MBP 13" vs 15"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by woodwindpjh, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. woodwindpjh macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2007
    Bonjour mes amis! I will be a freshman in college this fall and I plan on buying my :apple: first Mac ever :apple: for my birthday this week! I'll be a Nursing major with a French minor, so no worries on the intense apps, although I love iTunes HD movies. The 13" high-end appears to fully cover my needs but I want to make sure this laptop will be up to par 4-6 years from now, so I can surely upgrade to 8GB ram later.

    1. Dual or quad core i7? What kind of apps will make the difference noticeable?
    2. SCREEN: 13 seems to be big enough, but is high-res 15 worth getting?
    2.5. If I get the 15, is anti-glare worth having?
    3. Do I need the extra graphics ram (256MB/1GB) the 15 has, or is 13 more than sufficient?

    Feel free to ask any questions!
    Aussi, je parle le francais.

    Merci beaucoup! :D
  2. Mrguidogenio macrumors regular


    Jun 4, 2011
    Are a hard core gamer? If so, getting the 15" is better, as it has a dedicated graphic card.
  3. woodwindpjh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2007
    Not exactly. I currently have a 2005 HP laptop so I've been missing out! I have a PS3, but even if I do start Mac gaming it wouldn't be intense.
  4. DeChrii macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2011
    From what you stated i think the base line macbook pro 13" will do just fine. You can upgrade to 8gigs of ram as well so that wont be a problem but id suggest you upgrade through 3rd party. Your probably not going to notice much difference from the base line 13" and the i7 (duo core) 13".
    Hi-Res in 15" is debatable based on preference. Some people like higher resolution for more screen space and dont mind smaller text etc; some do. (theres a whole thread about regular vs hi-res in the mbp section). Anti glare is similar to the hi-res vs regular but I prefer the anti-glare between the two.
    Now onto GPU. If your not going to do gaming, then GPU isn't that important so the 13" will be good enough.
  5. woodwindpjh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2007
    I'm still kind of on the fence. The difference between the low-end 13 and high-end 15 is $900 w/ Office and warranty. I'd love to know that the machine is powerful enough to last for a long time, but I don't want to go overkill.
  6. DeChrii macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2011
    All of the MBP will handle through a very long time with good care. The downside to the lower spec models are that well after a few years, the specs will most likely look very week compared to whats out in the future. But thats how it always works. Think about what you'll be doing within the next 5 years with your computer. If you feel like you'll need that extra processor and gpu then go for the 15". If your going to do basic computing, the lower end will definitely handle your needs.
  7. Thares macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2011
    Dresden, Germany

    I would get the base 15" Anti-Glare model. As high portability is not a concern (otherwise you'd add the MBAir to your consideration) I recommend to invest in your future. You want to use your investment for up to six years. Keep that in mind. The 15" model grants you:
    • higher screen real estate
    • quad-core CPU
    • dedicated GPU

    Of course, it is more expensive. But keep in mind: this is an investment scheduled for about 5 years. Divide the additional costs over these 5 years/60 month. That will be about... how much? Ten to 15 USD or EUR per month. And Anti-Glare is really worth the additional charges. It's a huge difference. You're gonna love it.

    Have fun with your study!

  8. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008

    I recommend the 13 in for several reasons:

    1 - cost - save your money for upgrades later and college expenses

    2 - weight - the 15 in model will weigh more

    3 - performance - this year's 13 in is faster than last year's top of the line 17 in

    I have been thinking about an upgrade as well. I have an early 2008 white Macbook and I've looked at the MBP more than once or twice, especially since MicroCenter had them on sale for only $999 a few weeks back. I don't need a new computer right now so I made do by installing a 500 Gig/4Gig hybrid SSD and more RAM. If I do upgrade one day, I'll probably consider the 15 in because of the higher resolution option. I use an external monitor but I'd still like to be able to see more on my primary display. I should also mention that I never carry my Macbook any more. I carry my iPad so I suppose I could opt for an iMac instead of a MBP next time around. This is something you might consider as well. Get the 13 in Macbook Pro and a 3G iPad to carry with you to class. (The 3G comes with GPS so it will make an incredibly good nav system when you need it.)
  9. omicron macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2011
    Get the 13. Quad will end up consuming more energy making your battery drain quickly. The differences between a dual core i5 and a quad core i7 may be great, but as long as you're not going to run 3D rendering software or do some serious video editing with stuff like final cut pro I think youll be fine ;)
  10. macman312 macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia --> Cincinnati,OH
  11. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    here are my thoughts, get the cheapest you can get if you don't have needs that demand more. Have others pay the premium for tech advances

    I am going great off my 2009 macbook and would have been still on my 2006 first gen macbook if i did not have a chance to upgrade for 100 bucks at the time. Guess what though, both machines feel identical in day to day workings

    I also have a 15in mbp 2.7 i7 from last year for work and aside from simulations, it is like the same performance day to day as my macbook and personally, the mb is no slouch either and it is quite a bit smaller, which I like

    I love the 13 form factor personally

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