13 or 15 MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by shootingrubber, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. shootingrubber macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2009
    I am a university student and recently ordered the top end 15-inch MacBook pro with the anti glare screen, but I didn't like the screen. I returned it and need to repurchase. I am now asking you guys if the low end 15-inch or the top end 13-inch will be better for me. I am not getting the high end 15-inch MBP because I am getting an iPad 2, and realistically I do not need the high end 15-inch. I will just put the money saved towards the iPad 2.

    I use the computer mainly for school (web browsing, word processing, etc...), but I also use it for music, and all the basic computer tasks. Also, I do a bit of photoshop stuff and I also edit some movies in Final cut express (although I have been using iMovie some of late too).

    Let me know what you guys think.
  2. Chodite macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    I do many of the same tasks as you and I went with the 13" i7. And wow, this thing is FAST. And so far, photo and video editing has been a breeze.
  3. Al Coholic macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
    Under the I-470 Freeway
    13... smaller footprint. It's a travel machine.
  4. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    As far as power goes, you would be fine with the i5 or i7 13". The only advantage for you would be a 15" screen and the high res option. I am a student and I use a 15" high res glossy and I love it.
  5. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I'd go 13 for sure for a mobile student lifestyle.
  6. Kyzelios macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2011
    How much will you be carrying the computer around with you? If portability is an issue then a 13-inch MacBook Pro would most likely be your best bet, as it offers an excellent blend of portability and performance; either the Core i5 or Core i7 would be sufficient for the tasks that you are looking to perform.

    Otherwise, if you don't mind a little bit of extra weight and size, the quad-core processor in the entry-level 15-inch MacBook Pro would offer a bit of a boost when it comes to tasks such as video editing and processing in Photoshop. You'd also have a slightly larger screen with a 1440x900 screen resolution, providing more room for editing photos and videos.

    I'd recommend comparing the pros and cons of both and go from there. You'd be well off with either machine, it's just a matter of choosing which one would provide a better experience for you.

    Best of luck and hope that helps, have a great day. :)
  7. Lucagfc macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2008
    Depends on your computer use. If you use it for the most time outside you can buy a MacBook Air.

    If you wan' t to use it as your only machine I think that the 13" is too small and with a too low resolution!
  8. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    It seems to me that the better choice for a student would be the 13 inch MBP. The entry level 13 inch MBP is $600 cheaper than the entry level 15 inch model and will give a student a great user experience. For example, the 13 inch MBP is smaller and is more than a pound lighter than the 15 inch model. My grandson, a university freshman, has had a 2010 13 inch MBP since August. He uses it heavily and loves it.
  9. shootingrubber thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2009
    I had a MacBook Air and it didn't have enough power for the video editing and photoshop stuff. However, it was fantastic for everything else.

    This will be my only computer, so I need to determine which MacBook pro will suit me best for my needs.
  10. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8F190)

    Go high end 13"
  11. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2010
    your needs? the 13" will suffice easily...either model.
  12. shootingrubber thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2009
    Ok I know the power of the 13-inch is fine but I am little worried about the screen size and resolution. I like the price of the 13-inch but I like the 1440x900 resolution of the 15-inch.
  13. Kyzelios macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2011
    It really boils down to whether or not the screen resolution is worth the price premium at this point. By the sounds of it, you may be happier with the 15-inch in the long run.
  14. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    13" for on-the-go and an external monitor for at home. Simple. Best of both worlds and cheaper than a base 15" if you get the base 13".
  15. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    Away from you
    I do CAD and Photoshop within Parallels on my 13" every so often and have no issues with screen size. More screen real estate would be "better," but for my purposes, the (lack of) bulk of the MBP outweighs that.
  16. xxplosive1984 macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    May be a dumb question, but can the base 13 inch power full HD (1920x1080) monitors? If so, this may be my next machine. Having a hard time make the 13 vs. 15 decision as well.
  17. Kyzelios macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2011
    Yes, the 13-inch MacBook Pro can drive a monitor with a resolution of up to 2560x1600.
  18. Lucagfc macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2008
    Ok If you need power for video conversion the MBA is not the computer for you.

    I suggest you to buy the 15":

    1) Really better performance of 13" with the quad core (powerful with video conversion)

    2) Higher screen res with Photoshop

    3) Better computer in general

    I think that for your needs is a no-brainer: MacBook Pro 15"
  19. v66jack macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2009
    London, UK
    Having used both previously I'd advise the 13". It's smaller and lighter for carrying around. Sounds like you'll be doing the same sort of stuff as me and I find there it has plenty of power under the hood. Also it's a bit cheaper than the 15".

    I hook mine up to an external display when a bit more screen real estate is required, works perfectly.
  20. shootingrubber thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2009
    So many mixed opinions here lol. I already have an external monitor, albeit a really cheap one. I just don't know if the high end 13-inch MBP can handle all my needs for video editing, encoding, and photoshop.

    I like the size of the 13-inch since I will be carrying it around a lot, but the screen size and resolution of the 15-inch is tempting me.
  21. skier777 macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2010
    Sounds like the specs don't really matter to you, so choose based on which size you like better. A trip to the apple store is probably in order.
  22. DRGN89 macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2011
    i've been going back and forth between low end 13" and low end 15". did it really bug you much not having a bigger screen size in classes when you did CAD work? i'm getting into architecture technology and if i were to get the 13" i would be using a external monitor as home as well. i'm just afraid the 13" might not be able to handle CAD, other than that a 13" inch screen size doesn't bug me much.
  23. beangibbs macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2011
    It all depends on what you want to do with it. You expressed interest in using it for basic student uses, and any model will handle it no problem. The 13 inch should be fine, but know that if you get the i7, that processor puts off a good bit of heat for it's power. It's just how things work. The 13 inch probably has a smaller cooling fan than the 15 and 17 inch models. But as long as you don't like, run everything on it at once, that shouldn't be a problem. Just get a cooling pad for it. Although, having the higher end graphics card and the larger screen and resolution that the 15 inch offers is very helpful when it comes to photoshop and video editing. Gives you more screen real estate to work with.
    Forget footprint and being green-get whatever works for you. Good luck.
  24. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

    Jan 13, 2008
    For most college students, the 13" is probably better, but not all. Depends how much computing power is needed vs. the portability.

    You say the the MacBook Air didn't suffice for your video editing needs. Was this the current MacBook Air? If so, then the current 13" MBP definitely has it beat on CPU but not GPU. In that case, then the 13" may still feel inadequate to you and the 15" MBP would serve you better.

    It sounds like you're learning toward the power and resolution of the 15" and if you do a lot of video editing and photo editing, it may be worth the trade-off in portability.

    I got through my undergrad with a 13" MacBook, but just got the new 15" MBP. It's a bit heavier to carry around, but the extra computing power definitely comes in handy when handling large datasets.
  25. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Here is the ideal multi-part question:

    Photoshop: What kind of editing are you realistically going to be doing in the next 1-2yrs (while in Uni or real world at dream job)?
    - can the Core i5 handle it (I'm willing to bet it can at least with light to mid work as my daughter can cope using 2Ghz C2D P8600 with 4GB or RAM on a Mac Mini.

    Movie Editing: same as above.
    - Are you going to be purchasing FCP with the MBP or already have this suite? Are you editing 1080P with 60FPS or just 1080P with 24-32 FPS?
    Are you editing 4hrs plus of video a day to get a pristine 30min video or are you editing video taking with an HD Camcorder & your iPhone for simple and learning purposes for family and non-professional birthdays/weddings?

    If its editing video in real world as your profession then you NEED high end MBP 15" and a true workstation = decked out MP. I'd wager since you're asking on these boards and are in college I'd say:

    13" MBP i5/i7 with external monitor. Later down the road get another 4GB stick of RAM with 256GB SSD and you'll be amazed in the mid-life ownership with performance. RAM & SSD will do the Corei5 better for Photososhop/iMovie editing/Logic 9 Express more than going with i7/15" MBP models.

    My Core2Duo MB in my sign can handle Express 9 quite well with 4GB of RAM and nothing else running ~ and why would I? I'm focusing on Audio Composition/arrangement I (yet Im only learning at snails pace). I'm not going to look at a website if Im working in Logic.

    save the money - take a side course to improve your skills in Logic/FCP/Photoshop and learn to actually use them … then when you start making the dollars newer machines will have the performance you need and THEN you get high-end.

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