Help Needed...N00b here

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by I am J5, May 16, 2010.

  1. I am J5 macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2010
    Hi Everybody, I am on the verge of purchasing a Macbook Pro, but I am very new to the Mac world and in need of some insight. I am debating between the 13-inch and the 15-inch models. In comparing the specs between the models; aside from the obvious differences such as the processor, price, and screen size, are there any other significant differences to be aware of? I noticed that the specs list the 15-inch model with Intel HD Graphics but the 13-inch didn't have that listed. Would I still be able to connect the 13inch model to an exteral LCD tv and acheive the same results as a 15-inh model? Any information is appreciated.
  2. Sarngate macrumors regular

    May 15, 2010
    The 13'' models ship with a C2D chip, which despite what some people may say is still a perfectly good chip for general purposes and some light photo-editing, even some occasional gaming. They also have a single GPU, the 320m, which is weaker than the 330m GT found in the 15'' models.

    The 15'' models ship with two GPU's, an integrated (the Intel HD) and a discrete (330m), which will be toggled between depending on the workload. The 15'' models also come with i5 CPU's, which are a fair bit more powerful than C2D chips found in the 13'' MBP's.

    The battery life in the 13'' model is longer lasting than that found in the 15'' model, due to the different processors as well as the GPU's.

    If you plan to do moderate video/photo editing and would like a little more performance for games then the 15'' is definitely worth the extra cash. If you just want a machine which will let you browse the web, watch HD video and play a few games here and there, the 13'' is a great option.
  3. runebinder macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    Nottingham, UK
    The 13" uses the Nvidia 320M IGP. The Intel HD is integrated into the ix series processors on the 15" and as the 13" is using the older Core 2 Duo processors, doesn't have it. The 320M will be fine for an external display, however what are you planning on using the MBP for?

    If you're not going to be doing any serious gaming on it the 13" will do you fine, if you are then the 15" with the dedicated Nvidia 330M would be better.
  4. ozreth macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2009
    One of the most notable differences is that the 15" comes with both the integrated intel graphics chip AND a dedicated nVidia chip. This makes a big difference with graphically intensive task, although the integrated chip on the 13" is powerful for most things as well.

    If you play games at all I would spring for the 15" without a doubt as you will get the dedicated graphics card and have the choice of getting one with 512mb of RAM.

    I love the 15" models and have used all three sizes, my reasons being:

    - I game often, so the extra screen size and better graphics cards help a lot.
    - They are the perfect meidum of power and size. Smaller than the 17" so its not too bulky but with the same amount of power. And honestly I always say that there arent any places that you can put the 13" that you cant put the 15".
    - The speakers are way nicer, so if your MBP isnt at home all the time hooked up to other speakers its nice to have them.
    - Movies are nicer on a bigger screen. But again, its not TOO big for a laptop.

    Just remember that a 15" macbook pro is going to be MUCH smaller than a 15" windows laptop.

    All of that being said, I still think the 13" machines are wonderful, they just don't suite me like the 15".
  5. I am J5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2010
    Thanks to all for your inputs. That definately puts some things in perspective. It is highly doubtful that I will be doing any sort of gaming, but I will doing some light photo, video, and audio editing. My biggest concern is when I'm sitting at home, I plan on connecting the Macbook to a Samsung LED as an external display so I can utilize a bigger display while working on the couch. Will the 13in model (being without a dedicated GPU) picture quality degrade while being hooked up to the TV?
  6. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    You wouldn't believe the information you can find on Apple products at a site like this.

    The 320M GPU in the 13" MacBook Pro blows the Intel HD GPU away, however the 15" has a 330M GPU as well as the Intel HD GPU. Depending on the application you are using, your Mac will dynamically and seamlessly switch between either chip to offer the greatest balance of power consumption and performance.

    Screen size is not the issue, it's screen resolution.

    I watch full 1080p movies at FULL fps on my 46" TV in full native 1080p. If your TV or monitor supports it, both the 15" and 13" output the same maximum resolution of 2560x1600.

    I have the last-gen (first-gen) 13" MacBook Pro, and using iMovie to edit 1080p video as well as large image editing is seamless. I can't imagine how this is on a computer that has TWICE the graphics power of my own, considering it plays Doom 3 on the highest settings at 40-50fps. Yes, the new 13" MacBook Pro's GPU is up to TWICE as fast as the old 13" model.
  7. I am J5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2010
    I do appreciate your input, no matter how sly and condesending it is. Guess it comes with the territory of not having too much technical knowledge. And yes, you are right, I am concerned with the screen resolution since I don't think the 13 inch model comes with a true 16:9 screen ratio, I was curious if that will distort the picture if i connect it to a TV that has a true 16:9 screen ratio. I also don't know if the mac will adjust its ouput accordingly to prevent any video distortions or if I will experience any video lag or a decrease in video quality when being connected to an external monitor. That was my main area of concern that I was hoping people will chime in on with their prior experiences.
  8. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    I'm not trying to be condescending.

    It doesn't matter what aspect ratio your external display is, you can adjust it to suit.

    When you plug in an external monitor and your Mac detects it, a Display Preferences window will show up on their respective monitors. From there you can select presets, (1080p, 720p, 480i) and non-standard resolutions that TV's don't normally display, such as 1440x900 and 2560x1600, which are 16:10.

    Your Mac will only offer resolutions that are fully supported. You will notice only a handful of resolutions to choose from, as these are deemed ideal for each individual display.

    So, if your TV is 16:9, just choose a 16:9 resolution. You can use this calculator to check the aspect ratio of each resolution.

    (8:5=16:10. Why the OEM's never reduce it...I don't know...)
  9. ozreth macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2009
    Well you could've just said that to begin with, as he obviously didnt know : p

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