15" Macbook Pro Retina Comparison Question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JordanTheJew, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. JordanTheJew, Sep 5, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013

    JordanTheJew macrumors newbie

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    Sep 5, 2013
    #1
    Hi all!

    This is my first post on this forum, so bear with me :p
    I'm looking to buy a 15" MacBook Pro Retina for school and I'm not really sure whether to go with the BEST one or the not as loaded one. My question is what are the differences between the different levels of GHZ (2.4GHz vs. 2.7GHz), the different levels of Turbo Boost (3.4GHz vs. 3.7GHz), the 8GB vs. 16GB memories and the amount of flash storage (256GB vs. 512GB)?

    Basically, what are the differences between each spec element of the two computers, and what options would be best for an average college student/best worth the price?

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. cjbriare macrumors member

    cjbriare

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    Nov 8, 2008
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #2
    Welcome to the forums!

    My experience with Macs is that the more memory, the better.

    2.4GHz vs. 2.7GHz

    Honestly, I doubt you'd notice a difference with this, same goes for turbo boost.
    Depends on what you're doing, but if you're doing simple word processing and web browsing, the 2.4 should be just fine.

    8gb of ram, (is that the minimum they have?) should be fine as well.


    Flash storage is up to you. Think about anything you might do that would require a lot of space. (music, photos, videos, etc)

    If you have a lot of stuff, go with more space to start so you dont worry about it later.



    What do you plan on using it for? I know you said you're a student, but is there anything outside of school you'd use it for? gaming, editing, etc.
     
  3. JordanTheJew thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Thanks for the advice! Other than school work, as of right now, I believe that gaming would probably be the next main thing I will do on it.
     
  4. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    Detroit
    #4
    An "average college student" shouldn't NEED anything more than a base model 13 inch Macbook Pro. The more memory gives you better performance with more apps open. More SSD gives you more internal storage for data versus using a USB, Thunderbolt or Firewire external drive.

    As for the speed differences, unless you are majoring in video production and will make heavy use of Final Cut Pro, there is no reason to go chasing after the higher specs.

    Spec chasing is a pc thing. Windows is such an awful pig of an OS that people tend to throw hardware at the thing to reduce the lag. OSX is the type of OS that can run happily on 7 year old "core 2 duo" hardware. I know this because a couple of our machines are of this vintage and they work just fine.

    I really find it difficult to recommend Retina because of the lack of expansion ports. Once Thunderbolt peripherals come down in price this will change but for now I recommend the 13 inch or 15 inch non-retina Macbook Pro because the memory and internal storage (HDD) are both user-upgrade-able and there are more ports available (firewire, usb and Thunderbolt). The only "port advantage" the retina models have is an HDMI output where the largely-useless optical drive would be on the base model MBP. For me this is not enough of a "win" to get me to recommend Retina... yet.

    Don't get me wrong. If you can afford a retina MBP with all the upgrades, go for it. It's just that the base MBP is a better value because you can buy the base model and put your own extra RAM and SSD inside and because the base model comes with ports that support less expensive firewire peripherals. Yes you can get a TB to FW adapter but it adds another $30 to the cost of a Retina MBP.
     
  5. cjbriare macrumors member

    cjbriare

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    #5

    I agree with this. As far as gaming goes, a friend of mine plays League and SC2 on his and he says it runs fine.

    Not sure what games you're into, but they handle well.
     
  6. bkribbs macrumors 65816

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    Jan 15, 2012
    #6
    CPU doesn't matter, you'll be fine either way.

    RAM 8 is fine for now, but if you want to use it for 4 or more years, I would max it out as it is literally not upgradable.

    The SSD is technically upgradable in the future but is expensive. I would go 512 or higher if you can just so you don't have to worry about it.

    edit- also- if you can afford it- go for the rMBP. If you calculate the cost of the SSD and RAM that come with it, it works out the same as a base regular MBP plus the RAM and SSD. Plus you get a screen. I miss my ethernet port, but spend 25 bucks on amazon and get an adapter. I have an external DVD drive and have used it... uh... none... Not needed in this time.
     
  7. JordanTheJew, Sep 5, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013

    JordanTheJew thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 5, 2013
    #7
    So should I go with the standard MacBook Pro with 2.6GHz w/ 1GB GDDR5 memory, 8GB of RAM, and (512GB SSD?) for $2,668+tax?

    or

    Should I go with MacBook Pro Retina with 2.7GHz w/ up to 3.7GHz Turbo Boost, 16GB SDRAM, 512GB Flash Storage, and USB Superdrive for $2,678+tax?

    Edit: for the Retina option, should I go with the 512GB Flash and what I have now? Or should I DOWNGRADE to 2.4GHz w/3.4 Turbo Boost (-$100) and UPGRADE to the 768GB Flash (+$360)?
     
  8. malexandria Suspended

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    Mar 25, 2009
    #8
    Your advice was solid until you got into the childish, baseless, Windows bashing.
     
  9. bkribbs macrumors 65816

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    Jan 15, 2012
    #9
    Consider refurbished too, or at least an education discount. Comparing the two original ones, there is no comparison. for 10 dollars more you get 8GB ram and retina screen, at the cost of optical drive and ethernet port.

    768 for me would be more then needed but that's your call. I'd go 512/16 over 768/8
     
  10. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    #10
    Point taken but I do have some anecdotal evidence for my windows bashing. I have a rather nice SSD-based Dell Latitude E6430 at work and while SSD helps make Windows 7 Enterprise less laggy, it doesn't approach what I experience on my older Mac hardware at home. I often get freezes which last 30 seconds or longer and I must "go for a walk and come back" in order to get something done.

    So while I admit to Windows bashing, I am speaking from my experience and not merely opinion. In fairness I must admit that my Windows experience is affected by our work machines which suffer from rather bloated IT software that makes molasses in January look fast. I can't remember how long it's been since I've run a 32 bit version of OSX but our Windows 7 is STILL locked at 32 bits by some proprietary IT-department-written apps that won't run in 64 bit Windows. This means that only 2.99 GB of the 8 GB of RAM in my work pc is "usable"... Ouch!
     
  11. JordanTheJew thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 5, 2013
    #11
    Yup I've already got the education discount included in that price, and if I order by tomorrow I get a $100 iTunes gift card too. And i don't know if I mentioned it, but that price for the Retina has the Disc Drive included.

    But what you're saying is that I should go with the Retina with 512/16?
     
  12. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #12
    For a college student the base 15" rMBP should be fine. While the non user upgradability of the RAM and to a certain extent the SSD drive is an issue, I think you will be fine with the base model. I would wait a few weeks before buying as it is likely they will be updated, as early as next week.

    I have in the past bought the top of the line Mac Book Pro every time, but last time I upgraded to the base rMBP and I have not regretted it a bit.

    You will have more depreciation on the top of the line model, so you may be better off getting the base model and then upgrading in three years time. If you plan on keeping it for more than three years you may want to go for the higher spec machine.

    To be honest everyone here will have there own opinion - there is no right answer.
     
  13. JordanTheJew thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    So you'd say forget about the "back to school" $100 itunes giftcard and wait? Also, stick with the retina that I mentioned?
     
  14. bkribbs macrumors 65816

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    #14
    The key is right there. He's also correct, everyone will have their own opinion.
     
  15. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    Bristol, UK
    #15
    That is a tricky one to be honest. They are due to be updated soon, but only likely to be a small spec bump, rather than a major redesign, but only Apple knows for sure. I think only you can decide if you would prefer to save money now or have the latest machine. They is a reasonable chance they could get a update next week, or you may be waiting until October.

    Haswell is likely to give a significant boost to battery life.
     
  16. JordanTheJew thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 5, 2013
    #16
    I guess I'm just going to have to wait for that then! I mean, it's fine by me because I'm still a senior in High School, but I DO need a laptop sometime soon in the future since I'm stacked with AP classes this year, but I have no problem waiting a few weeks for a potential update. Obviously there's the event on Sept. 10th, when in October would you potentially expect for the next update to come, if not on 9/10?
     

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