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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?" :)

To MBP or not to


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killerbob

 
Member Since: Jul 30, 2011
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Mac Specs: MBP 13in 2010, MacMini 2009, Ipad2 64gb wifi, Iphone4 32gb

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My Old trusty 2007 HP 17 inch - by then - high-end notebook is on death row...

So to preserve my HUGE pile of documents and software I have converted the entire machine with VMware and now it is running on my wifes MacBook Pro 13in

Eventually I want a new 17in Notebook and after having played with my wifes MBP I am totally convinced it will be a Mac

But then I saw recommendation on Macrumors.com NOT to buy current MBP's as they are supposed to be "end of life"

On the other hand - the only thing I would like to see on the current MBP 17in is a Blu-Ray reader/burner- but I don't even know if Apple will put Blu-Ray on the next generation or not ... I mean they have had plenty of time and opportunity to do this - but have chosen not to -so it is probably political

I guess I can "live in exile" on my wifes MBP for a while, so waiting a few months could be an option ... On the other hand I want a new 17 pretty soon

So - question is: To MBP NOW or WAIT ?
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cwa107

 
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Despite Macrumors' recommendation, I doubt you'll see any updates outside of minor speed bumps in clock frequency. The current model is using absolutely state-of-the-art components and I don't expect an update until Intel's "Ivy Bridge" chips show up next year.

I also don't think you'll ever see a Blu-Ray drive in a Mac. In fact, I think it's unlikely that next generation models will have optical drives at all. They are (sadly, IMO) being cast off in favor of flash drives and digital downloads - and if you think about the iTunes Music Store, Apple has little interest in keeping the optical drive around.

My advice is (as I have stated many times here) - buy the machine you need when you need it. It will continue to serve those needs LONG after an updated model comes out.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Hemmingway

 
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Member Since: Jul 19, 2011
Location: Desert
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Mac Specs: MacBook Pro 15", i7 2GHz Quad Core, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD, OS X 10.7.1 - iPhone 3GS

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Hi killerbob. I was a victim of cheap HP technology too and went through 2 of them over the course of 3 years, including needing to go out for warranty repair to have the mainboard and HD replaced on both. Both of which a month later when I got them back still had problems such as a video card that failed 6 months later, the quicklaunch buttons and touchpad failed, inverter failed, LCD bulb burned out and on my 17" with the full size keyboard I had to use the onscreen keyboard to turn on the numlock and be able to use the right side of my keyboard. If I had a promiscuous computer and surfing habits I likely would have just given both a high velocity lead scan out in the middle of the desert.

I have not looked back on my decision for a MBP but am planning to have my next upgrade be 17" as I just cannot get enough Mac as much as I love my MBP!

As a recently saved user, I cannot profess to be a guru but I think you may have been looking at threads related to the prior release of the current MBP line that dropped the Core processors and changed the video card architecture with a few other little changes. One of the changes sure to please is the addition of the Thunderbolt port which should provide not only your full BluRay performance but much more with twice the bus speed of USB 3.0. With the new line basically just released it is unlikely that they would be retired and replaced anytime soon, but again I am no expert nor do I have inside information. In all honesty the pursuit of the latest and greatest for electronics in this day in age is a wild goose chase. A MBP however will regardless stay at the top of the pack and with the pack for a long time to come, IMO.

With peripheral connection options fully covered you should be able to shop for your MBP that matches all your wants and needs. I am sure it will not take long for the long time hardened gurus to confirm that your MBP will be long lasting and stable enough that you will enjoy it for a long time, unlike rice paper HPs.
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killerbob

 
Member Since: Jul 30, 2011
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Hey Both .... Thanks for your input ... I guess I'll have to go for it then ... Just a few choices: To antiglare or not, to 7200rpm or not and to 8gb ram or not...

Must however say that my HP NW 9440 have been good to me - haven't let me down even though it have been turned on and used intensively for 12-14 hours per day in 4 years.. I have been shaking it a lot too- riding 20.000 miles over the years with it in the tour-pak of my Harley-Davidson...

But it was not cheap either - paid more for it than I'll have to for a new MBP 17 in today. So it was from their "professional" series - not the more common consumer-junk intended to last 1 day more than the warranty period
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killerbob View Post
Hey Both .... Thanks for your input ... I guess I'll have to go for it then ... Just a few choices: To antiglare or not, to 7200rpm or not and to 8gb ram or not...
If glare bothers you on displays generally, then you probably ought to opt for the anti-glare screen. The MacBook Pro line has a very reflective glass panel that tends to be more reflective than normal glossy LCD panels.

It's up to you on the RAM and drive, but I would say that both are a fairly easy upgrade on your own and can be done much more cost-effectively than by going with Apple's build-to-order options.

Quote:
Must however say that my HP NW 9440 have been good to me - haven't let me down even though it have been turned on and used intensively for 12-14 hours per day in 4 years.. I have been shaking it a lot too- riding 20.000 miles over the years with it in the tour-pak of my Harley-Davidson...

But it was not cheap either - paid more for it than I'll have to for a new MBP 17 in today. So it was from their "professional" series - not the more common consumer-junk intended to last 1 day more than the warranty period
HP's high-end machines do tend to be pretty well built. As you've noted, if you buy a $500 laptop, you tend to get what you've paid for.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
QUOTE Thanks
Hemmingway

 
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cwa107 has this covered.

My first laptop from HP I actually spent more on than my current MBP and since I ordered it online and fully loaded it, it came fresh from China with only the packing label being in English. I honestly thought being high end it would do better. My 17" was about the cost of my MBP after doing my own upgrades and it was still garbage. Even if I got the unlucky low chances of back to back lemons, it was enough to sour me on HP for life for any of their attempts at products.

The documentation you will get with your new MBP ("Everything Mac") includes great information on your device, including the upgrade instructions you need to be comfortable enough to do your own upgrades if you can turn a screwdriver. I completely agree with cwa107 when it comes to saving on upgrades you can do yourself, like memory.
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killerbob

 
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Hi ...

It's all about quality control and documentation - even MacBooks are made in China

One question on the memory: As I understand it the MBP has room for TWO memory modules. So when you get it stock with 4gb ram it will actually be 2x2gb ... And if you want to upgrade later you will have to remove the 2x2 and replace with 2x4 ... RIGHT ??

So even though Apple charges more for RAM than you can get it for here and there - they DO deduct the price for 2x2 in the price for 2x4 ... So isn't it actually cheaper to buy with 2x4 from apple than to upgrade later ??

Antiglare / Not antiglare : I will have to go to a Apple store to see for myself

As for the disk - I guess I'll go 500gb/7200 with the plan to replace it with a 500gb SSD when prices have dropped some - simply too expensive to my liking even aftermarket DIY
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cwa107

 
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Member Since: Dec 20, 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killerbob View Post
Hi ...

It's all about quality control and documentation - even MacBooks are made in China

One question on the memory: As I understand it the MBP has room for TWO memory modules. So when you get it stock with 4gb ram it will actually be 2x2gb ... And if you want to upgrade later you will have to remove the 2x2 and replace with 2x4 ... RIGHT ??
Yes, that's true. My 15" i7 model came with 2x4GB modules, which I later replaced with 2x4GB modules (purchased from OWC, since Crucial didn't sell that type at the time). I believe that cost me a whopping $115, just a few weeks after I took delivery of my machine. I don't recall what Apple was charging for the upgrade when I ordered the machine, but as I recall, it was significantly more expensive.

Quote:
So even though Apple charges more for RAM than you can get it for here and there - they DO deduct the price for 2x2 in the price for 2x4 ... So isn't it actually cheaper to buy with 2x4 from apple than to upgrade later ??
That may be the case now - I'm honestly not sure as prices have fluctuated since March when I bought mine. It's easy enough to find out though - just configure the machine online, figure out what the premium is and then compare it to what you can get it for on otherworldcomputing.com or crucial.com

Quote:
Antiglare / Not antiglare : I will have to go to a Apple store to see for myself
That is a very good idea. I will say that I LOVE glossy displays in general. I bought my first MacBook Pro refurbished back in 2006 and it had a matte display. I absolutely hated it, always felt that it looked "washed out" and opted for the glossy option when I got my next MacBook Pro (early 2008). That display was considerably better, but it was a typical gloss-coated LCD panel.

My 2011 MBP has the glass overlay that is typical of "unibody" MacBooks and it can be intolerable at times. I nearly always see my own reflection - and it can be distracting. So, take it from someone who is usually a "glossy fan" - the MBP's glossy panel is pushing the limits of usability. Yes, it can be titled and manipulated to alleviate the concern, but it's not ideal (although it looks pretty, from a design perspective).

Quote:
As for the disk - I guess I'll go 500gb/7200 with the plan to replace it with a 500gb SSD when prices have dropped some - simply too expensive to my liking even aftermarket DIY
That's me in a nutshell. I opted for the standard 500GB 5400rpm drive and thought I'd wait for SSDs to drop. Then I received my MBP, fresh from the factory with a *Toshiba* HDD, of all things. In my opinion, Toshiba is second only to Samsung in terms of unreliable HDDs. Even though I religiously back up, I couldn't rest easy until it was gone. I replaced it with a 7200rpm Hitachi drive that cost me less than $80 (as I recall). Well worth the added peace of mind (at least to me) and a substantial performance boost to boot.

I'm waiting for a 240GB+ drive in the $300 range. I suspect it will be quite some time (maybe even longer than it will take before I tire of this MBP and trade up for the next iteration).

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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killerbob

 
Member Since: Jul 30, 2011
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Mac Specs: MBP 13in 2010, MacMini 2009, Ipad2 64gb wifi, Iphone4 32gb

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OK checked it out ---- 2x4gb DDR3 1333 mhz is ... well there is a lot - but it is under 100 dollars, where Apple charges almost 300 dollars for the 8gb upgrade .. So that is a no-brainer (at least in my local prices)

As for the HDD I have no idea what brand Apple puts in there - but standard I have to choose between 750gb 5400 rpm and 500 gb 7200 rpm - and as I probably "never" will have use for 750 gb and prefer the added performance of the 7200 rpms, - that is pretty much a no-brainer too.. As for the SSD ... time will tell if they come in reasonable price range for the larger drives
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Backdoctor

 
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I looked at the bottom of a macbook pro, and mine is on the way. The thing looks like its sealed well. Is it easy enough to open up and put in ram? If so, I plan to upgrade on my own. Have done so before, and if its like a pc its no big deal..

Now if I wanted to put in a larger/faster HD, how big a pita is that? Is there a way to image the drive and move it over to a new one?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemmingway View Post
cwa107 has this covered.

My first laptop from HP I actually spent more on than my current MBP and since I ordered it online and fully loaded it, it came fresh from China with only the packing label being in English. I honestly thought being high end it would do better. My 17" was about the cost of my MBP after doing my own upgrades and it was still garbage. Even if I got the unlucky low chances of back to back lemons, it was enough to sour me on HP for life for any of their attempts at products.

The documentation you will get with your new MBP ("Everything Mac") includes great information on your device, including the upgrade instructions you need to be comfortable enough to do your own upgrades if you can turn a screwdriver. I completely agree with cwa107 when it comes to saving on upgrades you can do yourself, like memory.
QUOTE Thanks
cwa107

 
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Member Since: Dec 20, 2006
Location: Middletown, Pennsylvania
Posts: 26,481
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backdoctor View Post
I looked at the bottom of a macbook pro, and mine is on the way. The thing looks like its sealed well. Is it easy enough to open up and put in ram? If so, I plan to upgrade on my own. Have done so before, and if its like a pc its no big deal..

Now if I wanted to put in a larger/faster HD, how big a pita is that? Is there a way to image the drive and move it over to a new one?
Once you open that panel (and it is fairly simple to remove, just make sure you pry at it with something soft, like a credit card so that you don't gouge the aluminum), you'll have complete, unfettered access to the guts - including the hard drive. The hardest part is getting the right bit for your precision screw driver. You'll need a "00" bit. If it's too big or too small, it will easily strip the screws.

If you've ever worked on a laptop before, you'll find it surprisingly easy to get at everything and do what you need to do. They really made it easy with the Unibody MacBook Pro (older models were a bit more of a chore to get at).

More info (completely repair guides) are available on iFixit: The free repair manual

Also note that either upgrade does not affect your warranty at all. Both HDDs and RAM are considered "user serviceable" in this model.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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