new to mac! undecided 13 vs 15 MBp

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rosie718, May 10, 2010.

  1. rosie718 macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2010
    hello, i am looking to buy a macbook pro ( my 1st). i was leaning towards the 15 inch with the i7, but i wasnt approved for the credit card (-_-), so i have to sacrifice the nice i7 because my wallet isnt fat. i am a college student, i already own a 17+ inch lenovo, which is fine, but it sucks to carry around! i was thinking of getting the 13 in but then i noticed it doesnt have the intel HD graphics....

    im not planning to run hard-core programs like adobe cs5 constantly, mostly play around with it, i really want to learn the mac OS (terminal-wise), i intentionally wanted the mac for ONLY school only but i am fascinated with power & speed. i would like my 1st mac to last me at least 5 years (more is better). any suggestions? thank you!
  2. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    Even low-end macs can be expected to be relivant for five years. As for longevity...well, personally I am using a PowerMac from 2003 and an iBook from nineteen-ninety-nine!!

    Ask for some people here on these forums that are still using their PowerBooks from as far back as 1996!

    Any who, the Nvidia in the MacBook Pro 13" will do you fine. I have the LAST GEN MacBook Pro 13" and run Doom 3 at high settings up to 79fps and COD4 as well on medium-high settings. Take note that the 320m in the new MacBook Pro is said to be TWICE as fast as

    Also, understand that power goes a LONG way in 'nix systems. MacOS X will perform better on equal hardware than Windows, it's just a fact. It's so light weight and smart, I'm running Leopard (c.2007) on my 2003 PowerMac with 768mb of ram and I am feeling NO hurt what-so-ever.

    If you want portability with sufficient power, the 13" is the way to go! The only thing that could make it better, in my opinion, is if it was 12" 4:3, like the 12" PowerBook G4 :p I love small notebooks with power.

    BTW, this 13" MacBook Pro (last gen) is my main computer and I've NEVER been hindered by it when editing graphics and hi-def video and running a dozen applications at the same time.

    Your choice.
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    13. There is no need for the 15, especially the i7. That is overkill for most applications. And the intel HD graphics suck, it just has a cool sounding name. The 320M would be just fine for your applications, and if you need portability, the 13 is vastly better than the 15. Plus you have an extra $400-700 or so to burn if you get the 13 over the 15. There are numerous benefits to the 13 for college students, and if you already have the 17" lenovo, screen size shouldn't be a concern.
  4. rosie718 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2010
    well, i keep getting mixed replies, but im leaning more towards 13inch, mostly for portability, & although im not involved in photography or video editing, i do plan to play around with adobe cs5 & other software from time to time.

    thank you for your suggestions! :D:apple:
  5. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    My vote would be for the 13" as well. I have a 15" MBP and I love it, but sometimes I wish for something smaller. The new 13" MBP is very tempting. My previous computer was the 12" PowerBook G4. It was my daily computer for 5 years before I finally upgraded the hard drive and RAM, and if it were not for Apple's switch to intel, I might still be using it. I had it hooked up to a 20" LCD monitor and I did video editing and everything.

    My current MBP is coming up on 3 years old and I see no absolutely reason to upgrade it yet (well, maybe bump up the RAM and HD).

    What you'll find is that Macs tend to last longer, and have higher resale value (I sold my 5-year-old PowerBook for $500.)
  6. JackHobbs macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2009
    I am a very new Mac user, December 2009, when I bought a 13 inch macbook pro. I have CS4 and do some manipulation of photos and have no problems. On my old PC it took ages to load all of the tools for photoshop but its really zippy on my mac. Generally loving it, so I would say go with the 13 inch macbook as it is portable and will do what you want. Good luck with your choice!

  7. schaabie macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2010
    Honestly, the question between the 13 & 15 isn't about speed/power. Obviously the 13" will not be as speedy as the 15" but it is a difference you typically wouldn't notice. The real questions is portability of 13" vs. screen siz of 15" (i.e. extra real estate and potential for hi-res & anti-glare). The 13" is considerably cheaper as well. Weigh your preferences and make a decision from there.
  8. miicah macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2010
    If you're worried about your mac lasting a long time, these guys at use macs from the early 90's
  9. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2010

    I just got my first ever Mac and it's a 13" MacBook Pro.
    Trust me, you will enjoy the portability aspect of it far more than the "speed" of the 15".

    I'm no longer in college but did go through schooling with a 14" laptop which was a god send!! Books are heavy enough, you don't want to add more weight on a laptop! The 13" MBP has much better graphics card than the Intel HD. The screen looks flawless!

    You won't regret your decision of going with a 13"!! I can almost bet on that! ;)

    Let us know which way to go!
  10. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    What ever happened to, "don't ask, don't tell?"

    Anyway, I can agree that the 13" MacBook Pro's portability is...well, it makes me WANT to use a computer again!!

    On top of that, I just got a 12" Clamshell iBook!! It's soooo rugged, so small and easy to carry! And with a handle, it's BEGGING to go along wherever I go. I took it with me to the mall >< the handle! It's so persuasive!

    I very much loved the design of all my past Macs, but this's's love 8\ *single tear...*
  11. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2010
    Well she asked, so now she's gotta tell too!!
  12. Jordz macrumors member


    Aug 16, 2008
    England, U.K
    I had a 13inch MacBook white for a good couple of years, I loved the thing, I took around with me everywhere I went and It was awesome on the portability aspect. A few months ago I upgraded to the new 15inch MacBook Pro unibody and I love it. The speed increase is nice, but to be fair most macs are pretty speedy. The15inch is also portable, maybe not as portable, but it's worth it. Honestly, I take this baby everywhere (except to the bathroom sometimes), It's thinner than the MacBook was but the actual dimensions are only a few centimetres bigger. The screen is what you want though, It is stunning, the benefits out weigh the cons on the portability. If you have that extra cash seriously, it'll last you a long time.

    Hope this helped.

  13. thedoctor9 macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    I am new to the mac world and I just bought the 15" i7 HD 7200rpm HR Macbook Pro. It took me 1 year to fund this item and I am sooo pleased for this purchase. Given that you are tight on the budget, I recommend that you to buy the 13" and upgrade on it overtime. There are threads here in macrumors regarding speed comparisons between c2d, i5 and i7 and that's a big help as well on your decision. Goodluck on your new Macbook Pro and it will surely be a nice investment.
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think if you opt for the 13" c2d model you'll refer it. Your paying a premium for old technology.

    Get the 15" i5 (the i5 seems to be better on the battery)
  15. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2010
    How are you coming to that conclusion???
    The 13" MBPs have better Battery life. 10 hours compared to the 7 hours offered on the 15".

    And as far as I know the i5 is a higher wattage cpu hence consumes more battery...
  16. rosie718 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2010
    well im really leaning towards 13 inch (thank you all!) but which one now? the 2.4ghz or the 2.66ghz? what is the difference, other than the hard drive size? thanks!
  17. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    I don't think you are going to notice that much a difference. Swapping out the stock HDD for a fast (7200rpm or SSD) will render the most noticeable differences in speeds anyways. None of the 13"s have dedicated graphic cards anyways, so i think getting the 2.4GHZ and using the money saved ($300?) twords an HDD or RAM..
  18. Bad Paper macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2007
    graphite clamshell
    There's a good reason the 13" MBP is the best-selling Apple notebook.

    Don't bother with the processor upgrade. Use that money for memory and disk space.
  19. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    That's a very good point. The 13" being just a little smaller and a little lighter does make it that more appealing to 'grab and go' ... it's size is perfect and more convenient/fun to handle.

    The more of a pleasure it is to use, the more you'll use it.

    13" MBP FTW
  20. MacSignal macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    13 All You Need

    The base model 13 seems like a good choice. IMO, the nicest feature of the 15 is the larger screen, but I like the 13 for its size and portability.

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