Macbook Pro 13" (High end): Is it future proof

Totty1987

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
130
0
I'm trying to decide between the high end MBP 13" and the base 15", but I'm not sure which system to get. I doubt, I'll utilise the full potential of the 15", but I would like to have the surplus of power it offers. The portability and price point of the "13 is very attractive to me, but the i7 dual core processor is outdated compared to dual core in the 15".

I guess the main question is, whether or not the 13" MBP will be bottlenecked in the near future by advancements in cpu-intensive software.

I did consider getting the Air, but the lack of user-upgradeable components has put me off (HDD, RAM). Basically, I need a system that will provide excellent performance consistently for at least 3 years, as I'm looking to get into either programming or video editing.

Thanx for any comments. :)
 

elpmas

macrumors 68000
Sep 9, 2009
1,825
3
Where the fresh snow don't go.
Someone will say that there is no such thing as future proof, and I won't be the first to say it although I did mention it first. But in your case, I would get baseline 15", it'll suit your needs for the future.
 

srexy

macrumors 6502a
Nov 19, 2006
536
1
I have the same concerns - I've actually just picked up an early 2011 13" and it's a nice bump over my late 08 15" unibody core duo. The main thing that prompted me to upgrade is the battery life in all honesty, but I'd like to ensure that this one lasts at least as long as the other before I feel the need to upgrade again (+/- 3yrs).

My question is this - will the current or early 13" MBP accept 16gb of ram? Obviously I'm not going to be springing for this anytime soon but one of the things that kept my late 08 going was upgrading to 8gb ram so I anticipate this one will eventually get a bump to 16gb when the prices are reasonable.
 

Spadoinkles

macrumors regular
May 5, 2011
201
1
Florida
If you're after price and portability, 13" is the way to go. They'd both be equally redundant if you were to compare them three years down the road, but at the same time, they're equally likely to still suffice for your needs anyway. And you'll have the upper-hand at that point in time with a couple hundred more in cash to upgrade. (Or if you're getting into video-editing, I'd put that into a dell IPS display etc etc :))
 

Mersailios

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2011
169
0
The 13-inch MacBook Pro offers a nice blend of performance and portability, but with that being said, the 15-inch MacBook Pro is a mobile powerhouse. It offers a faster processor with more cores and a discrete graphics processor, so you're likely to see a decrease in the time that it would take to compile code and you'll see improvements in video editing as well.

All in all, it comes down to the size that you'd prefer and the software that you'll be using over the course of the computer's life. Either way you really can't go wrong as both options are excellent choices.
 

Spencer Reynen

macrumors member
Apr 3, 2011
77
0
15" is definitely the way to go. After buying my 13" I kind of wish I had the bigger screen size and the slightly more power of the 15".
 

Kafka

macrumors 6502
Mar 10, 2011
281
0
The day the dual core i7 will be having trouble, having the dual core i5 won't make a difference, IMHO.
Kinda like if today you used a 2.4 C2D instead of a 2.66 C2D.
Save money and get the base 13", or go 15".
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
to the OP:

The 13'' base and high end are equally future proof. The CPU speed bump won't make a big difference. Both are plagued by the same deficits (low res screen, dual core, no dedicated graphics).

Unless you really want the extra speed and storage, I would go with the 13'' base model and be happy that I saved some money.
 

Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
4,669
2,012
to the OP:

The 13'' base and high end are equally future proof. The CPU speed bump won't make a big difference. Both are plagued by the same deficits (low res screen, dual core, no dedicated graphics).

Unless you really want the extra speed and storage, I would go with the 13'' base model and be happy that I saved some money.
This: ^

Get the base, upgrade RAM to 8 or even 16 GB depending on what you do, and you can upgrade the hard drive if needed when prices come back down.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,783
2,078
Below a quad core unit, nothing is going to really future proof your purchase. Even then something else will be out of date. The gpu won't support OpenCL or you'll hit a wall on ram. If you look at old G4s or something, compared to a new machine today, does one really feel that different from another? Updated models eventually out scale the difference between current ones. You should just buy based on the amount of power you anticipate needing within the next year or so. Trying to future proof much further than that will cost you a lot more today.
 
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