Another "which MBP"... sorry (stepping down from a 17 MBP)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by blythyftm, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. blythyftm macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #1
    As the title states, sorry! But I'm starting to lose sleep over it - please help!

    Currently I'm using a 2010 17 MBP 2.66Ghz i7 (dual-core Sandybride I believe..) with 8GB RAM. It also has the Hi-Res Anti-glare (matte) screen. I've also added an Optibay and SSD drive for booting (actually love this set up).

    For a start, the machine is running fine with the SSD. Battery life has degraded a little but otherwise, it's holding up well. Recently I've become more mobile, on a more regular basis, and the size/weight is starting to be a hindrance (at times I'm also carrying a hefty 17" Dell laptop for work).

    So I'm thinking of selling up and buying a new rMBP; my worry is that my desire to get a smaller machine is clouding judgment on other features. My primary purpose is coding and command line stuff, nothing particularly heavy-tasking though the size of the projects and assets can vary. The screen real-estate and having many open windows is a factor (it's the reason I bought a 17" Hi-Res after all). However, I do spend a lot of time in Photoshop and Aperture for digital photo post-production and this is leading on to small video projects. Invariably I will also be running multiple VMs for testing environments. I also use my MBP for any DVD ripping for backups for my HTPC, though it's rare I buy any DVDs these days - it's all about the Netflix now. On top of that some potential light gaming but this is very low in my priorities.

    So the way I see it is I have two options; go for a 13 rMBP and keep my 17 for any heavy grunt and photo work, or go all in on a 15 rMBP to replace my 17.

    The small footprint of the 13 is appealing, especially tucking it away into non-computer specific bags, but it means I'll have to manage my work environments across machines (shouldn't be too much of an issue). The added power (and therefore longevity) and screen space of the 15 are obvious benefits but is the reduction in size going to make that much difference to portability?

    Has anyone else had to make the same call when moving on from a 17?
     
  2. thunng8 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    #2
    Do you need to have that extra real estate when you are mobile? If not, just buy the 13" rMBP with extra RAM and maybe upgraded CPU and more flash storage and when you are at home, connect it to an external display.

    The 13" rMBP's CPU is faster than your current machine (especially if you opt of the high end 2.8Ghz i7 model which is about 50% faster than the 2.66Ghz i7 is your 17"), so you won't have an issue with the "grunt".
     
  3. blythyftm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #3
    Thanks for the reply! The screen space is important, purely because that's how I like to work. I try not to be tied to a desk at home - I spend my working day sat a desk so I do my best to move around.

    I take your point about the CPU being faster. I don't think I quite used grunt in the right way. What I meant was any processing jobs (encoding, batch photo processing) I could just leave running on my 17 without tying up my computer for other work.

    By the time I spec up the 13 with 16GB RAM and the i7, it's only £300 less than the top of the line 15 (I'm eligible for Educational discount). So the cost difference isn't a huge amount, but the spec difference is quite considerable.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    If its running fine, and you like the larger screen, then why not stick with the 17" MBP?
     
  5. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #5
    It was already mentioned that even the 13'' rMBP will be quite a bit faster than your 2010 machine. But I get that you could have the 17'' machine sit somewhere and take care of the tough stuff, keeping the other machine free.

    A few years ago I made the switch from a 17'' high-res to a 15'' (high-res non-retina, 2011). The loss of screen real estate was notable. Somehow 1920 was enough to comfortably have two windows open side by side, while 1680 is not, for me at least.

    These days I'm also stuck with the 13'' or 15'' rMBP decision.
    Anyways, for your use, the quad core of the 15'' should give you a huge performance boost (at least for the VM/Photoshop stuff). I haven't sorted out the screen real estate issue yet myself, so not sure what to recommend.
     
  6. blythyftm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #6
    Something smaller than my 17" is the main reason. On it's own, it's fine. With another laptop or other luggage, it's a bit of a burden.

    I think I'd be happy to sacrifice some of the retina "sharpness" and use the 'more space' setting when necessary, so I hopefully wouldn't lose too much screen real estate.

    I guess it's my choice to decide what compromise to make; whether I value the performance or the portability more.

    Thanks for your input, guys.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    Ok, but do you think going from 17" to a 13" display to be a huge change?
     
  8. makaveli559m macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    #8
    Hi the 2010 17 inch is a dual Arrandale processor. Some people suggest the Retina, I would go for a classic MacBook Pro because you have the options to add more hardware at your own pace, no external devices could compete with internal hardware not to mention you cant take all your peripherals with you. The choice is actually yours but you should get what you think you should have.
     

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