2015 13" rMBP - i5 vs i7 & 256GB vs 512GB

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CougarKid, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. CougarKid macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2009
    Alright, so I'm trying to decide on a 13" rMBP (2015 model). I've read many articles leading up to this purchase, but none have given me a real understanding of the model I should go with.

    My main reason for the purchase is web development (using simple text editor applications, Photoshop once in a while) and regular old web browsing, etc. I hope to hook up this laptop to a external monitor (2560x1440 or 4K if possible).

    There are some specs I want, but others that I need some advice with. The specs I want are 16GB and at least 256GB.

    The two models I'm looking at can be found here:

    16GB - 256GB - 2.7 Ghz i5

    16GB - 256GB - 3.1 Ghz i7

    Since I'm already spending nearly $2,000 I have no issue spending another couple of hundred dollars, but I don't want to spend that money on upgrades I may never take advantage of.

    I appreciate your thoughts! Thank you. :)
  2. blaine07 macrumors 68000

    Nov 14, 2014
    Don't bury me with this statement, but if it helps any... From what I've read(read haven't touched different ones) the CPU upgrade really is not worth it unless doing some super intensive music/graphic work and then even debatable if it's performance is worth it. :)
  3. hindmost macrumors regular


    Jan 14, 2009
    'my thought' : I waited and waited until the new 'MacBook' was released last Friday. After playing with the store demo machines I concluded, like many, that several years will go by with both that new technology being improved in those computers and by the 'ecology' venders to use said technology. Plus, the Apple Stores had only 'demo' models not for sale. It would take about a month to order one from Apple.

    So.......I bought a new 2015 MacBook Pro on Saturday. I settled sort of in between the models you are studying.

    I concluded 16GB RAM is 'overkill' for this computer, as is a i7 chip. So I settled for the standard 8GB RAM and the i5 chip. However, after several years and MacBook buys, I learned that 256GB flash storage is a constant struggle.

    You really need some 'slop room' when you get near to 3 or 4 GB of the available storage left. Some apps won't even run. (example: DiskWarrior could not even safely build me a new directory as it warned that I did not have sufficient drive space to build a directory unless it was 'on the run' deleting my present directory whilst the new one took it's place).

    CONCLUSION: You can never have enough disk storage space as files, over time, just build up. Thus, I got a 512GB model and THE BONUS IS THE TOP SPEED 2.9 i5 chip comes standard with the 512GB flash storage model.
  4. CougarKid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2009
    Thanks for the replies!

    I was reading similar thoughts on the processors as well. I'm glad you mentioned that, it kind of confirms it for me.

    Another 256GB would be great and I agree that I would hate to need space and be unable to upgrade, but I am debating if the extra $300 is worth it as I don't much care for the extra 0.2 ghz in processor speed.
  5. jakefloyd macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2013
    I recently bought the new Macbook Pro as well. I opted for the RAM upgrade to 16 GB. I'll give you my 2 cents.

    My logic :

    As I won't be able to upgrade the RAM in the future, hopefully the 16 GB gives me a longer "life" or usage from the computer, like 4-5 years down the line. (I used my previous Macbook Pro for almost 8 years, daily, doing intensive schoolwork like 3D architectural modelling and rendering, and upgraded the RAM at some point. No Longer an option).

    There didn't seem to be much of a jump in performance to upgrade the processor, so I went with the RAM.

    Also, I figure I can make do 1 or 2 years with 128 GB HD and an external storage for anything I don't use "daily." (Actually, it forces me to keep the computer "clean"). A hard drive update with an upgrade kit is possible, and will only be a fraction of the cost that Apple charges you today (once the time comes to upgrade, of course).
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
  7. jakefloyd macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2013
    My argument is def pinching pennies, and IF someone could hold off for a year or two, they could upgrade to that 512 GB for significantly less. I'd say, 120 bucks in 2 years.
  8. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    The price difference between the two you mentioned is currently $190 not $300, $1,880 - $1,690. That is definitely worth it for the extra 256GB.

    As for the CPU. If the dual core i5 isn't fast enough the i7 won't really make a difference. Anyone who needs a faster CPU should be looking at a quad core 15". No one mentioned that the i7 also has more L3 cache 4MB vs 3MB.
  9. Fthree macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2014
    You said you have no problem spending the 2k why not just add the extra 200 and go with the 3.1/16/512? You won't be wondering "what if" and have peace of mind for a few years anyway. Getting one of those specs without the other seems odd
  10. AbsorbineSr macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2012
    I did basically the same thing last week. I had been waiting for reviews of the 12" MacBook. When they came out, none were damning, but as I expected, the things that would bother me and how I use the machine were the same things they pointed out. Mostly the single port as I frequently attach a USB DAC to the computer for headphone listening. And the lower power processor left me wondering if it would be up to the job. There were no demo units at my Apple store, so I had only this info to work from. In the end I did the same thing you did - 512GB 2.9 i5. I have all the ports I'll need. Yeah, it's thicker and heavier, but it's not a boat anchor and I now have enough power and storage to do whatever I want.
  11. Samtb macrumors 65816

    Jan 6, 2013
    If I want to multitask with non intensive apps like iTunes and Safari and maybe the occasional photoshop / coding etc, would 512Gb ssd 8gb ram and i5 2.9ghz be good? If I upgrade to 16gb it works out more expensive than the base 15 inch. Is the base 15 inch less portable?
  12. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    You could

    ..do this on an ipad, any current macbook will be able to handle this workload buy whatever you want. 16gb is massive overkill and not needed for this use at all.
  13. Fthree macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2014
    I had 13 inch MacBooks for about 5 years before trying a 15 inch. I found the 15 inch to be cumbersome. Didn't seem to fit well where I like to work on it (coffee shops, my desk, couch)
  14. Samtb macrumors 65816

    Jan 6, 2013
    An apple guy said only the MacBook Pro will be able to handle all this smoothly.

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