Another 'what retina macbook' question

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Damodici, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. Damodici macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2014
    Hi all,

    New to the forum but have been perusing for quite some time.

    Long story short I've been deciding whether to buy a new Macbook pro retina recently.

    Initially I held back what with the October event and the rumours surrounding a new release, although those rumours won't go away.

    I'm not entirely convinced that a new pro retina is on the cards just yet, more likely an air first and if based on the core M technology I'm not sure I'd bother judging by the Lenovo yoga pro 3 reports.

    A bit about the usage :

    I'm still torn between the 13 and 15 retina, that's only something I can make my mind up on as I'm coming from a PC Desktop with 17" monitor so it's whether I can get used to the smaller 13 form factor.

    Obviously right now I don't take a laptop anywhere, but I may want to when I have one although it wouldn't be every day and only in the car / plane etc

    I like to mess about in photoshop and can't wait to try pixelmator as I've read great things about it , but it's not my job so purely hobby. I'm also looking to buy a Drift hd ghost action camera for my track days so quite fancy learning more about video editing as well, again all just as a hobby.

    As for gaming I have an xbox 360 I've barely touched for months so I'm by no means a hardcore gamer, that said it'd be nice if my macbook pro (whichever I choose) could at least play a game here or there no matter what the screen rate is.

    I think my main concern is whether the 13 2.8ghz 512gb will suffice.

    I've read various horror stories of late what with scrolling lag and that the graphics card isn't up to much, but is it good enough?

    You see I can get a reasonable discount on either that or the 15's and so wouldn't pay full UK rrp.

    The price difference between the top end 13 and top end 15 is only about £400 if I take the discount in to place . That £400 gets me an extra 8gb ram, dedicated graphics, quad core and larger screen

    My theory is that I'd rather have the additional storage with the 512gb as again I've read about the proposed owc drives but they seemed to have not progressed so unlikely I'll be able to upgrade in the future.

    Honestly my heads in a spin.

    On one hand you have the 13 form factor and easy light weighted aspect but reports of under powered graphics and scroll lag

    On the other you have the power monster 15" with nvidia card but reports of that barely making 5 hours on the battery and still the odd complaint here and there on scroll lag, also a bit bulkier.

    So what would you do?

    Is there a strong argument for the 2.2ghz 15" iris pro version or is that pointless when the nvidia model can be had for only a couple of hundred quid more?

    I need this laptop to last so a certain level of future proofing needs to be considered I guess. Then there's always the 'what if' launch of a new model early next year...... Grrr, it's a bloody hard decision
  2. alexmarchuk macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2007
    New Jersey
    The 13" form factor, in my opinion, limited my choice to the 15" because of it's physical size, it feels more of a toy (not that it is, I loved my 17" MBP, so you can tell where the bias is). The display is of course just as great, just less physical real estate.

    Your hobbies with PS and Pixelmator will be well suited with the 13", without a doubt. 13" 2.8Ghz 512GB is not a shabby choice. It is a $1,799.00 choice however, as you already probably know. (Not citing the discount you mentioned)

    As far as scrolling lag is concerned, I have seen it here and there, nothing consistent (as far as I can tell). The model in question is only equipped with Intel Iris graphics (i.e., not Pro), so I can't comment too much on that.

    You are correct on the extra goodies you get for your stated £400 more. The battery life, yep, quad core is pretty intensive, as is the higher resolution. The weight difference is exactly 1lb between the 13" and the 15", in my honest opinion the performance outweighs the weight and is almost negligible.

    Now excuse me for using USD, but the lower end 15" with a 512GB PCIe drive runs for $2,299.00 (I assume you can get a discount on that too). But as you already know for $2,499.00 you get 2.5GHz, dGPU, 512GB as well.


    Conclusion, I would jump for the 15" high end model, I do believe it is quite future proof at the moment. If you ever want something newer, resale value is still there. I say take your discount to your advantage, I bought my $2,799 rMBP in 2012 with a $200 student discount which was very attractive.
  3. Damodici thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2014
    All good points, thanks

    Regards the higher end 15" running dedicated graphics I seem to remember reading a few threads about the 750m being quite a large power drain and more specifically should the user be running bootcamp at the time, something to do with how windows won't recognise the iris pro and therefore relies solely on the nvidia.

    That I kinda understand, what about the battery life when running Yosemite / Mavericks?

    I presume unless running a game or something equally heavy graphics related the battery life isn't effected quite the same way and the higher end 15" still gives very near to the lower end battery life?
  4. alexmarchuk macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2007
    New Jersey
    Under Windows, my 650m is always on, because I do not think it recognizes the integrated graphics, huge battery drain, but I play games on Windows, so I plug it in anyway.

    I have found that unless you're watching some sort of video (VLC, flash player, etc) the battery life I have gotten under Yosemite is good. Once the dGPU is on though, it's a quick ride towards 0%.
  5. Damodici thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2014
    I wonder if its the same on the late 2014's, i presume so.

    You see this is why im wondering if theres merit in going for the 15", 256gb iris pro version.

    A step up in power from the top end 13", better graphics (all be it not on par with the 750m) better battery life and cheaper by a few hundred £'s

    Ok, it might only have 256gb on board but with things such as the Nifty drives and my Synology Nas on my home network perhaps its a consideration.

    Saying that if the dedicated graphics doesn't kick in unless pushing it am i going to need the battery life and mobility whilst doing such tasks (gaming)

    Its never easy is it
  6. alexmarchuk macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2007
    New Jersey
    Don't stress the storage too much, I'm nowhere near filling my 512GB (300GB left). Yesterday I ordered a WD My Passport Ultra 1TB, mainly because my external 500GB LaCie drive has only 50GB remaining (mostly TV shows and movies) and it's USB 2.0, so USB 3.0 will be refreshing. Might setup one of the drives as a Time Machine backup, decisions decisions.
  7. Damodici, Nov 13, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014

    Damodici thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2014
    No, you're right.

    Storage wise I'm pretty set with the synology twin bay, I can easily add another 4tb wd red drive to that for £120 so it's not a major biggie

    So with reading another thread on a similar topic of iris pro vs nvidia 750m I've just read this review

    Perhaps the base 15" 2.2 quad & 256gb isn't a bad call after all

    I've also just stumbled across this review which I admit is swaying me towards the iris 15"

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