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Old 03-03-2011, 06:15 PM
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Question buying a new 13'' macbook pro shortly...2.3Ghz vs 2.7Ghz?

Hey guys,

I am extremely excited because I am soon going to order one of those brand new macbook pros that just came out like 1-2 weeks ago. I'm getting a 13'' version with a 750GB hard drive, but I'm still a bit torn whether or not to get the 2.3Ghz or 2.7Ghz version. Reason being, some people tell me their macbook pro last 5 years, others tell me only 2-3. I don't want to spend the extra money on 2.7Ghz if it's not going to last that long.

I will be using the laptop mainly to work from home, using the web. I also have a gigantic iTunes library. I eventually want to learn how to code/program/script in Dreamweaver CS5, Flash CS5, etc. I also someday want to learn how to DJ with Traktor Pro 2 using a midi controller.

While I would love to play Half-Life 2 Episode III on it, something tells me it won't be powerful enough to do that, and I don't want to spend $2000 on a macbook pro 15''.

I will be upgrading from a Dell XPS Studio 13 laptop, which I got in December 2008 when they just came out. Dell has yet to upgrade the latest 2009 audio drivers which pisses me off because it crashes the laptop from time to time.

What do you guys think? Is 2.7Ghz a must? Will I be okay on 2.3Ghz for the next few years?
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:13 PM
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For what you are doing the 2.3GHz will be fine - and should be good for HL2III as well (might not play with "all eye candy on", but should stil be quite playable).

Laptops typically have a life span of 3-4 years. Desktops push 5 years (easier to upgrade).

As much as I'd like a new MBP, I upgrade my 3yo MB (dual core, 2.2GHz?)to 4GB RAM, and put in a 7200RPM 500GB SSD/HDD hybrid drive ... and a new battery. When at my desk I use a Magic Trackpad, so I dont miss the oversized trackpad the new models have (and I gotta say, the trackpad kicks major ass). Thing is running like a new machine and handles all my development tasks nicely. It has at least another 12 months, if not 2 years left in it.

If you were going to do major graphics work - especially video - I'd look at the faster CPU, but as it stands I'd save the cash for something else (AppleCare).
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:20 PM
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wow, so you do recommend the AppleCare? It's quite expensive, and shouldn't I use the $200-300 it costs towards a new laptop in a couple years?

http://www.tuaw.com/2009/07/20/to-ap...-the-question/

Apparently I have up to a year before I have to buy it?
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:49 PM
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I recommend extended warrantees on very few items - big screen TVs over $2500 and laptops are the exceptions.

If the laptop is really just sitting at home as a fancy slimline desktop, then I wouldnt bother with AppleCare. If you take it anywhere with you then its a definite requirement - especially if you use it for work/school.

A dead battery costs $129. I know. I just replaced mine.

I added a new HD. My old one was not quite dead, but it was playing up. It cost me $89 for a new drive (granted, I went from 160GB 5400 RPM to 500GB 7200RPM hybrid drive).

Dead charger? I cant remember how much it cost to replace.

All in all though - I dont abuse my machine, but it has taken a beating. The case is cracked along the front edge of the keyboard deck (its one of the white polycarbonite models).

I should have had AppleCare beyond the 12 months. Each of those items would have been fixed in a hassle free way.
If my HDD had died while I was on the road, I'd have been toast.
If my charger had caught fire instead of just refusing to charge, or I'd been on the road at the time, I'd have been toast (OK, I'd have just bought a new charger).
If my battery had died ... you get the picture.

These things aren't indestructable. Reliability is good, but everyday wear and tear takes its toll. My MB is going to give me another 2 years at least of life (any MBP/MBA purchase will be out of lust not necessity). An AC contract to help get you to that 5 year mark is worth it.
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:55 AM
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I highly recommend AppleCare. I had quite a few problems with my original Macbook that I got back back in 2006. Over the course of 3 years, AppleCare saved me the cost in getting an entire new machine in total repairs. Have more than one major failure over the course of your coverage with AppleCare? Apple will likely give you a brand new computer than bother replacing a machine that's had more than one major failure. Last day of the warranty and you had a few major repairs done? You get a brand new computer off the shelf. No, not the same machine. Whatever latest laptop Apple is selling. Apple makes nice computers, but their parts are expensive. Something as small as a charger will run you $80.

I replaced my Macbook with a Macbook Pro two Christmas's ago and it's been a great machine. Get the AppleCare ASAP. Having a year to get it is nice, but it makes it easy to keep pushing off until it's eventually too late. I waited to get it on my MacbookPro and got it with only a day or two left to purchase. Ideally, get it when you buy the computer.
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Last edited by phatlip : 03-05-2011 at 03:00 AM.
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