How Much Difference will I notice ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Fulhamrback, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. Fulhamrback macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2010
    After playing the waiting game to see if the MBP would get a refresh or at least a speed bump i have decided to take the plunge now as I can't really wait that much longer. I am caught between two schools of thought as to which model I should go for and would appreciate any advice you guys could give.

    I currently use a nearly 4 yr old dell inspiron 9400 , it has a 2ghz intel chip inside (duo core) t7200 , wide screen 17" WUXGA (1920X1200) display. it has a nvidea geforce go 79 graphics card with 256mb ram and 2 gig of ram inside as well. My main uses of the laptop are for email, internet, 'office' type applications as well as converting divx/avi files to play on ipod and potentially an appletv etc.

    i should point out that i will be able to get the full education discount. I really like the size of the 13" base model, but am somewhat apprehensive of spending the best part of a grand for a cpu that is only .4ghz faster than my present laptop (will i notice much of a difference?) or should i opt for the 15" base model + hi res and get the i5 chip to build in a degree of future proofing as well as a speedier conversion process on the divx / avi files etc. Having watched the keynote yesterday I think that I will definately use imovie and iphoto as well but nothing more cpu intensive than that.

    I would appreciate your thoughts
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    You won't notice much difference for either machine. You are not doing anything that requires lots of CPU over long periods of time.
  3. Fulhamrback thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2010
    So on that basis , is it worth spending the extra cash on the 15" ?
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I don't know. Do you want a 15" high res screen or a 13" screen?
  5. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003
    With either the 13" or 15" model you are reducing your screen resolution that you have now. Not that its a bad thing but I wanted to point out that if you are used to a 17" 1920x1200 screen and you go to a 13" (1440x900?, I don't remember) screen it could be a bit jarring.

    The 15" is one step up but not 1920x1200.

    We use many 17" MBPs here and when you move to another resolution it can be a bit strange. Going from 1920 x 1200 to something lower can make it look like crap when its not really.

    IMHO, I think the 15" would be a great compromise from where you are to where you want to go.

    Good Luck!

  6. Fulhamrback thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2010
    Thank you , that is good advice and something I should consider.
  7. Ricket macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2010
    Perhaps consider waiting longer; I am in your exact boat and I'm pretty confident that I'm going to wait until next summer. I've been battling the urge the buy a MBP for quite a while now, and then a week ago I heard of yesterday's event and thought maybe the MBP line would update (which would have certainly pushed me to buy one). In light of the lack of update (yes I know the way overpriced processor upgrade), I've resolved to wait until next summer.

    I currently have a Dell E1705, which is exactly the 9400 but I think just the US version or something (everywhere just says "E1705/9400"). I have the 2ghz T7200 processor, 2gb RAM, GeForce Go 7900GS, wonderful 1920x1200 display. So it's exactly the same as yours. I often use my laptop for heavier tasks (software development, gaming, virtual machines). I've replaced the battery twice, this latest one being an official Dell battery which I bought 13 months ago and now has 54% capacity. It lasts about an 1:15 on a good day -- that's my biggest reason for wanting a MBP.

    But given that I currently run Windows 7 (and Ubuntu) and they still run smooth enough, my laptop is not dying or faulty (though it is out of warranty as of a few days ago), and I can survive hopping from power outlet to power outlet, I have decided to just make do. I feel like a MBP is a lot of money to spend, and as much as I can drool over it, I just can't really justify it. Sure it's slightly more powerful, but I'm already doing what I need to do without inconvenience, except when my laptop just barely doesn't last an entire class period. By waiting until next summer, I can keep using this laptop and getting everything done just fine.

    Then around May, Apple will start its yearly education deal where you get a free iPod with purchase of a MacBook; you say you get the education deal, so you should be good for that deal. It'll be the "new" iPod with the retina screen and microphone, a nice big step up from my current 2nd-gen iPod. Hopefully around that time (probably before then), Sandy Bridge will have come out, and possibly even much bigger upgrades to the form factor of the MBP. I can't imagine what it would be, but the Unibody was a big step up from the previous MBP; now that it's been a couple years, maybe something similarly revolutionary will be unleashed. Also, now that we got new laptops with SSDs at work (though I don't get one yet), I've been set on a SSD, but currently the 256gb ones are at least $350, the good ones $450+ (and I can't use any size smaller than that). By next summer the prices will have dropped a good amount and it won't be so darn expensive.

    So all these factors lead to my decision that I should be happy with what I have, and wait until next year to treat myself. You may feel differently even after reading all that, but I just thought I'd share my thoughts, especially since we have the same laptop and therefore probably the same sort of preferences.

    Though I am definitely getting a 17" MBP. There's no way I can go down from 1920x1200. However, my reasons are mainly (again) with gaming and software development, both of which significantly benefit from a large resolution. Since you are a much more casual user, I think a 15" laptop would suit you well. Make sure to get the 1680x1050 though, to soften the drop from 1920x1200; or consider walking into an Apple store (or another computer store) and looking at the different resolutions in person. You can't really decide until you try it, right? I think you would be plenty happy with the 15" though.

    P.S. If you don't have Windows 7 on your laptop, upgrade. Especially if you are still running Windows XP. It'll feel like a whole new computer.
  8. Fulhamrback thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2010
    Thanks for the replies.........................

    I have just run the geekbench test on my present system and the score was 1667 compared to the MBP 13 " 2010 model 3420 and 15" 2010 model 5044.

    I dont really understand these scores other than the fact that the difference in them is massive. Is it as simple as saying twice the score = twice the performance etc ??
  9. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    get the base mbp15. its soooo much faster then the 13. i wanted the 13 for size but am glad i didnt. the 15" is actually really portable and has much fuller and warmer sound.

    i also opted for the AG screen which isnt available on the mbp13 and it is infinitely better and easier on the eyes.

    1200x800 is also really a quite crappy resolution for a 13" like the low res 1400x900 is on the 15". 1680x1050 highres is the only decent one lacking a fullhd option on the 15.
  10. Gen macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2008
  11. Blu101 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2010
    + hi-res screen option (glossy if you don't need anti-glare) :D

    This screen rocks!
  12. sbddude macrumors 6502a

    Sep 27, 2010
    Nor Cal, USA
    Since you are used to a 1920x200 screen I suggest you go for the highest resolution possible. This probably means the 15 high res or 17 inch. The 13 is a huge step down. Think about it this way, you have only 2/3 of the vertical pixels. For me the low res screen was a deal-breaker on the 13 inch.
  13. happle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2010
    also note that a 2.4ghz processor on a mac will feel much snappier on mac than a windows. windows is a resource hog, while macs really let the hardware shine

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