Looking to Buy a New MBP 13 inch...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ChrisM07, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. ChrisM07 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    #1
    ...and I have some questions. I have done quite a few searches but I can't seem to find these answers (maybe I'm blind?) so please bear with me here.

    I am currently using a Dell XPS laptop that is about 5.5 years old now. It's time I bought a new one (at least I think so anyways) and I am really interested in getting a MacBook Pro (my first Mac!). I am interested in the 13 inch model because of it's portability and it's price relative to the 15" and 17" models (I'm a student). So, I can't decide on the i5 or the i7 model. I work at Best Buy and the Apple rep at our store said hands down the i7 model. I went online and researched the differences between the two and from what I read, there isn't a huge difference between the two and that it's not worth the extra dough. The hard drive difference isn't that big of a deal to me anyways because I already have a 500 GB external which I plan to store a lot of stuff on.

    Currently, my Dell laptop has the Centrino Core Duo processor at 1.83 GHz, 4 GB of RAM and a 256 MB integrated video card, running Windows Vista Ultimate. The reason I want a new laptop is because it's struggling with the most simple tasks (like typing these words in this forum for instance). The processor is always running at 100% which makes things VERY and I mean VERY sluggish and my memory use usually hovers around 50-60% (which leads me to think I don't need any more than the 4 GB of RAM that I already have since I'm not maxing it out).

    So what do you guys think? Is the i7 worth the extra $300, and is more than 4 GB of RAM really necessary? I don't want to get the computer and then 3 years down the line think, "should'a got more processor".

    (Some extra info: I mainly use my computer for web browsing/e-mails, software/programs related to my school work, and occasionally for Microsoft Office type things. I just got an iPhone in March and would love to start organizing all my pictures from that onto my computer and use things like iPhoto for editing. I'd also like to use iMovie to make my own DVD's, and Garage Band for personal recording.)

    Thanks a lot and sorry if these have already been posted.

    Chris
     
  2. cfII macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Location:
    california
    #2
    Listen very closely and I will show you the way
    Get the i5. Most basic model. The i5 is plenty of horsepower.
    To make the computer faster, you will upgrade the ram to 8gigs right off the bat. Not from apple mind you, it's overpriced. This will be your new laptop. If you need faster you upgrade to SSD.
    Your welcome.
     
  3. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #3
    Get the baseline 13 inch. No upgrades; RAM to 8 is cheap ~50 and will help, but in your case you won't really see a difference as you aren't really doing a lot of things on the machine.

    I can easily have 12+ Chrome windows, iTunes, the App Store, multiple word/excel documents, and run Windows 7 in VM to use Rosetta Stone without running out of RAM with 4 gigs.
     
  4. gorskiegangsta macrumors 65816

    gorskiegangsta

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #4
    In my opinion, the 2.7GHz i7 upgrade is absolutely not worth the extra $250. It'll give you at best 10% improvement, and only when stressing the CPU. In most everyday tasks, you won't notice a thing. If I were you, I'd get the base i5 model and upgrade it with an SSD. It'll will make your MBP fly.
    If processing power is important to you, take a jump and get a 15" model with Quad-Core i7 CPU. Also, if you plan to get a RAM upgrade, don't get it from Apple for $200. Instead go on Newegg or Amazon, you'll be able to get an 8GB (@1333MHz) kit for $60 or less.
     
  5. samac92 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #5
    Get the i5. It's plenty powerful and will be a huge step up from your current machine. I wouldn't even recommend 8GB of ram, 4GB is plenty for light usage. As for an SSD, I wouldn't even consider one until the prices drop.

    The base model without an additions is more than enough for what you need.
     
  6. ChrisM07 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    #6
    Thanks for all the replies, I appreciate it! I don't play a whole lot of games but I'd like to play Half Life and Portal again. I know the video card is something that I can't do anything about. I think I might look into adding more memory if I start to notice issues. I upgraded my current laptop and it was a piece of cake so I'm hoping that it's as easy on a Mac (and that it doesn't void the warranty!).

    Another question though: can my iPhone connect wirelessly to the computer? I think it can but I'm not sure. I want both devices to have all my contacts and calendar events, e-mails, etc.

    Thanks again!

    Chris
     
  7. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #7
    Adding RAM won't do anything for the graphics card.... it's shared memory but putting 8 gigs doesn't increase the actual performance, although the mbs does go up.
     
  8. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #8
    The difference in price between 4GB and 8GB is about $10. That's cheap for probably never needing to worry about RAM again.

    SSDs are getting into the $1/GB range. And the performance boost is incredible - well worth the investment for any performance-minded buyer, imho.
     
  9. samac92 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #9
    The difference in price is small, but the MBP comes with 4GB already installed, so it will cost an extra $50 or more to upgrade to 8GB.

    I agree SDDs are great performance wise, but I still wouldn't recommenced the OP get one (as a student with fairly light demands.)
     
  10. Kentochan macrumors 6502

    Kentochan

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #10
    And also, keep in mind that with 8GB of RAM, the Intel HD 3000 jumps from 384MB to 512MB. From my experience, the my base 13" with the 8GB RAM had been sufficient for me most of the time. It can play StarCraft II at Medium settings, and Minecraft at the highest settings while gaming, and encode videos quick enough.
     
  11. gorskiegangsta macrumors 65816

    gorskiegangsta

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    Mar 13, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #11
    The shared video memory increase from 384MB (with 4GB RAM) to 512MB (with 8GB RAM) will not increase GPU performance.
     
  12. GuitarG20 macrumors 65816

    GuitarG20

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    #12
    the base model is more than sufficient.

    you don't even need 8 gigs ram off the bat. i have it, but i don't even need it cept when i'm running VM's.

    right now i am at 3.4 gigs used, with chrome (~10 tabs), rockmelt, outlook, evernote, iCal, Word, Hamachi, trillian, skype, geektool, growl, and dropbox running.
     
  13. ladytonya macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #13
    For your usage, which is basically identical to mine, the base i5 is plenty. With what you are coming from, you will be in heaven! You'll think this thing flies!

    As for RAM, that can always be upgraded in the future if you need it. Personally, 4 GB has always been plenty for me, even with some light gaming. I absolutely love my 13" i5 and I was coming from almost the identical system that you were coming from. Good luck to ya!
     
  14. Gillespie81 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #14
    I ordered mine with the i7 and upgraded to the 128 ssd from apple and ordered 8gb from newegg. The comp with my student discount was 1400 plus the 100 app store card so 1500 total. Not a bad deal for a comp that will last a long time.
     
  15. ChrisM07 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    #15
    Thanks again for all the replies, I appreciate it! I'm glad I posted on here because it made my decision a heck of a lot easier. Just gotta gather my funds and I'm good to go.

    I don't really have a lot of "vital" things that I need to transfer over from the old to the new. Everything important I have (movies, MUSIC, saved files, pictures, etc.) are either on a thumb drive or on my external. The only thing I'm worried about is my current external hard drive being able to work with Macs. I'm guessing I will have to re-format it to make it compatible? I'm hoping that I won't need a new one (because they sell hard drives that are 'For Macs'). I wanted to use the 100 dollar student discount towards MS office or something similar, and not a hard drive :)
     
  16. mountains macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    #16
    Hard drives aren't really made "for Macs" or "for PCs" (well, there are, but that's all just marketing ********). Hard drives formatted in Windows use the NTFS file system, as opposed to Mac's HFS+. Any hard drive can be formatted for either file system, although that means your data is lost unless you back it up elsewhere.

    I'm not extensively familiar with how to do so, but it's possible to read/write NTFS drives on a Mac, so you can pull files off an NTFS-formatted backup drive. It might take some elbow grease, but you can do it (Google should turn up some resources for you).
     
  17. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #17
    Go look in the FAQs. There is a section with all of the information you need in there.
     
  18. gboswellsac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    San Antonio TX
    #18
    Not to be a wet towel but if you look at the Buyers Guide for the MacBookPro is says only buy if absolutly need as average days between upgrades by Apple is 215 and we are at day 199..... Enough for me to keep my 2010 2.26 with 8G/500G. Not really any slower than my Dell I5 2040 2.53 departmental issue notebook. I want an I5 now but less than 30 days to maybe new release I'm waiting. :D
     
  19. gorskiegangsta macrumors 65816

    gorskiegangsta

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #19
    I doubt Apple would refresh the Pro line until the arrival of Ivy Bridge, which won't be until Q1 2012. However, if you got the 2010 model, you may as well hold out on 2011 models and just wait for 2012 models.
     
  20. Liquinn Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #20
    I'm in the market for a MBP too, but I'll hold off as it's only 16 or so weeks till the end of the year. Then by then it'll be a few months until an Ivy Bridge MBP, I assume.
     
  21. ChrisM07 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    #21
    I saw that too but I also don't think I feel like waiting :D . I mean, I don't know a whole lot about this new ivy bridge business but could it be worth waiting another four+ months for? While my computer DOES work, my blood pressure rises 10 fold every time I use it. I guess I'm on the border between want and need. Also I feel like if I waited till January for a new computer with the hopes that the refresh is released, I could really be waiting for months after as no one probably knows when its going to actually happen (as I've seen hundreds of people argue over stuff like this on this forum before). If I wait, I'll be satisfied, if I don't I'll still be satisfied I think.
     
  22. gboswellsac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    San Antonio TX
    #22
    Listen if I did not have the perfect 2010 notebook, my MBP I'd do just like you and have it overnight from Amazon..... Just making sure you knew what the Buyers guide had suggested. I have a new Dell E6420 (school issued) with the 2040 I5 2.53 processor, backlit key board .... but the MBP just works better and I enjoy the experience as I'm on my box at least 6 hours a day for work. Life is too short not having a box you enjoy working with. Fortunately with Paralles and VirtualBox there is nothing on the Dell I must use so it sits unused most of the time. Sorry if I jumped on your post and stopped the flow as you don't have a MBP that most of us have and enjoy daily .... go get it TODAY...and lower that blood pressure...
     
  23. ChrisM07 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    #23
    Oh no worries, thanks for mentioning it!
     

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