Macbook pro 2010 13" vs 15"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Trisnpod, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Trisnpod, Feb 21, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018

    Trisnpod macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2014
    I'm trying to decide which to go for - the 13" mbp 2010 or the 15" model. The advantage of the 15" is slightly better graphics and processor however the main disadvantage is size - I'm worried the 15" might be less comfortable to use on my lap on the sofa compared with the 13" and that its extra size will be noticeable hauling it around school in my bag. Also a 15" will be more expensive.

    The only reason I'd go for the 15" over the 13" is if the 15" offers noticeably better performance. I want to be able to watch 1080/60fps videos off my gopro and off youtube (which I expect both models to handle) and play some low spec games such as tf2, half life, cod4, unturned. Would the 15" with the slightly better graphics and i5 run games like those with much better framerates than the 13"? Or would the difference be pretty small? Or would the 13" not even be able to handle these games?

    Thanks for any help
  2. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
  3. Trisnpod thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2014
    I don't mind since the macbook isn't my main machine, it's just for school and when I'm away and can't take my gaming pc with me.
  4. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Could you stretch to a 2011 13" model? Improved cpu, graphics, slightly newer, etc.
  5. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
  6. SurfaceBookUser macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2016
    I would go with the 13" since you mentioned it's for school. It's been a couple years since I owned my 2010 13" but i loved it. My gf had the 15" and that thing is a brick.

    No comment on the gaming aspect though. I would probably try to avoid either for gaming.
  7. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    I would avoid the 2010 altogether but if you must, go with the 13". The 15" had a "intermittent black screen or loss of video quality program" (you can enter that as a search term to find out more). The 13" also had a dGPU (which was problematical for MBP's from this timeframe), but was not a part of this "quality program".
  8. Trisnpod thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2014
    Thanks for all the replies. Looks like the 13" will be a better option, maybe with the plan to get a 2011 when I can afford it.
    Hopefully at some point as the 2011 does like like a significant upgrade however I can't afford it right now.
    When you say avoid the 2010 altogether does that mean the 2009 could be a better bet if I forget the idea of running games on it? That's what I have atm, but my sister wants one so I was thinking of upgrading slightly and giving her my 2009.
  9. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    I don't know the details of your situation other than what you have presented. So I'm going to have to make assumptions and the any comparisons I state was based on quick searches on the web. I'm just trying to present some ideas and you can research it further to see if it makes sense for you.

    In doing a quick look at eBay, the 2010 13" is about $250, the 15" $400. A 2012 13" starts about $400. To me that would be a better alternative. On one UserBenchmark site, it says the iGPU of the 2012 13" MBP (HD 4000) is faster in more of the tests they do than the GeForce GT 330M in the 2010 15" MBP. In looking at the 2.8 Ghz i7 CPU for the 2010 MBP, which I think is the fastest one they had, that's still slower than the slowest 2012 i5 (Geekbench benchmarks).

    For the 2011 MBP, the 15" models are the one that really had the dGPU problems and should be avoided. If you compare the 13" model, the HD 3000 GPU is quite a bit slower than the HD 4000 in the 2012 MBP.

    The 2012 MBP also has SATA3 and USB3. The 2011 has SATA3, but the 2010 is SATA2. The 2012 MBP's were the first to have USB3. The 13" 2012 MBP stopped production sometime in 2016, I believe. My 2012 MBP was produced in Nov. 2015. As such, there's a lot of them out there - I don't know if that results in a lower price or not vis-a-vis earlier MBP's. But if you can get one that was produced later in a production run, then you may have a computer that chronologically, maybe several years newer than the 2010 or 2011 MBP.
  10. Poki macrumors 65816


    Mar 21, 2012
    I do still have my 2009 15" MacBook Pro (same chassis as the 2010 one) and that thing is indeed quite big and heavy compared to newer models. In fact, the current 15" MacBook Pro is lighter than the 2010 13" MacBook Pro and even size wise, it's closer to that one than the old 15" model.

    If you can stretch your budget a bit, maybe going for the first 13" retina model could be worth it - that one is thinner, lighter and comes with an SSD.
  11. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Seems to me that I've read here that the 15" models (which use a discrete graphics GPU) can be more prone to failure than the 13" (which had "integrated graphics").

    Personal experience:
    I have a 2010 MacBook Pro 13" that still looks almost new, and runs better than when new (after having put an SSD into it). Nice laptop!
  12. Trisnpod thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2014
    Thanks for the info on this. I'm actually looking to buy spares and repairs with some minor issue that I can easily fix (missing/bad HDD, bad battery, RAM issue etc) so I'm only looking to spend around £80 - £110 then a further £40 on repairs and 60gb SSD (this is fine - at school everything is on onedrive and I store most other stuff on a 500gb external). It seems that with the spares and repairs laptops the price difference between 13" and 15" is generally only like £20 sometimes less.

    Also, is it basically every 15" model made that is at risk of the dGPU failure or is it mainly the 2010-2011? The 15" 2009 could be an option as at least it should be able to deal with 1080/60fps, or could it?

    Weight isn't really that much of a problem to go with a retina which is harder to repair and I'll be putting an SSD in anyway. I think the best I could afford is a 2012 but even then I would have to wait a while until I have the money.

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11 February 21, 2018