MBP 15 vs 17 inch "hidden" differences?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macbook123, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    I'd appreciate if you could help me list the differences between the 15" and 17" MBP's, with focus on the high res matte options.

    The obvious difference is the larger&higher resolution display on the 17" and the extra 1.0 pound of weight and about $100 extra. The 17" also has no USB reader slot, but eSATA. The 17" is also 0.1" thicker.

    As for "hidden" (i.e. not necessarily mentioned on the Apple site) I can recall:

    *17" has better (more?) speakers
    *17" has quieter fan (can't hear mine at all, while the 15" one I had got quite loud at times).

    Anything else? E.g. are the display qualities similar?

  2. demonsavatar macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    As far as I know, no macbook pro has an eSATA port.
  3. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    It doesn't have eSATA and I'm guessing you're talking about the SD card slot, which it does not have either. It does have an ExpressCard/34 slot though, which I tried on one laptop and it made no difference with my external drive.
  4. sadcamper macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    -The battery is naturally larger on the 17, but so are the power requirements.

    -Speakers are allegedly better sounding, probably due to size(?)

    ...can't really think of anything other minor differences that aren't advertised.
  5. JerseyBill macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2010
    Three USB ports instead of two, and the ExpressCard slot.

    I actually love my ExpressCard slot - I have two card readers for it (SD/multi-card and CF) and an eSata port card.

    I understand you cannot boot from an eSata card off of the ExpressCard slot but its still nice to have.

    The sound on my 17" is really nice - better than most tabletop audio units (not a Bose Wave system - but you can certainly hear the subwoofer and the sound is richer than any laptop I have ever heard). I don't mind playing music on it at all.

  6. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    The ExpressCard slot is not faster than FW800? Do you know why?
  7. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    No idea why. It could be the drive I had (LaCie 1TB with 4 drives) just didn't have great write speeds.
  8. sadcamper macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    What expresscard where you using to do this?
  9. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    I'm burying this out again because I'm wondering if anybody has solid information about the potential speaker differences. Does the 17" have more and/or bigger/better speakers?

    Also, isn't there a difference in the cooling system, i.e. are the fans on the 17" less loud?
  10. Baral macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2010
    The 17 inch has 4 speakers (2 on each side) while the 15 inch has 2 speakers (1 on each side). All speakers are exactly the same though.
  11. Inside_line macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2005
    17" has larger fans, so can probably run at higher clocks a bit longer than 15" before throttling down. iFix it has the pics you can see clear as day, 17" has sunons, 15" has something else.
  12. frankieboy macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2009
    Fans quiet on 15" Core i7

    Moving from an Aluminum 2.2 Ghz Core 2 Duo 15" Macbook Pro to a 15" Core i7 Macbook Pro, I have been impressed by the cooler running of the new model.

    iStat menus bears me out. Fan speeds and enclosure temperatures are very moderate, even on hot sumer days with no air conditioning.

    In particular, I have noticed the battery temperature is consistently below 90 degrees, the recommended threshold for best battery life. I believe Apple has designed the cooling system to attempt to keep the battery below 90 degrees, and that that design attribute is an important part of their stated 3-4 year battery life for these laptops. My Core 2 Duo laptop certainly couldn't keep the same battery that long.

    I think that the Core i7 also can handle routine tasks without working as hard, meaning it is using a little less power for the same level of work as the Core 2 Duo. This means that, while it might run as hot as the Core 2 Duo at maximum load, for ordinary surfing, watching videos and such like, it is significantly cooler.

    I do use a Zalmann cooler with both these units, and it does help. At lowest settings, its fans are quiet too.

    My hard drive is the hotter-running 7200 RPM model.
  13. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    Thanks for the information. I knew that the 17 inch sounded fuller than the 15 inch, and doubling the amount of speakers can certainly explain that. The 4 Apple store folks I asked claimed they had the same type and number of speakers :)
  14. Cool Runnings macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    The speakers are bigger on the 17" model compared to the 15"

    Images from iFixit.com


  15. Meever macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2009
    I don't think the fan is any more or less loud, it's just that since the chassis has so much extra space that the fans kick in less.

    The 17" also has a larger battery as well.

    And I think the 17" comes with expresscard slot. And I don't think it comes with a esata port.

    I honestly don't think it's really worth the price difference unless you really don't want to get an external display for some reason.
  16. Syonidism macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2009
    i hadnt realized how awesome a mac looks even with all its organs lying about.
  17. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    What RPM speeds are you seeing when under light use (browsing, etc.)?
  18. shoppy macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2007
    My fans are running at aprox 2000rpm, I can not hear them and my machines temp is at 40 centigrade. I am running itunes, msn, mail and have 2 web browsers running with a few tabs in each.

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