Question for owners of the new 13" MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by LarryC, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. LarryC macrumors 6502

    LarryC

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    North America
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I have been fighting with this decision for months. I have and am still using my old G4 eMac with a 1.42GHz PPC processor and 64MB of video memory. I have wanted a MacBook since they were called iBooks. I have been fighting with trying to decide what kind of new Mac to purchase. I am leaning towards the 13" MBP and I was wondering if I could ask some of you who have this laptop if you are happy with it and would you recommend one to someone else. I'm just looking for your thoughts on this laptop. Thank you, in advance, for your replies.

    LarryC

    P.S. The model I am looking at is the following:

    Product Features
    2.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor
    500 GB Hard Drive, 8x DVD/CD SuperDrive, 4 GB DDR3 RAM
    13.3 inch LED-backlit display, 1280-by-800 resolution
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory
    High Speed Thunderbolt Port, FaceTime HD Camera, Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard

    Price is $1,418.83 from Amazon
     
  2. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #2
    might as well get the i5.... the i7 provides no benefit in day to day tasks. It is not worth the money for the upgrade.

    With the money you save you can get an SSD drive or upgrade to 8gb of ram and it will be a much more worthwhile investment than the upgraded processor.
     
  3. Nuckinfuts macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #3
    If it's any help, I can tell you what I can do with the older 2010 13"

    It's great for pretty much everything I throw at it, and it's the base model 2.4Ghz C2D. I compile lots of source code, do web development (with every popular web browser open at the same time), play Steam games (Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead 2...). Adobe CS5 runs great for those times I poke at images with Photoshop.

    Only major difference from mine and the one you're looking at is you'll have a MUCH better processor (even with the i5, as was mentioned, the i7 is a waste in the 13") but the video card (intel HD) is weak. So if you aren't gaming, the 2011 13" MBP is great.

    I recommend this laptop to my friends all the time but they're all die hard windows kids :rolleyes:
     
  4. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cimmerian End
    #4
    i can speak along with Nuckinfuts (great username) on the 2010 13'' model, and provide you with some good information hopefully.

    it seems like you are upgrading a lot there. if you decide to go with the apple store (alternative to amazon of course), i would generally stay away from their upgrades. i think the hdd is probably the only thing worth upgrading through apple on the apple site, depending on perspective. i upgraded from a 250gb to 500gb hdd and although it was expensive, the peace of mind of having all apple stock parts in my computer is relaxing rather than buying my own 500gb scorpio drive. hdds have a tendency to fail too, so if i run into that problem, it's covered by apple. hdds that you buy yourself usually have solid warranties but the thought that I only have to go to one place (apple store) for my mbp (apple product) makes sense to me and just feels right. the ram and processor however, i don't think deserve an upgrade on the 13'' at those prices. it's just something to think about if you are buying from apple and you could see yourself enjoying that sentiment as well.

    in any case, the $999 microcenter deal is great if you decide to go with a base model, which i think you should, and you could put the extra cash towards user serviceable upgrades to have a nice little computer. i5 dual, 8gb, 7200 rpm, 512mb hd3000...should run you less than the base model if you purchase from apple, and if you are comfortable upgrading yourself. just keep the old hardware.

    as far as general 13'' thoughts, it's a great form factor. the screen resolution is low but it isn't that bad at all imo. keep in mind that the 13'' only comes in glossy, too. as far as performance, my 2010 13'' handles photoshop CS5, moderate gaming, and everyday tasks very well. you shouldn't be disappointed with the performance of a newer model, unless the task is strictly gpu intensive.

    to sum up, you just have to decide if the 13'' form factor is right for you, and then go from there. if you are looking for the cheapest model you can get, definitely go microcenter. if you are looking for something along the lines of what i explained, go with the apple store. you could always go with a medium like amazon like you were originally going to. this is all just stuff to think about. whatever your decision i hope you make the right one and also hope that i've helped out at least a little. good luck.
     
  5. duggram macrumors 6502

    duggram

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    #5
    Last month my MBA was stolen and I replaced it with the same MBP you're considering. I then put an Intel 160GB SSD in it. I've owned a lot of laptops. This is the nicest I've ever used, for my purposes. I run Win7, SQL Server, Vis Studio, Access on VMWare while I'm using iTunes, Firefox on the Mac side and it never breaks a sweat.

    I would definitely buy this laptop again.
     
  6. dsio macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    The Intel HD honestly is nowhere near as weak as its often made out to be, the standard clocked version in the i5 is faster than the outgoing Nvidia 320M, albiet not dramatically faster, and the i7 version of the HD3000 is 20% faster than the i5 version.

    This isn't the Intel integrated graphics of old that is a complete slug, Source games on high run great, WoW runs smoothly even in crowded areas.
     
  7. Peter Franks macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Location:
    London UK
    #7
    I got the new i5 version about a month ago and it's the first Mac I've owned so probably not a great person to answer your question, but I am thinking that I maybe should have gone for the 15" instead of the 13. Depends what you're used to. It is a business tool so I'm on it most of the day, but if you're not using it as sole computer then it may not worry you too much. Didn't notice a massive difference between i5/i7 either but again depends on what you're going to do on it.
     
  8. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #8
    The GPU is hit and miss, on some games it outperforms the 2010 models 320M, but in most situations, even on WoW, the 320M gets better FPS than the Intel HD3000

    Bottom line, if gaming is your priority, you shouldn't even be looking at a laptop, much less a macbook with an IGPU. If you just care about mild gaming from time to time, it will do just fine.
     
  9. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #9
    all of the computers apple has available are great, but depending on what you do or expect from your purchase, some will be better than others.

    mbp 13
    i have this. i added 4 ram for a total of eight. i am sure there is a difference between the i5 and i7 processor, but unless you are locked into the 13" size, it isn't a good value. much better to get the 15" if you are wanting the i7. i prefer the glossy screen to the dull one (available on 15 and 17" models), but this is personal preference. i am quite pleased with the resolution. i mainly work with adobe acrobat pro, word, excel, chrome, evernote, bookends, voodoopad, and image editing. frankly, as much as i like the idea of a more powerful processor, i really don't need it.

    mbp 15
    if you have the money and think you need the power, this is the best way to get it. larger hdd, four cores, etc.

    mba 11 or 13
    the macbookair sounds like something you ought to consider. refresh due any day. wait a few more days and see what you think.
     
  10. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cimmerian End
    #10
    i agree for the most part but gaming laptops are a good market for gamers who require portability beyond a portable lan desktop.

    in any case WoW runs insanely well on the 2010 mbp. i don't play anymore but when i did, with custom settings (game still looked visually pleasing) i was getting 67 fps constant with no dips (capped at 67, highest # i could get that was consistent) in duels or questing/5mans and only dips down to 40-50 in main cities with a lot of players and in 40man BGs and was usually the first player to load up the maps/instances in 5 man and bg queues, and that's the osx client. not sure how well it runs on the hd3000 though.
     
  11. dsio macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    The HD3000 / i7 acts a bit differently, the 40 man BGs like AV and major cities run very smoothly as WoW tends to be far more CPU intensive than most games. Comparing it to a Core2Duo 2.2Ghz / 8400M (which is almost identical to the 320M) the HD3000/i7 gave a dramatic performance improvement in cities, and better overall frame rates but didn't allow any higher texture detail or settings than the 8400M.

    Orgrimar went from 15-20fps to 50+fps on a heavily crowded server which was the most noticeable difference, same settings on both.
     
  12. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cimmerian End
    #12
    nice man, sounds like you've got a good setup there. i find that the 2.4c2d was plenty for the game, and the gpu just got me excellent frames. it ran so smoothly and just looked beautiful, a lot better than what i expected. that latest patch (major one after cata) screwed my client for whatever reason (and a lot more osx users i believe) so i just quit, kept crashing for no other reason than the patch.

    sorry to derail OP, my suggestion for the $999 base model from microcenter is still in full effect. :]
     
  13. CFoss macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #13
    These are pretty much my guidelines on what MacBook to get:

    MacBook:
    Avoid it. It hasn't been updated in 1.5 years, and it shows its age. The CPU is a generation behind. The ONLY reason I would go with the MacBook would be for the nVidia 320M, which is SLIGHTLY better than the Intel HD 3000. Even then, the Intel HD 3000 outperforms it in most cases, and the nVidia 320M is irrelevant anyway.

    MacBook Air 11"/13":
    If you need a portable computer, have a small media library, and mostly just browse the Internet, the MacBook Air will be perfect for your needs. On a side note, it's rumoured that the MacBook Air is about to receive an update. If you're interested in the MacBook Air, and if you can wait, wait till the end of the summer to see how the rumours pan out.

    MacBook Pro 13" i5:
    If you occasionally dip into casual games, have a decent sized media library, and want a good all-round computer with more flexibility than the Air, the MacBook Pro 13" will suit you perfectly. I suggest sticking with the i5 in most cases, as anything that requires the i7 will most likely require a better GPU, etc/

    MacBook Pro 15" 2.0GHz:
    If you are into casual gaming, casual video editing, or photo editing, the AMD GPU will be a significant upgrade to the Intel HD 3000. I also suggest going with the Hi-Res Display for the latter two. The extra screen estate makes a big difference. If you can though, I would spend the extra money on...

    MacBook Pro 15" 2.2GHz:
    A powerhouse machine. The AMD 6750M is another serious upgrade to the AMD 6490M. Great for gaming and video editing. The CPU is also great. I would avoid the 2.3GHz upgrade, as the extra 100MHz (which is made irrelevant with Turbo Boost) and 2MB in cache size is not worth the extra $200. Unless you KNOW it's going to make a difference in what you're doing, it's very unlikely you'll notice a difference in performance. One last thing to take into consideration is the...

    MacBook Pro 17" 2.2GHz:
    I would also consider going with the 17" MacBook Pro, as it's only an additional $200 for an increased screen estate, additional USB port, and an ExpressCard slot for eSATA. The weight differences is not that bad either.

    That's my summary.
     
  14. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #14
    What does that have to do with anything the OP asked? He specifically linked to 4 models he was looking at, and you are comparing the entire range of apple laptops.... :confused:
     
  15. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #15
    the op listed one model, which i think most of us agree is a troublesome choice, and he didn't tell us what he is doing with it, so we (i did it earlier) are throwing out purchasing options. seems fair to me. he didn't link to four models. i think you are hyperthreading :(

    as for the mba (macbook air), it is definitely worth considering, but i would correct the previous poster to say that the mba will probably come out any day (likely early july with lion). he doesn't have to wait until the end of summer to see it.
     
  16. tamvly macrumors 6502a

    tamvly

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    #16
    Love my 13" MBP i5 ... except for the screen. I guess I'm just a matte display kind of guy. I agree with other folks that the i5 is a better deal than the i7. YMMV.

    It's fast (better benchmark scores than the previous top-of-the-line MBP), well made and will last a long while if you take care of it. I installed an Intel 160 GB SSD and it just screams.

    If you look around for deal you might be able to find a better price. For example, I picked my up at Best Buy in Ca Bay Area for a price matched $999.
     
  17. xxBURT0Nxx macrumors 68020

    xxBURT0Nxx

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #17
    Sorry i meant to post that in another thread where he posted the exact same response to the OP, I mixed the tabs up.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1174001
     
  18. dsio macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #18
    The i5 is the better deal no doubt, you do get 20% faster graphics on the i7 as well as the slight CPU clock bump, and it in no way justifies the price, unless you're one of those sad individuals that likes the irrational and childish feeling of superiority that comes with having a maxxed config.

    Like me :p
     
  19. brokenbuyer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    #19
    Personally the Microcenter deal is great.
    Base line model totaling out at around $1098 including tax.

    With $40-60 you can easily find some good deals for 8GB DDR3 RAM.
    Apple offers the upgrade 320GB HDD to 500GB for $50, but then you won't be paying $999. As of now, I would save up for a SSD anyhow.

    The base line model CAN game and can game some games perfectly. I don't game intensive games on laptops tho.
     
  20. LarryC, Jun 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011

    LarryC thread starter macrumors 6502

    LarryC

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    North America
    #20
    I just wanted to thank all of you for the replies. I suppose I could have added the part about what I am going to actually use the computer for... I have never owned any computer games. I mostly use my desktop just to surf the net and check my e-mail. I do enjoy watching videos on youtube and downloading and listening to music and podcasts from iTunes. I used to have the Adobe Creative Suite, but I ended up giving that to my ex-wife. I suppose that for my uses any computer that Apple sells would more than do an excellent job. My real concern was the integrated intel graphics. Years ago I had heard/read that integrated graphics were pretty horrible and should be avoided at all costs. I suppose that has changed over the years. Again, thank you all for your really wonderful and detailed replies. You have all given me some excellent advice and some things to really consider, not to mention a great deal of $$ savings. You guys are great. Thank you.
     
  21. Nuckinfuts macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #21
    search and replace "game" with "play", ah now that makes sense lol :rolleyes:
     
  22. ThirtyThr33 macrumors 6502

    ThirtyThr33

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    #22
    Why do you say that? I only ask because that's what a lot of people are saying but I don't get it. Because the i5 has 2 cores and the i7 has 4 cores due to hyper threading by making 2 more virtual cores. So why wouldn't this benefit? I am in the same debate as the OP but I'm so hesitant to get the i5 because I feel like next year the i5 will be obsolete and everything will have i7s.
     
  23. dsio macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #23
    Both the i5 and i7 have 2 cores and hyperthreading.

    The differences are:

    i5
    • 2.3Ghz Standard
    • 3.2Ghz Turbo
    • 500Mhz Intel HD3000 GPU (Standard)
    • 1100Mhz Intel HD3000 GPU (Turbo)
    • 25W TDP

    i7
    • 2.7Ghz Standard
    • 3.4Ghz Turbo
    • 650Mhz Intel HD3000 GPU (Standard)
    • 1300Mhz Intel HD3000 GPU (Turbo)
    • 35W TDP

    So the i7 is just clocked up in every aspect (including graphics, which means it performs 20% better in 3D than the i5) with the trade-off that it peaks at 35W instead of 25W.

    The two chips are electrically identical, just the i5s are tuned to run at a lower clock within a lower power envelope and the i7 is tuned to run higher, they literally come off the same wafer at the intel plant.
     
  24. ThirtyThr33 macrumors 6502

    ThirtyThr33

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    #24
    I think I'm eventually going to just get a 15". It's a shame apple doesn't make a quadncore i7 13" because I think the 13" books are more comfortable.
     
  25. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #25
    assuming the macbook airs get refreshed with sandy bridge processors, you will be a lot better off with that, because it will be compact, faster (solid state drive), and more than enough to handle what you are doing for years to come.

    paying an extra couple hundred dollars for a better processor on the 13" is a waste, because it is only dual core, and you are inching up close to the 15" price point, where you can get quad core and other benefits.

    like i said above, i have the 13" mbp, and i am glad i got it, but i think i'd also be happy with an mba 13" (assuming it has the specs we think it will). there are a lot of us in this range i think; non-gamers who want a reasonably powerful computer, and only see the 13" mbp (at the moment) as a viable purchase option. when the updated mba comes out it will fill an important niche.
     

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