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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Just how big of an upgrade is the new graphics card in the new 13" MBP?


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cammyfive

 
Member Since: Jun 19, 2009
Location: Florence, AL
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Mac Specs: iBook G4 12" 1.33Ghz/512mb.....MacBook Air 13" i5/4GB/128GB SSD

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Let me qualify this by relating it to me directly. I plan on using a new computer for what many of you would consider 'very light' tasks such as checking email, web surfing, YouTube watching, photo sharing, word processing....you know all the things the iPad is for. I'll be 'upgrading' from a most ancient Celeron equipped 5+ year old Toshiba Satellite so literally anything new will, I'm sure, blow me away. I'm now currently (check back tomorrow to see where I'm at, I'm sure) looking into the just released 13" MPB base model (2.4GHZ Core 2) with the standard integrated graphics card. I'm pretty computer illiterate other than knowing that bigger numbers are generally better! I will NEVER 'game' on this machine (not into all of that) and will just use it over the next several years on the tasks I already mentioned. My question is this: are discrete graphics cards really that useful to someone in my position? Would a 'better' graphics card make a difference in me watching HD videos on YouTube, for example? With my education discount, I can get into the base 13" for around $1200.00 or so with tax whereas to do a 'major upgrade' I almost have to double that to get discrete graphics and an i7 in the 15" which would be at the extreme end of my budget. I'd like to pocket that money and max out the RAM on the 13" and eventually do a SSD. Any opinions???
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benparko

 
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Member Since: Feb 24, 2010
Location: Australia
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For the tasks you have mentioned.... Why would you "max out the RAM on the 13" and eventually do a SSD"??? So many people think they need the best specs to have a good computer! You would actually be fine with a MacBook rather than a MacBook Pro. I'm also looking at upgrading from my June 2009 MacBook Pro 15" to the 15" i7. But I use more heavy programs like VMWare Fusion (to run Windows7 when writting code), Flash, and Photoshop. If you are just web browsing and typing up documents, a MacBook would do the job and at just $999, why wouldn't you? Don't go spending $2400 on the i7.

That's just my opinion. I used to work as an IT Support Engineer for a games development company and nearly every user always wanted the best specs and 99% o the time they didn't need it. Buy a computer for your needs, not your desires!

All the best mate. Hope it all works out for you.

-Ben

Tigers love pepper... they hate cinnamon
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Kevin6432

 
Member Since: Feb 10, 2008
Location: Dallas, but school in Arkansas
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I think will be perfectly satisfied with it if you don't plan on games. It is powerful enough to play 1080p video, so that computer should last a very long time. As for upgrading RAM and HDD, don't do that. Wait a few years until you need to and order some RAM off newegg and maybe a SSD when the prices come down. Never upgrade specs on your computer from Apple! They will charge way too much...

Having said that... I think a base 13" will do just fine!

15 inch MacBook Pro 2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo w/ 3GB ram and 160GB 7200 RPM HDD.
Apple OS-X Snow Leopard / Boot Camp - Windows XP
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cammyfive

 
Member Since: Jun 19, 2009
Location: Florence, AL
Posts: 25
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Mac Specs: iBook G4 12" 1.33Ghz/512mb.....MacBook Air 13" i5/4GB/128GB SSD

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Thanks for the clear thinking, gents! I think I probably came down with a case of 'get whatever the best is at the time'. I agree, even the most lowly white MacBook would be so far ahead of where I'm at now but I'm inclined to go with the aluminum 13" MBP for longevity and appearance reasons if nothing else. Thanks for helping keep some of my money....and put it towards a huge external monitor or something else...like groceries..haha.
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benparko

 
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Member Since: Feb 24, 2010
Location: Australia
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP i5 4GB DDR3, 500GB HDD 7200 + iPhone 4 32GB iOS4.1

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Haha. Yeah mate I think the MacBook Pro 13" base model would be great for you. Thy look a lot nicer I think than the MacBook. As Kevin6432 said, don't uprade parts with Mac at the Apple store. Shop at places like NewEgg or at OWC. And I don't really think you will need a solid state drive for a while. Even when the prices do come down. An remember if you want an external monitor, you don't always have to buy an Apple monitor. Dell make great monitors for a lot cheaper.

See you round mate.

Peace

Tigers love pepper... they hate cinnamon
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Doug b

 
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Seriously ? Apple actually made a MacBook for the needs you've stated. You don't even need a MBP, whatsoever. If I were in your shoes, I'd save the $ and get a MacBook, unless you hate white.

Doug

Edit: Didn't see your last statement. Ok, MBP it is then I guess.
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benparko

 
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Member Since: Feb 24, 2010
Location: Australia
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP i5 4GB DDR3, 500GB HDD 7200 + iPhone 4 32GB iOS4.1

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Yeah I also agree, but he said it's about the appearance. Which I agree, the MacBook Pros look way better than the MacBook. A base model MacBook Pro isn't a bad option for him.

EDIT: LOL I didn't see your edit! haha.

Tigers love pepper... they hate cinnamon
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