2017 Macbook Pro 13" vs 15"

Adamantoise

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 1, 2011
891
112
1. ($1999) 2017 13" Macbook Pro, Touch Bar, 3.1GHz i5 2 Core, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Intel Iris Plus 650
2. ($2399) 2017 15" Macbook Pro, Touch Bar, 2.8GHz i7 4 Core, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Radeon Pro 555

I never make these posts, as I almost always know what I want. However, I currently own a 2012 15" Macbook Pro and so computers have come a long way. I prefer the smaller size of the 13" but the bigger screen of the 15". I'm hooked up to an external monitor 90% of the time anyway.

Here's what I do in order of importance:

League of Legends: My 2012 plays this okay right now, I do get frame rate drops sometimes, I can live with the same level of performance (Intel Iris Plus 650 is on par with Nvidia GT 650M apparently), but more performance is always better. (this is the only game I play on my computer, it might change in the future however).

Web Browsing: Reddit, Netflix, and miscellaneous forums.

Lightroom/Iridient Developer: I don't shoot like I used to, I've kinda lost interest in photography, but I get those moments where I go on a spree and pick it up again.

MATLAB:
My work finally supplied me with 32GB mobile workstations, so I really really doubt I will be using this for MATLAB unless I'm being forced to work on vacation.

I can afford the 15", but don't want to pay $2399 for a computer.
 

ryannel2003

macrumors 68000
Jan 30, 2005
1,772
319
Greenville, NC
Best Buy is having a sale on the 2016 15" MacBook Pro for $2199 right now. If you have a .edu account you can get another $100 off of that price with the student coupon. I bought one a month back and I really love it though I paid $100 more for mine. I actually had a 13" nTB Pro before I bought this one and the smaller size is nice but honestly this computer is pretty small for being 15" and having quad core processors and a dedicated GPU is very nice.
 

windows4ever

macrumors member
Aug 14, 2011
60
16
I'd go for the 15" as well. Quad core and the video card plus the larger screen are worth the extra $400. At these lofty levels, $400 is not much of a difference.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,179
5,535
OP wrote:
"I can afford the 15", but don't want to pay $2399 for a computer."

I feel the same way. I could buy the most expensive MacBook Pro available without blinking, but I just don't see that as being as wise expenditure of my money… ;)

If you "prefer" the 13", get that and use it with your external display.
If the display -is not- already 4k, you might consider taking the money you saved (from not buying the 15"), and put that towards a nice 4k monitor...
 

jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
4,841
2,397
SF Bay Area
Given your usage and alternative resources, I would spend the least amount I could. Get a 13" and hook it up to the external display and keyboard. Not even sure about the 16GB of memory. More of a nice to have for the workload you describe.
 

Adamantoise

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 1, 2011
891
112
OP wrote:
"I can afford the 15", but don't want to pay $2399 for a computer."

I feel the same way. I could buy the most expensive MacBook Pro available without blinking, but I just don't see that as being as wise expenditure of my money… ;)

If you "prefer" the 13", get that and use it with your external display.
If the display -is not- already 4k, you might consider taking the money you saved (from not buying the 15"), and put that towards a nice 4k monitor...
Honestly, it's so weird. I've been using my 2012 Macbook Pro almost everyday now for almost 5 years. I know deep down I will be fine with the 13" even with 8GB of RAM ... But why do I feel like I need to have the 15"?

I will honestly sit on this for a while, my 2012 is still working after all.
 
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ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,150
If you have a mobile workstation, and you already have a quad core 15-inch MBP, IMO this gives you major flexibility towards the 13-inch in that you could remote into either of those two systems if you need more powerful processing. For certain applications, I will use my SP3 or MBPr13 to remote into my MBPr15 for that very purpose. This also partly swayed me towards buying a 13 with the base specs (at the time, which were 2.0/8/256) - further, I was able to find that base model on sale for less than half the price of the 15-inch you are considering, which also influenced my decision.

I don't know much about gaming, but if you went with a base MBP13, compared to the higher spec 13 or the 15, perhaps you would have enough left over to pick up a decent gaming rig from Craigslist (or even one of the mini PC's oriented towards gaming), if that is an option that is of interest?
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,830
7,369
I can afford the 15", but don't want to pay $2399 for a computer.
So don't. Adorama has the late 2016 15" 2.5Ghz/Radeon 450 model for $2025 after AppleInsider coupon. That is the shipped price unless you live in NY or NJ.

If you have to have the 2017 they have it for $2225 shipped.

Also if you go thought one of the cash back sites you can eek out another 1-2% in cash back.

Just bought my iMac from them. Great deals and fast shipping. (I've also bought a good bit of camera equipment from them).
 

jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
4,841
2,397
SF Bay Area
So don't. Adorama has the late 2016 15" 2.5Ghz/Radeon 450 model for $2025 after AppleInsider coupon. That is the shipped price unless you live in NY or NJ.

If you have to have the 2017 they have it for $2225 shipped.

Also if you go thought one of the cash back sites you can eek out another 1-2% in cash back.

Just bought my iMac from them. Great deals and fast shipping. (I've also bought a good bit of camera equipment from them).
Does Adorama allow returns of opened computers?
[doublepost=1499454125][/doublepost]
Does Adorama allow returns of opened computers?
Found the answer. No.


Following items cannot be returned once opened


Software, Film, Paper, DVDs, Bulbs, flash tubes, Batteries, Ink cartridges, Notebooks, Netbooks, Tablets, iPads and Computers, Memory cards, any item which has been removed from its "blister-pack".

 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,830
7,369
Does Adorama allow returns of opened computers?
Computers are non-returnable, so yes, make sure you buy the machine you know you want, not the one you think you want. Now if you are talking about a DOA machine you'd have to direct that at them. Fortunately, my iMac came in perfect. Their customer service has online chat.
 

jrasero

macrumors regular
Feb 26, 2011
114
9
NYC
Seems like the 13" would be fine for you. I think the 15" is great if you need the quad core and the dedicated graphics but from what it seems you have a work station for that. I got the 2017 13" NTB i7 16GB and performance wise it is awesome (lots of streaming, Excel, Chrome tabs).

The only thing I really envy about the 15" is the Touch ID and the larger 15" which would have come in handy when doing spread sheets or viewing multiple streams, BUT would it have been worth the extra hundreds of dollars and less battery? For me no. Down the line I will probably get an external monitor for at home use, but for now the 13" portability has been awesome, not that the 15" is some ultra large computer or anything.