Which MacBook Pro model should I purchase?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Just1nCase, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. Just1nCase macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2006

    I am currently a Graphic Design student at San Diego State. I need help deciding which MacBook Pro model I should purchase. Since I am a college student with a tight budget, I am debating whether I should get the 15-inch: 2.16Ghz or 15-inch: 2.33GHz model. So far, I am leaning towards the 15-inch:2.16Ghz because it fits my budget enough to purchase before the upcoming semester. However, it includes a slight low-end CPU and Video Card compare to the rest of the models and 1GB memory.

    Does the .17 GHz difference of the processor between the two models make a significant difference? I am planning to upgrade the 1GB memory into 2GB memory later on because I heard it's much affordable to purchase separately. Is that true? Please let me know, I am very interested in purchasing an Apple laptop.

    By the way, I am also able to use the education discount.
  2. siurpeeman macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2006
    the OC
    fellow san diegan! i'm a bit west of you at uc san diego. here's something for you to consider. the bookstore at my school is selling core duo (not core 2 duo) macbook pros for insanely cheap. you can get the 2.16 ghz model with 1 gb ram and the 256 mb x1600 graphics card for $1499. i'd imagine your school would have similar pricing, and i think it would be worth considering if it would give you peace of mind purchasing a macbook with the top-end graphics card. it's cheaper than a base core 2 duo macbook pro, too. :D
  3. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2006
    It is close to humanly impossible to notice the .17 ghz the extra memory won't affect you unless you're playing some serious first person shooters on your mbp, DIY memory upgrade is much cheaper than apples. Also look at refurbs.
  4. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    I'm getting ready to purchase a MacBook for my daughter, so I'm looking at the RAM situation closely.

    If I buy her the default 2.0 GHz model with 1 GB RAM it comes with 2 X 512MB.

    This new dual core architecture likes to see matching DIMMS of equal value, so it's kinda either 2 X 512 MB or 2 X 1 GB if you want to take advantage of the memory bus architecture.

    If I buy the default setup, I'll have to pull the 2 X 512 MB when I upgrade
    her machine to 2 GB later.

    The best price I've seen for better RAM is at Datamem.com $248.99 for a 2 GB kit.

    OWC is selling Samsung RAM for $209.00 each 1 GB stick.

    If I break down and buy the 2 GB upgrade directly from Apple at time of purchase, I get 2 X 1 GB pre-installed for an additional $157.00 edu.

    So you might pay just a bit more, but you're getting 2 X 1 GB matched Apple factory DIMMS eliminating the hassle later.

    Now IF.... you buy in the local store, they might set you up with a single
    1 GB stick to get you rolling, but you might end up paying an installation
    fee and you're still not taking advantage of the architecture.

    When you go to buy another 1 GB stick elsewhere, it'll end up costing about
    $125-$150 depending on brand.

    So really it's best to just eat humble pie and buy the factory 2 GB upgrade at time of purchase.

    It's much more important to have the extra RAM than it would be to upgrade the processor in the Mac Book Pro.
  5. benneh macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2006
    I am also in the same boat as the OP, but I do more multimedia work (very light graphic design, but also touching on video + Flash animation)

    My concern is more on the extra 128Mb of Video ram, and whether I could do without it in the 2.33Ghz model.

    I can also get on EDU discount, and I'm happy to pay extra for the 2Gb RAM upgrade directly from apple (FFTT's post conviced me :) )

    Please advise! I plan to order it as soon as tomorrow
  6. klaus macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2004
    FYI, the 2,16 ghz model comes with 1x 1GB factory installed, so you don't have to sell 2x512MB first, and then install 2X 1GB.

    I first ordered the 2.33 MBP, but later changed it for the 2.16 with 2 gb's of ram. Don't regret it either, it's my secondary machine, if it would be my primary, i would've gone for the 2.33 MBP.
  7. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    You should be O.K. with the default 128 MB VRAM for as you stated "light"
    digital rendering.

    Just watch your upgrade total.

    If everything you want gets you close enough within reach of the 2.33 GHz model, then you have a tougher decision.

    The base 2.16 GHz Model with the extra factory RAM and a usb modem comes to $2001.

    The 2.33 GHz model, also with 2 GB RAM standard and the usb modem,

    came to $2343.00

    You still need software and a good case, or might want that 160GB perpendicular drive, so for what you're doing, I think the well equipped
    2.16 GHz model will be more than enough computer for you.

    Once all the applications have finally gone to universal binary, you'll see roughly an 80% increase in the speed of those applications.
  8. djkny macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2003
    Modem? What's that !
  9. pianoman macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    i'd go with the 2.33GHz model only because it has a faster processor (even if it's not by much), more standard RAM (so you don't have to fuss with taking it out for service/it's covered by Apple), and a better graphics card. with your education discount, you're probably not going to save much more than if you bought the 2.16 and upgraded the RAM yourself and you can't even upgrade the VRAM.

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