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Current Unibody 15" MacBook Pro Queries

 
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Squonk
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:37 am    Post subject: Current Unibody 15" MacBook Pro Queries Reply with quote

As I posted elsewhere on these forums about a month ago, my 2007 vintage MacBook Pro was stolen at the start of December (along with my wife's MacBook, an old Dell laptop my daughter used, her XBox 360 and all my camera kit). I'm still waiting for the insurance people to replace it for me but I've started looking at the currernt MacBook Pros to see how they measure up to my 2007 model.

I had the one with discrete graphics with 256MB video RAM so assume they'll replace it with the current 15" model which has 256MB of video RAM. The policy is "new for old" so I would have serious objections to having a replacement that didn't feature discrete graphics.

With the little reading I've done on the current crop of MBP I have a few questions and wondered whether anyone here might be in a position to answer them?

The review I mention below was from AppleInsider here : http://preview.tinyurl.com/567xqy


1. The MBP models with discrete graphics currently feature the nvidea 9600M alongside the "integrated" 9400M. Reading an early review of the unibody MBP it was stated that you had to log out in order to switch from one graphics processor to the other as the window server needed to be restarted (under Windows this could be done "on the fly" with this combination of video hardware). Is this still the case?

2. The same review also mentioned that under Windows this combination of graphics processors could be used in an SLI configuration but this was not currently possible with the OS X driver. Again, is this still the case?

3. The review shows what appear to be only slight performance differences between using the two different video chipsets. What is the real world experience like? The one game I play quite a bit is World of Warcraft - how much difference is there between using the 9400M and the 9600M?

4. Upgradeability Wink I was about to upgrade the HDD in my original MBP, it looked a fairly simple process, however officially it was not regarded as an "end user" upgrade as far as I'm aware. It certainly wasn't mentioned in the user guide - only RAM upgrades were. Looking at what I believe is the current MBP user guide there is a section which seems to show an incredibly easy hard drive replacement. Am I correct or am I looking at an outdated user guide? Sorry, can't seem to find the link I had to the user guide on Apple's web site right now.

I would also be interested in any general feedback from anyone who had used the earlier MacBook Pros and the new Unibody style ones. The one thing I'm a bit miffed at is the loss of the Firewire 400 port, guess that means I will at least need to invest in a new compact flash card reader Rolling Eyes

Thanks for reading Very Happy
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gts116
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got the current series 15" MBP that you are looking into and I can help answer a few of your questions.

1. Yes, when you select for 'better battery' or 'better performance' under the energy preference pane, you will be prompted to log out then log back in. Not too sure for Windows.

2. Can't help you with question 2.

3. Not sure about WOW, but the 9600 makes a world of difference with Call of Duty 2 & 4 as well as PREY. I can't give actual FPS numbers, but I know for a fact that the 9600 allows for more intense graphic options to be utilized WHILE keeping the animation smooth as silk. If you do any kind of video or photo editing, the dedicated card could help there as well.

4. The RAM and HDD are both very easily upgraded. Here is a quick and easy how-to from the Apple 15" MPB user manual starting on page 37.

Hope that helps you with your quest.
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Squonk
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That helps quite a lot, so thank you very much for your time in replying. Also thanks for finding that link to the manual for me Very Happy

From what you've said about logging out to use the 9600 I would imagine that nothing has been done about utilising the SLI features as yet. I guess we can only hope for the future on that one Smile

I'm currently not sure what my insurance company will permit in terms of replacement. It should at least be the 256MB VRAM 15" MBP, but I had been kind of wondering whether they might let me replace with the 27" Quad Core iMac as the portability is much less of an issue for me now than it used to me. About the same price as I paid for my MBP back in 2007. However, "new for old" probably means that if a laptop is stolen it has to be replaced with a laptop. I just have to sit and wait to find out on that score.

Thanks again and I think what I've read and what you've told me make me less concerned over any choice I have over MBP or iMac as a replacement. The improved access to the HDD is quite a big factor I have to say. I'd probably accept the standard issue 5400 drive to keep the cost down on the insurance claim and then bung in a nice big 7200 drive after a few months Very Happy
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