advice on picking a macbook pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tk7434, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. tk7434 macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2011
    I was hoping for advice on choosing between the high end 13' macbook pro or the low end 15' one. My main question is which will be faster in everyday use.

    I'm a first year PhD student in a Biochemistry/Biophysics program, so I'll be using a lot of science and math applications. The main scenario where speed would come into play is for rendering images and using visualization software like PyMol, and using Matlab or Mathematica. I also sometimes use Photoshop, and frequently use Serato (a DJ program). I don't usually game on my computer. Given this background, which would be a better option for me?

    13' 2.8 GHz Dual Core w/
    8 GB RAM
    750 GB 5400 rpm HD

    15' 2.2 GHz Quad Core w/
    8 GB RAM
    750 GB 7200 rpm HD
    Hi-Res antiglare display

    I don't really care about the 13' having a smaller screen or the 15' being less portable as I see that as an equal trade-off. My main question is if the 2.2 GHz quad core will be faster than the 2.8 GHz dual core
  2. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario

    yes the 2.2 Quad is much faster then 2.8 dual
  3. tallchris macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2010
    The 15" has a better graphics card too, if the larger size and price aren't a problem i'd go for that one.
  4. kaydot macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2011
    Since you'll actually be using your computer for work, as opposed to surfing like me, I'd definitely go with the 15" Hi-Res. It'll both be faster and, more importantly, have nearly double the real-estate for multi-tasking. The 13" is painfully low res. In the opinion of some, 15" Hi-Res could even stand one more bump to 1920×1200 (WUXGA) if they offered it.

    But bottom line, I'd get the 15" Hi-Res for the resolution alone.
  5. Steve's Barber macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2011
    This is all you needed to ask. (If you're only concerned about speed, I really don't understand why you included all the extraneous "fluff" in your post). :)

    Yes, the quad will out perform the dual core.
  6. tk7434 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2011
    everything I've read about quad vs dual core always said that which one is faster than the other is completely dependent on how your using it, as in which programs are running because only some programs make use of more than 2 processors. What I was wondering was if, given my context, a 2.2 Quad will be significantly faster than a 2.8 Dual.
  7. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a


    Feb 18, 2010
    Since the Intel Quad Cores are designed to "turn off" 2 or 3 cores when programs don't require multi-core support, allowing the 1 or 2 cores in operation to increase processing speed (Turbo Boost), there really is no reason to go dual-core over quad.

    More info:
  8. yauzers619 macrumors member

    May 22, 2011
    Go Last Gen Refurb

    Don't forget the refurbished site. The last generation (Early 2011)

    Macbook Pro 2.3Ghz Quad
    15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Hi-Res antiglare widescreen display, 1680-by-1050 resolution
    4GB (2 x 2GB) of 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    750GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 and AMD Radeon HD 6750M

    For $2,039.00

    A little more speed in the processor and a gigabyte of VRAM.
  9. GuitarG20 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2011
    Get the 15". As to some programs only using 1 or 2 cores, I routinely see program load evenly distributed between my 4 (non-hyper-threaded) cores. The only time you see a problem with load not being distributed nowadays is when programs don't use the hyper-threaded threads. Which is fine with me as it keeps heat to a minimum.

    Plus, the 15" has much better graphics capability.
  10. Sackvillenb macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Canada! \m/
    As a biologist who has used similar programs, get the 15". Partly because of the quad core (all those data and number crunching programs should run faster, especially if they are optimized for multicore processing), but the other features will also make a difference. The other features are not "fluff". The 7200 rpm drive will definitely make a difference, and while your graphics card will speed up 3d rendering (and games), some non-3d programs can actually take advantage of the graphics card to enhance speed, like Photoshop for example.

    If you have the cash, get the 15". And by the way, in my experience, macs are great for doing science research! :)

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