13.3" vs 15" Retina

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ahendri5, May 3, 2013.

  1. ahendri5 macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2011
    Hi all,
    I am looking into upgrading my current 17" mid 2010 MBP to a new Retina. However I keep going back and forth on the size of the computer. I really don't like how big and bulky my 17" is currently, but the screen size is very nice. I do travel with work and use my laptop on the plane so I was leaning towards the 13.3. Besides 1.7" added screen size are their any advantages of the 15" over the 13.3"? I know a lot of it is personal preference so what are your preferences?
  2. Vulcan macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I have a 15" rMBP. I definitely would have gone for the 13.3" rMBP if it had a dedicated graphics card. Will you be needing one? If so, it might be in your best interest to wait if you really want a 13.3" rMBP then, since Haswell's graphics are supposed to be near the performance of today's dedicated cards.
  3. endhalf macrumors regular

    May 24, 2011
    Haswell's GPUs will be nearer dedicated GPUs but certainly not in 13'' MBPs. Those will be somewhat better than current HD4000 but not by much really. Everyone thinks that the has well will have so better power - well, with full sized CPUs, sure... Otherwise, I will believe when I see proof. Don't let the marketing people tell you apples are bright blue (they might be in certain light and position...).

    To answer the question - do you want your laptop for gaming? If so, 15'' it is (actually, 3D modeling will benefit from dedicated GPU as well). If not, 13'' is the right way :).
  4. ahendri5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2011
    I wont be doing much gaming. It will be used for presentations programming and watching movies when traveling for work.
  5. nealh macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2010
    I looked at the 15in but felt it was too large to be really portable. I love the size of the 13in.
    I do not game on a laptop and for me and my needs the 13in was and is perfect.

    I bought a refurb from Apple and it was perfect, looked like it was never used
  6. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I have a 15", my brother has the 13". Love both.

    The 15" definitely has more advantages over the 13" than disadvantages (marginal size/portability difference).

    dGPU vs iGPU
    Quad-Core CPU vs Dual-Core CPU
    16GB Max RAM vs 8GB Max RAM

    The size of the 13" isn't THAT much smaller, in-fact it's actually thicker and it feels heavier/dense compared to the 15", but the 15" does way MARGINALLY more.
  7. onirocdarb macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    I have a 13 non retina. I love the portability, but I am carrying it around all day. If you just need something that you can move from home to work I would get the 15. The 15 isn't a huge difference in size but the extra screen real estate is very noticeable.
  8. Orlandoech, May 3, 2013
    Last edited: May 3, 2013

    Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    The weight difference between the 13" MBPr and the 15" MBPr is less than a pound (.89 to be exact), if you can't lug another pound, then you need to work out and/or swap the shoes for flipflops or carry one less item in your backpack.
  9. nealh macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2010
    All excellent points. I did not realize the 13in was thicker.

    The only thing that IMHO would be nice on 13in was 16gb ram. I realize everyone's needs vary but a quad core is not necessary for me, but more ram is always great.

    I have a quad-core desktop and I never have come closed to using its power. I built it and overclocked it.

    Correct if I am wrong but simple tasks will not use the dGPU on the 15in model as I understand it, is this true?

    The other issue was price, since my needs were basic: web surfing, word processor, music and video with occ Photoshop- I did not need a powerhouse.

    I saw the late 2012 i7 2.9ghz/512SSD on Apples refurb site($1779), I grabbed it.

    Clearly if you need the power of the quad core and want 16gb of ram, then the 15in model is required.

    With all the above, the displays are amazing and unparalleled on the market. Get either you cant go wrong!!!!!
  10. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    Basic tasks like web browsing use the iGPU, but Windows always uses the dGPU and you can force the dGPU on OSX by unenabling graphics switching.
  11. Beutelkatze macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2010
    I would recommend the 15", if the price difference isn`t an issue.
    In terms of mobility, both are actually pretty close but the 15" is just a lot faster overall with the available quads and GT650M graphics.
    The GT650M in the 15" Retinas is actually a GTX660M in disguise (and faster that the GTX660M in the current 27" iMacs).
    And don`t expect too much from Haswell, early benchmarks are pretty underwhelming, cpu power is up only about 10% and whilst the integrated graphics are better than the current HD4000, they are nowhere near the ridiculous performance of the Keppler based factory overclocked GT650M in the 15" rMBP.
  12. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    The 15" has much more powerful processors (quad core vs dual core) as well as much more powerful graphics (NVidia dedicated graphics card vs Intel integrated).

    You can also order the 15" with 16GB of RAM, which you can't do yet for the 13". This may be important since you can't upgrade it later.

    The 13" is a very nice form factor however, you just have to weigh the costs and performance that you need.

    Also note that the 15" rMBP is actually lighter than the non-retina 13" MBP. It will be a big improvement over your 17".
  13. ksowder macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2013
    I went from a 13 inch 2007 macbook to a 15" rmbp. Believe it or not, the new 15" retina is lighter than my 13" and I couldn't see myself going back to the 13" screen. Graphics are amazing. The speakers on the side of the keyboard also sound better than the 13 IMHO. I'm a college student and I take the 15" retina to class everyday and I barely notice it in my bag (in comparison to my textbooks) both are solid computers but I will come down to your needs.

    If you want a larger screen and more performance, go for the 15. Both of them are just as portable and lightweight.
  14. nednarm macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2010
    Had to make this decision myself and just couldn't bring myself to chose the 13 over the 15. There's not much difference in price between the 256gb models and you're getting an extra 2" of real estate plus a dGPU.

    If size is a big issue, sure get the 13 but to be honest the 15 isn't that much bigger and you will be getting way more bang for buck.
  15. Tysusmed macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2012
    My wife just bought the 15" rMacPro - the store configuration was pretty nice.

    I believe it was the 2.7GHz version, 16GB ram, and 500Gb SSD. I remember correctly, she paid around $2700(CAD). She wanted the larger 768Gb SSD, but I didn't think it was worth the extra $400.

    What's pretty amazing is the Geekbench score is almost as high as the fastest iMac. 12500 score versus the iMac 2013 12860. In fact it benched just shy of a 2010 MacPro (2,4Ghz, 8-core) which benched at 12541.

    It's a great machine that I'd highly recommend purchasing!
  16. akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    You're correct--and I completely agree, as I switched from using 17" MBPs for years to the current crop of 15" rMBPs. The only caveat I would have for the OP is the fact that he mentions he flies with his computer. The 15" is still just a bit too big if the dude/dudette in front of ya leans his/her seat back in 'coach' :) I was just out of state for a convention in Seattle. My rMBP stayed in it's bag. I used my MBA (11") on the plane.

    The 13", other than all of the attributes outlined above going for the 15"...does have it's 'foot-print' going for it. Especially if you're a constant traveler.

  17. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    People fly coach? jk.

    All true. It does have a bigger footprint, but its very marginal. People make it seem far more significant than it actually is.
  18. Rocketpaul macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2012
    What is a big footprint to some may not be so big to others. :eek:
  19. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Exactly. Its all relative. lolz.
  20. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    wait for haswell you will get overall much more even you go with 13 or 15. I think you can wait 2-3 months if you have already a good macbook.
    i think they will test and if the hd 5200 for macbook 15 will be near the 650M i think they will remove the dedicated card to have even a lighter macbook pro and with 9h usage battery.
  21. andrezuppe macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Genoa, Italy
    Guys, remember that he/she's currently flying with a 17" :)
    So, if he/she can currently use a 17 on a plane, a 15" that is smaller, would be nice too... :)
    Anyway, this is my experience:
    I come from a 2010 13" mbp and when 15" rMBP came out, I waited for 13" retina because I wanted more power (my 13" was a c2d), but a 13" form factor. I didn't want to go to 15.. too big for me!
    I wanted 13" because of its perfect dimensions and weight, but I wanted also more power (a quad core) and when rMBP came out I was a little disappointed because it was only dualcore and I could't choose 16gb ram as option, for a price that was so high.
    So I noticed, measuring it with attention, that dimension of 15" rMBP wasn't so bigger, expecially the weight that was the same as my 2010 13": about 2 Kg.
    Then, I went to my local apple premium reseller here in Genoa and I stayed there a little, comparing my 13" to the 15 retina: 15" retina is so slim that if I put them side by side it seems that 15" is not so big as it appears "imaging it" compared to the classic 13".
    For that reason finally I choosed to buy a 15" retina: quadcore cpu + dgpu and dimensions and weight that din't differ so much from my 13". Of course I bought it with 16GB ram, so I hope to be ok till the next 4 years! (my config is in my signature)
    Actually I'm very happy, I couldn't spend my money for a best choice.
    I just don't want, if you come from a 17", that maybe a 13" could be too small for what you are used to....
    This is my experience, I hope to have been useful by sharing it.

    Bye to all :)

  22. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Haswell RMBP is still an EASY 3-5 months out. Aug-Oct ish.
  23. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    Completely at odds with Ming-Chi Kuo's prediction, in which rMBPs are the highlight of WWDC. However, he did say that the retinas would not ship immediately, but "Available to ship in 8-16 weeks" doesn't sound so great.
  24. CJM macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2005
    Being a snob is fine... As long as it's earned.

  25. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    OP, I'd personally would go with the 15" rMBP over the 13" especially since you have a 17" The adjustment from 17" to 13" will be huge as will the sacrifice in screen real estate.

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