Review: Apple's early 2011 Thunderbolt MacBook Pros

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  • Reply 81 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Don't expect MacBook Airs to get Thunderbolt. They don't even backlit keyboards currently.



    They don't even hard drive or even DVD drive currently. (we don't stinking verbs)
  • Reply 82 of 126
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,448member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    Thanks for the links. Oh, but your math is off, from their results it's a 4% difference. Still of questionable value when you are adding at 10-15% premium.



    I'll still be curious to see direct comparisons using actual systems on real-world tasks. After reading the descriptions of the tests in the links above, it does not appear their tests would include the performance of Turbo Boost since most of their tests seem to saturate all 4 cores in the CPU.



    If the 2.3 GHz processor also includes higher Turbo Boost speeds for non-parallelized tasks, that would help better justify the price increase. Apple's online store seems to imply that the faster processor has a higher Turbo Boost speed when it says, "You can upgrade the processor in your MacBook Pro to the 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, featuring 8MB L3 cache and Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.40GHz." But they don't say anywhere was the limit is for the 2.2 GHz processor.



    My bad on the math...



    Anyways, Turbo Boost on the 2.2 is 3.30GHz.



    http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=50067



    I actually just received my 2.2 i7 15" MBP today. I gotta say, It's damn fast. I scored a 5.35 in cinebench and 40fps in the opengl of cb.



    I'm very happy with my decision. I just don't think I could possibly notice a different of the other one. I compile all day long, but I still don't think I'd notice it.
  • Reply 83 of 126
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    The 15 inch 2 ghz model has only 256 MB video memory.



    On the 15 inch 2 ghz model, it costs $100 extra to upgrade from 500 GB 5400 rpm hard drive to 500 GB 7200 rpm.



    No 750 GB 7200 rpm hard drive option for any of the models.



    7200 rpm hard drives are not available at all for the 13 inch model.
  • Reply 84 of 126
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by doh123 View Post


    Why downgrade? You do know that a DisplayPort is better.. it even can even run higher resolutions than HDMI is capable of. Its only like $15 for a little adapter so you can plug it into HDMI.



    And what are you going to display this "higher resolution" on? HDMI and DP will more or less display the same resolution. Also how many of these $15 adapters support audio over DP?
  • Reply 85 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mario View Post


    I never understood the obsession with backlit keyboards (some people refusing to buy a laptop because of that). I turn mine off completely, since it's such a gimmick and it loudly advertises "I can't touch type".



    Seriously, take some time (about 6 months half hour to hour a day of practice in the evening before sleep) and learn to touch type and reap the benefits for the rest of your life.



    Here's an excellent and free online course:



    http://www.typing-lessons.org/





    Yes, everyone wants to invest 6 months to learn how to be a secretary. Wise up.
  • Reply 86 of 126
    hlfnlsnhlfnlsn Posts: 34member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mitchelljd View Post


    I would be buying a brand new MBP 15" Matte screen, loaded memory, if:



    1- it could play Blu-Ray

    2- Blu - Ray output could go out via lightnight bolt to HDMI cable.



    it is frustrating being an apple consumer, they seem to like to decide what they will allow their consumers to do, instead of letting us decide on our own options.



    hmm... maybe a sony Vaio will hit the spot.



    Ok, so I love Blu-Ray just as much as the next Blu-Ray fan. I have a meager collection of just over 100 Blu-Ray titles, a PS3, and a standalone player connected to my HT setup. With all that being said, even I am over the "I need Apple to support BluRay on laptops like the PCs do" whining. I purchased an external BluRay for about $130 bucks a few months ago, and it takes all of about 25 minutes to rip a BluRay to my HDD. If I am ever in a situation with my laptop where I cannot connect an external drive, then chance are pretty good that I don't an internal one spinning and eating up battery life, when I could be watching the 1080p digital rip of the same movie using less battery. I can still understand the desire to have Apple support the playback of BR in their OS, I mean come on, there are now rinky dink $500 dells that playback BR. However, there are now decent work arounds for getting high quality 1080p content onto your Mac.
  • Reply 87 of 126
    hlfnlsnhlfnlsn Posts: 34member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sol77 View Post


    I actually hate Blu-Ray and upper end HD...I can see too much detail and I feel as though I'm watching an amateur production (unless it's animated).



    What you are describing sounds more like the effect of 120hz processing on newer HDTVs. They add this artificial processing, that gives everything a "british soap opera" look to it. Most movies are filmed at around 24 frames per second and therefore have a less "live studio audience" look to them.
  • Reply 88 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zunx View Post


    Bootable from the Thunderbolt port?



    Not yet. This has been noted recently. The idea is for full encrypted backup via timemachine.
  • Reply 89 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    They don't even hard drive or even DVD drive currently. (we don't stinking verbs)



    Haven't you noticed, Air is light weight ... dvd/cd is like floppy drive ... going, going, gone. The app store offers all the software downloads now. Apple had stopped putting programs on disk for sale in retail.



    The beauty of Thunderbird is speed and connectivity with all the legacy ports at the higher speeds of the controller (intel). The idea of every port in the prime machine is going, going, gone also. Just one port, interfaces everything else. Some don't like that approach, but it saves cost and real estate.
  • Reply 90 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Scaramanga89 View Post


    Yes, everyone wants to invest 6 months to learn how to be a secretary. Wise up.



    Then there is voice to text (voice over) , but then you'd have to learn how to speak properly. AI is not all that intuitive. you might still need a super secretary.



    Some of us learned to type in high school... one of the best skills I've ever developed.
  • Reply 91 of 126
    ajayajay Posts: 117member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hlfnlsn View Post


    I purchased an external BluRay for about $130 bucks a few months ago, and it takes all of about 25 minutes to rip a BluRay to my HDD.



    Hey can you give me a link to that external BR device? (I'm assuming that you rip BR movies to a Mac)
  • Reply 92 of 126
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


    And what are you going to display this "higher resolution" on? HDMI and DP will more or less display the same resolution.



    The current 27" LED Cinema Display has 2560 x 1440 native resolution, and the old 30" Cinema Display would do 2560 x 1600. The HDMI in your current HDTV or monitor input maxes out at 1920 x 1080.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


    Also how many of these $15 adapters support audio over DP?



    A surprising number, actually, though you'll need to read the fine print.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Scaramanga89 View Post


    Yes, everyone wants to invest 6 months to learn how to be a secretary. Wise up.



    Seriously, if you are going to use a computer you should learn to type. (It's not that difficult.)
  • Reply 93 of 126
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by emig647 View Post


    My bad on the math...



    Anyways, Turbo Boost on the 2.2 is 3.30GHz.



    http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=50067



    I actually just received my 2.2 i7 15" MBP today. I gotta say, It's damn fast. I scored a 5.35 in cinebench and 40fps in the opengl of cb.



    I'm very happy with my decision. I just don't think I could possibly notice a different of the other one. I compile all day long, but I still don't think I'd notice it.



    Thanks! I actually found the spec sheet last night, but didn't have a chance to come back here to update my post. The other thing I noticed on the specs is that Intel lists a price difference between the two CPUs at about $200 (obviously, who knows what Apple's actual prices are). Apple charges $250 for the upgrade, so not a total price gouging like on RAM upgrades.



    So, $250 gets you 0.1 GHz increase in baseline and Turbo Boots speeds and 8 vs 6 MB L3 cache. Like you, I'm leaning towards "not worth it". It'd be better to take the money and upgrade both the RAM to 8 GB and the HD to a 750 GB/7200 rpm drive, and still have a little change left over.
  • Reply 94 of 126
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,448member
    Yah, and on top of that, you can get the 8gb of ram for $100 cheaper from Newegg. I did edu discount, $225 for cpu upgrade (not worth it), $180 for ram upgrade (not worth it). I gotta say, this thing is damn fast. Don't even question the 4% (if that).



    If anyone has a 2.30, my 15" 2.2 with 4gb scored in Cinebench: 5.32pt in cpu, 35.2fps in OpenGL!!! That's over half the speed of my 2.66 8 core Nehalem Mac Pro with 8gb ram. I'm impressed.



    For a rough comparison... barefeats reported 5.44pt in Cinebench on a 17" 2.3. 3.8% difference, hardly worth it. And it's in a bigger enclosure than my 15". (less heat, possibly more turbo).
  • Reply 95 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    Thanks! I actually found the spec sheet last night, but didn't have a chance to come back here to update my post. The other thing I noticed on the specs is that Intel lists a price difference between the two CPUs at about $200 (obviously, who knows what Apple's actual prices are). Apple charges $250 for the upgrade, so not a total price gouging like on RAM upgrades.



    So, $250 gets you 0.1 GHz increase in baseline and Turbo Boots speeds and 8 vs 6 MB L3 cache. Like you, I'm leaning towards "not worth it". It'd be better to take the money and upgrade both the RAM to 8 GB and the HD to a 750 GB/7200 rpm drive, and still have a little change left over.



    What price gouging on RAM? Sounds like one of those fallacies that have held over since the days of ?There is no software for Macs? for that crop up from time to time. I remember when the cost of RAM was quite different than what you could get from Newegg, except for the best RAM options they offer, but it?s been a couple years since it wasn?t more advantageous for me to just buy the RAM upgrade from Apple instead of saving a a couple dollars on comparable good quality RAM, having to install it myself, not getting warranty on that RAM from Apple*, and then having to hold on to or throw/give away** a couple of lesser RAM sticks that I know I?ll never need.



    Something else to consider with the cost from Intel. Those are per 1000 unit pricing. Apple does get better pricing across the board, but consider that typical unit sales will have more of the cheaper models sold than the more expensive BTO models. That means that Apple will buy more of the 2.2GHz Core-i7s than the 2.3GHz Core-i7s.



    Also consider they could easily get such a reduction in price and want to encourage more sales of machines with that processor that they are given an even larger discount for that model to encourage more competitive sales for that speed processor for comparative notebooks, and therefore charge a little more for the BTO option to make up for that introductory price. This isn?t just common, it?s the way it works.



    On top of that, if they had to buy x-many of one chip to get a certain price they might have to charge more or less to optimize their revenue, profit and unit sales. It?s a tricky business and we can?t possibly know the details without a masters in accounting and lot of time spent go over Apple?s records.



    * Sure, the RAM suppliers offer warranties, and probably lifetime warranties, but they are inconvenient and costly since you have to send them the RAM in the mail on your dime and wait weeks for a replacement. No thank you!



    ** Sure, I could sell it, but that is more trouble than what I could get for it. No thank you!
  • Reply 96 of 126
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,448member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post


    What price gouging on RAM? Sounds like one of those fallacies that have held over since the days of “There is no software for Macs” for that crop up from time to time. I remember when the cost of RAM was quite different than what you could get from Newegg, except for the best RAM options they offer, but it’s been a couple years since it wasn’t more advantageous for me to just buy the RAM upgrade from Apple instead of saving a a couple dollars on comparable good quality RAM, having to install it myself, not getting warranty on that RAM from Apple*, and then having to hold on to or throw/give away** a couple of lesser RAM sticks that I know I’ll never need.



    Something else to consider with the cost from Intel. Those are per 1000 unit pricing. Apple does get better pricing across the board, but consider that typical unit sales will have more of the cheaper models sold than the more expensive BTO models. That means that Apple will buy more of the 2.2GHz Core-i7s than the 2.3GHz Core-i7s.



    Also consider they could easily get such a reduction in price and want to encourage more sales of machines with that processor that they are given an even larger discount for that model to encourage more competitive sales for that speed processor for comparative notebooks, and therefore charge a little more for the BTO option to make up for that introductory price. This isn’t just common, it’s the way it works.



    On top of that, if they had to buy x-many of one chip to get a certain price they might have to charge more or less to optimize their revenue, profit and unit sales. It’s a tricky business and we can’t possibly know the details without a masters in accounting and lot of time spent go over Apple’s records.



    * Sure, the RAM suppliers offer warranties, and probably lifetime warranties, but they are inconvenient and costly since you have to send them the RAM in the mail on your dime and wait weeks for a replacement. No thank you!



    ** Sure, I could sell it, but that is more trouble than what I could get for it. No thank you!



    Out of 15 years of using computers, I've had 1 set of ram die while in the computer. And that was a computer design flaw that allowed static to enter the ram bay. RAM doesn't die normally, that's why manufacturers give out the lifetime warranty so easily. RAM usually dies when someone zaps it while handling it.



    As for the minimal price, you decide if $120 is worth it or not. It's $200 for the 8gb upgrade on a normal bto. It's $80 for the ram from Newegg. To me, $120-$100 (edu discount) is worth more than the convenience of my ram possibly maybe might going out some day.



    And factor in if you do sell the ram, that's another $50. Or hold it, and it's still ~$100 in savings.



    I don't know about you, but charging 100% over retail, sounds like gouging to me.
  • Reply 97 of 126
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post


    What price gouging on RAM? Sounds like one of those fallacies that have held over since the days of “There is no software for Macs” for that crop up from time to time. I remember when the cost of RAM was quite different than what you could get from Newegg, except for the best RAM options they offer, but it’s been a couple years since it wasn’t more advantageous for me to just buy the RAM upgrade from Apple instead of saving a a couple dollars on comparable good quality RAM, having to install it myself, not getting warranty on that RAM from Apple*, and then having to hold on to or throw/give away** a couple of lesser RAM sticks that I know I’ll never need.



    An 8GB MBP upgrade from Apple BTO is $200 and they replace the memory. 8GB from NewEgg costs $120 and you keep the old memory. $80 may not be "gouging" on the scale it used to be, but it's not exactly a value proposition either.



    What you'd get for the old memory from eBay or an OWC trade-in isn't enough to justify the hassle, IMO, so I always keep the old memory sticks around if only as a hedge against any future issues (it only takes a few minutes to swap it back in if necessary).
  • Reply 98 of 126
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Hm, OWC has updated their website saying they now have 8 GM RAM modules for the new MBPs. So upgrade your 2011 MBP to 16 GB for the bargan price of $1599.99!!
  • Reply 99 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    Hm, OWC has updated their website saying they now have 8 GM RAM modules for the new MBPs. So upgrade your 2011 MBP to 16 GB for the bargan price of $1599.99!!



    This is great news! No, I'm not crazy (nor rich) enough to spend $1600 on a memory upgrade, but I wondered if there was some (possibly artificial) reason why these machines maxed out at 8gb of RAM.



    Five years ago I purchased the first-gen MBP with 512mb of RAM and immediately upgraded it (thanks to MemoryToGo and about $200; I was not going to pay Apple $800) to 2gb. Within about two years I found it woefully insufficient, particularly since I'm very frequently running a Windows VM alongside some heavy Mac apps (such as Aperture, Final Cut, and/or InDesign). I wondered if, two years from now, I'd find 8gb to be severely limiting.



    In a couple of years I imagine the cost of RAM will come down to where those 8gb sticks are no longer $800 each, and upgrading this system to 16gb will be practical.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by emig647 View Post


    If anyone has a 2.30, my 15" 2.2 with 4gb scored in Cinebench: 5.32pt in cpu, 35.2fps in OpenGL!!! That's over half the speed of my 2.66 8 core Nehalem Mac Pro with 8gb ram. I'm impressed.



    For a rough comparison... barefeats reported 5.44pt in Cinebench on a 17" 2.3. 3.8% difference, hardly worth it. And it's in a bigger enclosure than my 15". (less heat, possibly more turbo).



    Out of curiosity I ran Cinebench on my 2.3 15" and received the exact same score. Not, it's not worth the cost (but as I mentioned elsewhere, the only way to walk out of an Apple Store with the HD display on a 15" is to pay for the 2.3).
  • Reply 100 of 126
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post


    This is great news! No, I'm not crazy (nor rich) enough to spend $1600 on a memory upgrade, but I wondered if there was some (possibly artificial) reason why these machines maxed out at 8gb of RAM.



    No chips existed yet.



    I find it funny that I can buy 64GB of RAM for my Mac Pro for less than 16GB of RAM for a MacBook Pro.
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