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Old October 29th, 2009, 02:12 AM   #16
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Unibody has black keys.
Hope this helps.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 07:56 AM   #17
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Josh,

see

Apple - MacBook Pro - Technical specifications of the 15-inch.

for specs

also go to the Apple Store at

MacBook Pro - Apple Store (U.S.)

to see various models. You can select any choice and customize it. If you qualify for the education discount, you can get that through the Apple Store
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Old October 29th, 2009, 12:40 PM   #18
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There are also rumors and theories of a Macbook Pro speed bump, possibly with more cores coming. Just something to factor in. The Macbook Pro is currently 143 days into a 200 day average refresh cycle, so it's possible you'll be kicking yourself soon. If you don't absolutely need it, the next update could pack a wallop. (Speaking as someone who bought a top-of-the-line 2.8 ghz 15" just a few months ago.)
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Old October 29th, 2009, 02:15 PM   #19
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Keep in mind however that the rumored core i7 laptops could be limited to the expensive 17" laptop sort of like how i7 is limited to the highest end new imac. So if the 17" is out of your price range now I would expect the same to be true if the MBP does get a refresh.
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Old October 30th, 2009, 10:24 PM   #20
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I won't lie, I don't NEED one at all. It's just that there I'm times when I'm away from home and with nothing to do, and it kills my that I could be working on a project but alas, I haveth no lappy top. And of course a PC laptop would do me no good as they're mac-based projects. But yeah, I think I'm gonna stay 15". I've heard the larger ones are difficult to port around, and that's the whole idea.

I came across some more confusing options. . .

5400rpm hd vs 7200. . .vs solid state?

Is it likely that if a new batch of laptops come out sometime soon, the prices will be similar? (e.g. top of the line 15" will be around $2200, etc.) or will those awesome performance increases come with proportional price increases?
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Old October 31st, 2009, 12:29 AM   #21
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7200rpm hard drives are the baseline minimum you want With current prices, they're a hard bargain to beat. On the new unibodies it's really easy to change out the hard drive. Takes a single screwdriver. I'm still waiting to make the jump to SSD because I think the price/performance/size isn't quite there yet.
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Old October 31st, 2009, 12:45 AM   #22
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Let me ask you this. . .when Apple offers you a 7200 rpm drive for an added cost of so many $$, is it possible to get something equally good cheaper? They have an option to add a 7200 drive for another $125.

Are the solid states less likely to crash? Am I to understand solid state means no spinning disk, no needle?

Back to the unibody question. . .seems like you're implying I have a choice between unibody and nonunibody 15". . .I didn't see that option anywhere. . .is it something you choose or are all the current/new ones unibody by default? What are the alleged benefits of unibody construction?
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Old October 31st, 2009, 01:03 AM   #23
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Josh for FCS/CS4 the important baseline specs would be:

1. max RAM - 8GB or more, I'm running 4GB right now, but I got away with running 2GB for awhile, and it was quite all right

2. video RAM - 512MB or more

3. CPU: Core 2 Duo ... yeah we're all waiting for a Core 2 Quad Macbook Pro

4. hard drive - 2.5" 7200 rpm 16MB cache, 320-500GB are the current large sizes. I stuck with the 320GB from Western Digital because reviews seem to show high reliablity. In contrast, the Seagate 500GB seems to have reviews that show a lot of failures. YMMV. I also carry a spare 320GB in bubble wrap pre-formatted with all my software installed just in case I have a hard drive failure on the road.

320GB is tight for me because I also run Windows 7. I still run Sony Vegas because it's still 500% faster at creating slideshows, which are in high demand from many of my corporate clients. Plus sometimes I just need to blast zombies with my buddies in Left 4 Dead. But otherwise, I'm usually working on the Mac side.

For fast external storage, I use an eSata ExpressCard which is a godsend for the traveling editor. I have the previous 15" with an ExpressCard slot, but now, they only have the ExpressCard port on the 17" MBP. And I had to toss my old eSata ExpressCard with the Silicon Image chip when I upgraded to Snow Leopard. The new one has the JMicron chipset, which is natively supported in Snow Leopard.

One note about the ExpressCard slot on the Macbook Pro - it is not supported on the Windows side until Apple updates their BIOS/drivers for Windows. So if you need to share an external eSata drive, make sure the eSata enclosure also has a firewire or USB port.
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Old October 31st, 2009, 01:04 AM   #24
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All the Macbook Pros and Macbook Air since late 2008 are unibodies. The current Macbooks are also unibodies. So basically any new laptop is a unibody.


[EDIT] Yes SSDs have no moving parts, so technically less prone to crashing and errors. Also generally much faster than a hard drive, but you get much less storage space for the price. They're much better deals in a desktop where you can easily add secondary storage. On a laptop, it's easy to run out of space in the field. If you go the hard drive route, a 320-500GB 7200rpm 2.5" hard drive costs US$100 or less. Personally, I'd recommend just buying a laptop with the 7200rpm drive already installed.

... and the new ProRes LT and ProRes Proxy formats in the "new FCS" are really great for laptops.
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Old October 31st, 2009, 02:07 AM   #25
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As I said, this won't be my main machine (or hell, maybe it'll turn into it), but I only have a 320 on my imac and it's still not quite full. Also not nearly as vital for work as yours apparently is. I have boot camp and parallels on my imac, not really concerned about it for the laptop. Vegas doesn't even work right anymore (audio is always corrupt), and that was about the only thing I ever used windows for, and only 'cause I have old projects that I can't quite seem to leave behind completely.

I might have to live without that express card slot. I can't find the post in this thread where it's first discussed, but i have not yet nor do i have plans to need any of the things it's used for. I'm kinda wanting to stay 15". . .so if that's the only reason not to, there must be a workaround if the day arises where I need p2, etc.

I did not see the post about the education discount 'til just now. I don't get that, but my girlfriend the educator does. . .mwahahhahahhaa.

PS. I'm not getting the email notifications after each response. . .it's only happening occasonally.
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Old October 31st, 2009, 09:56 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
Um, okay. . .how do you tell if it's unibody/nonunibody? I noticed that you can buy them with different amounts of RAM. Can you add the RAM later yourself? Apple's RAM is notoriously expensive, and if I bought it with the minimum of 4 GB but with the option to add more, I could buy on the cheap. if you can add your own with laptops, I have no idea.
All current MBPs are unibody. Upgrading RAM later is not necessarily cheaper as there are only two RAM slots so you cannot add more all you can do is replace what is there e.g. 2x2GB with 2x4GB which means you need to use or sell the 2x2GB
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Old October 31st, 2009, 02:33 PM   #27
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... I might have to live without that express card slot ...
yeah I could probably do the same, just plug into the firewire 800 port. I'm now using ProRes LT on a fast 7200rpm external drive with an 8 MB cache and it works pretty darn well over Firewire. Same goes for if I'm in Vegas/Cineform.
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Old October 31st, 2009, 03:22 PM   #28
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But with the RAM, I'm saying, if I order it with 8 GB, that's expensive apple ram as opposed to some off brand that would be cheaper, no? If I get it with 4 with the intent to replace the cards later with cheaper 4GB cards, I'd probably come out ahead, wouldn't I?
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Old November 4th, 2009, 11:03 PM   #29
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Ok, does anyone know why my girlfriend, who works part time at both a high school and a college teaching digital photography and photoshop would not qualify for an educational discount? She says she's followed the steps before and been offered no discount upon checkout from the Apple Store site.
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Old November 5th, 2009, 12:10 AM   #30
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Hmm, I seem to recall there's two basic avenues for buying Apple products online via the educational discount:

1) Go through Apple's Education site to see if the school she works for is listed. If it is, it'll redirect to a special variant of the regular Apple Store website:

Find Your School - Apple Store (U.S.)

2) Go through Apple Education's search to find the school's authorized campus store (if the school has one authorized by Apple):

http://education.apple.com/locate/education/
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