MBP 2011 15" vs W520

gjt86

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I am in the market for somewhat of a budget laptop with quad-core capabilities. I do a heavy amount of work in windows as an admin at a windows shop, but tend to do development/minor graphics work as well (Visual Studio based, but also python and web stacks, Photoshop). Having access to bash via OSX is an awesome feature - and I also want to get more familiar with OSX as it has been years since owning a mac.

Also, I've heard a lot of good things about bootcamp and parallels, etc., but I am not sure how viable this actually is in a major windows environment. In either case, VMWare useage is a must.

I've nailed it down to pretty much two models, a Lenovo w520 and MBP 15" 2011 (it has swappable ram, which I plan to upgrade).

Gaming isn't also of a big deal, since I have a desktop built for it; but playing some modern games would be nice (maybe civ5 or dota). Not really a necessity, but a cool bonus, I guess.

The specs on each (I've also considered a t440s):

W520 (~$450):
Intel Core i7-2760QM 2.4GHz
Powerful quad core cpu
RAM 8GB DDR3 Memory
Supports up to 32GB max
Display 15.6" HD+ Widescreen LCD
(1600x900 max res)
Storage 160GB solid state drive
Optical DVDRW
Video Card NVIDIA Quadro 1000M
2GB of dedicated video memory
Audio Integrated audio

W520 #2 ($~700)
Processor Intel Core i7-2860QM Quad Core Processor (8mb cache, upto 3.6 Ghz.)
Operating System Genuine Windows 7 Professional, 64bit- English (Genuine factory install with restore partition intact)
Total Memory 8 GB SDRAM SODIMM Memory
Hard Drive 240 GB SSD HD (Intel 520 Series SSD) Uprgraded after factory.
Display 15.6" HD 1920x1080 LED, with Camera
Graphics 2 GB Nvidia Quadro 2000m Dedicated Graphics card
Optical Device Removable internal DVDRW


Note here: I like the idea of having an extra caddy for an HDD, the lower price leaves more room for upgrading ram or ssd, etc. Durability seems impeccable and self-upgrading capabilities is great!


2011 Macbook (~$600):
2.2 GHZ Intel Core i7 Quad-Core Processor
4GB DDR3 Memory (supports up to 16)
500GB Hard Drive - 7200RPM
Intel HD Graphics 3000 384MB + AMD Radeon 6750M 1GB Dual Graphics
Hi-Resolution 1680 x 1050 LCD Display
OEM DVD Burner

Note: Access to *nix and both os'es and swayed by nice design/reputation. Lack of linux support (and needing additional adapters) kind of sucks, but I can deal with this. Price leaves less room for upgrading, but I'll deal with it if this seems to be a good deal. Durability not as good, but weighs less for better portability? I've also heard of MBP running extremely hot?
 

velo3100

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I would say that as you work with windows that you buy a windows laptop as the windows partition on mac doesn't run as well. The second lenovo is a good deal but in my opinion you don't really need a workstation gpu. I would look into getting a newer laptop with an i5 or i7 depending on the amount of cpu power you need and not worry too much about the gpu.
 

gjt86

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Still haven't found a proper solution for this, although I'd say my budget has slightly increase to 650-700. Any reasons why I shouldn't go with a A1286 mbp?
 

gjt86

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Early 2011 version (I thiink, it is one of the last models with DIY upgrade-able ram). I think I will be going with lenovo, but I'm just not sure what is the best bang for buck here. Is a newer i5 better than the w520 quad i7?
 

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