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

Serious help on getting a new Macbook Pro


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anonymust

 
Member Since: Sep 20, 2010
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Looking at the specs of the 2011 Macbook Pro's (Intel i7 Core) got me all confused..

The 13inch has the fastest processor (2.7GHz) but its dual-core and not quad-core
Also the 13 inch (Intel i7), doesn't have that extra "AMD Radeon HD" graphics card.

My Questions are:

1)- What are the benifits/difference between dual-core and quad-core? (shouldn't a quad-core be faster than a dual-core?)

2)- What are the benifits of having the "AMD Radeon HD"? (I'm not a gamer, but I do like to watch movies in 720p or 1080p, but watching HighDef movies on a battery powered laptop might suck, [I'd rather watch it on my 42" Plasma at home.] So Is the graphics card worth it for me?) (P.s I currently watch 720p and 1080p on my MacBook 3,1 [Late 2007 model] and it all seems crisp to me)

3)- The Macbook Pro's that come with the "AMD Radeon HD", can the memeory/processor in that grapic card be used to power the laptop and make it go faster? (i forgot the term for this when u make use of the resrouces in the GPU)

4)- Can I buy my own 1TB, 2.5" Harddrive and easily replace it with what ever drive I get with my Macbook? ( I heard that I might have difficulties when installing OS X on a fresh new (unformatted) hard-drive, with the Original OSX install disc)

5)- Are you a MacBook owner? And how long have you had your MacBook for, I bought a second hand one about a year ago, I would like to know what's the average life span of a MacBook... Would like to make this purchase an 4 to 5 year investment.
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StMFA

 
Member Since: Jun 06, 2011
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1) Non-Tech version: Lets put it this way- the dual-core one is clocked faster because it has only two cores. Effectively you get about 5.4 GHz total processing power if you're maxing the processor. Witht he quad-core you have 4 cores at about 2-2.3 GHz- so effectively you get about 8-9.2 GHz total processing speed.

Technical version: The dual-core vs. quad-core is how many threads your computer can process at any one time. The i7's also have the added feature of hyper-threading, meaning it actually vitualizes another 4 cores so you can technically process up to 8 threads at once. Basically, for something programmed to use multiple threads, this set up can dramatically speed up a computer. Problem is the software is just starting to really get off the ground with this sort of computing.

2) The AMD discrete card will speed up your computer naturally because all the graphics processes will be handled by it instead of the cpu. However, the new intel processors actually have built in gpus on the processor itself, and the new MBP's that have the AMD cards will automatically switch betweent he two depending on demand: this maximizes your battery life. Also the AMD cards are incredibly efficient to begin with.

3) not sure what you mean by this but sounds like what i said above takes care of it.

4)Yes- see here
http://support.apple.com/kb/index?pa....searchresults

5) No I don't, but I have a lot of friends that do, and unless you're a serious photo/video/audio editor or a gamer, the computer should last you at least 4-5 years for everyday tasks (mail, internet, movies, music, documents)
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Banshee365

 
Member Since: Feb 24, 2011
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It appears to me that the 15" and higher MBP's got the higher upgrades while the 13" still has a bit of room for improvement. However the size of the 13" is very appealing to a lot of people. What are you planning to use your MBP for? Are you going to be using a lot of processing power? You may want the current MBP line-up's size to be a deciding factor more than the higher power of the 15". If you could use the 13's smaller size easier than the 15" then you would be fine with the dual-core 13" models power.

Personally we have the 15" model. We prefer the larger screen size while the computer size is still very portable. If you're looking for a desktop replacement then you may lean more towards the 15". But if you want the most portability yet still want to do photo/video editing etc... the 13" would be fine. You may see performances differences in high end 3D modeling but short of that they will both perform well.

We also bought our 2011 15" for the long term and there are certain things to help you make your machine last 5+ years. MBP's are famous for printing the key's onto the screen when the lid is closed. This happens regardless of if there is pressure present or not. I can attest to that with our new MBP. We ordered a Screensaver and sleeve for Radtech. MacBook Screen Protector, LCD Display Cleaner, Keyboard Cover for MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, PowerBook, iBook & PC This material lay's over the keyboard and protects the screen when the lid is closed. Applecare is also a must if you plan to keep your MBP for several years. The machine is very expensive and the extended support is cheap in comparison. It is also very affordable with the student discount, if you are a student of course.
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CrimsonRequiem

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banshee365 View Post
It appears to me that the 15" and higher MBP's got the higher upgrades while the 13" still has a bit of room for improvement. However the size of the 13" is very appealing to a lot of people. What are you planning to use your MBP for? Are you going to be using a lot of processing power? You may want the current MBP line-up's size to be a deciding factor more than the higher power of the 15". If you could use the 13's smaller size easier than the 15" then you would be fine with the dual-core 13" models power.

Personally we have the 15" model. We prefer the larger screen size while the computer size is still very portable. If you're looking for a desktop replacement then you may lean more towards the 15". But if you want the most portability yet still want to do photo/video editing etc... the 13" would be fine. You may see performances differences in high end 3D modeling but short of that they will both perform well.

We also bought our 2011 15" for the long term and there are certain things to help you make your machine last 5+ years. MBP's are famous for printing the key's onto the screen when the lid is closed. This happens regardless of if there is pressure present or not. I can attest to that with our new MBP. We ordered a Screensaver and sleeve for Radtech. MacBook Screen Protector, LCD Display Cleaner, Keyboard Cover for MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, PowerBook, iBook & PC This material lay's over the keyboard and protects the screen when the lid is closed. Applecare is also a must if you plan to keep your MBP for several years. The machine is very expensive and the extended support is cheap in comparison. It is also very affordable with the student discount, if you are a student of course.
If and when they do manage to get a discrete gpu into a 13" MBP I'll be the first in line for one. I doubt it will happen any time soon because then it would kind of make the 15" MBP not as attractive. An extra 2" is hardly an incentive to buy it over the 13" MBP if it had the same specs.

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Dysfunction

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonRequiem View Post
If and when they do manage to get a discrete gpu into a 13" MBP I'll be the first in line for one. I doubt it will happen any time soon because then it would kind of make the 15" MBP not as attractive. An extra 2" is hardly an incentive to buy it over the 13" MBP if it had the same specs.
Exactly, this is the reason I went with the 15". That and the matte panel option.

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anonymust

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dysfunction View Post
Exactly, this is the reason I went with the 15". That and the matte panel option.
Hey! that bring up another good point to me

What kind of screen does the 2011 Macbook Pro's have?

Matte?
or
Glossy?
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chscag

 
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Glossy. The matte screen is special order on the 15" and 17" models for an additional $150.00. You can also order the Hi-Res screen on the 15" and 17" models. Apple stores generally do not carry the matte screen option but sometimes have the Hi-Res version in stock.
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Dysfunction

 
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and the matte only comes in hi-res.

mike
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Got # ? phear the command line!
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dmccloud

 
Member Since: Aug 30, 2009
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This is actually my second 13" MBP. I have found that (on the Mac side) the 13.3" works just as well for me as a 15.4" on the Windows side. Since I won't be using this machine for gaming, the videocard really wasn't a factor in my decision. But this machine will work just fine for website design, updating and maintaining my website, and general purpose internet usage. If I want to game, I have a 6-core desktop I can use...

-------------------------------------------------
15" Retina MacBook Pro (Late 2013)
2.6 GHz Core i7 | 16GB | 1TB SSD | OS X Mavericks 10.9.3
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heymynamesrick

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
Apple stores generally do not carry the matte screen option but sometimes have the Hi-Res version in stock.
Don't know if I'm the exception to the rule, but I bought a 15" MBP with a matte screen directly from the store. They had both the entry level and high end version in all three screen options.
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chscag

 
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You were fortunate that they had one in stock. As I stated previously, they generally do not carry them in the store. The exception (as I've been told) is that the very large and busy stores (downtown New York City) stock pretty much everything that can be purchased on line. I don't know that for a fact though - it's been years since I've visited NYC.
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