Gf got me an apple gift card, which Macbook would YOU buy

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JeffiJers, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2012
    Early Xmas present from the woman, wont see her over the holidays.

    Apple Gift card worth 1450$

    Student priced Retina 13 or 15?

    As much as i dislike the value of the 13, i dont have any complaints about the base model. I dont keep large amounts of media on any computer (NAS/external)

    Travel a lot, always on the go weather it be for business or grad school.

    Would be my desktop replacement.

    Main uses; VM windows for accounting and small data base programs.
    Chrome, minor web development, minor photoshop (could change fast if i pull the trigger on a D600).

    13inch would nto cost much out of pocket, 150-200? (like that it was just released, no replacement anytime soon)
    15inch would be bigger and a lot more powerful but cost near 600$ out of pocket. (will i be pissed they release a new one come 3 months from now?)

    Would be base model. no need for upgrades with my use as of now.

    Would possibly get a thunderbolt display down the road.

    sorry i know these threads come along all the time but hey how else would we spend our time on this forum! thanks.
  2. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    On the go a lot? 13" all the way.
  3. macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
    Just from reading I would say that because you travel a lot and want the new camera go with the 13".

    One could pull in arguments for the 15" too though.


    Yeah that's what I thought, however it's a desktop replacement too - the 13" is not a desktop replacement.
  4. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    He has to decide what is best for him and what truly more important. I love the 13" size.
  5. macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2011
    My pick would be the Retina 13". You did mention travel a lot. My 15" MBP don't even fit on the airplane tray. But the regular 13" MBP screen resolution is too low. The 13" Retina have good resolution, compact. You can always plug it to a Dell UltraSharp at home. I also like my 13" MB Air too. That may also be your option since you don't need a lot of storage.

    However, you haven't mention anything about you need a Mac. If the first item you listed is running Windows VM then why not just get a PC. It's much cheaper.
  6. macrumors 65816

    Jul 23, 2011
    13" is inherently more portable than 15"

    15" is inherently much more powerful (almost over 2x), and is also a much better value overall.

    If you use any VM at all, then 16GB RAM is almost a requirement on a Retina Mac (not a problem on non-Retina Mac, by the way), and only the 15" can be upgraded to 16GB.

    Also quad-core processor + dedicated GPU will help a lot with Photoshop.
  7. macrumors 68030


    Nov 3, 2011
    I personally prefer the 15 - I dont mind traveling with it.
  8. macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
    These relations are correct but somewhat unrealistic/hard to test. For instance the 2x faster stat? 2x faster at what - the boot times will be close to the same.

    16gb is not a requirement for VM unless the VM use is REALLY heavy.

    You will only notice the extra power when using photoshops more complex filters on larger images.

    I stand by my recommendation for the 13"


    I do a little traveling with my 15" and quite frankly if I did any more I would prefer a 13"
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2012
    its a rather hard choice right? wish apple would have done more for the 13.

    my windows use is only for Peachtree Accounting (basic maybe 30mg program) and Alpha Five database (again super small program) so VM doesnt demand a lot just needs to run smoothly.

    photoshop would be on OSX.

    its almost a coin toss. i dont mind 13 or 15. 13 is more portable sure, 15 is a better dest top replacement. 15 has more power. 15 is a bunch more money out of pocket.

    should have made this a poll.. forgot, maybe i can edit.
  10. macrumors 65816

    Jul 23, 2011
    2x faster while running VM. Having 2 extra cores means you can run the VM without taxing CPU cores running system processes.

    It's also 2x faster while running Photoshop. Or in fact, scratch that. It's more than 2x faster.,3208-13.html

    I have yet to see any way to enable OpenCL on Intel HD 4000, so the dedicated GPU in the 15" rMBP does bring some huge advantage.

    And 16GB is actually necessary because on Retina Mac, most apps take up more RAM to do the same tasks. The reason is because now they have to display interface graphics and other stuffs at 4x the pixel count. 4x the pixel count means 4x the size.

    That's not to mention most browsers, including Safari, have nasty memory leaks that cause the browser alone to inflate memory usage to 2-3GB easily.
  11. macrumors regular


    Jul 31, 2012
    Bournemouth, UK
    This would be GPU intensive, not RAM intensive.
  12. macrumors 65816

    Jul 23, 2011
    It is RAM intensive. Since there is no hardware processor that allows Apple to do 2x scaling, they have to scale it via the CPU... and the CPU can only manipulate assets in RAM. That's why it's RAM intensive.
  13. macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
    ram =/= vram


    Register, cache, ram, Hard drive, peripheral buses...
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    15 all the way!
  15. macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2010
    On the 13" the vram is shared with the ram
  16. macrumors 603

    Aug 3, 2006
    He has an Apple gift card, he probably can't use it on a PC.
  17. macrumors 65816

    Jul 23, 2011
    Interface scaling on Retina Mac is done via CPU. And CPU can only access RAM.

    Also if any app wants to cache interface graphics so as to not have to load it up again every time, then it caches that graphic inside RAM.

    So RAM is used up faster than VRAM.
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    That's a WAY nice gift to get from the GF. I'd be suspicious, LOL!

    Something is expected of you and I wouldn't use the gift card until you know what that is.

    Once you figure it out get an rMBP-15. By that time they'll have released the next model (or maybe two) and it'll be faster, better, more reliable, and have more realistically priced storage options.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    Nottingham, UK
    15" for the VMs as you can be more flexible in terms of the hardware resources that you can assign. How many CPU cores, how much VRAM etc.

    You mention a D600 could change how you use Photoshop so for this reason I'd have to say 15" again, much more power.

    Personally I feel the price gap between the two is too small. It seems common sense to pay that bit extra and get something that will last performance wise for longer.

    it all depends on how serious you think you may be getting about running VMs and photo work, if not then get something that will be easy to carry about and be more practical to use in cramped spaces. If you are though then get the Mac that will be the better tool.
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2012
    Well I am glad I made this thread. A lot of information to consider.

    I guess I am running into a wall now, thought the 13" had enough power for my somewhat basic needs.

    Per the VM , I don't believe it will ever be heavy use.. maybe an hour a day in the accounting program and the other is just to print out labels/packing slips/invoice. I slowly want to convert the buisness over to osx but for now it is windows. So I need the Mac to run windows only for those needs. Choice of VM would be xp 32 bit if that helps at all.

    To the 15 guys... do you feel like you need a desk to use it ? I do use the computer sitting on a couch and in bed but solely for entertainment. Not work. Would suck giving that up. IPad isn't an option to "help" that sorry.

    Last thing, the 15 with upgraded ram is out of my budget. 15 is stretching it as is. I would never feel comfortable having that 2200$ computer on my side while traveling within the city etc.

    Does that change anything on your input ?
  21. macrumors 604

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I hope you really buy or do something nice for your girlfriend after she gives you such a nice gift.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2010
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    A 15 inch retina mbp thats what i plan on getting
  23. macrumors 68020


    Jul 13, 2008
    Your girlfriend must really be expecting something big - either you've been buying her really expensive jewelry or she's waiting for a proposal ;).
  24. macrumors 65816


    Jun 11, 2007
    Virginia Beach
    I personally would tack on a little extra cash and grab the 15". If you don't want to she'll out to much money, get the 13" retina. It is an awesome computer. I had one for about 2 weeks. Eventually wound up trading up for a 15" rMBP.

    Easy choice really.
  25. macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2012

    That is why the wife and I got 15" and will hold onto them for at least 3 years of applecare. Go 15" if at all possible.

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