New to Mac, should I buy 15 or 13?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vane505, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. vane505 macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2009
    Yes, another which-MBP-to-buy-thread, please bear with me, as it's a REALLY big decision ;)

    I'm going to order my first Mac, and I can't decide between the Low-End 13 or the High-End 15.

    * I'm taking a Masters in Computer Science (I'm on my first year right now), so I'll be using computers a lot.

    * I have no desktop, so this would be my only computer.

    * I prefer the anti-glare, but I can deal with the glossy, as I have a 22" ISP-display at home. I do casually play around with Photoshop.

    * I'm a casual gamer. The MBP doesn't have to handle games well (I can manage with only consoles), but it would be a plus.

    I'm leaning towards the 13" right now, but I don't know yet. There are no courses that requires a monster-computer, but then, I will use the computer A LOT as it's what I study, so maybe it's better to go for the more powerful option? But then, it's almost double the price with the AG!

    Appreciate help!
  2. ann713 macrumors 65816

    Nov 30, 2008
    If it's gonna be your main computer with heavy work and casual gaming, opt for the 15".
  3. jmol macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2011
    I'm really enjoying my new 15, so I'd say go with the 15.
  4. evaporateddwarf macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2010
    Go with the 13". You'll have more than enough power, and you'll save yourself $1000. You have an external display to use at home when you need the screen real estate. If you want snappier performance, wait and buy one of the new vortex3 ssd's.
  5. xVeinx macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2006
    What exactly are you studying? Basically, getting the 15" nets you two more cores, a dedicated GPU, etc. If having two extra cores will help with either programming threaded applications or multi-tasking, go for it. The sandy bridge duos are pretty peppy though, as i understand it.
  6. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    I had a 2010 13"
    I now have a 2011 15"

    I definitely miss the size of the 13". Much, much more comfortable when using on your lap. Easier carrying it around and such. Not that you can't with the 15, it's just, people who've had both know what I'm talking about.

    I needed the power of the quad for audio work though. So I went 15" this time around.

    The day they stick quads in the 13", I'll seriously consider dropping back down to the smaller size.

    So if you need the horsepower, 15", if you can get by with a dual core (and the new 13's are pretty badass for dual cores), go with the 13".
  7. Help Please macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    I agree. Don't let the size of the 13" fool you. This new 2011 13" is a beast and will most likely do you justice, especially with an external monitor (currently what I do w/ a 23" LED monitor).
  8. jolly romulus macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2011
    You can't really go wrong. But as a new 15" MBP owner, I think the performance on the 15 was quite a step up from the 13".

    I do like the portability of a 13" though. As a student portability might be more important to you than it is to me (just graduated last year).
  9. melterx12 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 22, 2010
    go with the low end 15" if its going to be your main computer.
  10. waynep macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2009
    I am a new Mac user coming from Windows. I bought the 17 inch. I love the screen real estate. It's my main computer now. I don't need an external screen with this. If I were in your shoes, I would get the 15.
  11. Cicatrix macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    If you have the cash for the 15" I say get it. In a year, if you don't like it, you can upgrade when the new 13's come out that will probably be more powerful than the current 15"s, and hopefully with a higher-res, and end up with some extra cash.
    Who knows, the MBA's will probably at least have an i7 in them with Thunderbolt next refresh. That's actually what I'm hoping for. From what I see, macs hold their value quite well so you can look at it as an investment purchase getting the 15" instead of blowing the extra $1000 you would save getting the 13" on chips and cans of jolt.:D
  12. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I've got a 15 now and like you said, though it's portable.. it's just bulky enough that I just leave it attached to my monitor. Basically it's a desktop replacement that I undock to travel.

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