Debating between the two 13 inch Macbook Pro models

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Bobcat16, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. Bobcat16 macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2010
    So after debating on whether to wait for the Airs or go with a Pro, I decided a Pro was the most practical for me to be my one and only computer. However, now I have discovered a new problem. Should I go with the i5 version of the Macbook Pro or the i7? The i7 has a bigger hard drive and the specs are bumped up, but is that 300 dollars of upgrades?

    What I use my computer for:

    Extensive Wordpress use (part of my job, but mostly just entering text and pictures onto websites).
    Itunes, TextEdit, Firefox, Youtube (if one computer handles Flash a lot better, meaning no instant fan kick on, that would be great)
    Dragon Dictate from time to time

    So for the most part not heavy use, but I want to make sure the computer is not somewhat out of date right away.

    I know frequent visitors to this site are sick of these similar threads all the time but if you could take some time to help I'd really appreciate it. Talked to a Best Buy person today and they basically just repeated the specs to me. Some great insight right there to help me decide.
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    So basically, unless you're constantly utalizing 100% CPU (think HD video renders), you won't notice a speed difference.

    And along the same lines, it doesn't sound like you need hard drive space at all. The i7 with a larger hard drive will allow your computer to remain relevant for a while longer, however, I don't think it's worth it. I find that by the time you fill up a 320gb HDD, you can upgrade it to a 1TB drive for about the same price as bumping to a 500gb drive now.

    P.S. youtube won't be any faster on the i7... you could use an i3 and it would be just as fast.
  3. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    it's not really worth it. i'd rethink the 15". you get the i7. it's quad core (13" is dual). and, you get more memory.

    personally, in the past (previous version) i have found dragon to be a huge resource hog. of course, itunes and youtube will gobble up resources as well. i've got the 13" mpb / 8 gb ram. i think the 13" will handle all of this just fine, but probably with a lot of fan use. better to be a little over-spec'd if the fan noise is going to be a problem.
  4. Bobcat16 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2010
    Really showing my tech ignorance here, but what is the difference between the 2.3, i5 and the 2.7, i7? I guess my only fear is the first one will age super fast, but is that not the case? I have a Blackbook right now I bought in 2008, so I'd like to get 3 years out of whichever computer I buy before upgrading again. Do you think the base model will be more than serviceable in 2014?

    And regarding the fan, I just want really can't stand it when the fan runs so I want it to be as cool as possible. I know it will still kick on at times with something like youtube or HD video, but that's my feeling on that. Also, I am sticking with 13 inch just because I move around a lot and I've tried 15 inch ones only to feel they are too big. I want to stick with the 13 inch and an external monitor.
  5. Bobcat16 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2010
    Also I plan to max out with 8 GB RAM later on for either model. I will also upgrade the base to 500 GB HD.
  6. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    The 13" has two physical CPU cores, whereas the 15" has four. Also, don't get the 2.7GHz 13", it's not worth the upgrade price.
  7. Bobcat16 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2010
    I'm just considering the two 13 inch Macbook Pros. both have 2 cores, just one is 2.3 GHz and an i5, the other is 2.7 and a i7. I will be upgrading both later on with 8 GB RAM, and I will upgrade the hard drive on the cheaper one to 500 GB as well. So what I am left with is wondering if the 2.7 i7 is worth about 255 dollars more or so for my personal use.
  8. Bobcat16 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2010
    I missed this sentence before my response above. This answers my question (assuming your word is right haha). I didn't think I would see any real world difference but wanted to double check.
  9. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    The difference is barely visible now between the 2 CPUs and will be relatively non-existant in 3-4 years.

    The reason people get the 15" is because the leap from 2->4 cores is more substantial, they need a larger screen, or they really want the dedicated GPU.

    If you want larger hard drive space, get it from some place else besides Apple.

    And the Intel HD 3000 GPU can handle HD video just fine.
  10. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    The only difference between the CPUs is 400MHz and 1MB of cache RAM, so the i7 will be about 15% quicker flat out in ideal conditions. For your usage I'd opt for the i5. The i7 upgrade would come in handy for people running video editing or virtualisation products. The i7 won't give you anything that makes it more futureproof in a few years time.
  11. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011

    the i5 isn't going to age much differently than the i7, because they are both dual core, and simply not as powerful as the quad core. i expect my mbp i5 core will still be meeting my needs in two or three years, so i wouldn't worry about that. the i5 13" is a good deal, though. the i7 isn't. as long as you are locked into the 13", dollar for dollar, you are spending more for less. after all of your upgrades (cpu, ram, and hdd) you'll be at or over the 15" price, so i'd strongly recommend picking it up and putting it on your back to make sure the 15" is really too heavy for you.

    you sound like one of the few people who might benefit from the cpu upgrade, because you want more power, but don't want to go above 13".

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