Opinions needed: 2.53GHz 13" vs 2.66GHz 15"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mac Head, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. Mac Head macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #1
    Hi

    I am unsure as to which macbook pro to go for.
    I will mainly be using it for digital audio, with lots of ins and outs and plugins and effects running.
    Secondary usage will be graphic design.
    Thirdly will be doing video editing and encoding large video files.

    The main thing that is stopping me for going for the 13" is the lack of discrete graphics (the 15" has a 9600m GT card).

    The price difference is considerable and therefore I do not want to purchase the 15" just for the sake of it.

    Also is it worth upgrading to 8GB ram (from third party dealer) or will 4GB be enough?

    Anyway please leave some thoughts/advice.

    Thanks

    :apple:
     
  2. BayouBengal macrumors regular

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    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Houston,TX
    #2
    Will you be getting an external monitor? I have a 13in MacBook and it's fine for me but all I edit are videos I take with my digital camera, nothing from a real video camera.

    I think CPU-wise, you'd be more than fine. With video screen-size becomes an issue.
     
  3. Mac Head thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 8, 2009
    #3
    Hey thanks for your reply.
    I am planning to get a larger monitor.
    I would get the macbook but i need firewire 800.
     
  4. skye12 macrumors 65816

    skye12

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    #4
    I have a MB and have no complaints. But the extra screen real estate and
    higher resolution sure is nice. I'd go for the 15" since you plan do do video.
    Stick with 4gb of ram though, the 8's are still way too expensive.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    13" base MBP is fine for you. Just get external monitor, 4GB RAM (8GB is expensive, 600€) and 7200rpm drive from 3rd party
     
  6. Mac Head thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 8, 2009
    #6
    I don't think I will be doing video editing on the move.
    Mainly gigging live so need a mobile set up.
    I should be working on a large screen at home.

    So far 2 votes for the 13 and 1 vote for the 15.
     
  7. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #7
    Your uses don't indicate a strong need for discrete graphics, unless you're planning to run Color and/or Motion as part of your video editing. But if it's just iMovie or Final Cut Express, you don't need the better graphics.

    I prefer the 13" for portability reasons, so that gets my vote, barring the graphics in the 15" being a requirement.
     
  8. Mac Head thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #8
    Thanks Hellhammer

    Will the 13" be able to handle all my tasks. I will be importing and editing quite high quality video.
    I am assuming that the graphics card does not matter.
    In that case, surely the 2.53GHz 13 is better than the base model, in terms of processing power, but how much will i notice this upgrade in real life.
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    The difference is so small (.27GHz) so you won't really notice it. Use the money for RAM and HD upgrades, those are noticeable
     
  10. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

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    Jul 8, 2007
    #10
    If this is true, then my vote goes to the 13.

    This is what I'd wanna know too. :)
     
  11. Mac Head thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 8, 2009
    #11
    Final Cut Express is what I will be using.

    Also is the screen resolution on the 13 the same as the 15?

    Edit: as my main focus is on audio, I just want to make sure that the 13 will be able to cope with recording many inputs over firewire. Audio can take up a lot of processing power, and I am a heavy user of this application. Low latency and no audio drop outs and no crackles are very important. If the 13" can cope with ease with audio I will definitely be placing an order.

    p.s what is the mini display port output resolution like? Up to what size monitor can I hook up.
     
  12. tempusfugit macrumors 65816

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    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #12
    I have a 2.53 13", just got it 3 days ago.


    I wouldn't worry about whether this thing will fit your needs. Its amazing. unless youre rendering 3d stuff with your graphic design the 9400m will do fine (im assuming you use photoshop, etc) I have cs4 on mine and all of the programs run very well. I even keep photoshop and dreamweaver open in my dock all the time so I can bring them up instantly- all at seemingly little or no tax on system resources.

    If mobility is key for your gigging schedule, the 13" also makes sense.


    just my 2 cents, though, and maybe im bias because I have one and like it so much...


    also, I have 4 GB of ram and I have Activity Monitor running in the dock and the icon shows a pie chart of system memory usage, and free memory has gone below 2 gb once since I've started using it, lol!

    I think 4 will do you just fine, especially since its DDR3. Eventually when 8 GB becomes more affordable, who knows go for it.
     
  13. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

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    Jul 8, 2007
    #13
    I was thinking the exact same thing... you might just wanna go with the base level 13.3, then upgrade RAM and HD.
     
  14. Mac Head thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 8, 2009
    #14
    @Tempusfugit

    Hi thanks for the reply, it was very helpful.

    I'm really glad you're enjoying the new mac. It sounds promising so far, I just need some feedback about how it copes with audio, and then I'm sold!

    Also any knowledge on the screen and the display output?


    Maybe this is true...
     
  15. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    #15
    When I bought my PC I upgraded the processor at the time of ordering -- but it was a big jump for only $50.

    This is a small jump for $150. :eek:
     
  16. eVolcre macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #16
    I read that as GIGGLING live
    :D:D:D

    eV
     
  17. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

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    Jul 8, 2007
    #17
    Talk about LOL. ;)
     
  18. eVolcre macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

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    Jan 7, 2003
    #18
    Hehehe.

    Definitely need a Macbook PRO if you have a schedule to giggle

    eV
     
  19. Mac Head thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 8, 2009
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #20
    13" is 1280x800 and 15" is 1440x900. Display output is up to 2560x1600
     
  21. Mac Head thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 8, 2009
    #21
    Thanks for that.

    The MBP13 screen isn't that great then...

    It's really the price thats tempting me, and the fact that it's tiny.

    Any other users (with experience) that can verify that the 13 can perform for me?
     
  22. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    Finland
    #22
    It's normal for that size. When there's more inches, there's more pixels. Its screen is good
     
  23. Mac Head thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 8, 2009
    #23
    Oh I see,

    I was reading somewhere that the 17 has a great screen and the 15 is not as good. In terms of resolution or something. I was thinking that that would apply to the 13 aswell
     
  24. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #24
    17" has amazing screen! 1920x1200 resolution and possibility of anti-glare screen. 13" and 15" screens are almost similar
     
  25. eVolcre macrumors 65816

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #25
    I personally don't feel the 15" is worth it. It's not THAT much more portable than it's big brother and has a significant drop in screen resolution. It's not worth the tradeoff.

    If portability is a concern you may as well go with the 13" MBP. There is a VERY slight increase in screen real estate if you go up one level to the 15" MBP.

    Take a look at this thread. It has simulated pics of the 3 screens and the difference in resolution/workspace.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=716327

    Other people are claiming that the 13" MBP and the 15" MBP have similar QUALITY screens. My experience was different. I had the 3 MBPs and the MBA lined up on a table both outside and then in a back room.

    I noticed a visible difference in quality between the 13 and 15. The 13 seemed to be slightly washed out and was less clear than the 15. This wasn't a scientific comparison of gamut/led and what not but a surely subjective opinion.

    This thread has a discussion on the 13 vs 15 decision and has 2 long posts from me outlining my experiments at the Apple store.

    Hope this helps,

    eV
     

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