5 Replies Latest reply: Jun 12, 2012 3:35 PM by oshearernyc
SOJHA Level 1 (5 points)

Dear all,


I currently have a mid-2007 MacBook and while it's done well for a good 5 years, it is dying. I'm a student, and with the advent of the new retina MacBook pros, I've been saving to get one. I clearly don't upgrade my computer every 2-3 years as many do, so I'm looking for something that will last me a very long time. I'm not too much into spending money every few years. Also, I'm eligible for the student discount which apparently comes with a $100 card to use in the Mac app store and such. Here's what I'm looking at getting-


MacBook Pro:

15-inch: 2.6 GHz Retina display


As far as upgrades go, do you recommend paying for the processor upgrade from 2.6GHz to 2.7GHz? I'm planning on keeping this for a very long time, so I'm unsure. It's expensive to upgrade only 0.1GHz, but in the long run do you think this will be something that will pay off?


What about memory? I'm going to be using this computer fairly lightly for the next year, but towards my Junior and Senior years in college (and future), things should be getting pretty application intensive.


I don't care too much about storage. I can always add an external, so 512 seems to be more than enough for me. 


Thanks for your time.

  • Kappy Level 10 (266,046 points)

    I would spend the money for the 16 GBs of RAM rather than the processor.

  • Bimmer 7 Series Level 6 (10,275 points)

    If you're planning on using it for a long time, go for the RAM and Processor upgrade since they're not usergradeable.


    If I was in your shoes, I would go for the 16GB RAM upgade and not worry too much about the processor.

  • oshearernyc Level 1 (0 points)

    What kind of applications will you be using in the future?  The main difference between the 2.6 and 2.7 is that the L3 cache is 8MB rather than 6.  The transfer speed between the L3 cache and the cores is much faster than between RAM and the cores, so it can lead to some performance gains.  Only certain high-level video editing and rendering applications make use of the increased cache size, however, so if you're not going to be using anything like that, the extra money doesn't really make sense.


    Additional RAM is going to give you greater perceived performance gains.

  • SOJHA Level 1 (5 points)

    I don't think I will be using that high-level video editing, but I may make use of Adobe Premiere Pro at some point, and as for rendering, I shouldn't be doing that for a while, if at all any. My main concern is that say if I own this computer for 6-7 years, would the 2.7 over the 2.6 be justified?


    I may use it for gaming somewhere down the line as well.

  • oshearernyc Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm in a similar situation, as I tend to own computers for about 6 years (my current laptop is a Core Duo 17" MBP).  According to benchmarks released today, the 2.7 only gets about 3.8% greater performance in Geekbench testing.  To me, an extra 3.8% performance bump does not justify a 9% bump in price.  In 6 years, both of these machines will be so far behind current models that the difference between them will be negligible.


    In terms of gaming, the bottleneck is going to be at the GPU, which is the same in both models.  The nvidia 650M performs about 8-10% better in most benchmarks than the AMD 6770M that was in the previous generation MBP.