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hajime

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
7,855
1,290
In stores, I see most people buying the 13" model. I am trying to decide between the two. I know that the 15" models have a quad-core processor (faster mult-core applications but slower single-thread applications), a dedicated ATI GPU (which if the Iris PRO is good enough, the ATI GPU is not so useful to me as it is not Nvidia), a bit heavier, larger trackpad, have a better screen estate, wifi does not work under Linux. What else?

Is the 13" model runs cooler and quieter? Despite the larger size and surface area, a quick test of 4K video playback seems to show that the 15" runs warmer than the 13" model

In terms of battery life, Apple lists 10 hours. I don't think both models last exactly the same. In real world use, which has a better battery life?
 

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,351
19,403
The 15" is bigger, but faster, and the 13" is lighter and slower. Its really not too complicated. And no, the 13" CPU is not faster in single-threaded applications.

The 13" certainly won't run cooler when confronted with the same workload as the 15". it will take twice (or more) as much time, and will produce more heat over time. If you 15" run hotter when watching 4K video, I assume that the dGPU kicked in. It really depends on the codec and the software you were using.

The battery life depends on what you do with the computer. The 15" has a bigger battery, but also a bigger energy draw potential. Under light loads, there shouldn't be much difference. Under heavy load, the 15" will most likely discharge faster — but it will also do much more work done.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,709
What else?
You've pretty much covered the differences.
The 15" has a larger screen and is faster, where as the 13" is more mobile.

It all boils down to your need for performance vs. size/weight.
 

hajime

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
7,855
1,290
I guess get the i5 3.1, 16GB and 1TB. Try for two weeks and if not satisfied, get the 15” model. Apple said it is ok to do it.
 

hajime

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
7,855
1,290
Besides the size, are the trackpads on both the 13" and 15" models the same?
 
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