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

MacBook Pro - 4gig Ram or Higher End CPU and Graphics Card


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convan23

 
Member Since: Nov 26, 2007
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I am looking to purchase a mbp because I do a lot of Video Editing, Media Design, Recording, and on top of that to be able to pop in a good game once in a while and start shooting.

My question is though, would I be better off buying the lowest end MBP and get 4 gigs of RAM, so my setup would be:
  • 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 4GB memory
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 128MB SDRAM
Or get the middle-line model so my setup would be:
  • 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 2GB memory
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 256MB SDRAM

Thanks for your input!,
Conrad
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JerrfyLube

 
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Member Since: Sep 22, 2007
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Id go with the 2.4...better video card and slightly faster processors almost always rule. Id be willing to bet that the 2.2 is on its way out the door here pretty quick since they came out with the 2.6.

And later down the road, you could always upgrade the RAM.
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kkrog

 
Member Since: Jan 18, 2007
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Hello,
To my knowledge the video card is exactly the same - only one has 256MB dedicated RAM? Would it not be "more or less" the same result just adding more main RAM, say 4GB?
Another thing to considor, planning on doing heavy video editing, would be the speed of the hard drive - 5400 rpm vs 7200 rpm...
Cheers
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Ricky55

 
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go for the faster cpu as you can upgrade the ram yourself and you can't the cpu.
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proxy

 
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Mac Specs: MacBook Pro 15", 2.4ghz C2D 4gb RAM,320gb WD Black 7.2k RPM. + iPhone 8Gb

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yer man i will go with what every one is saying ram can always be added later so get the best u can for your money add ram later
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bobtomay

 
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP 2.33 C2D 256 4GB, MBA 13" i7 1.8, MB 2.0 2GB, Nano 4th, 3GS, iPad 1

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I have the last generation 15" top end MBP with the 2.33Ghz.

With your main use being video editing, have to say I agree on the point kkrog makes in relation to upgrading to the 7200 rpm drive. I believe the 5400 is a definite bottleneck for encoding. My 3+ yr old P4 blows this thing away time wise for encoding. I'll know a little better towards the end of next month when I'll be upgrading the internal drive at the end of my standard warranty and will be posting back with timed results of the real world differences. You need to know up front, the hard drive in a MacBook Pro is not considered a user replaceable part and replacing it does void the warranty.

Upgrading RAM however is not "more or less" the same thing. Additional RAM will do nothing to help with a lack of Vram. If you want to just pop in that 3d game every once in awhile and not have any real concern - I don't know a gamer that wouldn't say - 256MB is the only way to go. If you're playing primarily 2d games the 128MB card is more than capable. Let this choice rule which processor you end up with.

Upgrading the RAM - always the more the better, but you're getting 2GB with either machine to start with and you do not want to upgrade your RAM from Apple. So just go with it and keep track of your useage after you get the machine. If you frequently are using 75% and above of your memory, that's the time to consider the upgrade. 4GB Kit when I checked this morning from Crucial was just over $150, cheap.

So, to sum up, my own recommendations for upgrading:
1) hard drive
2) video card
3) ram

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Ricky55

 
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I wouldn't put a fater hard disk though at the expense of the CPU, as even the hard disk can be upgraded later and cost less than buying from apple.
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tobywuk

 
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Mac Specs: Black macbook 2.16ghz 2GB Ram 160GB hdd | 8Gb Ipod Nano

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you cant upgread the CPU but you can upgread the RAM.. so i would say go with a higher CPU speed and then in the future if you need to you can just add RAM
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bobtomay

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky55 View Post
I wouldn't put a fater hard disk though at the expense of the CPU, as even the hard disk can be upgraded later and cost less than buying from apple.
Then in this case the specific options have not been carefully weighed.
My personal recommendation is always to first spend your money on the fastest processor you can afford. "Afford" is the key here. The basic budget parameters have been set by the OP in the two options he's provided in asking for advice. If money is not an issue, then by all means go for the MacPro with the quad 3.0Ghz processors.

We've also been provided with the primary uses for this system. The two different systems have either a 2.2Ghz or a 2.4Ghz CPU. We're talking here about less than a 10% actual speed difference between the two and only a 3-6% difference that will be seen in testing real time with any apps you may use.

On the other hand, for video encoding, the upgrade from a 5400 rpm drive to a 7200 rpm drive, the time savings seen can very well be in the 15-25% range. This makes the hard drive upgrade a much better expenditure within the budget.

And while it is true the hard drive can be upgraded later (and I am about to do just this), as I have already pointed out, doing so with a MacBook Pro voids your warranty.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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