Which Mac?

<p>My son will be purchasing a Macbook for college also. You see, he was smart enough to have a party when we were out of town. Some kid went into his room and stole his Macbook. Luckily, we had insurance through Safeware...best money we ever spent..he was reimbursed $1000.</p>

<p>First off, his college offers a discount for students, about $100 off...if you are a freshman check to see if your school has discounts with Mac or for a PC. So the debate is...</p>

<p>13-inch: 2.66GHz or 15-inch: 2.4GHz? There is a $300 difference between the two models but we really do not want to spend an additional for the 15-inch 2.66 because it is close to $1000 more.</p>

<p>Thanks </p>

<p>PS: Sorry this was originally posted in another forum!!</p>

<p>Definitely go for the 2.4 ghz macbook pro. The $300 more you pay for the other model is a rip off. It's not even a big upgrade. Your son won't see a difference in college unless he's doing HARDCORE stuff. The upgrade mainly helps people who have real careers.</p>

<p>The 15inch macbook pro has the new core i5 Intel processor while the 13inch macbook pros still use last year's core 2 duo processors. The core i5 is MUCH faster than the core 2 duo (the low end core i5 is FASTER than the highend core 2 duo). The larger screen is also a pleasure to work with because it has a higher resolution. The 15inch also has a dedicated graphics card which is around 3x better than the one in the 13inch. The graphics card isn't just for gaming but also accelerating programs. A lot of programs are taking advantage of the power in the GPU to help alleviate processing power from the main CPU. To future proof his machine the 300$ is highly worth it. The Core 2 duo will start to feel outdated in about 2-3 years, while the core i5 in the 15inch will last a good 5-6 years before it "feels" slow. Computers start to "slow" down because newer programs will take advantage of an increase in CPU power. Definitely go for the 15inch. Tell him to pitch in some money for it. I work 2 jobs and I'm still in High School (but I graduate June 9th!!!).</p>

<p>Ok..so the 15-inch: 2.4GHz at $1699 is worth the additional $300, compared to the 13-inch: 2.66GHz? </p>

<p>Once he gets to college, how long until it is stolen? His Mac laptop was stolen out of his room at home by a "friend" of a friend..</p>

<p>Do kids in college use those laptop locks?</p>

<p>We are struggling with the same choices for our daughter, although I think that we have settled on the 13" MB Pro. She really likes the portability of the 13" and doesn't seem to mind the screen size (this would be a step up from her current iBook G4 with a 12" screen). Miami77 makes some good points. It is tempting to upgrade to the 15" with the Core i5 processor, but I think we aren't going to do it. If the i5 was offered in the 13" case, we probably would go for it.</p>

<p>Alf-I have continued to have the 13 inch vrs. 15 inch Mac conversation with my son..also questioned the portability issue. He seemed to think that it was not much of a difference but I suggested that he go to the Apple Store and really take a look at both...for actual screen size and weight. </p>

<p>I was wondering, do college students take computers with them to class with them?</p>

<p>I'm sorry to hear that his laptop was stolen. From friends that I have talked to in college, they have told me that some kids do use the laptop locks to secure their computers. The only time you would have to worry about a laptop being stolen is if you are careless. Your son really should have either locked his laptop with a lock, or hid it under the bed. It would not have gotten stolen if he did the latter. </p>

<p>The 15inch is still the better buy. I know it's $300 dollars, but the higher performing components will last longer before being outdated (this is only a benefit if his computer isn't stolen...). Also know that a computer is probably the most important item that your son or daughter will take to school. They will use it EVERYDAY. Their computer is used to type reports, make presentations, stay in contact with friends and family, and best of all, entertainment! (and more)</p>

<p>The 13inch macbook pro is slightly more portable; however, it only weighs 1lb less than the 15inch. Most people won't be able to discern a 1lb difference in their backpacks. The "footprint" or amount of desk space that the 13inch takes up is also only slightly less. For the more powerful components, bigger and more comfortable to use screen, you can't go wrong buying the 15inch macbook pro. Your son will absolutely love it.</p>

<p>I might sound like a sales rep. for apple, but I truly think their computers are the best one can buy. I also want your son to enjoy his laptop because as I said before, he will be using it everyday for just about everything.</p>

<p>I don't really have a solid suggestion for you, but I do want to play devils advocate for a second. First of all if you get the 13 inch...just get the 2.4 ghz one because the difference is not going to be very obvious..in real world testing through benchmark tests the difference is only about 5-10%. Now in terms of 13 vs 15, if you got for the lower end 13 inch then you're talking about a price differnce of 600 dollars. I think that this amount of money is not worth it because unless your son is going to be an engineer he really won't need that computing power. In day to day computing you're not going to be able to tell much. Of course if your son is going to be playing intense video games or doing photoshopping or video editing on top of his school work, then the i5 and more importantly the graphics card, which performs about twice the speed of the 13 inch integrated card on benchmark tests, is definitely worth it. Basically what I'm saying is you're comparing the wrong two machines. You should compare the 2.4 13 and the 2.4 15. In my opinion, with exception to thereasons above, you should go for the 2.4ghz 13 inch. Use that extra money to get him an external monitor which can double as a computer monitor and a tv. And even after that you'll have a saved a bunch more money. However if you're set on comparing the two computers you've been looking at, then Miami77 is definitely right. Extra 300 is worth it. Extra 600 isn't. So I guess I do have an opinion haha</p>

<p>Our daughter's iBook G4 12" was small enough to fit in a large handbag, or even inside a 3-ring binder. Even though it was getting on in age, she was quite attached to it and took it everywhere during her first year at college. Unfortunately, the graphics processor died (during the final week, of course), so it is time for a replacement. She went to the Apple store and immediately decided that the 13" size was the way to go; much thinner than her iBook and only slightly wider. So, for her the choice was mainly between a MB and a MB Pro. With the academic discount, there is only a $150 difference between them, and she liked the metal case and photo card slot.</p>

<p>A 15" MB would be fine, but she felt that it was a tad too large for her.</p>

<p>I showed my son all your posts...realized I forgot to mention that he is a guitar player and uses the Mac to compose and mix music (not to mention he does graphics) so I guess he does need a bit stronger processor...so I guess he should he go for the I5?</p>

<p>As noted by others, the Core i5 is a more modern processor that will significantly speed up applications that are built to take advantages of its capabilities. Also, the Core i5 is paired with a more capable graphics processor than the integrated one that comes with the Core 2 Duo, so most graphics-related tasks are sped up as well. </p>

<p>If the 15" size is more desirable and you are willing to pay the extra money, then a MB Pro with a Core i5 will have better performance and will probably be 'current' for a longer period of time.</p>

<p>Oh those things you mentioned probably make the i5 worth it. As long as he doesn't feel it's annoying towalk around with a little more weight then you're good</p>

<p>The Core I5 processor, as stated above, is a great investment if your son is looking for a powerful laptop with a 15" screen. However, I currently own the 13" Macbook Pro and have had no complaints with it. If your son is looking for something to take with him to class, home, travel, etc., the 13" MBP is a great portable computer that certainly gets the job done and will save him money if he is on a tight budget (which almost every college student is.)</p>

<p>Big Cat--My son is on a tight budget...he just hasn't realized it yet!! When October hits and he has gone through all his $$ for the semester...maybe he will get it ;)</p>

<p>I would go with the 15in. As someone who just finished his freshmen year, and with friends who had the 13in, I think its just too small for everyday use. I found my 15in MBP just the right combo between size and mobility. I had no problems bringing it to the library, even class if I choose. Its not too heavy, and the longer battery life is the icing on the cake.</p>

<p>Do not get the 2.66 Macbook 13 inch. It is a very negligible upgrade over the 2.4 model. The 15 and 17 inch models feature processors with hyper threading, which will make a huge improvement. The extra 300 dollars for the 2.66 Ghz macbook is a total waste.</p>

<p>Eh, I don't know if I'm too late to join the conversation but for what it's worth:</p>

<p>I'm a computer science major in my senior year and here are my opinions/observations:</p>

<p>-far too many people go out and spend a ton of money on a computer they probably are never going to make full use of (cell phones as well), so I would personally say to go for the 2.4 13" in that sense of the matter. Continuing on that note, while he may be doing sound recording and graphics, it still does not necessarily warrant the necessity of the faster processor. The 2.66 13" is a waste of money for it's improvement, and though the 15" has a nice processor including on-board graphics(Intel HD) and a dedicated graphics card(Nvidia) with an on-board switch it's not nearly as much better as people here are making it out to be. There is also a dedicated graphics card(Nvidia) on the 13", and though not as good as the 15" one, it's nothing to laugh at, and is still a fantastic card. Lastly on the note of processing speed, something to note on cores, it doesn't matter how many you have, if the application isn't meant to support it, it won't and will only use one core, which as popular as multicore systems are, a vast majority of applications do not support multicore processors, e.g. Adobe (creators of Photoshop, Premier, Bridge, etc.), in their whole creative suite only one of their programs actually support multi-core systems(Photoshop).</p>

<p>-Sound editing, movie editing, graphics, etc. will be more than fine on a MBP 13", just as proof, I am a computer science major who specializes and does research in Graphics, and used a 2007 Macbook regular, not even Pro until this year, and now I bought a MBP 15", and the only reason I even bought a new computer was because I was physically breaking my old computer from having basically lived with it for 3 years, and the only reason I moved up to such a big upgrade was because I got a research stipend from a grant to contribute to my laptop budget, otherwise I would have been happy to get a 13" MBP, the MBP's are a great deal nowadays.</p>

<p>-Lastly for my computer rant, don't listen to what other people have to say about engineering majors this, engineering majors that, Mac's will work fine, if you need Windows, BootCamp works wonderfully, and if you hate having a dual-boot you can run it in a virtual machine while running OSX. And imho, if he does get into programming, if he's programming anything other than microsoft based languages (visual anything, c#, etc.), a Mac will be wonderful, it has the programming conveniences of a unix machine, because its based off the FreeBSD kernel, and also has very convenient pathing for adding extensions to languages, not to mention all the languages that come pre-installed, (Java, Ruby, Python, etc.) and it comes with CD that will install more via Xcode(g++ and gcc compiler, etc.)</p>

<p>tl;dr? - Here's a summary
1. Most people buy too much computer than they will use
2. I've never had problems with even a lower model and 3 years old
3. It will be good regardless of major
Overall: get a mac, and a 13" MBP 2.4g at that</p>

<p>Anyways this is the end of my rant about why getting a Mac a good thing, and my end verdict is I think your son will be more than pleased with a MBP 13" 2.4, I know I would be/have been coming into college.</p>

<p>Warning: I did not re-read this for grammar and apologize for not having done so, but I have a test tomorrow and need to get back to studying.</p>

<p>last note, laptop locks are nigh useless in college as long as you trust your roommate and lock your doors, not to mention most of those things can be cut by anyone who actually wants your computer in a heartbeat, just be smart about keeping your laptop safe.</p>