17" i5 or i7 for college?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by joshellis625, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. joshellis625 macrumors 6502

    joshellis625

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
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    Baltimore
    #1
    Hey guys. I'm going off to college in the fall and am planning on buying one of the new MBP's. I don't know which to choose. It's either the 15" with i7, HiRes Glossy, and 7200rpm HD, or the 17" i5

    I would much rather get the 17" but I don't know if it is worth it to upgrade it to the i7. The other day I discovered that apparently not all core i5's and i7's are quad core and that the MBP's use the dual core i series. so thats not a huge deal but ive heard they are so similar and i dont know if its worth the extra $150 (cant remember price off the top of my head).

    Any info would be appreciated.
     
  2. King Apple macrumors regular

    King Apple

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  3. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    #3
    I would personally invest in the additional processor power and faster hard drive over the larger screen size. But, that's just me. I personally find the 17" MBP a little too unwieldy. The 15" is just right.
     
  4. neondrgns macrumors regular

    neondrgns

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    Jan 28, 2010
    #4
    if you don't game go for a i5 15", 17" is a bitch to carry around
    the 15" is even a bit unwieldly for me right now

    I have a reg screen not a hi res, I would recommend not upgrading to a matte if you aren't doing any professional work, the regular glossy resolution isnt bad, and you'll probably be indoors most of the time anyways if you are using it for class
     
  5. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #5
    i5. Unless you need raw CPU speed for rendering or number crunching. But then you wouldn't be asking, would you? ;)
     
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #6
    personally....

    i would get the macbook from microcenter for 800 and then upgrade in 3 years

    college is NOT DEMANDING on a computer
     
  7. joshellis625 thread starter macrumors 6502

    joshellis625

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    Feb 16, 2008
    Location:
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    #7
    thanks for the advice guys. i think my best option at this point is to go to the Apple store and get more familiar with them in person.

    but the consensus seems to be go for the i5? how well does the i5 handle gaming? I probably won't be gaming too much because of the workload but can the i5 still hold its own for the most part?
     
  8. neondrgns macrumors regular

    neondrgns

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    Jan 28, 2010
    #8
    yeah the only difference is the vram on an i5 15" is 256mb versus the 512 on an i7 15"...theres a bunch of threads on this...but if you arent a hardcore gamer (which some people would argue the 330m would be inadequate anyways) the i5 is fine, it will run games well on medium and okay for on high for the most part unless theres a lot of demanding textures
     
  9. elpmas macrumors 68000

    elpmas

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    #9
    I would wait until fall and try to get that back to school deal. I would get the 15" since the desks aren't very big...it'll be a hassle to bring it out and use it in class. Also...some college people are nosey...so if you don't mind them looking at your screen during class then that's fine too -_-
     
  10. King Apple macrumors regular

    King Apple

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    Mar 17, 2010
    #10
    ya wait until late may early june for the back to school deal. Then get a 15" i5 2.4ghz.
     
  11. joshellis625 thread starter macrumors 6502

    joshellis625

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  12. gordonyz macrumors member

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    Nov 25, 2009
    #12
    You gotta be 6'7" to carry that big fella around easily.
     
  13. elpmas macrumors 68000

    elpmas

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    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    #13
    Lol or a musclehead :$
     
  14. joshellis625 thread starter macrumors 6502

    joshellis625

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  15. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    dallas, texas
    #15
    After owning a 17" for five years as a student, I have no regrets.
     
  16. joshellis625 thread starter macrumors 6502

    joshellis625

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    #16
    That makes me feel better. Did you have any problems at all? Too much to lug around? too big for the desks?
     
  17. iBunny macrumors 65816

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #17
    Go Big or Go Home.

    Get the i7. You cant just upgrade it later like you can Ram or a Hard Drive.

    Also with the i7, you get 512MB of Video Memory as oppose to 256MB.

    Think of it as future-proofing your purchase.
     
  18. joshellis625 thread starter macrumors 6502

    joshellis625

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    #18
    Is this referring to the i7 or a 17" screen? :p

    Do you think it's worth it to get a 17" and the i7?
     
  19. Cricketman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    #19
    You have to carry that thing to every class. Those desks are tiny as can be, people are complaining about the 15"!

    Go with the i5 15". If you REALLY want to, get the i7, but don't get the 17".

    I own a laptop close to 17" and it is an absolute pain to carry anywhere outside the house.
     
  20. AshStorm macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    #20
    I went with the 17" i5 and have ZERO regrets. I put the extra money into a OCZ SSD and my baby is hauling ass for in processing as well as accessing time.

    As for gaming...
    World of Warcraft - OS X - Dalaran, prime time, medium to high settings, and I was getting 30-40fps+.

    Starcraft 2 Beta - Running quite nicely with medium settings.
     
  21. joshellis625 thread starter macrumors 6502

    joshellis625

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    Feb 16, 2008
    Location:
    Baltimore
    #21
    If I went with the 15" (maybe i7 because I would rather have the 512MB VRAM) what are your opinions on the high resolution screen and glossy or matte? Mostly web browsing, notes, music, moderate gaming when i have the time.
     
  22. riotgear macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #22
    As others have said, wait until summer as there will likely be back to school deals. Ultimately you should buy what ever you can afford. Your first year of college is mostly going to be spent in a word processor, so either system will do the job.
     
  23. neondrgns macrumors regular

    neondrgns

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    #23
    I would say just save your money and keep the lower res screen
    its not a bad resolution at all, and if you do game, the higher res screens will be more demanding on the gpu, and you may or may not be forced to scale down the resolution anyways
     
  24. creeman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #24
    I am in the same boat as you, trying to figure out which laptop to get. I am leaning towards the 17" myself, because for one, it is only $190 more than the top of the line 15", and two, I am used to 22" screens, so even a 17 will seem small to me. I have a 17" HP laptop, and it doesn't seem that bad to carry around, but I guess only time will tell and show annoying it actually is.
     
  25. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #25
    If I had to travel in coach everyday, I would. The weight difference is really minimal, seriously one pound? If you are a student this isn't going to be noticeable.

    As to using it. I haven't had any problems fitting it on desk (we mainly have tables of sorts at my college), obviously it's bigger. The extra screen real-estate is... great. I understand the 15" Hi-Res can do the dual document viewing, but it's different with the extra two inches. I also just like the feel of it better, but that's a personal thing. Right now I'm tying with it propped up one knee (it's an odd position), but entirely comfortable.

    Getting a comfortable bag is key, I use this.

    Cinch is your friend, just sayin'.

    Feel free to post any other questions.

    Future proofing doesn't make sense. You spend a couple hundred to upgrade the processor hoping to get a year or two more when the reality is that you could save the money now and upgrade earlier. You'd get a better machine a couple years down the road and if you sold your current one the depreciation of two years versus three years will also result in a lot of money saved.

    For example, if you would have bought a 15" MacBook Pro roughly three years ago:
    Santa Rosa 2.2Ghz $1999
    Santa Rosa 2.4Ghz $2499

    Choose the first one and upgrade now, versus waiting another year with the 2.4Ghz because you don't have that extra $500. Also, the difference in price of a used 2.2Ghz vs. a 2.4Ghz is going to be I'd imagine somewhere close to 1/10th of that $500 that was paid.

    Now over the last three years is there anything the 2.4Ghz could do that the 2.2Ghz can't?
     

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