Choosing between three Macbook Pros - some practical advice please!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by chymali, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. chymali macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2012
    Here is the link to the three I am currently comparing:

    I need a laptop that will last me for a good 4 (preferably 6!) years. I'm using a PC currently and it was cheap when I bought it - like 700 dollars, and I'm still using it with relative ease today. It's falling apart a little bit, which is why I'm prompted to buy a MacBook Pro.

    I need it for homework, occasional gaming, once-in-a-blue-moon photo/video editing, and loads of video watching. I am a heavy multi-tasker and enjoy having a million things up at once.

    Without a doubt, I like the $2199 Macbook Pro 15, but I don't know if the extra cost is justified. What do you think? What are your experiences? Anything to help me decide will be greatly appreciated!


    Also, is it difficult to install extra RAM?
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    The base 13" and 15" MBP should be fine for your stated needs depending on your occasional games and their requirements and if they run acceptably on the Intel HD4000. Find out if they do or if you need a dedicated GPU like the one in the 15".

    Upgrading RAM is easy.

  3. dutchah macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2012
    Might sound strange but I'd avoid the 13 MBP if you can and that's mostly because of the screen. 1280x800 on a 13 inch laptop is a whole new level of bizarre if you ask me. Especially when the 13 inch MBA has a much more acceptable 1440x900.

    Considering your needs, I would definitely go for either of the 15 inch models. The base model should do just fine for what you want and upgrading the RAM is easy. Loosen some screws, remove the lower panel and presto, the RAM modules are staring straight at you.
  4. Vampire5003 macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2010
    I went for the 13 inch MBP and the screen resolution isn't as bad as your making it out to be. This is coming from somebody who owned the 15 inch RMBP for 3 months.....
  5. darcyjames macrumors member


    Sep 21, 2012
    Pretty much what he said, but IMO go with the 15" with 2.3 and spend $80 for a 16GB ram kit. Personally, I couldn't deal with the real estate on the 13" and if you are leaning that way go with the Air (if you haven't had one you will love it).

    Also, about a month a ago I ordered (for my sister - she paid) a 15" MBP (2011 2.0 i7) on the Apple refurb store for $1249 and I did clean install of ML and dropped in a 16GB kit (tried to convince her to go SSD, you know, while the case was open, but no dice). Great deal, one year warranty and you couldn't tell it from new.
  6. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I think the 13" would be fine for what you plan to do. I'll also second the vote for the Refurb store -- might as well save some dough. I've purchased 2 MBPs from there and they've both been indistinguishable from new. You can spend the savings on a RAM or drive upgrade from a third party. Sometimes you'll even get a surprise upgrade. The spec on my recent purchase was for a 5400RPM drive and it actually had a 7200.
  7. xnatex macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2012
    I have a Mid 2009 13" MBP and really wish I would have gotten the 15". The dual graphics cards (1 on board and 1 dedicated) alone would justify the cost difference for me. If you plan on playing games, I'd recommend the 15". Starcraft2 can be pretty difficult to play on my laptop some times with all settings as low as they go.

    I guess I can't really speak for the new laptops because I don't own one, and mine IS 3.5 years old, but you also mentioned that you'd want it for 4-6 years, and the 15s have more powerful hardware than the 13s.

    Also, although it's been said, you should order your own RAM upgrade and put it in. I upgraded mine from 4GB to 8GB for like $40, AND have the old two 2GB stick in case any RAM fails. It was really easy. Apple will charge 2-3 times the amount that upgrading the RAM yourself will cost.
  8. Acari macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2012
    I dare you to upgrade the RAM in a Retina or an Air ;) :apple:
  9. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    I dare you to abstain from Comic Sans, and we were not talking about those two Mac models

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