Buying advice: MBP 15 vs. Mini

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Zubba, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Zubba macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2007
    So, I'm going to be replacing my main home computer with either a rMBP 15 or a 2012 Quad core mini I just ordered from Apple (If I decide to go rMBP 15 I'll just sell the mini).

    My home computer is used mostly as an entertainment station (movies, very light gaming, lot's of videos running next to work items on an external monitor while I pretend to get stuff done in excel and a few stat programs), as well as a light work station.

    I usually like to go with a desktop for everyday home use, and a Macbook Air for on the go/school note taking, but I'm contemplating getting a rMBP 15 high end as a home system to be paired with the new 12 air when it's released.

    I've heard of some heat issues with the rMBP 15, especially when used for long periods of time. I'm wondering what you guys think of extended use of the rMBP as a desktop basically vs. just going the mini route. Can the rMBP handle running all day, every day?

    The Mini I ordered was the refurb quad core i7, I was going to get a new SSD and ram for it, but since the extra cash isn't really a huge issue was considering getting the MBP instead.

    Also, would the dedicated graphics card be much of an advantage to someone who just runs movies and multiple programs in different windows? I'd want at least a 512 SSD, so it seems like the high end option is the better value.

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I have no idea what the logic behind your choices is.

    The usage you are describing can be done on any mac sold during the past two years.
    You have no use whatsoever for a quadcore processor or dedicated graphics.
    An ssd is adviseable, but the RAM upgrade for the mini is just wasted money.

    Last but not least buying a 15" rmbp for the main purpose of running it like a desktop with an external screen for the apps you are using is just grotesque.

    If you have the money just buy whatever mac with an ssd in it, since they all will work equally fine.

    I would recommend the mid range mac mini with an ssd upgrade.
    Donate the saved money to charity or paypal it to me :p
  3. Zubba thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2007
    I know the 15" would be overkill for my uses, but I like the bigger screen on occasion when real work has to be done.

    I'm mostly just curious if people think the rMBP can take the daily usage as a desktop without burning out.
  4. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Of course it can.
    I would recommend a cooling pad, because watching movies will create heat.
  5. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003

    Lots of people do exactly that.
  6. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I think it's six of one frankly.

    If you need portability, even within the house, get the MBP. Frankly I wouldn't want to be without a least one retina screen in a decent size, but YMMV. The graphics card probably won't help you much given your stated uses. But the SSD is a must.
  7. wtzouris macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2008
    OMG I would definitely get the MBPr 15. The ability to take it with you, or just closing it and driving a Huge screen like the LG 21:9 3440 x 1440 (LG 34UM94-P 34" UltraWide 21:9 LED Backlit IPS Monitor) now $850-900 make it a killer combo, and when you want you can just take it on the road and have an excellent 15" Retina screen. Make sure to spec at least the mid-range 15" config, 16 GB Ram and 512GB SSD (1 TB is even better). The IRIS Pro graphics are awesome plus you get an additional NVIDIA video card in the highest model -- for that stand alone 5K display Apple might make someday.
  8. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    The mac mini drives the same screen and the OP has less than no use for the specs you suggested.
  9. Zubba thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2007
  10. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    Congrats on your purchase, I'm sure you will love it. As meister mentioned, for your uses, the baseline MBA from 2013 would be more than enough for your uses, and would last you easily the next 5 years. A 15" rMBP is overkill, it will run a lot hotter, and nothing you do will begin to test the power of the computer. The screen is a beauty, but you might as well have gone with the 2012 15" rMBP, as it has literally the exact same externals. It would have cost half as much and 5-6 years out it would run almost exactly the same as your new rMBP.

  11. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    I personally disagree with some of the choices you recommend. While a 21:9 display can be useful for productivity, it is horrible for watching movies/entertainment. Considering the OP's usage, maxing out the computer makes little sense. A large SSD may be useful if he had to take important files on the go, but if a large portion of the storage is going to be movies/pictures, an external drive is much more cost efficient. 16GB of RAM is just overkill for OP's usage scenarios.

    Also, as a side note, the HDMI 1.4 standard and the current lightning port do not support 5K displays, so the 2014 rMBP will never be able to run a 5k display. Apple has mentioned that the nMP will not support 5k displays either. Now that you mention it, getting a 5K iMac may have been the best choice for the OP, especially considering he wants to get a MBA when the 12" comes out. He doesn't need the portability, and the iMac is way more powerful than the rMBP.
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Congrats, I don't think you made a bad decision, the rMBP is a fantastic computer.
  13. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013

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