Refurb 15" 2.53 vs. New 13" 2.53 Any Advice?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by FlyReeves, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. FlyReeves macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2009
    Hey y'all, for the last day I've been deciding whether or not to pull the trigger on buying the Refurb 15" 2.53 to replace my well-aged 12" Powerbook. The biggest issue for me (I think) is the express card slot. As a filmmaker I foresee using that slot to offload my P2 cards (have an HVX200) and possibly Sony's SxS cards.

    Suddenly the thought occurred to me to take a look at the higher-end 13" offering. The two computers are pretty close in specs and I love the size of my 12-incher. Here's what I've ascertained as the ADVANTAGES of each:

    15" - 6mb L2 Cache, Express Card Slot, 9600M card (can't tell if it is more or the same in terms of VRAM)

    13" - I like the smaller form factor, longer battery, upgradable to 8GB RAM (though no $ to do so immediately).

    I will be using FCP quite a bit on this on this (likely Avid too) along with video encoding, DVD SP, some Photoshop. Any advice you can give would be appreciated - these spending dollars don't come easy. And quick replies would be greatly appreciated, I fear that refurb could disappear at any time.


  2. Philflow macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2008
    I think the 1440*900 resolution would be a big advantage of the 15" for Photoshop.
  3. FlyReeves thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2009
    The resolution is a good point I hadn't thought of, though I do often use an external monitor while I'm parked at the office.

    Any advice people want to chime in with would be greatly appreciated. I'm leaning towards the 15" but I guess I just need a little kick in the pants or someone with more technical knowledge to give me a reason why the 13" (with edu discount) could be a better buy.


  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I wouldn't say "big". The difference is very small, and not enough to make a difference for Photoshop, or for any other usage, for that matter. It's just 160 horizontal pixels.

    You need the ExpressCard slot, and probably the 9600M GT graphics card, which uses its own vRAM rather than main system RAM.
  5. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    The higher rez screen in the 15" is probably worth it given what you do.
  6. Feng Shui macrumors regular

    Apr 9, 2008
    If you're using FCP, then you'll need a discrete GPU. Go with the 15".
  7. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
    I bought a refurb 15" 2.53 and I've never looked back. Killer machine. I'm using it now.
  8. thedarkhorse macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2007
    I couldn't use final cut myself on anything less than 1440x900, I'd go for the refurb, it's a heck of a deal. Dedicated GPU is important for final cut studio & expresscard for offloading P2 and for interfacing to eSata if you want higher speed for external hard drives.
    Also if you look at AJA they have an IO box the released at NAB that can do HD IO through the expresscard, you can get true HD video monitoring out of it.
  9. FlyReeves thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2009
    Thanks everybody. You sold me on the 15" refurb. I haven't pulled the trigger yet...I noticed today that one w/ a 7200rpm drive popped up on the Apple site. Seeing as how I'd buy one anyway I'm going to wait one more day to see if that returns...if not I'll make the swap myself.

    Thanks again.

  10. FlyReeves thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2009
    Well, I grabbed the 2.53 refurb today. Checked the online store at 11 cst and lo and behold they had the 250gb 7200rpm version in stock but by the time I entered my shipping and billing info it booted the computer out of my cart so I was only left w/ the apple care. I called and spoke to a mostly clueless customer service rep and purchased the 320gb 5400 rpm version but I got free overnight shipping. I'm sure I'll replace the HD w/ a 7200rpm drive at some point just not sure if I'll do it right away.

    Thanks for the input everybody.


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