13" rMBP 2.6/16/256 or 15" MBP (2012)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by existent, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. existent macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2009
    I decided to sell my current 15" MBP (late 2008) and upgrade, however having a bit of tough time deciding.

    I was leaning on the new 13" rMBP with 2.4 or 2.6 i5, 16gb ram, and 256gb ssd, however someone suggested that getting refurb 15" mbp (2012). They can be found cheaper and then upgraded to 16gb ram and ssd afterwards...

    Most of the time I use it only for browsing and watching movies, however I do use it for Photoshop when I am traveling. so I like to be able to run photoshop smoothly when needed.

    Differences are:

    Dual core i5 vs quad core i7
    Battery life (not a priority but the long life on the new 13" is a nice bonus).
    Portability (retina 13" is much lighter and portable compared to 15").
    Dedicated graphics (old 15" has the GT650 IIRC).
    Retina screen - retina screen on 13" vs standard on 15".

    They are roughly the same price here, so I could use some suggestions on this
    - is the new retina screen much better than the standard on the 15" model?
    - intel iris graphics vs dedicated gt650; how big is the performance difference, and how will it affect photoshop use? (from my understanding photoshop doesn't use gpu that much?)

    - older quadcore i7 vs newer dualcore i5; despite being older generation I have a feeling quadcore i7 still has significant performance advantage I believe?
  2. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Working with photoshop you say? Then get rMBP! Retina display looks awesome with photoshop! :apple:
  3. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2011
    Hi, existent

    I don't think that you should bother with the refurb. The 13" retina should fit your needs perfectly. I used to run Photoshop on my mid-2010 dual core i7 with Intel HD Graphics (the GT 330M caused kernel panic) without a hitch.

    There will definitely be a performance difference between the dual core and the quad core, but you most likely won't notice it in your usage.

    Best of luck.

  4. Tankmaze macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    Go with the refurb 15" 2012, And upgrade it to 16gb ram and ssd.
    You've owned 15" before and going to 13" even if its retina its still like a downgrade. Imo.
  5. existent thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2009
    Thanks for the comments so far..

    The refurb model I am looking for atm is quad core i7 2.3Ghz, with 512mb GT650M. The weight difference is about 2 pounds between the two so it is a big difference there as well..

    btw, it looks like we'll have black friday sale here in UK as well so it may be the day to buy - although they haven't announced details yet.
  6. Tankmaze macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    ^ go for it, quad core is an enough reason for me.

    and yes the mbp 15 quadcore is better then the newer 13 mbp dual core.
  7. Kevclark1985 macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Personally I would go for new 13", which I actually think is already overkill for what your uses are.

    It's more portable, a lot lighter, the screen is much better (moving to 13" is no biggie, I just did it and actually appreciate the smaller/sleeker form factor plus will be much better for using photoshop), battery life is far better, SSD is faster as it's PCI-e, 2 thunderbolt 2 connections is handy if you use them, I think the iris pro will perfom similar to a 512mb dGPU on that 15" (not sure on this so maybe check that out?).

    Quad core is of no real use to you for using photoshop, if you were doing lots of video encoding I could see the advantage.

    Another thing to note, is that the 13" is shiny and brand new, not a key point for everyone, but spending that sort of money it's nice to have a brand new unit.
  8. existent thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2009
    Is that true? I thought photoshop made use of the multi cores?
  9. Kevclark1985 macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2013
    I don't claim to be an expert on this subject of photo editing, so maybe someone else can chime in, but I have seen people say macbook airs are totally fine for photoshop and they run a slower dual core than the 13" retina.

    I guess there is always the case where a mega power user of photoshop could see the benefit, but again I am no expert.
  10. existent thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2009
  11. vandoorn macrumors regular

    May 31, 2011
    I've had the 2012 model 15" retina, but i've switched it to the 13" model you are describing.

    I must say i love the 13" way more than the 15". The 13" is more portable, i take my laptop everywhere and the performance of the 13" is just amazing.

    Of course the 15" is more powerful, but for me a macbook is all about portability and that is exactly what the 13" brings.

    The 13" runs every program very smoothly. I have no struggle with any problem what so ever. Photoshop, Word and Omnigraffle all open at the same time and working in all three, no problem!

    It's a tough decision, but the portability and the longer battery life is a winner for me :)

    Good luck with your decision, you will love the machine no matter what decision you make. They are both excellent machines!

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