Which MBP 15" to buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by soulred12, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. soulred12 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    #1
    Hi all.

    Right now I have an old early 2008 non-unibody 15" MBP. It's got a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 3MB L2 Cache and only 2GB memory. I know this sucks compared to today's standards but, it does what I need it to. I use it for quite a number of things (though usually only two or three at a time), including email, internet, word processing (as well as excel, powerpoint, etc.), recording music with GarageBand, some video editing/exporting, iPhone app development, the occasional Mac game, and the occasional (lightweight) Windows game using wine. It does get kind of slow at some points, requiring a reboot to get going again, but actually less than I would imagine.

    Unfortunately, it's taken some abuse due to lugging it around in college, and I think it's time to buy a new one. I'm hoping to get the $100 app store gift card offer.

    There are two options for me. I want the 15" screen. So, assuming I get the 500GB 7200rpm hard drive and the antiglare screen, for roughly the same overall price I could get either the 2.0Ghz model with 8gb of memory, or the 2.2Ghz model with 4GB of memory. Or, I could get the 2.0Ghz model with 4GB of memory, and save $180.

    So, which is more worth it, the extra 200Mhz of processing speed or the extra 4GB of memory? Or, based on my current computer's stats, do you think I could get by with just 4GB and 2.0Ghz? (keep in mind though, I'm hoping for something that'll be overall "faster" [or less slow] than my current MBP)

    Any recommendations?
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
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    On the fence
    #2
    Well, you could try more memory in your current computer. However, if you plan to buy a new one, definitely pass on the memory upgrade through apple. It's $120 more than it is to do it yourself. You'll notice a difference in games on the 2.2Ghz vs the 2.0, as the 2.2 has a considerably beefier graphics card. However, if you're a light gamer, that probably wouldn't really matter too much. So, depending on how good you want your gaming experience to be should determine which model to get. From there, determine whether or not you have enough memory and upgrade yourself if necessary. It's a very easy process that takes about 10 minutes.
     
  3. soulred12, Jul 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011

    soulred12 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 15, 2011
    #3
    Hmm, that's what I hear (that it's easy), but would it still be easy for someone who has little to no experience with putting together computers? I think I remember reading that the mac's memory dock is near the battery, but is it easy to screw up, damage the computer, etc.?

    Thanks!

    EDIT: Nvm, just found a guide online. Looks so simple a toddler could do it. So do you think upgrading to e.g. 4GB memory would be a good idea/improve my comp's performance enough to be worth waiting on a new one?

    Also, if I buy some more memory now, would I be able to transfer that memory into a new MBP when I buy it? And last...(sorry for all the questions)...if I e.g. buy 2GB memory, and I buy a new MBP with 4GB memory, will it be able to take the 2GB for a total of 6GB or will it only work with a total that's a multiple of 2 (i.e. 2/4/8GB; this may be a dumb question)?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Barnzee macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Location:
    Oak Harbor, WA
    #4
    Replacing RAM is easy. All you do is take all the screws off the back and remove the back side of the computer. From there you just pop and swap the RAM. No further disassembly required. If you wan't a more detailed tutorial check out ifixit.com. It's so easy to replace the RAM anyone could do it.
     
  5. The-Pro, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011

    The-Pro macrumors 65816

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    Germany
    #5
    it wold definitely help yes. i still use a non unibody 17" MBP with 4GB RAM all the time, not slow at all. The RAM you need for your current MBP would be 667Mhz 204 Pin DDR2. Two 2GB sticks shouldn't cost you more than 60. Even if you decide on buying a new machine, you can still use your current one, like i said i still use mine a lot, and I bought it in 2007.

    No you couldn't transfer it to the new one. This is because the new MBP uses newer RAM as the one you currently have. Your MBP now uses 667Mhz DDR2. The new one uses 1333Mhz DDR3, but it also supports 1600MHz :)
    All MBP's only have 2 RAM slots, so even if both machines would have the same RAM you cant add it to your new one.
    RAM can be added in the sizes you have, so you can have a 4GB stick and a 2GB stick on the machine and it will work. Note though that best performance is achieved if you have sticks of the same size (2 x 4GB, 2x2GB, 2x8GB)
     
  6. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    Mar 1, 2010
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    New Jersey
    #6
    Upgrading RAM takes about 10 - 15 minutes, and upgrading your hard drive takes about 20-25 minutes - you just need the right tools and a video. I did this on my MBP and am very pleased with storage and performance.
     
  7. gmans46 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    #7
    i would go high end and i would do the aftermarket ram upgrade aswell. newegg has deals all the time i got mine for 60$ tax free no shipping and it works like a charm.
     
  8. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    New Jersey
    #8
    Remember, Apple will only sell AG with the High Rez screen. For some people with old eyes that have trouble with close focusing the High Rez may be a problem causing eye strain - I am one of those people. I would prefer AG but for the most part I have been able to control the background light so it is not a problem for me
     
  9. soulred12 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 15, 2011
    #9
    Hmm, so what I'm getting from all your posts is that I should go for the extra Mhz if I'm intending on doing somewhat heavier gaming, and if I want extra memory just buy it separately and install it myself (thanks btw to the_pro for telling me which memory I'd need to buy). I guess I just have to decide whether I want an entire new comp for $2000 or keep my old one and just upgrade the memory for $60...and then pay again when I finally do buy a new one.

    Perhaps I'll get the 2.2 Ghz just for good measure, use it for a while, and if I feel I need extra memory just buy it and install it myself.

    As for the AG screen, I'm still not sure. I can't remember which type of screen I chose for this MBP, but I don't think it was AG. I think it was "glossy" or something. It's been working fine. But with a new comp I'd like it to look nice. I guess I'll think about it...maybe I'll go into a local Apple store and compare the screens (if they have multiple kinds out on the floor).

    Thanks all.
     
  10. The-Pro, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011

    The-Pro macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Yep, I think you should, its not about the extra 200 Mhz though, sure you will benefit from it put not substantially. I would choose the high end model because of the beefier GPU, playing modern games is possible at fairly high setttings :) I think the is 6750 roughly 3 times better then the 6490!!
    Yep no problem, I corrected my post above btw, because I wrote that for the new MBP its 1067 MHz,its actually 1333 or 1600 MHz DDR3. I got it mixed up with my 2010 model :D
    Purely your decision if you need it or not, ever considered and iMac, and using your current MBP when on the go??

    exactly, if you do need the 8GB RAM, DO IT YOURSELF, i think its utterly stupid getting it from apple, but thats just me :D

    Well the old MBP was called glossy but its actually a matte screen in comparison to the new one. I went with the Hi-Res antiglare and don't regret it at all.
    The glass from the new one really is glossy (see pic). They should have both at the store to look at :)
     

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  11. soulred12 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 15, 2011
    #11
    Thanks the-pro, your post was really helpful. I will look into all this. I think I'll start though by getting some extra memory for this comp until I know just what I want from a new one. ^_^
     
  12. Barnzee macrumors regular

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Location:
    Oak Harbor, WA
    #12
    Whether you decide to get Glossy or Anti-glare (I would choose antiglare) just make sure you get the high resolution model. I couldn't imagine not having a High-Res screen. Also the 2.2 model has a much beefier GPU for gaming.
     
  13. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #13
    My similar MBP got the upgrade to 4 mb ram and then I stuck in a 7200 rpm 500 HD. It actually works pretty well even for Aperture 3, and just fine for all the normal stuff most of us do.

    The HD upgrade is not difficult for many, is difficult for those without a little experience and some tools...there is glue and little fragile looking printed wires involved.

    That being said, your MBP still has decent value and the new ones are obviously more desirable, so the fact that you are not entirely comfortable taking these things apart and are asking on a public forum...

    That means you need to get a new one, configured per the suggestions given.
     
  14. soulred12 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 15, 2011
    #14
    That's one thing I was wondering - how hi-res is the hi-res screen? The one I have right now is 1440 x 900, is that technically "hi res" or what?
     
  15. gmans46 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    #15
    i disagree i didnt know how to do **** like 3 months ago and now I can perform almost all basic to modern upgrades and help other people to perform theres. I mean clearly one post or forum wont do this but if you really research and get all the fine details down you can learn how to do almost anything without much risk of failure.
     
  16. cyclotron451, Jul 18, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011

    cyclotron451 macrumors regular

    cyclotron451

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    Europe
    #16
    my new MBP arrived this weekend

    I'm still learning how it differs from my 2006 core duo Macbook Pro, but my new MacBookPro 8,2 intel quad Core i7 2.2GHz 750GB antiglare high resolution 15" is currently running at 1680 x 1050. As 'high definition video' is 720p (1280 x 720) your 1440 x 900 does meet that spec, but falls slightly short of the full HD 1080i/p resolutions of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Broadcast TV equipment is becoming available that operates at "4K" (4096 x 3072) and presumably will eventually arrive at 4320p (7680 × 4320 pixels) or around 33 megapixels - refreshed 50 or 60 times a second.

    'high resolution' just seems to be a bit of a marketing term as there are older display systems which claim "high-resolution 852 x 480 LCD display"
     
  17. soulred12 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    #17
    Well I just got my 2x2GB memory and installed it (worked the first time I tried :D ). Seems to be running a bit faster now. I'll keep looking into which display to get for when I do get a new comp, but for now I think this works well. :)

    Thanks guys, for all your posts.
     

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