13" or 15" 2018 MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wvmontani, Jul 14, 2018.

  1. wvmontani macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    #1
    I’ve been considering upgrading from my mid-2012 MacBook air for quite some time, and I think the new pros may have convinced me to finally pull the trigger.

    I could use some advice trying to decide between the 13” and the 15” models.

    If I went with the 13”, I would get the 2.3GHz i5 with 16GB of RAM and also the 512GB SSD. That’s priced at $2200. I could also upgrade that to the i7 processor for $300 more, but I’m not sure if that is a worthwhile upgrade.

    If I went with the 15”, I would get the version with 2.6GHz i7, 16GB RAM, Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, 512GBSSD - priced at $2799.

    I’m currently a graduate student, and my air has served me well up to this point. I’m looking to dive more into photography and also hope to do some video editing in the near future, so I believe I’ll need a pro machine to better handle these tasks.

    Although my budget is tight, I don’t mind spending a bit more money up front if it means my machine will last me longer. I maxed out my current air, and it is still going strong without any issues (aside from a recent battery replacement).

    Portability is key for me, but I also value my screen real estate. Recently, I’ve found myself wishing I had a bit bigger screen when watching movies and trying to work with multiple windows open at a time. I plan to do a lot of traveling and working on the road. Since my current air weighs approximately 3 pounds, I don’t think it would feel like a huge burden to carry around a 4 pound, 15” Pro. I’m looking for a machine that can do it all and last as my primary computer for at least 5-6 years.

    In your opinion, does it sound like the 13” or 15” 2018 Pro would best fit my needs?

    Many thanks for your input!
     
  2. chscag macrumors 68040

    chscag

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #2
    From your statement above and what you plan on using the machine for, I would think the 15" i7 is best suited for you.
     
  3. Naimfan Suspended

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #3
    Get the 15" and use the education discount - you are, after all, a grad student. And also get the Beats headphones that are the "Back To School" promotion, and sell them - that will help offset the cost.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    That's tough to pass up in all honesty. You save some money and get a free pair of headphones.
     
  5. Dave245 macrumors 604

    Dave245

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #5
    I’m in a similar situation except the machine I’m using at the moment is the 2011 MacBook Pro, but I can also get a discount (not a student one but a corporate perks discount) and the prices I can get are:

    MacBook Pro 13” 2.3GHz, 8GB Ram, 512GB SSD £1,832.40 but I would upgrade that to 16GB Ram which would bring it to £2,001.60

    The 15” I can get the 2.6GHz 6 core, 16GB Ram, 512GB SSD storage for £2,536.80

    The 15” would normally cost £2,699 before discount. Is it worth the money?

    My question to anyone who knows about specs and the longevity of Mac’s, is it worth spending the extra cash and get the 15” considering the discount or just stick with the 13”?

    My use case is simple, writing a lot in Final Draft and Pages, web browsing/research, Final Cut Pro X as a hobby, some light gaming (Sims 4, Tropico, Democracy) and some photo editing in Pixelmator (which I also use on my iPad Pro).
     
  6. Glmnet1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #6
    The 13 has a lot better value in my opinion, especially with quad core CPU now. The biggest drawback is the lack of dGPU but for the £500 difference you could get an eGPU enclosure and get much better GPU performance as well as a smaller and lighter laptop, if that’s important to you.
     
  7. Dave245 macrumors 604

    Dave245

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #7
    Thank you :) i do like the form factor of the 13” from what I’ve seen in the Apple store with last years version.

    The quad core does seem much better than last years option for the 13” (which was dual core) so in a sense it seems like last years 15” processor is now in the 13” for this year.

    Would you say that the processor upgrade on 13” is worth it? going from the 2.3GHz to the 2.7GHz which would cost £254.40 once discount is applied.

    I think the 16GB Ram option is worth it, especially since I intend to keep my machine for a few years (around 4-5)
     
  8. Glmnet1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #8
    I'm ordering one soon and I'll be getting 512gb SSD and 16gb of RAM. I don't think the CPU upgrade is worth it, at least not for my usage which is somewhat similar to yours.

    I know I don't need the 16gb of RAM right now but I also plan to keep it for a while and I think it might become necessary in the long run. It's hard to predict though and depends on your usage.
     
  9. bulldoze macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #9
    For all those coming from an older Mac like me maybe consider the 15"?

    I just moved over from a 2011 MacBook Pro and I am typing on the 13" 2018 now and it feels and looks tiny!
    When I first got it I had to check that I hadn't accidentally purchased the 12" MacBook it feels so delicate and small.

    I could quite easy have got the 15" I think and been perfectly happy with the size I think.
     
  10. cwosigns macrumors 68000

    cwosigns

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus,OH
    #10
    Similar boat. I’m leaning toward the 13” but the siren song of the 15” is strong.
     
  11. lcseds macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Location:
    NC, USA
    #11
    Only you can decide. I went back and forth years ago between 13 and 15. Finally settled on the 15 and have used that size for many years. No looking back for me.
     
  12. smallnshort247 macrumors 6502a

    smallnshort247

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #12
    My 2 previous Macs were the 15 inch model. I loved the screen size of them but found it hard to use on flights, etc. So I'm going with a 13 inch model. The only thing holding me back from getting a 13 inch earlier was the huge performance difference between the 13 and 15 inch models. Now that the 13 inch has quad core, I'm ready to get one.
     
  13. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    #13
    For you and all those who think that the 13” is a better value and closer to the 15” with the new Quad-Core 13”.

    13” base Quad Core with 16GB 1TB SSD is $2,599

    15” base 6 Core same RAM and SSD is $2,999

    $400 difference gets you:

    1. 6 Core v 4
    2. Faster DDR4 RAM
    3. dGPU
    4. Larger Screen

    Only downside is extra weight and bulk which is usually only an issue in certain situations.

    I think that $400 makes the 15” a better value for what you get there. The 13” should be cheaper to make it the more attractive buy of those two options. Even at lower SSD sizes, the price gap is the same.
     
  14. AdamA9 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    #14
    I said this in another thread recently.

    I went into the Apple store with my current late 2013 13" and put it in the middle of the current 13 and 15 and then used all three for a good half and hour. This is what I came up with.
    • The bigger screen on the 15 was a bonus
    • The bigger unit of the 15 was a negative
    • The 13 just looks better, e.g., no grey space around the touch bar and keyboard
    • They both felt as fast as each other in use (I know this will change with processing tasks)
    • I couldn't imaging the 15 being very portable, e.g., trying to use it on a train
    After using them all side-by-side I ordered the 13 because it felt more natural for me and I felt I could get what I needed from it. The specs were lower than I wanted, but the trade off for it being more portable imo was worth it.
     
  15. KUKitch macrumors 6502

    KUKitch

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #15
    Well, the early returns (at least from the Geekbench blog) are showing that the 13” is as fast/faster than the 15” 2017, which is pretty crazy! As others have said, I’d say that makes getting an external GPU quite a solid option...
    That said, I’ve got a 2017 15” and it travels just fine and I love it! Of course I’d also like to have a 12”, but that’s just me
     
  16. tarsins macrumors 6502a

    tarsins

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    Wales
    #16
    For multiple windows the 15" is a must. I think you'd regret having the smaller screen more than the lesser portability.
     
  17. Picapau21 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    #17
    Key is how much portability OP needs. I previously had a 15inch and it was very difficult to open on trains, planes, coffee shops etc.
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #18
    I can't speak for trains, but I've used my 15" MBP all over the place, including plains, coffee shops, doctor's offices, etc etc. I think at this stage, the 15" MBP is quite portable - just my $.02
     
  19. Dave245 macrumors 604

    Dave245

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #19
    Do you know how much smaller and lighter the 15" MacBook Pro is compared to the 2011 15" MacBook Pro?
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #20
    No, mostly because I don't own a 2011 MBP. I'm using a 2012 which is the first unibody model, and that machine is quite mobile. I can only imagine the newer models are even more so.
     
  21. alias99 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
    #21
    5.6 lbs vs 4.02 lbs from what I can see
     
  22. Picapau21 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 26, 2015
    #22
    Living in London/UK there is never really much space anywhere! :(
     
  23. Dave245 macrumors 604

    Dave245

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #23
    Ok thank you, i'm asking because i've had an idea but not sure if it will work, i've got a 2011 MacBook Pro and an iMac 2012 (the thin ones when they first came out) both are now getting older altho the iMac still works very well for me and isn't even half as slow as my 2011 MacBook Pro, however i've thought about killing two birds with one stone (as the saying goes) and getting a 15" 2018 MacBook Pro to replace both, that way i would have the portability of a MacBook Pro BUT also a machine for when i'm at home (which to be honest is about 80% of the time when working)
     
  24. Glmnet1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #24
    It really depends on your usage but for me:
    1. Yes, this could be worth the $400 I really don't need that much.
    2. Again, LPDDR3 is fast enough for my needs and the extra battery life can be useful. It's funny how before this release most people on this forum were glorifying LPDDR3, waiting for LPDDR4 and saying how DDR4 ruins battery life. Now that Apple gave up the wait and went for DDR4, it's the best thing ever to have in a laptop :p
    3. The dGPU in my 2011 MBP broke after 4 years, got replaced and then broke again after 2 years. I know there is a defect with those models but still, to me the 555X and 560X dGPU is underpowered, outdated and one more thing that could go wrong inside this expensive laptop. I'd much rather buy an eGPU which will be more powerful and replaceable/upgradeable. I might even wait for AMD to release a modern consumer card before buying anything.
    4. Mine will be plugged in a 27" 4k display 95% of the time. I'd rather have the portability for when I have to carry it.

    For some it'll be worth it, for others it won't.
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #25
    Many people swear by the 13" and I'm not down on those who opt for it. I do think the 15" is very portable, but I guess I'm used to using a 15" for years and years. Plus for me, my old eyes are not getting any better so the 15" screen is better :)

    I've used 13" and travelled with 13" I've taken a 13" SurfaceBook to Oracle Open World and that was an ok experience. The screen wobble made it difficult to work, I've gone to Las Vegas for a conference with a 13" MBP and that was fine, but in the end, my preference is 15" One size does not fit all
     

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73 July 14, 2018