Macbook Pro 15 + ACD or MBP 17

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Hi, I am new here, and am about to buy my first Mac.



I am divided between a Macbook Pro 15" with the new Apple Cinema Display or

a Macbook Pro 17".



The computer will be used for just about everything;

watching movies, music, browsing.

Also I will do development. for web/iphone/Mac/Windows.



Thank You.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jabberwock View Post


    Hi, I am new here, and am about to buy my first Mac.



    I am divided between a Macbook Pro 15" with the new Apple Cinema Display or

    a Macbook Pro 17".



    The computer will be used for just about everything;

    watching movies, music, browsing.

    Also I will do development. for web/iphone/Mac/Windows.



    Thank You.



    Option 3: MacBook + ACD.



    Could save you some simolians.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    meh, would like some graphics performance, I ocasionally game, and since this will be my only computer would like it to lean on the stronger side.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jabberwock View Post


    meh, would like some graphics performance, I ocasionally game, and since this will be my only computer would like it to lean on the stronger side.



    Well the MBPs have dedicated graphics( I know you know this), so its better than the Macbook but the 9400m is actually as good as the dedicated graphics on my 2006 MBP which has an ATI x1600.



    Hopefully Marvin will chime in as he has done some gaming benchmarks on his mini which has the 9400m and can speak to the capabilities of the 9400m better than I can.



    But the takeaway is that light gaming can be done with the 9400m. Whether or not that good enough for you I can't say.



    IMO, the only reason to get a MBP over the 2.4 ghz MacBook is if you DON'T intend on using an external monitor. The only other advantage the MBP has is a FW port.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,436moderator
    The 9400M is decent for gaming but it depends on what you want your gaming experience to be and which games. If it's the absolute high end that includes Crysis, the 9400M won't do. If it's just to be able to play modern games, the 9400M is very capable of it.



    The MBP also has firewire 800, which is a very useful addition for a main computer when picking out a backup drive and expresscard gives you esata options. They have backlit keyboards too.



    I'd personally go for the lowest 15" MBP and external display, max out the Ram.



    The matte option 17" is appealing but only for the matte option. I've never thought a 17" laptop was a good idea. I know someone who has one and it's just far too big. If it's going to sit on a desk all the time fair enough but the cost is much higher and a 15" + display gives you more screen space anyway.



    You can't upgrade the 17" model yourself either. They sealed the battery in it. I'm not sure about the ram and HD. The 15" is very easy to upgrade/replace Ram, HD and battery.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    The 9400M is decent for gaming but it depends on what you want your gaming experience to be and which games. If it's the absolute high end that includes Crysis, the 9400M won't do. If it's just to be able to play modern games, the 9400M is very capable of it.



    The MBP also has firewire 800, which is a very useful addition for a main computer when picking out a backup drive and expresscard gives you esata options. They have backlit keyboards too.



    I'd personally go for the lowest 15" MBP and external display, max out the Ram.



    The matte option 17" is appealing but only for the matte option. I've never thought a 17" laptop was a good idea. I know someone who has one and it's just far too big. If it's going to sit on a desk all the time fair enough but the cost is much higher and a 15" + display gives you more screen space anyway.



    You can't upgrade the 17" model yourself either. They sealed the battery in it. I'm not sure about the ram and HD. The 15" is very easy to upgrade/replace Ram, HD and battery.



    Right on cue. Thanks.



    Oddly enough I thought you'd also suggest a 2.4 ghz MacBook over the entry level MBP. Oh well.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    Thanks a lot for all of your input.



    I think I will go with Marvin's idea, I didn't realize the higher MBP 15" was such so much more then the lowest version.



    Does anybody have any input on the 256 of vram vs 512.



    Thanks once again.



    Edit: found this post which talk about the vram.



    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=585385
  • Reply 7 of 8
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,436moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    Right on cue. Thanks.



    Oddly enough I thought you'd also suggest a 2.4 ghz MacBook over the entry level MBP. Oh well.



    Normally I would recommend the Macbook now that the graphics have reached a certain point of acceptability but it depends on the circumstances - firewire 800 is a very useful port to have and essential if you work with media IMO. I think in this case, the MBP is the better choice and it will be more future proof for games to come. Plus the screen resolution helps for coding if you are moving around.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jabberwock


    Does anybody have any input on the 256 of vram vs 512.



    VRam is used for storing textures and geometry in games so it means that you can get higher resolution textures and environments. If you set a game to use higher detail settings than can fit into the memory, you will drop some fps. The solution would be to lower the settings a little. For most things, I doubt you'll notice a difference at all and the upgrade cost is high. For the Ram and HD upgrade, you could do it yourself for 1/3 the cost that Apple is asking for, possibly less. So the other 2/3rds you pay for the VRam, which isn't worth it. The extra CPU speed is negligible.



    Concerning the external display, I'd go for the old silver Cinema displays if you can get hold of one or check out Dell's ultrasharp line. Their EIPS displays are very affordable:



    http://accessories.euro.dell.com/sna...hs1&sku=198694



    Most panels under £400-500 are TN panels, which use 6-bit dithering, even Samsung's. You can get a 24" TN panel for less than the EIPS and they have higher resolutions (1920x1200 vs 1680x1050) but you get bad viewing angles with them. This means when you watch movies, you get color shifts and shadows that don't look dark enough.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    I would go for the MacbookPro 15" 2.4ghz + ACD. ...512MB VRAM is only needed if you are a medium or high level gamer (in which case big advantage over 256 especially for antialiasing etc) or Final Cut Studio user IMHO.
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