Is 15' MBP any more future proof than the 13' MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by microfine, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. microfine macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2010
    Just trying to work out which size MBP would be best for me. I have the option of getting the lowest spec 13" or the lowest spec 15" (for funding reasons I can't change the specs at the time of purchase).

    Ideally I'd wait until SandyBridge comes out but I have to buy now for school.

    I'd welcome any thoughts on whether the 15" will outlast the 13" in terms of future OS updates etc. or is there really no difference between the two. I would ideally need the laptop to last for 3-4 years through college.

    Also is the 15" worth the extra money I would be paying? Or do you think the difference is negligible. I'm a college student so value for money is important at the moment.

    Will the updates that come with Sandybridge be loads better than the core i5?

    I will be using the laptop for the following tasks...

    Programming in Xcode and other IDEs maybe Eclipse or BlueJ (I hope to major in CS)
    Running Parallels
    Design/photoediting/drawing with CS5
    Surfing web
    Writing reports (MS Office)

    I am slightly worried about the portability of the 15" but I will likely spend most of my time working with it at home rather than carrying it around.

    The extra screen space appeals to me on the 15" for design work/programming.
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Honestly, I would just go with whatever size you prefer. Most laptop bags can hold at least a 15", and for your uses, either would be fine. As far a OS upgrades, there won't be a difference between the two as they are both 64-bit intel. I'd personally go with the 15" in your situation for the extra screen space (very nice for programming), and the processor is a bit faster in that model even at the same base frequency.
  3. jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    \I'd also opt for i5; you can also add an inexpensive external monitor for more screen space. The extra speed means you'll be able to use it longer as program require more horsepower in the future pas well.

    O H ...
  4. BornToMac macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2008
    Personally Id recommend the 15". It's what I have and is surprisingly portable. Plus I agree with the other posters, the extra real estate on the screen will come in handy if you don't want to purchase a monitor right now as well...
  5. dallas112678 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2008
    The core i5 is much better than the C2D (the C2D is pretty old) on the 13" so the 15" will be much more future proof in that regard. The GPU is better on the 15" also. If you are going to be doing any kind of photoshop or programing then the 15" will be more than worth it with the extra screen resolution. The 15" is the perfect size as far as portability is i'm concerned. It only has an extra pound on the 13" (if you can't handle that then it's time to hit the gym) and the dimensions aren't to big (perfect size if you want to take it to class.) Not to mention the 15" will fit fine in pretty much every backpack there is (Just make sure you at least have a good sleeve for it.)

    Point is, if you want a computer to last 3-4 years in college, then go for the 15" since the processor in the 13" is already a few years old.
  6. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    For 50% more money, the base 15" MBP gives you a slightly faster processor, slightly faster graphics card, slightly bigger hard drive, _less_ battery life, no difference in expandability, and a 15" screen vs. 13" - which is nicer to use, but harder to carry. I find it hard to justify the extra $600. Get the 13" MB, add a 1TB hard drive, backup drive, 24" monitor when you use it at home, upgrade to 8 GB Ram in a year or two, and you still save money.

    But compare the 15" with the MacBook Air 13" with everything added; they are exactly the same price, and again, I'd say the 15" loses.
  7. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    Nothing is future proof. Just take a look at 3 year old discrete MBPs. Doesn't matter if it is the top of the line, no one wants a 8600M.

    The same will apply to 2010 laptops. In 2012, everyone will want the newest thing.

    My advice is to buy what you need and save what you can. If you can save $500 today, thats $500 you can use to buy your next upgrade.
  8. alphaxono macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2008
    Future proof doesn't exist...but the 15" might keep you happy a little longer...

    I am switching from a 13" Macbook Air to 15" core i5 with a high-res option.
    I loved my Macbook Air and the beautiful 13" inch screen but realized after a while that the resolution was somewhat limited for development.
    The CPU didn't help either. Overall it was a great machine but after watching a couple of co-workers using their 15" screen estate and the performance they were having, I decided to switch. Now i'm thinking that 15" is the sweet spot for development.

  9. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    I love my i5 15"...perfect size, plenty of horsepower...
  10. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Is this the new MBA you're referring to?
  11. danwat1234 macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2010
    The core i5 is a fine chip. Integrated GPU.
    Sandybridge/Ivybridge CPUs are not pin compatible with the 'i' processors, so no hope of upgrading in the future (when your warranty has expired).

    So, the difference between i5 and Sandy Bridge...
    -Slightly less heat (i'd imagine) (dual core)
    -more powerful integrated GPU
    -future proofing for Ivybridge (22nm shrink of Sandy)
    -slightly faster clock to clock

    Not a big difference.

    C2D vs i5 = larger difference. Definitely get the i5 at least. Invest in an SSD when they get cheap enough to get a big speed boost.

    Good luck with College!

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