MBP - New 13" vs. old 15"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by beej210, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. beej210 macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2011
    I'm debating between:

    13" late 2011 i7 2.8 dual-core


    15" early 2011 i7 2.2 quad-core

    Besides the video card and the screen size, the processor is the main difference.

    There's only a $200 difference... which would you choose and why?
  2. MacVibe macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2009
    You've listed the three differences, what else is there? The keyboards are the same. Same cameras. Same trackpads. Same Ram. If you look at turbo speeds for the processors they aren't too different for single threaded apps, but the quad core is nearly "twice" as good if the software can use 4 cores.

    The reason people get the 13 in 2.8 instead of the 15 in is simply portability and it is a personal preference. If you think they are equally portable then the 15 in offers a lot more value for the $200 for the three reasons you mention.
  3. Medic278 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2012
    New York
    It really comes down to what you value. If you value ultimate portability then I would go with the 13". It also depends on what your going to be doing with the machine, if your going to be editing hi def 1080p videos or high end photos then I would go with the quad core. However if its only a $200 difference I would probably go with the 15" anyway because it sounds like a great deal.
  4. mberdych macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2012
    Prague, Czech Republic
    I have recently switched from MBP 13, 2009 with Core2duo to early 2011 MBP 15. It is 2GHz quadcore and it is an incredible machine. No issue with size at all. Price was lower than current MBP13, so very happy. I think 200 usd worth the difference. Honestly don't see too many reasons for regular users buying MBP13. Would rather go MBA 13.
  5. macrominnie macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The difference between the 13 inch late 2011 and the 15 inch early 2011 (2.0GHz quad-core Intel i7) can be as low as $90 in the U.S. Apple refurb store, depending on specs.

    The late 2011 MBP’s were a pretty minor update. Unless you are a very power user, any of the early 2011 MBP’s, based on refurb pricing, are a better value.

    As mberdych and others have said, it depends on your needs. The 15 inch is faster and the screen is easier to view for most people. The 13 inch is a bit easier to carry, and easier in tight spaces like airplanes. If you are okay with no firewire, no internal optical drive, and less internal hard drive capacity, go for the MBA. The MBA is much more pleasant to carry around. The 13” MBA has a better screen than the 13” MBP.

    For general value, the Feb 2011 13 inch MBP(refurb) is the better buy IMO. Each machine has its virtues IMO. The value equation and features may significantly change with the upcoming 2012 MBP’s, expected by the summer. It’s a fair guess that the Ivy Bridge chips and possibly a re-design will be a big improvement.

    If I needed/wanted to buy now and hoped for better MBP features soon, I would get something more value/low end (better resale prospects) and trade up when the new generation MBP features and early track record are clear.

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