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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Which 15" MacBook Pro? Help!


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BrushyHillGuide

 
Member Since: Feb 25, 2011
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My 15" MacBook Pro got stolen around Christmas and I recently got a check from the insurance to replace it. With the new models coming out, I waited till now. Looking at the new benchmarks (check out the link below to view them) I'm pretty glad I waited!

But now the hard part - picking which one! I could sure use some help! Here's a list of some of the stuff I'll be using the computer for; aside from web surfing, email and other basic tasks.

1. I do a LOT of Photoshop work but the stuff I do is not enormously in-depth and probably only mid-range in terms of how processor/graphics intensive it is.

2. I occasionally do some CAD drawing.

3. I'm wanting to get into video editing for personal use and some semi-professional use. I will certainly not be editing full length movies, but more like 5-20 minute videos with very little special effects. Mostly just splicing video clips and audio clips, adding some background music and title/credit pages. But I'd like to have a computer that could adequately handle it if I got pretty into it. I do know that, if I wanted to go professional with the video editing, I would need to get a more powerful and dedicated machine; but that's down the road and not what I'm looking for now.

I'm leaning towards the 15" with the 2.0 quad core i7 and then upgrading to 8gb of RAM, the high res screen and (possibly) the 750gb HD. Or would I be better off with upgrading to the faster (7200rpm) HD?

I can afford the 2.0 model with the upgrades but not the 2.3 i7 model with any upgrades.

Here are the benchmarks I mentioned earlier:
MacBook Pro Benchmarks (Early 2011)
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chscag

 
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I kind of think you already know which one you'll get. Stay within the bounds of the insurance check and don't look back. You can always do a hard drive and memory upgrade yourself later on.
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IvanLasston

 
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I noticed they dropped the price of RAM to $200. Note that OWC has 8GB for $114 but you have to install it yourself. (It's really easy)
Apple MacBook Pro DDR3 1333MHz 8GB Memory Upgrades and Drive Upgrades - Up to 8.0GB of RAM and 1.0TB SATA Drives for Apple MacBook Pro 13", 15", and 17" 2011 Models

If you are doing video editing I'd recommend a 7200 RPM drive - which again you can do yourself. Consider this - get the 500GB 5400 RPM - and get an OWC 500GB 7200 RPM plus a drive cage $87
DIY KIT: 500GB 7200RPM HD for MacBook,... (OWCYST9500420AS) at OWC
then you have the 500 GB as an external drive. It is what I did with my Mac.

I'd also recommend the high res screen if you are doing cad work.

So it would be $300 to let Apple do the upgrades vs $202 dollars to do it yourself - plus getting at least another 500GB of external storage right off the bat.

I would recommend the 2.0GHz with upgrades unless you know you have some CPU intensive stuff. Everything you mentioned is more RAM intensive expect for Video (and depending on what type of CAD)
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chas_m

 
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I have to point out that everything you said you want to do, I am already doing on a 2007 Black MacBook (not MacBook Pro) with no issues (I am, however, using an older version of Photoshop -- CS3 -- as its better suited to this machine's limited graphic abilities).

So, in a nutshell, ANY of the current models (or even recent models!) will be able to handle this.
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the8thark

 
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Yes the 7200 drive option from Apple has less space in it then the 5400 one. But they are the same price. And secondly external hard drives are not that expensive these days. Simply from having the OS a little zippier I would recommend the 7200 option every day over the 5400. That's just my opinion.
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wolfpuppies3

 
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Which is what I did with my October 2010 MBPro 15" I opted then for the 7200 500 gig drive, better screen, fastest processor, and 8 gig of RAM. I am now moving all my photos (300 gig) off the HD and onto an external for day to day use.
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