2012 13" vs 2011 15" which one?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
After seeing the lackluster improvements to the 13 in MBP, I am now trying to figure out whether I should go with a new 13 in or an old 15. Here's what I'll be doing with my MBP.

I'm a graduate student in the biological sciences so I will be using the macbook for:
  • Writing
  • Reading Papers
  • Editing Microscope photos with Photoshop
  • Managing large amounts of data with Excel (1000 data points for 10-20 groups)
  • Creating figures and graphs with Illustrator
I would like to keep it for the rest of my time in graduate school (3-5 years) so I'm sure I'll want to upgrade the memory later when its cheaper and put in a larger SSD when they are also cheaper.

Since I work for a university, I have access to their tech store which may allow me to purchase a brand new 2011 15 in MBP at a discount (TBD) as they bring in the new 2012 models. I would like to keep my budget under $1500, hopefully nearer to 1200. I currently plan on getting the 2012 13" MBP ($1099) with an added SSD (+$100) and apple care ($249) for a total of $1448. But given the superior CPU in the 2011 15", I am thinking about getting a refurbished or new model.

If I got the 2011 model, what would be the cost to upgrade the RAM from 4 GB to 8GB and what would be an estimate to put in a SSD (128 or 256 GB)?


  • 2012 13" vs 2011 15" - which one?
  • cost of upgrading 15" ?


macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2012
it looks like your not going to be doing any video editing or photo editing. I would say go for new 13" MP or even the MA with the 128 SSD.


macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
I'd get a 15", solely for the screen space. I have a 13" now but I wish I had saved up a bit more for a 15"
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.