15" vs 13" Retina MacBook Pro

JoeyH

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 7, 2013
1
0
I need a new computer for highschool next year. I can't decide between getting a 15" or 13" Retina MacBook Pro. I need advice on how the size would affect my needs from the computer.

Needs:

  • Light for carrying around all day everyday. (Favors 13" for being lighter)

  • Good enough graphics for moderate gaming. (Favors 15" for dedicated graphics)

  • Battery to last all day. (Favors both)

I also would like to know when the Retina MacBook Pro is expected to ship after WWDC. I was reading this on the main forum and I didn't understand whether it meant that they just wouldn't update the rMBP at WWDC or if it it just wouldn't ship the day of like it did last year.
 

Che Castro

macrumors 603
May 21, 2009
5,671
511
How about a MacBook Air if your going to be carrying it around school , is much lighter

Wow how times have change, a laptop for high school ? Not when I was growing up

Only computer I saw in high school was in the library
 

RadDave

macrumors regular
Apr 6, 2013
186
0
North Carolina
How about a MacBook Air if your going to be carrying it around school , is much lighter

Wow how times have change, a laptop for high school ? Not when I was growing up

Only computer I saw in high school was in the library
Well, let's go back to the 1960s, typing class in HS for me, when the first hand held calculators appeared along w/ transistor radios - :D

Undergrad science classes at the U. of Michigan - carried a slide rule in a leather case attached to my belt - thought that was pretty cool then - ;)

Bought our first computer in 1980, an Apple II+, a year before the first IBM PC was released running DOS 1.x - :)
 

tgi

macrumors 65816
Aug 29, 2012
1,187
126
Answered your own question there pal..

'Moderate gaming' never happening on a 13" I'm afraid, perhaps it will be better with Haswell but nothing on current hardware.
I don't understand it when people shoot down the 13" rMBP saying you can't game on it. They either are delusional or just don't know. Everyone has a different interpretation of "gaming".

I've tested Starcraft 2, BioShock and COD on a 2012 MacBook Air with HD4000 graphics. All games were playable and good enough for me to enjoy. If you really care about having the best graphics or gaming experience, then get the 15" rMBP or no Mac at all.

To say you can't play games on a 13" is a joke.
 

utekineir

macrumors 6502
Feb 20, 2008
327
1
To say you can't play games on a 13" is a joke.

depends on an individuals definition of what is acceptable to play games.

in your definition old games and or low settings and **** framerates are clearly kosher.

the other guy apparently likes a bit fresher meat on his pizza.
 

chrisrosemusic1

macrumors 6502a
Jan 31, 2012
693
21
Northamptonshire, England
I don't understand it when people shoot down the 13" rMBP saying you can't game on it. They either are delusional or just don't know. Everyone has a different interpretation of "gaming".

I've tested Starcraft 2, BioShock and COD on a 2012 MacBook Air with HD4000 graphics. All games were playable and good enough for me to enjoy. If you really care about having the best graphics or gaming experience, then get the 15" rMBP or no Mac at all.

To say you can't play games on a 13" is a joke.
So games from 4 years ago play fine? You aren't a gamer then. Even Guild Wars 2 runs at 10-14fps on the lowest settings in built up areas, which to me makes it unplayable and unenjoyable.
 

DisplacedMic

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2009
1,411
1
You could buy a MBA and a gaming PC for the price of a 15" rMBP.
that's what i was thinking. if i was going to spend 2200 on computers (which i have to say for a high-school kid is ridiculous in my opinion but i'm sure you don't want to hear that) and i wanted to be able to "pwn noobs" then i would spend half on an air and then build myself a gaming PC.
 

tipman2000

macrumors member
Nov 29, 2009
94
0
you dont need retina. get the non-retina 15" and youll be good for at least 4 years. the retina is a waste of money until they get faster gpus and more software support. the benefits of the 13" are none. unless you hike for hours in a day, you will never miss the size of the 13". the 15" is superior in every aspect.

the only thing the 13" will do is make you wish you got the 15.

having the 13 is like the little brother who never grew up, and never reached full potential.

Its like having a new dodge challenger RT(15") vs having a civic Si(13"). yeah, maybe the Si is pretty cool, and it might be a little faster than a family van, but lets be honest, the challenger will win in any drag race hands down. The civic probably handles well, but it isn't the best handling car in the world, either. The civic is small and compact, but it simply doesn't have that beautiful V8 rumble that the challenger has.

The macbook pro 15 is among the best in the world. the 13 doesn't come near.
 

eXan

macrumors 601
Jan 10, 2005
4,714
18
Russia
you dont need retina. get the non-retina 15" and youll be good for at least 4 years. the retina is a waste of money until they get faster gpus and more software support. the benefits of the 13" are none. unless you hike for hours in a day, you will never miss the size of the 13". the 15" is superior in every aspect.

the only thing the 13" will do is make you wish you got the 15.

having the 13 is like the little brother who never grew up, and never reached full potential.

Its like having a new dodge challenger RT(15") vs having a civic Si(13"). yeah, maybe the Si is pretty cool, and it might be a little faster than a family van, but lets be honest, the challenger will win in any drag race hands down. The civic probably handles well, but it isn't the best handling car in the world, either. The civic is small and compact, but it simply doesn't have that beautiful V8 rumble that the challenger has.

The macbook pro 15 is among the best in the world. the 13 doesn't come near.
Used to have a 15" silver MBP, moved to 13" MBP, now I'm not sure whether to get a new 13" or 15".

13" is definitely very good and usable, and smaller dimensions do help, but 15" felt a bit better in almost every way.

I find the 13" to be a good-enough screen for internet, tv-shows, notes, etc, but having 2 documents side-by-side isn't always possible and that could be a big PITA when doing more serious studying/research. Also, the dedicated graphics make the 15" feel a lot more like a "real" computer that can do anything, compared to still rather bland integrated stuff.

However, one can't deny the price difference between the two, which could be the deciding factor for many people, but it's not an issue when comparing 13 retina vs 15 regular.

I might just get a 15" if finances allow, because I'm moving abroad to study and will no longer have access to my iMac.

As for 13" retina, I personally don't see myself getting it, as it is essentially has the same drawbacks as the regular 13", just with a bit less weight and more pixels (but not more screen real-estate). It did look very nice though :D
 

skaertus

macrumors 68040
Feb 23, 2009
3,328
449
Brazil
As for 13" retina, I personally don't see myself getting it, as it is essentially has the same drawbacks as the regular 13", just with a bit less weight and more pixels (but not more screen real-estate). It did look very nice though :D
It does have more real screen estate. You may zoom out elements and they won't look pixelated. You may also use a resolution up to 1680x1050, which is much greater than 1280x800. And you may also use some tweaks to improve the resolution to 2560x1600, which should be awesome!
 

eXan

macrumors 601
Jan 10, 2005
4,714
18
Russia
improve the resolution to 2560x1600, which should be awesome!...
... if you have a perfect eye-sight. I don't, unfortunately, so making things like text smaller won't do much good. I see your point though.

Besides, all these extra pixels have to be driven by a rather weak GPU.
 

skaertus

macrumors 68040
Feb 23, 2009
3,328
449
Brazil
... if you have a perfect eye-sight. I don't, unfortunately, so making things like text smaller won't do much good. I see your point though.

Besides, all these extra pixels have to be driven by a rather weak GPU.
As for the GPU, I really can't say. I guess it should be just fine for general usage.
 

JGRE

macrumors 65816
Oct 10, 2011
1,012
656
Dutch Mountains
you dont need retina. get the non-retina 15" and youll be good for at least 4 years. the retina is a waste of money until they get faster gpus and more software support. the benefits of the 13" are none. unless you hike for hours in a day, you will never miss the size of the 13". the 15" is superior in every aspect.

the only thing the 13" will do is make you wish you got the 15.

having the 13 is like the little brother who never grew up, and never reached full potential.

Its like having a new dodge challenger RT(15") vs having a civic Si(13"). yeah, maybe the Si is pretty cool, and it might be a little faster than a family van, but lets be honest, the challenger will win in any drag race hands down. The civic probably handles well, but it isn't the best handling car in the world, either. The civic is small and compact, but it simply doesn't have that beautiful V8 rumble that the challenger has.

The macbook pro 15 is among the best in the world. the 13 doesn't come near.
What a nonsense, the iPad mini outsells the iPad because everybody wants a smaller device and you suggest that a 13 inch MBP is rubbish compared to a 15 inch one......

It is just a question between size, weight and battery life on the one hand and having a discrete GPU and a 15 inch screen on the other hand. All other things are basically equal.
For me portability was the main driver behind my choice, so a bought the 13 inch (retina did not exist back in 2011).
 

diegocomerci

macrumors newbie
Aug 12, 2013
3
0
Venezuela
I need a new computer for highschool next year. I can't decide between getting a 15" or 13" Retina MacBook Pro. I need advice on how the size would affect my needs from the computer.

Needs:

  • Light for carrying around all day everyday. (Favors 13" for being lighter)

  • Good enough graphics for moderate gaming. (Favors 15" for dedicated graphics)

  • Battery to last all day. (Favors both)

I also would like to know when the Retina MacBook Pro is expected to ship after WWDC. I was reading this on the main forum and I didn't understand whether it meant that they just wouldn't update the rMBP at WWDC or if it it just wouldn't ship the day of like it did last year.
Hi, I think if you are going to use it just for high school chores and gaming you should be fine with the 13 inch macbook pro with retina. Now depending on how hard you're going to push it i would suggest you get the 15 inch model because it is more robust memory and speed wise and you would have a great piece of machine that would remain updated for many years.

I wrote about it at http://www.squidoo.com/macbook-pro-retina-review-my-honest-thoughts