Which Macbook Pro Should I Purchase?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sam8675309, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. sam8675309 macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2010
    Hi, I am planning to purchase a Macbook Pro for college. I am currently a senior in high school (graduating quite soon) and will be a college freshman in the fall.
    For my college computer, I don't really have a budget (my parents gave me a limit of $2,000 but I don't really want to go near that (maximum) amount because i think that's quite some money for a laptop). I'll be using the comp for research, little-to-no photo and video editing, instant messaging, internet, typing documents, video chatting.

    I was planning to get either:
    a. Macbook Pro 13 inch 2.4 ghz
    b. Macbook Pro 15 inch 2.4 ghz

    If I were to get a. I would upgrade the hard drive to 320 gbs
    If I were to get b. I wouldn't upgrade anything

    a. has an Intel Core 2 Duo processor
    b. has a Intel i5 processor

    a. 13 inch screen size
    b. 15 inch screen size
    (I'm not too picky with the size, either would be okay, I think. Comments and suggestions with screen sizes would be great as well. Also, if I do chose to get a 15 inch Macbook Pro, should I go for glossy or matte? hd or standard?)

    I'm not sure if the Core 2 Duo processor will be outdated in four years, as I plan to use this laptop for my four years(maybe more) in college. There is (around) a $555 price difference between the two laptops(including the Apple Store Education Discount but not including tax).

    tl;dr Will an Intel Core 2 Duo processor be outdated in four years? will an Intel i5 processor be outdated? Which Macbook Pro should I purchase? Glossy or Matte for a 15 inch Screen?
    Suggestions? Comments?

    Also, I apologize if this is in the incorrect forum; I'm new to Macs/MacRumors!
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    13" is just fine, add SSD in the future if you want to. Portability is more important in college than performance
  3. sam8675309 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2010
    Not to sound like a confused and clueless bother, but what is SSD?
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Well, it's flash based "hard drive". It's the successor of mechanical hard drives. It's provides very fast latency and ridiculous read and write speeds. HD is the biggest bottleneck in todays computers so adding a faster one like SSD should solve many beachballings. They are pretty expensive, 200$ for 80GB but in a year or two, everyone will have one
  5. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Welcome to MR and congrats on college.

    The short of it is that both computers will last you through 4 years given the list of things you want to accomplish with the machine. The CPU is largely irrelevant and should only give you a 10-15% speed bump on things like photo and video editing, which you stated you're not going to be doing often.

    My advice: get the 13" Stock. Add AppleCare and an external hard drive. In a few years, if you feel like the machine is a lot slower, you can up the RAM to 8GB and install a big SSD, both of which will make you feel like you've got a brand new machine.

    If you still have some money left over, there are other accessories like a monitor (Dell and Samsung are pretty good), printer or iPod touch (if you have a need and use the current Back to School Promotions), cases, etc.

    Check with your school about software discounts (MS Office).

    Switchers, and especially college students on budgets, should be aware that there's more to switching than just buying a computer, you need software for your new machine as well.
  6. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    nah the C2D won't be outdated in a few years.....it already is right now :D

    well development is really fast Q1 2011 intel will release the successor to the core i series (sandy bridge) and then i5 will be outdated as well.

    i personally would advise to get the base MBP15 with a highres AG screen. i looked at both in the store and the glossy looks sooooo bad to my eyes it hurts (really it does). plus it has a discrete GPU and a 1680x1050 resolution. it's lots more value for the already high apple premium we are paying.

    it all depends on your usage of course, the C2D will run itunes with two fingers up its nose.
  7. hybridfx2 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2010
    I'm going to college as well so ill have the same needs as you and I've been debating this for quite some time. Its basically portability vs power.

    I think I'm going to go with the 13". More portable and I'm on a budget. C2D won't be the fastest thing out there but it will suffice for my needs. Also w/ the extra cash as stated we could get 8 gig ram and the SSD.

    When dealing with technology always go with what you need. Even the i5 will be outdated sooner or later.
  8. sn0warmy macrumors 6502a


    Mar 26, 2009
    Denver, CO
    I don't know why people use portability as a factor to decide between the 13" and 15". No offense to Hellhammer or hybridfx2, but I see people say this all the time and it just makes no sense to me.

    In college I bought a 13" Macbook over a 15" Macbook Pro because I thought it would be "more portable". However, after a year of wishing I had the "Pro" model, I bought a 15" Gen. 2 Macbook Pro. I used that computer for the remaining 3 years of college. Walking around campus with the 15" in a sleeve within my backpack was absolutely no different than carrying the 13" the exact same way.

    I used the 15" on my lap in large/cramped 300+ person classrooms and even on those tiny desks they give you in your math classes. And I never had a portability/usability issue that forced me to think, "man, I really wish I still had the 13".

    And when people mention the weight difference of ~ 1lb., it really is a moot point when you consider the other 20+ lbs. of books you have in your bag.

    I think the "portability" argument persuading towards a 13" over a 15" is just absurd.
  9. SolidGun macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2004
    Twin Cities
    Personally for classes, I only carry my iPad and the wireless keyboard. But then I haven't been in lower level undergrad classes for a long long time and as I remember, I used to carry tons of stuff other than textbooks.

    But if you do plan on carrying your computer around all day, 13" will save your shoulders. I personally don't like to carry anything around but it has never been a problem for me to carry larger laptops.

    That being said, if this is your only computer, you may want the 15" or get the 13" with an external monitor, as the screen size may bug you after a while. I have 2 x 30" monitors now and I am not sure if I can go back to 15" notebook computers as my only comp.

    BTW, you have no idea what you are going to do with this computer when you actually get to college....unless you are going to some crappy school.....so don't think that you won't be doing this or that right now.
  10. spazma7ik macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2009
    Jesus, is this thread filled with 90 lb twigs? Seriously, how would an extra pound or two save your shoulder? I'm sorry, but I carry around a 17" 8lb laptop with ease, and I am 6'0 150 lbs, AKA skinny as hell.

    Go with the 15", the size does not affect portability at all unless you are seriously that small that a pound would affect you that much. Only reason I can see it being an issue is if you physically carry around the laptop and not in a bag, but other than that it's non-issue.
  11. r3dhawk macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2010
    if you have a microcenter near by pick up the base 13. you'll save even more money to put towards whatever else you'll be needing (monitor, HDD, ms office, misc accessories...)

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