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Macbook Pro 2006 replacement: Need help with specs and Revit requirements

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    Macbook Pro 2006 replacement: Need help with specs and Revit requirements

    Hello,*

    I'm finally replacing my old 2006 macbook pro with a new one, it still works tremendously but I ran out of hd, it only has 3gb ram and would like to run Revit through bootcamp but I'm a bit...confused with the specs. I know that ideally, I want a dedicated graphics card, 8gb of ram, 7200rpm hard drive (is that really necessary or is 5400 rpm enough?). However, all that on a macbook pro and on a student budget, well it'll be harsh. So I'm just going to post the specs for the ones I'm considering here and if you could please let me know which one would be sufficient to run revit. I know more is better but I'm trying to avoid that, if however it won't run on any of the other ones and just on the most expensive one then cool, just let me know and be honest.

    I will NOT be using it for rendering, I already have a desktop in studio for that this would be for personal use and to run Revit, adobe products, rhino and all that jazz, when I'm away from my desktop tho it would be nice if you mentioned which ones can or can't render even though it's not really relevant for my purchase.*Kay.*

    MacBook pro 13"*

    • 2.4GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5
    • 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM — 2x4GB
    • 750GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    • Intel HD Graphics 3000

    Macbook pro 13"
    • 2.8GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7
    • 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM — 2x4GB
    • 750GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    • Intel HD Graphics 3000

    Macbook pro 15"

    • 2.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
    • 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM — 2x4GB
    • 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    • MacBook Pro 15-inch Glossy Widescreen*Display
    • Intel HD Graphics 3000*AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 512MB GDDR5

    Macbook pro 15"
    • 2.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
    • 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM — 2x4GB
    • 750GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm (I just added the $750 at 7200 rpm for $135, worth it or not really?)
    • MacBook Pro 15-inch Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen Display (I added the Hi-res Antiglare Display for $135, is the hi-res antiglare really worth it?)
    • Intel HD Graphics 3000*AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 512MB GDDR5

    I do want to say something tho, I know and respect that a lot of people don't like macs and will probably think I'm stupid for choosing it but it's my choice. Respect it and move on Okay, now that that's out of the way thanks guys for any help you can provide!

    #2
    Hi Nadieliz, welcome to RFO!


    Anyone who thinks you're stupid for choosing a Mac, is stupid. However, anyone who's considering using a Mac as a primary Revit machine just needs to be aware of the limitations... which it sounds like you are (I hope)?


    Thanks for being detailed about some of your needs and offering suggestions! - it makes it much easier to offer advice.


    Regarding rendering, any of those will render just fine - obviously the quad core CPUs will be significantly faster at rendering, but that sometimes comes at the expense of speed at other tasks. The one thing to look out for, and this goes for any computer purchase, but especially laptops, and especially Apple laptops, is that GPU compatibility with Revit can be kind of hit-and-miss.


    The 13" MBP is a neat little laptop, but unfortunately its achilles heel is the integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000. Even though it's much improved over previous Intel integrated graphics, it's a poor choice for 3D intensive applications like Revit and Rhino... so that pretty much rules it out in my opinion.


    For the 15" MBP configurations, the faster & larger HDD, hi-res display, and antiglare screen are luxuries, not necessities, and it just depends on whether it's worth it to you.


    First, the higher res, glossy or not, is really nice to have for CAD work. I would strongly recommend that, unless you use an external display most of the time when doing CAD.


    Second, those glossy screens drive me completely bonkers, so the "anti-glare" option is absolutely worth it to me... do glossy screens drive you bonkers? Some people are very sensitive to it, and some people don't notice it.


    Third, the HDD really is only most noticeable when launching apps and working with really large files (e.g. audio/video editing). The file sizes you'll be working on will be less affected. The HDD speed/capacity will not noticeably affect the actual performance of the applications you use (i.e. how long it takes to perform tasks). I'd actually be more tempted to upgrade to the 128GB SSD over the larger 7.2K HDD (that is, if you didn't need the space for a massive iTunes library ). And I'd definitely recommend bumping up to a faster CPU over a faster HDD.


    Finally, a tip for saving some money if you weren't already planning on it: RAM is really easy to upgrade yourself, and you can get it for WAY cheaper than Apple sells it. For instance, you can get an 8GB kit (4GBx2) for under US$50.


    Best of luck with your studies!

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by nadieliz View Post
      I do want to say something tho, I know and respect that a lot of people don't like macs and will probably think I'm stupid for choosing it but it's my choice. Respect it and move on Okay, now that that's out of the way thanks guys for any help you can provide!
      Let them think your stupid, it's your money. However, if you primarily use Revit and other windows based software, it might not be the best choice. To get the best performance out of Revit, you would have to rely on boothcamp. You might as well then use a purpose built windows mobile workstation, that offers 16 to 32 Gb of ram and a better graphic card.

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        #4
        Edit: Nevermind!!!
        http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCateg...ame=Mac-Memory

        Ignore this:
        Please correct me if I am wrong here but I am not sure the "cheap" RAM is true for MAC... Don't Macs still need ECC RAM... normal PC RAM can't be used in Macs.
        Last edited by Alex Cunningham; November 22, 2011, 07:20 PM. Reason: correction
        -Alex Cunningham

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          #5
          A foolproof way to buy RAM upgrades is through crucial.com. You just select what model computer you have, and they will list the available upgrade kits.

          Comment


            #6
            Wow, thank you all for your replies! Yep, I figured the integrated graphics card on the 13" one would be a problem. *sigh* I do primarily use windows applications...but I literally have known nothing else. I got my first laptop as a hs graduation gift when I was 18 and it was a MBP. It has lasted me 6 years and my studio computer is also a mac. I actually had to learn how to use windows for studio stuff and it feels foreign to me. I just feel comfortable with Mac and much prefer it.

            I had thought about adding the RAM myself but...I do NOT trust myself doing that. No matter how easy the instructions are. Also, right now I am home, away from all my tech savvy friends (and tech savvy boyfriend) who would kindly do it for me so I'd have to take it to someone I don't really know and...I don't know if I wanna take the risk. ALSO, doesn't opening up the laptop void the warranty? ...I guess the warranty isn't a big deal since laptops tend not to fail the first year of use rendering the 1 year warranty useless, however if it does fail, well, let's just say it's always nice to have it.

            I think I am going to go with the 15' one with more RAM and the antiglare. Unless I find someone trustworthy to add the ram for me. I really wish I trusted myself enough to do it but the closest I've come to opening up a gadget was my cousin's Tonka truck as retribution for cutting my one and only barbie's hair so... yeah. I wonder if Newegg would add it if I were to buy the Mac through them, do you guys know if they offer that service? I might send them an e-mail and ask.

            Again thank you all for your replies and very Happy Holidays
            Nadia

            Comment


              #7
              Just to be clear, my understanding is that upgrading the RAM does NOT void the warranty. If you damage the computer while upgrading the RAM, then you're on your own.

              However, I understand being reluctant to upgrade it yourself. I would suggest you watch this video and decide for yourself whether you're up to the task.

              They also sell the RAM, currently 8GB for $50. There's nothing to get "wrong" - just order the 8GB kit for a MacBook 2011. If you're still unsure, call them.

              But if you're still uncomfortable with upgrading it yourself, you should NOT do it - it's not worth the potential problems if you mess it up. Pay the extra $150 to have Apple do it for you (or MacMall, etc., if you're getting the laptop from them - just make sure they're an AUTHORIZED Apple reseller).

              Finally, and this goes for anyone buying a new computer, the new Ivy Bridge CPUs are just around the corner (rumors are early April), and so new MacBooks will very soon follow. If you need a new computer now, don't let this stop you from getting one now, but if it's not a big deal to wait a few months, you might want to wait for the "latest and greatest".

              Best of luck!
              Last edited by iru69; January 9, 2012, 05:33 PM. Reason: fix video link

              Comment


                #8
                It is tempting to wait for the Ivy Bridge processors. However, and please correct me if I'm wrong here as I don't really follow these things beyond the basics, but usually any new things are always going to bring problems with it, which are then fixed with updates throughout the months, finally ending in the absolute best product, i.e. the current Sandy Bridge processors are probably the best they'll ever going to be, especially if they are already coming up with a brand new line of processors. AGAIN, I could be completely wrong here which is why I'm asking. I wouldn't want to wait 4-6 months to get my new mbp with its shiny new line of processors and then have a bunch of problems that come with any new product. I could wait for it because my 6 year old mbp is in great shape if a tad...well VERY slow but it works. So I don't know, do I get it now and have the less powerful but pretty much completely polished, and "perfected" sandy bridge i7 or should I wait for the Ivy Bridge with potential beginners problems?

                Comment


                  #9
                  That's a great point/question!

                  It's really less about the CPU than the Macbook itself. There's not going to be any issues with the CPU itself. Also, I don't think Apple "updates throughout the months" as you might imagine - if there are design or manufacturing problems, they generally show up right away.

                  The bigger concern is Apple products themselves (and maybe this is more of what you're referring to)... Apple does not do a ton of real-world product testing, and they tend to push the manufacturing envelope. Something like the iPhone 4 "antenna-gate" comes to mind. I recall certain models of iMacs having screen problems. Or the white plastic finish of MacBooks yellowing due to heat. I myself avoided Apple product for over ten years after getting stuck with an Apple Powerbook 5300 (which coincidentally, I got as a graduation gift to myself, replacing my 6 year old Mac SE that got me through college ) - the 5300 was one of the biggest lemons Apple ever made. It was a $3,000 paperweight, and I vowed at the time to never buy another Mac ever again... so believe me, I can appreciate your concern!

                  So, you "know" (as much as one can "know" these things) that the 2011 MacBook Pro has been a pretty solid laptop, since it's been out for a while now. Honestly, I'm not so sure I'd want to get one of the very first 2012 MacBooks off the assembly line either. Kind of nice to give it a month or so and see if any major issues crop up. But if there are any issues, they almost certainly won't be related to the CPU. I don't think the new Ivy Bridge Macs are going to push the envelope much, but there are rumors of a new MacBook "casing" (more Air-like).

                  So, my buying advice would be if you could wait until a month or so after the kids start getting their hands on them, you should know by then whether there's anything to be concerned about... but I also realize that all of a sudden a few months could turn into five months... and then again, you're using a 6 year old MBP, so a new MBP is going to be awesome whether it's a Sandy Bridge or an Ivy Bridge.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Oh man........a more Air-like casing sounds...fantastic (I was going to say orgasmic but that might be inappropriate...oh oops there it is.) I am sooo impatient! I've already put off buying a new laptop for a year. I'm studying abroad in Prague this semester so it would be nice to have a new computer over there but maybe that's the reason to NOT get a new one (money will be tight and schoolwork is probably going to be a LOT less intense)...*sigh* I'm terrible at making decisions but one awaits so I'll update whenever I get whatever I get! Maybe I'll get it now and then mess up the bluetooth on it somehow in 6 months so I get the new one with the warranty...juust kidding..sort off.

                    Thank you so, so, so much for all your quick replies and your help You've been great! Happy holidays and have a fantastic year

                    EDIT: Oh wow you're right that is super easy to do. I just saw the video on how to change the RAM. Still unsure but a bit more confident, I guess I just need to find out what a static free surface consist off and if the fact that I live in Puerto Rico and climate is pretty humid changes anything in the process for me in terms of static. Thanks again!
                    Last edited by nadieliz; January 10, 2012, 07:26 PM.

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