Maximum Macbook Pro Performance?

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration' started by xochi, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. xochi


    I have the oldest MacBook Pro 17" (2.16 GHz Core Duo, 2 gigs of RAM) and am debating between getting an ultra fast hard drive upgrade (the hitachi 7200RPM/200 gig), or the newest MBP with the Santa Rosa chips and 4 Gigs of memory.

    Anyone have advice on which way will give best performance?
  2. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    Well, the Santa Rosas have a little bit more issues with Parallels by nature of them being newer and Parallels not having as much time optimizing the product for them. But, don't take me wrong, many people get them working successfully. (BTW, 7200 RPM isn't ultra-fast, a good 15,000 RPM SCSI is much faster, it's just that 5400 RPM is slow.)

    I would go with more memory personally, as most users (read light work such as a program that accesses a DB hosted on another computer, word processing, etc.) do not need the 'ultimate' in disk speed, and going from two to three GB of RAM is a huge improvement (pulling together hard numbers in the future).

    Why not get 3 GB and a 7200 RPM drive? And more importantly what are you going to use the computer and the VM for?
  3. xochi


    For 2.5" SATA laptop drives, 7200 is the fastest you can get. I need an internal SATA drive.

    I have the first MBP Core Duo 17 model which maxes out at 2Gigs unfortunately. The in-between model (the first Core 2 Duo) models can do 3gigs, and the current Santa-Rosa models can do 4.

    I do software development, so there are times when I'm trying to run 2 windows-based VMs and a Mac-based IDE. I should probaly have a Mac Pro but I want to really stick with the macbook pro format if possible.

    Sounds like 4 gigs may be a bigger benefit for me than a faster drive, sadly that requires a new macbook pro for me :)

    thx for your input!
  4. Al_Q


    I have seen warnings that 7200 rpm drives may overheat in macbook and macbook pro. Don't know if that is still a valid concern with the latest drives, but bear it in mind. That's the reason I stuck with 5400rpm when I upgraded my macbook to 160G.

    I would not be surprised to see the new LED backlighting from the 15" model show up soon in the 17". Maybe in October?? So if you decide on the new model, you might want to wait a few weeks.

    Someone else suggested getting more RAM if you keep your current machine. That could be good advice, depending on what you use it for. If you are running Parallels, it will certainly help.
  5. MarkHolbrook


    I am in the same boat (except I don't have a MacPro to fall back on). I have a 1st Gen 15" MBP 2.16 which maxes out at 2gb RAM. I did upgrade and put 250g drive in because 120 is just not enough.

    But I toy with going with a new MBP 17 and loading it with 4gb. But money is always the issue....
  6. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    I just didn't know if you knew about faster drives, shouldave checked your posts or at least tied you together with some other ones. Some people are 'oh the ultimate god, a laptop 7200 RPM'. I think you know what I mean. For starters a good desktop 7200 rpm drive usually outruns a laptops. ;)

    Yeah, Mac Pro is best. But you can do it with a MBP I bet.

    If you want to run two VMs, I would recommend that you get the full 4 GB. You'll thank yourself when you see how your computer is slaughtered. As for HD speed, consider using an external storage for the VM, it helps a lot with a slower drive in the computer!

    One of the benefits of the Mac Pro is that you can throw a sizeable amount of RAM in the computer and have secondary drives for the VMs.

    Hope I helped!


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