15-inch MacBook Pro Retina recommendation for my usage

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Xeridionix, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. Xeridionix, Jan 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015

    Xeridionix macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2015
    Hey there,

    Sorry for another thread on this but I'm looking for some input from those of you who own the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. I'm currently looking at purchasing one of these models in the next two months (likely towards the end of February to the end of March depending on finances) as an upgrade from my 13-inch non-Retina MBP, and I'm kind of torn between the two options.

    For the most part, I do a lot of multi-tasking... this includes your standard stuff like web browsing, email, listening to music, but I also do some photography and tend to shoot RAW so I'm editing in Adobe Lightroom a fair amount. I also do a bit of technical support stuff as well and as such would possibly run a couple virtual machines (not necessarily at the same time). I also do a bit of web design and coding now and then.

    I also do a bit of gaming, although not a lot... I play StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3, and I do tend running those at a decent resolution with medium/high settings (or higher if possible). How does this work on a Retina display in terms of the resolution settings? Just like a non-Retina MBP? What would happen if I were to use a scaled resolution (such as 1680x1050 which I'm likely to do)?

    The full list of applications I run include Safari, Firefox, Mail, Messages, FaceTime, iTunes, iMovie, GarageBand, Pages/Numbers/Keynote, BBEdit, Lightroom, Photoshop, VMware Fusion, StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3. As mentioned earlier, I do multi-task a lot so it's not uncommon to have 5 or 6 of these at least running in the background at any given time.

    The two options I'm looking at are:

    • 2.2 GHz / 16 GB RAM / 256 GB SSD / Iris Pro Graphics - $2099
    • 2.5 GHz / 16 GB RAM / 512 GB SSD / Iris Pro + GeForce GT 750M Graphics - $2699

    Cost wise I may be able to get either of these from Apple's Certified Refurbished store online if they are still available on there when I go to purchase, and my employer also has a discount through Apple that would knock about $150 off the price of each so I'm not too worried there. Which one would be the best choice for my usage pattern though from your experiences?

    I'm looking to get at least three years of solid usage out of this computer, so it's important that I get the right model at this time versus having to do another upgrade in a year or two.

    Thanks for the insight and advice, and have a great day. :)
  2. Command macrumors regular


    Jan 23, 2015
    Well, you sure can't go wrong going with the GeForce model but it looks like either should do you justice. If you said you were editing video regularly and / or outputting HD video to display or TV, etc. I'd push more for the GeForce, but either will do the rest just fine.
  3. Xeridionix thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2015
    I do enjoy occasionally running my current machine out to a 1080p TV to watch videos every now and then, but that's about the extent of driving any other displays...
  4. johnhurley macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2011
  5. Command macrumors regular


    Jan 23, 2015
    Can't help but admit. If I were in the same sit, I would settle, save a few bucks and end up wondering what could have been...
    If you can do it, you may as well. If nothing else, it'll extend the time until you have to upgrade in the future. Or something... either way, you won't be left wondering.
  6. Xeridionix thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2015
    I guess my hesitation comes from having been burned by more than a couple NVIDIA-based MBP's in the past between faulty GPUs and crashes caused by their drivers, that's one thing that I don't want to have to deal with.
  7. Natzoo macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Not sure where i am
    i have the 750 graphics and they are not fast, like standard windows laptops even notebooks like GT 850 or 860. But they are better than the iris pro.
  8. DTKblaster macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2012
    I've had my 15" rMBP for over 2.5 years, and they're still packing the same GPU into these things. It was decent back then, coming in at the junction of a new process (28nm) and micro architecture (Kepler), but it's about half as good as it currently could be at this TDP (~GTX 860). Seeing as you do game at least a little bit, such an investment would do well to last several years, including future gaming competence.

    It sounds like you're vaguely financially mindful, and as such would recommend holding off until they update the line-up with new GPUs/broadwel or skylake intel CPUs. If you're lucky, that could be within your expected time line (for broadwel at least).
  9. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2013
    Considering that nether Starcraft 2 or Diablo 3 are that taxing thanks to the camera sitting pretty low and close to the level (i.e the number of on screen enemies never reaches really big figures) I don't see any real reason for you to spend $500 extra just to get the 750M. Specially when it should have been replaced with the last refresh, but wasn't due to Apple never doing changes that drastic unless they're upgrading the CPU to a new architecture.

    Sure, the 750M is a tad more futureproof as it's got higher performance, but the Iris Pro is fast enough to make you question if you need a dGPU. If those $500 gave you something more recent like an 860M then the decision would be much harder to make and for some people a no-brainer. However as it stands right now, I don't see any reason for you to get a 750M unless you're being dishonest towards yourself and planning on playing more than what you're admitting.
  10. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Either get the 750M, or get the Iris Pro and game in bootcamp. Either option will give you about the same performance. The 750M will only improve gaming performance for those activities you cite.

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9 January 23, 2015