13 inch, 15 inch, big dilemma!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by v490, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. v490 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hey everybody!

    Well - I have always had normal notebooks, and was skeptical about macs - but I have borrowed my brother's macbook pro 13 inch for a few days and I want to get a macbook pro, I really love the OS, the portability and all those features that may seem stupid at first glance but are actually extremely important.

    I go to university and I need something portable: I don't want to carry around something that weights too much. The battery duration is also very important for me, but I don't need anything that lasts more than 5-6 hours, so I see that both 13 inch and 15 inch would suit me.

    The thing is: I play some games. Not games that require extreme GPUs like Crysis 2, but i play WoW sporadically and some League of Legends, these kind of games.

    The 13 inch is great, extremely portable and all, but I see that it has no GPU, and i dont know how good the intel 3000 is: would it be able to run such games I mentioned?

    That's why i took a look at the macbook pro 15 inch: it has a dedicated graphics card, but it is only 256mb: probably enough for those games, but then again, it costs 1800$, and with an extra 400$ i could get the better macbook pro 15 inch which could run everything with no problem.

    What do you suggest? I am undecided: if the 13 inch can run games such as league of legends I'd go with it, also because of the price, which is considerably lower. If not, I'd have to stick with the 15 inch: how big is the difference between the 2?

    Thank you everyone.
     
  2. Legion93 macrumors 6502a

    Legion93

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    #2
    Portability and power doesn't really bond together very well, since you want portability, you can also go for the 13" Air, but if you want to play games, especially WoW, you'd want to go with the 15" since it features AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB GDDR5 over the 13" pro.

    Macs are not designed for gaming, and thus running 'RAM-eating' intensive games like WoW will struggle to cope with the OS, however light gaming could be played without an issue, especially on the new 2011 pro's quad core processors.
     
  3. v490 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    I know, I want too much - portability and games. WoW is not the main issue, the portability factor is more important.

    Does anybody know about league of legends? It is a game that doesnt require much power - I run it flawlessly on my 5 year old desktop with an nvidia 7600GT. If that kind of games can run on the 13 inch it would be absolutely perfect:D Super-portable and a bit of fun with games allowed:D
     
  4. mike.coulter macrumors regular

    mike.coulter

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    #4
    I've found osx to handle Wow fine, my 2009 iMac with a Nvidia 9400m 256mb runs Wow perfectly. I've never known those games to be demanding at all. Come to think of it, even my low spec Windows laptop with an extremely old Intel gpu can run it.
     
  5. ozreth macrumors 65816

    ozreth

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    #5
    My girlfriend plays Dragon Age: Origins on medium-high settings on 2010 13" with the Nvidia graphics.

    The new 13" will run League of Legends just fine.

    That being said, I've been using 15" MBP's since around '05 or '06 and have always had the highest end model. Each year they can play any game that comes out on high settings (if you get the high end model) with little to no problems. For awhile I thought it was great, portable enough and pretty darn powerful.

    Over the years I got tired of worrying about upgrading to the newest model, and I also found myself carrying it around less and less.

    Tonight I finally bought a 3 month old 2010 13" from somebody here in town for $770, am selling my 2010 i7 15" and am building a gaming rig at the end of the year when a bunch of games I'm looking forward to come out.

    Hope that helps.
     
  6. Legion93 macrumors 6502a

    Legion93

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    #6
    Would you consider buying an Air? It is extremely portable and should run some games without hassle, I play Starcraft 2, Rome total war and Red Alert 3 on low - medium graphical settings.
     
  7. Legion93 macrumors 6502a

    Legion93

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    #7
    Yeah maybe, even my MBA with intel core 2 duo runs games like that pretty well, though needs to be on low - medium graphics settings.
     
  8. v490 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    What I am thinking of doing right now is actually just building my own windows stationary, with 1000$ or so I can get an EXCELLENT gaming machine, and just sticking to a 13 inch MPB for all the university/carrying around stuff.
    I don't really like the air, for the same price as the 13 MBP id get 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB memory, 128GB HDD which are considerably lower specs :(




    One more thing: what do you think about apple care? If i'll buy a 1200$ laptop 250$ extra is quite a lot:confused:
     
  9. ozreth macrumors 65816

    ozreth

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    #9
    Good plan : )

    The new MBA's are awesome, but the 13" MBP is nice because you can always add more ram (up to 8gb), a bigger hard drive and/or SSD.

    If you don't mind having a c2d machine I would check out the refurb 2010 models. The 2010 13" has the nvidia GPU which is supposed to be SLIGHTLY better than the intel gpu's in the 2011. But then again the 2011 machines have faster processors and thunderbolt ports. Either machine will play most games on low-medium settings fine. (and then you can build your gaming rig somewhere down the line).

    You get apple care for a year for free and you have until the end of that year to extend it for another two years. It's a waste to buy right away, although they will try to talk you into it.
     
  10. Legion93 macrumors 6502a

    Legion93

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    #10
    Not necessarily, there's the 2.13gHz processor, with 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD option - remember flash storage is supplied as a default hardware in the Airs and outperform HDDs in MBPs, although you can upgrade it to SSDs, Apple charges a premium for those.

    Since your not really keen on the Air, I would strongly advise you to get a 13" Pro and install an aftermarket 8GB RAM by Crucial, just like I did. It only costs around £70 and literally takes 2 minutes to install.
     
  11. v490 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    I think i'll go with the 2011 one, the i5 is more appealing to me, the old 2010 GPU is really JUST better than the intel3000, I read about it online and on medium settings it gives 1-2 extra FPS.

    And I'll wait for the apple care in that case :)

    Can I add an SSD to the macbook pro myself? I think $250 for a 128GB SSD is too much :p
    Thanks for the advice - I will sure add the extra ram, and I love opening up and playing with my electronics :D



    Thanks guys! I didn't think I'd get such fast and good responses :D:D
     
  12. ozreth macrumors 65816

    ozreth

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    #12
    Yeah you can add the SSD yourself no problem, and yeah the apple ones are overpriced.

    If you don't find yourself using your disc drive often you can swap it out for an SSD and leave the 320gb hard drive in as well. Use the 320 HDD for storing all of your media/files and use a small SSD for all of your applications and operating system.
     
  13. Legion93 macrumors 6502a

    Legion93

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    #13
    You mean replacing the SuperDrive with an optibay HDD and keeping the original place for the SSD?
     
  14. v490 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    great! one last question... is the better macbook pro worth the extra 300$? Is the i7 worth it?
     
  15. v490 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Wait let me get this straight... I can buy the mac with its HDD and add an SSD myself and have both? In that case that would be great!
     
  16. ozreth macrumors 65816

    ozreth

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    #16
    Yep thats exactly what I meant : p
     
  17. ozreth macrumors 65816

    ozreth

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    #17
    Yessir!
     
  18. Legion93 macrumors 6502a

    Legion93

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    #18
    Yeah, just get the MBP with standard HDD and add the SSD yourself. Apple charges a premium for SSD upgrades and they are usually cheap Samsung/Toshiba brand drives. If you like, you can have a HDD and SSD in the MBP at the same time - this means sacrificing the SuperDrive (the CD slot) though.
     
  19. v490 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    Well, on my current laptop the last time I used a CD must have been at least a year ago so I guess the benefits of having the ssd and hdd would be greater... I'd put the OS and programs on the SSD and keep the HDD for storage purposes.... is replacing the superdrive with an ssd a hassle or easily doable?
     
  20. Legion93 macrumors 6502a

    Legion93

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    #20
    Oh, it's really easy if you have the correct parts, there's tonnes of videos on YouTube showing the installation procedure. You would need to buy an optibay (extra caddy to support 2.5" hard drives). I think that you will benefit from the additional SSD, you can always buy an external CD drive to plug it in to your MBP via USB whenever you need to use a cd.
     
  21. v490 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Well, I was thinking that I probably don't even need to replace the superdrive with an SSD, i could just swap the hdd with an ssd. I don't need a big HD: I keep most of my movies/music/data on an external HDD anyways, on my laptop i got 150gb of occupied space at the moment and 70% of it is stupid **** i could easily just put on my external hdd.
     
  22. v490 thread starter macrumors newbie

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  23. Legion93 macrumors 6502a

    Legion93

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    #23
    Yeah, best bet is to replace the HDD with an SSD and keep the SuperDrive as it is. Remember to buy an aftermarket SSD, not Apple's own stock since they are very bad, go with either Intel x25-m or OCZ vertex 3. They are quite pricey, but not that much compared with Apple's SSDs. Also, upgrade your RAM to 8GB Crucial. As again, Apple uses cheap Korean branded 'Hynix' memory modules, with a price tag of a house :d
     
  24. Legion93 macrumors 6502a

    Legion93

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    Changing the HDD or memory will not void the warranty, as far I know, however if a fault is detected by either parts, they will not cover the repair costs. I am not sure though, I think that this is true based on my last experience with them, contact Apple customer support to make sure.
     
  25. v490 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #25
    Right, that's all I needed to know. Thanks a lot for all the info :D
     

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