Human Considering MacBook Pro 15" or 17" with Questions Please...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by magentawave, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. magentawave macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2009
    After battling with my Vista PC lately :( I am seriously considering getting a used Mac.

    I have narrowed it down to either a 15" or a 17" MacBook Pro. I work on video so needs lots of ram (4 gigs minimum). I will probably get a Windows emulator just so I can use the software I already have (Adobe Master Collection CS4, Roxio, Sony Vegas 8.0, M.S. Office 2007, Camtasia Studio 6, etc.) until I can afford to replace it with Mac only software.

    I need at least a 17" display for my day to day work, but will consider the 15" MacBook Pro (because its easier to lug around) if I find a really killer deal on a 15" and then another killer deal on an external display.

    Here are my questions please...

    1) To save money, I am thinking of buying it used off of Craigslist. Any thoughts or suggestions for a better source for used MacBook Pro's?

    2) Can the second owner buy an Apple Care policy if the computer is less than a year old?

    3) How old of a MacBook Pro can I get without it soon being obsolete?

    4) Can anyone recommend a good site that tells you specifically what to look for when buying a used MacBook Pro?

    5) External Display: What external displays work with a Macbook Pro? Are they still Windows only, or Mac only, or are they cross-platform now? Can you recommend a good brand for the Mac?

    6) 15" or 17" MacBook Pro: Would anyone be willing to share their likes and dislikes for each of them?

    7) Is it true that I can have as much as 8 gigs of ram installed on the MacBook Pro's?

    Any and all feedback will be greatly appreciated. :)

    Thank you.

  2. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    2) Yes.

    3) Don't buy the model with the nVidia 8600 graphics chip - they have a severe design flaw and will inevitably fail.

    4) I don't think it differs from buying a new machine. The only things that will be different are cosmetic.

    5) Any with a DVI or HDMI connector but if you buy a newer model (with the black keyboard and display edge) you will need an adapter to make it work. It will also work with VGA, but all models will need an adapter for this. Only go for VGA if you can't get DVI - DVI is digital and provides better image quality.

    6) The 17" model is huge. I couldn't possibly live with that every day.

    7) Way, way more!
  3. magentawave thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2009
    Hey thanks for the quick response!

    6) Are you saying you couldn't live with the 17" because you have to carry your Mac everyday? I would rarely be carrying around my Mac but still want it to be portable.

    7) You mean a MacBook Pro (15" or 17") can hold more than 8 megs of ram?

    Thanks again.

  4. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Jun 1, 2007
    Chicago, IL, USA
    megabyte≠gigabyte. The maximum capacity is eight gigabytes.
  5. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    I've got a 17" it was great when I would just lounge around the house, such a great big screen, and just keep it in my backpack when I go on flights. However now that I am in college, I don't even bother to bring it anymore, I never thought of it as a burden, but it is just to big and heavy for that sort of travel! :(
  6. Ricanlegend macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2009
  7. magentawave thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2009
    But would you still think 15" is the perfect size if your computer stayed at the same desk 95% of the time?

  8. eVolcre macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2003
    Similar dilemma. I currently have a 1st Gen 17" MBP. It's traveled all around the world with me and I haven't had a problem. I was actually going to order another 17" this week.

    But ... the more I think about it, I think the 15" really hits the sweet spot for portability and size.

    Decisions decisions ... :)

    The 15" with higher resolution would be perfect. I do a lot of research and writing and the ability to have 2 web pages , or a document and a web page open side by side is the main reason I use the larger machines.

  9. imthekuni macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2009
    and that is why you get an external display
  10. t-rev macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2009
    Magentawave....send me your email address or a PM...If you are looking to buy a used MBP, I have one that is 3 days outside the return policy. It is the 15" 2.66, 4GB, 320HD. I was going to return last Friday (my last day to return) to get the 17" as I don't travel much anymore. It was purchased on 5/22/09 and I'd work in a deal with most of the Adobe Products, I have the Adobe Creative Suite and have a few valid license I don't need anymore.
  11. magentawave thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2009
    But how can that be such a big deal when a 17" Macbook Pro is only 1" to 1.5" wider and longer in size and about 1.5 pounds heavier than a MBP 15?

  12. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    You want to check your logic. There is a difference between MB and GB. lists the max ram each model can take.

    Some people need to work out.

    I move my 17" almost every day. Works great. Keep in mind the 17" MBP weights the same as most 15" pc laptops.
  13. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    I've owned both in rotation (15" PB->17" PB->15" MBP-17" MBP->15" MBP->17" MBP) and I actually have both at the moment.

    I'm 6' 3" so the size burden isn't that big and I usually fly business class or Economy Plus which gives me plenty of space on a plane. The 15" is a sweet spot, but if you're doing a lot of video, the higher res gives you a lot more room to "spread out". Think of it as moving from a Full size bed to a Queen size bed. It doesn't SEEM that much bigger, but when you work in it :cool:, the extra space is definitely appreciated. I edit footage on the couch, at the pool, in coffee shops, at work, etc...and the 1920x1200 res is SOOOO freakin' nice. That being said, I use eSata drives with my MBP so the 15" is no longer an option. But that's me.
  14. magentawave thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2009
    I bought the 15 MBP a couple weeks ago but then found a killer deal on a MBP 17 and just bought that so now I'll be selling the MBP 15. Both are within one year so I can get Apple Care for them. I've always wanted a second display so just ordered a 24" display from Costco for only $200.00 so now will have a totally sweet set up!

  15. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    Congratz on your new machines!

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