 68040
Personally, if you're buying a Mac wanting longevity I'd always recommend buying the best CPU/GPU spec you can afford. You're not going to be able to upgrade those parts later so even a small increase in performance is worth it.

HDD and RAM are more subjective. I go Apple for the convenience and guarantee that it'll all 'just work' as expected, but I completely understand why many people go with the minimum Apple supply in these areas and then do aftermarket upgrades.
 

Santabean2000

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2007
1,795
1,814
The base model is fine for what you've described, but if you can afford it, I'd also recommend the higher spec; make a budget and buy best you can afford at the time I reckon.

Certainly get extra RAM elsewhere, and consider removing optical drive to add SSD. If you've got a monitor desktop complimentary setup, adding an external ODD would be fine.
 

roybertito

macrumors newbie
Aug 7, 2011
6
0
If you want to go for the hi-res screen, seriously consider the anti-glare option. I wish I had it on mine! And have a happy Turkey Day!
 

alust2013

macrumors 601
Feb 6, 2010
4,779
1
On the fence
The base model is fine for what you've described, but if you can afford it, I'd also recommend the higher spec; make a budget and buy best you can afford at the time I reckon.

Certainly get extra RAM elsewhere, and consider removing optical drive to add SSD. If you've got a monitor desktop complimentary setup, adding an external ODD would be fine.
I have to disagree. If there was a significant difference in specs (such as the early 2011 models and the different graphics cards), then I would agree, but for OP's uses the upgrade really won't make a difference or last any longer. From a student's perspective, I would definitely say it's best to save the extra money
 

finchna

macrumors regular
May 30, 2002
216
41
depending on the games you play you might want to get the 1G video which would mean the higher end model.
 
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