Base rMBP 15 vs 13 inch thoughts

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dougian, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. dougian, Jan 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014

    dougian macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2014
    Hello guys!

    I've been really troubled lately as i'm trying to decide on which laptop to buy.

    I'll use it for coding/university work, frequently running one VM in parallels (just one though, no need for running 2-3 simultaneously).
    Other than that, it should constantly also run some background clients, and a firefox with ~40 tabs.
    Gaming isn't a real need, but being able to run dota2 would be a plus, just in case i start playing again :)
    I don't use CAD, photoshop or any other heavy GPU app

    It'll also be my only laptop which means if i'm out that's the one i will want to carry.

    I now have only a desktop computer with an amd x4 940, 4gb of ram and a vertex 4 128gb ssd (got an hhd too). When out i use a crappy old asus netbook with single core atom and 1gb of ram.

    That said, I am buying from a non-appple store country (Greece) and thus looking at ebay prices.

    I can find the 2.4/8gb/256 13 inch for 1300 euro and the base 15 inch for 1600 euro. If i really stretch my budget i can reach both of them. However if let's say I need to switch them in 2 years, I'd much better throw 1300 rather than 1600 euro.

    My questions are:

    • Is the performance of the base 15 inch so different from the 13 inch? Is it really worth 300 euro? More importantly, is the base rMBP without a dGPU powerful enough for everyday usage + VM?

    • Could the base 15 inch model become my primary computer in say a year or so? How would the 13 inch perform in the same situation?

    • How well does the 13 inch cope as a coding machine?
      The screen real estate has been troubling me. Could someone provide some screenshots? How well does it run if you keep one VM open with ~2gb of ram assigned to it?

    • Considering I'll buy from ebay and there's no option of returning if screen is faulty or something (i just have the option of repairing the laptop from apple retailers) what would you do?

    I know this thread is no unique, but some of the usual policies (return and get the other if it doesn't suit you) do not apply to me unfortunately.

    I've searched my town but none of the big retailers has a rMBP in stock for me to try :confused:

    Looking forward to your replies guys!
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The advantages of the 15" are two additional cores and a bigger screen. That said, the 13" will be certainly more then capable of dealing with the tasks you mention. The real question is whether the display will be big enough for your work. I feel very comfortable on a 15" rMBP running at 1680x1050. A 13" with 1440x900 would be not enough space for me and running it at 1680x1050 results in a too small text so I would find it comfortable. Your experience may vary though. I strongly suggest that you continue your search for a retailer that has the computers at display. Screenshots are not enough, especially not to give an impression of a retina display.
  3. dougian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2014
    Thank you for your feedback leman!

    Unfortunately the only laptops i've found on the retailers are the old 13 inch and 15 inch (with 1440x900 display, not HiRes).

    I too think that the 13 inch will be ok performance wise, but many threads here in macrumors have scared me a bit.

    I run an ubuntu VM atm on my desktop running the code i want and it's running smoothly. However whenever the word VM comes out most people suggest the hi end rMBP 15..

    The screen real estate does trouble me though. I played around with the cMBP 13 on the shop today and i can't say i was thrilled by how many things i can fit on its screen, but i'm not disappointed either... If only i could get my hands on a rmbp, everything would be easier

    Really want to hear some more opinions , especially from people in some similar scenario.
  4. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    First of all thank you for the detailed explanation of your needs and situation. This helps!

    This is sound advice all around!

    I also would be careful to buy a rmbp on ebay without ever haven seen it.
    I am not too familiar with coding and your needs in this regard but the 8/256gigs is the best bang for the buck.
    But it is usually 1400€ at the least. This ebay offer seems dubious.
  5. dougian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2014
  6. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Its 1350€ and the US version of rmbp.
    You do have a 14day return policy according to the ad.
    I personally would never ever buy such an expensive item feom ebay, but thats just me.
  7. dougian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2014
    Well considering this version in my country costs 1650 euros.... :eek:
    I am sceptical about ebay too, but i hope you do see through my eyes :p

    I prefer the US version from my local (Greece) version, too. The GR version has a smaller Enter button which messes typing

    P.S As for 1300, it's almost that due to the best offer approach
  8. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    You can order it from apple directly for 1400€ on the edu discount.
  9. dougian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2014
    In Greece? There's no apple directly here...

    If i'm missing something, then i will do everything in my power to thank you :p
  10. fenjen macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2012
    You won't be able to play Dota with any of them on Mac OSX. It doesn't even have a decent framerate on my macbook pro with a 650m. But if you install windows trough bootcamp I think either one will manage.
  11. dougian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2014
    To be honest i don't really care about games...
  12. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
  13. dougian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2014
    Yea this is only an information page unfortunately.

    When you click on "where to buy", it redirects you to the corrent retailers.
    And as for educational pricing? They cut 30 euro off the 1650 euro model :/
  14. dougian, Jan 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014

    dougian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2014
    Anyway, thanks for trying to help there Meister, but could we please come back to the original topic guys?

    I believe there still are many questions left unanswered and there may be many people with feedback..

    Looking forward to your thoughts, everyone :confused:

    It'd be great if some base 15 rMBP user could chime in with his experience with the machine

    How is that iris pro for everyday usage on that huge display?
  15. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2010
    then the base 15" is fine for you...the screen real estate is amazing
  16. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2007
    New England
    13" MBA with I7 , 8 GB RAM, 512 SSD, the graphics are better then the 13" rMBP, as for the 15" if you need that size the base 15" will be fine and the graphics in that are decent for a game or two. I KNOW you don't play game's, and neither do I per say , but every now and then I play one , Sky Gamblers I think it is on the App Store.

    Anyways I have the 13" that I suggest strongly because what your buying it for I'm using it for and running a VM which only is using 3.57 of memory. On average I get 11 hour's of actual hands on usage. It's a great little computer. Some people would argue that you do or do not need an I7 or 8 GB of ram, at our local store this configuration is stocked, and sell's out all the time, it's one of the best sellers

    As for the 15" if you want to stretch your budget, that's obviously your call.

    Best of luck in your decision. IF You can get your hands on that would help

    Also the Apple Online Rep gave me this LINK
  17. ninja2000 macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2010
    I bought a 2011 mbp 15 from him and had no problems at all. You do also get plenty of protection from ebay/paypal.

    I currently use a mbpr13 and have owned many models (mbpr15 2012, mbp 15 & 13 2011 as well as many airs and a 17)
    I would thoroughly recommend it. It will easily cope with your tasks and also easily cope with 1 VM. The 15 is also a great choice but for me I liked the following:
    1. amazing form factor, I carry it everywhere and it is so easy to throw in a bag.
    2. amazing battery life, I get 10+ hours from my typical use.
    3. good power for a 13", runs everything I throw at it.

    My typical use is:
    Xcode, photoshop cs6, office, firefox, media consumption, php development.
    When I am just surfing/watching movies/listening to music I leave the screen at best for retina. When I am coding I switch it up to 1680x1050.

    I also have a bootcamp partition for when I fancy a game (I don't bother in osx as performance is miserable with all the games I play). I am playing the following:
    Wargame AB
    Red orchestra 2
    CS GO
    All play brilliantly.
  18. dougian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2014
    Glad to hear feedback for both the laptop AND the seller!

    Thanks for the information, your typical use is very close to what i I'll be doing with mine :)

    The 15 inch is tempting me because it may become my main machine in a year or so (my desktop computer is messing itself up).

    Also, michaelsviews thank you too! I really don't need the 11 hours to be truthful, 8 are fine by me. My netbook lasts 1:40 now :D

    That said, i really don't think of going for a MBA. It suits needs i don't actually need, and for the money i'd give for it i can get a rMBP which i value more .

    Thank you for the link though, but that's the link that redirects you to the major apple retailer in Greece (the one that sells it 1650 euro and has an educational discount for 30 euro :p )
  19. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2013
    1600 euros for baseline 13" rMBP? That thing costs 1299-1349 euros (depending on the VAT rate) in the official Apple stors for other countries. To my surprise it seems like Apple doesn't have an online store in Greece, which might explain why local retailers are overcharging that badly.

    That german eBay listing seems like a good option as it's the 1499 euro model at a 150 euro discount. However it's probably going to have a german keyboard which might be a tad confusing to type on at first due to the fact it's got 2 extra letters compared to the 26 letter latin alphabet.

    As for the actual choice of machine, while the 13" Pro should be more than capable of running your intended tasks, the baseline 15" machine does have a much faster processor (the Geekbench listings on says it's about twice as fast) and GPU (which doesn't just speed up games anymore). At this point it becomes slightly personal, but I genuinely prefer the added workspace on the 15" models and can't really stand the limited one on 13" machines.
  20. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    For me, the 13" laptop is too small. I owned a 13" MBP (which my wife now has) and found the lack of screen real estate to be a major inhibitor. I get more screen real estate for Aperture, PS and my other apps with the 15" rMBP
  21. paularas macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2013
    /offtopic imagine the surprise of many Greek customers when they tried/ bought the rmbp 13 late model for 2164€ instead of 1999$ (they take the us price, make it 1-1 dollar - euro and add the extra tax that corresponds to greece [9% in most of the states, 23% in greece] ) that's why these ebay shops are so much popular here in comparison to other countries.

    /ontopic go buy a 15 retina macbook pro from ebay for 1500€ and keep it for the next 3-5 years by having and an 4 core i7 and a 15.4 retina display (and also iris pro is quite decent when you downscale from retina to 1480x1024 in comparison to the 750m)
  22. Bl0ckHe1d macrumors 6502


    Nov 19, 2009

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