13" MBP Enough to Last 4 Years?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Tsylord, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Tsylord macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
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    Toronto
    #1
    I'm buying a new Macbook Pro for University soon and I'm considering the 13" because Computer Science isn't too demanding. I'm concerned about the life of the hardware. Will the higher end 13" MBP with the dual core processor be enough four years from now or should I splurge on the 15" i5 or i7?
     
  2. aeboi macrumors 65816

    aeboi

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  3. djasterix macrumors 6502a

    djasterix

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    #3
    It should last at least 3 years, but if you can afford just go for the i5
     
  4. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    May 20, 2010
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    #4
    DO NOT get the high end 13". The difference is so minimal... If you need a nice computer for Computer Science, I would recommend the i5.
     
  5. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    Dec 5, 2007
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    #5
    2006, Core Duo 17" running here. It's over 4 years old, still runs all the latest programs and most games without problems.
     
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #6
    ditto, Core Duo 2.16ghz x1600 (256MB) running perfectly fine (maybe a tad hot) for me :) it will get another 5 years use at least.
     
  7. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #7
    Nah, not even hot. 67 deg C while using on the bed, CPU's at 100% from handbrake encoding + VMware Fusion.
     
  8. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #8
    i guess my TP is bad, or your bigger machine can dissapate heat better (mine be 15"). mine idles at 75c->80c and under load will get to +100c (when fans kick in it eventually comes down to 85c).
     
  9. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    #9
    TP=thermal paste?
     
  10. TrojanX macrumors member

    TrojanX

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    Houston, Tx
    #10
    The baseline 13" will suite your needs, save a bit of cash in your pocket, and last for YEARS to come. The C2D seems to have alot less problems than the I5 (although the problems with the I5 don't seem to be that prevalent) and is plenty of power!
     
  11. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #11
    you got it
     
  12. demonsavatar macrumors regular

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #12
    I am in CS. Your right that it won't hit your computer too hard in undergrad. If you do get hard hitting stuff (i.e. parallel programming) you are likely using university provided computers instead.

    I wouldn't spend to get the upgraded 13". However, the main reasons why I got the 15" are:

    (1) SCREEN REAL ESTATE! Having two 80-character width files open side by side is a godsend when coding. If you use emacs you can get away with 2 files open side by side at 1280x800, but just BARELY. 1440x900 is really what you want for 2 files comfortably side by side with some wiggle room left over. If you always have an external monitor handy this isn't an issue. However if you are in a classroom, out in a coffee shop, working with group mates somewhere, travelling, or even just in your bed working, you won't always have an external monitor. If you get 15" you might as well get the hi-res upgrade to 1680x1050. With that resolution I can open 2 files next to each other with plenty of room to spare.

    (2) I do parallel programming, having more threads helps me catch some race conditions. Also I tend to have TONS of stuff happening on my computer at once and I compile some very large programs. 4 hardware threads is better than 2 in this case if you can parallel build your programs (the -j flag in make).

    Screen real estate is the real kicker here. If I need to I can always SSH into another machine (with hundreds to thousands of cores) to do my parallel debugging, but I can't get the screen real estate when I'm anywhere else but my desk (which has 3 monitors and 2 more computers btw). I travel at least once a month so I need screen real estate on the go. As a student I suspect you may want it also.

    Summary: I would recommend the base 2.4Ghz i5 model with the hi-res upgrade. Glossy or Anti-glare screen is up to you. Also an SSD does wonders for compile times, if you can sacrifice the extra space and shell out the $$$ for one. Look at my sig for what I ordered. Note that compile times for anything you do in undergrad shouldn't be more than a minute anyway though...unless you like to use some funky languages...
     
  13. Tsylord thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #13
    Wow, thanks for the quick replies. I now know that if I do go with the 13" I will definitely go with the lower end model. I will also look into the 2.4Ghz i5. Thanks a million. Just one more question, how is the battery life on the i5?
     
  14. shortys408 macrumors regular

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    Feb 7, 2006
    #14
    my last mbp was 4 years old when I sold it and was working.
     
  15. DanMacApple macrumors 6502

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    Jul 1, 2010
    #15
    The New 13" gives long battery life, for me if I am using Safari and word processing, with low brightness on screen, I average 8-10 Hours.
     
  16. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 15, 2010
    #16
    but that model most likely wasnt 2.5 years old to start with at release date.

    technically it will last.
     
  17. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #17
    Since the first MacBook Pro came put more than 4 years ago I don't understand what you mean by "technically..."
     
  18. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 15, 2010
    #18
    i meant that most likely in 4 years the laptop would be working fine technically, meaning that the parts are still working.

    the economical lifespan would be less then 4 years though IMHO, i have rarely seen a 7 year old system performing well enough to satisfy the owner or retain resell value, although that was in the pc world i must admit.
     
  19. Bernard SG macrumors 65816

    Bernard SG

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    Jul 3, 2010
    #19
    That.
    Of course, it really depends on what usage is done on the computer, but a 4 to 5 years old Mac is still a great, functional and reliable machine for most non-techie users.
     
  20. cathyy macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 12, 2008
    #20
    Get the i5 with a 330M. The Core 2 Duo CPU in the 13" MBP is already 4 years old.

    From Wiki:
    Intel Core 2
    Produced From 2006 to 2010
     
  21. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    #21
    well the p8600 was made in 2008, which is 'just' 2.5 years, but keeping it for 4+ years is stretching it. i wouldnt use a p3 now either.
     
  22. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

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    Feb 28, 2008
    #22
    No problemo. Computers these days are pretty overpowered for all but demanding media and scientific tasks.
     
  23. mdnz macrumors regular

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    Apr 14, 2010
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #23
    This. Basicially if all you do is SSH and making a few notes, perhaps some coding the 13" will suite you very well and lasts long enough.
    There isn't an enormous difference with the i5 anyway, as RAM is probably the most important in your field of work.
     
  24. Mac7 macrumors 6502a

    Mac7

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    Jun 14, 2009
    #24
    I'm in the same boat as you are. I'm probably just going to buy the 13" from microcenter, $999 deal.
     
  25. Frosties macrumors 6502a

    Frosties

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    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    #25
    I'm on an old Dell Inspiron 510m Intel Pentium M processor at 1.40GHz notebook with ubuntu 9.10 as a surf and mail machine until I decide which model is for me. Works better than I first feared actually. Had an old work computer that died on me and I thought why not try something new.
     

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