When all is said and done, 13" MBP for <$1000, or 15" MBP for $1350?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mattcube64, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. mattcube64 macrumors 65816


    May 21, 2006
    Alright, guys. Sorry for another one of these, I'm just looking for someone to sway my decision, cause I'm really torn.

    I found a buyer for my 1st gen Macbook, and am looking to upgrade before fall. I'm in no particular hurry to buy right away. But, if I'm going to buy anyway, I may as well buy now and enjoy it.

    So, here's where I'm at right now... I really only *need* the 13" MBP. In all honesty, the 13" is my favorite size for a laptop. However, it would be a really, REALLY nice luxury to have a 9600 video card. Do I *need* it? No. But, while I have a X360, I still do 90% of my gaming these days on the computer. And, it would be great when I'm home on the weekend away from my desktop, or going to a LAN party, I could just grab my laptop and go.

    Initially, I couldn't justify what appeared to be a $800(!) difference between the 13" MBP and it's 9600-sporting 15" brother. However, after closer examination, it's looking like I could get a 13" MBP for a hair under a grand using my student discount and selling the free ipod, or I could buy a refurbished 15" MBP w/ the 9600 for $1350.


    So, is the 9600 worth the extra $350, in your opinion?

    Right now I just feel as if I'm going to be upset if I purchase either. If I get the 13", I'll feel like I'm missing out on the video card that I *really, REALLY* want. But, if I get the 15", I'll feel like I'm missing out on having the newer laptop, the better battery life (handy in college), and I'll have spent money I really didn't need to spend.

    Any suggestions? :confused:
  2. couto27 macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2008
    go for the 13

    the 9400 runs well on games
    the new laptop ill have more value if you want to sell it

    i had a mbp 2,53 from november 2008 and i change for the 13 mb unibody because i dont use the 9600 , was too much.

    like this i change laptop every 2, 3 years and dont lose to much money

    im a frequent flyer on easyjet and the 13 fits in does tigh seats very well

    and now with firewire and sd no more excuses for cameras and camcorders
    13 just perfect
  3. mattcube64 thread starter macrumors 65816


    May 21, 2006
    Yeah, I was thinking that I could just get in the habit of upgrading more frequently. I typically upgrade my desktop every three years, and my laptop every three years. And they alternate, so I have a new computer about every 18 months or so. However, I guess I could buy the 13" MBP, and if at the end of the day I get it for about a grand, I wouldn't feel to bad if I sold it next summer for a couple hundred less in order to upgrade again...
  4. Pommy macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2009
    What games do you play? e.g. TF2 and L4D can run at med or med-low w/out a hitch on the 9400M but Crysis might suffer haha
  5. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Oooh, tough decision. If you're contemplating selling your system in 18 months or so, I think it's a toss up. Both are good prices for what you want them to do.

    If you want portability, the 13" mbp looks pretty good. If you want a larger screen and a more capable graphics card, the prior uni 15" for $1350 really can't be beat.

    It's not really a win/lose choice as it is a win/win. Just choose the system that you think would be better for your needs.
  6. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    Spend the extra $350 for the 9600M. Battery life is rated at an extra 2 hours; if you really need it, get a second battery and you'll have an extra 5. I doubt you'll really need 7 hours of battery life in college and the 9600M GT is much faster than the 9400M.
  7. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Apparently you've never been to college before. Most college buildings were built well before notebooks became commonplace, meaning there's few power outlets even in the libraries.

    Buying another battery is far from an ideal solution. I'd much rather have a single battery with a 7 hour charge than lug around a second heavy battery and have to swap them out.

    I'd go with the 13" MacBook. It's far more portable and gets better battery life, and that means a lot in a university/college setting.
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location

    I've just finished 9 years of university, and I survived with my laptops, which had 4 hours of battery life. While it wasn't always enough, it almost always was enough, and I use my laptop on battery power every day.

    If you're going to be condescending then....well, perhaps you should have gone to a better university -- one with a larger budget and can afford to upgrade buildings. There was a lot of access to AC outlets at my university.
  9. boston44 macrumors 6502

    May 8, 2009
    I would go with the 13". Newer laptop, still have firewire and an SD slot, cheaper, plus you get the free iPod and printer.
  10. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    How often do you spend 7 hours on the computer, in one sitting, away from an outlet? I would expect most universities to have a plentiful amount of outlets available for student use, since students having laptops is not a recent phenomenon. If that is not the case, then perhaps the OP would benefit from more battery-life, but do take note that he mentioned that he "*really, REALLY*" wants the 9600M GT.
  11. mgridgaway macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2006
    I typically don't remark on these sorta things... but I just gotta say, owned.

    OP, go for the $1350, the card will be will be helpful once Snow Leopard comes out, and frankly, a dedicated video card on a good laptop will always be far more appealing to me than a new laptop without. You never know when you'll need a little extra power.
  12. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    I never said you wouldn't survive. But 7 hours of battery life is better than 5. I think that point is indisputable. 7 hours of battery life means you could realistically take your computer to campus and leave your power brick at home. I know in my experience, even though the MB power brick is small, it's a little awkward to carry. I would love a notebook that got 7 hours for that reason alone.

    Sorry, buying a lesser battery and then carrying around a second one is even less of an option. If you spent 9 years in uni, you should be well aware that adding lightness is a good thing. :)

    Wow. You always here about Mac users being pretentious, but here's a real-life example. Well done perpetuating stereotypes. ::) Notebooks as a main computer in universities are a relatively recent phenomenon - I"m guessing 2000 at the earliest for widespread adoption. Most university buildings, otoh, were built in the 1960s or 70s. My school is very old, and some of our buildings date back to the 19th century and early 20th century. It takes a lot of time and money to upgrade old buildings, and our school would rather spend its money on good academic programming. But I guess you're school with its "larger budget" is better. It might not teach you not to be a douche bag, but at least it had outlets for your notebook! :rolleyes:
  13. migsev macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    If you really want the 9600, then spend the extra money and get the 15". You'll also benefit from the bigger screen when gaming.

    With regards to battery life, there's no way you'll be using the laptop for 7 hours straight without plugging it in anyway. It still generally looks the same as the current unibodies. I say just got for the 15", slap AppleCare on it, and you'll be set until 2010-2011.
  14. METOO999 macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2007
    Around my campus, all the outlets are taken up throughout the day unless you're there in off-hours. There is a part of the library that has outlets built in to the study stations; they call it a "charging area" or some such thing. :D It's only one small part of the library though.
  15. mrj205 macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2009
    At my school we called it the battle zone...because there would be hundreds of students bickering over about fifty outlets:eek:
  16. silentnite macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2009
    Outer sight.. Outer mind
    You gotta get your base stable, for me the first thing I did was get a desk top, 24" imac. Once this was done everything else was second. I needed a lap top to be small so I could use it on the go, if needed. Also I needed it to be handy while laying in my bed watching my flat screen. (like now) if I need to make a run and a computer is absent where I'm headed, no problem, grab the 13" and I'm off. So with that said, if your lap top is to be your base then it is worth putting out for the extra.

    I just love how Apple makes people go crazy with their decision. It did the same to me in the beginning and before I could make up my mind and buy a Mac mini they were already upgrading to the core 2 duo.

    Just because you have the money to buy the power, doesn't necessarily mean you need it. Some people just like having the extra power. but at what cost?

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