Which MBP 15" 2.2 or 2.4?!!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jamesybsu, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. jamesybsu macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2007
    I am getting ready to buy a new MBP, but I can't decide if the 2.4 is worth the extra $$ as I am still in school (I will be using the ADC discount). I do use the adobe suite often, and run 3D programs, but I know some guys that have the 2.16 older model and they run the programs just fine. So is the extra speed, video card, etc. going to be worth it? Thanks!
  2. Corrosive vinyl macrumors 6502

    Corrosive vinyl

    Sep 22, 2006
    okay, the 2.4 is $499 more. you get the .2 Ghz bump, plus double graphics memory and bigger hard drive. I personally think that the .2 Ghz is negligible, as is the extra HDD space, seeming as the 2.2 model has 120 GB of memory. I don't see anyone except hardcore video/sound editing guy needing more space. That said, the graphics chip boost is worth it. the question is, do you agree with what I said, and are those three bumps worth the extra $500 or so with tax
  3. Donnacha macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2006
    You can upgrade the 2.2GHz model to 160G HDD anyway, for around £50 ($100?).

    For me, that makes the argument against the 2.4 even clearer:

    The .2 CPU difference will not noticeably increase performance and probably won't make much difference to your resale value in a year when speeds will probably be up to 3GHz.

    The additional video memory is only really useful if you are a hardcore gamer chasing every last Frame-Per-Second he can get.

    My understanding is that the additional video memory does not make a difference to video or sound editing. It also makes no difference to running large external monitors for non-gaming uses.

    Just get the HDD upgrade (because you will need the extra space) and put the £200/$400 you save towards Applecare or your next laptop.
  4. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    I don't think the added benefits warrant the extra cost. I would go with the base model unless you are really into games and absolutely require the additional VRAM.
  5. jamesybsu thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2007
    Thanks for you replies, I just wasn't sure if I the 256mb graphic card would pull me in or not, I remember apple saying the graphics card being faster from the previous versions, is that just for the 256mb version?
  6. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    If you can't justify the price, I would get the 2.2. The 2.4 isn't much better of a computer, but if you have the money, its worth it (otherwise, it is not worth it). Hence why I bought the 2.4 :)
  7. Aea macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    The low-end MBP with the same HD costs $2074, the Mid-End costs $2499. That's a 20.5% price difference for a 9% increase in pure CPU power and a 5-9% games speed increase (according to barefeats). Just some food for thought.
  8. Donnacha macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2006
    Zwhaler, I'm usually the guy who pays whatever it takes to get the latest and greatest but, seriously, no matter which way I cut it, I just can't see how this mediocre increase in CPU and video memory could be worth the 20% increase in price.

    I have the money but, really, I don't see the point. Ok, maybe, if I had several million in the bank, I might but, if you have less than a million, there are better way to invest your money; for one, treat yourself by buying the next model when it comes out in the Fall, that 20% should cover your depreciation when you ebay your old one.
  9. jamesybsu thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2007
  10. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Personally I went for the 2.2GHz MacBook Pro. I have a Seagate 160GB 7200 rpm HDD on the way from OWC and 4GB of RAM from frys all for less than the cost of a 2.4GHz MBP with 2GB RAM and a 5400 rpm HDD. :) :apple:
  11. MacDonaldsd macrumors 65816


    Sep 8, 2005
    London , UK
    Thats the way to do it :)

    Apples prices for RAM are insane though, looks like you got a good deal there.
  12. Rinz macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2007
    Well, I recently ordered my MBP with HE discount, and I opted for the 2.2 128.
    I don't believe the 2.4 is worth the heftier price tag.
  13. Evangelion macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    A simple rule of thumb: If you need the computer now, you buy it now. If you don't need it, then why buy it?

    In your case, you will only need the machine in september and onwards. So why not wait? That way Apple has the time to fix some of the potential hardware-bugs that might be in the machines, and they might even update the specs before you buy (not likely, but still).
  14. Donnacha macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2006
    No, you don't want to get into a waiting game - with Apple there is always be something better on the horizon.

    Now is the ideal time to take the plunge on a MBP - they've just upgraded the motherboard and the price, especially on the 2.2, is very low for what you get - that's partly because memory is at an all time low because the manufacturers thought the introduction of Vista was going to increase sales and created a glut, and partly because Apple wants to bolster it's numbers in advance of the iphone launch.

    Waiting for Penryn will just mean another 4 months of Windows hassles and lower productivity; if you're going to get into Mac, get into it now and start learning to be as effective with OS X as possible.

    My guess is that, by the launch of Penryn, memory prices will be back up and Apple will be pricing high to manage insane demand in the wake of the glow around the success iphone, the publicity around Leopard and the pent-up demand of existing Mac users who held off on upgrading until Leopard.

    Any computer starts devaluing the moment you buy it but, IMHO, those waiting for Leopard in order to save on it's cost are shooting themselves in the foot - especially people who are currently stuck in Windows World.
  15. booksacool1 macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2004
    I picked the 2.4 because I do quite a bit of gaming and find 128mb of memory absolutely ludicrous. Its not upgradable at a later stage, and 128mb is NOT going to be enough for the huge textures of future games. Even 256mb will struggle. The cpu is also not upgradable, although I don't actually care about a 9% difference. Will make a minute but measurable performance difference.

    But yeah, the 2.2 is much better value, especially if your not planning on much gaming. If you are, well, save up the difference. Your going to want the extra 128mbytes.
  16. drlunanerd macrumors 68000


    Feb 14, 2004
    Well put.

    With new Apple hardware introduced when a new OS version ships there's one important caveat: usually it will only support the new OS and not a previous one. This can cause headaches if you need to run an older OS version for whatever reason.

    For example, if Apple release a new MBP in October that ships with Leopard installed, they will not add support for it in Tiger. That means you have no choice but to run Leopard and have to deal with any bugs. In a business environment this is a pain in the arse when you're running standardised OS builds and do not want to be forced to upgrade straight away.

    Therefore I'd say it's better to buy hardware now, that will be supported by Leopard but is also currently supported by Tiger. You then have the choice to upgrade when you choose to, not when Apple deem it OK to pull the plug on hardware support.
  17. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Ok now, here's the question. How long do you plan on keeping the machine? If you plan on keeping it for 4 years or more, I suggest you get the upgrade. I plan on keeping this machine until the end of 10.6 (4 years or more) so I went for the upgrade, because that extra bump in horsepower will come in handy when the computer actually begins to struggle with the latest technology.

    Now, if you are keeping it for 2-3 years, it is not worth it. a 2.2 Ghz processor will be plenty fast enough for the technology to come in 2-3 years. In that case, go for the cheaper one, it will be a wise decision to keep your money (in that case). It sounds to me like you do not plan on keeping this machine for very long (at least not as long as I do) so then I would definitely suggest your buy the 2.2, as the money saved will come in handy later, like you said :)
  18. NtotheIzoo macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2005
    Very good advice and i totally agree. I, though, am on the other end of teh spectrum. I update my computer probably every two years. I'm typing this on my lappy in my sig and will be getting a new MBP 15" 2.2 - 128 g-card in roughly two months which would mean i've had the current lappy for roughly 25 months...

    but back to the point...the advice Zwhaler gave is something to really consider when deciding on which computer to buy.
  19. dmaxdmax macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2006
    My plan is (was?) to buy the 2.2 w/a 23" ACD. (waiting for the rumored ACD update)

    Then I considered the 2.4 even though I don't game. I figure 0.2 might get me an additional 6-12 months of life on the back-end.

    Now I'm thinking that instead of throwing $500 at a tiny bit of speed I could throw a mere $300 more and have a 30" ACD. Maybe less if prices fall.

    Now I'm thinking it's really really really easy to justify spending more money.
  20. the Helix macrumors regular

    the Helix

    Sep 16, 2003

    As I see it, it really is rather simple:

    if you have the money for the 2.4 Mhz MBP, you will kick yourself (sooner or later) for not having bought the maxed out MBP. Or you will waste so much time asking yourself (probably for the whole life of your Mac) if you should have bought the 2.4 Mhz. Honestly, $500 is little to pay to save yourself from buyer's remorse for the rest of your MBP's life.

    However, if you don't have the money, then your choice is already made for you. You'll have to buy the 2.2 Mhz MBP. You won't be able to waste your time regretting it because you didn't have the dough anyway for the 2.4 Mhz version.

    My 2¢
  21. Donnacha macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2006
    I hear and understand the points you're all making and, please, believe me when I say that my natural instinct is to always buy the best equipment possible but, in this case, I believe the paradigm is changing.

    The argument that buying the best adds to the life of your machine on the back-end made sense in the past because an extra 20% would get you some serious extra fire-power - a top-notch video card at the very least. Now, however, we're are looking at a fractional improvement when we already know, from Intel's CPU and motherboard road-maps, that improvements in the near future will dwarf those gains. Do you really believe that, even in just a years time, any potential buyer will notice the difference between 2.2 and 2.4? And in 2, 3 years time?

    As for the video memory - bear in mind that we are talking about exactly the same GPU, running at the same speed but with 256mb of memory rather than 128mb. Sure, 128 isn't much but I believe it will do reasonably well with current games unless you plan to screen them on massive external monitors. If you are shooting for game nirvana, frankly, 256 is going to fall pretty far short too.

    To anyone with a tendency towards buyers remorse: get over it! My bet is that most of you fretting over frames per second probably aren't going to have as much time as you think to play games. Those of you who are hardcore gamers are going to be dis-satisfied anyway when Apple releases a 512mb version in the Autumn.

    So, what I mean by a changed paradigm: for the first time, the relative value of money is lowering (we all generally have more money to hand and, certainly, can more easily borrow money) while the cost of "high-end" laptops is plummeting. Over the last few years, Apple has clearly had problems making a case for the high cost of it's MBPs over it's regular MacBooks; the main differentiator has been that the MBPs had an actual video card. Now, however, especially following the decision to make all MBPs 2GB as standard, the main problem is differentiating the base 15" MBP from the "high-end" version - take away the HDD difference (which you can upgrade for a mere £50) and all you've got left is a puny .02 CPU jump, 128mb of video DRAM and a £200 gap. Ridiculous.

    If you look closely, you'll also notice that the high-end (black) Macbook is also a very weak proposition compared to the base MBP. I don't know what Apple are doing here but I suspect they are try to give all those potential Macbook buyers an easy ramp into buying MBPs instead. They are willing to create a bargain-priced MBP because they know that the hardcore fanbois will buy the high-end version at a premium price no matter what they do.

    So, what we've now got is a situation in which you can buy a marginally less powerful machine (and, really, apart from graphically-intensive games, I don't think it's power the vast majority of users would ever use anyway) at a far lower price, making it feasible for users to upgrade far more often.

    Remember, we are in the age of ebay, when buyers seem eager to pay far too much for second-hand laptops. I have watched recent auctions closely and am astonished at how close to retail prices the winning bids have been, even for pretty old Macbooks. I knew that Macs held their value well but, damn, that is just ridiculous.

    Those of you who are talking about holding onto your machines for 3 or 4 years are insane. As long as you back-up up anyway, moving to a new machine is easy and, now, cheap. I believe that, if you wisely buy the "bargain" MBP now, you will be able to sell it in a years time at very little loss and be able to pick up the much better "bargain" MBP that's available then. It's like cars: all the smart folks keep trading in because, for a nominal premium, you get to always have a new car that, as a bonus, is always under warranty. Always having a new computer makes even more sense.
  22. jamesybsu thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2007
    this is a good question, and here is my answer.

    I bought a 15" powerbook g4 1.67 two years almost to the day ago. I dropped it five months into having it and dented the corner near my superdrive. after a month of crying, my computer was still working fine, and i began to get use to the dent. It continued to work fine till the first week of January, and would not start up correctly, with an error screen sayin I had to restart, and basically would never start up, and when it did, it froze. So long story short, I sent it in to apple HOPING they would not argue about it can't be from the drop and my AppleCare would take care of it, but they said it was from my drop and it looked like the logic board needed replacment, and I would have to pay outta pocket. I decided instead to sell it for parts/repair (its on ebay now http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=010&sspagename=STRK%3AMESE%3AIT&viewitem=&item=200120733047&rd=1&rd=1 since I cant list on marketplace yet :( ) and save up for a MBP. So back to the if you don't need it, then why buy it question, its been over half a year without having a mac i can call my own, and im just getting desperate to have one again!!!!!!!!! The update to SR and LED screens has sparked my interest even more and now that I am working over the summer I have some money.

    I loved my old mac and am dying to get a new one! i appreciate everyone commenting, its great to see eveyones opinions.
  23. Jestered macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    If you look at the benchmarks at barefeats.com you will see that the extra video ram doesn't do hardly anything even when gaming. People who say it does do not know what they are talking about. The 128MB GPU was barely slower than the 256MB GPU and they were dead even on some of the games tested.

    It is not worth the extra money to get the 2.4.
  24. Sir Diggamus macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2007
    I would say to buy what you feel is worth it. I took the plunge recently myself and opted for the 2.2 model and upgraded the HD to 160GB because I wanted accessories that didn't otherwise fit into my budget. I also felt that what you get for the extra $500 was not appealing enough to make me go for it.
  25. KidOtaku macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2007
    A little precision here: these tests were run on 2-3 years old games, coded at a time where 128MB of VRAM was plenty. When running modern games, the picture changes dramatically, with the 256MB version showing sometimes a 2:1 increase in performance.

    Please, read a bit more before saying that people don't know what they're talking about. You might find out they know a heck of a lot more than you do.

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