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MBP 15 i5 or 13 with ssd--speed tradeoff?


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dandelion

 
Member Since: Jun 13, 2010
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I'm getting a new macbook pro, but I'm torn between the 15 inch and 13 inch. I'd be getting the high-end 13 inch with 160GB SSD drive, or the low-end 15 inch with 320GB serial ATA drive. Both of them come out costing the same with student discount. However, is there a speed tradeoff, or are they relatively the same? I love the portability of the 13-inch, but maybe core 2 duo is too outdated.

I've been reading about the core i5 processors, and I can't help wondering whether the speed improvements are the same with an i5 and regular HD as with a duo and SSD.

Also, I read somewhere that SSDs break down very quickly, lasting only 2 years or so. Is this true?

Thanks!
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cditty

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandelion View Post
I'm getting a new macbook pro, but I'm torn between the 15 inch and 13 inch. I'd be getting the high-end 13 inch with 160GB SSD drive, or the low-end 15 inch with 320GB serial ATA drive. Both of them come out costing the same with student discount. However, is there a speed tradeoff, or are they relatively the same? I love the portability of the 13-inch, but maybe core 2 duo is too outdated.

I've been reading about the core i5 processors, and I can't help wondering whether the speed improvements are the same with an i5 and regular HD as with a duo and SSD.

Also, I read somewhere that SSDs break down very quickly, lasting only 2 years or so. Is this true?

Thanks!
The SSD would 'feel' faster, even though the processor is slower in the 13".

That wouldn't help much, though if the software you use in your life needs power. The turbo boost in the i5/i7 can be great assets.

I've been using SSD's for about a year. They are new, so 'long-term' can't be testified to... I have never had a problem with an Intel and I use them in every computer I have at home and all of the ones at work where speed is an issue.

I would, however, get an Intel SSD... Not an OCZ.
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DarkestRitual

 
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Second that - intel's controllers are much better, so the speed is a lot higher.
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EndlessMac

 
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Dandelion as the old expression goes you are comparing Apples to Oranges so it's not an accurate comparison. The processor speed is for different uses than hard drive speed so they speed up different parts of the computer. They can't really be compared to each other. When you speed up both your computer as a whole gets faster.

For example if a software needs a powerful processor to do it's work then a faster hard drive isn't going to help. A faster hard drive will have speed benefits in areas such as opening up software for the first time, saving data, reading data, etc. In other words anything that requires accessing the hard drive. To actually run the software is the processor's job. People also make the same mistake when choosing between more RAM or faster processor. Ideally you would want to get good speeds from all three sections: the processor, RAM, and hard drive so that there is no bottle neck that slows down performance.

You can always upgrade the RAM and hard drive yourself but you have to buy a new computer in order to upgrade the processor so keep that in mind. You didn't tell us what you use your computer for because the 13" might be perfectly adequate for your needs. If you also like the compact size of the 13" then you need to decide if that is more important for you. You have to trade performance for portability because even the 15" is slower that a desktop Mac for the same price. Most average users won't need the faster processor speeds of the 15" MacBook Pros so you might be perfectly happy with the 13".
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