New 13" vs Refurb 15"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by canes960, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. canes960 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Alabama
    #1
    Okay I am looking at buying a laptop for school. I am majoring in business so I don't need a lot. Right now I have a 17" Dell laptop. I hate but that's not the point. Which do you guys in opinion is a better deal?

    Buying a new 13" MBP 2.3 i5
    4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    320GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

    or

    A refurbished 15" MBP 2.4 i5
    15.4-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display (1440 x 900 pixel)
    4GB (2 x 2GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    320GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR3 memory

    Also how often does Apple get more computers for the refurbished store? Thank you guys so much for your help.
     
  2. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #2
    Hey man,

    Whats best for you to purchase is dependent on your current needs and your future needs. What applications do you use?? Do you play games in your free time?? How much do you value portability, 15" is fairly big, in my oppinion absolutly ok and not too big if you have to take it to class. 13" of course is better for taking places but the 13" also lacks lots of features of the 15"

    The CPU of the 13" is slightly faster due to the Sandy Bridge architecture, a difference you wont notice in real world use. It might cut a couple of seconds of a Handbrake process but thats it. The RAM in the 13" is also faster then in the 15" but that difference is also not noticeable. So your decision should not be based upon those two differences.

    Biggest differences are:
    15" has bigger screen (obviously :D ), more pixels so more space to display stuff
    15" has better speakers
    15" has a better Graphics card. Unless you do stuff which really does not rely on the graphics card then you would be fine with the Intel HD 3000 of the 13". Otherwise the wisest decision would be to take the 15", as the 330M is a discrete GPU and has waaaayyyyyyyyy more power.

    My opinion is that you should get the 15". Unless its too big for you to carry around, but you have a 17" which you probably carry around so I guess a 15" would amazingly small for you :D I think you would be happier with the 15".

    So yes I think the better deal would be the 15" and personally thats what I would choose. Future applications will most likely start leveraging the GPU more and more so its better to have a fairly good GPU if you are to use the MBP for the years to come.

    hope I could help, if you don't understand something, just ask :D Im dyslexic so sometimes stuff doesn't make sense :D
     
  3. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    new joisey
    #3

    If you dont want to use an external monitor then go for the 15 but if you see the opportunity get the 13" refurbed then get a nice 23+inch monitor for about 200-300 and it will cost roughly the same...

    Refurb is just as nice as new products (minus the shiny white box)
     
  4. andrewlgm macrumors 6502

    andrewlgm

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    I'd go with the 13 as I see no need for a larger screen, and I don't really use the graphics card for gaming. Just read an article recently stating that the graphic cards on both are about the same, but of course it's still a downgrade as 330M is a year old when compared to the intel.

    Could you wait a little and see if the 13th in appears in the refurbished store? After getting my iPhone 4 32GB refurbished, I will never buy a new product from apple again. It has as much quality and support. the one year warranty is also present and the option to buy applecare. I'm never lucky with these things, but my refurb iPhone 4 came with applecare already on it until 2013, and apple transferred it to me. So all the better.

    Overall the 13 inch seems like the best option, but you may find yourself crammed with such a small screen when compared to your dell.
     
  5. The-Pro, Aug 13, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011

    The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #5
    Can you post the link to that article, or say where its written?? because thats a whole load of BS. :D I have a feeling you are mistaking the GT 330M with the 320M of the 2010 13". The GT 330M is a discrete graphics card, it offers about three times the performance in some areas and I think double the performance on average, of the 320M :) The Intel HD 3000 is a good GPU (about the same as the 320M) for normal use. Most laptops being sold in stores at the moment still have last years tech in it, so its no big deal.
     
  6. Vulcan macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #6
    I would go with the 15". The extra screen space is really nice for watching videos, and the 330M card is significantly better than the intel one. The poster who said they were equal was incorrect. The speakers are much better on the 15" than the 13". I recently upgraded to a 15" MacBook Pro from a 13" one and couldn't be happier.

    As for your second question, Apple updates their refurb store randomly. Offerings will cycle throughout the day based on their stock.
     
  7. canes960 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Alabama
    #7
    I will be using it for maily notes, powerpoints, and other school programs. I will also be using it for music and watching videos and viewing the web. I am thinking about upgrading the ram to 8GB as well. The 15" Keeps on sounding better and better to me.
     
  8. njsa04playa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    new joisey
    #8
    13 will be more mobile and easy to carry around campus
     
  9. andrewlgm macrumors 6502

    andrewlgm

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    I'm sorry for confusing the graphic cards. I have a question regarding performance though, how would the performance of a MacBook with or without a dedicated graphics card be? A lot of people are upset over the move to intel, but how does that matter over every day use? When I switched from windows to Mac a lot of people kept telling me how Macs use the graphics card with or instead of the processor for general tasks thus saving battery and increasing performance, am I right in this understanding?
     
  10. Michael383 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    #10
    In my opinion the refurbished 15" MBP is the way to go.
     
  11. Vulcan macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #11
    You are correct, Apple computers can use the GPU when doing taxing tasks like encoding video, etc to boost performance. The technology is called OpenCL. It only does this however when the processor is strained. For more information, open this link.
     
  12. Ksizzle9 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    #12
    i agree with the poster about the mobility of the 13, i have an aluminum MB, c2duo, 4GB RAM, and a 2011 13 MBP, with i5, and i would never switch back to anything bigger than a 13.3 again unless they just quit making them, everything feels perfect. Plus, if your not a previous mac owner, you are going to love the keyboard and trackpad, the new gestures in lion are something special.
     

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