Is The 2011 MacBook Pro 13" High End Right For Me?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TheLegend, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. TheLegend macrumors member


    Dec 16, 2010
    I've done a LOT of searching on the forums, and I think it's time I make a thread :D

    Well I'm looking to use it for primarily web browsing, Traktor Pro 2 (DJ Software), iTunes and whatnot, and a bit of StarCraft 2. I know the 13"s don't have great graphics, but I'd hopefully be able to run StarCraft 2 on a slightly lower resolution.

    I've been told that there isn't a noticeable performance difference between the i5 and i7 13" MBPs this year, and it will be my first computer purchase since January 2007 and my first Mac purchase, so even a straight-out-of box i5 would be a nice change.

    I don't want a 15" or 17", and I plan to give this laptop away to a relative after my 3 years of Apple care and buy the newest MBP.

    I only need about 200 GB of space on my hard drive, my current hard drive is 140 GB and I still have a bit of space left. People I've asked and posts I've read have hinted towards a SSD being a more worthwhile purchase over the i5 to i7 upgrade, and increasing the RAM.

    So do you think the High End 13" MBP is for me? Or what would you guys recommend to me?

  2. josejose33 macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2011
    I think that the low end would be a better purchase for you; it's what I plan on purchasing also. If you want to upgrade something, you should definitely start with an ssd, but even that upgrade isn't necessary.
  3. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    +1. Use the money on RAM or SSD. You'll actually "feel" those upgrades. Much better bang for the buck.
  4. Tapiwa macrumors member

    Jan 3, 2011
    Yeah an SSD would be a WAY bigger improvement than going from i5 to i7...
    Also according to this link:
    It looks like it will be able to handle Starcraft 2 even on medium/high settings :)

    As much as I complained about HD 3000 graphics, I have to admit that it looks like they did a good job with OS X drivers and that it performs ok if you're not too demanding :p
  5. Funkymonk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2011
    low end would be better for you. don't get scammed into buying the high end one
  6. Grouchy Bob macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    AssWipe, New Mexico
    You don't say how long until your AppleCare runs out on the current machine.

    If you can wait until the next *real* upgrade for the MBP13 you'll get:

    - Unibody redesign in liquid metal
    - Discrete GPU
    - Longer Battery life because of no ODD
    - Higher screen resolution
    - Cheaper SSD's as standard
    - Ivy Bridge processors

    Just to name a few.

    Or... Maybe NOT! :eek:


    No. Low end is more cost effective. You'll only get maybe a 10% increase in CPU power in the 2.7 and that won't help so much with gaming. (It's the same IGP in both MBP13 flavors).

    Plus... (And I haven't heard but I suspect)... the fan in the 2.7 will drive you nuts.
  7. TheLegend, Feb 27, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011

    TheLegend thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 16, 2010
    Well since I was originally prepared to spend 1450 (Price of MBP High End 13 with Student Discount in Canada) Versus 1150 (Price of MBP Low End 13 with Student Discount in Canada), that gives me 300 bucks of wiggle room.

    Thanks for your help.
  8. TheLegend thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 16, 2010
    I've decided to opt out of the SSD, and I'll just be getting the $50 upgrade from 320 GB to 500 GB, mainly because of the "why not" mentality.

    So, that leaves the question of RAM. Is it really worth it in the end? I'm not going to be straining the computer very hard, and I've heard RAM that isn't used heavily can kind of "wither away and lose effect"as a computer tech I asked responded. Is there any truth to that?
  9. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2011
    I would buy the computer with its 4 GB standard and then use it and track your usage in activity monitor to see how much RAM you actually use with your usage. If you're not using the 4 GB that is in it, then the upgrade to 8 GB doesn't make a whole lot of sense. The upgrade to the SSD is what will make the most difference, but you can do that whenever you want. Buying a 3rd party SSD and installing it yourself is more cost effective anyway.

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