2/13 vs 10/13 choice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Pretorien, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. Pretorien macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2014
    I am about 97% of the way to converting from Windows to Mac. I have done a number of searches but have not come up with specific answers to several questions that I have about my choice of the Mac to purchase.

    I am currently using a docked Lenovo T 61 as my main system. It is fails to meet my current needs in several respects. In addition to the usual business and web oriented programs, I do photo and video editing and most importantly I make extensive use of the voice to text program Dragon NaturallySpeaking. The latter is very important to me but it is a resource hog and strains the capability of my system. In addition, I would like to “de-clutter” my workspace and do without the separate monitor that I need because of the quality (or rather lack thereof) of the laptop display.

    I spent a lot of time looking at the 15 inch MacBook Pro with a retina display and believe that that display is good enough to accomplish my aim of simplification. I intend to buy a system with 16 G of RAM in part because I will use Parallels to run some legacy programs. I’m pretty much settled on example chosen from either the current or the immediate preceding systems. SSD capacity is a relatively small concern since I keep all of my image and video files on NAS.

    Now I can get to the questions. A current product example with the required RAM, a 2 to 2.3 G fourth Gen processor and a 512 G SSD can be found for roughly $2500 (an Apple refurbished can shave a few hundred dollars from that) if I step back a generation, and choose a unit with a 2.6 to 2.8 G third generation processor and the same or larger SSD, I can find it in the range of $2000.

    I recognize that the later unit uses a PCIe drive interface versus the SATA interface in the earlier unit and the former is faster. I can’t find a real comparison in the functional speeds of a slower fourth generation processor versus a faster third-generation processor.

    Can anyone comment on the overall performance differences between the examples discussed above? If they are roughly equivalent, I’ll probably opt to save myself $400-$500 but I view this as a long-term purchase and will spend the additional money if it seems logical. (So far as the difference in operating systems, Mountain Lion versus Mavericks, I am neutral. One is newer but the other, from the reports I read, is more reliable.)

  2. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    This video is a comparison of the previous-generation rMBP with GeForce 650M GPU with the current Iris Pro and GeForce 750M models.

    For your usage, I would normally say the current Iris Pro only 15-inch would be more than sufficient. However, since you require 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage, it would make more sense to go with the 750M-equipped model because the price gap is much narrower if you were to upgrade an Iris Pro model with more RAM and SSD space.

    At the same time, the 750M is really only useful if you're going to be playing games or using CUDA applications. Even then, the 650M of the previous-generation rMBP will be sufficient for most tasks. This being the case, I would go for the refurb mid-2012/early-2013. Its SSD is slower, but you'll not really notice it in most day-to-day tasks. The upside is that those models can be upgraded more easily. Transcend developed a 960 GB SSD for SATA equipped rMBPs while there are currently no third-party solutions for the current PCI-E models.
  3. TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    AnandTech did a review of Ivy Bridge vs Haswell when it first came out. This is for the top of the line desktop chips, but most of the improvements apply for the entire line.

    Generally, Haswell is about 10% faster and more power efficient than the equivalent Ivy Bridge processor. Additionally, with Iris Pro containing processors your getting a 128Mb eDRAM L4 cache that can help speed things up.
  4. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    Isn't there a thunderbolt2 vs thunderbolt1 difference between the new and the old?

    For most people, this won't matter, as most civilians don't saturate that 10g bandwith, but for people working with 4k video, driving 4k displays, it does make a difference.

    I recently weighed all this up and went Oct 13, full ram, don't care about SSD size, don't care about cpu speed so went 2.3, discreet gpu,
  5. Pretorien thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2014
    Thanks all

    -for the advice and explanations. I forgot to note in my original post that I do not play computer games so, indeed, the latest GPU is not a real factor. I'll probably go for a 2/13 unit as a refurb or NOS.

    Again, I appreciate the responses.

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