MPB 13" vs 15"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Cosmotose, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Cosmotose macrumors newbie

    Cosmotose

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Location:
    Central FL, 321
    #1
    So I'm in the market for a new laptop. My HP Pavilion from 4 years ago is constantly BSOD-ing, (the digital equivalent of giving someone "the bird") and when its not, its just flat-out turning off whenever it feels like it (the digital equivalent of momentarily dying and going to computer hell.) So it's basically begging me to use it as either a doorstop or a discus. I'm totally ready to purchase my first Mac. (Yay!)

    Macbook Pro, here I come. Alas, I am tragically torn between the 13" and the 15". :confused:

    I really really really want the 13", just because its tiny and adorable. (And more affordable!) However, my computing demands go far beyond web browsing and word processing.

    I'm buying this "for college", which means I'll be playing lots of World of Warcaft. :D In all seriousness, I'm a film major, so that tells me to go with the high-end 15", for the processor and all that. I need at least 2.66 GHz to run Final Cut Pro, however, I don't have an extra $1200 lying around for the software, so I'm just going to use FC Express for the time being. But who knows if my school will hook me up with the software? (And who knows if I'll ever graduate?) Should I get the 15" just to keep that option open? Half of me feels like by the time I would get a hold of FCP, it would be time for a new computer anyways.

    My frugal and modest side says to go with the 13". My ambitious and decadent side says to spring for the 15".

    Sadly, it all comes down to dollar amount. High end 13" = $1500. High end 15" = $2000. So the question is... Should I indulge in a 15"? Is it worth the extra cash and the extra bulk? Its like I just want someone to make the decision for me! *turns off brain*

    I'm going into the Mac store in Orlando this week, tell me what I should do!
     
  2. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #2
    You summed it up. What can we add? The more graphic intensive stuff you plan to do, the more you need the 15" with the 9600 graphics. The larger screen is nicer, but they are both equally easy to carry around a college campus.

    Three years ago I got my daughter a 15" MBP to start college. She'll be starting her senior year in a few weeks and that machine is still getting it done for her. She's a Chemistry major so there is a lot of graphing and math stuff she had to do on it. It has the 8600 graphics chip in it.

    If you have the money... go for the 15" that has both the 9400M and the 9600M graphic cards. It should last you 4 years or more.
     
  3. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #3
    A lot of the colleges can hook you up with the software you need for the class at very reduced rates. Lets face it, most students can't afford to pay 5-6 1k dollars for software that they need for one class. The companies also know that if they hook a student on their software early... someday when that student holds a position of power in some company... he might decide to buy (full price) that software for his company to use. Cut rate software in school is a form of advertising for these companies.
     
  4. MWPULSE macrumors 6502a

    MWPULSE

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #4
    +1 I got my 15" MBP Just before the shiny ones came out, and its not had any faults yet, providing its still going when im bored of it, i will give it to a relative or sommat! its a truly brilliant machine! :)

    PTP
     
  5. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #5
    I wouldn't go with the high end 13 mbp. I'm thinking about getting the low end 13 mbp and spending the $150 to put in a 500gb hd and 4gb of ram. Now, to add to your questions. I am also debating about if I should get the larger mbp with the dedicated graphics card. I'm mostly curious about playback of high def video to a tv/external monitor and how big of a loss will it be to have only the 9400m in the future with snow leopard?

    I don't want to hijack the thread or anything, I've just had the same dilemma and figured you would want to know as well.

    Oh, and I would say go with the 15" mbp (new or refurb). If you are going to be running motion and playing games, you'll be glad you have the dedicated graphics. Check on purchasing at your university if you they sell apple. For example, i can get FC express or aperture 2 for $70 vs the 180 from the apple store online.
     
  6. Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    #6
    Another vote for the 15". If you work with graphical stuff intensively, you'll fall in love with the larger screen and the dedicated GPU.
     
  7. GeekGirl* macrumors 65816

    GeekGirl*

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #7
    Go for the 15" I am looking at going back to a 15" from a 13'' again the screen is much better on the 15"er.
     
  8. akutad macrumors regular

    akutad

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    #8
    +1 Also, it won't be a waste because you'll use it every day! If your really concerned about cost then go and get a pizza delivery job for three weeks to make up the difference.
     
  9. opera57 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    #9
    From what you say it definitely sounds as if the 15" would be the right machine for you. You say you will be playing WoW and it will be much more comfortable on the eyes to play it on a 15" screen than a 13". And the faster graphics chip (9600gt depending on the model you get) is definitely worth while. The 13" would be a nice machine but I can't help feel that you may be disappointed with the reduced performance and screen size when doing what you want to do. [​IMG]
     
  10. Cosmotose thread starter macrumors newbie

    Cosmotose

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Location:
    Central FL, 321
    #10
    Thanks for weighing in on this, everybody! I guess I knew all along but my wallet didn't agree. Now I've slapped him around and he's come to his senses.

    Anyways, I'll be headed out to make the holy pilgrimage, (as somebody so eloquently put it) to the Mac store to make a purchase... maybe tomorrow? We'll see.

    Thanks again :)
     

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