C2D 15 vs. 17 - the gap narrows (thinking out loud)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by shecky, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. shecky Guest

    shecky

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    #1
    now that the C2D is out it appears that the gap between the 17" and the 15" has narrowed. i want to make sure i am not missing anything on the differences here:

    the 17" has over the 15":

    -bigger screen
    -larger stock HD
    -30 mins more battery life
    -2X faster DL burner
    -1 extra USB port

    when you spec out the 15" to match the 17" hard drive now you have a difference of $200. ignoring the weight and physical size issues, and the extra USB port the 17" has over the 15":

    -bigger screen
    -faster DL burner
    -30 mins battery life

    before it was a much easier choice; now they are so closely matched i have to wonder if the price + size is worth it considering its going to be used mostly at home with an external monitor. maybe i should go to the 15" and spend the extra $200 on a 23" monitor. i also wonder if the video card is similarly clocked down on the new 15" is the way it was on the CD 15".

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    these video cards can drive games equally as well on the 20" and an 23" external? i wonder what kind of hit i will take on framerates between the two.
     
  2. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #2

    I think that a 15" MacBook Pro and an external ACD would be the best combination for you. :)
     
  3. Synapple macrumors regular

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    #3
    I think some might value the smaller screen of the 15" a plus.
    Portability does not translate easily in $ but maybe something to consider, nonetheless.

    I assume this isn't a concern of yours, though, right?

    Edit: sorry, didn't really pay attention to the fact you are going to mostly use it at home. (I hate to be interrupted in my browsing by some work-related emergencies!)
     
  4. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000

    ®îçhå®?

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    #4
    Yeah go 15" and spend the extra $ on on external ACD. It is a better opionon and the 15" is more portable than the 17"
     
  5. shecky thread starter Guest

    shecky

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    #5
    hmmm... the things i am thinking about are:

    - to me, portability is irrelevant as i do not find the 17 any less portable than the 15.
    -the extra USB port is irrelevant
    -the slightly faster DL burner is irrelevant
    -the 30 min extra battery life is nice, but we also know that in real life its maybe 15 minutes longer
    -the bigger screen would be nice when i am with a client, on the road, etc. this DOES happen, but not daily or even weekly usually.

    the thing that is making me lean TO the 17 is the (historically) better heat dissipation, the (historically) not-underclocked video card, and the fact the stock config is good so i can just walk into the store and buy one without having to pay shipping and wait for a CTO (i would get the faster paid shipping option.)

    whats making me lean to the 15 is that i would not need to get a new sleeve to carry it around in (another $70), and it would mentally make me feel better about getting into a 23" monitor.

    the only (admittedly stupid) nagging thing is gaming performance of the MBP driving a 20" vs. a 23" external - i do not game a lot but i will do it some. if i could find confirmation that HL2, etc. runs as well on a 23" vs. a 20" it would help make the decision easier.
     
  6. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #6
    I am in the same shoes as the OP. Before this update, I was leaning toward a 17" model as it has the 800 FW port. Now, Core 2 Duo-updated MBP (both 15" and 17") sport a 400 and 800 FW port.
    I like the larger internal HD. The store model 15" is only 120 GB while the 17" counterpart is 160 GB.
    I can always go with the BTO option to put in 160 GB HD on a 15" MBP. But, that will make it impossible to get the exchange at the Apple Store for a warranty replacement.
    If a 17" MBP is designed a little better (in terms of cooling capabilities, less restrained graphic card performance), I may lean on getting a 17". I am weary of carrying 6.5 lbs notebook, though (but, it would be a trade off I may need to take).
     
  7. shecky thread starter Guest

    shecky

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    #7
    to me it really boils down to that and the price difference. factoring in everything (edu discount, new sleeve, shipping, etc...) the 17 would cost me $280 more than the same spec 15. thats 1/3rd of a nice 23" display that i am now nearly positive i will buy anyway.

    but cooling and the video card underclocking, those are really the X-factors.
     
  8. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #8
    Based on various threads on internet, 17" MBP has been more stable than its 15" counterpart. My hunch tells me that would be the case even after this Core 2 Duo update which was just announced today.
    Even though 17" model is a little bulkier, I am always tricked by its looks as I was not able to see the difference between a 15" and 17" model at the Apple Store. I had to look at the name tag on the model to see this one is a 15" and that one is a 17". So, this "bulk" I keep thinking about may not be too much of a deal. I think both 15" and 17" are bigger than the true mobile unit (such as my 12" PB, 12" iBook).
    Also, getting a 17" model will give you an instantaneous gratification as you can get it as a stock unit (with a 160 GB HD) from your near-by Apple Store.
     
  9. shecky thread starter Guest

    shecky

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    #9
    i agree and that is where i am banging my head against a wall. if $280 gets me a machine that is a touch faster video wise and works cooler + better then over the 3 years i will have this laptop it is completely worth it. it seems to me historically that the 17" is just plain less problematic than the 15 was in general.

    i think the physical bulk of the 15 vs. the 17 is negligible so that is in no way affecting my decision. plus i keep reminding myself this is all a write-off anyway so uncle sam helps pay for some of it.

    right now, at this second, i am starting to lean to the 17" and keep my 20" viewsonic external widescreen LCD for now and wait for the next round of post-xmas LCD screens to come out before going bigger.
     
  10. ctsport1234 macrumors regular

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    Mar 15, 2005
    #10
    I would go for the 17'' I had the 15'' for over a year and I don't find it noticably different from the 17'' portablity wise. The 17'' looks better (imo) and the extra screen space is great if this MBP is your main computer. After my PB experience, I would not get anything larger than 13'' if portablity is a priority.
     
  11. Multimedia macrumors 603

    Multimedia

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    #11
    Dell Screens Are A Better Value

    I have 4 Dell monitors and I can hartely recommend them all. Prices have dropped radically in the past year. MacBook Pros all support 30" Dual Link DVI.

    New Dell Prices:
    30" is $1279
    24" is $ 679
    20" Wide 1650x1050 is $339
    20" 1600x1200 is $359.20 - I prefer over 20 wide - Way More Pixels including 150 pixels higher.

    187,500 more pixels.
     
  12. Multimedia macrumors 603

    Multimedia

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    #12
    Operating Temperature May Be Good Reason To Go 17"

    From Apple's Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro page footnote #1 in very faint grey that blends in with the black background so you won't read it:

    "MacBook Pro continuously monitors system thermal and power conditions, and may adjust processor speed as needed to maintain optimal system operation."

    i.e. If it gets too hot in a 15" it will automatically slow down the processor and not get work done as fast as it will in a cooler 17" enclosure. :eek:
     
  13. shecky thread starter Guest

    shecky

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    #13
    exactly. after going back and forth for a few days i have decided to go with the 17" based on the bigger screen size and mostly because the 17" have been less problematic and seem to run cooler than the 15.

    so the 17" pro's + cons (that i consider relevant):

    pro:
    -bigger screen
    -runs less problematically
    -little bit better drive, usb, etc.

    cons:
    -will need to wait at least another week to 2 weeks before it is in-store to pick it up.

    after doing the math again, stuff like cost and weight are completely irrelevant to me (especially factoring in the edu discount + the tax write off)
     
  14. tarjan macrumors regular

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    #14
    I''m sorry, the dell monitors are not a good value, compared to apple yes but not otherwise. They use 262k color screens, though they do have decent refresh delays.

    For 1350 + a coupon if available at best buy you can get a westinghouse 37" screen at 1920x1080 with a true 16.7m colors without dithering. Plus it has hdmi, dvi (2) component and vga inputs. Hang it on a wall and call it your tv and computer monitor. Or you can spend a couple hundred more and get a 42" model, which I have, and then you are set. Brightness is similar, and I think it is 8ms g-g, similar to the dells and apple monitors but with more color choices.

    Just make sure you get a wall bracket that goes between two studs, even though the basic ones "should" work based on the weight. They are not terribly adjustable and if your stud isnt in the center of where you need it to be, you are screwed on placement because it cant be moved left or right and you have a nice hole in the wall.
     
  15. Multimedia macrumors 603

    Multimedia

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    #15
    Comparing Dell 2560x1600 30" Dual Link DVI To 1920x1080 Westinghouse TV Is Absurd

    Reads like a joke post. How can you seriously "compare" a 2560x1600 Pixel Dell Monitor with 4,096,000 pixels of real estate to a Westinghouse 1920x1080 TV with only 2,073,600 pixels - More than 2 Million Pixels LESS real estate? :eek: :confused: :eek: :confused:

    Your "better value" is just over HALF the size of the 30" Dell no matter what the diagonal dimensions. Plus it has to be fix mounted on the wall. :eek: I move my 30 around twice a day.
     
  16. Multimedia macrumors 603

    Multimedia

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    #16
    What About Glossy Vs. Matt? I Can't Tell What's Wrong With Matt That Glossy Fixes

    I'm totally confused which way we should go on the Glossy-Matt choice. :confused: :eek:
     
  17. shecky thread starter Guest

    shecky

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    #17
    i find the glossy to be nasty. no way in hell i would get anything but matte.

    as far as the externals go, i decided to use my 20" viewsonic for now and wait until at least after Black Friday but probably until january to buy a 23/24" - i did research the Dells and i need better color performance than they offer, tho i do admit they are a steal at those prices. i am going to wait and see what comes out in the next few months from Sony, Lacie and Eizo.
     
  18. Multimedia macrumors 603

    Multimedia

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    #18
    Thanks For The Matte Props • What Exactly Is Wrong With Dell Color?

    Thanks for that. That's what my gut says as well. I just don't quite get what glossy is supposed to be all about.

    Dell color looks great to me. What's wrong with it?
     
  19. shecky thread starter Guest

    shecky

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    #19
    for broadcast/video absolutely nothing. for print/photo (which is what i do 90% of the time) reviews say that the colors are not as accurate to print even when calibrated, have a much higher tendency to shift when viewed at angle, as well as occasional banding, etc... most of which has been fixed but not all.

    i have used a 20" Eizo flat panel while working with a photographer and the colors are just SO much better looking (more "true") than anything i have seen, i can see why the high end ones go for $5300.

    you may (or may not) want to search for the dell part numbers at the forums at dpreview.com to get a more accurate discussion of what i am trying to say (poorly, but im kinda tired :) ) the basic idea is that you know how in reviews of stuff they say things like "almost nobody will notice this fault" or "most people will never see the difference"? unfortunately for me, designers are the people who DO see the difference, subtle as it may be. this damns us to buying a lot more expensive equipment than everyone else just to get that 5% difference.
     
  20. clintob macrumors 6502

    clintob

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    #20
    I've seen this noted a few times on this forum... the weight issue. I have weighed several notebooks myself, because I was curious how accurate Apple really is with the weight specs. Turns out these are my average numbers for 5 15" notebooks and 3 17" notebooks (mostly Powerbooks, but a couple of MBPs as well):

    15" -- 6.05 lbs
    17" -- 6.48 lbs

    Worth noting if it helps your decision. It turns out that in "real world" terms, the 15" is nearly the same weight, and it actually fits into a lot (though not all) of the travel sleeves that are sold for the 15" so it's not all that much heavier/bigger as far as portability is concerned.
     
  21. dgoss macrumors regular

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    #21
    I hear a lot of quotes to the effect of "the 15 inch and 17 inch are the same portability to me."

    I'm curious how many of the people making these statements have spent a lot of time with (owned) both sizes. The reason is that I had owned two 15" machines and then at some point switched over to a 17" as my only computer. I have had two 17" machines now and am going back to the 15" with the MBP I just ordered a few days ago.

    In my opinion, the 17" ends up being bigger in some ways that are more than just 1/2 pound and 2". Bigger in ways that are not simply quantified. The 15" just seems to be at some limit of reasonable size to fit in many bags & backpacks. It fits on airplane trays, mostly. In real world use I got so fed up with moving my 17" around - and this is limited travel, it's mostly on a desk - that I was starting to look at (GASP!) ultra-think 12" and under PCs (don't worry, running linux only - but that still was painful coming from OS X) to have something small to travel with. I ran into a friend and played with her 15" MBP and remembered what it was like... my computer slipping into a small backpack...

    For some it seems like such a small difference, and I've been there. But for me, after months of daily use, I'd say think heavily about getting the 17". I'm putting a new monitor in my office where my machine sits all the time and then I'll have even a bigger screen than my 17" going that way - and more portability. I think the 15" is a sweet spot, despite my admiration for the 17" Macs I've had. I'm personally just now moving back to a 15" - and now that FW800 is back it was an easy decision for me after having lugging around my current machine.

    Hope that helps.
     
  22. absurdio macrumors 6502

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    #22
    It may be a moot point now, since everyone (myself included) seems to have ordered their respective computers, but, my two cents:

    - regarding heat, i'm hoping the new redesigned vents (http://att.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=60797&d=1162052635, thanks multi ;) ) will (finally) offer the machines enough cooling. If so, that should mean the c2d chips may actually be able to live up to their potential, without being stifled by heating concerns.

    - regarding the matte/glossy issue, I agree with what has mostly been said here: glossy is foolish and ugly. It looks, to me, like a shameless appeal to idiots that understand nothing but "shiny." Of course, that's not to say that everyone who goes the "glossy" route is an idiot. Certainly not. But, to me, the glossy screen, in addition to being functionally crippled (useless in bad lighting, questionable coloration), just looks garish and tacky.

    That said, it's probably obvious that I went with the 15" matte screen.

    ...and as far as HL2, goes, you can be sure I'll be finding out how well it performs as soon as that MBP gets to my door.
     
  23. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

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    #23
    15 vs. 17?

    If portability is not an issue do you need a laptop? You might be better off with the iMac. My preference is always the 15 with monitor. The difference really is apparent to me when I travel.
     
  24. absurdio macrumors 6502

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    #24
    That's another good point. If portability really isn't an issue, might you not be better off investing your 2.5-3k in an iMac or Mac Pro?

    I also opted for the 15" because the idea of having a 15" in class or in the library seems sortof unnecessarily ostentacious to me. Clearly you're in a much different boat. But perhaps that boat would be better suited by a desktop?
     
  25. shecky thread starter Guest

    shecky

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    #25
    iMac is not an option as i need the portability of a laptop to take with me to client meetings, on site stuff, etc. i would say the machine is at my desk around 75% of the time. the 17 is better in this regard because its a little easier to show stuff to 5 people at a table on the 17 then on the 15.

    i was considering going with a low-end MacBook + a Mac Pro but it would run me about $1000 more than the high-end 17" MBP. plus the additional issues of the repulsive glossy and small 13" screen was a deal breaker.

    and i have owned a 15" powerbook for years (and a Lombard before that) and i did use a friend's 17" MBP for a few days a couple of weeks ago and to be honest: the difference in portability to me is virtually zero.
     

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