MacBook 13.3 vs MacBook Pro 15

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Hello,



I have to get a new Intel Mac for college because my group in my Software Engineering class has voted as a team to use Windows (not my choice). I have been reading alot of stuff about the problems with the Macbooks and the Macbook Pros and I was wondering which one I should buy. I really need the laptop to be realiable, and I am getting kind of worried about the reviews I have been reading about the MacBook 13.3 laptop. I have to run a dual boot Mac OS X and Windows XP Pro.



I am leaning towards the MacBook Pro, I was just wondering what other people thought. Again I am a Software Engineer Major and I need my laptop to be able to run Windows XP Pro and Microsoft Visual Studio.



Personally I would not do our project in Visual Studio but I have to go along with the team.



ALSO should I wait for the Core 2 Duo to come out in the MacBook Pro.



Thank you so much,

iGrant

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    My personal advice would be to get the MacBook Pro, and wait a few more weeks for Merom. I think that the graphics in the MBP will be what suites your needs best, and to be honest, if you have the money it's worth it. I have a MacBook and it's nice, I have no complaints at all, but the extra screen space and better graphics would have been nice.
  • Reply 2 of 20
    Actually I'd like to hear what people think about the MB vs MBP too. Amazon has the 1.83ghz MBP for $1500 after rebate so that makes it way too close to the Black Macbook price to ignore.



    So given the choice of 1.82ghz MBP vs 2.0ghz MB then which would you prefer? Are the heat/logic board issues enough to warrant one over the other?
  • Reply 3 of 20
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,177moderator
    Of course, between a black Macbook and a Macbook Pro, I'd go for the MBP but I would never go for the overpriced MB. The reality is that the lowest end MB is about half the lowest end MBP. The chips inside them are very close in terms of speed so the biggest difference is the GPU.



    For software engineering, a good GPU probably won't be useful unless you're hanging with nerd at a LAN party playing games. For software compilation, the MB will be fine.



    Here are some plus and minus points:



    glossy display MB 0 MBP 1 - you can choose matte on the MBP

    magnetic latch MB 1 MBP 0

    GPU MB 0 MBP 1

    case durability MB 0 MBP 1

    price MB 1 MBP 0

    keyboards equal IMO



    Overall, I'd say it's a tie but it depends on your budget and your needs. If I was a CS student again, I'd go for the MB just because I was poor and it would have suited my needs.
  • Reply 4 of 20
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monkeybutler


    Actually I'd like to hear what people think about the MB vs MBP too. Amazon has the 1.83ghz MBP for $1500 after rebate so that makes it way too close to the Black Macbook price to ignore.



    So given the choice of 1.82ghz MBP vs 2.0ghz MB then which would you prefer? Are the heat/logic board issues enough to warrant one over the other?



    The latest update took care of the heat issues for me. Now my MacBook only reaches a warm temperature vs. uncomfortably warm.
  • Reply 5 of 20
    igrantigrant Posts: 180member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maimezvous


    The latest update took care of the heat issues for me. Now my MacBook only reaches a warm temperature vs. uncomfortably warm.



    So the overheating issue in the MB has since been taken care of. If I buy a brand new MB I will not have to worry about the computer crapping out on me? The thing is that I really love the portability of my 12 inch G4 iBook, its small and it works great except for the fact that I can not run Windows Natively. If the heatting issue has been resolved then I am leaning towards the MB because of portability.



    I write software, I love programming. Right now I am working on some of my first Mac Apps that I am going to release soon and I would love to have a machine that I can test to make sure it is universal. I just want a laptop that won't crap out on me, because the iBook G4 has been amazingly great.



    Thanks

    iGrant
  • Reply 6 of 20
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    case durability MB 0 MBP 1



    What leads you to this conclusion? The iBook Dual USB / iBook G4 / MacBook case is very robust, more so than the PowerBook G4 Aluminum / MacBook Pro one.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    The MacBook most likely will not crap out on you. I purchased mine in June and I have not had any problems at all. It was just a bit hot on the underside and around the MagSafe, but it's definitely cooler now. Just as a side note, during the first week I did have a couple kernel panics but that has not happened since. I would recommend that MacBook now that I know that you don't really need the graphics. Use that money for more RAM. By the way, what type of programs are you writing? I'm just curious.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    igrantigrant Posts: 180member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maimezvous


    The MacBook most likely will not crap out on you. I purchased mine in June and I have not had any problems at all. It was just a bit hot on the underside and around the MagSafe, but it's definitely cooler now. Just as a side note, during the first week I did have a couple kernel panics but that has not happened since. I would recommend that MacBook now that I know that you don't really need the graphics. Use that money for more RAM. By the way, what type of programs are you writing? I'm just curious.



    Anything I can think of, I know Java fairly well, I do not consider myself an expert because there are always people better, but I know how to use the API to my advantage. For the Mac Apps side however, I am working on a very simple browser. I have never found a browser that I thought fitted exactly what I wanted so I am making one.



    Thanks

    iGrant
  • Reply 9 of 20
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,177moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker


    What leads you to this conclusion? The iBook Dual USB / iBook G4 / MacBook case is very robust, more so than the PowerBook G4 Aluminum / MacBook Pro one.



    The plastic scratches quite easily and shows up fingerprints. My brother just got a Macbook and I can already see faint scratches on the outside. My powerbook is years old and looks like it just came out the shop.



    The build quality of the Macbook is far better than the old ibook but still not as good as the powerbook/MBP line not that I expect it to be.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    igrantigrant Posts: 180member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    The plastic scratches quite easily and shows up fingerprints. My brother just got a Macbook and I can already see faint scratches on the outside. My powerbook is years old and looks like it just came out the shop.



    The build quality of the Macbook is far better than the old ibook but still not as good as the powerbook/MBP line not that I expect it to be.



    For me its been the exact opposite, my iBook is a year old and the case is in really good condition, I am not saying its perfect, you look close and you can see some scuffs and scratches, but if you look at it from a foot away it looks like new. I have seen so many powerbook that have the bottoms riddled with scratch marks. Its kind of amazing how bad they look at times.



    Again that is just from what I have noticed.



    -iGrant
  • Reply 11 of 20
    axc51axc51 Posts: 98member
    Figured I'd chime in here and give iGrant my two cents...



    My girlfriend and I are both graduate students at the local university here. She owns the black MB which is stock except for a 2GB RAM upgrade. I have the best 15" MBP Apple configuration has to offer right now (fortunately I didn't have to pay for it, rather my boss did). You can read some more about the problems my girlfriend has had here: http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=65573.



    My MBP has had 0 problems. Maybe I'm lucky? But perhaps I'm not... keep in mind that us happy Mac owners don't necessarily come out of the wood-workings and gloat about the "perfect" Mac experiences. People who have problems are vocal about it (as they should be). That said, the only real problem I had was a slightly squeaky spacebar key which I took the local Genius Bar and they fixed it within 15 minutes.



    Now comparing the 2.0ghz MB with 2GB RAM and the 2.16GB MBP with 2GB RAM. Personally, I notice a difference. The asthetic qualities: MB has the cool magnetic lid and the black color, MBP has the larger screen (15.4", in my case), both keyboards are fine, MBP has the keyboard backlight, MBP has the dual-link DVI port, etc.



    A lot of those things are personal preference and mainly for what you use your computer for. My girlfriend uses her MB for some light research, but mostly web, email, etc. I, on the other hand, use my MBP for quite a bit more... namely running MATLAB and other research programs which are not only CPU intensive, but graphics intensive and RAM intensive (I usually hit swap pretty quickly, unfortunately). Speed-wise, my MBP is faster in every aspect to the MB, but then again it costed over a grand more. Personally, I couldn't use a MB for the things I use my MBP for. However my girlfriend could use either. So it all depends on the use that you want with it. Since you'll want to run Win XP I'd recommend the MBP. Boot Camp should run fine on either, but Parallels, to me, runs noticeably faster on my MBP.



    Hope that helps!
  • Reply 12 of 20
    My opinion, I feel that the MBP's features does not really warrant the extra price esp. if your considering the 15" MBP. There were a few features like a dual drive that the 15" does not offer whilst the MB does. I think that the MB has the best value so if you don't need it for the graphic card, go the Macbook : )
  • Reply 13 of 20
    igrantigrant Posts: 180member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by axc51


    Figured I'd chime in here and give iGrant my two cents...



    My girlfriend and I are both graduate students at the local university here. She owns the black MB which is stock except for a 2GB RAM upgrade. I have the best 15" MBP Apple configuration has to offer right now (fortunately I didn't have to pay for it, rather my boss did). You can read some more about the problems my girlfriend has had here: http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=65573.



    My MBP has had 0 problems. Maybe I'm lucky? But perhaps I'm not... keep in mind that us happy Mac owners don't necessarily come out of the wood-workings and gloat about the "perfect" Mac experiences. People who have problems are vocal about it (as they should be). That said, the only real problem I had was a slightly squeaky spacebar key which I took the local Genius Bar and they fixed it within 15 minutes.



    Now comparing the 2.0ghz MB with 2GB RAM and the 2.16GB MBP with 2GB RAM. Personally, I notice a difference. The asthetic qualities: MB has the cool magnetic lid and the black color, MBP has the larger screen (15.4", in my case), both keyboards are fine, MBP has the keyboard backlight, MBP has the dual-link DVI port, etc.



    A lot of those things are personal preference and mainly for what you use your computer for. My girlfriend uses her MB for some light research, but mostly web, email, etc. I, on the other hand, use my MBP for quite a bit more... namely running MATLAB and other research programs which are not only CPU intensive, but graphics intensive and RAM intensive (I usually hit swap pretty quickly, unfortunately). Speed-wise, my MBP is faster in every aspect to the MB, but then again it costed over a grand more. Personally, I couldn't use a MB for the things I use my MBP for. However my girlfriend could use either. So it all depends on the use that you want with it. Since you'll want to run Win XP I'd recommend the MBP. Boot Camp should run fine on either, but Parallels, to me, runs noticeably faster on my MBP.



    Hope that helps!



    Ok I have a question for you, do you think Windows Xp Pro and Microsoft Visual Studio .net would run better on a MBP rather than a MB.



    Thanks

    iGrant
  • Reply 14 of 20
    axc51axc51 Posts: 98member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGrant


    Ok I have a question for you, do you think Windows Xp Pro and Microsoft Visual Studio .net would run better on a MBP rather than a MB.



    Thanks

    iGrant



    It's hard to answer a programming question, without knowing what you plan on programming. If you're doing 3D visualization or rendering using OpenGL, then MBP, otherwise MB should work fine as well. Do you plan to use Boot Camp or Parallels? If Boot Camp then either should be fine, but if Parallels, then MBP.



    I think that although the MB may give you more bang for the buck, the MBP should last you many more years as software becomes more bloated and programming requirements get higher.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    igrantigrant Posts: 180member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by axc51


    It's hard to answer a programming question, without knowing what you plan on programming. If you're doing 3D visualization or rendering using OpenGL, then MBP, otherwise MB should work fine as well. Do you plan to use Boot Camp or Parallels? If Boot Camp then either should be fine, but if Parallels, then MBP.



    I think that although the MB may give you more bang for the buck, the MBP should last you many more years as software becomes more bloated and programming requirements get higher.



    Thanks for you input, I am not doing anythign 3D intensive at all, I can run Windows on my iBook emulated, and I am so sick of running emulated OS (long story) but at the same time I do not want to own two laptops to do all my work.



    Thanks again axc51

    -iGrant
  • Reply 16 of 20
    axc51axc51 Posts: 98member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGrant


    Thanks for you input, I am not doing anythign 3D intensive at all, I can run Windows on my iBook emulated, and I am so sick of running emulated OS (long story) but at the same time I do not want to own two laptops to do all my work.



    Thanks again axc51

    -iGrant



    No problem. Sounds like the MB should work well for you then, as long as you don't mind the screen size and glossy-ness. Parallels on the MB will even run orders of magnitude faster than Virtual PC on your iBook.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    igrantigrant Posts: 180member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by axc51


    No problem. Sounds like the MB should work well for you then, as long as you don't mind the screen size and glossy-ness. Parallels on the MB will even run orders of magnitude faster than Virtual PC on your iBook.



    Hehehe I was cheap, I did not even use Virtual PC, I was using GuestPC . . . . college student, I am cheap.



    - iGrant
  • Reply 18 of 20
    axc51axc51 Posts: 98member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGrant


    Hehehe I was cheap, I did not even use Virtual PC, I was using GuestPC . . . . college student, I am cheap.



    - iGrant



    Hehe, that's very understandable... Sometime the school offers software for their students, which is what we have here. They just buy a ton of licenses from the vendors and allow the students to d/l their installs and licenses.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    I agonized over the same choice, because what I really want was the non-existent 13" MacBook Pro. I eventually went with the 15" MBP because when the MB came out, although it still wasn't quite everything I wanted, it seemed too close in features to the Pro line for my dreamed-of 13" MBP to ever come to pass, at least any time soon.



    My previous feature comparison at the time I bought my MBP (first reply in thread):



    http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=63767
  • Reply 20 of 20
    benzenebenzene Posts: 338member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by axc51


    My girlfriend and I are both graduate students at the local university here. She owns the black MB which is stock except for a 2GB RAM upgrade.



    Heh, I read that line and I thought for a second "wait, I don't remember posting in this thread."



    Same story here, my wife has a black MB, also w/ maxed out RAM and (once it gets here) a 100G Momentus (7200RPM) drive. However, she hasn't had a single problem with it. Yeah, it does get pretty hot around the power connector, but other than that it's an incredible piece of engineering.



    I call it "the blackbird".
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