MBP 2010 15" vs MBP 2011 13" for software developer

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macnoob101, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. macnoob101 macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2011
    I bought a refurbished 15" MBP released April 2010. It's spec is 2.4gh(i5)/4GB RAM/320 GB hard disk. Which is very similar to the new low end 2011 MBP 13".

    I'm mainly going to use this MBP for software development but I was wondering if the new SandyBridge based i5 cpu is a better for programming than the last year model. Should I return the refurb and get the 2011 13" MBP?

    How many of you use your MBP for software development and what do you think?
  2. mashsensor macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2011
    I currently use an i7 13inch 2011 to develop Android and ASP.NET, SharePoint and SQL Server for work. I tend to travel a lot, so 13 inch is important to me. I highly doubt you would notice any real tangible difference running Xcode, Eclipse or Visual Studio. However if you are developing things for ipad or android tablet, the screen is too small to fit an entire virtual device. I have it plugged into a 23 inch external monitor and do extended desktop when I am not traveling. Coding on the go is no problem.

    If you dont travel a lot, i dont see a reason to upgrade :) If you do travel, carrying a 13 around vs a 15 is night and day!
  3. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
  4. datniceguy macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2011
    On what grounds would he be downgrading? The 2011 13" MBP's blow away the top-of-the-line 2010 MBP's where it counts in CPU performance.
  5. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011

    The video would be a downgrade, but if he's just working in a development IDE that shouldn't matter.
  6. eagle63 macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2011
    In my opinion, the 13" screen is just too small for software development - I would stick with the 15. In fact, I just ordered a refurb'd 2010 MBP with high-rez screen and the 2.53 i5 cpu (and it's arriving today!)

    I have a 13" macbook circa 2008 (core 2 duo) thought I bought with the intention of it being both a family/general purpose computer as well as a dev machine for me. The result? It's a great family/general purpose computer, and a lousy development machine. Not because it's too slow, but because the screen is just way too small. Being able to see code is a nice thing when you're writing software, and by the time you open your IDE with various panels for debugging, project structure, etc, you've got very little screen real estate left to view the code.

    If this is worth anything, when I attend dev conferences (usually 1 per year) I almost never see anyone with a 13" laptop - they're invariably the 15 or even 17. (and since I'm a Java developer, it's about 80% macbook pros relative to PC's!)

    As for speed, I'm sure the new 2011 models would be awesome, but I'm not sure it's necessary. Again, I would highly recommend putting screen size (and resolution) near the top of your priority list when choosing.
  7. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    Screen resolution mainly, which is much more important than the small difference in CPU performance. They're both dual-core machines and the 13" CPU is not that much faster. For programming he's already got the better machine.
  8. Buschmaster macrumors 65816


    Feb 12, 2006
    I disagree with those saying it would be a downgrade.

    I just got the new 13" for software development and it CRUISES. XCode 4 runs beautifully alongside Photoshop, Safari, Mail, etc.

    I may upgrade to 8GB at some point just so that Parallels can be that much strong if I want to get into developing anything for Windows.

    It's also great that I can bring it anywhere because the 13" is so portable. I'd either get a 13" MBP or an iMac. Any bigger and I'd just rather have the iMac (And maybe an 11" MBA)

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