When spec is (nearly) the same, but model is different 17" or 15", what should I get?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by eririn, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. eririn macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2009
    When spec is (nearly)the same, but model is different 17" or 15", which should I get?

    Hi guys, I'm getting a Macbook Pro as part of my high school graduation present. The problem is, I don't know which should I choose. I have a choice between

    Option A
    Macbook Pro 17" (late october, aluminum body)
    - 2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; 6 MB shared level 2 cache
    - 4GB 667MHz DDR2SDRAM (PC2-5300)
    - 320 GB 5400-rpm hard drive
    - 17" LED-backlit glossy; 1920x1200
    - NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 512MB of GDDR3 memory
    - Backlit keyboard and ambient light sensor
    - and of course 3 USB ports, FireWire 400, and 800

    Option B
    Macbook Pro 15" Unibody
    - the 2.53GHz one
    - 4 GB DDR3
    - 320 GB 5400-rpm hard drive
    - 15" LED-backlit glossy; 1440x900
    - NVIDIA GeForce 9400+9600 with 512 MB

    My future career is product designer, and I will be moving around, carrying my MBP from home to uni(mostly by foot), and I am quite small(155cm). I wish to use it for at least 5 years. From reading many posts, the better screen resolution is more important for graphic career, but the problem is..

    If I get option A- Yes I will have a better screen but

    1. 17" might be too heavy for me, and it is not portable enough
    2. the model is old, I don't mind for now, but in a long term, as more people would use unibody one, I might regret of not getting it.

    If I get option B- Yes, It is more portable, convenient,and new model but I am very hesitate about the screen resolutions. However, if I get the Apple Cinema display, would that help in anyways?

    Another questions
    Is it necessary to upgrade the RAM if I take option B? Would it make that much different? And how much should I?

    I'm very new to Mac, and I'm trying my best to understand it. Any helps would be very appreciated. What would you guys advise me? Which option should I take, I'm really lost..
    I'm thinking of taking option B + cinema display..

    Please advise me :eek:
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I'd get the 15" and just buy an external LCD monitor for your work at home. :)
  3. Liquidpics macrumors member


    Jan 29, 2008
    New Jersey
    Since you'll be moving around so much and truly need portability get the 15", even though I like to see you with an early '08 better. The reason I say that is because the early '08's don't have glass screens and track pads that will shatter if anything drops on it, or if it gets bumped to hard, drop the screen to suddenly when closing it, and the list goes on. You see the one piece unibody design was supposed to give the new Macbook pro's unsurpassed integrity but ironically by adding glass you have the opposite of that. Just do a search. Remember, Apple does not warranty accidental breakage of the screen or trackpad. I'm sure your parents won't be happy to cough up $800 for a repair. BTW- Macmall and other retailers still carry the top end early '08 15" with a 2.6ghz processor, 512vram and so on. With this combo (since the price is $1600) you can get the cinema display as well. I would seriously consider that. ENJOY!
  4. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    If you buy the 15" unibody MBP and new LED Cinema Display, you're probably better off buying the new 17" unibody MBP, cost wise anyways. You'll have the same resolution as the 17" and 24" display and will stay portable.

    Have you considered the 17" UniMBP as the gift or is that out of the price range?
  5. P90Xfit macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2009
    Old none unibody has LED. So no big deal there.

    I would go with the unibody though.
  6. apu1234 macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    I would get 15" unibody MBP, as it has faster memory and it's more portable. It's also got other good stuff like glass trackpad (huge difference) etc.
  7. entropy1980 macrumors regular


    May 14, 2003
    Canyon Country, CA
    Go 15" .... I have a 17" I use at work and it's miserable to lug around. If you are needing to use it as a laptop and move it around at all often the 15" is the way to go. My next machine I am ditching the 17" as fast I can!
  8. mforce300 macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2008
    Definitely go for the Unibody 15". If you are choosing between the previous 17" then there are a lot of reasons to go with the 15".
    -Updated Graphics with the 9600m, and better battery on the 9400m when not needing uber performance.
    -DDR3 ram in the unibody will give you a performance boost with your graphics card when doing rendering work.
    -Portability is a key difference, not just in terms of size and weight but also durability. Previous gen 17" is well made, but the case will flex overtime especially if carried with uneven pressure on the computer. Not as big of an issue on the unibodies due to the nature of design.

    Hopefully that helps you out. I would advise waiting until June to purchase if it is a Graduation present, back to school campaign will be in full swing so at least look forward to a free iPod. Maybe a slight speed bump too if you wait....

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