MBP 13 vs. 15 help me decide my FIRST Mac

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 2high2aim, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. 2high2aim macrumors 6502

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    #1
    OK, So I have been waiting for Arrandale forever, even prior to the "I'm waiting for Arrendale" threads and looked at the threads daily as a guest and never really signed up but found this site/forum to be very informative and wise and therefore I am seeking help deciding what to get.

    My initial choice was a 13" MBP and was hoping for a i5 with Nvidia Optimas and good battery life. But apple did not put an i5 into the 13". Instead they continued with the Core 2 Duo. I read the thread comparing C2D vs. i3 and the C2D did significantly better but I was actually hoping for a i5 due to the Macbook being a PRO which an i3 (I would expect an i3 for the macbooks but an i5 for the PROs).

    I have used my older siblings laptops (all windows based) but never owned one myself. The battery life on their laptops sucked and aesthetically looked cheap and unsophisticated unlike the aluminum uni body MBP.

    So after months of waiting I finally see the MBPs and before jumping in and purchasing my first laptop I wanted to wait and see if there are any issues that the laptops had and wanted to purchase one after all the issues being address by Apple. After reading numerous threads and one that I was esp. fond of (Smoothie97's 15in comparison) I joined and became a member. I am now planning on waiting for the "back to school special and get a free Ipod touch [currently only have a classic]" *(do you think I should wait why or why not)* even though I have needed a laptop for school (College Student) for awhile because I am much quicker at typing my notes then writing them.

    This might be of most use to users

    primary tasks that I will be performing with this notebook?
    Word Processing, Internet, listening to music, light gaming, multitasking, photo editing and very minor video editing (but hope to get transition into more personal productions)

    It is going to be my travel notebook and need lots of battery life yet not suffer in performance (switchable graphics). I plan on studying abroad after 2 years.

    I hope to play these games:
    FPS, Call of Duty, Counter Strike Source, Steam games
     
  2. paintballswimgu macrumors 6502

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    Feb 13, 2010
    #2
    if you can afford it. Get the 15, you won't look back. It all depends on how much gaming you intend on doing though
     
  3. Fran-tastic macrumors member

    Fran-tastic

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    Apr 3, 2010
    #3
    Considering the editing and the gaming, if you can afford it, than go 15".

    Better cpu, graphic and 15" are nice to have.

    I don't think the 13" is that bad afterall.

    13" = happy
    15" = happier
     
  4. 2high2aim thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Gaming is not my first priority but due a lot of minor photo editing from PhotoShop I know I want to get a 15in anti-glare High Res. but its costs are on the high side and I acknowledge that vs. the 13in glossy (which is also acceptable). Plus I travel often about once a year I go to outside the USA from 2wks to 2 months. Therefore mobility has a great factor into the equation. I honestly do not know from personal experience if the 15in is going to be too big vs. the 13 being too small (used my sisters 10-12in (idk exact size) netbook and was really small and hard to type due to its small size plus the resolution was horrid and could not stream 720p from youtube which I often due.)
     
  5. NateDogX macrumors member

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    Mar 29, 2010
    #5
    I'm a huge gamer, but never on a computer. The only thing that is making the decision between a 13" and 15" is that Starcraft II and Diablo III are both coming to the Mac and I'd love to play them. I'm definitely leaning towards the 13" for the smaller design, better battery life and MUCH smaller cost, I just hope that SC2 and D3 will be able to run relatively smoothly.
     
  6. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

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    Mar 18, 2010
    #6
    Most of those games will be fine on either machine, anything more modern and you'll need the 15". 15" screen will be better for photo editing. 15" is better in every category except for battery (and size if the extra 2" or 1lb is a big deal to you). 15" gets my vote.
     
  7. gtokidd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    #7
    It's bad enough I just paid $1799 for laptop with only 256 MB of ram on the video card, but to pay big bucks for a laptop with C2D is a crime.
     
  8. 2high2aim thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    This is what I have read regarding that my friend:

    330m>320m>9400M>Intel HD

    So lets say if we do purchase a 15" MBP it switches between the 330m and the Intel HD (which is horrible) while using the Intel HD individuals well have a less graphical processing power. Optimas uses certain programs that activates the switch to the 330m and not the load on the processor. Therefore 80-90% of time you will only get Intel HD vs. the 330m and get lower battery life. Versus a stable 320m 100% and better battery life.
     
  9. 2high2aim thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    This was the same logic I used to justify the 15" but I have read individuals saying that its difficult to use in the plane foldout tray.

    Same here the technological scale of an "upgrade" from the 13 to the 15 is questionable. This is what I am trying to decipher is the price worth the hardware upgrade?
     
  10. NateDogX macrumors member

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    Mar 29, 2010
    #10
    I think that if this is your first Mac (like it is for me) and you're not getting into it for the professional (video and audio manipulation) advantages, then the 13" will be fine. I'm writing this on a plane right now and the woman sitting to my left is using her 13" MBP. Can't tell if it's this gen or the late-09s. Regardless, it looks GLORIOUS.
     
  11. harmonica01 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 30, 2007
    #11
    I have been using my 13" unibody since it was released; I like its portability and battery life, but the new 15"s now have that battery life anyways.

    I hated not being able to even work with imovie very well for my projects, went on and bit the bullet got the i7 15" 2.66 and now laugh at ever having owned the 13"

    Only thing I still hate on these aluminum bodies is how sharp the edges are on the keyboard side of the computer. Typing for awhile inevitably leads to an indention in my wrist. Perhaps apple is trying to promote the idea of proper typing but meh
     
  12. relativist macrumors regular

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    Jan 13, 2009
    #12
    I've been using a MB while holding out for the update that just occurred. I game on this notebook an I will be upgrading to at _lease_ the 15" and possibly the 17". The simplest would be to see if the extra screen size seems significant to you.
     
  13. 2high2aim thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Thanks and Props on using your New MBP up in the air :D BTW which 13in did u get.

    13” 2.4 Ghz
    Intel C2D
    4GB Memory
    250GB HD
    320M Graphics

    vs.

    13” 2.66 Ghz
    Intel C2D
    4GB Memory
    320GB HD
    320M Graphics

    I think the difference between the tier 1 and tier 2 13" is not worth the monetary increase in value of 300 and would be better to invest in other things like 128GB SSD or a 500GB 7200RPM HD.

    The only 15in I could afford would be the 2.4ghz tier 1 with AGHR
    which totals 1950 which is an increase of about 750 USD

    Also I am going to be purchasing a Zaggs Invisishield plus programs so the price is going to be even more due to me being a first time Mac/Apple user :(
    I'm a perfectionist in that I like to have all my belonging in top shape for the majority of its lifespan but do not want to remove from the aesthetics of the MBP
     
  14. NateDogX macrumors member

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    Mar 29, 2010
    #14
    This thread quite literally pushed me over the edge. While flying, I just ordered my 13" MBP on Amazon.com. That discount they're running (60 bucks off and no tax) is even better than the small NewsCorp discount I get. It won't ship out until later this week, but I'm hoping that I'll get some hands-on time with them while I'm in NYC this week.
     
  15. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

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    Mar 18, 2010
    #15
    This isn't a really good way to look at the GPU thing (also, it's not Optimus that Apple is using, it's their own in-house system that they developed). Intel HD graphics is fine for all of the common things you do on your computer, including web browsing, listening to music, watching videos, etc. You don't need any fancy GPU to do this stuff. Then there is the seamless switch to the 330m when you do need more power. The performance gap between the 330m and 320m is larger than the gap between the 320m and 9400m.
     
  16. harmonica01 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 30, 2007
    #16
    Agreed
    http://barefeats.com/mbpp18.html
     
  17. macgeek18 macrumors 68000

    macgeek18

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    Northern California
    #17
    For starters in the Mac world the 13" MBP would be great for what you said you would be doing with it.I use a UB MB with the stock 2GB of ram for all that you would do with the MBP.But I'm going to be getting 15" MBP this fall though for school.If your not going to upgrade soon get the 15" if you can afford it.
     
  18. 2high2aim thread starter macrumors 6502

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  19. 2high2aim thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Thanks for the link and again I "Read" on the forums by a user about the prior statement but not sure about its legitimacy. I also "read" that the Intel HD graphics wont do well on graphic intensive sites and make things a little choppy...I do not know if the statement is true and would love someone with the 15in MBP to check the performance of the Intel HD in such conditions (disabling the 330m).


    It uses the 9600M GT as a comparison not the 320m in the newer models
     
  20. harmonica01 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 30, 2007
    #20
    Not sure if there is a way to disable the intel integrated gpu. It really is a seamless transition into the 330mGT card in here. Works fine for me and even the intel chip seems to be a step ahead of the old 9400m integrated card from my 13" when doing java and flash
     
  21. riotgear macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #21
    This must be the 100th 13" vs 15" since the new MBPs came out. :) I have been using the 15" on planes since the Titanium PowerBook days and space isn't a problem, even when flying coach. It really comes down to whether you need a ultra portable or not. I do design work on my computer while traveling, so the 13" was a no go for me.
     
  22. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

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    Mar 18, 2010
    #22
    The Intel chip is better than the 9400m in general computing use. It fails a bit in OpenGL though since it's not designed for gaming. Also, there is actually no way to disable the 330m GT card.

    Your options are: Intel on with Autoswitch to 330m OR 330m on all the time. No option for Intel only.

    But like we've been saying, for general computer use, Intel HD is just fine. There is no truth to the claims you've heard about it being choppy on graphics intensive sites since there is no 3d acceleration in Flash content on Macs anyway.
     
  23. jmcclain145 macrumors regular

    jmcclain145

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    Atlanta, GA
    #23

    Yeah I just sold my 15" 2009 for a 15" 2010 i5. I just went for the lowest model, for what I need it for its fine.

    There is a way in system preferences to turn off discrete video card for battery life decrease.

    I do notice slight difference between the discrete GPU from my 2009 model and the new 2010 model for the worse.

    It's nothing I would moan and complain about however, and as stated in another post, it works like a champ watching videos, browsing the web and even online games like Facebook games ect.
     
  24. jmcclain145 macrumors regular

    jmcclain145

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    #24

    Sorry for what seems like a double post. I started mine before I saw yours posted.
     
  25. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #25
    I personally will most likely get a 15" because I know how big the 13" is and for me it is just too uncomfortable to work with it. It is not so much a resolution thing as it is simply too small and I am tall and strong I have no problem carrying around the 15". If it was only for the speed I wouldn't go for the 15" as the money is not worth the upgrade.
    If you want better gaming don't get a MBP. If you want mobility and 13" is not too small for you, get the 13" MBP. Typing is the same as the keyboards have exactly the same size. It is imo only the screen size that might be worth the upgrade.
    The Speed difference between 13 and 15" is not as big as some say. The new CPUs are in Games and many everyday tasks per clock almost as slow as the old ones. They only excel in some more parallel tasks like encoding and in benchmarks they look good. Real World performance ain't that much better.

    I think it comes down to this. If you have a Desktop at home and work primarily there you probably won't mind 13" on the go and prefer it. If you work a lot on the notebook, maybe it is your primary or only machine, than depending on what you do you might not be as happy with a 13" as with a 15" and the 2 inches are well worth the money. I have friends in my field of study that do the same things as me on a 13", but I wouldn't want to miss 15" even though I usually add an external screen at home anyway.
     

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