13" MBP Brand New for $950 worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lyngo, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. lyngo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2007
    I have the option of purchasing a brand new and sealed 13" MacBook Pro that is the baseline unit (8GB RAM and 128GB SSD) for $950. I have been using my iPad Air as my main device for awhile now, but it is somewhat limiting. I also have a Mac Mini at home that I am probably going to sell if I make a move on this device.

    I am really wrestling between the Pro and the MacBook Air because I can get the 13" Air with the 256GB SSD for $900. Again, this, too, is also sealed and brand new in box. My main uses for the computer will be internet and presentation preparation. I plan on using my iPad still for presenting, but in order to prepare it would be nice to have a portable computer.

    Anyways, what are your thoughts and is each computer good value for the price that I have mentioned here?
  2. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
  3. lyngo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2007
    Oh yeah. It's from a national retailer that allows coupon-coupling.
  4. aerok macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    I would for Air if I were. The 13 inch is still too slow for Retina.
  5. lyngo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2007
    Not sure that I follow? The 13" is too slow?
  6. aerok macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    Yup many here have complained that the iGPU is just not powerful enough. The macbook Air is just perfect to work on presentation and portability.
  7. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    I would say the Air as well unless you do more intensive tasks that would require 8Gb of ram.

    If I were you I would play with both (if demo's are available) and see which style you prefer.

    Either is a great buy and should make you very happy.
  8. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    What is most important?

    display resolution? Retina


    SSD size? Air
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Tbh,128GB may be too limiting. As long as you don't put much music on your computer or use stuff like VMware, you could make it work

    That said, if you feel comfortable with 128GB SSD, then I'd opt for the MBP, it has a better GPU, a better CPU, and a gorgeous screen.

    I really don't see too many reasons why you should opt for the MBA, other then SSD size.
  10. Queen6, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014

    Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    No issue here with 2.8 - 512 13" Retina`s performance, all depends on your workflow. As for the OP`s question tend to agree 128 is rather limiting and you will likely need to utilise external storage be it wired or wireless.

    Looked at the latest 13" Air and have a 2011 13" Air, 13" for me the 13" Retina was by far the better system for me, also have 2011 15" MBP & 2012 Retina so have a good handle on the performance difference.

  11. lyngo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2007
    Thanks everyone for the responses!

    I think for me, I just want to make sure that $950 for the current MBP is good value. The screen is gorgeous and my workflow is mostly writing up documents for teaching, doing youth advocacy type of work, keynote presentations at times, Internet research, and the like.

    I am not doing slide shows, video editing, or anything intensive on that front. I could live with putting things on an external HD of some sorts. My other devices include an iPad air 2 and an iPhone 6. I was wanting and planning on making the iPad air 2 my main workhorse, but I feel like I need more power and multitasking ability.

    I'm interested in hearing more of your experiences with the iGPU being limiting on the 13" MBP? I've done a little research on it and I'm not finding too many complaints. I guess I'm not following the line of thinking that's been presented in this thread. Is it only limiting when gaming? I'm not much of a gamer, nor a massive graphics intensive user. Anyway, if someone can help clarify that for me, that'd be great. Thanks again!
  12. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    iGPU is fine

    the iGPU is absolutely fine, the software for screen scaling (this is how it handles that huge pixel density at readable levels) however can cause a bit of lag and the occasional stutter in intensive apps and a few UI instances that just aren't present on the air.

    The best thing about the retina is the screen: text is gorgeous, the viewable angles are amazing, the anti glare is pretty good and it is easy on the eyes for any workload. Photos look stunning and videos work very well.

    It also has better connectivity for external hard drives and screens/projectors etc with a full HDMI along with 2 thunderbolt ports. The SD card may also well be a bonus for slide shows and extra storage if needed but this is in the 13" air too.

    It it was me I'd certainly choose the rMBP for an extra $50.
  13. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Really? Many? I'm curious about this too because I am helping someone shop for a new laptop and have recommended the retina 13". I haven't been able to find substantial evidence of huge performance issues, but perhaps I wasn't looking hard enough.

    I think the MBP is the better choice overall for the price, OP. I would choose that but the 128 SSD is indeed slightly limiting. I have a 128 SSD in my Mac Pro and have rarely run into issues, but my music is stored on a network drive and I have 2 other hard drives inside the machine to use. I basically would not know how to manage with 128 GB.
  14. lyngo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2007
    I think that I would pick up and SD drive of some sorts that could basically double the drive capacity because I know that they make those drives in 128GB format. I also think that I could store music on a network drive of some sorts, too, perhaps even on my Time Capsule device!

    As an aside and significantly off topic... GO CUBS! I like your taste in baseball.
  15. aerok, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014

    aerok macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    If he does want to go with Pro and extend memory through the card slot, I would suggest using something like:


  16. lyngo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2007
    Thanks for that. I think that I am going to go with the MBP for just $50 more. Yes, it's half the SSD space, but it's double the RAM and a stinking incredible display. I think for $50 more that it's worth it for what I'm going to use it for. The only temptation that I have from pulling the trigger is that I have an iPad Air 2 and could use the display on that for things.

    It's hard to know what to do fully on this. I'm sure with the MBP I fould get external memory and hook it up when I need to.
  17. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    Even my HD4000 GPU is powerful enough for a 15" Retina. Don't know how a HD5000 won't be enough for the smaller resolution of a 13" one.

    Ok, I don't use anything that requires 3D rendering, but for browsing/reading PDFs/word processing/Pixelmator it's pretty satisfactory.
  18. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    This is a "no brainier." Go with the Pro for that price. iGPU is more than up to the task. MBA is going to be refreshed soon and you're going to feel like you have an old computer when that happens. Enjoy your Retina screen, the 13" is a fantastic blend of portability and power.

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