Price Advice Buy 15" MBPr Late 2013 Refurb or wait for next 13" Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dstroge, May 22, 2014.

  1. dstroge macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2014
    Hi there, first MacRumours post! :rolleyes:

    I'm buying my first Macbook Pro very soon. I have €1800 to spend in the Apple Store(Rep. of Ireland)

    In the Refurb store at the moment I can get a 15" Macbook pro retina with 8gb RAM and 256gb for €1739.

    But, with WWDC coming up on June 2nd I'm wondering if I should wait and see if there will be any update to the Macbook Pro.What do you think?

    Hypothetically if there was a new update I could get the middle tier 13" model for around the same price as the one listed above in refurb.

    So basically its 15" refurb, current model VS 13" new, post June 2nd model? Any thoughts on this, would the increased 2inch screen size of the refurb be worth it over any potential updates at WWDC?

    Thanks! :)
  2. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    Hi dstroge,

    Any updates to the MacBook lineup are unlikely for this June. Most chances are there will not be updates until September-October because of the Broadwell delay. I would recommend getting a used 2012 rMBP. The baseline model is almost exactly the same as the 2013 model. The 2013 model will have a slight CPU boost, but the GPU is actually worse. The battery life is rated for the same amount of hours, and none of the ports/externals were changed. There is very little reason to get the 2013 model over the 2012 model unless you just have extra cash sitting around. Especially if you are considering getting a 13" instead, I would highly recommend a 2012 15". In the US they can be found for about 1400$ on ebay. If you don't trust used, you can still pick up a refurb model for about 150$ more.

  3. dstroge thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2014
    Hi, thanks for the advice, I would consider the 2012 model but the lack of a retina display discourages me from it. I do quite a lot of Photoshop work with my photography so having the retina is a must.

    Thanks again.
  4. caljay macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2012
    Just few thoughts.

    2012 was the first year for the 15 inch retina MBP. I believe that both a retina and non-retina were offered that year.

    There is some performance difference between the quad core 15 inch and dual core 13 inch. I would recommend looking at the benchmarks. The 13 inch MBP has even been compared to current MBA computers on performance.

    I do believe that the late 2013 15 inch retina MBP has a battery performance improvement. This is from the newer processor.

    Do plan on an external drive for your photography. Not only for backup but if your projects get you close to the limit of a 256GB SSD. I have to manage storage carefully with a 256. I won't suggest 512 because of the cost exceeding your budget.

    There are two models with different graphics engine combinations available for late 2013 15 inch retina MPB. The lower cost is the integrated version and a premium version with a discrete graphics coproccesor added. Again, there are review sites that consider the performance differences of the two models (some of the tests are for applications such as photoshop). One of these sites is That site tends to compare one MAC against another. (note: sorry, the following is a bit out of order -- At least running 10.9 OSx, I note that depending on the applications I am using, the higher performing graphics coprocessor is engaged. This pulls the battery down. I suspect that the 2012 version will use the internal HD4000 graphics unless the application (this includes Photoshop) calls for the higher performance graphics device.)

    For the weight difference of one pound between a 13 inch and 15 inch retina MBP, there is a lot of screen real estate that might help working with images in Photoshop. I have the late 2013 15 inch retina MBP (dual graphics version) and am pleased with the screen. I previously used a 2011 13 inch MBA as my principle machine and still use it for distance travel with lots of plane trips. Dealing with panels in Photoshop is easier with the 15 inch retina.

    Even with my above comments, Matt's reply is very much in line with my own thoughts.

    good luck,
  5. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    I wouldn't do the 2012 because several reviews stated that the intel HD 4000 graphics struggled to run the retina display smoothly. The iris pro is much faster.
  6. mad3inch1na, May 22, 2014
    Last edited: May 22, 2014

    mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    I'm talking about the 2012 rMBP.


    It doesn't use an hd 4000 primarily. It uses a gtx 650m, which is faster than iris by 20-30%. You are probably thinking about the 13" model. I would agree with you on that point.
  7. dstroge thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2014
    Thanks for the advice, yes I do plan on having a 1.5tb or 2tb external hard drive for storage. I think I'll partition the external drive, half a tb for time machine and the rest of the storage for file storage. Do you think half a tb would be enough for time machine on a 256gb machine?

    I'll go for the 15" at all costs because I don't care about weight and also screen 'real estate' is so important to me! Who wouldn't want a bigger screen :D

    I can't afford the higher end 15" model with better graphics, do you think I'll notice the difference, I only do mid range (skilll wise) photoshop edits for photography and design. I'm only 16 so it's not a machine I'm basing my income on :p So will be ok with the integrated graphics model of rMBP 15"?

    Thanks! :D
  8. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    There is a 2012 rmbp. The IPS helps more than retina. It helps with viewing angles.

    Photo editing doesn't rely heavily on the gpu. It's almost a complete non-issue.
  9. dstroge thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2014
    Thanks for the input re screen choice but I think the retina is the one for me, I will be using this new MPB with my 24" display so viewing angles etc shouldn't be a problem at home.

    Thanks for clearing up the whole GPU issue, thats a massive relief!:D
  10. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    The retina macbook pros use IPS displays. I was saying that in my opinion for what you're doing, the improved viewing angles help more than the higher resolution. The higher resolution is still quite nice. My only complaint is reflectivity. If you plan to do extensive editing, you'll want subdued lighting if possible. Depending on how far you want to go, a graphics tablet helps quite a lot.

    As for the gpu, Adobe has added some of the newest filters using gpu libraries. A couple of them are very slow on hardware that doesn't support OpenCL, but many are still entirely cpu bound. They just rewrote some of the slowest ones. This means near instant rendering of a filter effect rather than waiting a couple seconds, but generally editing doesn't involve just applying filter after filter. If you're doing batches of photos with the same thing, you're probably using Lightroom. Lightroom doesn't benefit from the gpu in any way, so you wouldn't see a gain there either. Photoshop also uses OpenGL drawing, but drawing of 2D surfaces is quite simple for gpu hardware. 3d games involve computing normal vectors and a lot of linear algebra that isn't needed there. For some reason people are still obsessed with gpus. They have the potential to be implemented in a lot of areas, but for the tasks where they are worthwhile, any gpu that supports the basic frameworks is going to be faster than the same task run via cpu.
  11. dstroge thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2014
    Sorry I picked you up wrong first time round. I'll keep that in mind about the subdued lighting thanks! I currently use a graphics tablet at the moment and it's great so I will continue to use it with the new macbook.

    Thanks for all that info it's really helped, you seem to know your stuff anyway! As I say I don't use Photoshop heavily just chip away at it as a fun thing to do and the occasional photography or InDesign for flyers. So I think the integrated graphics will do just fine. Thanks again.

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