13" i7 MBP vs 15" QM MBP for dev work with light gaming

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by LaunchpadBS, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Location:
    iLondon/iDurban
    #1
    I'm stuck with a tough decision here, I need to upgrade my old 08 unibody MBP because it's just too slow.

    I've bought a nice big monitor so I was looking to reduce desktop presence by buying a mac mini, but seeing as there's no real timeline for the refresh and I don't want to pay 2012 prices for 2011 tech I've come back to the MBP.

    My use, light gaming every now and then, mainly Diablo 3 as I've got a PS3.
    I do quite a bit of development work in Xcode as well as running MS Visual Studio via parallels for more dev work. I also run handbrake overnight to convert to ATV.

    I'm looking more at the 13" i7 MBP as it's quite a bit smaller than the 15", but my only worry is will the dual core i7 with 16GB ram and a hybrid HD (Seagate momentus XT) be able to handle my workload and play Diablo 3 on a decent enough setting through my external monitor?
    As far as desk space goes the 13" is quite a bit smaller than the 15" and it'll mainly be closed when using the external monitor.

    Been going round in circles with this, any advice would be greatly appretiated.
     
  2. freshe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #2
    I had the 27" i5 iMac recently and did play diablo 3 and starcraft 2. The GPU was Ati HD 6970 with 1GB memory. Starcraft 2 running on Lion was a disaster. Slideshow whenever an explosion or death occured to any of the units even the tiniest ones. Diablo 3 was bit better but still had some hiccups from time to time. The only game I had some joy of good graphics and smooth gameplay was WoW.

    The new MBP 13 has only the ivy bridge graphics thats built in CPU (i think) and I think it is much slower than HD 6970 so I don't know if that will let you run D3 on you nice big monitor. I'd say the GTX 650M might be a better choice for gaming and maybe is faster than 6970 or any other card from the 6xxx family used in previous macs.
     
  3. LaunchpadBS thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 11, 2008
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    iLondon/iDurban
    #3
    What resolution were you playing at though? I'm not looking to go full HD here, got a console for that ;)
     
  4. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #4
    If you can afford the 15" get it, buy a refurb if needed. I've had a 13" and a 15" and the 15" is not much bigger. You'll have the benefit of a dedicated graphics card for gaming plus a better screen.

    I find dual screens can be very useful for work, you will find the 15" screen useful alongside the desktop monitor (i use my 15" laptop next to a 21" screen every day).

    If you want portability get an Air :)
     
  5. LaunchpadBS thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 11, 2008
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    iLondon/iDurban
    #5
    It's not so much about the money as it is about the size, 13" is perfect, but the air is out as it lacks ports and upgradeability.

    I'm seriously reconsidering getting a refurbed Mac Mini to hold me over till the alleged retina 13" MBP...that could be just what I'm looking for.
     
  6. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #6
    I'd definitely wait for a 'retina' 13", or at least a 13" with the screen from the Air. I can't believe apple still sell the 13" with such a bad screen when the air has a better one.
     
  7. LaunchpadBS thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 11, 2008
    Location:
    iLondon/iDurban
    #7
    I bit the bullet and bought the entry level 13" MBP, got £200 off and bought a 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM for it, also got a nice IPS 24" monitor, it's a lot faster than my old MBP already. Will see what happens with the retina model, might upgrade if it's worth it.
     
  8. 671417 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    #8
    When you actually have to use the 13 inch display, you will regret it.
     
  9. LaunchpadBS thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Location:
    iLondon/iDurban
    #9
    Well that's the thing, even the 'hi-res' 15" was too small, the only time I'd ever really use 13" for is browsing, no serious work.
     

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