Cant decide between 13'' and 15'' MBP, this is driving me bonkers

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Misskitty, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Misskitty macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Hi all,

    Im sorry if this has been asked before, but I need to put an end to this and get it over with because Ive been undecided for the past 2 weeks now. Ive been wanting to buy a MBP!

    Im a senior graphic designer, the heaviest apps I will be running is Adobe CS5 suite. No video editing and no games.

    The thing is I want 13'' as I much prefer it over 15. But it has outdated C2D specs in it and I was told to get the i5 to be future proof and an enourmous boost in performance. Plus it has graphics card. Then Ive had other friends tell me that C2D would be enough for my needs. I will be using this computer for 3-4yrs as i usually update to new ones during that time span.

    How nessecary/beneficial is a dedicated video card for CS suite?

    Also when im at home ill be hooking it up to a 27'' ext LCD anyways.

    I dont want 15'' just cause well coming from someone whos had 15 and 17 laptops over the years, theyre just too big and heavy for me.

    What should I do? Is Apple going to be coming out with i5 (or even i3) 13'' any time soon?
  2. jolawson macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2010
    Dacula, GA
    The reason Apple didn't put an i3 in the 13" was because there really was minimal performance gains over the C2D. I have the 13" and could safely handle the program(s) you just mentioned. The only reason you'd need to move up to the i5/i7 would be if you are running multiple labor intensive programs at the same time.

    You would need to actually assess your needs in this case. Haha, mostly its people wanting a 15 or 17 inch MBP and have to settle for the 13".

    Good luck!
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I suggest the 13", especially considering you prefer the size. Yes, the C2D is older, but it is still a very viable processor, and very few people will use their computers intensely enough to notice the difference between the C2D and i5. As far as "futureproofing" goes, you really wouldn't be doing anything more by buying an i5, as there isn't anything about it that would make a C2D incapable of running the same apps down the line. You won't see much benefit of dedicated graphics unless you are gaming, and the 320m is actually not too bad for light to moderate gaming. There won't be updated MBPs for a while, since they were updated so recently, and they would likely put i3s in the 13s, giving about the same performance as C2D, sometimes a bit less. The current 13" would be plenty powerful enough for you, especially without video editing or gaming. It really is a great little machine, and I absolutely love mine.
  4. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Get the base model 13" 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, 320M macbook pro from microcenter for $999. Save yourself $800. Trust me the 13" macbook pro is more than fast enough for your needs. :)
  5. AnthrMacUser macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2010
    I just got the 15" like 20 minutes ago, I am actually on it. I am running updates, doing battery calibration etc. So far I have to say the screen size is amazing. I know a lot of people say the 13" has better battery life and it's more portable but the 15" one is NOT that heavy. Plus, you can run more applications in the long run. If you prefer the 13" by all means go for it but try going for the high end one if your budget allowance isn't too tight. I bought mine for the fact that I'm going into digital arts in college. I need the screen size and the i5 intel core. It all depends on your preferences. :)
  6. shadygrove macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2010
    I have a 15'' (i7 though) and think it's the perfect size laptop. There isn't a whole lot I can even think to change about it. I had a 17'' before and it was too big. The 13'' would be fine, but I went with the 15'' because of the graphics card and extra power primarily. But after using the thing for a while, I would do the same thing all over again.
  7. Alvi macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2008
    get the 15", better performance for what you need, and a better size of screen for editing
  8. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    while i think the MBP13 is a perfectly fine little computer and most likely fast enough for casual use ..... *NOW* i wouldn't say the 2007 C2D P8600 is anywhere in the same league as the i5 520m. it lacks Turboboost and hyperthreading and will be showing it's age down in a few years. the resale value is most likely less and if CS6 supports HT it will fly on an i5 compared to the C2D (of course sandybridge in late 2011 MBP's will be even better).

    Besides while i think the MBP13 is plenty fast it is outragiously overpriced for 2007 technology. I *know* there is an apple premium you have to pay and it's often worth it, but the MBP13 is more then twice (almost 3x) as expensive as comparable M$ laptops with the same specs. with the MBP15 that is much less so when compared to quality M$ 15" i5 laptops.

    the discrete GPU and highres AG option make the MBP15 base model a much more value for money choice imho

  9. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    I concur with Stefan...the base 15" is the best buy in the current MBP lineup...
  10. LedCop macrumors regular


    Apr 7, 2008
    Yeah, this round of updates is a particularly bad one for the 13" since the entire MBP line usually uses the same generation of processors.

    Still, since the 13" is way cheaper than the 15", you could make your upgrade rate quicker for it.

    For every two 15" MBPs you buy, you could buy three 13" MBPs instead based on current prices.
  11. tombilske macrumors member


    Jan 31, 2010
    the 13" is very portable but i use the 15" and its not at all heavy to carry around, plus the extra screen real estate is a god send when i want to do anything more than email and web browsing while on the go.

    in terms of processor, the reason Apple stuck with core 2 duo chips in the 13" is that they didn't want to have to use intel integrated graphics which sucks performance wise. this isnt a problem on the 15" and 17" because there is enough room for a dedicated graphics card, but you will not see an i3 or i5 processor in the 13" MBP until the graphics from intel beats the nvidia graphics, or Apple finds a way to fit a dedicated graphics card in the 13" form factor (probably by removing the superdrive)

    with your performance questions, any of the apple line-up can easily handle everything that you want it to, and it should be able to handle it in 4 years time. personally i like the 15" for the screen real estate (which is why i got high res) but if you prefer portability and you really dont think you will need to do any graphics work on the go (or very little of it) then go with the 13". just keep in mind that 1200x800 is really not enough screen real estate to do any real graphics work

    good luck :)

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