2009 high end 13" MBP vs. 2011 low end 13" MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by autigers1101, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. autigers1101 macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2011
    Let me start off with a little background. I will be attending Auburn University in the fall and probably major in Engineering. I'm sure this will require a Ubuntu or Bootcamp or something to be able to load windows programs. I am looking for an upgrade that will improve performance for school, even though I know it will only be a small upgrade (I think??). The 2009 macbook pro I have now is still pretty fast, but I figure with the iPod deal (selling it) and free printer and selling the old Macbook I could probably get the 2011 Macbook Pro for pretty cheap. I have looked around google but can't find a site that has benchmarks directly comparing the two. Anyone with good knowledge of these laptops have an opinion? I was first considering upgrading to a 15" 2011 model but after reading a few threads here, I think I have decided to get the base 13" model and get an external display and a few upgrades with the money I saved. I like the idea of a SSD, which I have heard is very fast. Considering an upgrade in RAM too. I know thats lots of information, but please give any insight or thoughts you can!

    BTW, mostly use it now for web browsing, iTunes, office tasks, iWork 09, Toast Titanium disk burning, things of that nature. The new one must be able to also handle any kind of engineering programs and dual-boot Windows. I am also considering using the external display with a possible Alarm Clock app for my alarm clock in the mornings, any apps anybody knows of that would be good for this?
  2. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    The only pitfall would be if you had to use some 3D rendering software like AutoCAD down the road. While I own the 2011 13" and love it, I have never needed to run any type of software like that. I fully recommend it from the usage you posted, maybe some others can chime in on using certain other engineering specific software. The 13" may have no problem with it, but better safe than sorry.
  3. NZed macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2011
    Canada, Eh?
    Please explain "engineering programs"

    Is it graphics intensive??? Or is it just normal sketchup like apps?
  4. anonymouse99 macrumors regular

    Mar 29, 2011
    A 2011 13" low end should do the trick for you IMHO. It would be a good mix of portability, power and cost. Remember, folks before you at your school have survived with slower dual core machines.

    If you haven't already, check out the 13" in stores. Plus, you'll be able to upgrade all Macbook Pros, including a 13", to 16GB according to this page:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/1333DDR3S16P/

    Good luck :D
  5. SirStrumalot macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2011
    Minneapolis, MN
    He will probably see some AutoCAD his first year... second and third year could include some Solidworks, ProE etc...

    What type of engineering OP?
  6. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    Let it be known that I have successfully run solidworks, via vmware in windows xp on a 2.2 white SR macbook. Granted these were SIMPLE 3d renderings, and real life rendering look a little longer, but it's doable on that... so the new 2011 macbook pros should have very little problem with most of what you'll need in engineering (CAD at first and then some rhino or pro-e most likely) ... heavy lifting renderings will be done on your lab computers probably anyway (re: anything in later years you may need with lots of complex parts will probably be too heavy lifting still for most laptops... there is a reason the have the heavy lifting labs haha) but yeah... base 2011 macbook pro should be good with an extra screen, especially for the first 2 years or so
  7. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010
    Most engineers I went to school with (myself included) preferred to work in computer labs on campus instead of laptops for a variety of reasons.

    Software availability, desktop computers with dedicated graphics cards > laptops for large solidworks/pro e models, dual monitors, etc.

    With a laptop I would not plan on using it for the majority of your CAD uses on campus. Especially a 13" laptop.
  8. 153098 macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2012
    The i5/HD3000 is more than enough for auto cad. The pc's in my computer lab were running all our engineering software long before the days of core 2 duo (about 2002-2004). You should be fine. The 2009 could handle it but if you want future-proofing go with the 2011.


    People worked in the labs because it's a convenient place to meet up and a lot of students, especially foreign ones didn't have their own computers. A 13" laptop is enough. Unless you are doing aerospace engineering or something. But even still, these new laptops are really powerful. Most people never even utilize the full potential except when encoding HD video.

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