Need Advice: Retina MBP 13-inch or Retina MBP 15-inch ?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TheSky., Apr 27, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    #1
    Hi Guys

    I am going for my masters and I need a new Mac during my program.

    I am confused between Retina MBP 13-inch and Retina MBP 15-inch.

    13-inch: 2.6GHz with Retina display
    $1,699.00

    2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
    Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
    8GB 1600MHz memory
    256GB flash storage1
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Built-in battery (7 hours)2
    Apple Care ($249)


    15-inch: 2.4GHz with Retina display
    $2,199.00
    2.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz
    8GB 1600MHz memory
    256GB flash storage1
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
    Built-in battery (7 hours)2
    No Apple Care ($349)

    I want to use the Mac mainly for running Parallels(virtual Windows), MS Office tools, making spreedsheets, flowcharts, presentations, taking notes, surfing web, watching videos, minor photo editing, etc.

    I plan to use this Mac for at least 3 years.

    Do you guys think Retina MBP Pro 13-inch with 2.6GHz dual-core processor and with NO dedicated graphics card will suffice my need for the next 3 years ?
    Or Do I need a dedicated Nvidia grapics card with Quad-Core power ?


    Thanks
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    B...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    #2
    I don't think you need the power, but you might need the screen space for spreadsheets and videos and web browsing.
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    RedCroissant

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Get the 15"! The dedicated GPU makes a difference in performance and well worth the extra money. It will also extend the life of your machine(in my opinion due to the decreased stress on your CPU), and more screen real estate. The only place that I would disagree with you on is buying retina. I don't know if you currently own a recent MBP but their screens are already amazing. Buying the non-retina MBP saves you $500, has the same hardware configuration options, has a superdrive, and it has ethernet in case wherever you travel has bad or no WiFi, and a FW800 port to be compatible with "older" hardware. SO with the non-retina 15", you are hardware and I/O compatible with every piece of hardware released in the past 10 years, while with the retina, you'll e relying on TB-XX adapters or only on TB and usb.

    I would recommend instead going with an Apple-refurbished 15" non-retina MBP. That saves you even more money and you get all the goodness.
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    #4
    I really like the rMBP and am seriously considering getting it but a after reading this:

    'Get the 15"! The dedicated GPU makes a difference in performance and well worth the extra money. It will also extend the life of your machine(in my opinion due to the decreased stress on your CPU), and more screen real estate. The only place that I would disagree with you on is buying retina. I don't know if you currently own a recent MBP but their screens are already amazing. Buying the non-retina MBP saves you $500, has the same hardware configuration options, has a superdrive, and it has ethernet in case wherever you travel has bad or no WiFi, and a FW800 port to be compatible with "older" hardware. SO with the non-retina 15", you are hardware and I/O compatible with every piece of hardware released in the past 10 years, while with the retina, you'll e relying on TB-XX adapters or only on TB and usb.

    I would recommend instead going with an Apple-refurbished 15" non-retina MBP. That saves you even more money and you get all the goodness.'

    I'm not sure whether I want to consider just a MBP instead. But rMBP's so much more powerful...
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    So much thinner too, and sexier! The upgradability sucks though, e.g. more RAM/storage. I think I'd only be comfortable buying the rMBP if I had something else as a full-on desktop replacement.
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    #6
    Why would you want another computer as a full-on desktop replacement? If I do get the rMBP with 512GB storage, wouldn't that be enough?
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    Nor' Jersey
    #7
    I agree go with the 15, its well worth the screen real estate. And for what you'll be using it for, you wont regret it. But i do suggest Apple care on the rMBP. Labor on these Macs are not cheap, and they are not configureable after buying them. So make sure its what you want before you buy.:cool:
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #8
    Just throwing this out there, but you can scale the 13 rMBP resolution to 1680x1050, which is higher the 11in MBA, 13in MBA, 13in MBP, 15in MBP, equal to the 15in MBP with anti-glare upgrade, and higher than the retina setting on the 15in rMBP.

    So really, if you're concerned about screen real estate, it's only between the 13in rMBP and the 15in rMBP... and like you've pointed out in your OP, it's a $500 difference for screen real estate you may or may not use (assuming you scale the 15in rMBP to higher than 1680x1050) and a GPU that you probably won't get much benefit from (based on your uses).

    So my vote goes for the 13in rMBP, but I value portability; additionally, you can put the extra money toward the 512GB SSD upgrade or in a couple years, upgrade it yourself (OWC makes replacement SSDs for the rMBP line, for example; you cannot upgrade the RAM yourself, however)

    EDIT: To clarify what I'm saying, you'll yield more screen real estate on a scaled 13in rMBP than a non-scaled 15in rMBP, all in a smaller package at a lower cost. And with your intended uses, the beefier specs of the 15in rMBP are not particularly warranted in my opinion.
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    RedCroissant

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #9
    The thing is, how much more powerful is it, or does it just seem to be more powerful?the non-retina MBP can support 16GB of RAM and it has been confirmed that 2 8GB modules work normally.

    I would not go with the retina simply because it makes it so I would have to either buy all new peripherals or that I would have to buy adapters to use my current ones. Sure, that's not too much of a trade off-but paying more than $50 extra to use what I already have is annoying when the non-retina would be absolutely perfect AND considerably cheaper. Upgrading it yourself afterwards by removing the ODD and placing SSDs in there would e cheaper as well and the only difference would be a retina display that is not fully utilized yet.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    #10
    I think we tend to get too wrapped up in speed. Every Mac from Air to MBPr is fast enough for your needs, assuming your needs stay relatively the same. You won't really tax any of them and "extra" CPU power may be more future proof, but by the time the CPU is slow you'll be many years into the machine and probably looking for a new upgrade anyhow, regardless of CPU. Seems like the decision is more related to whether you need 13" or 15" and whether the resolution is that critical for you. And whether you need dedicated graphics or not. The cost difference is quite large so I'd be weighing my true needs (not what people like me or others think you may need) against what I'm willing to pay. I wouldn't pay $2000 for a spreadsheet and word processing machine that can touch up photos, but you may feel those items are important enough to run at top speed with best resolution. We're all different in what we perceive as important so only you can really know.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    #11
    True, but another factor is the rMBP is so much lighter. It doesn't have a CD/DVD drive though so I'll have to buy it separately. Do you think it's lighter buying the MBP or rMBP with DVD drive?
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    RedCroissant

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #12
    I think it would be lighter buying the dvd drive separately with the rMBP. Unless you buy the MBA superdrive, then you're probably not shaving off too much weight and then have a peripheral to carry around as well.

    I love the rMBP, but I would not buy one until I would be assured that I wouldn't be required to buy some adapter. with the rMBP, there would be no way around that.
     
  13. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    #13
    What kind of adapter and for what?
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    RedCroissant

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #14
    I would have to have a TB-ethernet and a TB-firewire adapter.
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    #15
    Ah, I don't think I would have that problem.
     
  16. macrumors 68020

    RedCroissant

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #16
    You might not, but if you do any traveling to places that aren't necessarily set up for a wireless connection or at least have a stable one, you'll have to connect it the old fashioned way. On my trip from Maryland to Texas, I had to forego wireless and fill up my iPad with entertainment. On our way from Texas to Arizona, we ran into the same problem but at least this time I was able to use ethernet to connect and prepare everything ahead of time regarding our new apt, school, and other stuff. I am just not a fan of having to carry around adapters or an ODD when I can get a machine where all of that is included.
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    #17
    Does the rMBP come with many apps? And if I wanted to get some specific apps with it, do I the. Have to order it online or can they do it for me at the Apple store?
     

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