Help With Buying my first Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macnoob22, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2011
    So the first Macbook Pro that caught my eye was this refurbished one here:|camref:11l4k&cid=AOS-US-AFF-PHG#overview

    For $1,359 it seems like a pretty good deal although it's out of stock right now, and I'm currently torn regarding three factors:

    1. Do I really need a Retina Display?

    2. Should I go for the 13" or 15" MBP?

    3. Is now a good time to buy a Macbook Pro or should I wait?

    Any advice would be appreciated!

  2. macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2009
    Really, only you can answer those questions.

    As regards the display, go to a local store and compare the two side by side. I was blown away by the Retina, even though I went in hoping that I'd decide it wasn't such a big deal. Your reaction may be different. Nobody can tell you what it will be.

    Size: what do you plan to do with your computer, how much will you carry it around, and how do you feel about carrying a larger one? Again, nobody can answer that. I'm one of those weirdos who walks up big hills with 20 lbs. or more on my back and calls it "fun," so my present 17" MBP is not too large or heavy for me. Again, nobody can tell you how you feel about that, or how much value the extra screen size will have for you (unless you tell us more about what you plan to run on it, which you haven't done yet). (To some extent, and again depending on what you're doing, the extra pixels on a 13" with Retina display can offset the larger screen size of a 15" non-Retina.)

    Timing: No matter when you buy an MBP, there will be a faster/cheaper/better one out in six months. That is equally true of any other computer from any manufacturer. Unless you're planning to buy new, which you're not, and the rumor mill has an announcement coming in a few weeks, which it doesn't, I wouldn't worry about this. It will take a while for any new model to show up in the Apple Store's refurb section.
  3. macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010
    SF Bay Area
    Here are my thoughts, if you don't mind I'll answer in reverse order because I kind of think that #3 is the most important one.

    3. In my experience, it is almost always better to wait when buying a computer. If you need it right away go ahead and get it. But, if it isn't a current need waiting will generally allow you to get more power for your dollar.

    2. In choosing between a 13 or a 15 several factors come into play, but the most critical factors are; what is the computer for?(is this just for web browsing and email, or are you doing serious graphics work and gaming) and how are you going to use it? (are you a student or a professional who will carry this around all the time) IMO both are really nice and the 15 offers more power (better graphics and processors) and a bigger screen, but comes with an increase in weight (pro-pro, retina-retina) and obviously an increase in price.

    1. Do you really need a retina? Well again, I would need to know what the computer is to be used for to answer that with certainty. But, IMO if you need to ask the answer is likely no. Retina is nice looking and gives you a ton of screen real estate on a 13". However, the 13" only has the intel integrated graphics in it so you aren't going to be able to really play a game (if you care about gaming) at good frame rates.(at native resolution) Retina on the 15" is nice but you can add a high resolution display to the base model for only $100, it isn't quite retina of course but it is still a ton of screen real estate. With those caveats about the screen in place, the retina's also have flash memory instead of rotating hard drives, that is a major plus.

    No matter what, go to a store; look at the computers, play with the, see what seems to work for you.
  4. macrumors regular


    Oct 1, 2012
    I just purchased a 15" rMBP (2013) and I can't stop raving about it. It is simply amazing.

    The retina display? When i use my desktop with an extremely good quality LED IPS monitor, it looks like crap to me now since I adjusted to the retina display.

    I haven't had the chance to really showcase it's power and run it hard with a taxing application, but I'm sure it will digest it easily.

    It is VERY pricey at $2000+, but you're getting your $$ worth. :apple:
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2012
    United States
    You need to be more specific on your needs.

    1. Do you do any photo-related work? Any video editing or movie editing? If this isn't your *main* intended use, then you probably don't need the Retina Display. Sure, it's nice and a great luxury to have. But I wouldn't recommend it unless you a) truly need it or b) are willing to pay that much extra.

    2. The biggest difference between the 13" and 15" is the GPU. The 15" has a dedicated GPU which will significantly increase performance in video editing, photo editing, video gaming, and any other graphic intensive processes/applications.

    3. What it comes down to: Do you need it now, or can you wait?

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