Advice on late 13 MBP 13 inch with retina

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by useruser, May 26, 2014.

  1. useruser, May 26, 2014
    Last edited: May 26, 2014

    useruser macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2014

    I'm considering moving from Windows to Mac. I currently have a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 with an Intel I5-2520M CPU, 4GB Ram, 320 GB HDD (I have about 90GB spare) and Intel HD 3000. It's a lovely machine but battery life is dreadful.

    I'm thinking of the 13 inch MBP. Portability is important. I'd prefer not to have to take a power adaptor with me. I figure if I can realistically get 6+ hours then I can get through a whole day of work.

    I don't do anything massively intensive such as video/photo editing. I do a lot of Office work.

    However, I do enjoy gaming and in particular strategy games. I don't want a separate gaming machine (wife would kill me!) so need to manage on my laptop. I've made do with the X1 to date. From reading forums/articles it appears I may need to run Bootcamp and Windows and possibly Parallels as well?

    I'm thinking of the 8GB RAM, 256 GB SDD version.

    I'd welcome feedback as to whether people feel this is likely to be the best option. I'd also very much appreciate thoughts on whether I should upgrade either the RAM, processor or SSD in order to improve gaming performance.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. friedkimchi macrumors regular


    Aug 13, 2011
    A MBA would suffice as well.

    I would skip going through the bootcamp process. Simply use VMWare or Parallels to run Windows. The blazing fast SSD makes you feel like you're running Windows natively...

    MBA 12hr battery vs rMBP 9 hour. But I'm sure that you already know that.

    To eke out slightly more gaming performance, I would bump up the processor to an i7. 8GB ram is more than sufficient.

    So your ideal config would be i7/256/8 based on your usage.
  3. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    I have a 13'' rMBP 8/256. I usually leave the charger at home, but I also have an iMac at work that does the heavy stuff. For Office work you should be perfectly fine. Without a doubt I can recommend this machine for people looking for a mobile laptop with a reasonable amount of headroom in performance.

    The graphics should be fine for you, the HD 5100 in the rMBP is a big improvement over the HD 3000. The only thing that will give you a little extra gaming performance is upgrading to the 2.6 GHz CPU, since it also gives you a little bit of extra graphics performance. Any upgrades beyond that I don't consider useful because at that point it will make more sense to buy the 15'' rMBP.

    You can either use Bootcamp to install Windows on a separate partition, or run it inside OSX using Parallels. In both cases you need a copy of Windows.

    Bootcamp will give you better performance, but you need a separate windows partition and you will have to reboot to switch between the OSs. With the extra partition 256 GB of storage might be a bit on the small side, but is certainly doable.
    Parallels will hurt your performance a bit because Windows will run inside a virtual machine in OSX. But it might be more convenient, and the amount of storage you give Windows is more dynamical.
  4. tredstone macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2010
    Sounds like what you have in mind is pretty good.

    You'll definitely want the 8GB model as the Intel Iris 5100 card can use up to 1.5GB of system memory, so upgrading from 4GB will give you a little more room to operate.

    As long as you aren't intending to play the latest triple-A titles at ultra settings, you can definitely game on the 13" rMBP. The Iris 5100 is substantially more powerful than the HD3000. Using Bootcamp will also probably eke you out more fps performance, depending on the game.
  5. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Portability? Office work? A bit of light gaming? Good battery life?

    Say hello to the 13" mba base version. Buy it and be happy :)
  6. useruser thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2014
    What do you think the minimum partition size you need to set aside for Windows plus games? My thought was I could get away with 256 including a partition on the grounds I could use some external backup for seldom-used files.

    I did consider the lower end 15 inch but I figured that portability and battery life would suffer and they are both important considerations.

    I've pretty much ruled out the MBA as I thought it would likely significantly reduce the gaming potential. I do appreciate that the battery life and portability would be excellent. For some reason the MBA just doesn't really appeal to me...

    I'm certainly open to upgrading the processor to the I7. Given that I don't think I'll step up to the 15 inch, would there be any likely performance increase for the upgraded SSD/RAM?

    Thanks everyone - your thoughts and advice much appreciated!
  7. jgiannakas macrumors member

    May 26, 2014
    Bought an MBP retina 13 recently, upgrading from a 15 late 2008 MBP model and absolutely love it.

    It lasts for 9+ hours of light office/web work and is much much lighter and more portable than my old 15 inch. I was debating between this and the MBA, however the exceptional screen quality of the MBA is worth the extra (minimal) weight.

    Also one point to note is that the MBA has a larger footprint than the MBP Retina, due to wider bezel around the screen, so in terms of portability, they are practically a tie.

    The screen though makes all the difference. I am running the screen at scaled 1440x900 but having the option to bump it up to 1680x1050 when requiring the extra space makes the machine much more versatile than the MBA. The price difference between the two is definitely worth it and the weight / battery life is exceptional in both.
  8. useruser thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2014
    thundersteele, you mention upgrading the processor to the 2.6. Do you think it's not worth upgrading to the 2.8?
  9. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Since you are set on the retina and you need 256 ssd, then the 2.4/8/256 is for you!
  10. Barney63 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2014
    Bolton, UK.
    I have both the late 2013 13" i5/2.4/256/8 and the late 2013 15" i7/2.3/512/16.
    On the usual office work I get 10 hours out of the 13" and 9 hours out of the 15".
    I don't think the 13" i7 is worth the upgrade as it is still only dual core, compared to the 15" i7 which is quad core.

  11. Raffi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 1, 2013
    Be careful in thinking that the I7 will game better. I haven't noticed to much difference in gaming with any of the processors apple offers in the 13 rMBP or the airs. I don't know for sure but i think you can run windows on a thumb drive of sd card and not have to use the mac's memory. They just don't game very well. The air's fan kicks on extremely fast and destroys battery life when gaming.
  12. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    I don't think it is worth to go all the way to 2.8. Even the 2.6 upgrade is questionable, but at least it bumps the max GPU speed from 1.1 to 1.2 GHz.

    However the main reason I vote against the 2.8 GHz upgrade is that, if you also include 8/256 GB upgrades you end up with a price of $1.8k, at which point you might as well go for the 15'' with double CPU performance and stronger graphics.

Share This Page