Why I'm Reluctant to Wait for a Santa Rosa MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by groove-agent, May 30, 2007.

  1. groove-agent macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2006
    Hello all.

    I currently have a 1st gen 15" MBP and am looking to buy a 17" for the increased screen size, dual layer DVD drive, larger HD, and faster processor. I was ready to go out and buy the core 2 duo until I ran into the Santa Rosa thread. I did some research, and am weary about waiting. Here's why:

    * Buying a 1st gen notebook with a new processor/chipset is risky. When I bought my 1st gen intel MBP, it had the all-so-annoying whine problem caused by voltage changed in the CPU to save battery power. They "sort of" fixed it with an update that prevents the CPU from cycling down while on AC power. If you're doing a presentation on battery with audio, you're out of luck unless you use developer tools to disable one of the cores (thus changing voltage of the CPU). Pain in the ass.

    * On a related note. I'm concerned that key applications I run (such as Pro Tools) will not work on the new SR chipsets. I can't wait 4 months for Digidesign to release an update so I could get working (as is the case with Vista). However, I found one instance of a Pro Tools user working on a Santa Rosa Sony Viao.

    * I read that the LED screen lose clarity over the fluorescent counter parts. Also display related, I'm concerned that Apple will switch to Invidia GPUs. I prefer the clarity (as do other Macrumor users, so I've read) of the ATI designs.

    * Searching on the internet, there was a benchmark test between the new SR laptops vs their predecessor. On average, the SR laptop was only 10 per cent faster than the pre-SR Intel Core 2 Duo model. I'll try and dig up the link. Not exactly inspiring improvements in speed according to this test.

    * If I wait for a SRMBP, my 15" MBP could depreciate that much more when I try to sell it. Also, if I find out that the SRMBP has something that I don't like, I wont be able to order a 17" pre-SR with my educational discount from the Apple Store.

    * I'm not convinced that SR will be out before Leopard. Wouldn't the use of the flash memory component require a serious OS update? We all could be waiting for nothing.

    * So this being said, I'm reluctant to wait for SR. It's difficult because we really don't know what's going to happen at WWDC. My concerns noted above are speculation. Maybe the new SRMBP will have a new high res screen, 250GB hard drive option (WD Scorpio), higher RAM ceiling, faster DVD burner etc?
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I'm not particularly impressed by most of those points... aside from the one about the SR benchmarks (yes, I wouldn't expect a huge boost in functioning). Briefly, (1) it seems like the switch from the current platform to SR is more like the CD -> C2D switch than the PPC -> Intel switch, and the CD-C2D switch did not involve a lot of quality issues; (2) I just don't see that kind of compatibility issue being terribly likely for OS X software; (3) I don't know anything about the LED clarity issue; (4) good point, as mentioned; (5) I agree -- see below; (6) There's no evidence Apple intends to use Robson caching at all.

    But who cares?

    It sounds like you could use it now, go get it! ;) You could certainly look for a used one or a refurb at an even lower price than the student discount, to offset the depreciation issue. If you get a used or refurb one, you will probably be able to sell it in 10-18 months if you want an SR MBP and still end up on the same place in the depreciation curve (i.e. a pretty typical depreciation rate for notebooks is about $20/month over the first three or four years -- as long as you sell it for $200 less than you purchased it for, about one year from now, and you buy another one, it's likely that you won't lose any more money to depreciation than you would have if you waited).
  3. Daveway macrumors 68040


    Jul 10, 2004
    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    I don't think this is as big of an issue as the switch to Intel was. Changing the chipset is minor compared to what Apple did with the first MBPs.
    Chipset changes will in no way effect which programs run on your computer. It is still using an Intel processor.
    I haven't heard of these concerns over clarity. I also don't believe a change in manufacturer will effect the clarity of text on a page, but maybe overall graphics intense performance.
    Yes this is true, but its nice to know you have the latest in technology when making a large purchase.
    It wouldn't require a major update, most likely a patch of sorts. I personally don't believe Apple will use turb to begin with. And of course SR will be out before Leopard.
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Why won't it work?

    Just like Apple can't make tweaks to OS X to make it more 64-bit capable when the MacBook Pro Core 2 and Mac Pro came out...

    How does the GPU matter?
  5. groove-agent thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2006
    Thanks for everyone's reply (and fast gosh dang it!) :)

    Pro Tools is extremely picky about the chipset that is in the machine. If you look at their system requirements, they even specify qualifying chipsets otherwise they wont support you. I've seen first hand what happens if you have a computer that doesn't meet their requirements, particularly when people cheap out and buy practically no-name computers to save money: the machines will spontaneously reboot when you launch the software. Of course, this is with PCs, but there's still a small chance that this software could not work under SR. This small chance could be a 4 month loss in productivity. This is a dangerous risk.

    You can definitely see differences in color reproduction, clarity etc between different GPUs (when i loosely use the term GPU, i'm referring to the entire video interface system). The differences are less these days however.

    Let's say that they do announce a new MBP at WWDC. There's no guarantee that they'll be shipping at that point, or have enough supply. You could be waiting even longer for a SRMBP.
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    So, out of curiosity... you sound pretty convinced. Why make the thread? Hoping someone will prove you wrong? ;)
  7. chex macrumors regular

    May 17, 2007
    of course they will work - its a hardware upgrade not an OS upgrade, it won't affect ability to run software *at all*

    I don't really believe the point about clarity, but I don't know much about it. The argument regarding nVidia is ridiculous.
  8. groove-agent thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2006
    I don't think I'm really convinced, but have some strong points to buy now. However, I'm sure everyone here has had that feeling of "darn, I should have simply waited x weeks for the new unit to come out".

    At this point, I think I'm going to wait. A previous poster mentioned that if a new SR MBP comes out, the predecessor will equal the educational discount. It's a little over a week away, and I don't think i'll have time to rebuild a notebook anyway.
  9. Tadros86 macrumors 6502


    Jan 29, 2007
    New Jersey
    I use ProTools on a PC!!!

    Um???? I USE Protools on a PC of all things, and one that I BUILT MYSELF in 2003, and it runs Protools fine, Protools is really picky, but mostly about where you save files and what OS you're using, not hardware, especially not brand new hardware that is faster, if anything it will work better then it does now. I am actually renovating my studio right now and waiting to re-open my doors for when I get my SR MBP. It's a project studio and I am running MPowered 7.1 but if MPowered works fine I expect Protools LE and HD to work just as well.
  10. vagarach macrumors member

    May 14, 2007
    There was a time when 2D display quality was definitely a point around which you made a purchase, with the matrox cards renowned for their 2D performance over 3dfx, nvidia, ati, and the rest.

    Nowadays that is not so much of an issue, but still, for quite a long time when it came to AA and AF, ATI/AMD had the quality advantage most of the time, whereas nvidia often went for speed rather than absolutely precise filtering, but with the 8xxx series the gap is very close.

    I highly, highly doubt that people can see differences in 2D display quality, but for sure, there are differences, although slight, in 3D render quality.

    People keep insisting santa rosa is a major upgrade or something, but it really isn't. Your programs will not suddenly break, heck, the reason they interface with APIs is so that they always run given the API is properly implemented on the hardware, which it will be.

    I say buy one now, use it, then return it and pay the restocking fee if new MBPs are released at WWDC.
  11. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    The display panel you're using will have a more significant impact on what you're seeing above all else. Even among the exact same models, Apple are known to use several panels from different manufacturers.
  12. groove-agent thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2006
    I disagree. Pro Tools is one of the few systems that actually lists specific "qualified" chipsets and processors and does not support PC hardware oustide these lists.

    Most of you probably recall the caveat regarding Pentium 4 hyperthreading. As a matter of fact, a colleague of mine was having serious problems because of the hyperthreading issue. If you still don't think that Protools is picky about hardware, see: http://www.digidesign.com/index.cfm?langid=100&navid=54&itemid=24211
  13. thegrandmaster macrumors regular


    Feb 3, 2007
    Upgrade not being very major?

    Unless we have an enclosure change (a big one) I don't think this one classifies as a 'big' update, putting the SR chipset in. When Apple went from CD to C2D they used it as an excuse to quietly fix some of the CD problems, and I think they might do the same thing now. So we get a better 'quality' laptop, since its on its 3rd revision.

    Well, hopefully anyway. :rolleyes:
  14. Vidd macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2006
    I'm pretty tired of people complaining about waiting until the next revision and 10.5.2+.
    If they release an update now, when does the next revision start, anyway?

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