13" C2D vs 15" i5 Macbook Pro for college???

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by atc1093, May 25, 2010.

  1. atc1093 macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    Hey guys, I am brand new here, so I know there are probably similar threads on this issue (I have read many of them), but I just wanted to get some closure by explaining my exact situation.

    I am going to be a freshman at Georgia Tech this upcoming school year, and will be majoring in business. I have never owned a Mac before, so first of all, is it very difficult to get used to it coming from a PC? The mac vs. PC decision is very hard for me to decide, so any reasons why mac is better for college would also be appreciated.

    My main question though has to do with which model Macbook Pro to get. Since I am not an engineering major, I will not have to use those programs. However I am not quite sure what programs business majors usually use. All I have heard is that some classes might use windows-only programs, so I might have to use bootcamp from time to time. With all of this in mind, do you think I should get the 2.4ghz C2D 13" Macbook Pro or the 2.4ghz i5 15"?

    If the 13" came with the i-series processors that would be the ideal setup, but $600 is a lot of extra cash that I could use to buy other things. Basically, I am wondering if I will see much of a difference between those two models, and if the 15" is ideal for carrying around in college in comparison to the 13".

    Explanations to any answers or opinions would be appreciated. Thanks guys!!

    EDIT: I also added this in one of my replies below, but just so everyone can give an answer, I talked to my dad about how he seemed to think that speed increases came a lot more from added RAM than from a higher processor speed. What is everyone's take on this?
  2. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    Get the 13"...better for portability and has the killer battery life...I have the i5 15" 2.4GHz and I love it but if I was a college student I'd have gone with the 13" no doubt. It has all the power and graphics ability you could possibility need as a business major...save the extra money for books...:)
  3. catfish743 macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2007
  4. waynema macrumors member

    May 25, 2010
    Hong Kong
    15" if you can

    Surfing on a 15" is really awesome. Id go for the 15" if extra costs isn't a big issue. Weight difference is only 1.1lb.

    If you dig the 13 incher, go with the newly revised macbook, its $949 w/free ipod right now.

    You will most likely be using Minitab for business stats, I believe that's the only "business major" software that only runs on windows.
  5. cloroxbleach4 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2007
    As a business major myself, I don't run anything too intensive. I'm sure a 13" will be more than you need. The only programs I ever run is Microsoft Office and on an occasion accounting software.

    I installed Windows 7 using Fusion so that way I'll be able to run Microsoft Office on windows, the Microsoft Office for Mac was too odd for me.
  6. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    Base MBP13" is your best bet.

    Its important to note that the C2Ds in the MBPs perform the same as the Core i3s.
  7. Jaxdialation macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2010
    You need word processing, spreadsheets and basic internet tools.
    Anything MBP will handle that.

    Since men outnumber women by 8 to 1 at GT, you are going to need something portable in case you see a woman at all. :)
  8. Batman101 macrumors member

    May 9, 2009
    Like I said in the other thread, purchasing an aging processor with over 1000 dollars is not very smart, if you are going to spend that much money then you better go for the base 15 inch!
  9. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    I would buy the 15" if $ isn't an issue. It has a better platform screenwise :p, but 13" is just fine. If you don't want the 15", get the 13" then add an ssd/8gb =D

    Not much difference between PC and Mac. The functions are nearly the same, but with mac you're able to quit the program from completely running whilst, pc you might have the program idling. :/
  10. EstrlM3 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    buying the 15" would be a waste of money in this situation, your statement about an aging processor is also irrelavent to this thread.

    OP for college grab the 13" its all the power you will need.
  11. Batman101 macrumors member

    May 9, 2009
    Why would it be irrelevant? If you are going to spend so much money already, might as well spend a couple of hundred dollars on the 15 inch, that would likely that he might not need to buy a new laptop much longer than if he decides to buy the 13 inch.

    Saves money for the OP in the long run.
  12. EstrlM3 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2010
    In what way does spending an extra $600 dollars for specs that are not needed equate to saving money in the long run?

    Both laptops will easily get him through college no problem.
  13. Batman101 macrumors member

    May 9, 2009
    If he buys a better laptop now, he will not need to replace the laptop as often and thus saving money.
  14. atc1093 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    Haha I had a laugh looking at this. I do not think it is that bad anymore, its about 35% women now, and plus if you take out all of the guys who just stay in their room playing video games all the time, the figures aren't too bad.

    I talked to my dad about this, but i hope you can give me some more insight. He seemed to think that speed increases came a lot more from added RAM than from a higher processor speed. What is everyone's take on this?

    Everyone please excuse my double reply, I didn't see this until after posting the other replies.

    But to answer your question, I do not really see how spending an extra $600 will save me money if I will probably be getting a new computer anyways sometime around when I graduate from college, since there will be bigger and better things around then.
  15. Batman101 macrumors member

    May 9, 2009
    I see what you mean, if you are going to switch to another computer within a few years anyways, have you consider the white macbook? Spec wise they are almost the same.
  16. atc1093 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    I did look at it, but if I am already going to be spending this much money, it makes more sense to spend the extra $150 and get 2 more gb of ram, a slightly faster processor, a backlit keyboard, memory card reader, and the many other little things that I cannot remember that come on the pro.
  17. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    If this will be your only computer, get the 15" because the 13" is too small to use for extended periods of time such as when writing papers. I am a senior in computer science, and I use my 13" when writing code away from my home. And after several hours the display will start to feel cramped and small. I really like the form factor though of the 13". It fits nicely on small
    desks, and it is very easy to handle, but I am thankful it is not my only display I use. See signature for my other display.

    Same processor but you forget forged aluminum body.
  18. atc1093 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    I have taken this into consideration, and do you think that if I am already going to buy an lcd tv for my dorm that I could plug the laptop into, that the 13" would be the best bet?
  19. debob macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    That depends on how big the tv will be. First let me start off by saying that I am very new to the apple community. I just switched over from using PC's my whole life. I am heavily into gaming and have a Windows tower rig setup just for that. I got a 17" Sony Vaio my freshman year of college (I am now going into my 4th year) thinking that it would be awesome to have the biggest, baddest, laptop for college. Well...I was wrong lol.

    3 Days ago I bought a 13" MBP with the 320gb HD and I am in love with it. It is the perfect size for portability and has AMAZING battery life. I charged it fully once and used it all the next day without having to worry about if the battery was going to die on me.

    To my point...

    I use a 24" LCD TV in my room in college as something to game on/watch tv/ hook whatever I want into it.

    Before I brought down my gaming rig I had my laptop setup with it and used it as the primary display which was awesome. My room mate who had a macbook used a secondary monitor for the same purpose.

    I think you will be plenty happy with getting the 13". It's mega portable and the battery life is beyond impressive. You will love the size when you have to take it to class or the library and you have to walk across campus to do it.

    Hope this helps.
  20. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Go 13". As a current college student, I would definitely recommend the 13" to pretty much everyone. I have what is basically the current base 13" MBP (minus 2 gigs o' ram) and it still ran the engineering drafting programs fine, so I am sick of hearing that the C2D isn't powerful enough. I also have an external monitor (which you could easily use an LCD tv) and it's great. I get to carry around a small, light computer, that easily fits in either my backpack or my laptop bag. I know 2 inches and a pound isn't really all that much, but it still feels much bulkier, and my 13" barely fits on the unreasonably small desks at school as is. So I would say save yourself the $600 (trust me, it will come in handy), and buy yourself the base 13".
  21. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    LCD tvs are not the best substitute for a computer monitor but you can get by if necessary. You would also need an external mouse and keyboard then too. More than likely you will just use the laptop rather than dealing with all that while trying to write a paper, but maybe you will have it setup better than I imagine.
    Really though think about the 15", $600 is not that much in comparison to the enormous cost of going to college. If you have a proper desktop type setup, external monitor, keyboard and mouse, the 13" will offer more portability versus less performance and be a very good solution too.
    Good luck with your decision
  22. atc1093 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    When you use an external monitor setup, do you have the current wireless keyboard by apple and/or the magic mouse? I am debating whether to get those or get a different brand of keyboard and mouse.

    Well I would not buy just a monitor since I need to buy a tv anyways. And do you recommned the magic mouse and the apple wireless keyboard? I think that once I get it set up that it won't be too hard to simply plug the laptop into the adapter, especially if I have the wireless keyboard and mouse.
  23. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    Definitely get a different brand mouse. Apple keyboards are not the best and far from the worst though.
  24. atc1093 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    Is the magic mouse not good? And aren't most other mouses the two button layout? Does that conflict with using it for a macbook? Can you still right click?
  25. debob macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    If you get the tv...get something that it can sit on that is higher than whatever MBP you choose to get. That way you have a sort of vertical setup where the tv is above the laptop. works out a lot better IMHO.

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