New Macbook pro 13 (2011) ? or Refurbished 15 (2010) ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Tony06, Feb 28, 2011.


Which is the best buy ? (All prices include taxes and what not)

  1. Low end 13 inch Macbook pro (2011) (1300$)

    31 vote(s)
  2. Low end 15 inch Macbook pro refurbished (2010) (1500$)

    35 vote(s)
  1. Tony06, Feb 28, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011

    Tony06 macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    Please HELP!! i need your advice

    So, I'm debating, like everyone else buying a macbook pro, which model I should get. I'm torn between

    the new macbook pro 13 inch, base model :
    - 2.3GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5 (Sandy bridge)
    - 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM — 2x2GB
    - 320GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    - SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    -Intel hd graphics 3000
    -1280x800 res.

    or last years 15 inch base model (refurbished) :
    -2.4GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5 (Arrandale)
    -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

    I'll be a student in mechanical engineering next year. I plan on doing some minor video and photo editing as well as some casual gaming (nothing too intense and its not my priority). I'll be using MATHLAB and CAD but only in 3rd and 4th year of university(they also have computer labs)so its not a big factor. If the 13 inch would be a couple hundred more but with a 1440x900 display and a slightly better video card then it would be a no brainer for me but unfortunatly apple doesnt offer that (How surprising ;))

    Is there a big difference in processing power and would i even see the difference?

    After taxes and education discount , theres a 200 $ difference , 15 inch costs more.
    Let me know what you guys think would be the best pick :)
  2. joeswamp macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
  3. Tony06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    I was also looking at macbook air 13 since it has a nice screen, blazing fast ssd and a bit more graphics performance. the size also amazing. i just cant get around to pay 1300 $ + for a core2duo. unless someone really proves me wrong by telling me its futur proof, that ill be able to run pretty much everything i need and that its gonna have a good resale value.
  4. Help Please, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011

    Help Please macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    ^^Exactly...While the i5 2010 15" isn't bad, the performance of the baseline 2011 13" still trumps the 2010 15".

    With that $200 difference, why not invest it into a SSD.

    I was considering the 13" MBA as well, but I just couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money on a Core 2 Duo laptop.
  5. acedickson, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011

    acedickson macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2004
    Get the base 13".

    Buy an SSD with the difference and you'll destroy the 15".

    Edited for my ignorance....
  6. 1quick1 macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2008
    Get the new base 13'' model for sure. Also with your student discount the base 13'' is $1100. I paid $1183 out the door with taxes.
  7. elhungarian macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2009
    i was in the same boat as you. I was hoping for higher res screen on the 13".
    I ended up getting a refurbed 15" core i5 (2010). Typing this on it now.

    I got it for $1269. I love the bigger screen... geekbench on it shows 5215.
  8. Tony06, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011

    Tony06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    Unfurtunatly im in canda and even though our moneys at par or really close , it costs 50$ more here and we also have more taxes...
    It adds up to 1296$
  9. Tony06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    I'm gonna be carrying this machine everyday in a backpack, other than screen which i agree is great, do you find it portable enough ? and are you disapointed with the cpu performance?
  10. MmmPancakes macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I recently ran a Geekbench on my 2011 13" low-end (stock). It scored a 5949 even with two apps running in the background.

    I say go with the 13" 2011. You get more power, Thunderbolt, a bump in HDD, and a few other perks that will help you grow into it.
  11. elhungarian macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2009
    This is my first mac so i dont know what im missing i suppose. But so far no complaints at all.. Still a core i5 dual core machine.. Bottleneck is HD not CPU.. IMO 15" isnt bad for portability. Seems a hair larger than when i saw it at the apple store..
  12. t0rr3s macrumors 6502


    Dec 23, 2010
    I went for the 15" i5 too since I had always wanted a bigger screen (went from 2010 13") and after fitting it with 8GB ram (OWC) and OWC ssd, this thing is flying. I move around a lot too and I have found it portable enough lugging it in my messenger bag. I use it for FCE and Autocad and it handles everything I throw at it like a champ.
  13. Catholic13 macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2011
    I voted for the 15" because that's the one I'm going to buy.
    Although, I would recommend going with the 13" because you don't intend on doing much, if any, gaming on it. If you do, be prepared to play on low with about 20-30 FPS. :p
  14. macship macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2011
    Basically it comes down to what is more important to you:

    If you need a graphics card or want a bigger screen, go with the 2010 15"

    If you don't care about graphics card or the screen size, go with the 2011 13"

    Don't think about the speed on each - really, it's so close you won't really notice. The lack of a graphics card on the 2011 13" is something you will notice and something that might hamper your abilities to handle graphing programs later on.

    I would go for the 15" (and I did :) ) based on the requirements you have described.
  15. Koda650 macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2011
    I am a third year university student and I ordered a refurbished base 2010 15'' model. Right now I have a 15'' Dell XPS and it weighs only .2 lbs more so I don't have a problem with the size or weight. My Dell has a 1440*900 resolution and I can't imagine trying to be as productive on a smaller screen. I was using my friends 2010 13'' MBP and I just can't fit everything I need on one small screen to effectively do work. I was planning on getting a 13'' but Apple generously did not put a 1440*900 as a BTO :rolleyes:
  16. soupp, Mar 2, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011

    soupp macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2010
    I have this decision to make as well :D would be great if someone could help me?

    I'm a first year university student doing a bachelor of design in visual communication. Basically we're using the adobe suite, but electives involve motion graphics and 3D work. Aside from school I use illustrator, photoshop, premier and after effects anyway. I know screen real estate is important, especially in graphic design, but the only thing stopping me from getting a 2011 15" is money .. i dont have much lmao.

    So its either a refurb 2010 15" or 2011 13". Your thoughts?

    15" refurb $1439:

    Refurbished MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Intel Core i5

    Originally released April 2010
    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

    13" 2011 $1279:

    13-inch: 2.3 GHz

    2.3GHz dual-core
    Intel Core i5
    4GB 1333MHz
    320GB 5400-rpm1
    Intel HD Graphics 3000
    Built-in battery (7 hours)2

    What would last me longer and best suit my needs? I dont need portability because I dont travel far. I barely game so thats of little importance, but I need something thats super reliable and can render things quickly.

    Sorry for the wall of text xP any help would be appreciated

    edit: 15" 2010 will probably be the choice, but any advice would be great
  17. Tony06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

    i heard the vertex was one of the best all around ssd . is it true. cause its slightly more expensive than appls bto
  18. FuNGi macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
    I second this post. Bigger screen and discrete graphics will aid you with what you want to do. Also, don't forget a little bit better sound system to boot in the 15" - especially if you cover the keyboard with a moshi skin or something. The 13" sound comes through the keys not the side grills. You seriously won't notice a difference in the processor speeds - it will be the HDD that you are waiting on 95% of the time. The ONLY drawback I see is the slightly extra weight.
  19. Ach111es macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2010
    Get the hi end 13 inch, its far faster than the base model and is an i7 so the hyperthreading and overclock is better. Plus it benefits the GPU directly benefits.
  20. Tony06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    i really do not find the 300$ worth it, i would probably never see the difference in performance. and if im paying that much might as well go with the brand new 15 inch quad beast
  21. Tony06 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    Ever thought about replacing the HD by a SSD?

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