13" vs 15"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cclloyd, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. cclloyd macrumors 68000

    cclloyd

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    Oct 26, 2011
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    #1
    I am definetly going to switch to mac. Windows is getting annoying and too much touch interface in the next OS.

    But I am stuck at a crossroad between the 13 inch and 15 inch. I am hoping that you guys can help me decide.

    Some notes:
    • I need to run applications like Adobe CS5.5 (Mainly PS and DW, video editing is the least used)
    • I would very much like to be able to run games like Assassins Creed 2/Brotherhood, Lord of the Rings Conquest, etc. without lag (minimal is fine)
    • I will be bringing it to school occasionally, maybe more later on. (HS)

    So my main focus points are... Is the 15" portable enough to bring with me to school, or is the 13" a much better option. And will I be annoyed by the lower resoution of the 13" since my current resolution is 1366x768? Finally, will the 13" be powerful enough to do the above things with ease?

    Price does not bother me much FYI.
     
  2. Minhthien macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    #2
    Lets see:

    Adobe.... Check!
    Gaming... Check!
    Money isn't a issue... Check!

    Get the 15' top of the line!
     
  3. MVRL macrumors regular

    MVRL

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #3
    if money isn't a factor, 15" hands down.

    whatever the 13" can do, the 15" does it better.
     
  4. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    New Jersey
    #4
    15" Quad core vs Dual core for Photoshop. Much better screen when not using an external...

    I had a 13" and a 27" iMac when I switched to Mac and sold both for a 15" MBP and external last year. I use Photoshop CS5 a lot. I may sell my base 2010 15" and get the latest refresh to get the base quad core. I will decide next month if Amazon has a Black Friday sale on macs like they did last year - which was when I picked up my current 15" for $1,670 and no tax. Amazon currently has the latest 15" listed for $1750 which is about $50 off the list price and no tax - if you live in the right state.

    Anyway, 13" is nicer for portability while 15" is just raw power under the hood.
     
  5. cclloyd thread starter macrumors 68000

    cclloyd

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    #5
    I do like all of your arguments, especially your's VP.

    But I figured that I wouldn't be that annoyed with the lesser specs of the 13" since all but the screen resolution are better than my PoS Toshiba :p. So my main point I was hoping to get a reply to was

    Will the 13" easily run the stuff I want it too (And if the games too, say that separatly). And is the 15" portable enough to bring to school and put on a desk, bring on an airplane/airport occasionally, bring to relatives house, etc.

    My current one is 15.6", and I find it a bit big to bring to school, and it can be a bit of a bother to bring to relatives house, and its near impossible to use on an airplane :p
     
  6. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    #6
    If you're concerned about size then go with the 13". For me 15" laptops have always seemed too big. 13" hits the portability sweet spot. The 13" should be able to run the applications you mentioned just fine. Gaming won't be as good though.
     
  7. madisonfaye macrumors regular

    madisonfaye

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    Jul 7, 2011
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    Canada
    #7
    I bring my 15" to class with me every day, and while I sometimes wish it was a little bit smaller, I can't give up the wonderful resolution and giant screen feel (without actually being a giant)


    15" Hi-Res Antiglare all the way!!! :)

    My boyfriend has the 13" MBP and I honestly am so thankful I didn't go that route. The only laptop I would get in the 13" is the MBA, but the specs just aren't up to par for what I need.
     
  8. cclloyd thread starter macrumors 68000

    cclloyd

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    #8
    In a perfect world, I would be able to get a MBP with a high-res option like 1366x768 or the next higher up 16:10 option. But oh well.

    I am going to think this over a bit more, and consider all your replies (thanks btw), but so far, I am leaning towards the 13", especially since its $600 less than the 15".

    More than likely what I might do is buy a 13" and try it out for a bit, installing a few apps like PS and MSO 2011 under a trial and see how I like it. If not, I have 14 days to return it and get a 15"
     
  9. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Gaming and video editing will be significantly better on the 15" not only because it has 4 vs 2 cores but the 15" also has a dedicated graphics chip. The latest 15" refresh has a 512mb chip (the earlier base model and the one I have has only 256mb). Also, for size keep in mind that Apple laptops use 16:10 ratio while other PC's use 16:9 ratios making them wider but not as high. I personally and strongly prefer the 16:10 ratio. One of the reasons why I want to upgrade my 15" is because I fear that the next refresh will be a redesign and have the wider ratio which I hate. I also like the current resolution and am concerned that will get higher res on the next refresh instead of offering both regular and high resolution. My eyes do not focus well anymore with things up close so I get severe eye strain with high res screens, even with glasses - it happens when you get older :(
     
  10. kjs862 macrumors 65816

    kjs862

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    #10
    I honestly think getting a top of the line computer is not a good idea. I can see maybe 15 years ago, but now, just go for the base model.
     
  11. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

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    Orlando, FL
    #11
    The 13" will run CS5 and Office just fine. You will likely only notice a big difference on CS5 with CPU-heavy filters or plugins. 8GB RAM is a must on either. Even my wife's new MBA feels really snappy with Office 2011. Assuming you are not doing something (games) that need the GPU in the 15, it really comes down to portability vs screen resolution/size. The 15 is quite a bit more powerful, but it frankly isn't critical for what most people use their computer for.

    When I get a new MBP next year, I will get a 15, but A) I'm a geek, B) I stand on CS5 pretty hard and do focus stacking as well and C) don't carry the notebook around constantly, so weight and size isn't a huge issue.

    Any of the 2011 Sandy Bridge Mac's are pretty fast.
     
  12. cclloyd thread starter macrumors 68000

    cclloyd

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    #12
    I heard the words Sandy Bridge tossed around a lot when researching it. What is it, and how does it impact performance?
     
  13. ScottNWDW macrumors 65816

    ScottNWDW

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    #13
    I went from a 15.6" Windows laptop to the 13" macbook and love it. It's a lot easier to carry around and the screen is a lot better to look at.
     
  14. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Sandy Bridge is the current line of Intel CPU's - iX like i5 or i7. Before that was Arrandale CPU's (which is what I have in mine but it is dual core not quad core) and before that was C2D (Core 2 Duo). The next version will be called Ivy Bridge which are supposed to be smaller and use less power/heat - they will be in the next version of MBP and Mac Airs in 2012. Each version is a huge leap from the previous - at least since 2010.

    The short answer is Sandy Bridge is the current version - latest and greatest.
     
  15. randomrazr macrumors 65816

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    #15
    13 can handle photoshop its about whether u want it to run faster
     
  16. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Exactly!!!
     
  17. simswithguns macrumors newbie

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    Oct 20, 2011
    #17
    I've been struggling with the same question, first it was whether or not to wait (although I don't really want to wait till April or something for a new MBP considering they just refreshed it), but now it is between the 13in and 15in MBP. I currently have a 4 year old 17in Toshiba that is on its last legs, I love the big screen but its a barely portable desktop with less than an hour battery life. I really don't game on the computer so thats not that big of an issue. I just can't really justify the 500 price difference.

    btw is there really any difference in the .1 ghz in the new refresh of the MBP? I mean I see the extra 180 gigs of memory is nice but I already have almost 3TB's of storage as it is so its not necessary.
     
  18. yanki01 macrumors 68040

    yanki01

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    Texas
    #18
    just bought a 13" refurb for my GF. it was the one she wanted. if it was my choice, id get a 15" (which is what i currently have :)).
     
  19. Thetonyk123 macrumors 68000

    Thetonyk123

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    #19
    15 inch hands down even get the 17inch of you want
     
  20. Garrett998 macrumors member

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    Oct 25, 2011
    #20
    This answers your question. Not getting a 15" for gaming would be a terrible decision. The integrated graphics of the 13" are really sub-par for even moderately intense gaming.
     
  21. cclloyd, Oct 26, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011

    cclloyd thread starter macrumors 68000

    cclloyd

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    #21
    Yea but it still beats my current computer, especially since one of the main reasons I'm switching is the OS.

    Toshiba specs:
    • 2.2 GHz dual core AMD
    • 256 MB intergrated memory
    • 4 GB DDR2 ram
    • 250 GB 5400 HDD

    All of which are better on the MBP
    • +.2 GHz AND Intel
    • More intergrated memory
    • Faster RAM
    • Twice the HDD capacity

    And does it really not play the games I want? After seeing these videos it seems to be able to handle them.
    ~1~ ~2~ ~3~ and a big one, ~4~
     
  22. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #22
    13 vs 15" is something you really need to go out to a Apple store or Best Buy and play with to see which size feels right for you. Which is better depends on the individual and having owned both I strongly prefer the 15". As for the spec bump of .1Ghz, that is negligible but the larger hard drive is much better because it is not only about storage space but also about read/write times and a denser drive will perform better so it is always better to have more room than you need. I am a fan of base models for the best value because I think it is better to spend less on now and upgrade to a newer. faster model every year or two to get a new machine with a fresh battery and new warranty than spend more for a 10 or 20% faster CPU. It is also much cheaper to buy a base model and upgrade the RAM and hard drive yourself since Apple charges ridiculously high prices for upgrades. For $200 Apple will sell you 8GB of RAM but for $65 you can upgrade it yourself and sell the old ram. For $150 they will upgrade a 5400 rpm 500GB hard drive to a 7200rpm 750GB drive but for $110 you can buy that drive and either sell the original on ebay or use as a backup. Upgrading ram and hard drives on a MBP is simple and does NOT harm warranty - that's what I did.
     
  23. Risasi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    #23
    I have a 13" MBP, and it's great. But I use it mostly for work. If you're playing any games that came out since 2008 then you should go with the 15" MBP, or buy a separate desktop PC or game console.

    Next year I will probably upgrade to the base Ivy Bridge 15" MBP, with an outside chance I go with 13" MBA instead...depends on specs.

    I think that's my new mantra, 13" MBA or 15" MBP for most people...
     
  24. MrBullet macrumors member

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    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #24
    If $ isn't a problem, go all the way and buy the top 17'' model.

    But,

    If you decide not to go on a spending rampage then think about what model suits you best.

    I have a 13'' and I highly recommend it. It is very nippy and handles my workload well. I run Photoshop, Sony Vegas, Final Cut Pro X and other intensive applications and I have no problems at all.

    For school, travelling etc, having a 13'' inch is incredibly handy. I find myself taking my 13'' to StarBucks all the time because it's so compact.

    If you are only interested in playing older games that have lower quality graphics then the 13'' will handle them. I am a major player on BF2, been playing it for years. 13'' runs it perfectly on bootcamp and if you fancy a change, then you can always look to the Mac Store for games such as GTA, COD4, Modern Combat etc.

    So the 13'' ticks all the boxes for you and so will all the other models obviously, but it's the compact size of the 13'' that will be the final factor on choosing your MB.

    If you do get the 13'', upgrading to 8GB of RAM is a must and do it yourself, don't let Apple charge you a bomb for it. Also the new 13'' MBP has a extra 180GB hard drive (500GB) compared to the (320GB) I have (Early 2011). The new 13'' also has a better ghz by like 0.1, so this will be unnoticeable.
     
  25. Zerosopher macrumors regular

    Zerosopher

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #25
    I am not the topic's owner. May I use this small space?. Your post makes me think about one thing.
    First time I will go to the 15" based model but like you said I may not use it much for gaming. For me I just use the CS5 stuff. Rarely for photo or VDO editing. Just plan to use DreamWeaver (frequent), do some programming, wanna learn writing iOS Apps, surf the net, listen to music, watch vdo, do documents, for research. I hesitate to choose the 15 model because of these reasons. Actually, this will be my first macbook and I plan not to buy it for long time. Should I go to the 15" based model? Thanks in advance. :apple:

    :)
     

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