Need Help With Making a Decision

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by epommer, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. epommer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    #1
    I'm in need of opinions about different MacPro configurations from more experienced users than I am. I'm a university student and I mainly use my computer for running things like Word, Itunes, internet, watching HD videos/internet movies (often all at once). I don't game (anymore), but would like my computer to handle games just in case; think games like WoW. Also, I would like a computer that doesn't grow old in a couple years - I'm fine with updating things like the Hard Drive and RAM, however. So here are the two base configurations I'm deciding between:

    http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MD101LL/A
    or
    http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MD103LL/A

    and this also crossed my mind as an option:
    http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MD102LL/A

    Will the 2nd GPU on the 15'' make that large of a difference than say the 2.9 GHz Dual Core i7 with the intel HD 4000 GPU? And which applications will I really notice this?
    Also, if the decision comes down to the 13'' 2.9 GHz Dual Core, 8 GB RAM vs. the 15'' 2.3 GHz Quad Core, 4 GB RAM, with the 2nd GPU, which is a better decision for the money spent? Is the 2.3 GHz Quad better than the 2.9 GHz Dual in a general - does more than the average person - computer?

    Thanks in advanced for the helpful replies!
     
  2. Panini macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #2
    First of all, don't be fooled by clock speed - the 15" model's quad core processor makes more of a difference than the two 13" models'


    For the apps you mentioned, however, RAM is going to be more of an issue than CPU, but even then 4GB should be enough (for now).


    You said you wanted to do light gaming - in that case, get a 15" It's not the fact it has 2 GPUs, but the fact it has a discrete GPU which is almost required for most modern games. You will still be able to play WoW on the 13", but at much lower settings. The difference will be noticeable. Also, if you plan to watch videos in HD the 15" will be better since the screen size and resolution will make for a more comfortable movie/video watching setting.

    I said above 4GB was going to be enough for the next year-ish. You wanted to future-proof yourself. Go for the RMBP. SSD is the future, and if you're getting an SSD from apple, the RMBP is a better value. If you're not willing to go for the RMBP, get the 15" since all modern apps are optimised for quad core. If it's not too much, get a 15" with 8GB RAM. It will help in the future.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    Games yes, most apps no. Photoshop, and Aperture are two apps that you'll probably see a bump in performance thanks to the GPU.

    Personally, if you're looking something for years to come, may play some games, then the 15" MBP is a better option imo. On the plus side of the 15" you also get more screen real estate.

    I like my 13" MBP but personally found it a bit too cramped for photoshop and Lightroom.
     

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