What MacBook size I should buy according to my needs?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DavidChavez, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. DavidChavez macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2009
    Guanajuato City, Mexico
    Hey guys!

    I have a question for the people who know about it.
    And I'm so undecided about what MacBook Pro size I should buy. Now I got the white 13.3-inch MacBook but I think is time for the next level. I'm gonna use the MacBook for develop iPhone apps, use Pixelmator or Photoshop, edit videos on Final Cut and maybe switch between OS X-Windows-Linux.
    But my big question is... Can the MacBook Pro 13-inch hold up all this?. My main needs are portability and power, about the screen size its not a big problem because I can get a LED Cinema Display then so that will be practically a desktop computer so.
    But here is the 15-inch MacBook Pro, but I'm scared a little bit for the size. I'm always carrying my notebook on the bag-pac or in the legs, I cut a real-size carton-board of the MBP but it doesn't give me the sensation of have one.
    So, what MacBook Pro I should buy? (forget about the 17-inch MBP, its practically impo$$ible for me, besides its a beast of size). Does the 13-inch MacBook Pro can hold up all the apps I mentioned and connect into a LED Cinema Display?

    (PD: I'm sorry but, english its not my mother language so if I got a bad spelling or a wrong wrote word, please let me know:))
  2. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    For what you describe the 13" will be adequate. The only major difference between it and the 15" is the option of a dedicated graphics card on the 15", but for your needs that will not make a huge difference. Fill the 13" with at least 4GB of RAM and you'll be just fine.
  3. 380988 Guest

    Nov 10, 2009
    For what you are wanting to use on the computer - Photoshop, Final Cut, 3 operating systems - you will definitely want a dedicated graphics processor card, more storage, and faster processor. All the programs will work on a 13" with 4GB of memory, but you will be realizing within a few months to a year that you bought the wrong computer. Even if you only use Photoshop Elements, Final Cut alone will work MUCH better on a computer with it's own graphics processor. Do yourself a favor and spend the extra $500 to get at least the standard mid-level 15" MacBook Pro. It will save you money in the long run, as well as a lot of headaches with the programs you are using not running as smoothly as they could be. The more powerful computer will save you a lot of time in loading files and performance speed in general. You are right that screen size does not matter, but power of the computer is key. Having a Cinema Display adds size, but no power obviously.

    Ultimately it's your decision, but you will be much happier with at least the $1999 15" - I would even upgrade the hard drive to a 500GB drive for only $100. Do NOT get the baseline 15" as it is the exact same computer as the $1499 13" just in a bigger case.

    Good luck!
  4. MacKiddyWiddy macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    13" with 4gb ram will be fine, the screen space won't help too much in the 15 but the graphics card may... but if I were you, i'd save money and go with the 13[​IMG]
  5. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    What a load of absolute rubbish.

    Tasks like video editing and Photoshop filters are processor-intensive, not GPU-intensive. A dedicated graphics card will produce very little benefit to these applications.

    Not to mention a graphics card has nothing at all to do with "loading files" or "performance speed in general".

    The GPU is only important in 3D modelling and rendering (e.g., Motion) and games. In the future that might change with OpenCL and the like, but I'll wager that's still a long way off.
  6. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Todays computers are much more powerful than 95% of users really need. So power is not the most important spec one should consider when shopping for a new one.

    What actually IS important is special features that certain models have. 13" vs 15" is a tough choice - you can have the fastest 15", but it would't fit you the way 13" would. Having a dedicated graphics would not give the same productivity boost as longer-lasting battery would, etc.

    To OP: I've gone from 13" white MacBook to my current classic 15" MBP. My observations so far:

    Screen is much better quality, brighter and the extra real-estate is definitely noticeable.
    Less battery life
    Marginally more powerful in most tasks
    Much, Much Much faster in games
    Added weight did concern me at first, but now I got used to it carrying it around the uni for half the day and it feels just like 13" did before it.
    Added dimensions are noticeable too, but definitely manageable.
    The aluminium body feels more solid and looks stunning.
    Keyboard backlight is not as useful as I thought, at least on classic MBP model (silver keys).
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Wirelessly posted (Nokia 5800 Tube XpressMusic : Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.4; U; Series60/5.0 Nokia5800d-1/21.0.101; Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413)

    For those apps, what you need is a 13" MBP with 1440*900 screen resolution so that you can have more screen real-estate on the go, nd yet still connect to a monitor at home. Too bad this doesn't exist yet.

    Can you wait? Your perfect Mac doesn't exist yet........unless they accidentally put a Sony Vaio badge on it.

    I say wait if you can, or buy the 13". You said portability and power are your main concerns.

    Having a dedicated graphics card may help you now. If it doesn't today, but you plan to keep your laptop for a few years, then the benefits of a dedicated graphics card may arise in 12-18 months, or if one of the apps you use such as Photoshop will heavily leverage the graphics card for processing. Don't just think about today. Think about a year from now. Two years.

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