Which of these MBP + accessories should I buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mariahlullaby, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. mariahlullaby macrumors 6502a

    mariahlullaby

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    I'm buying a new Macbook Pro on Tuesday, and I'm trying to decide on which model I want. I'm upgrading from a 2.16 GHZ C2D Macbook Pro running Tiger. I've been using CS2 a lot on this machine, which slows it up.

    I'll be installing 4GB of RAM into the new machine (have the RAM already), so RAM will be maxed out. I have the option of taking advantage of the Student Promotion, though at this point, not 100% sure I want to do that since I'll have to tack an extra $300 onto the price, though I'll get it back, and then some if I sell it. I've already got an 8GB iPod, though I want to sell that anyway and upgrade to one with a bigger HD (and possibly the updated iPod).

    This laptop will be doing a lot of traveling (classes 2-3 days a week, and an office 3 days a week), but will be hooked up to a 23 inch ACD when I'm not out.

    My uses are all kinds of normal school uses (papers, internet, the like). I also will be using it for a lot of other web/design related projects for my business and work at a record label (often using big files), so I will be using Adobe CS3 a lot. Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash all the time, on top of Microsoft Office, billing software, etc. So basically I'm a RAM hog. Some audio and video editing too.

    I'd love a Time Capsule, as I'm running out of room on my wired 200GB external HD, but it's not a critical need.

    I'd love to wait for the updates, but that's not an option. So, I'm trying to decide which of these options I want.

    I get an extra $100 off the Apple Student discount if I buy the MBP through my school, but I lose the discount if I configure the system (which would be to add the 7200 HD).

    Also: anyone know the difference between Education CS3 and student licensing from Adobe? It's $270 vs $499 and could lower the price by a lot...

    My budget is $2800 or so, but I'm in college, so the lower the price the better, though I'm willing to spend if it is really useful.

    Thanks, guys!

    Option #1:
    2.4 ghz Macbook Pro - $1700
    Adobe CS3 Web Premium - $499
    500GB Time Capsule - $279
    Final Cut Express - $69
    iWork - $39

    Total: $2587

    Option #2
    2.5 ghz Macbook Pro - $2200
    Adobe CS3 Web Premium - $499
    500GB Time Capsule - $279

    Total: $2979

    Option #3
    2.4 ghz Macbook Pro w/ 7200 HD - $1850
    Adobe CS3 Web Premium - $499
    500GB Time Capsule - $279

    Total: $2628

    Option #4
    2.5 ghz Macbook Pro w/ 7200 HD - $2350
    Adobe CS3 Web Premium - $499

    Total: $2850
     
  2. grimreaper1377 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #2
    I would think about either Option 1 or Option 3. The 2.4 -> 2.5 ghz upgrade won't make as much of a difference as the 5400 -> 7200 rpm upgrade will.

    Also, you say that you are currently using a wired hard drive; why not get another wired one instead of time capsule? Wired ones are cheaper and you can get a lot more storage for a lower price. But if you have more than one computer that needs to be backed up, then the time capsule would be a better option.
     
  3. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    Best value= option 3.

    But to squeeze even more value out of it, substitute the time capsule for a firewire external hard drive which will be faster, and u can even get an airport express if u want as extra for the wireless access.

    If not, throw in an iwork and Final cut express.

    You'll have stretched your dollar to the max then.
     
  4. winninganthem macrumors 6502a

    winninganthem

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #4
    The 2.4 has a 3MB cache, while the 2.5 has a 6MB cache. The general consensus is that doubling the cache size makes a big difference in performance. I have not done any benchmarking or anything, but I'm inclined to believe that the cache difference will make a bigger difference than getting a 7200rpm HDD.

    You will only see the speed increase with a 7200rpm HDD when dealing with big files. Since your primary use will be design and web work, I don't think you'll need the 7200 as your internal. 5400rpm as your internal drive should be plenty. The extra 50GB will be nice too.

    Instead of getting a Time Capsule, I'd lean toward getting a FW800 HDD and just backing up manually with it. Since it is FW800, if you want to do video editing, you can also use this as your Final Cut scratch disk :).

    If you've gone on for a long time with just a 200GB external, getting a new 320GB external for around $150 should be plenty enough, and will also save you a bit of money.

    Hope this helps. I would get the 2.5 and Adobe Web Premium. Hold off on the other software. Use trial periods until they expire. :)
     
  5. jTreu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    #5
    if it were me i'd choose option 2 as long as you plan on keeping it for a while, its the most future proof MBP, with the bigger L2 cache.
     
  6. mariahlullaby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mariahlullaby

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    Thanks everyone for your input :) I suppose what it boils down to is if the 7200 upgrade or the CPU upgrade is more worth it.

    Just curious, are most people against the Time Capsule as a HD? Just seems great to me, with automatic backups, wireless, etc. Especially since a laptop is my computer.
     
  7. Expired macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    #7
    I would go with option 2 if your budget allows it due to the more future-proof processor, if not either of the 2.4GHz models will be fine.
     
  8. hogfaninga macrumors 65816

    hogfaninga

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Chestnut Tree Cafe
    #8
    I had the Time Capsule and didn't really like it. It wasn't as stable as I liked. It gave me trouble a few times and i sold it for about what I paid for it. I'm sure I'm in the minority with that view, but that is my opinion.

    I sold my Time Capsule and bought the AirPort Extreme and connect the Western Digital My Book hard drive to it. It works great with Time Machine. I personally found this set up much better and I haven't had any problems with it. I got 4 computers(3 Macbooks--mine, wife, son and 1 HP desktop) using the Extreme with the HD.
     
  9. romanaz macrumors regular

    romanaz

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #9
    cache on the CPU doubles, as does the VRAM on the nVidia graphics card, from 256 to 512. Best bang for the buck and more performance and HDD inside. Sure, the 256 is great, I'm running the Ultimate from last summer and CS3 runs fine, but 512 w/ the better cache will be a lot better.
     
  10. mariahlullaby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mariahlullaby

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    Hey guys --

    Thanks for all your advice! I decided to go with the 2.5 ghz (didn't upgrade the HD), CS3, iWork, and the Time Capsule -- I just loved how easy it was and decided to try it out. So far, so good! In particular, the machine is just really fast and responsive and makes working so much better. I hook it up to my ACD and it is perfect!

    Thanks for all your help!
     
  11. iSpoody 1243 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    option 1 with a 7200 rpm drive,
    the extra software will definitely help
     
  12. thirdeg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Location:
    Germany
    #12
    You may want to check with your school, as the student/education versions of Adobe products are for non commercial use.
     
  13. winninganthem macrumors 6502a

    winninganthem

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #13
    Glad to hear that you're happy with your purchase. :) I have the stock 2.5 also and think it's pretty awesome. Might upgrade the RAM later on though.

    :D Congrats.
     

Share This Page