MacBook Pro 15" or 13"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by UltimaLink, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. UltimaLink macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2010
    Somewhere in PA.
    Hi, me again. This christmas I'm getting a new laptop, so I figure why not a macbook pro? Now, I'm looking at a 13" Baseline or the cheapest 15" MacBook Pro I can get. If I get the 15" it will probably be around 1,500 at the cheapest, but I could get a 13" for 400$ (I am getting it discounted) less and I'm still deciding. If I get a 13", I plan on putting an SSD and 8 gigs of ram in it ASAP. Will this make up for the difference in processors? If I get the 13", I'll have enough money for a Monitor, new desk, and a decoration for my workspace, but I can't get those if I buy the 15". I would mostly use GarageBand, iMovie, and Seashore So yeah. My iMovie work won't be much, since I use Premier Elements on my PC, it will only be for when I'm not in access of my desktop, but my GarageBand work will be what it's mainly used for, since I'm going to use it to make themes and stuff for games and animations. What would you guys recommend?

    Also, screen real estate doesn't matter, since I'll be hooking my 13" up to an external monitor if needed. It will be a portable machine, too.
  2. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    I have a 15" and love it. Even better if you spring for the hi-res screen add on.

    The 13 is a fine machine, but there just aren't enough vertical pixels for me. My wife has one and I find that most web pages and even some OS X screens barely fit. Working with complicated apps (like photoshop), is really tough. If you are really going for a poor-man's MB Air, then get the 13. If you want an all around machine that you won't HAVE to plug into an external display, then get the 15.
  3. Barnzee macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2010
    Oak Harbor, WA
    For what you said your using it for 13" would definitely work for you. However, I would get the 15" because the 13" just does not enough screen real estate for me.
  4. nic2991 macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2010
    I got the 13 and love it for these reasons:

    -even after the student discount plus free ipod the base 15 was way out of my budget
    -the 13 is very portable for being in the library, in class, just sitting on a couch
    -I was never worried about the screen size because I have it hooked up to a 23" LED about 75% of the time.

    I took the money I had left and bought a desk, chair, lamp, things that I really needed other than a computer.
  5. TheyCallMeSaint macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2010
    You said that your main use was GarageBand, but that you also use iMove and SeaShore. For this reason, I think the 13" should be more than enough for you. I wouldn't even upgrade to the 8GB of RAM -- the iLife suite isn't 64-bit yet so can only take advantage of 3.5-ish GB.
  6. UltimaLink thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2010
    Somewhere in PA.
    Really? I'd expect it to be 64 bit by now. Whatever, that's nice then, I don't have to worry I'm getting something that is underpowered for my use.

    I will be buying a new desk and a second monitor with the saved money, I don't need the monitor but the desk I do need.

    Also, if they update it after I buy it and it has the i3, would it be worth selling the one I have and buying an i3 one or what?
  7. SteveNYC macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2010
    I think the advice given so far has been pretty good. I think the 13" MBP with 4GB is sufficient. If the MBP is going to be your only system, then consider the 15" for the power (if you're willing to stomach the extra cost). But if you have a desktop (I do), then the 13" in more than sufficient for anything short of high-end hard-core gaming (in which case you're in the wrong OS anyway). Plus the portability and extra battery life speak for themselves.

    I receive my 13" MBP tomorrow and my plan is to move the 8GB from my Mac Mini to my MBP. For me, the value is in running Win 7 in Parallels with 4GB of RAM while OS X has the other 4GB. But that's gravy. You shouldn't feel compelled to go to 8GB if you don't need it. Most people really don't.

    Keep in mind, I don't regret purchasing the 8GB (although the prices now make me jealous), it's just not critical.

    As for the HDD, consider going with the 500GB Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid drive. Newegg has it for $99. It's not as fast as a full-on SSD, but you'll get a good portion of that speed with a cost/GB that's a fraction of what an SSD would cost. It's a 500GB 7200RPM hard drive with 32MB cache and 4GB SLC solid state memory to speed-up boot time and application load times.

    Good luck.
  8. andrewsd macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2008
    I agree w/them

    i am a huge fan of the 13" but I think the little bit bigger screen will help you. Although you never told how much travel/portability you need. If you are always on the go and take your laptop with you everywhere then I think the 13" would be better.

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