13" retina worth waiting for if you are a developer?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lankanwarrior, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. lankanwarrior macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2012

    I am not sure if anyone remembers, but I am a third year CS student and I am in need of a new laptop. I was planning to get a 15 RMBP but news about the 13 coming very soon makes me wonder. I can wait a month or two.

    Developers, how do you feel about 13 vs 15. Is the quad core necessary for software development, or will dual core suffice. The graphics dont matter since I do not game.

    Also, since I probably wont't be using an external monitor (mostly since it will look next to crap compared to a Retina screen), will it be hard to program? Since I tend to have a lot of stuff open.

    Thanks for any advice:)
  2. polotska macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2007
    I think it really comes down to screen real estate vs. portability. What size and form factor are you coming from?
  3. macmastersam macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2011
    Essex, england
    i'm pretty sure a dual core will suffice, assuming apple will put a 2.0 GHz ivy bridge i7 that they use in BTO macbook airs, in the 13" retina. as far as the graphics go, i reckon apple probably won't put a dedicated GPU in there, but maybe something integrated, but better than intels HD 4000? don't get me wrong, but intels offerings are great, but when you are probably going to pay around £1500-£2000 (just speculation so far) for that, i would at least expect a better solution for integrated graphics, especially when you want to do things like adobe and other hard-core software.

    (this is just all my thinking, by the way :D )
  4. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
  5. OniSlayer macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2012
    Virgin Islands
    I made a somewhat similar thread a few days ago. The general idea I got form the replies were that it's doable on a 13" but having an external monitor is a huge plus. But it seems to come down to whether you prefer the 13" or 15" form factor or if you need the extra power of the 15".
  6. lankanwarrior thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2012
    I'm coming from a 16inch Dell Studio XPS. It became very heavy to lug around (6.5 pounds), but the footprint never bothered me to much. Just the weight.

    I really need a laptop that can be cool (major reason why I'm changing. My current laptop won't work without a cooler)
  7. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    If you don't need a new computer now and can wait a few months, you might as well - even if what you are considering is just speculation for now, you'll be better safe than sorry I believe - and you will still end up with the same machine if you buy the 15'' rMBP now or at that time.
  8. lankanwarrior thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2012
    Thats true, just the 100 dollar gift card will be lost.
  9. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Most CS stuff will be doable with a 13", non-retina display. If you have the cash to spare, you'll appreciate the 13" retina, or a 15".

    But if you're buying simply because your laptop overheats, just take a can of air and spray the dust out of the thing. That's a potential problem with any laptop, and you should take care of it.

    If you're buying a new one because the laptop gets too hot to use on your lap, well I'm afraid a Mac isn't for you either.
  10. jonnymo5 macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2008
    13" is too small for me to develop on. 15" is a struggle. The retina is nice because I can get a little more on the screen but nothing beats a large monitor.

    Get the 15" and get an external monitor.
  11. rkdiddy macrumors 65816


    Mar 19, 2008
    OC Baby!
    I think it's hard to really answer this until we know the specs and resolution of the (rumored) 13" rMBP.

    I've had a 15" MBP, 13" MBA and 15" rMBP. I loved the form factor of the 13" MBA, but the text seemed to be fuzzy and bothered my eyes. I would have kept my rMBP, but it had a RAM issue/error so I returned it. I figured it was worth waiting a few weeks to try the 13" rMBP and make a decision on which was the best fit for me.

    Since it's rumored to be launched sooner than later, I would say hold off and try it out for yourself.
  12. guillemn macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2012
    I think he should select more depending on the power needs / portability rather than if the screen is retina or not.

    To develop conftable you will need a larger screen 23-27inches, and with a laptop screen gets it dificult.

    On top they claimed that productivity with 2 simultaneous screens is 20%. :)

    Select between Air-Pro13-Pro25-rMBP the one that fits portability against power. Hope it helps.
  13. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Have you looked at the 13" Air? It has a 1440x900 screen, which is the same resolution as the non-retina 15". Unless you're compiling huge projects the CPU shouldn't be much of a bottleneck. You can also get it with 8GB of RAM now.
  14. Newbie MacUser macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2012
    Most of the graphic design people are going with the 15 inch cMBP/retina MBP's mainly because apart from the screen resolution the performance is essentially a dual core ivy bridge in the 13 inch vs. quad core ivy in the 15inch. I personally would go with the 15 in based on the longevity due to better performance. I'm not saying to spend almost $3K on a retina but at least spend the $1700 on the cMBP 15", you won't be kicking yourself later.
  15. lankanwarrior thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2012
    I've actually decided to wait on the 13inch retina. I am not a graphics designer and software development isn't nearly as taxing as working with Photoshop and video-editing software. (I'm only a student so nothing too intense.) I also plan on getting a nice 24" LED monitor
  16. A Hebrew macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Jan 7, 2012
    If you are getting a monitor, why would you need a retina display? The odds are the rMBP 13" will be under-powered compared to the current (I do not have faith in Apple's skill when it comes to this small of a form factor). The only way it won't be is if the height is the same as the current.

    You should get a 15", enjoy the extra power, and hook it up to the monitor whenever you can for good color accuracy.
  17. lankanwarrior thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2012
    Mostly because I am a resolution freak and can't stand the the 13MBP resolution and even the Air is quite poor. I am in university so I will be on the move alot and 15inch is quite alot to lug around
  18. m.demian macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2012
    If you're a third year CS undergrad, you should already know that a quad-core machine is in no way needed for your studies. Anything capable of running your favorite IDE and VM software which is any machine these days is sufficient. Resolution can definitely be a factor, though. Coding on a MBP (used to have the early 2011 13'' before I sold it) was less than ideal with the 1280x800 resolution and I'd just wait until I got back to my desktop before doing any real work. Obviously it's not impossible, but often times I wish I had a larger workspace.
  19. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Subjective just as any question of worth is on any topic. You need to determine your preference on the matter an purchase based on that. Even devs don't all have the same preferences.

    15's not quite a lot to log around but that' subjective as well. You could try hitting the gym. :D

    As stated above, if that's a major reason then a MBP isn't going to resolve that.

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