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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > New MacBook Pro...which 15

New MacBook Pro...which 15
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Dell Switcher
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Mar 5, 2011, 08:47 AM
 
My 7 yr old PowerBook 15 G4 is about to crash. It has been great but I need to replace with new MacBook Pro 15. Which one 2.0GHz or 2.2 GHz? Is the 2.2 worth $400 more?

I will use MacBook Pro as backup/substitute to iMac 24 plus I will use mainly for photos (very few videos), financial records (MS Office), Internet browsing. I will not need larger hard drive but not sure if I need more powerful intel chip or the stronger AMD Radeon HD?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!
( Last edited by Dell Switcher; Mar 5, 2011 at 08:56 AM. )
Switcher and damn glad...with iMac and PB who would not be happy!
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 5, 2011, 01:05 PM
 
It sounds like it really doesn't matter to your usage.

Doubly so if you're still getting by with a PowerBook as an alternative to the 24" iMac.

Get the 2.0 and prepare to be completely blown away. Upgrade the hard drive yourself at a later date if you should run out of space or want an SSD at some point. It's easy to do.
     
CharlesS
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Mar 5, 2011, 01:59 PM
 
To my mind, the biggest improvement in the 2.2 model seems to be the GPU — its video card is a beefier model with 1 GB of VRAM instead of 256 MB. If your workflow is GPU dependent and you need the best possible performance on that front, get the 2.2. However, it sounds like you don't, so I agree with Spheric — even the 13" models would blow you away after being used to a G4, and the 2.0 GHz 15" will be incredible.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 5, 2011, 02:45 PM
 
I agree with CharlesS that the reason to select the 2.2 would be if you had need of the stronger GPU. As long as your "photos" work will involve iPhoto and not Aperture the 2.0 model should be great for you. Folks intending Aperture usage should spring for the 6750M GPU.

As a photo pro I strongly recommend the anti-glare display. Compare the two display choices at an Apple store, and include some sunny locations in your test viewing.

-Allen Wicks
     
Longwalker
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Mar 5, 2011, 09:08 PM
 
Hi SierraDragon, I read your post with great interest as I'm wanting to upgrade from a 2008 Core2Duo MBP to a new 15" MBP, the primary reason being that my 2008 model gets seriously bogged down when I use Aperture. I switched from iPhoto to Aperture a year ago and while I love the power of Aperture, I get very frustrated by its sluggishness.

I figured that either the 2.0 GHz or 2.2 GHz 15" MBP would run Aperture at essentially the same speed. Your comment implies otherwise. How does the 1 GB VRAM GPU help Aperture? It's not a 3D game, after all, so I'm not understanding how it benefits from the extra VRAM.

Any explanation you could offer would be great.

Thanks,
David
     
Longwalker
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Mar 5, 2011, 09:13 PM
 
Dell Switcher, It sounds like you're a PERFECT candidate for the 13" MBP since you have a 24" iMac already. The 13" has amazing performance, battery life, and quality (it's also a unibody aluminum model with backlit keyboard, big glass trackpad, etc) but it costs much less and weighs less.

See Apple MacBook Pro Winter 2011 Review - Watch CNET's Video Review
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 5, 2011, 11:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Longwalker View Post
How does the 1 GB VRAM GPU help Aperture? It's not a 3D game, after all, so I'm not understanding how it benefits...
Aperture has since v1 been heavily dependent on the strength of the GPU. Users have learned that empirically. I cannot quantify how much benefit the 6750M provides over the 6490M except to say that in the past even the strongest towers have significant improvement in Aperture performance when strong graphics cards were added.

-Allen Wicks
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 5, 2011, 11:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Longwalker View Post
Dell Switcher, It sounds like you're a PERFECT candidate for the 13" MBP...
Only if one wants to give up a huge amount of screen real estate and pixels, and accept having a glossy display. Definitely not a choice I would make.

For someone willing to sacrifice screen real estate and pixels for reduced weight I recommend waiting to see the MBA refresh. Apple may even offer anti-glare displays.

-Allen
     
Mojo
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Mar 6, 2011, 06:46 PM
 
TechRestore offers an anti-glare LCD for the 13" MBP that costs the same as the Apple upgrade for the 15": TechRestore Anti-Glare Upgrade. Ordering page: http://www.techrestore.com/mac/mbp-unibody-repair.shtml

I was hoping that Apple would start offering a BTO anti-glare option for the MBP 13". But since that doesn't appear to be in the cards TechRestore is a viable option for people who want the smaller MBP without a "glassy" screen...

BTW, TR has announced that an anti-glare screen will soon be available for the MacBook Air models.
     
Ham Sandwich
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Mar 6, 2011, 07:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
the 2.0 model should be great for you. Folks intending Aperture usage should spring for the 6750M GPU.

As a photo pro I strongly recommend the anti-glare display. Compare the two display choices at an Apple store, and include some sunny locations in your test viewing.
[1] Having the better GPU will pay off in a few years down the road, but it's already a modestly fast machine as it is, so partly agreed.

[2] Photo pros should be using 8-bit or 10-bit displays.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Mar 6, 2011, 08:23 PM
 
No one seems to have mentioned that pretty much any of the new MBPs are going to make your 24" iMac feel pretty slow as well.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
P
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Mar 7, 2011, 07:39 AM
 
Only if it is an SSD model. The basic HDs in the MBPs will still hurt them compared to the full 3.5" drive in the iMac.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 7, 2011, 06:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Andrej View Post
...Photo pros should be using 8-bit or 10-bit displays.
Heh; I wish. It was hard enough convincing Apple to make matte displays available on the high end.

-Allen
     
   
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