Need Advice to Purchase a New Macbook Pro

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This post has 17 Replies | 2 Followers

Posts 34
Beckon&Muse | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Mar 16 2011 11:53 AM

Hi,

This is more for the developpers than anyone I guess. I am in the market to purchase one of those new shiny macbook pros that just debuted. I've hard a lot of good things in improvement concerning their operation of Logos 4. Although, I am curious where should I be putting the bang in my buck. 

In my customization, I've considered the following configurations:

A) 2.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 with a 128 GB SSD with 6GB of RAM ($1,579)

B) 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with a 500 GB 5,400 RPM HDD with 6GB or RAM ($1,699)

C) 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with a 500 GB 7,200 RPM HDD with 6GB or RAM($1,749)

Which is better for Logos 4? A, B, or C?

Second question is (which some elaboration would be great) : does Logos benefit a lot more from quad core processor? Or is the difference minute from a dual core?

Posts 570
Rev Chris | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 16 2011 12:10 PM

I'm not a developer, but I can tell you a couple things about processing power in general.  Option A is probably your best computer in terms of processing speed, both because of the CPU speed and the harddrive (SSD's are faster and more reliable than HDDs).  However, you have a serious trade-off with the small size of the SSD.  If it's big enough for your current and future needs, then by all means.  But within options B and C, the 7200RPM HDD will be faster.  I have a 2009 model MBP that's 2.26GHz with 4gb of ram and a 7200RPM, 750gb HDD.  After doing some customizations to the My Passage Guide and the My Exegetical Guide, and after forcing my computer to run in 64-bit mode (which hopefully those new models do by default now), Logos runs pretty smooth.

Pastor, seminary trustee, and app developer.  Check out my latest app for churches: The Church App

Posts 570
Rev Chris | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 16 2011 12:11 PM

**edit** just saw that option A is dual-core and the others are quad-core.  I don't know enough to tell you whether 2.7GHz @ dual-core is better than 2.0GHz @ quadcore or not, but my hunch is the quad-core is better.

Pastor, seminary trustee, and app developer.  Check out my latest app for churches: The Church App

Posts 34
Beckon&Muse | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 16 2011 12:15 PM

Thanks Chris. Yeah, I just need to know what is more important to Logos, an SSD or a Quad processor. But you said you had to force your mac to run in 64 bit. I wasn't aware that they don't do that by default. I currently have a 2009 model of the macbook 13". More than likely I would have to turn a switch or to to make it run my logos 4 in 64 bit right? Are there any resources you could point me to for advice to do this?

Posts 570
Rev Chris | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 16 2011 12:51 PM

Check out the wiki for several tips on how to improve Logos on MBP's:

http://wiki.logos.com/Mac_Troubleshooting#Slow_Performance

One of those tips is running in 64-bit mode.  The link for those instructions is:

http://macperformanceguide.com/SnowLeopard-64bit.html

I think I used the PRAM method on my machine and it worked great.  Takes all of about 2 seconds plus a reboot.

Pastor, seminary trustee, and app developer.  Check out my latest app for churches: The Church App

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 16 2011 8:28 PM

Joshua Eldridge:
Yeah, I just need to know what is more important to Logos, an SSD or a Quad processor.

For daily Logos use, SSD would be better. For indexing Logos library, Quad Core would be faster.  Also suggest visiting an Apple Store to compare 13" and 15" screen sizes for your use.

Joshua Eldridge:
More than likely I would have to turn a switch or to to make it run my logos 4 in 64 bit right?

Logos 4 is currently a 32 bit application on Mac & PC, which does benefit from Mac OS X running 64 bit kernel, especially if more than 4 GB Ram is installed.

Joshua Eldridge:
Are there any resources you could point me to for advice to do this?

Concur Slow Performance section on Mac Troubleshooting page has many ideas for improving Mac OS X performance.

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 109
Darryl Burling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 16 2011 8:37 PM

CPU is less important to Logos than Disk speed and Memory.  Get as much RAM as you can afford and an SSD drive.  Yes, this does mean you'll take a hit on space available.

Generally the biggest disk hogs on a hard drive will be media (music, videos, photos).  You have two ways of managing this with a mobile machine - either have them in an external hard drive that you can leave behind (do you need music and video's on the go or will your phone/ipod/whatever) do the job for you?  The second way is to have a server that has all your music, etc on it and then copy some of it into itunes to take with you.  iTunes allows you to change the location of your library, as does iPhoto.

Personally, right now I'm using option1 (I have a Mac Mini), but I'll be getting a macbook later this year when I'll go with option 2.

To find out what uses your disk space today install the free trial of Daisy disk (http://www.daisydiskapp.com/), run it and see what takes up the space.  If you can remove the space hogs, and have less data on your drive than the SSD will hold, you should be good to go.

If you buy a MBP with an SSD drive now, the drive will slow down over time.  Lion (the next version of OSX) includes TRIM support which will fix this - so upgrade to Lion when it comes out to get a performance boost.

Hope that helps!

Posts 34
Beckon&Muse | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 16 2011 9:21 PM

That you so much Darryl. I appreciate your great reply. I am curious though, why so Solid State Drives slow down over time?

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 16 2011 9:26 PM

Joshua Eldridge:
I am curious though, why so Solid State Drives slow down over time?

Computer World has a multi-page article => http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9132668/Analysis_SSD_performance_is_a_slowdown_inevitable_

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 109
Darryl Burling | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 16 2011 10:26 PM

Joshua Eldridge:
I am curious though, why so Solid State Drives slow down over time?

The link KS4J sent is a good one for explaining the reason they slow down, but the article is getting dated now. In a nutshell it has to do with the way unused blocks on the drive are managed.  Without TRIM unused blocks are erased before they are written to, with TRIM the OS can "garbage collect" behind the scenes.  Most modern SSD's support TRIM, but the question is about OS support (the OS needs to be able to "hear" the drive telling it to clean up).

More details on TRIM is here.  Also Snow Leopard support TRIM in the new MBA's which I didn't know, so if you buy a MBP with an SSD it might also support TRIM in which case my comment about TRIM is moot. :)

Posts 8
Benjamin Bryan | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 16 2011 11:23 PM

Darryl Burling:

More details on TRIM is here.  Also Snow Leopard support TRIM in the new MBA's which I didn't know, so if you buy a MBP with an SSD it might also support TRIM in which case my comment about TRIM is moot. :)

You're close.  Snow Leopard does not support TRIM as of the current release (10.6.6).  However, some SSDs have onboard garbage collection (meaning you don't need to rely on the OS having TRIM support).  Currently Apple is only using SSDs with onboard garbage collection.  This article explains this in more detail.  In short, if you're buying a SSD for OSX make sure it has onboard garbage collection, or wait until OSX has TRIM support.

Posts 2686
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 17 2011 7:58 AM

The latest MBPs have TRIM support in their version of Snow Leopard.

Performance for L4 is improved greatly with a good discrete graphics card. Don't stint on that. I think MBPs have a choice, so get the better one.

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

Posts 8
Benjamin Bryan | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 17 2011 10:05 PM

Michael Ballai:

The latest MBPs have TRIM support in their version of Snow Leopard.

Performance for L4 is improved greatly with a good discrete graphics card. Don't stint on that. I think MBPs have a choice, so get the better one.

Hmm... I've been unable to get TRIM enabled in my 2011 Macbook Pro with the latest release (10.6.6)... it's probably only enabled if you buy an SSD from Apple.

 

Posts 2686
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 18 2011 8:32 AM

Hardware features are mostly invisible without the hardware installed. Just ran into an instance of that.

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

Posts 453
Mike S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 18 2011 8:55 AM

Don't buy for logos today, buy for Logos 5, unless of course you're going to be buying a new macbook every 2 years. 

With that said, I would go for config C for its faster HD without the disadvantages of SSD. 

Posts 34
Beckon&Muse | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 2 2011 1:33 PM

So thank you everyone for you advice! I finally made my purchase, and wowzers! This runs Logos like a champ!!

Macbook Pro 15" 

Processor: 2.0GHz quad-core i7

Memory: 8GB 1333 MHz from OWC

Hard Drive: 240 SSD from OWC

 

I'm also using BookArc for my external peripherals setup. It is a very sturdy piece of equipment. I highly recommend it. 

I did go over my budget a bit, but I think it will be worth it—especially when Logos 5 hits the streets!

Posts 109
Darryl Burling | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 2 2011 2:48 PM

Wowsers is right!  If you don't mind, how much did all that cost?  I assume you fitted the Hard drive yourself? 

Posts 34
Beckon&Muse | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 10 2011 12:13 PM

Darryl, it was 2k+ machine. I am certainly trying to plan ahead for future development, but I don't know if it was worth it at this point. I feel like I might have been a little hasty in making a comment on the efficiency of running L4. When I say it runs like a champ, I do mean in relation to my previous '09 Macbook. The boot time has been cut down by 500%. The morphological searching has dramatically decreased in display time as well. However, this MBP doesn't run other features too much better than the last: scrolling, linked windows, typing, etc. Sometimes, when I'm typing notes, it can take 6-7 seconds for the word to appear. So, I apologize for being hasty in my comment and not clarifying what I meant. But, yes, it runs like a champ in relation to my previous machine. 

 

And, yes, I purchased my memory and hard drive from Other World Computing and installed them myself. They seemed to have a dynamite reputation for SSD hard drives. Great warranty program as well.

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