I am currently trying to decide whether to go for the 13" or the 15" Macbook Pro. It basically comes down to the following differences:
13" Macbook Pro
15" Macbook Pro
500 GB hard drive
750 GB hard drive
2.7 GHz dual core i7
2.2 GHz quad core i7
Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics
Intel HD 3000 + AMD Radeon 1GB graphics card
To be honest, I don't really care if the screen is bigger or it weighs more, I'm just wondering whether, as a typical astro student dealing with large visualised data cubes, I'll notice the presence of a dedicated graphics card more than a faster CPU. And whether, since I tend to have a million windows open at once, it'd be better to have a slow quad core because the total processing power available is higher.
Also, there is an optional upgrade on the 15" to 2.3 GHz processor for $270 which seems a bit extreme for only 100 MHz of processing and a slightly better CPU - thoughts?
The cost difference is about $1000 which is pretty steep hence my hesitation. Any insight people could offer based on their own experience or knowledge about hardware specs would be great! Thanks
p.s. This is not intended to be a Mac vs. PC vs. Linux war thread starter!
Last Edit: Apr 10, 2011 19:46:59 GMT 10 by rhobslein
Post by geoffgrimwood on Mar 13, 2011 7:54:54 GMT 10
I just purchased the Macbook Pro 15" with the new i7 core quad 2.2GHz chip. I pimped it out to 8GB RAM and with the faster 7200rpm drive (but 500GB instead of 750GB). I went 15" because I wanted the grunt of a quad CPU. It only arrived the other day so I haven't installed the necessary software and stressed it out.
As noted the extra 100MHz of CPU speed doesn't seem worth it.
I was waiting for Lenovo to bring out the new i7 top end W and T series machines and install Linux. But couldn't be bothered waiting any longer. I'm sure they will be brilliant and probably cheaper than the Macs but not be much once customised. With the current HP range it appears you need to go 17" to get the fast chips, may as well be lugging around a mainframe.
Thanks for your input! I also went for the 15" in the end. I tend to have a lot of programs running or virtual machines going so the extra CPU processing and maximum memory will help out with that. Didn't end up going for the extra 100 MHz, I found it insulting for the price lol - but it's worth noting that it's also a different kind of chip with 8 MB L3 cache instead of 6MB. Whether this actually makes a noticeable difference is beyond me. I wasn't sure about the 7200 rpm hard drive (another factor to consider!) because I probably won't be accessing too many large data files directly from my computer. Would be interesting to hear how you find it! Read that the boot time and basic opening times of things is much faster. I probably should have looked more into the Linux options, but I've been really happy with my current Macbook because it handles multiple operating systems so well so I don't feel like I'm really missing anything. Well, perhaps some money..
Anyway hope your new MBP serves you well! I'm waiting for mine to arrive
p.s. Jazza - I hadn't looked much into the ATNF policy on computers but I know they definitely take them back at the end and even though I'd probably be okay for them to acquire it after 3 years of PhD-torturing, I think I'd still be attached to the little guy... >.< thanks for suppressing your anti-Mac tendencies as much as you could