15" non-retina macbook pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iHorny, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. iHorny macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2012
    Okay so i am about to get a new laptop because my mom wants me to sell my old desktop. I wanted to get the 13" air initially cause it worked similar to the pro and is much lighter and thinner. However, the 128gb SSD is too small for me. I considered bumping up the ram to 8gb and the SSD to 256gb but that will make it much more expensive than the 13" pro, and if i used the extra money on the 13" pro i could have made it even better than the air.

    So.. it came to my mind that if i could fork out around $170 (or even less than that since i might have to get an external superdrive if i went with the air) i could get a 15" non-retina macbook pro (base model). I could do with the larger real screen estate since. Furthermore, i'd get a superdrive + 500gb HDD, and though HDD is slower i might be able to upgrade the ram to 8gb and get an SSD in future when prices are lower or when the pro starts slowing down. Also i thought that since i'd be using this laptop for at least 5 years, i should get a more powerful one..

    So my point is, should i go for this 15" instead? My problem is mainly the heat of the 15" pro as i heard the bottom can get really HOT, and is it worth the price? I can't possibly do any more upgrades for now for this cause it would be over my budget.

    it's cool if you guys can suggest some ideas, or list some pros and cons between the air 13" and pro 15" :)
  2. gokart mozart macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    The 15" is certainly more "future proof" due to the quad core processor (vs the dual core of the 13"s) and because of that GPU (13" only has the integrated Intel graphics). I would say it is worth doing. All the Pros get hot, so heat-wise it doesn't matter if you get the 13" or 15".
  3. amflemi macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2009
    I faced exactly the same dilemma, liked the air but was worried that the small ssd and lack of upgradeable RAM. I thought that a slightly bigger outlay now would save me having to buy a whole new machine in a couple of years. I can upgrade the pro as and when funds allow.

    The other advantage of the 15" pro is the dedicated graphics card.
  4. gokart mozart macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    GPU = Graphics Processing Unit aka graphics card
  5. iHorny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2012
    So are you using the 15" macbook pro now, is it 2011, or 2012? have you encountered any problems or issues? Oh and which screen did you go with..
  6. taedouni macrumors 65816

    Jun 7, 2011
    Get the $2200 Macbook Pro 15" (non retina) model and I guarantee that you will be satisfied for many years to come. Since it has a resolution of 1440x900, you will not run into limitations due to hardware (that the Retina model will have) in a few years due to applications/games becoming more power hungry. Trust me this will happen when the next generation of consoles are released (2013-2014).
  7. amflemi macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2009
    I am awaiting the delivery of a 2012 15" 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7. In the end that I went for the anti-glare hi res display. I chose that display as the glossy screens on the iPad and iPhone drive me nuts on times and I have an older Mac with antiglare and prefer it.

    I understand that GPU = Graphics Processing Unit aka graphics card but the point I was making that it is a dedicated card rather than a shared one which is in the 13".

    The older MacBook that I have is still going strong after 4/5 years and the only reason I am upgrading is that I am starting to need more horsepower than the core 2 duo in my current one.

    Going to hopefully being playing with it this weekend and will let you know how I get on...
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    My only recommendation is to check out the 15" laptop to make sure the size/weight is what you expect. Since you're coming from a 13" MBP, it is going to be heavier.

    If the 13" MBA is a perfect fit for your needs, I don't see any issues in upgrading the SSD, sure the cost brings it over the MBP but if it fits your needs.

    Personally, I think the 15" MBP is a great laptop, lots of power with the discreet GPU, fast CPU, ports, upgrade-able ram and HD.
  9. iHorny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2012
    Thanks for the replies, so now it's either air 13", i5, 8gb, 256gb ssd OR pro 15" base model (completely no upgrade for now, not even screen or ram)..

    The pro should be better overall i guess, in terms of power, durability, upgradeability but lacks in speed and portability compared to the air? And there is this samsung vs toshiba LCD and SSD topic going on for the air...it's about airs coming with either samsung or toshiba lcd/ssd and everyone's hoping that they'd get the samsung one.. Is it the same for pros? I'm not saying that i would return it if i get the toshiba screen because everyone's saying the samsung one's better but i'd just like to know.

    Alright please do, thanks!

    Alright i'll go lift it and check its weight out. I might not be bringing the laptop out that often though, which is why i thought of the 15" pro.
  10. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    As long as you like the 15" in regards to size/weight.

    Upgrade options are.

    Ram upgrade upto 16GB
    HDD upgrade - replace current HDD with SSD (prices are dropping fast)
    SuperDrive - Ditch that crap and install another SSD/HDD in its place
  11. sweetbrat macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Redford, MI
    Depending on what your exact needs are, you might want to take a look at a refurb. It could save you a little cash and allow you to get your upgraded RAM and SSD sooner. The 2011 MBPs are very capable machines, and Apple refurbs come with the same warranty as the brand new machines do. Just throwing it out there as an option.
  12. ugp macrumors 65816


    Jan 7, 2008
    Inverness, Florida
    I got the 15" 2.6GHz model and I am very happy with it. Only thing I would say if you buy stock then replace the 5400RPM drive with a SSD or get it BTO. I bought mine from Best Buy so I didn't have a custom build option.
  13. FastEddiebags macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2012
  14. Carrotty macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2012
    Which one do u suggest and why? And does it really have an obvious difference (much clearer)? Sorry I'm just curious here..
  15. Headlighted macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2010
    Choosing between glossy HD and matte HD comes down to preference. I personally love the anti-glare HD screen and I can't stand glossy screens anymore.
  16. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007
    Yeah, this. I don't know why that comment was down-voted. In my opinion the 3 best choices at this time are -

    1. Base 13" Macbook Pro. It's the least expensive and most upgradable. It can play Diablo 3 and other games at moderate levels.

    2. Refurbished 2011 15" Macbook Pro. Even cheaper than the high-end 2012 13" but totally up-gradable, quad core, bigger screen and dedicated GPU.

    3. 2012 Retina MBP. Shoot, so long as you're buying new and if money is no object get this one.

    I picked #2 for what it's worth.
  17. iHorny, Jul 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012

    iHorny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2012
    I wouldn't mind option 2 either; it's just that when I go to the apple store I can't seem to find a 2011 model that is cheap enough to give me enough funds for upgrade. I mean prices are all so high they are just 100-200 singpore$$ cheaper than the base 2012 model..(thats with just a 750gb hdd included). I'm not looking in the US store but singapore store btw since I am in and will be in Singapore for quite some time. Here's the link for apple singapore refurb store... http://store.apple.com/sg/browse/home/specialdeals/mac
  18. Hyperfast macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2007
    I love anti-glare HD as well!
  19. FastEddiebags macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2012
    Yeah that is what I have. Love it and is worth the upgrade.
  20. iHorny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2012
    Sorry guys what i'm about to ask might be a whole new topic but since it is related to the 15" macbook pro i thought i should just ask in here since i alreay created this thread..

    So after browsing through different options, i thought of macbook pro 13" low end + 8gb ram + 256gb SSD OR low-end macbook pro 15" non retina. Both will be nearly the same price for me, with the 13" pro being cheaper a little.

    I could definitely do well with the lighter weight of the mbp 13", but also could do with the better screen resolution (no hi-res though..) + larger screen estate of the 15"... So which should i get? By the way, what i'm looking for here would be more of the speed at which the laptop can export files in iMovie, rip from a DVD, download a movie, etc.. Which of the 2 can do it better?
  21. wiznet macrumors regular

    May 30, 2012
    Simply because the 15" has a quad-core CPU, compared to the dual-core CPU in the 13", would mean it will perform better in the tasks you mention. Significantly? In some cases, yes - like video rendering in iMovie/FCPX, and many, many more.

    To take full advantage of your new system, I would definitely recommend a RAM upgrade (after sale), if you can spare the cash. The price is really quite small. The anti-glare screen could also prove useful to you, if you plan travelling around with your new computer. Once again, $150 dollars is little to spend over a 5-year+ period for added real-estate and usability.
  22. iHorny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2012
    Does the high-resistant screen really make a difference in terms of how clear the screen is compared to the default glossy though? I might get anti glare but i might not be travelling around that much with the macbook and i don't really like the silver bezel.. I also thought that the hi-res glossy might be too much for my eyes since apart from movies, i would have a lot of writing to do on it for long periods of time and was wondering if too much glossiness might put stress on my eyes.. So now i'm really not that sure either, maybe i'd just stick with the default screen..?
  23. wiznet macrumors regular

    May 30, 2012
    The higher-resolution screen has a resolution of 1680x1050. Compared to the regular 900p display on the base configuration screen, this is close to a half-a-million difference in number of pixels. The screen will appear slightly sharper, yes, but (when compared to say, a retina display [which focuses on sharpening the display]), its main advantage is in fact added screen real-estate. You will have more space to work with your projects and view your documents. I understand about the silver bezel, I was not a huge fan myself - but my mother had a Macbook Air with the same bezel, and I have to admit, after a while I did start to admire how nice it looked.

    Depending on your work environment, glossiness will, or won't be an issue. Ask yourself: do you (for the-most-part) spend your time working in a place where you can position yourself/your computer in a fashion so that lights around you will not cause distractions (reflections) on the screen? Do you often enjoy working outside on a patio, or anywhere where you would NOT be able to position yourself in a fashion which you would be able to avoid the aforementioned? If the answer is yes to both, or either of these, you should consider an anti-glare screen, as to reduce possible strain which could occur when trying to properly view the display. If the answer is no, the glossiness will not bother you - in fact, I often prefer a glossy viewing experience, especially when in a dark office.

    If you consider the above, I'm sure it will be easy to narrow down your choice. As to whether you get the stock glossy screen, or high-resolution glossy screen, that's really up to you. If you want a slightly-sharper viewing experience, and more screen space, than it would be a worthy upgrade.

    If you have other questions, post away!
  24. iHorny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2012
    Thanks a lot! i am leaning almost completely towards the 15" macbook pro, but i would like to know if i were to rip movies/ unzip/zip large files or convert file formats, does the 15" macbook pro does it significantly faster than the 13" pro or air? and if i were to compare 13" pro and air, will the air perform these actions much slower than the 13" air because it is less powerful?

    Thank you very much for the help!

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