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Choosing which MacBook Pro Model

Last updated 2011-03-04 - Send Feedback
Related: Macs, Laptop, MacBook Pro, MacBook Pro and MacBook, Mac

See also how I configured my 17" MacBook Pro.

I opted for the 17" model because even a 15" display feels cramped when working with images, especially with palettes in Photoshop, etc.

For a slightly smaller form factor, the 15" model is excellent, but I do recommend getting the high resolution anti-glare screen option (which then brings its price very close to the 17" model).

The 13" model is a great choice too, with no compromises other than dual cores instead of quad-core. Those are fast dual cores, so for most users this is not a serious issue. Video users should stick to quad-core.

Key feature differences among the MacBook Pro 2011 model
  13" 15" 17"
CPU dual-core Intel Core i5 @ 2.3 GHz
dual-core Intel Core i7 @ 2.7 GHz
4-core at 2.0/2.2/2.3 GHz 4-core at 2.0/2.2/2.3 GHz
CPU cache memory 3MB for 2.3 GHz CPU
4MB for 2.7 GHz CPU
6MB with 2.0 or 2.2 GHz CPU
8MB with 2.3GHz CPU
6MB with 2.0 or 2.2 GHz CPU
8MB with 2.3GHz CPU
Max display resolution 1280 X 800 1680 X 1050 1920 X 1200
GPU (graphics) Intel HD Graphics 3000 Intel HD Graphics 3000 +
AMD Radeon HD 6490M /256GB OR
AMD Radeon HD 6750 /1GB
Intel HD Graphics 3000 +
AMD Radeon HD 6750 /1GB
Anti-glare option no yes yes
SDXC card slot yes yes no
ExpressCard/34 slot no no yes
Weight 4.5 pounds 5.6 pounds 6.6 pounds
Dimensions
12.78 X 8.94 X 0.95 14.35 X 9.82 X 0.95 15.47 X 10.51 X 0.98
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