base 15 or loaded 13

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by satinsilverem2, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. satinsilverem2 macrumors 6502

    satinsilverem2

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #1
    So Im looking to replace my early 2011 13 inch with a new machine. I'm not looking to spend more than $2,100 including my education discount. I don't know which machine I really need. I can get the base Retina 15 with the 2.2 i7 16gb of ram, and 256 SSD. or I could spend the same amount of money and get a 13 inch with the 3.0 i7,16, 256. My primary uses are Safari, Spotify, moderate Aperture and light Final Cut Pro. The screen size isn't really an issue as I dock my machine 90 percent of the time anyway. Portability size and weight isn't really an issue to me either. Any suggestions???
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Personally, I'm a fan of the 15" model,
    you get quad core processors, better GPU, larger screen and 16GB of ram. I don't think you can go wrong with that configuration
     
  3. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816

    Cloudsurfer

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #3
    The base 15" outperforms the i7 13" by a pretty large margin, so if you're going to spend $2k the 15" would give you the best bang for your buck.

    The 13" will handle your uses just fine (it can handle far more than just light Final Cut editing), but since weight is not an issue I'd definitely go with the 15".
     
  4. Natzoo macrumors 65816

    Natzoo

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Not sure where i am
    #4
    Get the 15" inch. Here is the history of how i got this mac. First i ordered the loaded 13" then returned it and ordered a custom 15" with only upgrade memory, then i returned that (apple happily said yes), and then i got the 15" fully loaded. Never going back to a 13".
     
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #5
    The base 15" is almost twice as powerful as the maxed-out 13", because:
    1. Quad core i7
    2. Iris Pro
     
  6. TRC-WA macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2014
    #6
    Totally agree... I've had mine a month and love it.
     
  7. shahin90 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    #7

    I have had a 15 inch and the performance was good, but the size was a turn off for me as I personally found it too big to carry around all the time. Also it doesn't feel as sturdy as the 13 inch model because the body is just too thin for the size.

    Now I have a loaded 13 inch and I never see any performance difference. By the way I use it to write cad tools for engineering firms and the algorithms I use are extremely demanding to the processor.

    Unless you use your mac for very demanding applications, you won't ever notice a difference between the dual core and the quad core.
     
  8. Zubba macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #8
    Not even remotely true. Play games? You'll notice a difference between the 15" and the 13". Run parallels or vmware? You'll notice a difference. Neither of those tasks are very demanding, but you'll still get significantly better results with the 15" quad core, it's simply a better machine overall. If you need portability get an air.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    Your usage is probably not needing a quad core, like virtualizations or the better GPU. Coding and algorithms may not really be pushing a machine as much as other apps.
     
  10. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #10
    Base 15" is better than a loaded 13" in every way except maybe SSD size. If you ever run low on SSD space, get an external USB 3 hard drive.
     
  11. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    #11
    This isn't helping me - because i'm trying to make the same decision.

    Except, portability IS a concern of mine. Not for walking long, or such, but I do go to places with it. Right now i'm using a Timbuk2 xtra-small (i think? the one that is "iPad" sized from 4 years ago) and my 11" Dell thing fits in the main area. iPad in the padded pocket. I checked yesterday and my Dad's non-retina 13" will fit in the there - but be too tall. So i have to jump up a bag size.

    I do need to run Windows in a virtual machine - probably daily - for work reasons. Photoshop & Lightroom for pictures and digital scrapping. Light design work, not huge amounts of layers. I do carry the computer around the house depending on my tasks. I had an 06 17" MBP and didn't use an external monitor with it, and it was really too big for me. I now have a 23" monitor I love hooked up to the mini.

    Darn you Apple, I would have pushed BUY on a top end 13" yesterday if it had a quad-core.

    Because i'm going 16gb of RAM, it is custom and I don't think I can return it...

    I guess I need to go to town and look at the 15" again before I order. Blast, that might mean coming home with the retina 5k though. I shouldn't be allowed near there (except, the 13" was faster using aperture going thru the libraries on the demo than the 5k one - is this the SSD factor?).

    Decisions decisions... all with the CC sitting here in front of me.
     
  12. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #12
    Decisions Decisions

    Well the 15 inch rMBP is the same weight as the old 13 inch cMBP, so weight wise not an issue but size wise it doesn't fit so well in small space or on your lap like the 13, the battery life is also a bit less.

    You can return any apple device within 14 days for a full refund although it would be a postal return for a CTO version. (You may be able to take it into the apple store though and swap to the 15 inch if thats what you decide)

    The 13 might have felt a little faster because that mobile GPU in the 5K imac has to push a hell of a lot of pixels and the base model is only just up to the task, apparently the higher GPU option deals with things faster and smoother.

    Good luck deciding they are all great machines.....
     
  13. shahin90 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    #13

    Parallels is for people using Windows casually. If you are doing serious things on Windows, a virtual machine is not the answer and you should run Windows on bootcamp. If you are using bootcamp the 13 inch has much better battery life because the drivers can't optimize for the dedicated GPU on the 15 inch.

    Also, a MacBook pro is NOT a gaming machine by any stretch. Buy a cheap desktop PC and it will run any game better.

    ----------


    I usually use Windows through bootcamp because it just feels like a premium Windows experience and far better than most Windows laptops. That being said, I do use Windows through parallels on a 13 inch retina macbook pro and it runs PERFECTLY FINE. You can't play heavy game on it, but that's not the intention for most macbook users.
     
  14. Zubba macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #14
    Wrong on every point. Especially if you have a QUAD core system; with a maxed out quad core you can run some very heavy apps using vmware or parallels that you just can't get away with on the dual core system. As far as bootcamp and battery life, the base model 15" is still twice the machine of the top end 13" and has no dGPU, thus no bootcamp battery life issues.

    A cheap desktop PC with Iris pro for example? Yeah... you're just wrong on a lot of levels man. While the mac platform in general isn't conducive for gaming, the fact is still the 15" base model is going to run medium level games significantly better with its Iris pro graphics vs. the significantly worse Iris graphics you get with the 13".

    THE ONLY advantage the 13" enjoys is mildly better battery life, and a smaller footprint, otherwise the 15" base model is literally twice as powerful.

    If you need a relatively powerful machine that you're going to take everywhere, then the 13" is a good option, but if you're going to do anything remotely intensive (even medium gaming, running multiple virtual machines) then the 15" is the clearly better choice.
     
  15. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    #15
    All hail Iris Pro? NOT! A cheapo $450 dollar desktop with regular GT 640 Desktop card will outperform that glorified Iris Pro crap. If you think Iris Pro is good, you've never really experienced gaming on a real gaming desktop/laptop. GTX 970M/980M or desktop 970/980 will leave that integrated graphics to dust and that desktop will still only cost 2/3 of a base rmbp.
     
  16. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    #16
    15" unless you want portability. The 15" is bulky and hard to carry around.
     
  17. Zubba macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #17
    Of course a dedicated gaming PC is going to blow just about any mac out of the water for gaming. My point was simply that most ready-built cheap PC desktops actually use an iGPU like Iris. If you want to buy a gaming machine, by all means buy a PC gaming machine; common cheap PCs aren't going to do the trick any better than a rMBP.

    And Iris pro does actually kick ass for an iGPU. If you feel it sucks, how do you feel about Iris? I don't really need to know, but my point still stands.
     
  18. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    #18
    I ended up ordering a refurb base 15" model while standing in the apple store. I'm wavering on the 256gb, I'm not lacking in externals, but I suck at space management too.

    It was hard, I'm still not sure I went the right way. I figure once it is here I will decide. It was cheaper than my edu discount.

    Now I need a new bag of some sort.
     
  19. josh2007 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #19
    Both machines are great. My neighbor has 15" 2.2 and I have maxed out 13". They both run massive Logic files with lots of plugs and neither machine breaks a sweat.

    Congrats and enjoy.
     
  20. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    #20
    Unfortunately it's true that cheap OEM office desktops don't even have a dGPU. They use HD 4600. However, custom build $500 worth of parts including a GTX 750/750 Ti will blow iris pro out of the water. Still, the iris pro is just slightly below the level of an old GT 640 (see passmark) so it's impressive for iGPU but not far less impressive for the price.

    Bottom line, rmbp is only for casual gaming not for high/ultra graphics gaming.
     
  21. shahin90 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    #21
    Have you ever heard of boot camp not being able to switch between dedicated GPU and Iris graphics? Probably not.
    Just to educate you a little bit, the 15 inch rMBP has FAR worse battery life on Windows. I have owned a 15 inch rMBP and now a 13 inch and I'm talking from experience.

    BTW, I feel sorry for you playing games on a MacBook.

    ----------


    Same here. I have never encountered a situation where I say the 13 inch lacks performance and I am a heavy user.
     
  22. Zubba macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #22

    I get it now, you think the base model 15 has a dedicated GPU. Maybe educate yourself a little, and come to learn that the 15 doesn't have the 750m in it? Yes, the GPU switching has some issues (especially when the system is forced to the dGPU by plugging into an external monitor, or running windows via bootcamp), NONE OF THOSE ISSUES EXIST with the base model 15, BECAUSE IT RUNS ON IRIS PRO EXCLUSIVELY. There is no dGPU in the base 15; maybe read that 20 times, commit it to memory, then check Apple's specs to "educate" yourself.

    As far as playing games on a rMBP, it runs light to medium req. games just fine, but you're right, if you want to game seriously you want a dedicated gaming PC, not some cheap POS PC with the same GPU as the laptop you're bashing.
     
  23. lionkin macrumors regular

    lionkin

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    Location:
    West Hollywood
    #23
    If you want portability go for the max out 13" retina or if you want power and bigger screen go for 15".
     
  24. shahin90 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    #24
    Iris pro vs the regular Iris is virtually the same crap for gaming.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF2jYg01q5g

    At 5:11 you can see the difference in framerates. It's about 5-6 FPS which makes your game as much of a ****. The base model 15 inch graphic sucks just as much.
     
  25. Zubba macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #25
    Keep changing those goal posts, maybe you'll stumble into being right on something.
     

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