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15" or 17"

Discussion in 'General Software & Hardware Forum:' started by Kevin, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin Senior Member

    I'll be buying a laptop from an unnamed fruit shop :rolleyes:
    Which size should I buy? It will be for college so I'll be dragging it around everywhere I go.

    I've heard that the 17" model really is quite big to be lugging around. Any opinions?
  2. Thewholehogg

    Thewholehogg Active Member

    I use a 17" MBP when I'm out and about as well as hooked up to the monitor in the office.
    Really even though the 17" screen is big it's just not big enough for general use (in my opinion).
    I use it as a dual monitor with a 24" big screen.

    It's a great machine but a tad to big for slinging into your back pack and such.

    So I would go 15" and buy a large monitor for studio use.
    An Apple keyboard and mouse (any decent make) makes for a great set up.
  3. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    I'd agree with getting the smaller (and as such lighter) model if you're going to be lugging it around college. You can always add a second display if you want. I'd also suggest getting the higher res (1680x1050) screen option on the laptop :)
  4. Jimlad

    Jimlad Well-Known Member

    MacBook Air - 13.3" display and probably the most portable fruit-based laptop you'll find. If you've got the pennies.

    0.16-0.76 inch (0.4-1.94 cm)
    12.8 inches (32.5 cm)
    8.94 inches (22.7 cm)
    3.0 pounds (1.36 kg)
  5. Kevin

    Kevin Senior Member

    It's not so much about having the most portable one. It's more about having the best one that is still portable :p

    The 15" comes in three models, but I'm not a very techy kinda guy, so maybe someone could explain, in plain English (or Dutch :p) what these differences mean?

    First: 2.4GHz vs 2.53GHz vs 2.66GHz
    Next: Intel Core i5 vs i7
    And finally: NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M 256 MB vs ditto 512 MB

    It needs to run the entire CS5 suite smoothly (but mainly PS and Ai) and preferably be able to run some games (either in a virtual machine, or natively on Steam [think of games like TF2 and CS:S]).
  6. tim

    tim Senior Member

    im sure levi will come up with tech crap, but all you have to worry about are the apps you'll use.

    photoshop and illustrator with web dev like right now?

    get base model. still powerful enough. and snow leopard is awesomely awesome with it's grand central dispatch so you'll get more cores than you'll ever need.

    btw i have a 15" nearly got a 17", 15" is bad enough to lug around i cant imagine a 17". personally if i could take a step back i'd buy the 13" and get a good monitor to hook it up to at home.


    games? oh i just read that, i dunno about games i genuinely have never picked any up...
  7. allyally2k

    allyally2k Senior Member

    I'd say go for 17. That's what I've got. Whatever you choose it'll always be fairly heavy. Is there much difference in weight?
  8. tim

    tim Senior Member

    not really, about half a kilogram, but is it easy to keep a 17" bag with you all the time? it's huge!?

    lemme know im curious
  9. allyally2k

    allyally2k Senior Member

    I don't think It's that huge to carry at all, but that's all I'm use to. Id say the extra inches on the screen are worth the extra half kg. But of course 17 is more expensive.
  10. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    ok I'll go the techy crap route then :p

    clock speed, you'll not really notice a difference there
    i5 vs i7 - it doesn't really make a huge difference on the laptop front with mac's as they're both dual core options, if it was an i7 quad then it would be different and it would be the same as with desktop cpu which would be i7 over i5 in my view if you know you will use all the cores.
    gpu - 512mb, cs5 should utilise the gpu to help speed things etc up so more ram is better. It should also perform slightly better in games although the 330 is mid range at best so isn't exactly that powerful in terms of raw performance so don't expect too much from it in games.

    Old games should be ok which iirc steam is relatively older games
  11. Thewholehogg

    Thewholehogg Active Member

    I wouldn't go for a MaBook Air. Nice but not really what your after.
    That lack of optical drive is a major no no. Yes I know you can buy the extra plug n play box but why bother. MBP all the way and I agree with others in saying you could get a way with the 13"er.
    No problem with PS or Illy...Plenty of extra RAM would be money well spent however.
  12. Thewholehogg

    Thewholehogg Active Member

    Games...I have a 120Gb PS3 slim and an iPhone...all you need.
    There's a Wii (gathering dust and 2 DSLites)in the house. All rarely used.

    Never played games with my various Macs....
  13. Jimlad

    Jimlad Well-Known Member

    Same here. At least I know my PS3 will definitely run PS3 and PS1 games no bother, same for my Wii and iPhone. But with Mac/PC games the goalposts are always moving and you need to either regularly upgrade or adapt the settings of the game to suit your system. Where's the fun in all that hassle?

    Unless you're really into PC/Mac -exclusive games and genres (RTS games often don't work well on consoles) I doubt it's worth worrying about generally.
  14. Kevin

    Kevin Senior Member

    Well I'm just a TF2 and CS:S addict :lol:
    I have a PS3 at home to play the "modern" games but it probably won't be coming to college with me.

    Right now, Steam for Mac has horrible performance on my iMac. I can't tell whether it's my system or their software. The games run fine in a virtual machine, I don't see why they wouldn't when playing natively. If anything, they should run smoother.
  15. Jimlad

    Jimlad Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the mentality of the people behind Steam.

    While it is widely agreed that Valve make excellent games (Portal being my fav), the only recently even showed interest in working fully with the PS3 hardware. Sure they had the Orange Box ported to PS3, but it didn't run anywhere near as well as the PC or Xbox360 versions because those are Valve's preferred platforms. Gabe Newell famously referred to the console as "a waste of everybody's time" ... he has since apologised and, following a big deal with Sony to release Portal 2 on the PS3, labelled PS3 "the most open console" and basically done a 180.

    Considering the company's love-affair with the Microsoft platforms, it stands to reason that Steam for Mac will still need a lot of tweaking.
  16. tim

    tim Senior Member

    Virtual quad cores- gcd in snow leopard
  17. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    the mobile dual core i5 and i7 used in the macbook pro both have hyperthreading meaning they both have 2 cores plus 2 virtual cores, the only real difference is the cache size and iirc the clock of the built in gpu. This realistically means very little difference in overall performance outside of the clock speed differences.

    The mobile quad i7's have 4 real cores plus 4 virtual cores which is great for things like rendering but no so much on battery life :)

    On the desktop it's typical intel - they have dual i5's (6xx) with hyperthreading and quad i5's (7xx) without hyperthreading lol
    i5 7xx does not have hyperthreading whereas the i7 (8xx and 9xx with different socket etc) does, they're both native quad core cpu's (with 4 virutal on i7) as well.
  18. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    Just seen this, my friend who lived in Brussels came back to the UK the buy his MBP as the euro/tax/price worked out cheaper. Not sure what you could do, apart from getting a train over here.
  19. glenwheeler

    glenwheeler Senior Member

    I dont think 17" is too bad really. Mine is perfect at 17.2" and its extremly light..if your a designer I definatly would'nt be going for a 15"..
  20. Thewholehogg

    Thewholehogg Active Member

    Glen, have you switched to the Mac world?. I though I saw a sparkle in your eye at the Apple Store.

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