15" rMBP vs 17" MBP - what would you do?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NetWanderer, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. NetWanderer macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2013
    So you're looking at the following set ups with the same price tag. Both used and in mint condition. What would you do?

    15" rMBP: 2,3 / 8GB Ram / 256GB SSD


    17" MBP: 2,2 i7 quad / 16GB Ram / 750 HDD + 256GB SSD in place of the SuperDrive. Last 17" ever built.
  2. ooans macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2011
    I would not buy the 17" MBP due to the fact that it does not have USB 3.0. This is 2013.
  3. Millionaire2K macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2011
    I would love a 17. However as the guy above me says it is lacking USB 3.0 and a few other 2013 things.

    If Apple pulled a 17 rmbp out of their @ss I would buy that. But don't count on that.

    Also... Be sure to check Apple refurb store. They have 7 different 17 builds for sale.
  4. Rizzm macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2012
    I know it won't happen but I've always wanted a 14" MBP. I think 12, 14, 16 lineup would be ideal.
  5. NetWanderer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2013
    Yeah I would totally go for a 17" rMBP.

    USB isn't really an issue for me. Software development is my day job and media production my hobby. It's more about performance and being somewhat future proof aside from USB. So what other 2013 things is it lacking?
  6. chetzar macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2013
  7. chandler99 macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2009
    York, UK
    I currently have both but the thing that annoys me with the 15" rMBP is that something's you take for granted cost extra (I.e. Network port, dvd drive) and you can't upgrade the ram...
  8. henry72 macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2009
    New Zealand
  9. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    Fail. It has thunderbolt.

  10. Pompiliu macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2012
    rMBP ofcourse!

    Smaller, lighter, retina display (and not a crap TN), USB3.
  11. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    If you do anything close to media - you would go with the retina..
  12. chetzar macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2013
    I was mistaken, but it does only have 1 (opposed to the 2 the rMPB has) looks like it also lack HDMI output.
  13. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2013
    I would do exactly what I did - get a 2.5Ghz Core i7 17" MBP, add a $15 GMYLE USB 3.0 Adapter (love having 5 USB ports), and then MAX IT OUT!

    16GB 1600Mhz DDR3, 250GB Internal 250GB Samsung 840 SSD, external 1TB Samsung EVO 840 SSD in a Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt/USB 3.0 enclosure.

    And, of course, Applecare until February 2015.

    This system is a freaking powerhouse, mobile, portable, and handles *everything* I've thrown at it with aplomb.

    I did go in and lap the heatsink, arctic silver 5'd it, and I can't see me replacing this with anything OTHER than another 17" portable powerhouse.

    Apple, are you listening?
  14. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    And the 15" rMBP lacks upgradable RAM, upgradable HDD, FireWire, an ExpressCard slot and a 17" screen....
  15. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    I miss the 17'' screen of my old MBP. For programming the extra screen real estate is nice. Of course you can set the rMBP to the same resolution, but I it's not the same.
  16. theromz macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2013
    I would go with the rmbp personally, its lighter device, with a much better display. IT does have less ram which you can't upgrade so if you must have 16gb then the 17" might be best, if not I would really just go with the rmbp.
  17. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    Depends on your uses. I faced that choice earlier this year. I was looking for a mac that could handle some light-moderate gaming, so dGPU was important. Anyway on the topic:

    I went with the retina ultimately because I just didn't couldn't justify spending that kind of money on something that outdated. The retina was lighter, thinner and had better internals.

    The cons that I see between the choices is that for me 256GBs wouldnt be enough for me personally, and I dont know whether or not you frequently use an optical drive, but a usb one is always a choice. And also if you are one to upgrade the RAM/SSD, be assured that the rMBP is very limited. All you can change is the SSD, but that is only with custom SSDs from OWC, which have a maximum capacity of 480GB I believe.

    I would ultimately wait for the new models to be released later this month/early november before making a choice. If youre buying them used you can use this information to barter for a lower price.
  18. Idarzoid macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2013
    If I had to pick one of the machines, I'd pick the 17" every time.

    Lack of USB 3 isn't a huge problem for me, sure it makes the initial Time Machine backup slow, but after that, it's not an issue.
  19. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I've owned both. Sold the 17 in the end, it was a hard decision and I wish I could've kept both to a certain extent as the 17 was the anti-glare model.

    However, the screen is substantially better on the rMBP, it is much, much quieter under load and it's a lot lighter. If it's a glossy 17" then I'd say get the retina display 15" without question.
  20. KdParker macrumors 601


    Oct 1, 2010
  21. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2013
    That's what the ExpressCard slot is for - my initial 190GB Time Machine was nice and speedy ;) I use a 500GB USB 3.0 Enclosure for my (local) Time Machine.
  22. MeUnix macrumors 6502

    Aug 21, 2013
    San Francisco
    Personally, I'd go for the 17" MacBook Pro.

    But on the other hand, the Retina is nice :D
  23. Striker-UMB macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2010
    The rMBP's SSD can be upgraded where have you been? It has a SDXC Card slot and there is an adapter if you really need an express card slot. The rMBP also has an hdmi port 2 USB 3.0 ports, 2 thunderbolt ports, better video card, its thinner and lighter. You can also change the resolution if you need more workspace, and a 15" 2880x1800 retina IPS display with much superior colors and contrast..........
  24. akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    You've been responded to....but no more RAM can you put in the 17" model at this time than the CTO rMBP. You're able to upgrade your SSD to 768GB. (Very rare in the laptop industry). FireWire if necessary can be converted by a $29 adapter to thunderbolt...and now a pair of decent companies have released excellent thunderbolt docks...with significantly greater options than ever were made available..even by third parties, for the PCMCIA slot on the MBP. Killed me. I was a 17" owner for almost eight years. We've still got a pair of 2011s for out business we use...but both my wife and I's go to laptops have been the rMBP for the past year.
    IMHO, the best 'computer' ever built ;)
    25 years of owning, fixing and building them, the rMBP is king of the hill for me. Not even interested in the Haswell 2012 update. Every time I turn it on, it brings a smile to my face. Tonight, I was manipulating a document in 'Word' and up popped the MS updater ('critical update'). A 345mb update. It was downloaded and installed in less than two minutes.
    These things are incredible. Their speed. The display. The I/O options (USB 3, twinT/B, HDMI, SD...very nice to have a single, digital in/output for both audio in and out)--- battery life is tremendous and the package is less than 5 pounds! It's as powerful and runs (transcoding and ripping/finalizing video and still/motion) as quick and painlessly as my 2009 Mac Pro. It's with me everywhere

    That said...to the OP...the system you're looking at (or perhaps systems) are available on apple.com in the refurb section. If you go with the rMBP you're getting the 'low end' config. The RAM. The SSD. The original processor (not that the proc is a slouch by ANY means). If you feel like you'll need 16GB of RAM in your laptop within the next couple of years (depends what you're doing....are you manipulating dozens of 50mb RAW files in Photoshop with a GB or two of layering? After Effects and video effect work? Or are you more of a typically user?). I think for most folks, 8GB of RAM ought to be good for another 3-5/6 years. Again, pending your workflow

    As far as the SSD....you can overcome its limitations with off board small 1-1.5-2TB external drives that are bus powered and USB 3 or even external SSDs with thunderbolt! Lot of possibilities and it'd be really REALLY hard for me to EVER give up a retina laptop display. I sold my 11" Air this summer. I love them...and if the Iris Pro accidentally shows up in the Haswell refresh on the 13"....I'll be first in line

    Good luck. Tough decision and one last thing...my biggest and possibly only real complaint I ever had with my 17s is the fact the USB ports are too damn close together. With most dongles and USB cords, I was never able to connect more than 2!! Lol. Things have changed though. Thumb drives are thinner and we can tether to our phones with slim USB jacks. Just my biggest complaint. Something I'd like to see on the 15" rMBP update is a third USB port possibly between HDMI and SD slots. One on the left, two on the right

    Here's to further thunderbolt development though!
  25. vpro, Oct 12, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013

    vpro macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2012
    This is 2013 and.... That's your 'only' reasoning and justification? Nice one..

    Umm... That is what the express card slot is you can have up to 4 USB3.0 thank you very much. Enjoy your new or refurbished 17"MBP Op.

    Retina Mac = thinking smaller. Seventeen inch MacBook Pro = think ahead, think bigger and actually 'thinks'.

Share This Page