13" rMBP 2.6/16/512 or 15" rMBP 2.0/8/256

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JPage, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. JPage macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2013
    Here's the deal: I'm thinking to replace my old Qosmio (2008) and I want to enter in the OSX ecosystem. So I have 2 options in mind:

    -13" rMBP 2.6/16/512
    -15" rMBP 2.0/8/256

    I know that only me can answer this question, due to my needs, but I would like to read your advices.

    I can get both macbooks for the same price, so I'm asking your feedback.

    The 13" option is more portable, bigger ssd and 16gb ram, seems a killer combination here;

    On the other hand, the 15" option has quad core processor, bigger screen, better speakers...

    Since I'll be using it for some web browser, watching series, music editing, college presentations and I need to carry it around everyday, what are your thoughts? Which option seems to you the "go for it"?
  2. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Go with the 13-inch. You really only need the bigger screen if you're working with intensive applications that would benefit from more screen real estate. And since you'll be carrying it around frequently, the 13" is a no-brainer. Keep in mind that the 13" is plenty fast enough, and the speaker quality difference isn't that huge.

    Unless you absolutely want the bigger screen just because.
  3. dextr3k macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    Yeah if you are going with base version of the 15", there is no discrete GPU so you aren't getting any performance bump, so unless you can use quadcore or the extra 2" of screen real estate, then I see no reason to get the bigger and less portable machine.

    Just picked up a 13" 2.4/8/256 for my wife and she loves it. Seems to be the sweet spot for average users.
  4. JPage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2013
    13" lag issues are still affecting the new haswell macbooks?

    I read about some software update, but I'm not sure that issues were fixed.
  5. dextr3k macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    Hers doesn't lag, at least not that I've noticed. She would even be more oblivious to the lag if there is any.

    She uses it to watch streaming shows and type notes. So it really is a perfect machine for her.
  6. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I've got the 3GHZ 13"...The previous model...I would;t change it now, and I came from a big heavy 17" rMBP...The retina screen is perfect, and although I went with 8GB of RAM and the 500GB SSD, I don't see beach balls or lag at all.
  7. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    for future its down to 16gb RAM vs quad core i7 i think
  8. RobboMB macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2013
    It depends how fussy you are, it's not proper lag - more a bit of stutter when scrolling through image / flash heavy pages while running a scaled resolution. It's definitely there, best way i can describe it is like when you use a mouse scroll wheel to go through a page, rather than being silky smooth it jumps a bit.

    Like i say it depends on how you are as to whether it will bother you. I've been using windows for the last god knows how long so the other changes keep me pretty well distracted from it

    Personally for your use case i'd go for the 13" though, I did and i use some of the more screen intensive applications without any issue (if all else fails i've got a 24" monitor i can hang off the back of it)
  9. JPage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2013
    Thanks for your feedback. I'm convinced with the screen size and I'll choose 13" rMBP.

    I have just one more question: Will I notice the extra speed of 2.6ghz over 2.4ghz and 512 ssd over 256 ssd?
  10. Nostalgia macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2013
    I would also like to add a question, taken that the base 15" has the Iris Pro 5200, doesn´t the "considerably" better gpu, make the overall performance of the computer better?
  11. Wishbrah macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2013
    Portability is not an issue.

    15 inch rMBP is less than 2 inches wider and is 1 inch deeper, while weighing 1lbs more. A 20oz water bottle weighs 1.3lbs.

    So the real issue is: quad core with better iGPU and a bigger, more impressive display vs dual core with more memory and a larger/faster ssd.

    Tricky choice, definitely. The SSD will most likely not be indefinitely proprietary, so that can be upgraded in the 15" later.

    So, quad core vs more ram


    Iris 5000 vs Iris Pro

    Personally I would go for the 15". More staying power in terms of handling future computing. The bottleneck will likely be the ram in the 15" (which is mitigated with ram compression in Mav), where as the bottleneck in the 13" will be the dual cores (iGPU's aside).
  12. Nostalgia macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2013
    Well put, really simple to grasp the differences of both thanks for that.

    however, what to do you mean by what i highlited in bold? ram compression in Mav? i suppose Mav=Mavericks? (yeah sorry, i know, looking like a noob here :D) Care to elaborate? Don´t quite understand the compression thing you said (?)

    But yes definitely, those are the questions that are hard to answer...

    Indeed the high-end 15" is the most future-proofing possible, but dayum it is expensive ahahah worth it though? who knows :cool:
  13. Wishbrah macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2013
    There are countless others here with amazing technical knowledge (hopefully one of them can chime in), but memory compression is something new in Mavericks. Basically, as you are using the computer, older processes that are not given priority by you are compressed in terms of ram usage, which frees up ram for whatever else you may be doing.

    Apple gave an example of 4gb ram w/compression and how it could potentially give as much performance as 8gb that didn't operate with compression. Whether or not that is entirely accurate, I'm not sure.
  14. JPage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2013
    But do you guys think it's worth 300$ more over mid model?

    I like having the newer and powerful products but I'm afraid the difference is not worth it.

    I read here in macrumors that the bigger ssd you take, the bigger speed you'll get. And the bump is bigger from 2.4ghz to 2.6ghz than 2.6ghz to 2.8ghz... Am I right?
  15. Macshroomer macrumors 65816


    Dec 6, 2009
    No, it is not an issue, but the 13" has distinct advantages in terms of size that make it *very* popular. I could have easily spent the dough on a maxed out 15" but I would lose a lot of the size advantage that the 13" offers me as I suspect it does a lot of people.

    I can not even begin to list the sheer numbers of pro film and still shooters who prefer the size of the 13" over the 15" for work on the road, it is pretty telling. Just take a peek in the media tent of the Xgames, almost all 13's year after year...
  16. Wishbrah macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2013
    Because somebody prefers the 13" over the 15" does not mean the 15" is not as portable. Like you said, it's preference. Preference can't be advised over the internet.

    Is there a circumstance where the 15" is unusable and the 13" is? I've heard that a plane ride makes the 15" inconvenient; not rendering it totally unusable.
  17. Macshroomer macrumors 65816


    Dec 6, 2009
    I feel that in having used the 13" 15" and 17"'s that the 13" is the most portable...read, in my experience, the 15" is not as portable. The 13" seems to fit in a LOT more places when I travel, I need my laptops to fit in more places than just some fancy dedicated bag or sleeve. Just the improvement in the number of carry on bags that fit in tight commuter jet overhead spaces the 13" fits in makes it a vast improvement for me.

    It also makes it the go to laptop for many of the pros I mentioned in my previous post....it's not about money, it is not about not needing power, it is about being an optimal size.

    By the way, what do *you* do for work?
  18. GoingDark macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2013
    I have the 13" and I'm very pleased with it. You should know that the difference in performance is NOT trivial between the 13" and even the base 15" model - the 15" provides nearly double the performance in almost every scenario.

    However, the difference in size and portability is also not trivial - the 13" is significantly more portable. You don't really notice the difference as much in photos and videos, but in person it's staggering how much bigger the 15" actually feels. Check it out at an Apple Store or Best Buy near you and you'll understand exactly what I mean.

    I decided that both cost and portability were bigger factors than performance, since I don't play computer games or perform any particularly resource-intensive tasks on my laptop. Coming from a 15" Windows laptop I dearly miss the extra screen real estate, but I take my laptop around with me a lot more often than I used to.

    In my opinion, based on your use case I would suggest you go with the 13", primarily because of this one statement:
    If that's truly what you're going to do, I don't see how you could go with any other option.
  19. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    I've heard that the 15" is pretty much unusable on a plane. Sure you could do it, but it won't be comfortable. I think some people understate the size difference between the 13" and 15".


    None of those things are going to make a difference for what you're doing. Don't read into it too much.
  20. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    I find the 15" rMBP to barely be larger than my previous 13" cMBP but compared to the 13" rMBP it is a bit bigger but its still portable...I carry my 15" rMBP everywhere...now if it was a 15" cMBP it'd be a different story. I find quad core to be worth it over anything the 13" MBP's can offer, it makes multitasking easier with less RAM...don't have Mavericks yet so I can't comment on RAM compression but if its true I'll be happy since my 8GB's of RAM will feel more like a nice 12GB's or 16GB's :D :D
  21. Wishbrah macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2013
    Very sly question if I'm understanding your gist. :apple: Personally, the difference between 13" and 15" doesn't matter *to me* because I am never traveling by air for my job. My personal point-of-view is this: I can deal with a minor inconvenience in some situations as a drawback for superior computing power (this inevitably brings up the upgrading debate -- buy one to last 5 years, or buy one and then resell 1.5 years later to upgrade?).

    If the OP has had his computer since 2008, he may want some staying power. I would suggest quad core in that case.

    But to answer shroomer's question more directly, albeit more off-topic...I don't work in the computer industry. I get work with much more perfect machines (biologically speaking). I'm in the veterinary medicine field. :cool:
  22. thurgood macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2013
    I'm considering something similar:

    13" rMBP 2.6/16/256
    15" rMBP 2.0/8/256

    If i can get these for the same price, what do you think just in terms of overall performance (not just in terms of pure processing capacity but also everyday performance including things like battery life/UI lag)?

    Completing setting aside portable or not/do you need bigger screen or not issues.
  23. mac8867 macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    Saint Augustine, FL
    RAM --- it ALWAYS comes down to RAM. Go big RAM, every time.

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