13" vs 15" MacBook Pro Retina (Mid 2014- yesterdays update)?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vmv89, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. vmv89, Jul 30, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014

    vmv89 macrumors member

    vmv89

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    #1
    I am a new member at MacRumors and am really excited to join the family after being a Windows/Android user.

    I will be purchasing a MacBook Pro today and am torn on which one is right for me. I am a student studying Computer Information Systems/Business and will be using it for the classes. (Java/C programming, web development, web design, adobe apps, and other applications that a CIS major might use). I am also a DJ and plan to learn audio production with Ableton or Logic so would like the laptop to be able to handle that.


    Here are two options:

    Option 1
    $1,999.00
    13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
    3.0GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    256GB PCIe-based flash storage

    Option 2
    $2,299.00
    15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
    2.8GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    256GB PCIe-based Flash Storage

    The big concern/difference is dual core vs quad core and dedicated graphics on 15" inch. I know it will greatly improve performance, especially in photoshop applications, but since I am just a beginner and most likely will not do any heavy photo editing just web design and development, is dedicated graphics necessary? What about quad core? Can I still easily DJ/make music or design without worrying computer will freeze?

    I will also be traveling to classes as well as work (DJing) and portability is important. But if 15" power/performance is very important, it will outweigh portability factor.

    I have 27" samsung monitor at home that I can connect, so screen real state will not be a problem at home. But my monitor highest resolution is 1920 by 1200. Is it too low for design work and especially since Macbooks have much greater resolution? Will it be a waste of retina displays?

    The price difference is around $350. Should I buy 15" version and be confident that I got a good buy or should I buy 13" version which will be hopefully enough for the beginner/intermediate work, and then upgrade later when Broadwell Macbooks are released?

    Thank you ahead of time for taking your time helping me choose the right laptop!
     
  2. HarryPot macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #2
    Since I moved from my past MacBook 13" to my new MBP 15", I'm sure I'll never go back.

    Not only is having a dedicated video card a nice bonus, but the screen size difference makes working in Photoshop, AutoCAD, Web Design, or any other similar app a much better experience.

    Having an external display is nice, but I find that I rarely use it any more.

    As for portability, I travel frequently and moving around with a 15" MBP is nothing to worry about. I did have the 13" MB in college, and bought the 15" MBP after finishing college, but I don't think the extra weight and size would be a hassle for you.
     
  3. vmv89 thread starter macrumors member

    vmv89

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
  4. HarryPot macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #4
    I forgot to answer one part of your post, which is about wether dual-core vs quad-core makes a difference.

    For a student, the MBP 13" is more than enough. But if you are not tight in money, and can afford spending the extra $350, I would recommend the MBP 15".
     
  5. 5to1, Jul 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014

    5to1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    #5
    Only you can tell how much you will be GPU/CPU bound if ever by the 13" silicon. I could definitely use the extra screen real estate (in terms of pixels, rather then physical) the 15" offers, but am rarely bound by the silicon in the 13". Also the battery life on the 13" compensates the loss of screen real estate for me.

    The clincher for me is the size. Yes apple have shrunk the bezels on the machines making the 15" more palatable. But in terms of footprint it is still significantly larger then the 13". And when in use you have to deal with that a cross two virtually perpendicular planes. You know the environment you work in, contemplate which machine will be more comfortable/feasible to use in those environments.

    For me, for example, space is often at a premium. I maybe in a busy development environment. I may have multiple machines. I maybe at a busy meeting with everyone and their dog showing their machine on the table, plus other crap. Even on a face to face meeting I find the 13" screen between me and the other person barely tolerable (body language, etc is an important factor in gauging another person when time is at a premium, or conveying yourself in a favourable manor). On a plane, train, back of the car, even when I'm competing for sofa/coffe table space at home the 15" machine becomes cumbersome. Something as simple as picking up and carrying the open machine with one hand is not practicable for me with the 15" (size and weight distribution from point where you're holding it).

    That's why the 13" was the logical choice for me and to be honest it didn't take much consideration to reach that conclusion (although I have been using laptops for almost two decades now). The cost difference was insignificant. In fact it was a pleasant change that the 13" was cheaper. Coming from a windows environment, with machines specd this close, I've historically become accustomed to paying much more for smaller machines then equivelant 15"ers. I used to have to pay through the nose for Japanese imports to attain reasonable performance in a small package.
     
  6. vmv89 thread starter macrumors member

    vmv89

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
  7. vmv89, Jul 31, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014

    vmv89 thread starter macrumors member

    vmv89

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    #7
    :eek:So I was in the process of ordering Option 2. I am glad I did not order it. I was told via apple online chat that dedicated graphic card is only available with 512 GB Flash Storage. Even though other spec (i7,16gb ram) are the same, my MacBook Pro will NOT have dedicated graphics unless I upgrade to 512 GB.
    $2,299.00
    15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
    2.8GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    256GB PCIe-based Flash Storage

    So, decided 13" Option 1 is the option I will go with.

    Thanks for your advices and recommendations though!
     

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