13" rMBP or ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Augustine864, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Augustine864 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    #1
    Hey, guys. I am a noob, so I apologize in advance.

    I have this question that I'm sure has been asked about 10,000x but when I searhced around, the best I could find was the same question as it relate to the late 2012 model but not the early 2013.

    I am looking at getting my first mac, and I want the 13" form-factor. I have heard and read a lot though, about how I might as well buy the 15" by the time I upgrade the 13" at all. I am wondering if the opinion is still the same now that the pricing structure and specs are slightly different with the 2013 update.

    I am looking at the getting the 2.6 i5 version for $1,599 (govt discount), but am wondering if I should upgrade that to the 3.0 i7 for $180. I think that is all I would do to it.

    The base 15" that would be the alternative is the 2.4 i7(quad) for $1,999, so I'm looking at a difference of $240. Not really that much I suppose when there is twice the cores plus the independent graphics card.

    So I certainly understand why the 15" is attractive, but I've had two 15" Dells and I'm ready to move on to smaller pastures. I don't need 15" for any reason and I'm going to be taking overseas with me to graduate school and travelling around with it a lot.

    I can't find any comparisons between the i7 dual vs i7 quad to see just how huge the difference is.

    Also, is it even worth upgrading the 3.0 i7 on the 13"? It doesn't sound insubstantial to me, but the last time I was really up on my PC tech was wen I was buying core 2 duos and all that business back in college in 2005 or 2006. I just don't know anymore.

    If I don't upgrade the top model 13", then the price difference is $400, which is easier to justify, but I only want to do that if I really won't be able to tell between the i5 and i7.

    I'll be going to grad school and doing mostly web surfing, email, word processing, maybe a light RTS game or two. SimCity possibly or Total War game. Watching movies...

    I would ideally want this to last me 4 years. If my piece of crap Dell can last that long, including going to Iraq with me and back, I will expect similar (or better) from a MacBook.
     
  2. fatlardo macrumors 6502

    fatlardo

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #2
    Would definitely recommend getting the 15 inch with the dedicated graphics for gaming. I don't think the HD4000 works to well with the resolution on the 13. Plus it will make it last longer for future games etc. I was in the same situation and I am a gamer so I wanted to be able to game anytime I wanted too.
     
  3. Augustine864 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 26, 2013
    #3
    I am sure you are right about that, but my gaming will be not even secondary in terms of what I use the computer for. I have a desktop that I use for that, but these days I only play BF3 and I don't really see myself upgrading again for game purposes. Even on my PS3 I only buy about one game a year.

    Also, I REALLY want the 13" size, even though I wish it were a better deal.

    So I guess, is it worth paying $180 for the 3.0 i7 instead of the stock 2.6 i5?

    Is there a difference between the i5 and the i7 other than the listed processor speed?

    Has the 13" become more attractive or more justifiable after the 2013 adjustments?
     
  4. airmaxx28 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 27, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    #4
    I was in the same boat as you. The 15in is probably a better deal over all but i really preferred the 13in size and weight as i travel a lot as well. I broke down and bought the 13in rMBP in january and i love it.I don't do any gaming on it but i do light photo and video editing and surf the web with multiple tabs open and i haven't experienced any performance issues.
     
  5. Augustine864 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 26, 2013
    #5
    Which version did you purchase?
     
  6. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    #6
    Two comments:

    1) A 15" rMBP is going to look and feel like a wisp compared to any comparable Dell. The 15" Retina is equal in weight to the classic 13" and weighs substantially less than my 14" Dell Latitude. You're getting a more portable machine no matter which you choose.

    2) The difference between the 13" dual-core i5 and i7 is nowhere near as substantial as the difference between those two and the base quad-core in the 15". That's not to say that the 13" is underpowered, only that the upgrade is overpriced in terms of what you get. If you've got money to spend on upgrades, I would foresee storage becoming an issue before CPU speed.
     
  7. ShiggyMiyamoto macrumors 6502a

    ShiggyMiyamoto

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    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Just outside Boston, MA.
    #7
    From what I know the dual-core i7 3 GHz CPU there isn't only dual-core, but it also has hyper-threading, so the OS will see it as 4 cores. (really 2 cores, 4 threads). That helps some, but as much as I like the 13" form factor as you do I'mma get the $1779 refurb'd rMBP 15" in the next 2 months or so when I get my tax refund money. I can't wait! xD
     
  8. airmaxx28 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 27, 2013
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    Florida
    #8
    Late 2012 2.5GHz 256gb
     
  9. Mercmanman macrumors member

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    Nov 24, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    I have the 2.9 i7 from late 2012. I get great battery life and it is really portable, and the best machine I have ever owned ( I came from a 2012 i7 13" MBA). I travel a lot and don't want the size and weight of the 15" rMBP, but it is an awesome machine.

    I think the i7 is worth it, as the graphics run a bit faster clock speed too... and when I do some handbrake or imovie rendering, it is nice to have the uptick in speed. If you want to keep it for a while, I think it is worth it.
     
  10. Sean76 macrumors 6502a

    Sean76

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    Feb 10, 2013
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    Go to Apple and try both out! I mean your saying you realllllllllly want the 13, so if that's the case get the 13...why bother driving yourself nuts.

    I got the 13 and love it, I take it everywhere with me!
     
  11. Augustine864 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    #11
    All very good points I need to consider. I'm still leaning 13" because I just really want to move down in size, though the above poster was right when they said no matter I am essentially getting more portable post-Dell.

    I am having a hard time with the idea of moving to an integrated graphics chip, but I just don't think I'll need the independent one. I'll be dragging this thing around Italy and around class and setting it up on my desk and in front of people. I'm just thinking smaller is better here. I also like the idea of getting a 13" rMBP and an iPad mini at some point. Seems complementary.

    The only other concern I have is that the single most common thing I do currently on my 15" Dell is split screen between my word doc and whatever I am researching. It's stupid but I LOVE the Win7 snap feature. So my concern there is that 13" will just be tight for that sort of action, but went to an Apple Store today and played a bit and I think I'll be ok.

    I am going to wait until they have another back to school special, (whenever that is), so I have some more time to think.
     
  12. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Location:
    Southern California
    #12
    I have both the 13 & 15 MBPr's. I've always carried my laptop daily, now I end up taking the 15" it's just so light and small.

    Thinner than the 13" the only difference is approx. 1.5" wider and 0.75" deeper, it's a featherweight at just 4.46 lbs.

    Heck that's half the weight of your average 15" laptop and more than twice as thin.

    Having the larger screen is what does it for me since I do a lot of multitasking. With 16GB of memory, I can open as many programs, browsers and tabs as I like without a second thought.

    It's a veritable rocket :D
     
  13. cramazing macrumors 6502

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    Jun 17, 2012
    #13
    why do you have both?
     
  14. airmaxx28 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 27, 2013
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    Florida
    #14
    +1
     
  15. maxosx macrumors 68020

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    Dec 13, 2012
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    Southern California
    #15
    I'm a long time Apple enthusiast that enjoys the first hand experience that ownership provides. I have lots of different usage scenarios. I do 97% of all my work, as well as personal record keeping digitally, I'm nearly paper free. I enjoy using a nice laptop so much, and must have variety, that I have lots of Macs.

    In addition I travel rather frequently for work. When I'm not using one of my larger MBP's in the engineering lab, I take the 13" MBPr, or my 13" MBA on the plane, as most of my travel is long international flights.

    If I buy a new model that I either don't like or don't use much I give it to a family member. It's a nice gesture they appreciate, and that way I don't have to maintain anything but Macs for them.

    Tried an 11" MBA, but the display at 16:9 just didn't work for me. Too little.
     
  16. MrNomNoms macrumors 65816

    MrNomNoms

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    Jan 25, 2011
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #16
    I have a 13.3" 2.9Ghz non-Retina MacBook Pro and the question I think you need to first ask yourself is whether you actually need a Retina display or whether the decision to buy it has more to do with being able to boast to friends - spend the $200 on a fancy display or put it wards a larger SSD drive. Regarding the CPU itself - if you're going to play games then you're better off purchasing a 15" with a dedicated video card (or purchasing an iMac) but if portability is your main concern and you don't play games then I'd go for the 13.3inch 2.9Ghz model.
     
  17. Augustine864 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    #17
    I'm not too worried about the retina display. I have an ipad 2 at home and my girlfriend has an ipad "3", and I can't even tell the difference. Also when I go to the apple store and play with the rMBP and standard MBP I can't either. The reduced size and weight are what is drawing me to the rMBP.

    I think multitasking is becoming a growing concern right now for me. I enjoy having the screen space to do that easily, but I still am drawn to the 13" because its just so easy to move. That int to say the 15" is at all difficult, but its still larger and more cumbersome by comparison.
     
  18. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #18
    you know you can always use the real res. There are some programs that allow you to use it, or just set to the ones that are default by apple

    Also, I would just get rid of your desktop, get a thunderbolt egpu and game away. I you dont want to spend much on that you can get a gtx 650 with a mlink or sonnet echo express and game away with that.
     
  19. mtntrance macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Location:
    Palm Desert, CA
    #19
    had the i5 2.6 and the i7 3.0-keeping the i7

    The i5 2.6 is fine. If I didn't have to build to order I would have gone with a i5 2.6 with 512 GB. Because I could get the i7 3.0 with 512 GB directly from the store stock I went with it. With education discount it came to approx $400 more than the stock i5 2.6 w 256 GB at $2049. Paying $400 more for the extra storage and slightly faster CPU was worth it for me. It would cost me $2000 for the 15 quad 2.6 with 256 GB. The 13 form factor is ideal for me. I had a MBP 17 mid 2011 and didn't really need the dedicated graphics processing power it had. The i7 and i5 rMBP 13 runs cool. When you weigh storage versus CPU speed I will take the storage. Last the 13 rMBPs have had significantly less issues than the 15s e.g, fans, IR, wifi drops, etc. On Benchmark I am hitting near 8000 with the i7 3.0 consistently.
     
  20. vatter69, Mar 26, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013

    vatter69 macrumors 6502a

    vatter69

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    #20
    If you need more than 8 GB of RAM, are a heavy Photoshopper, Gamer, Music Artist or frequent video cut/renderer -> get the 15".

    For your everyday usage, the 13" is more than enough. And this also doesn't mean you cannot do anything of the above on the 13". Quite the contrary. It's just that the 15" will do it faster.

    The main difference between the 2.6 i5 and 3.0 i7 is 1meg of Cache and obviously the clock speed.According to Intel, the i7 also features a slighly higher GPU turbo frequency.

    I own the early 2013 with an i7 and 256gb SSD. Running Parallels with a small Windows 7 install and have about 100 GIG left after everything is installed that you could ever need. Have to add that im using Itunes Match to save my 80 gigs of music in the cloud, though. On the other hand - where do you get 80 gig for 25bucks a year elsewhere from Apple? :)

    Idle temps are below 40 Celsius, gaming temps (running StarCraft2 currently) go up to 78-80 but very playable even with Antialiasing.

    Battery life is roughly 7h in daily usage (without tuning for battery life like reducing brightness etc).

    I was in the same boat as you - get the i7 is my recommendation.
     
  21. nando4 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    #21
    Your question was raised and answered in 2.5GHz i5 to 2.9GHz i7 worth it?. See response #3 for a comparison of the i5 vs i7 rMBP. Summary: i5 is fine, if can manage the 15" rMBP then it's a substantial performance upgrade for a small weight/size penalty.
     
  22. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #22
    I can totally understand the desire to move on to the smaller 13" form factor, particularly if you are fairly mobile.

    A couple of points to consider that you and others have raised.

    First you will be dealing with a laptop that is dual core and using integrated graphics. With your stated desire of having this for 4 years, I'd say the 15" model is better suited as it has more horsepower to power you through the years.

    Secondly is the screen real estate, I moved from a 15" to a 13" and found the screen too small. For my needs I use Photoshop and Lightroom and the 13" screen was too small. After dealing with this for a few years I moved back to the 15" screen and while larger, i.e., less mobile then the 13" it gave me lots of screen real estate to do my work.

    From my perspective the 15" model gives you a lot of computer, where as you're making some sacrifices for the 13" The smaller model isn't bad, but you need to measure the advantages of the 13" against the advantages of the 15" and see how they line up with your needs.
     
  23. Rocketpaul macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #23
    There is an app called divvy which does the same job as the windows snap feature. I also loved the snap feature on the windows.
     
  24. cramazing macrumors 6502

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    Jun 17, 2012
    #24

    can someone confirm this?
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #25
    The chip set virtualizes the cores, so the OS sees 4 virtual cores. In the 15" MBP there are 8 virtual cores because of this technology. It works well enough but all things being equal we're still talking about 2 physical cores on the 13" MBP vs. 4 physical cores on the 15"
     

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