OK, another Noob post, but could use help deciding btw 15 base and 13 base

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by apple.pseudofan, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. apple.pseudofan macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2010
    Been hanging out here for around a month now awaiting the upgrade and now that it appears that my wife has finally agreed to it, I am finding myself torn. Here has been my thought process:
    1. Prior to the update, there was absolutely zero question that I would spring for the 13"
    2. Then they kept the C2D. I am not hung up on specs, but I want something with staying power for technologies we cannot yet see. Now I am doing something I hadn't thought possible: looking at the base 15". I will admit that my opinions have been influenced by what those on this board have been saying regarding screen real estate, dedicated graphics, processor that can never be upgraded, etc. I do not, however have the $ (well, I'm not willing to spend it) on an upgrade to a hi res screen, and I don't particularly think I need it either.
    3. Now that I am torn, here is what I will use it for, in order of most use to least use (from what I can see)
    PS CS 4
    only very minor gaming, and that would likely be done by my wife (facebook games, etc)
    4. Considerations that I am juggling:
    Portability (I have a 24" early 08 iMac that I can never get on because my wife is always on it.) This includes battery life and size
    5. Performance/Staying power. While CS work and iMovie stuff is near the bottom of my list, I am hoping that with a portable machine, I can do more of this stuff on the couch whilst spending time with the fam. (The rest of my family lives 2300 miles away and I like making movies of my son for them and sending them pictures)
    My first consideration always takes me in the direction of the base 13" (which I would upgrade eventually with a SSD as prices come down) based upon battery life and size. I am also slightly inclined in this direction due to the fact that I am not hung up on specs necessarily. From experience, when I purchased my iMac, there was a wait for a pending upgrade and I finally decided not to upgrade (and got my first Mac) I can honestly say that I have never looked back, even with the subsequent upgrades to the larger screens and better specs, etc. It is still a superb machine @ 2.5 years old and feels brand new to me. I can see using it for 5 more years.
    My second consideration always takes me in the direction of the 15", due to having some additional screen size for video and photo editing, along with misc multitasking. Also, now that I actually waited around for an upgrade this time, I want to get the most staying power out of my machine. I think the base 15" is a great looking computer for that. I do have a concern about a feature that is supposed to be great, but is detrimental to battery life. Auto Graphics switching. I'll not approach the need for 6 or more hrs of battery life on my comp 98% of the time. But I'd like to be able to use it for on-the-fly movie creating while on vacations (including planes) and I don't want to be tied to an outlet (as I currently am with every other machine I have used), including my iPhone. (BTW, I am a bit hung up on specs with the iPhone and do just have a 3G but cannot wait for the new one this June!!)

    So there it is, any suggestions?
  2. RazorHoof macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2010

    I'm starting to think that Apple is going to sell a lot more 15" models simply because they left the C2D in the 13" models. I was ready to spring for a 13" too, but I can't help but expect to regret it at some point down the line because of the C2D. I may still get a 13" because the most intensive thing I'm worried about is editing and rendering 720p video in FCP, and I find it hard to believe that the new 13" would not be up to the task. If exporting the video takes a few minutes more, I'm not too bent out of shape about it.

    Anyways, from what I've heard/read here, for your needs, the new 13" should be more than enough. It sounds like you are just hesitant to spend over 1000 dollars on a brand new 2010 laptop with a C2D. (That's my problem too)
  3. bighouse14 macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    Toronto, ON
    I was in a similar situation to you - had been holding out for a 13" mbp but was waiting for the update. I played right into Apple's game by "upgrading" to the 15". Yes, they got (way) more money out of me, but honestly I'm so happy with the 15"!! After years of working on a 12" thinkpad, this is such a great size but still is comfortable for using on my lap etc.

    I probably wouldn't have considered the 15" if the 13" had received the upgraded processor but I'm glad things worked out as they did.
  4. jaforres macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2009
    Could not be happier with me 13 2.53. I have a 17 to but use my 13 all the time. Will be even better once my ssd gets here.
  5. therealseebs macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    I strongly advise getting the i5 rather than the C2D. Past that, I think it's mostly preference. I'd rather have a 17", myself... Although honestly, if they had a 15" or 16" with the 1920x1200 and all the ports, I'd probably get that.

    (Yes, I know, that's Too Much Resolution. I loves me some tiny pixels.)
  6. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    i waited since fall for the 13" mbp refresh and hung around the waiting for arrandale thread fot weeks. I was *totally* 100% absolutely sure i would get the new 13". it is just my size and it is a MBP with quality build and MacOs. Heck i even already bought M$ Office 2008 and a 13" sleeve two months ago ... i was *that* sure.

    but now it is out and it is a 2007 C2D model with a so so videocard and 5400rpm disk i am really torn as well. on one hand i still really want it, but i already feel bad in advance for even considering €1149 for a ancient C2D machine .. even with a backlit keyboard.

    i could theoretically afford the 15" but wanting a €900 plastic macbook ... upgrading to a €1149 MBP was a big step .. i have no clue how to justify a €1800 laptop. I could get 9 netbooks for that or two i7 windows laptops.

    so now i am in the same boat. even have Mac accesoires lying new in box and feeling really bad about the MBP13 and bad about my wallet for the MBP15.

  7. Danielclark macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2009

    I was truly in the same spot as you are when they released the new macbook pros. Truth be told, the first thing i did was to look at the old MBP 13" for a cheap price.. I then started looking at the possibilities in having the 15" with i5. I just cant make myself pay that much for a performance difference that is not THAT huge. (i mean, its no amd athlon to core2duo where performance gains where amazing).

    I have decided now to go for a 13", and the reason is portability, because i will be taking it to school every day, and because of the price. Im going to be using it with logic pro and sibelius creating music during school as i am studying music and most in my class have alot older models witch are just fine and never stall. It seems to me that just by reading this forum, you have come to believe that the 13" is alot slower than the new i5 in real world tasks (just as i did myself), but honelsly, i do not think you would be able to feel a huge difference. Try putting in a SSD and you will feel something. Im sure that the 13" (the new model or the previous) will fit my needs perfectly and i will be able to do whatever i want on it without compromise.

    P.S. And just for people getting ready to snap at me: I did not say you would not be able to feel a difference, i am just saying its not ALOT faster.
  8. Mac-key macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
    I've got a mid-2009 13" MBP 2.53 and I LOVE it! Plenty of power - and I do A LOT of video editing on Final Cut.

    Just my 2cents, but I'd jump on the refurb online store at apple and get an '09 for much cheaper. OR say, screw it and go for the i5 15".
  9. rob2809 macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2010
    Idd i was in the same position. Sold my old 15" MBP(early 08) to get for the same price a new 13" arrandale. When they came out with C2D i was thinking about the 15" i5 but the price difference is just giantic between them. If you dont need the extra gpu its just crazy to go for the 15" only for the "i5". 600 dollar for a cpu...you can by 3 i5's for that money :)

    The hard disk is most of the time the bottleneck and that is where you'll see a significant overall speed increase if you have and SSD. You will only see speed difference with an i5 if you do a lot of rendering or importing and resizing pictures and stuff but for most of the other things, the C2D cpu is just sleeping and waiting for your slow hard disk.

    I think a lot of people here are reasoning: 1200 dollar for "old" technology doesnt feel right so i buy an 1800 dollar laptop for a "new" cpu and will probably never see any difference in comparison with the C2D. If you dont need the latest CPU power then dont buy it...you are more crazy when paying the extra 600dollar for something new you dont use than paying 1200dollar for something less new but does fit your actual needs!

    Ofcourse everyone wants the most bang for the bucks. So if you can buy for 1200 dollar a superfast windows pc and you like windows, there is no need to argue. But paying 600 dollar premium for a new cpu you that you dont need, is not getting bang for your bucks. Its getting bang for too much bucks.
  10. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    well win7 x64 is actually pretty decent, so i am seriously considering a 13" Windows machine and skip the $600 MAC premium.....
  11. iPhysicist macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2009
    You maybe all are infected by the Spec Whore Virus. The C2D is not outdated. It is reliable and Energy efficient. Its powerful enough to handle video and audio apps that require a lot of CPU. If you do heavier work your not in the market for a laptop at all. You should keep in mind that for a REAL laptop battery, usability, and portability is more important than video, CPU, or resolution.

    You don't pay a 600$ premium either. The Lenovo Thinkpad W510 is nearly as expensive as its apple equivalent. You just have to pay for quality thats all.
  12. colourfastt macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2009
    Thank you! In the MBA thread people are fussing about ONLY 2G of RAM in the current line-up. Interestingly, I manage to run a business on a MBA with ONLY 2G of RAM and an iPad. I guess specs are those things one chases to have geek bragging rights (or don't know what their real usability requirements are).
  13. lionheartednyhc macrumors 65816


    Jul 13, 2009
    I was having the same debate. Decided that a 13 with an SSD will be better for me than the 15, and still a tad cheaper.
  14. songwriter81 macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2007
    Exactly the same boat as me.

    I am going to use alot of Audio so an input and output would make it so much more easier.

    I guess the question that needs answering is, is the jump in specs from base 13 to base 15...worth the price?
  15. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    You're obsessing over the specs! A C2D 2.4 GHz computer is damn fast and the standard rez is fine, IMO! You state you can't afford more so why torture yourself? I'd say get what you can afford and upgrade when you can.

  16. apple.pseudofan thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2010
    Thanks to all who answered

    I went to BB today to check them out side by side. Both look glorious and I'd take both if I could. But there were some important differences I noticed and I think I have made up my mind.
    The 15" seems a lot closer to my work laptop (HP Elitebook6930p) which has a 14.1" screen. Opening up iMovie was the biggest thing for me on screen size. I am currently used to using my 24" iMac, which has about double the working space of the 13". There is no doubt that the 13" has no rival in portability, but next to the 15", it felt kind of like a *pauses and takes a deep slow breath, then whispers* n e t b o o k. I never thought I'd say that but it really seems too small.

    Anyhow, assuming that my wife is a go for me spending the cash, it'll be a 15" 2.4 standard configuration from the cheapest place I can find it. (looks like Amazon with no tax or shipping for 1739. Don't have to deal with any pesky rebates either.

    This in no way kills the debate between 13, 15, 17, but I have made my decision.

    Have a great time with your Mac.
  17. blowncob macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2008
    spent the last 2 days looking at them side to side for hours on end and the 13 is just two damn small. In my opinion, 15 is slightly heavier and the extra 2 inches is huge to me. If you already have a desktop with a large screen and just need a laptop for the go or second computer, get the 13 but if the laptop is going to be your only computer absolutely get the 15, there was a huge difference looking at the screen for a few mins then a full 30 mins or hour. Yes its 600 more, but its way faster, new tech, etc. I killed myself in the same exact boat you are in. I just got home from best buy with a 15 myself! get the 15!
  18. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2009
    Go with the 15" (I was in the same position as you).

    Bigger screen, newer and better tech, will hold its value for longer.

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