Laptop choices

Posted by: Jashue

Laptop choices - 01/31/14 11:49 AM

It's been a while since I've had a laptop and the time has come to pull the trigger. I usually buy far more than what I need to stave off obsolescence as long as possible and looking at what's being offered now, it seems that should be pretty easy to do (I can't believe how far things have come since my Powerbook 140!)

I had my heart set on the 13 inch MBP with retina display and configured it as a BTO as follows:
2.8GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
1TB PCIe-based Flash Storage

I went for the bump in speed, maxed out the ram (holy cow-- 16 gigs?) a TB of flash storage.

When I went to my local Apple Store, an associate told me that I should consider the 15 inch retina instead, explaining to me that it was a far better value due to the fact that it has a quad core i7 instead of a dual. He also pointed out that it is less than a pound more than it's smaller sibling. He figured the the 15 incher was a no brainer over the 13.

So I configured a BTO as follows:
2.6GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
1TB PCIe-based Flash Storage
Intel Iris Pro Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
with 2GB GDDR5 memory


This is the thing: I have a pretty robust 2011 iMac for heavy lifting (crunching video etc). The purpose of the laptop will be for business on the road (which will require a lot of photoshop on the fly) as well as a lot of couch computing (web stuff). The truth is-- I probably don't need that much power for this machine but I'm so stuck in the mindset that I need to buy as much as I can afford (which is what we long time Mac users always needed to do as technology improved at such exponential rates). It doesn't need to be the baddest Mac on the block, but I don't want it to feel like a dog either after having become used to a 3.4 i7 operating apps that reside on a solid state drive.

I searched the web to see what apps were optimized for quad core processing and could find none.

I guess all I've written her may be distilled down to one simple question: Does a quad i7 make that much of a difference in day to days tasks?

I know there's a lot for ranting and rambling going on here-- so thanks for sifting though it all!
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: Laptop choices - 01/31/14 12:06 PM

Can't help with your question, but HEY STRANGER!
Glad you dropped by.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Laptop choices - 01/31/14 01:52 PM

Quote:
I guess all I've written her may be distilled down to one simple question: Does a quad i7 make that much of a difference in day to days tasks?
Probably no. If you'll be using Photoshop for bigger files though you will see a difference. If you were doing video, I'd say yes. With the flash drive both are fast anyway. If you have an extra $600 to spend, go for it. You'll never ask "should I have?"

The quad i7 and better video card will qualify you for a bigger iPenis and all.

I was looking through an old thread last week and you had posted in it, wondered if all was still good. Good to "see" you.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Laptop choices - 01/31/14 02:06 PM

Funny you should mention it...someone just posted this link on FB today...
http://store.apple.com/us/product/FE662LL/A

Only 256 storage though.


Keep an eye on the refurbs...some good deals.

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook_pro
Posted by: Jashue

Re: Laptop choices - 01/31/14 06:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Jim_


The quad i7 and better video card will qualify you for a bigger iPenis and all.



Oh my God, that's hysterical!

I think you've hit the nail on the head. It's so easy to get caught up in specs, isn't it? It is very much analogous to the realm of sports cars-- A 500 HP car is "better" than a 400 HP vehicle, but either one will suffice in propelling you at absurdly fast speeds. It's all about ego, I think. The more I think about it, the more I might actually be the customer for which the Air is aimed. I'll probably still get the MBP because I like the screen, but damn if I'm not prone to major irrationality when it comes to this stuff!

I bet a lot of people are like that.

I appreciate the feedback-- and it's good to see all of you again!
Posted by: steveg

Re: Laptop choices - 02/01/14 03:30 AM

Like you I use my 13" (mid-2012) MBP for out-of-office utility while my Mini does the heavy lifting for projects. But I'm primarily doing print and some web work. No video or other overly processor-intesive work. So the MBP's 8gb RAM and 2.5ghz i5 have never left me up a creek. It is easy to over-spec when you get tangled up in what-ifs, so you have to look more at value than price.

My Mini is a mid-2011 with 8gb Ram and a 2.3ghz i5, and I was considering either a new Mini or an iMac. But instead, I've prolonged this machine's life and boosted performance hugely by swapping the stock 500gb drive with a 240gb Crucial SSD (which Jim installed for me). Just to give you an idea of the speed improvement, the cold boot time dropped from nearly 2:30 to 00:35! And apps like ID and Word open before you can complete the click.

So, to put it in Jim's penile context, by installing a smaller but faster HD, I may not reach bottom, but I can beat the hell out of the sides! blush laugh
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: Laptop choices - 02/01/14 07:23 AM

The processor speed difference will do little for you, it's a nice speed bump but it's not earth-shattering. But the better video card and larger screen will make worlds of difference.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Laptop choices - 02/01/14 07:41 AM

Check out the MacBook Air
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2014/01/14/...;ref=title_0_46