cMBP 13" (2.9Ghz) vs cMBP 15" (2.3Ghz) ???

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by taeccool, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. taeccool macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2010
    Hello all,
    I'm trying to decide on which cMBP I should purchase.

    I'm debating between cMBP 13" (2.9Ghz - High end) vs cMBP 15" (2.3Ghz - Entry).
    Both 2012 models.

    My budget is around $1500, so it falls a little short for the 15". (I have an edu discount)

    I'm majoring in video production and expected to graduate in May 2013.
    I've been using school's Mac towers for editing my videos for classes but I feel the need to have my own Mac device.

    I own a dying dell desktop with a 22" monitor so I could technically connect a MBP if I want.
    Also I want portability so I would buy a MBP first and consider buying an iMac to go with it later, maybe...

    Currently I use FCP7 (not X.. hate it and my school turned it down too) mainly for editing.

    I know 15" has more space and better graphic and such but when I saw it at the apple store it seemed too big and heavy for me.

    If you give me some honest advice, I will appreciate it very much.
    Thank you
  2. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    I dont mind the 15 for portability - others cant stand it. If you have an Apple Store near by then purchasing one and then returning if not satisfied is a wonderful option. Power or Portability - you choose.
  3. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    With a $1500 budget, you definitely want to consider a used or refurbished 2011 or 2012 model, whether or not you go with a cMBP-13 or cMBP-15. Either option will give you a lot more choice and save you a lot of money. And either a 2011 or 2012 cMBP-15 will likely be powerful enough to obviate the need for buying an iMac later.

    In order to maximize your budget, buy a base model from either year and upgrade the RAM and HDD yourself. If you buy from CL, you should be able to find a 2011 model for ~$1100 or less for a 15" and $750 or less for a 13". Buying a refurb from Apple will cost an additional $250 or so for the cMBP-15 and $100-$150 additional for the cMBP-13. Taking either to 16GB RAM should cost less than $70, or less than $50 if you only need 8GB RAM. Upgrading to a 256GB SSD should cost less than $200. If you're thrifty, you should be able to get the computer that you need, AND a decent monitor for $1500.

    Given what you will be using it for, however, I would:

    1. lean heavily towards the 15" because it's got a discrete graphics card.
    2. upgrade the HDD to a hybrid solution instead of an SDD because you'll probably be wanting to have a decent amount of storage on board.

    The two hybrid solutions are either a hybrid drive like the Seagate Momentus XT (which will land you 750GB of storage space that's pretty speedy for $130)...

    ...or if you can forfeit the DVD drive you can put a small SSD in one spot and 1TB HDD in the other to create a single large "Fusion" drive or just keep the two drives as separate system and data volumes.

    Good luck!

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