Previous 1 2 Next 19 Replies Latest reply: Dec 3, 2012 12:59 AM by Luis Sequeira1
downtownbarber Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

I am selling my late 2011 13'' MBP MD313LL/A tomorrow. Looking to get the most powerful MBP that will handle FCP X & Motion 5 the best for under two thousand dollars. I have found a new mid 2011 MBP 15'' with i7, 750 GB 7,200rpm, anti-glare screen for $1599. But it only has a 2nd gen intel core with 3000 graphics card. Model is MD385LL/A. Thanks

  • Luis Sequeira1 Level 6 Level 6 (8,080 points)

    As far as I can tell, there is no such model MD385LL/A. The late 2011 models all have model numbers with the form  MD31xLL/A, where x=1,3 or 8, for the 17", 13", 15", respectively.

    The early 2011 are MC7xxLL/A.

     

    You can download the free program called MacTracker to find out all the characteristics and model numbers of all macs.

     

    The 15" have a bigger screen and quad core processors, but depending on what your needs regarding FCP X are, you may be better served by keeping your mac and adding RAM and an external monitor.

    You will need an external drive in either case (best option would be thunderbolt, but on a budget you might go fw800 or as a last resort usb2, though these are not great for video).

  • downtownbarber Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    I didn't mention that the model won't show up on Apple's website or mactracker. It requires a google search because it wasn't the stock model mainly due to the anti-glare screen. I've maxed my MBP to 8GB memory, using Buffalo TB drive. According to Apple, using an external monitor would require more output of the video card which is already being taxed. What is the most solid MBP under the $2k pricetag for HD editing?

  • Luis Sequeira1 Level 6 Level 6 (8,080 points)

    Ok, so now I see why I couldn't find the model number; also I realized that your present mac has only the integrated intel graphics, which is another limiting factor.

     

    You mentioned that the model you were considering has only the intel 3000 card; but I believe that 15" should have two gpus in it: the integrated one and the Radeon HD 6490M, which is listed as compatible with FCP X. If that is the case, then it should be more than enough. I don't think Apple ever made a 15" with only integrated graphics, but if I am wrong and you are considering such a 15", it's not so great (you do get the quad core cpu, but little in the gpu area).

     

    I am still using a 2010 MBP, and it works well (though it is not very fast, it is ok for my limited needs). I imagine a 2011 15" or 17" model, together with your tb drive, will fly.

  • downtownbarber Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    What do you think about the 13'' retina?

  • Luis Sequeira1 Level 6 Level 6 (8,080 points)

    downtownbarber wrote:

     

    What do you think about the 13'' retina?

     

    I think it is an awesome machine, but still suffers from the same limitation as previous 13", in that it has only an integrated gpu and dual core cpu. Also, it only supports 8GB of RAM (plus RAM is not upgradeable in any Retina MBP). As awesome as it is, I'd skip it for FCP X, in favor of a non-retina 15" (assuming price puts the Retina 15" out of consideration for now). A 2011 model with the RAM maxed out to 16GB and an internal SSD would give most of the power of a new 15" and still be priced somewhat below it.

     

    16GB plus a 128GB SSD go for about 180 dollars. This means you can get a really mean machine, arguably more powerful than a 13" retina (though maybe someone can offer cold data to rebutt this idea).

     

    My own plan, by the way, is to hold on to my current 2010 MBP for another year or so. By then, I hope I will be able to afford a 2013 retina 15", or go for a 2012 model at a discount.

  • Wild Giles Level 2 Level 2 (335 points)

    Go for a refurb 2012 15" 2.6Ghz i7 macbook pro, I see one for $1870, you can upgrade the ram to 16gb and change out the hard drive for an SSD. That would be the fastest mbp for under $2000.

  • downtownbarber Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    I ended up getting the base 15", but I really think I'd like the retina(15")! Might go back and switch!! It's really irritating that the second 15" can have the processor upgraded but not the base model!

       Please tell me the difference I would see with a 7200-rpm drive compared to the 5400? Noticable or negligible?

          I'm confused about the statements yourself and many others make regarding memory. Apple says the max for my model & all 15's (except retina) is 8 GB and not 16. Spending the extra forty or fifty dollars for 16 if it's not going to be recognized or little recognition doesn't seem worth it. Is this accurate? 

  • Luis Sequeira1 Level 6 Level 6 (8,080 points)

    I believe that all 15" from 2011 and 2012 can use 16GB (2 sticks of 8GB). Of course, the Retina must be purchase with 16GB directly from Apple, but for the other models you can buy third party ram, usually for much less money. I have upgraded ram in several macs (TiBook, iBook, MacBook, MacBook Pro, not all mine, sometimes for friends), and it is an easy task. I usually buy from crucial, and never had any trouble, but there are other reputable vendors.

     

    If you use the memory configuration tool at crucial.com you may see just what kind of ram and at what sizes fits your mac model.

  • Alchroma Level 6 Level 6 (17,840 points)

    Luis Sequeira1 wrote:

     

    I believe that all 15" from 2011 and 2012 can use 16GB (2 sticks of 8GB). Of course, the Retina must be purchase with 16GB directly from Apple, but for the other models you can buy third party ram, usually for much less money. I have upgraded ram in several macs (TiBook, iBook, MacBook, MacBook Pro, not all mine, sometimes for friends), and it is an easy task. I usually buy from crucial, and never had any trouble, but there are other reputable vendors.

     

    If you use the memory configuration tool at crucial.com you may see just what kind of ram and at what sizes fits your mac model.

     

     

    I have a late model 2011 MBPro and fitted 16 gig Ram 2x8gig sticks. No probs.

    The 15s can do the same.

     

    Al

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (18,540 points)

    Probably a daft question but do you absolutely need a laptop, as an iMac would give you far more for much less?

  • downtownbarber Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    I realize Crucial and others like OWC sell 16 GB for these models, they even sell 16 for the 13" I just sold. Why would I take their word for it when Apple says the "max" is 8 GB?  That's all I'm saying, if the maker of the computer says the max is 8 GB, doesn't that mean 16 GB isn't supported/unrecognized?

     

    Ian Brown, I absolutely need a desktop. I can't pick up an iMac and get the **** away from my wife when I need to!

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (18,540 points)

    Point taken. 

  • Luis Sequeira1 Level 6 Level 6 (8,080 points)

    downtownbarber wrote:

     

    I realize Crucial and others like OWC sell 16 GB for these models, they even sell 16 for the 13" I just sold. Why would I take their word for it when Apple says the "max" is 8 GB?  That's all I'm saying, if the maker of the computer says the max is 8 GB, doesn't that mean 16 GB isn't supported/unrecognized?

     

    Apple states the max ram based on the size of chips available at the time a mac model is launched.

    Often bigger chips come up later, and the mac can support them, but Apple never goes back and updates that information.

     

    For example, the late 2011 iMacs can use 32GB (4x8GB), but Apple states 16GB because there were no 8GB sticks available at the time.

     

     

    Ian Brown, I absolutely need a desktop. I can't pick up an iMac and get the **** away from my wife when I need to!

     

    Of course, you meant you need a *laptop* :-)

  • downtownbarber Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Ugh!!! Of course I mess up trying to be funny

     

    Thanks for the clarification Luis;) I recall asking an Apple rep last year about upgrading to 16 GB, she would not confirm or deny if it was ok to do.

     

    So I'm happy with this machine!&1half    I needed to take in my car for regular maintenance so I brought my new Mac into VW and unboxed it, plugged in my TB drive and restored from TM. Final Cut Pro X works like a dream! Its night and day to what my late 2011 13" MBP could do, absolutely blows it out of the water! I'm not exaggerating, its really sweet.  However,

        I am working on a move that would allow me to go back and get the 15" retina for 1999.99 total. If I can *afford* to get this, do you think it's a good move & I should go for it? (smaller hard drive isn't an issue since I use external)

     

    Thank you for your help Luis, greatly appreciated...

     

     

     

    Much thanks to Adam Dachis for his solid input

     

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