15 or 17 MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tennko, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. tennko macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2009
    Sorry guys, i'm sure you're sick of hearing these kind of questions but the quick guide at the top of the page was a little hit or miss.

    Ok so i'm going to Uni next year to study architecture and i've got my heart set on a fancy MacBook Pro, the problem that arises is the old 15 or 17 inch question.

    I'm needing portability obviously which sways me towards the 15 but i can't help but be attracted to the bigger screen and better speck on the 17 especially with the 3D stuff and autocad that i'll be needing to use. and thats not even taking into consideration the price difference.

    Is there anybody that can help solve my problem? somebody doing the same thing at uni and has some insight into the subject?

    Thanks everyone for input.
  2. shambo macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2009
  3. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    if you have the ends then get the 17" behemoth..
  4. CJS7070 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    If you think you might need portability, get a 15" and, if you want, an external monitor.
  5. MKSinSA macrumors regular


    Aug 1, 2009
    Alamo City, Lone Star State
    Having the means

    to go for either the 15" or 17" I chose the 15". I went for the big screen on my Toshiba laptop but realized quickly it didn't come close to overcoming the wear and tear or the additional weight. This time around, I went with the smaller size.
  6. eVolcre macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2003
    Either 13 or 15. The jump from 13 to 15 (in size) is significant but the increase in screen resolution is small. The jump from 15 to 17 isn't all that much but you get an incredible screen and screen resolution.

    The 15 with a higher screen res would be perfect, as it is now, I don't recommend buying it.

    Do a search. There's a thread somewhere that shows the difference in screen real estate


  7. -Blanco- macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2009
    The real estate of the 17" screen comes in very handy, especially if you get into using CS4 for your presentations etc...
    However I did cope fine, as do many people I know in architecture with a 15"...there are a few in my class with 13" macbooks (although I wouldn't recommend this for CAD....)
    I've just ordered a 17" uMBP, in the end I decided the bigger screen/higher res outweighed the size disadvantage. Also I decided I needed anti-glare and this hadn't become an option on the 15" at the time I was ordering. Looking at the stats, compared to my old 15" Hp the weight of the 17" MBP isn't that much heavier. There are a few people in my class with 17" windows laptops, which are much more bulky then the MBP and they manage fine.
    In the end it really comes down to yourself....will you have to commute far each day? Will you be able to handle the extra weight? Will you be bringing it in and out of uni everyday?

    Anyway, whatever you go for in the end get the best spec you can afford, I've had to put up with two years of crashes and problems with lower spec laptops/pcs, and I've seen people with macbook pros having the dreaded colourwheel appear when rendering huge files etc. This costs you valuable time when trying to finish a project on a deadline and believe me theres nothing worse then sitting up at 3am the morning before a handup with a non responsive computer...:eek:

    Oh and I'm sure you know already but just in case you don't, Autocad, along with some of the other popular architecture programs, is windows only and you will need to use bootcamp to run it correctly.

    Other then that Architecture is a very interesting career and I hope you enjoy it with whatever MBP you get ;)
  8. eVolcre macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2003
    One more thing ... in the Apple store the 17" looks HUGE compared to the 15" when they're both open. It's an optical illusion. Seems that way because of the screen resolution and how much you can display on the 17. If you close them both, the size isn't all that much.

    If you think you can get by with the 15, seriously look at the 13. The marginal increase in resolution just isn't worth it. You're going to be using Spaces extensively in either option so may as well go with the more portable 13.

  9. thebrain74 macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2006
    I am going to be a Junior Arc student and I opted for the 17''. (I ditched my first/second year computer, a 2.2ghz SR 15'' MBP because I had the graphics card go bad once--during finals, and I did NOT need that too happen in the middle of a project this year).

    I went for the 17'' for the screen size and anti-glare (only available on the 17'' at the time). I had a 23''ACD that I used with my 15'' MBP (which is a great monitor btw) and yet I still went with the 17. Why? The monitor is very stationary and I didn't know where I was gonna set it up. Last year it was in my dorm. I wanted to have the 17'' so I had flexibility in where I could work: in the studio, in my dorm room, in my friend's room, etc. Furthermore I felt the need to get a high power laptop because while my school does have a lab, the Dell (shudder) PC's in there were less capable than my old 15'' MBP (they were 1.8Ghz Core procs, with no more than 2 gig of ram....my laptop was a 2.2ghz with 4gig ram). So I will be running as many of the Arc programs on my laptop as possible (thank god Autodesk has free student version, if only adobe and Rhino would be so nice).

    The size difference over my old 15'' MBP isn't great. I often re-notice the thinness of the 17''.

    The extra USB, while minor is conveinient. Also nice if you have somewhat wide flash drives (I use cruzer micros, not exactly fatties, but...) you can still use two of the USB ports (with an empty in the middle), whereas with the 13/15 you would be restricted to the one port. I don't have a USB extension cable as of yet and I know that is a solution.

    The expresscard, regardless of what apple says is still very useful. I use it for Sony memory cards....although I am considering an eSata card.

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