Whoa Clearance - deciding which previous generation to buy.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cohenben, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. cohenben macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2008
    Hello! Long time reader - first time poster.

    I'm a video editor. I actually think that the previous generation MBP is a better suited computer for me than the new one (matte screen, proven graphics card set-up, more firewire connectivity etc.). I would love to debate that last statement...but I'm about to pull the trigger on buying a previous generation MBP. This is a secondary machine for me (I will still edit, do almost all my rendering on my Mac Pro) so saving money is important here. Performance is also important (I want a 7200 rpm hard drive, 512 kb on the graphics card and 4 GB RAM in the end). With that in mind I think I've narrowed it down to these choices - I'd like your thoughts and any other suggestions:

    $1799 - but I have to then upgrade my HD and RAM after purchase
    $2099 - only upgrade RAM after purchase

    Is it worth spending the extra $300 to get a slightly smaller but faster hard drive, which also would come with an apple warranty?

  2. svndmvn Guest

    Nov 6, 2007
    I don't think so, you should get a HD elsewhere, they have warranties as well, don't they? And just keep the "Apple" one in case you need your mac fixed so you don't have problems sending it in for repairs. And you can always use that HD in a case, right?
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I'd buy an HDD and RAM from somewhere else, such as OWC or NewEgg. That's the easist way to save money.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you buy the drive from Seagate it has a five year warranty. Apple only gives you a one year warranty unless you buy Applecare and then it's only a three year warranty.

    Oh, and the RAM I just bought from OWC comes with a lifetime warranty.
  5. cohenben thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2008
    Thanks for that advice...

    I just read ifixit.com guide on how to replace the HD and I have to admit it's a bit daunting. I replace HDs and RAM in my Mac Pro all the time, but this is a new ballgame (dealing with a dozen various screws, ribbon strips, etc.). If I bought the HD online to save some money but I have to hire someone to install it I feel like the point of saving money is negated - the nearest certified apple service center charges $185 just for the service.

    I also just discovered that as a business owner I save 5% on the computer from apple - so that 7200 rpm, 2.6 GHz model MBP totals $1,994.00 - what a deal!

    I think I'll just do that and install my own 4GB of RAM at a later date...unless someone can convince me that I'm wrong and that any fool can replace a MBP hard drive.

    Side note: that new hard drive access on the new MBPs looks even more appealing after reading the how-to on the old MBPs. At least there's one feature Apple got right on these models.
  6. millerj123 macrumors 65816

    Mar 6, 2008
    Seagate is going to be dropping to a three year warranty on certain drives if purchased after January 3rd.

  7. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    HD's are not user replaceable with the prior MBP's. You either have to have an apple authorized service provider do it, or risk voiding the Applecare on the machine. And don't quote me the Magnuson-Moss Act; when you're computer breaks down, you want a covered repair, not a lawsuit.

    I'd almost rather spend the extra money to get the extras supplied by Apple and not have to worry about it. Austerity is good, as long as it's not a false economy. How much is your time worth? If I have to spend a couple of extra hours to order the upgrades and either install them or have someone else do it, the money 'saved' is illusory...
  8. ACiB708 macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2008
    I'd buy the 1799 one and buy an internal HDD at newegg.
  9. macrumorsMaster macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2008

    Wow! 512kb on the graphics card? Where are you going to find a graphics card like that? In the 1990's? :p
  10. cohenben thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2008
    my bad...i mean 512 MB, obviously

    but thanks for the condescending remark without any relevance to my actual question, appreciate it.
  11. cohenben thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2008
    I do apologize for being so defensive...

    I'm considering a 320 GB 7200 rpm. I've bought dozens of HDs for my Mac Pro and I always buy 7200 rpm/32mb cache - but this is the first time I'm in the market for laptop HDs. Does 32mb cache exist for a macbook pro drive? I haven't seen any.

    Also, as I've mentioned, I'm a little skeptical of my ability to do the HD replacement myself. The guide i read in ifixit.com seems to be rather complicated and I'm leaning towards paying a certified tech to do the HD swap. At $185 for the service alone, I think I'm better off spending the extra $300 to get a MBP shipped from Apple with a 7200 rpm drive pre-installed. Am I being wuss about replacing my own HD in the laptop? All those ribbons and obscure screws sound a little daunting...

    Thanks for entertaining my thread - I know there are similar posts out there but I also know there are a lot of people considering the same options at this very moment since the previous gen MBPs are on clearance - so I hope you don't mind me bringing up these "age-old" questions.
  12. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    not sure if this is relevant, but I've just dealt with the issue of buying a 7.2K rpm 200GB HDD or a 320GB 5.4K rpm HDD for my Macbook.

    In the end, I realised that a full 200GB 7.2K rpm HDD will be rather slow, but a 320gb model, even with a slower rpm, will be faster when it's 200GB full.

    So I went for the larger, slower HDD (and it was cheaper too). I'm happy, as it's now 280GB full and still working fast as ever, which would be impossible with the 200GB model.

    Don't buy HDDs from Apple. They're overpriced. Get the smallest one Apple have, buy a new one elsewhere, and put the Apple one into a 2.5'' enclosure. there's lots of nice ones around. It's hard to find a 2.5'' SATA external with FW, but a USB one costs a couple of quid, and works surprisingly fast.

    EDIT: It was dead easy to replace the HDD on my macbook, but the MBP does indeed seem harder to replace the HDD. Not as hard as the iBook (that was hell) but still a little tricky. If you have an apple techy friend, they could probably do it for a tenner. Or ask an apple certified repair shop to do it, so that the warranty is still valid (probably the best option).

    If you make money with video editing, I'd go the certified apple repair shop route. You'll get the Apple HD back and get two for the price of one.
  13. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    If you are unwilling to replace the HD yourself I would just get the drive from Apple then. $185 for a Hard Drive replacement is ridiculous and would only be something to consider if you were to get a high capacity Solid State Drive. Even then they are charging $185 for less then an hour of labor. If they were also transferring your data the price would be reasonable.

    I can see how it may seem daunting to replace the drive but really all you are doing is removing some screws and disconnecting a few cables. Once everything is put back together you just pop in the OS disc format the hard drive in Disk Utility and run the OS X installer.

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