Brand new rMBP 13 vs. used rMBP 15


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 10, 2014
I'm looking for a new laptop, and have my eyes set on the 13 inch rMBP with 8gb RAM and the 256gb SSD, which is going for ~$1435 on MacMall. I just checked on eBay and it seems that one can get a used 15 inch rMBP, usually the mid-2012 model, for just around the same price.

Would it be better to get the new 13" or a used 15" older model, in terms of processor and whatnot? Would the Sandy Bridge quad core i7 perform better or worse than the Haswell dual core i5?


macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
Canada, eh?
My sister and I just went through this exact thing, actually.

She bought a refurb 15" from Apple. $1599 for the June 2012 model, which is a mere spec bump change from the February 2013 model -- the last model before the 15" went Haswell.

The big differences between the older model and the current Haswell model: the PCIe SSD and slightly longer battery life with the current model, BUT the older model has discrete nVidia 650m graphics while the current lower-end Haswell models ship with Intel Iris Pro. So that might actually be an upside!

I went the other way and bought the 13" MBP 8/256GB. I transport my machine quite a bit and I really like the lightweight grab-and-go dynamic of the 13".

The 15" quad-core i7 is roughly twice the power of the dual-core i5, going by Geekbench (about 6500 for the 13", about 13000 for the 15"). But the 13" MBP is no slouch either. I'm very pleased. I might eventually regret not going for more power, but by then, there will be something even faster and better...

8 GB should be fine for today's work, unless you are doing serious computational work like regularly editing 4K video (in which case you wouldn't have even asked your question). There is a serious diminishing return going beyond 8 GB.

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