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Stuck in the middle 15 vs 13

Typerchris

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 25, 2012
1
0
I am looking to enter the MacBook world after always having windows machines. I have narrowed it down the the pro after much umming and ahhing but I am now stuck on which one to buy, it is between the 2 13" models and the base 15".

the machines main usage will be for beginner photo editing so will more likely install adobe Lightroom and photoshop cs. It will also be used for net browsing iTunes, word processing etc.

When speaking to the shop they were advising the 15" because of its quad core I don't like my machine to stall egg timer when I ask it to do something. So I thought I would come ask you guys for some sound user advice

Many thanks
 

willieva

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2010
274
0
If you won't be getting an external monitor to use and the portability of the 13" isn't a strong selling point, go for the 15". The extra screen size will be a huge plus. My 13" is nice for portability, but when I want to do real work it gets hooked up to a larger monitor.
 

Kashika

macrumors regular
Sep 8, 2010
129
0
There's not a huge difference in portability between the two.

I went for the 15 because it offered a lot more power (two graphic cards for example).
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,961
120
I got rid of my 2009 13" MBP because the resolution was too low for a lot of things I was doing. One of thre reasons that sold me on the 13" MBA that I have now is that it has the same resolution as the 15" MBP.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,078
34,168
Boston
the machines main usage will be for beginner photo editing so will more likely install adobe Lightroom and photoshop cs. It will also be used for net browsing iTunes, word processing etc.
I have a 13" MBP (2010 core 2 duo model) and it handles LR and PS decently so I can only imagine the current 13" MBP would be even better.

With that said, if this is to be your main computer without an external monitor, I'd recommend a 15" MBP thanks to the extra screen real estate. I find the 13" screen too small when using LightRoom. I have a 20" external monitor but when I travel, I find the 13" too small.

I'll be upgrading to a 15" MBP myself because of this and also because the GPU is better in the 15" and that should help PS and LR
 

r0k

macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
3,610
73
Detroit
Ok, here is the "down side" of buying a Mac: They last "too long".

I have a 13 inch 4 year old Macbook. I want to replace it. But I don't need to replace it. I've upgraded to 4GB of RAM and a 500 GB "hybrid" SSD. I use an external monitor so it's not so bad. The oldest Mac in our house is 7 years old and it's still running (Leopard) just fine.

I don't use Photoshop or Lightroom but I do use Gimp and it runs fine. I run Lion with the latest iOS and OS X SDKs installed. I have LibreOffice and iWork. I have TurboCAD. All run just fine. The only beachball-ing I get is when I leave 50 or more Chrome tabs running for days at a time. Closing and re-opening Chrome banishes the beachball. I use Crossover to run a handful of Windows apps and I play with Windows 8 in a Virtualbox. Again all run just fine.

Whatever model you get, take your time when you decide as Macs don't "go obsolete" as quickly as you might be accustomed to with Windows machines so you will have to live with your choice for a long time. When last year's Macbook Pros came out, I started salivating but I really couldn't justify the expense when my computer was running so well. My HDD was getting full so I swapped in a Seagate Momentus XT and "while I was there" I put in more RAM. I get boot times under 30 seconds and app launch times (for frequently used apps) of under 1 second. All this on an old "beater" (by today's standards) core duo machine.

I've thought about the 15 inch MBP with upgraded graphics and the matte screen so perhaps this spring I will finally give in. 4+ years is not bad for a computer. And you know the best part? I read in a forum that Best Buy gave almost $500 for a 2006 Macbook. Mine is a 2008. If I get $500 for trading mine in, my net out of pocket for 4 years' computing will be something like $800 including $30 for Snow Leopard and another 30 bucks for Lion! Now that's low total cost of ownership. My son got a 13 in MBP in fall 2009 and got AppleCare. Good thing he did because a mishap on his part led to a $900 logic board replacement which Apple did for free under AppleCare as a "courtesy."
 

Confuzzzed

macrumors 68000
Aug 7, 2011
1,630
0
Liverpool, UK
I have owned both 15" (MBP) and now 13" (albeit MBA variety) and I can honestly say that the screen size has never bothered me. And trust me, minor photo editing will not stretch the processing power of either the 13" or 15" MBP. Both pack plenty of punch. Enjoy it

----------

Ok, here is the "down side" of buying a Mac: They last "too long".

Hear hear. The oldest machine in my house is a 7 year old mac mini and still runs as well as it did the day I bought it. Also sold a 2007 MBP a few weeks ago for roughly half what I paid. And again, it ran as well as it did the day I bought it.
 

Danindub

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2008
103
43
I am looking to enter the MacBook world after always having windows machines. I have narrowed it down the the pro after much umming and ahhing but I am now stuck on which one to buy, it is between the 2 13" models and the base 15".

the machines main usage will be for beginner photo editing so will more likely install adobe Lightroom and photoshop cs. It will also be used for net browsing iTunes, word processing etc.

When speaking to the shop they were advising the 15" because of its quad core I don't like my machine to stall egg timer when I ask it to do something. So I thought I would come ask you guys for some sound user advice

Many thanks

Go for 15". Even entry level are beasts of power, with dual graphics and quad core CPUs. You can upgrade it over time to up to 16 GB RAM and SSD drive, so it's machine for years. Screen is beautiful, with wide colour range, saturated colours and good viewing angles.

Pro 13" makes very little sense. You're limiting yourself with dual core CPU, poor graphics. After a year you'll be looking to upgrade. In fact I am nearly certain Pro 13" will see their end very soon, as apart from price, there is very little sense to choose them over MacBook Air.
 

steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
3,023
6
East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
Go for 15". Even entry level are beasts of power, with dual graphics and quad core CPUs. You can upgrade it over time to up to 16 GB RAM and SSD drive, so it's machine for years. Screen is beautiful, with wide colour range, saturated colours and good viewing angles.

Pro 13" makes very little sense. You're limiting yourself with dual core CPU, poor graphics. After a year you'll be looking to upgrade. In fact I am nearly certain Pro 13" will see their end very soon, as apart from price, there is very little sense to choose them over MacBook Air.

I agree about the 13" MBP probably going away. I believe the 13" MBA will become the 13" machine, and the the Pro name will be reserved for the 15" and larger, with their more powerful components. Truthfully, the only reason I went with the 13" MBP was that I have other machines to do the hard work for me. I have a Mini that is a media server, a nice gaming PC, etc. I don't do a lot of hard work on the MBP, so its limitations don't bother me at all. Because of this, I couldn't really justify the extra $400+ a 15" model would have cost, and I liked being able to add my own upgrades, which is why I didn't get the MBA.
 

Vantage Point

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2010
1,169
1
New Jersey
I would incline to the 15" if you are a Photoshop user. Also, an external monitor is a must have but the 15" will get you going more often not. It is what I use and I did own a 13" for about 8 months before switching
 

Danindub

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2008
103
43
http://marketingtactics.com/Speedmark/

It will give you an idea of how the different Mac Offerings stack up. Personally I'd go for the 13" Air. It will have the screen real estate of the 15" pro and even more portability than the 13" pro.

I'm just after switching from 15" pro to 13" Air and I love it.

However the original question seems to incline that he wants to get into photo editing (photography?) where 4 GB of memory limit and 256 GB SSD can be a real limitation. Especially when working with/storing RAW images.

Also, Air screen is fairly bad in terms of colour reproduction and colour gamut, which can be really problematic for anything more than birthday party and holiday photography.
 

rovitotv

macrumors member
Dec 17, 2009
65
0
I have had both MacBook Pro 15 and Mac Book Air

I have had both Mac Book Pro 15 and a Mac Book Air and I prefer the Mac Book Pro 15. It is way more powerful and expandable and is not horrible on the portability side either, the Mac Book Pro only weighs in a 5.5 pounds. More important the Mac Book Pro 15 is way more "bang for your buck", especially if you look at the Apple refurb store. The Mac Book Pro 15 has a max resolution of 1680-by-1050 while the 13" Mac Book Air has a max resolution of 1440 by 900 but I would still consider an external LCD panel. Maybe you can purchase an external LCD panel down the road.....
 

r0k

macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
3,610
73
Detroit
http://marketingtactics.com/Speedmark/

It will give you an idea of how the different Mac Offerings stack up. Personally I'd go for the 13" Air. It will have the screen real estate of the 15" pro and even more portability than the 13" pro.

Ever since they upgraded the CPU in the MBA, I've been thinking about it. I like the idea that it's so light and portable so if I did have to take it somewhere it would be like carrying a legal pad. One problem is I would also want Thunderbolt storage and that would use up the display connection. I guess this is where the 13 in MBP and 13 in MBA break down. The number of ports is less than those on the 15 in MBP. I just think 5.5 # is a lot to cart around but I haven't moved my Macbook out of its spot on my desk in close to a year. So in the time it took me to type this post, I talked myself out of both the 13 in MBA, 13 in MBP and into the 15 in MBP because it has more ports.

BTW, thanks for the link to those speedmark tests. My Macbook speedmarks at about 87 (SM 7 equivalent) and the 15 in MBP speedmarks at about 169. The geekbench scores are equally lopsided with mine at 3167 and the 15 in MBP at 8756. Perhaps I'll wait for this year's MBP to be announced and try to resist... I might be able to convince myself I "need" the MBP if it dramatically speeds up handbrake transcoding.
 

rovitotv

macrumors member
Dec 17, 2009
65
0
So in the time it took me to type this post, I talked myself out of both the 13 in MBA, 13 in MBP and into the 15 in MBP because it has more ports.

I have the same problem it is difficult to pick a single product. Really I want to have one of each :) The 15 is a good choice it has the most ports, highest performance, best screen resolution (if upgraded), and most upgradable.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,760
3,613
Pro 13" makes very little sense. You're limiting yourself with dual core CPU, poor graphics.

I quite like the 13" form factor - I have a 2010 13" MBP as my work machine.

90% of the time, its either plugged into a 27" display at work or a 24" display at home, and an external keyboard, so the internal display is largely irrelevant. When I am using it "untethered" I find it usefully smaller and lighter than the 15" and can put up with the smaller screen for 10% (I'm not usually doing heavy work then).

I agree that the 13" Air will probably replace the 13" MBP - but I'd want to see an affordable 500GB SSD and more "low end" thunderbolt kit (docks, cheaper external HDs) and (in the absence of FireWire) USB3 first.

(My "home" laptop is a 17" MBP, bought as a Mac Pro replacement... that was after I nearly did myself in loading the 'Pro and monitor into the car...)
 
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