Questions on 13" 2011 MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jpws6, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. jpws6 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2011
    #1
    I am looking at purchasing one of these and have a few questions. This will be my first Mac although I do use them occasionally at work. My reason for the purchase is to have something portable to surf the net with, check email, VERY light photo editing, occasional word processing. I have a 17" HP elitebook for work that if I need to do a lot of work at home on I would use.

    My initial thought is that the 13" will suit my needs, however, the only thing I am concerned about is the resolution (going look at them today). I don't think the integreated graphics will be a problem at all for what I am looking to do with it ?

    Why is the 7200 rpm drive not an option on the 13" ? Can you put one in aftermarket ? Otherwise I was just considering going with the 128GB SSD from Apple.

    I am not completely against the 15" but have a hard time justifying the additional cost for what I will be using it for. Do all 15" models come with dedicated graphics card or do the low end also have the integrated, this wasn't real clear on the apple website.

    If I purchase apple care, how does changing the hard drive or memory myself affect the warranty ?
     
  2. Kyzelios macrumors 6502

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    Mar 6, 2011
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    Canada
    #2
    From the usage habits that you've mentioned I believe that the 13-inch MacBook Pro will meet your needs, although in terms of resolution it's subjective to your preferences. Your best bet is to take a look at both a 13-inch and a 15-inch and see if the extra screen space will really make a difference for what you're doing.

    The 15-inch MacBook Pros all come with both an integrated graphics processor along with a discrete graphics processor and it can switch between the two of them seamlessly. For what you're looking to do the integrated graphics processor in the 13-inch MacBook Pro will be perfectly capable of meeting your needs.

    In regards to upgrading your hard disk down the road you can certainly do so, it's as simple as removing the bottom panel, disconnecting the old hard disk and connecting a new one. Instructions for doing this are included in the manual with your MacBook Pro or can be found on Apple's support website.

    Upgrading the hard disk or memory won't void AppleCare as they are classified as a "user serviceable part". That being said, if you do damage any other components during the upgrade process it wouldn't be covered and I'd recommend keeping the original hard disk somewheres safe just in case you have to send the computer in for repair at any point.

    Hope that helps, have a great day! :)
     
  3. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    Jun 1, 2011
    #3
    i have a 13'' (2010 though) and i use it for about the same things plus some gaming and you should be fine doing the same, especially with the i5. yes, you can upgrade the hdd to a 7200rpm drive and it does not void your warranty but you most likely need all of the original parts if you need to take it in for repairs. i find that 5400rpm is plenty...photoshop cs5 boots in about 10-12 seconds first launch and 2-3 seconds each time after until a restart and i have no problems opening up files within the application itself. i paid a little extra for the 500gb because i know that is ideal for me and i didn't want to be swapping out parts if i need repairs, although it is quite simple. i just like having all apple stock parts in my computer at the moment, so that may be something to think about, especially if you really are considering the apple ssd. the apple ssd on the 13'' is quite pricey but if you want support for your drive right now then it's not a bad choice. never hurts to have parts with an apple label on them within your computer but it obviously doesn't have to be that way.

    edit: whoops, forgot to mention the resolution bit. as the poster above said, it is preference in the end but fwiw the native resolution of the 13'' works for me and perhaps it will for you too. your best bet would be to go to an apple store and check it out for yourself if you think it has potential for being a problem.

    hope this helps.
     
  4. MrNomNoms, Jun 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011

    MrNomNoms macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I'd go after market for the 7200rpm drive - personally I find the price/performance/space when weighing them up always ends up making the traditional rotating hard disk being the best value for money.

    I was a 13.3inch fan but I bit the bullet and went for the 15inch model with the Hi-Res glossy upgrade - I haven't regretted it.

    As for the integrated graphics; personally I had a try down at the local store using the MacBook Pro 13.3 with the integrated GPU and the performance was ok but the issue I had wasn't the performance but the longevity of the device. It is all very well evaluating it based on today but Intel GPU's have a horrible reputation for getting outdated very quickly (having been an ex-MacBook owner aka GMA950 and X3100). I got the high end 15inch, ate noodles for a few weeks straight to get the extra money and haven't regretted it. Btw, the Radeon included with the 15inch model is OpenGL 4.1 compliant which means there is plenty if life left it in :D
     
  5. jpws6 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2011
    #5
    Thanks for the quick replies. I plan to stop by the apple store today to look at both the 13" and 15".
     
  6. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #6
    i have the 13". i think the screen is gorgeous. given your needs, i think i would wait a while before upgrading to the ssd or getting a faster drive. if you feel like it is too slow, you can always do that later.

    honestly, though, for your needs the mba 13" sounds like a better deal.
     
  7. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    Jun 1, 2011
    #7
    also something to note: the 13'' has a glossy screen so that should be taken into consideration regarding your light photo editing. i'm sure you will find your preference if you interact with the models in person though. i personally find the glossy screen fine for photo editing and prefer its vibrant colors, although i didn't have a choice. :]
     
  8. jpws6 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2011
    #8
    Well spent some time at the Apple store and came home with the 13" :). I just could not justify the price of the 15" for a secondary device right now. The 13" seemed plenty fast enough and I was satisfied with the resolution, still felt there was room to have 2 windows open side by side. If I was looking for a desktop replacement I would have certainly gone for the 15" or 17", but think the 13" is going to suit my needs right now, I think the size is perfect for what I was looking for. Thanks to everyone who responded here and in other threads as I have spent a good deal of time reading the last few days.
     
  9. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #9
    congratulations.i love my 13". i think it has the most reasonable price. the 15 is beautiful, but overpriced. a few hundred less (or better specs) and i could have seen myself getting it.
     
  10. Surfing@Blacks macrumors regular

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    #10

    If the 15 is overpriced... then the 13 inch is very overpriced
     
  11. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #11
    they're all overpriced in terms of hardware specs, but you're not buying just hardware.
     
  12. Kyzelios macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Congratulations on your purchase! I'm sure you'll enjoy it for years to come. :)
     
  13. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    #13
    actually, i thought the 13" was reasonably priced. it actually seemed somewhat competitive with equivalent pc models. however, by overpriced, i meant relative to the 13. the 600 dollar difference between the 13 and 15 ddn't seem justified to me, even though i was very interested in it.
     
  14. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #14
    i5/4gb/intel hd/320gb hdd for $1199 is quite overpriced, but again, you're not buying just hardware. you're buying that along with the os, the build quality, the size and portability, battery life, etc. to some, that's worth it - others go for something less expensive with better hardware with different features.
     
  15. Surfing@Blacks macrumors regular

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    Jul 17, 2007
    #15
    I was just pointing out that if you say the 15 inch is overpriced.... the 13 is overpriced as well. I actually believe for 600 bucks more you get a great system that is worth each and every bit of those 600 dollars. I had a buddy who just got the 13 inch from microcenter.. i have to admit that is a GREAT price for it.
     
  16. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    #16
    i think my post was unclear. i apologize. i am not comparing the mac to pcs here. i am talking about the decision to buy a 13" or a 15". "overpriced" is obviously a subjective statement, and in this case refers to the difference in price points between the two computers that i feel is too large. given the difference in specs, which is what a consumer like myself thinks about when comparing the two models, i think apple set the 15 price too high.

    it is a great price. perhaps that is the problem! if the 13" cost 200 dollars or so more, i probably would have gone ahead and moved up to the 15".

    so, when i say "overpriced," i hope people don't misunderstand me here. i am talking about how apple tempts consumers like me (in the market for 13 or 15) to buy the more expensive model (presumably, also the one with a higher profit margin). obviously, someone in the market for a 15" is going to be able to justify the price more easily, because they are not comparing it to the 13". for people in-between, though, given the specs, the gap between the 13 and 15, and especially the one between the 15 and 17, is too large.

    personally, i think apple made a mistake here. i am sure they devoted lots of time and energy to setting their price points, so this is part of some strategy. speaking as a consumer who has no idea about what that strategy might be, and obviously doesn't "get it," i can only say that i wanted to give apple more of my money, but balked at the gap.
     
  17. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #17
    ah, sorry man my mistake. i thought you were comparing it alongside of models with similar hardware specs. it is a pretty big price gap between the two base models but you are getting the amd 6490m 256gddr5 and the quad-core with more screen space and higher resolution...whether that is worth $600 is arguable (again, comparing base models), but if the 15'' fits a buyer's preference especially with the various screen options, then i suppose it is.
     
  18. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    #18
    no worries. i think i was unclear in my earlier post. you are, of course, correct with the points you made about the purchase decision. everyone has their own factors to consider, and weights everything differently. but, i think there are probably a lot of people like me who could go either way (13 or 15), and are very interested in the 15, but have difficulty justifying the 600 dollar difference. when you are looking seriously at an 1100 dollar computer, spending 50%+ more to move up to to the next model is a difficult proposition.
     
  19. Kentochan macrumors 6502

    Kentochan

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    Virginia, USA
    #19
    AppleCare comes free of charge for one year with every Mac purchase, during which you can upgrade the RAM and hard drive by yourself without voiding the warranty. Apple themselves even provide documentation on how to do so. So changing the RAM or hard drive will not affect the warranty unless you damage the product during the upgrade.
     
  20. saberahul macrumors 68040

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    USA
    #20
    iPad.
     
  21. Surfing@Blacks macrumors regular

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    Jul 17, 2007
    #21

    It isn't difficult at all to justify the 600 dollar increase if you want to game, do heavy photoshop/video editing, do coding, 3D work, ext. This is a professional line of laptops and the 15 inch shows a great performance boost in these areas over the 13 inch.

    I would get a MBA if I wanted a computer to simple task with, but with microcenters 13 inch mbp for 999... that is the only reason i would recommend the 13 inch to someone.
     
  22. MacsOnAnabolics macrumors regular

    MacsOnAnabolics

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    #22
    Agreed.
     
  23. serafnazimi macrumors newbie

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    #23
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I think US prices are OK, but European prices are kinda crazy
     

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