2012 rMBP 13" vs. 2013 MBP 13" for Software Development

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rgawdzik, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2013
    Opps with the title! MBP 13" refers to an AIR :p


    These are my choices:

    Refurbished 2012 Retina Macbook Pro 13"
    • i5 2.5 Ghz
    • 8GB RAM
    • 128GB SSD
    • 5-7h battery life
    • Retina
    2013 Macbook Air 13" w/ Education Discount
    • i7 2.1 Ghz
    • 8GB RAM
    • 128GB SSD
    • 10-12h battery life
    • $100 Apple Gift Card

    Both are the same cost.

    Here is my lifestyle: I am a heavy software developer, as in I am using this computer as a portable desktop substitute. I can spend 5-12 hours of a time in a coding session.

    I am also a student, so I want this computer to last me at least 3-4 years. I don't like buying a computer every year (Windows machines :p).

    • I will be scaling the Retina to 1680x1050 if I use it, if not 1440x900. I need a big screen for software dev.
    • I might plug in another monitor when needed.

    This might be a hard choice :D
  2. macrumors 65816

    Dec 14, 2010
    Will the retina really offer you anything extra??
    Seems to me like it wont, hence I'd go with the faster CPU and increased battery life of the Air.
  3. macrumors G5


    Nov 25, 2005
    If you are working for hours and hours and hours, Retina display is heaven. And software developers often don't develop sitting in the park, but somewhere connected to power. However, I'd look at the cheapest 15" rMBP.
  4. macrumors member


    Jul 8, 2013
    SLC, UT
    I've owned the 2012 Macbook Air and recently sold it to purchase a new one. I've been agonizing over the same issues you have(refurb rMBP or MBA) and decided to go with the rMBP. I realize it's the near the end of the rMBP product cycle, but buying one of these machines for about $1300 after tax is the best deal you'll get on a retina screen for awhile.

    I am a student and would have loved the extra battery life in the new Haswell airs, but at the same time I spend 8 hours a day(most days) looking at the screen on my computer and I want to look at something stunningly beautiful. I've had the laptop now for about a week and have had zero problems with it. It's a bit smaller than air, but has a more substantial feel when you pick it up. The i5 handles everything I can throw at it(20 tabs in chrome, iWorks, photoshop, itunes, 1080P videos, and light gaming like Civ 5) and I'm excited to get more improvements when Mavericks comes out this fall(GPU accelerated UI graphics).

    You can go with the Air, but now everytime I look at my girlfriend's MBA I see a huge silver bezel around a subpar screen(thanks for that retina screen). I love being able to bump my screen real estate up to the highest setting and have 2 or 3 different windows fully display(great for writing research papers cause I don't have to keep switching spaces like I did on the MBA). Overall I would give this laptop a 9/10 value proposition at a $1300 price tag.
  5. macrumors 6502


    Mar 10, 2013
    buy the Pro and you will not get disappointed.... have you ever thought about 15 inch rMBP base model? it should start refurbished at 1449
  6. macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2010
  7. macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2008
    Where do you live? If you live in the US and have a Best Buy near you, they're basically selling the rMBP 13 BRAND NEW for about the same price as the MBA 13 if you qualify for student discount, so it's $1200 + tax for i5/8/128gb model and $1400 for the 256gb.

    The i5 CPU in the rMBP is only slightly slower in certain benchmarks and basically on par in real life apps.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2013
    Really? $1400 for 256Grmbp?
  9. macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2008
    Go here

    You'll have to google the on how to get an additional $100. It's found on the discount websites. You basically provide your .edu email address and then Best Buy emails you a $100 coupon that stacks on top. At those prices, the MBA becomes less appealing unless you really need the battery life and less weight.

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