Advice on a refurbished MBP: 16 or 8 RAM? which video card? which processor?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by oxband, May 22, 2014.

  1. oxband macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #1
    My 17" MBP from 2009 has had power issues and runs mad slow. I've taken it to a bunch of mac repair places and no-one seems to be able to fix it. Alas. Time for a new machine.

    I'm looking at refurbished 15" MBPs and have a few questions:

    1 - Should I pay for the extra RAM? My computer right now has 8 gigs of RAM and that has always been enough. I use it for video editing and making music. The only time I wish I had more is when I use Compressor and can't really do anything else with the machine, but generally, 8 has been enough. My thinking is that I will go with 8, and if I need more, buying 3rd party RAM will be about as much as getting it from the get-go

    2 - Which video card do I want? I'm not a gamer if that makes a difference. I dont quite get the difference between the machines with just an NVIDIA card, ones with an Intel pro card, or ones with both. I went to the Apple store the other day, and the salesman did a poor job of explaining it to me.

    3 - What speed to I want for a processor? I know that sounds really basic, and I know there are websites that describe the speeds. But I don't quite understand what those numbers mean practically. Realistically, the only intensive stuff I use it for would be film editing or music software. I imagine almost any intel i7 will be OK. But is that naive?

    Here is the link to the refurbished options if anyone wants to give me specific advice: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook_pro/15


    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    Keep in mind that RAM in the retina MacBook Pros are not upgradeable. They are soldered to the logic board.

    The NVIDIA card greatly speeds up gaming performance, as well as performance of CUDA-assisted software. An Iris can't play Battlefield 4, but the NVIDIA can.

    The processor will try to enter TurboBoost mode whenever possible, so any quad core i7 should do.

    Another note: When configured to 2.3/16/512, both Iris-only and Iris+750M models cost exactly the same, so the NVIDIA GT 750M is a free add on.

    Although you'll be fine with just an Iris Pro, you can also choose to have the best of both worlds. The models with 750M have both the Iris Pro and GT750M GPUs.
     
  3. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    #3
    This is becoming less important by the day as companies are shifting to OpenCL, which is gimped on consumer-level NVIDIA cards (as they want to sell the more expensive Quadro to professionals).
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    I'd go with 16 at this point since you've incurred ram issues on some tasks. This isn't going to get better as apps and operating systems get more resource hungry. So if you've ran into ram issues now, I'd not skimp on it for a machine that will last you a few years.

    I think we're at a point where the Iris Pro is doing a great job for the majority of users, I'm unfamiliar with the software you're using but if it takes advantage of the GPU then the discrete gpu model will be a better fit but I'll defer to those folks who have a better grasp.

    At this point in time, GHz is less of an issue, I'd not worry about the exact speed since the current crop of computers is very fast.
     
  5. oxband thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #5
    So, I'm choosing between these three. I'm tempted to go with the first. The video card might not be as great as the others.....but it's got a faster processor than option 2, the one with the better video cards, and that means more to me. Thoughts?:

    $2,169
    Refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro 2.7GHz Quad-core Intel i7 with Retina Display
    Originally released February 2013
    15.4-inch (diagonal) Retina display; 2880-by-1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch
    16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    512GB Flash Storage
    720p FaceTime HD Camera
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory


    $2,199
    Refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro 2.3GHz Quad-core Intel i7 with Retina Display
    Originally released October 2013
    15.4-inch (diagonal) Retina display; 2880-by-1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch
    16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    512GB Flash Storage1
    720p FaceTime HD camera
    Intel Iris Pro Graphics and NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M

    $2,459
    Refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro 2.8GHz Quad-core Intel i7 with Retina Display
    Originally released February 2013
    15.4-inch (diagonal) Retina display; 2880-by-1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch
    16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    768GB Flash Storage
    720p FaceTime HD Camera
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
     
  6. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #6
    TAke this one:


    $2,199
    Refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro 2.3GHz Quad-core Intel i7 with Retina Display
    Originally released October 2013
    15.4-inch (diagonal) Retina display; 2880-by-1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch
    16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    512GB Flash Storage1
    720p FaceTime HD camera
    Intel Iris Pro Graphics and NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
     
  7. notrack macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    #7
    I'd take the second one. It's the newer model and has the newer processor. Not entirely sure though. Unlike the early 2013, it also has the pcie based ssd which is quote a bit faster at read/write speeds. It's the current model and is the one I just purchased.
     
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #8
    I'd go for the second option:
    Late-2013 15" rMBP, 2.3/16/512/750M, because the late-2013 ones have significantly faster SSDs.

    GHz doesn't mean everything. In fact, the 2.3GHz Haswell in the late-2013 will be faster in some cases than the 2.8GHz Ivy Bridge in the early-2013 one.

    From here: http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/compare/463448?baseline=503818
    Both 2.3GHz i7-4850HQ (late-2013) performs identically to the 2.8GHz i7-3840QM (early-2013).
     
  9. 997.2 macrumors regular

    997.2

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2013
    Location:
    Knoxvegas
    #9
    Ebay!

    take the second one. but look on ebay. just won a new ME294LL/A for $2,220 shipped. great seller.
     

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