advice on macbook pro 17 or 15 retina ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bc0508, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. bc0508 macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2012
    Looking for a little advice. I am looking to buy a MBP.
    I think i have it down between a 17 late 2011 model and 2013 15 Retina

    I am planning on doing 16gb memory in ether. I will do a 500 gb SSD in both.

    I figure i have a 1000 dollar price difference between them. I have some buddies that swear by the 17 and think that is the best bet. I am concerned with the age.

    The main thing i do is run virtual machines since i have to use windows for certain job tasks. The other part with be some photoshop and web surfing.

    I know go between at Sony laptop with 1900x1200 resolution that is 15.4 screen and last year mac air that has 8gb or memory but has the small 128gb drive.

    I have to use the sony for work tasks and i use the air for everything else.

    Would you got for the 17 or get the optioned up 15 retina. I have used the retina in the store I liked it but still think about the 17
  2. ggonzaga07 macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2013

    Look, I would get the 15". The 17" is way too big, and I understand it will work kind of a desktop replacement, but the 15" is big enough for your needs and you can somewhat carry it around when necessary. I have a 2010 15" MBP and the battery lasted me more than 12 hours standby and in class!

    Also, the retina display is just ****ing awesome and the 17" is used. Age is not a concern, because mine is brand new, 3 years old and works like I got it yesterday. But I would still prefer the 15" for being new, and trust me, in a few years the 17" model will be obsolete and you won't find one person interested on it.
  3. bc0508 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2012
    Yes that is one reason I am leaning towards the 15. My concern thou is the hard drive space not sure how well the thunderbolt external drives work.
  4. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    and I'd vote the 17" because you seem to be concerned about hard drive space.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The 17" is 2 years old at this point. If I were going to be spending my money, I'd go for the newest technology. The demands of newer software always seem to push the hardware further so why put yourself that much further behind from the get go.

    the 15" rMBP is amazing, but I would wait until you see what Apple will be releasing with Haswell. They may be upping the storage on the base rMBP model. Who knows
  6. bc0508 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2012
    I guess I didn't know rMBP was being released. I am seeing some good discounts on the maxed out one with 16gb and 768 gb. I wouldn't think they will discount the new ones.
    I think the 768 would fit my needs more.
  7. Zeov macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2011
    I went with 15 MBPr and heres why:

    I need portability, but i also need performance, and as long as the 17" doesn't give any better performance due to bigger size, then i might as well go for the Retina because it:

    1. performs better

    2. More portable

    3. 2 Thunderbolt ports

    4. Better display

    i have the 768 GB version, which is not enough for me, so i bought a 2 TB external harddrive i bring with me wherever i go.. and it still weighs less than if i went ahead and got a 17.

    If Apple where to release a 17 inch with better hardware than a 15", i would go for that.
  8. agaskew macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    If they both could have 16GB Ram and SSD storage then TBH there is not much in it speed wise if the main requirement is for hosting VMs. If you are going to have a big library of VMs and need a lot of disk space, yes you could go for the 17" with a boot SSD and a secondary HDD for the main storage. This combo will be slower than an SSD only system but once a VM is up and running then speed is not really a concern.

    A slightly bigger screen is moot when you can have multiple desktops or you can run the rMBP at the same resolution as the 17" - good eyesight required!

    As other posters have said, the main considerations would be supportability (one day the 17" will not support some new OS release) and size/weight. I lugged a 17" around for a couple of years so really appreciate the relative lightness of the 15" rMBP.
  9. bc0508 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2012
    I think i will go with the rMBP it does seem to be the best bet I am sure i can get used to the screen
  10. johnnylarue macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2013
    I was highly skeptical myself until I spent a half hour fiddling with one in the store.

    Obviously, a 17" retina display would cure cancer/end all wars forever, but barring that the 15" seems like a workable compromise to me.
  11. bc0508 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2012
    Well I found a deal on a refurb late 2011 17 I couldnt pass it up under 1500 bucks. If it last me 2 years I will be happpy.
  12. johnnylarue macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2013
    That's a great deal.

    Upgrade the RAM, put a 500GB SSD in there (I had a Crucial M4 in mine that I bought on eBay for $350 a year ago) and I promise you that computer will still be legit in two years. This can't be overstated: an SSD will make your 17" feel like a 2013 model. The only difference you'd perceive in practical use would be under CPU-heavy tasks like encoding video, etc.

    And for the record, I almost pulled the trigger on a used $1200 late-2011 17" AG, but it was out of warranty and I chickened out. So just get some AppleCare on that puppy and don't look back! ;)
  13. redshift1 macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2010
    According to Apple if you buy the 17 refurb Apple Care is still available so three years of coverage for a 2011 MB pro.
  14. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2013
    Congrats on the 17"

    I'm sporting 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz RAM + 1TB external thunderbolt SSD + 250GB internal SSD (yes, I use my Superdrive) and the system is absolutely terrific.

    AppleCare until February 2015, to boot!

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