Macbook Pro 13" vs 15"

Ok, I'm really considering making the jump to a macbook for my writing before I get started on my band music this summer. I've been a Dell user for quite some time so I'm familiar with how windows machines handle the different specs. I'm not as up to speed on the mac side of things.

I'm a Sibelius 6 user and I'm wondering if there is a noticeable difference between the 13"; dual core versions or the 15"; quad core from a performance standpoint.

If I get a 13"; with 8GB of RAM and a 5400 rpm hard drive, would that have a good enough performance to handle a full band score along with my battery and front ensemble parts?
I know I'm a little late to the party, but I'd throw in my 2c.

The 13in is nice for weight and runs Sib and VDL just fine. However there are some good reasons to go for the 15 and I think you'll be happy with it. For one, the 13 inch has a hybrid audio in/out port so you can't use both in and out at the same time. Sometimes annoying. I like using my optical ins and outs a lot and you just can't do it on the 13.

Another plus for the 15 is that it will have a dedicated graphics card which will help out scrolling is Sib (not to mention games!!!)

It should be said that I use the stock 5400 rpm drive and I have no issues whatsoever. Sure it's not as fast at my Mac Pro Raid setup, but it's certainly not  slow ( like my old 12in powerbook g4 laptop good lord that took forever)

Have fun!
[quote author=Bryan Harmsen link=topic=4035.msg21232#msg21232 date=1307974653]
The key term is ";hybrid"; solid state drive. It's probably the Momentus XT, which retails for around $99 right now.
[/quote]Oops, I wasn't reading carefully enough. Sorry.
Everything is going great so far. I'm liking the capabilities of the way this MBP is set up. however, I'm ecountering some difficulties in getting my VDL set up and running that I've posted in the support forum. I have everything installed, however Sibelius can't seem to find my sound samples.
Hey man - how did the new MBP turn out?
[quote author=Bryan Harmsen link=topic=4035.msg21232#msg21232 date=1307974653]
The key term is ";hybrid"; solid state drive. It's probably the Momentus XT, which retails for around $99 right now.
[/quote]

Yes, Thats exactly what is in it. Seems like it is a bit faster than a 7200 RPM hard drive but not exactly a full solid stae
The key term is ";hybrid"; solid state drive. It's probably the Momentus XT, which retails for around $99 right now.
Are you sure it has a 500GB SSD? That drive alone costs $1,400 dollars if you were to buy it today.

If it does have that drive, good for you, but I would be wary of computer specs you find on Ebay.
Sounds like a great system. Enjoy the speedy new upgrade!
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I ended up buying a brand new 15"; on Ebay that has been upgraded with 8GB of RAM and a 500 GB Seagate Hybrid Solid State Hard Drive. I'm looking forward to receiving it and getting set up to write with for the Summer.
[quote author=gbass598 link=topic=4035.msg21189#msg21189 date=1307467137]
... I'm familiar with how windows machines handle the different specs. I'm not as up to speed on the mac side of things.

I'm a Sibelius 6 user and I'm wondering if there is a noticeable difference between the 13"; dual core versions or the 15"; quad core from a performance standpoint.[/quote]Dell laptops and Mac laptops use the same CPUs. I can run Sibelius with VDL and a full score using a dual-core CPU and 4GB of RAM. The CPU is 2-3 years old and there are occasional slight hiccups during playback. I'm sure a modern dual-core CPU would be fine.

I also run Sibelius on my desktop with the system in my signature, and that will play back full scores with zero hiccups. Neither of these systems is brand new.
I can't say with certainty that the 13"; dual core [i]wouldn't[/i] work for you. It may very well. Lately, it seems like pretty much any Macs will work pretty well out of the box for getting up-and-running with this sort of thing.

But you're looking to dive into some pretty hefty scores with full winds, battery, pit. With that in mind, spring for the best processor you can, and pad the RAM as much as you can. It may seem like more up front, but will likely pay off in efficiency down the road.
I've been a mac user for about 8 years now.

I started with a 17"; G5 Powerbook and that was awesome.
Jumped to a 24"; iMac.
Now I'm on a 17"; MBP and it's awesome.  I don't miss the giant screen of the 24";.  This is a great machine and is a workhorse.

So, go 15";.
And upgrade your ram as well.
Get the 15"; Greg.
The processor is where you don't want to skimp, so if you've got the dough I'd definitely pop for the 15"; quad core. Plus you're going to want all the extra screen real estate you can get, considering you're going to be working with full band scores. I work on a 24"; monitor all day and still wish I could get a 30"; to have more room.

As far as the hard drive goes, it would be wise to upgrade to at least a 7200rpm drive, if not going ahead and getting one of these bad boys:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148591. I just installed that thing a few weeks ago and have noticed a considerable difference in load times and HDD searches and such.

If you were doing just percussion I think you'd be fine with the 13";, but considering that you're going to be doing a bit more, it would behove you to get the better machine.
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