15" MacBook Pro Retina 2.3GHz vs 2.6GHz

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SimonFi, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. SimonFi macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2013
    Hi guys,

    I'm currently thinking about buying one of the late 2013 Macbook Pros (15 inch) since it seems like all the bugs of the first generation (ghosting, choppy scrolling etc.) are resolved now.
    I'll definitely go for the 15" model with dedicated graphics card. But I'm not quite sure if I should order the 2.3 GHz model or the 2.6 GHz model.
    I usually keep my laptops for > 4 years and use them mainly for engineering tasks (software development and CAD).
    Do you think that the 2.6 GHz CPU is worth the premium over the 2.3 GHz model?
    I couldn't find any reviews with comparisons between the two versions.

    P.S.: Are there still any known ghosting issue in the new late 2013 version?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. sarakn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2013
    I went all out, but that's because I went Mac-crazy and maxed out on everything. I could have saved $180(edu discount) and gone with the 2.3, but I figured I've already gone close to the edge($3,000) - might as well jump over. :D
  3. buddyspencer macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2005
    I do have the 2.3 - and it's faster than last years 2.6 i7 Ivy Bridge - so I'm happy :)
  4. SimonFi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2013
    How is the behavior of the machine on scaled up resolutions. I don't want to work on the "best for retina" setting since I prefer more real estate.
    Is everything smooth when you scale up or is the graphic power still too low (as it definitively was the case with the early 2013 model)?
  5. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    That's always the kicker isn't it..... Eh, Im spending 2800 whats another 200 gonna do. I fall in that trap all the time. If you have that much cash then an extra 200 bucks really isn't that much different. I bought the base Highend. I wanted to do the 1TB SSD but I couldn't justify the 500 bucks. Had it been 200, I would have done it. My system was 2600 after taxes.
  6. mneblett macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2008
    Unless you are doing a LOT of computationally-intensive tasks during the day, you'll likely never see/feel the difference between 2.3 and 2.6 GHz. That's why I went with the 2.3 -- even though I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford a maxed-out machine, it made zero sense to spend an extra $300 for no real-world benefit.
  7. sarakn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2013
    If I did not travel as much, I could have settled for 512GB. As I waited for Haswell, I spec'ed out a system with 768GB and hoped for 1TB. It was just too bad that the base storage was 512GB. And yea, I have a lot of music and movies and the thought of having one more thing to carry did not appeal to me.

    Smart move, but I had waited 8 months for this with a laptop that's being held together with 2 butterfly clips that sometimes threaten to take an eye out if I take the laptop out of the bag without care, so yea I went all out.
  8. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    I hear you. My laptop has been dead and I am still waiting for delivery.
  9. johnnylarue macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2013
    I'm in the same boat. I only buy a new MBP every five years or so, and am tempted to splurge on the 2.6GHz even if I know it will make next to no difference in everyday use.

    $180 is a drop in the ocean for a computer that's going to cost me $2500-$2700 after taxes (friends & family discount!), but when you think of that same $180 relative to, say, the price of a new iPad, it kinda puts things in perspective.
  10. cpnotebook80 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2007
    im more interested in the battery life between the 2.3 and 2.6 cpu of 15"
    its all good to have all the latest and greatest, but i need something that will last atleast 8-9 hrs. I do lots of work video editing in Final cut on a mac pro but prefer to have something where I am not tied down to the desk.:(
  11. fratey macrumors regular

    May 6, 2010
    Even if the 2.6 upgrade was free, I would most likely go with the 2.3GHz. Battery life, thermal overhead etc.
  12. JuicyJones macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2011
    I have the 2.3, I came from the 2.6 Retina from last year. Both have 16gb of ram, both have. The 2.3's benchmarks are almost identical to the 2.6 from last year. I think the majority of the speed improvements come from the graphics card and faster flash storage.

    But the biggest difference I've noticed is battery. I had a party last night, I set up my computer on my desk on battery power. The batter was at around 80% around 7pm when people started coming over and I AirPlayed music from my MBP to my 2 Bowers & Wilkins AirPlay speakers. Around 2:30am I went to bed and stopped the music. The computer was at 32%

  13. cpnotebook80 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2007
    Is this the new retina 2.3 15"? That sounds great
  14. Orr macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2013
    Same here. The quad core i7s are already quite powerful even at their base levels. Whatever small difference in power might be gained by the higher processor is more than negated for me by the increased heating and reduced battery life.
  15. johnnylarue macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2013
    I'm afraid Final Cut will drain your battery pretty fast no matter which CPU you're using. Haswell and Mavericks don't really do much for battery life under heavy loads. (Apparently Broadwell will net a 30% improvement in this regard... but that remains to be seen.)
  16. cpnotebook80 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2007
    yes I was just researching about it with pro apps.


    found this article for last yrs models.


  17. Xylian macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2009
    I'm going to buy the high-end 15" too and I was wondering if I should spend +500 €*for 1TB SSD or +180 € for +300Mhz CPU and I think I'll go for the larger SSD, since it will make my rMBP life longer without the need to plug-in external drives every time you need some data that doesn't fit on the internal hard drive.. +500 €*are a big amount of money, but I think that on a +4 year machine they're a good investment.. don't you think? Or do you think that after 3-4 years +300Mhz will make the rMBP feel less old?
  18. SimonFi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2013
    Well, I think that 500€ premium for 500GB more storage is just way over the top - so I definitely go with the 512 GB SSD storage.

    Do you guys think, that the 2.6 GHz will produce significantly more heat under normal circumstances or just with heavy usage?

    I'm kind of tempted to buy the maxed out version just because last years version was even too weak to drive the high resolution of the retina screen smoothly.
    I guess if somebody here could tell me that the new retinas are 100% smooth in the base config (2.3 GHz + dedicated graphics) it would really make my decision process a lot easier... ;)
  19. johnnylarue macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2013
    That last year's hardware was too weak to power the retina display is, I think, a misconception. Mavericks has solved many of the UI lag issues people were blaming underpowered GPUs/CPUs for, even on the 2012 models.

    I'm also waiting for the definitive word on heat from the 2.6GHz processors. If the minimal performance gain comes at the cost of increased fan noise, etc., then the 2.3GHz becomes the obvious choice for me.

    And I totally agree--the cost premium to upgrade to 1TB is borderline criminal. If the funds are there, it's a worthwhile and very useable luxury to have, but I can't justify the expense myself.
  20. BeeAnt, Oct 29, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013

    BeeAnt macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2005
    I bought the 2.3 Ghz because the apple store told me that they don't have the customized macbook on the store, so I have to buy it online. (They have the 2.6Ghz with 1TB though, I'm thinking of 2.6Ghz and 512GB)

    Because I was kind of desperate, I bought the 2.3 Ghz. However after I got home, I started to reconsider the 2.6, even more after I see that I have a refund/exchange period on the receipt. I'm still confused right now.

    As part of my googling on this matter, I found some feature differences between 2.6 and 2.3 proc.

    Intel® Core™ i7-4850HQ Processor (2.3Ghz)

    Intel® Core™ i7-4960HQ Processor (2.6Ghz)

    According to these, the 2.3 seem to have more features like:
    Intel® Flexible Display Interface (Intel® FDI)
    Intel® Clear Video HD Technology
    Idle States
    Intel® My WiFi Technology

    I'm not sure what do these features actually do? What do you think about these extra features? does it really make some differences? like sound quality?

    Sound quality is pretty unlikely, but I sound quality difference is noticeable comparing with my Macbook Pro Mid 2010. When playing music, or video, the new MacBook I just bought plays really good sound quality, however the sound is a bit off when playing the built-in "Funk" Mac error sound (max volume).
  21. Benk3350 macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2010
    At least for Mac, especially laptops, I always max out the options.

    While for me personally, the 2.6 CPU won't be a noticeable difference in my eyes for a while, it will have more endurance down the road and better resale value if I ever decide to sell.

    I'm planning for my macbook to last me 4-5 years or even more, like the one I'm replacing right now. That extra CPU power could boost its life by a good margin way down the road. The simple fact is getting the 2.3 instead of the 2.6 will mean me having to replace it earlier because like all computers they will get older and underpowered with time.

    If the funds aren't there, its more of an issue. But if you can manage it, it will be much more useful to you in the long run.
  22. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2011
    The Intel 4960 HQ is a new processor (released Q4 13). Intel just hasn't updated all the features yet
  23. Windows&Apple macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2013
    From posts on this forum, atleast 3 people with the highest spec'd CPU's are experiences less than acceptable battery life. And yes, you are losing 300Mhz/core but you're not losing 1.2Ghz in total, don't think about it that way, you're losing 0.3Ghz per core.


    One was a MacBook Pro 13 inch with the i7, but I don't think I have that in my history anymore. Never posted on it :(
  24. BeeAnt macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2005
    so do you think I should exchange mine for the 2.6?
    I normally use it for web development, and I used my previous mbp for about 3 years.

    If it is better to switch to 2.6 then I probably get it with 1TB too, since that's what they have on stock.
    I don't really use that many storage, and I only have 256GB SSD on my previous macbook.
  25. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    I would stay with the 2.3. It isn't that big of a difference.

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