13" MBP buying advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wctaiwan, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. wctaiwan macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2006
    I'm currently considering purchasing a new laptop. Since I prefer Mac OS over Windows, I'm thinking about a 13" MBP (baseline model). However, I notice that the 13" MBP's specs seem to be generally inferior to Windows-based laptops of a similar range (which are also cheaper).

    I'l be using the computer mostly for programming, web design (which may involve some basic graphics editing), web browsing and IM. From that, I assume that the lack of a discrete graphics card won't matter too much (since I wouldn't be doing much gaming). However, for those purposes, will I find the Core 2 Duo processor significantly worse than the i3 / i5 found in Windows laptops?

    Also, I will be using the computer for 4 years or more. Is it likely that Core 2 Duo will be incapable of handling future software due to the lack of features present in newer processors? Would the lack of the not-yet-widespread USB 3.0 matter much?

    If the MBP is indeed unsuitable due to those issues, how easy is it to DIY hackintoshes these days? What issues should I expect (aside from system software updates)?

    Lastly, from experience, is Apple likely to refresh the 13" MBP within the next few months and slip in a Core i3 / i5? (I know we have no way of knowing, but uhm, maybe someone does for some reason. :p)

    Sorry for the mess and thanks in advance for any help. :)
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    i3 is actually slower than C2D, especially in single- and dual-threaded tasks. i5 is better but you aren't doing anything CPU intensive so C2D will be just fine for you. USB 3.0 ain't that big concern IMO. It's nice but only useful for ext HDs but FW800 is fine for those as well

    Check InsanelyMac for Hackintosh help, you might find a good lappy which is easy to hack.

    i3 was already available when MBPs were updated so it's not likely. People are looking forward on Sandy Bridge which will be a noticeable step from Nehalem.
  3. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    The general mind-state in the Windows world is to compare "specs", but when using a Mac it may well be better to compare the user experience, which depends of course on what you use your Mac for.
    I have a C2D CPU and a PowerMac G5 - use both mainly for translation/word processing and information mining on the web, and after buying the MBP, the G5 has become regulated for use as a dedicated iTunes player and backup machine. In other words, the C2D is much better than the G5 and more than enough for what I do (I expect that would be the same in your case) and I would probably see no perceived user speed up by switching to an i5 or i7 based CPU MBP. (Not that I woudn't accept one if someone decided to donate it to me!)
    I have a friend who is highly respected in the recording industry, and he has a full range of Macs available, Mac Pro to ancient G4 towers. He prefers the 13" MBP for doing almost everything in the studio, except video rendering, which gets done on his Mac Pro, and basic recording with an old G4- special situation there. In conclusion the C2D CPU is no slouch at all. Especially now that the new 2010 13" models have 4GB RAM and a fairly good GPU, it seems like a no-brainer. Using a hackintosh sounds like a lot of hassle for little gain, if any. If you decide you need more CPU power, why not go for a 15" base model? :cool::apple::cool:

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