Which upgrade is better: 7200 HDD or 2.66 GHz?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by itzcoolz, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. itzcoolz macrumors regular

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    May 6, 2010
    #1
    NOT taking into consideration cost, which upgrade (from 5400->7200RPM or 2.4 i5--> 2.66 i7) would have a more significant effect on usage for a Macbook Pro 15?

    If there would be different strengths and weaknesses, i'd appreciate the subtleties, as well. I know this is an odd configuration question, but it's because i'm choosing between a custom-configured 2.4 i5 MBP w/ 7200rpm 500GB HD vs an eBay-listed 2.66 i7 MBP w/ 5400rpm 500GB HD. Both are at very good prices relative to their retail price.

    EDIT: also adding to the debate, i realized the 2.66i7 would come with 512MB video card upgrade (from 256MB). So it's:
    1) 7200RPM / 256MB Video Card
    2) 2.66GHz i7 / 512MB Video Card

    Thanks!
     
  2. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #2
    7200 HD hands down.

    SSD would be the best, since you said cost isn't a consideration
     
  3. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    Location:
    Weymouth, UK
    #3
    CPU Always !

    You can easily add a faster/bigger HDD later if you wish, but the CPU is something fixed. If making the choice I would always advise on faster CPU.
     
  4. itzcoolz thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 6, 2010
    #4
    i'd love to have an SSD, and said cost isn't a consideration because they both options i'm considering are at great (relative) prices. SSD's just aren't very cost-effective for me at this point, because i plan on using the MBP as my primary computer, and the 256GB SSD's are SUPER pricey.

    any other thoughts? man... this is such a tough choice.
     
  5. iSpoody 1243 macrumors 6502

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    Australia
    #5
    cpu
    I would get the i7 over a 7200rpm hdd any day
    you can't upgrade the cpu while a hdd upgrade is easy and usually quite cheap unless your going for a ssd drive.
     
  6. sadcamper macrumors regular

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    May 19, 2010
    #6
    If the debate is between the i5 & i7, and excluding SSd's, my personal preference would be in this order:

    1. Memory to 8gb
    2. Processor to i7
    3. HD to 7200
     
  7. itzcoolz thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 6, 2010
    #7
    i also realized that the i7 on the MBP 15 comes with 512MB Video RAM, so it's also a consideration of 2.66GHz i7 AND 512MB Video RAM vs 2.4 i5 AND 256MB Video RAM
     
  8. millertime021 macrumors 6502a

    millertime021

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    Location:
    AZ
    #8
    However, in your sig you got the i7 over the 8GB of RAM ;)

    I'd say:
    1. i7
    2. 8GB RAM
    3. 7200 HDD

    As others have mentioned, you can't upgrade processor later.
    I plan on getting 4 more gigs of RAM when my MBP is a year old.
    Then I plan on getting an SSD after that depending on prices.
     
  9. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #9
    But the difference between an i5 and i7 can't be justified by the cost.
     
  10. apple.gr macrumors regular

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    Athens, Greece
    #10
    Get the Core i7 since you cannot upgrade neither the cpu nor the gpu!
     
  11. millertime021 macrumors 6502a

    millertime021

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    #11
    Well for me it was negated by the Student Discount. :cool:

    And didn't OP say cost wasn't the factor.
     
  12. powerhouse7 macrumors regular

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    Oct 21, 2009
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    Canberra, Australia
    #12
    I would most certainly go the CPU upgrade.
    Other than making the computer snappier and handle high end programs better, you're computer will have a better lifespan before a full upgrade is needed. Also, you can always upgrade RAM and HDD later is you have too.
    If its your main computer and you want it to remain useful for a longer time, I would absolutely go the i7 upgrade, no question for me.
     
  13. iSpoody 1243 macrumors 6502

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    #13
    yet you got the 2.66 over the 2.4 when there is a bigger difference in cpu performance in the 2.66 i7 vs the 2.4 i5.
     
  14. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I'd agree with you completely; it was a graduation gift.
     
  15. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #15
    This all really depends on what the op is going to be using his computer for. To the op: what are you going to be using your mbp for?
     
  16. itzcoolz thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 6, 2010
    #16
    it will be replacing my combination of a shuttle quad core / thinkpad x301 and serving as a primary computer that will mostly be stationary on my desk. (what happened was my iPad made the thin-and-light x301 relatively unnecessary, so i am selling my shuttle and thinkpad for a high-powered portable computer).

    i will be primarily using it for: web browsing, office productivity, photo editing, video editing, and gaming (Starcraft 2). As I'm just starting my medical intern year, i won't have that much time to do these things, however. -=)
     
  17. runebinder macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

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    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #17
    Go for the i7, if cost isn't a consideration i7 over a i5, is a far better upgrade compared to 7200 vs 5400. Plus the resale value for an i7 will be more.
     
  18. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #18
    I might actually have to agree with you since he is going to be doing gaming and video. If it was light video and gaming, I might say go for the i5. But I am assuming that you are going to be doing somewhat serious video editing and gaming, so in that case go for the i7 unless you can afford a sizable ssd with the i5.
     
  19. deus ex machina macrumors regular

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    May 28, 2010
    #19
    Again, there is a 400 dollar difference between the two models (i5 vs i7). You would get the same student discount for either unit. If the money is of no consequence, then go right ahead and buy the i7. You will have advantages with media editing and conversion programs.
     
  20. itzcoolz thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 6, 2010
    #20
    robotmonkey, i actually probably won't be doing too much video editing and gaming, but i just wanted to give a feel for the more heavy usage i might do. (i just find that as I get older and farther along in my medical training, i am doing less in-depth stuff on my computer. which is a big reason, actually, that i'm switching from pc to mac.)

    but i do get everyone's drift. obviously, cost is a factor, but i just wanted to hear thoughts on performance differences between the two without cost being a factor. i'll have to think long and hard about this, because over $2000 is a lot to spend on a laptop.

    also, to add some spice to the story, i actually have the 2.4GHz 7200RPM MBP 15 (with a glossy, Hi-Res screen) on the way because I ordered it yesterday. In order to switch to the i7 (on eBay), i'd have to return or resell the i5. I guess i could possibly order the i7 too, switch the hard drives, and then resell the i5 on eBay as a stock 2.4GHz.
     
  21. iSpoody 1243 macrumors 6502

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    Australia
    #21
    if you already have the i5 there is absolutely no reason for you to resell to get the i7. it will be more trouble than its worth. plus the i5 is quite fast anyway.
     
  22. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2010
    #22
    Exactly. Use that money you saved and get an ssd. what is the price difference? 400? That's enough for a decently sized ssd
     
  23. iSpoody 1243 macrumors 6502

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    Australia
    #23
    Now thats a worthwhile upgrade! :D
     
  24. jmdMac macrumors regular

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    Alaska
    #24
    +1


    and +1000 from all the other forum members that would also recommend this
     
  25. itzcoolz thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 6, 2010
    #25
    the price difference is actually surprisingly slim.

    so i paid $1910 for my MBP 15 (through an employee's friend discount): i5/2.4GHz, 7200rpm, hi-res glossy, 256MB 330M.

    i would pay $2098 for the i7/2.66GHz, 5400rpm, hi-res anti-glare, 512MB 330M.

    That's a very slim margin. Close enough for me to consider returning or re-selling my original order.
     

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