Mac newbie: Unibody 15" vs 17" - Issues and advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rknrolls, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. rknrolls macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2009
    hi I am a complete newbie to Macs and have finally decided to switch from PCs after years and years of suffering!

    I have done a bit of research and narrowed it down to two MBP choices -

    1. 15" 2.66 7200rpm
    2. 17" 7200rpm

    I cant decided between the two!

    I have been using a Thinkpad T42p for about 4 years now and even though I paid a *lot* for it, it has lasted me as a good friend.

    I am a software engineer and not into design, graphics etc. I know the general consensus is that you dont actually need the 17" in that case, however is money is not the issue and I'm happy to pay the difference given I am thinking of using it atleast 3yrs.

    From what I know so far:

    17" - more screen real estate, longer battery life, 19200 resolution, Snow le
    15" - easier to carry around, same proc speed, no 19200 :(

    I went into the apple store over the weekend, and noticed that the 17" was much 'hotter' than the 15".

    Can anyone pls list specifically what the issues people have noticed with the 17"?

    - RAM issues with random beeps?
    - gets hotter than 15"?

    I guess 15" has had longer to "mature" e.g. going from 2.53 to 2.66 ppl have reported improvements/fixes with screen flickers, screen leaks etc.

    I just dont want to be stuck with a 15" for 3 years if I can get the 17" !


  2. hobes270 macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2008
    I am in the same situation, although I am not new to macs by any means. I just dont know what size screen to get either. I am leaning towards the 17"
  3. ViciousShadow21 macrumors 68020


    Mar 11, 2009
    To your left or right
    there are going to be so many opinions on this guys. not to mention the amount of threads that have been started. im not trying to be mean but just go with what your feeling. and read up a little on this site and others.
  4. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Kansas City
    Not sure about the heat issue. I've own'd both, the 15" 2.53 UMBP for a few months and now the 17" for the past 2 weeks. I perfer the 17" for the reasons you state. Battery life, screen size and resolution. I love it and have none of the issue you have likely ran across from graphics cards to screen "light leakag" etc.. It has met and exceeded (battery life) my expectations for the price I paid.

    Yes it is big, but my travel with it is limited to putting into a carrying case, taking to to my office, then back home. I don't have an issue with the additional 1 or 2 lbs over the 15" at all.

    Good luck deciding, both are great machines, but for $300 bucks I think the 17" is the way to go :p
  5. macfrik macrumors 6502


    Mar 21, 2009
    I'm using a newer 15" MacBook Pro. Spec on my signature. There are no issues whatsoever. No screen flickers. In fact I'm very happy with my purchase. I think 17" is too big for me. I once in your situation but I ended purchasing 15" one. I love the portability rather than battery life and screen size.

    FYI, I own an iMac so screen size doesn't really matter for me.

    Hope it helps!
  6. rknrolls thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2009

    Thanks guys!

    I have searched and searched through the (helpful) posts here trying to collate potential issues I might come across ..hopefully none! e.g. dead pixels ouch!).,.. and make a decision...

    Again, if it is the 17" (which I would prefer too as I am not going to be travelling much), the only two issues that worry me are: heat and glossy or matte? (the huge debate!)

    Given I am not a designer etc, so purely going by the 'reflections' ..... is the glossy option quite annoying? and Is the matte option not that nice to watch movies/youtube videos etc? I saw some videos on the glass screen at the apple store and it looked super!! On the matte, well it was matted out! :p

    @bossxii - is your 17" matte or glossy?

    an and do you guys think its worth waiting for the 17" to iron out the issues just like the 15" got did? ..... :confused:

    still thinking..... but really need to decide as I cant wait to order!
  7. apersianboyCOM macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2008
    London, UK
    I'm a newbie to Macs too (after 15 years of PCs!), and to me it came down to the same 2 options as you! I chose the 17" because it just looks like such a better screen as the colours are so much more vibrant compared to the 15" and the 2" makes such a difference! the 1920x1200 resolution is awesome and theres not much difference in weight... plus the black border on the 17" is thinner which makes it look even sexier!
  8. derek1984 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2008
    I was set on a 15 inch but wanted to wait for the next revision. I was willing to wait because I was hoping for a matte option and longer battery to be included in the next revision. Well one day I go into the Apple Store and see the 17 inch. I couldn't believe how light and thin it was. Maybe this was because I was coming from a 3 1/2 year old bulky 15 inch Dell Inspiron Laptop but it seemed so much lighter and thinner than I expected. Well when I knew that the 17 inch already came with the matte option and a longer lasting battery, I now knew what I wanted. I am waiting for my 17 inch to be delivered but I have no regrets and I am glad I went for it. There is no guarantee at all that the 15 inch will ever have the matte option and longer battery in it's next revision in a couple months.
  9. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Kansas City
    Mine is glossy/glassy. I personally have to "think" about the reflections to notice them. My eye's and brain focus on the content of the screen. Some people have issues with it, I don't. I love the glassy screen for any type of video is looks great. I use it allot at work with my Slingbox and keeping up with the NCAA tourney :) I tend to get a crowd around my desk... mmm I wonder why lol. Also of the 50 or 60 people I've shown this computer too, ZERO have even mentions or remarked on any reflective issues. I hear "wow that's looks awsome" "man that has a great picture to it" etc.. The people I work with are not even remotely people that hold their opinions back, were mostly sales people, rather vocal of our personal opinions for sure heh.

    If the screen doesn't bother you in the Apple store, it likely won't bother you in a typical home. The lighting in the Apple stores I've been in is much brighter than in my house and when I'm at my work I have windows and lights going and still hasn't been an issue for me.
  10. rknrolls thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2009
    Thanks guys...... so basically you guys are saying go for the 17" one if you can!

    I am very tempted, and chances are I am going to get the glassy/glossy screen as I understand the videos/colours look much sharper!!

    I am also impressed by the extra screen real estate! I think that will help going from my current 15" to 17" and hopefully make me more productive ;-) thats the excuse anyway .... :cool:

    However, I am a little surprised that no one has mentioned seeing the 17" as being a little hotter.... I guess it would be to bearable levels....

    Inclined heavily towards 17" at the moment

    @bossxii - good feedback on the glossy screen there! I just noticed my 3G iphone is glossy too ...... BUT I have just grown to ignore the reflections! Its funny how you just stop noticing them, good job that bit of my brain is working....

    @apersianboyCOM - you sound pretty happy with your 17" !

    @hobes270 - well I wonder what you think? we are in the same boat! you going for 17" ?

    I want an :apple: ! Hoping to take the plunge soon.... unless I find something really bad with ppl saying dont go for 17" cuz...... fingers crossed!
  11. gathart macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2009
    Same here! Long time PC sufferer, finally made the switch, although waiting for the 17". I also have ordered the 24" monitor.

    My point is that the biggerr screen, the bigger power, and higher resolution will be enough for me for the next 4-5years. If needed i can always add 8Gb RAM on to it. If it is getting too hot I just set my fans on a higher rpm (never owneed a mac before but thanks to this site I know already a few tricks :p).

    Can't wait till I get mine...
  12. rknrolls thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2009

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