Buying Macbook Pro 13 inch now or Later???

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rivryan, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. rivryan macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2012
    So I am currently able to buy a macbook this weekend and was definitely thinking about the 13 inch (i think 15 inch is too big for me). I use my computer for school, documents, and occasional gaming (Heroes of Newerth, CS, DOTA2 etc). I have an old Dell Studio 14 i7 8 gigs ram now and am looking to get rid of it/upgrade.

    I am looking at the $1399 model
    2.9 ghz 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
    Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    8GB 1600MHz memory
    750GB 5400-rpm hard drive1
    Intel HD Graphics 4000

    There's a $90 128 ssd upgrade which i think is definitely NOT ENOUGH space for anyone or anything and the 256 upgrade is another $300 bucks which is definitely out of my budget. So i'm keeping the 750 gig hard drive.

    The ONLY thing worrying me is the Intel HD graphics 4000. I KNOW it's weak, but how weak? Will it run the games i play smoothly (even on low settings?). Please let me know or give me advice if you have this computer w/ these specs and play these games. Im assuming if it handles these games, it will definitely handle all my documents and school work.

    Another thing i could do, which is tempting, is wait for the 13 inch retina displays to release. I just don't know when that will be or how much they will cost. I plan on spending max of $1500 ish and that's it. I feel like i Don't utilize a computer enough to spend over $1500 on it and I don't know if i will wait 2-3 more months for a new laptop to release because it PROBABLY won't even be in my price range.

    Please let me know, all the reviews i've read are the "lower" end of the macbook 13 inch with the 1.5 ghz and 4 gigs ram. Any suggestion is appreciated!

    Also: buying from a 3rd party but apple affiliated seller ( since they are selling for a good price and there's NO TAX. Jw if anyone has ever done business with them?

    Also, best place for buying applecare? (other than retail w/ apple)

  2. igiboi macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2012
    hey whats up, 13 inches is a good choice. But I think you're budget is high enough for a 15". the 13inch mbp is a good choice and it has been tested since its the nth generation. I play HoN on a base 2012 with upgraded hdd and ram and it runs fine on high. I don't now about other games you have but gaming on a 13" is hard on the eyes and especially on the accuracy since HoN tends to be small and you might have to take that extra time on where you press your spells or skills. But I've gotten used to it, but its hard to adjust since I have a 24" monitor 1920x1080 windows machine.

    Anyway, as rumors are out there they said there will be retina 13" models coming out, but its up to you on what you need. If you are tight on money
    base model 13" and upgrades on hdd and ram to what I did is an option. But you're budget is a base 15" and I think the size vs the specs you might wanna lean to a base 15".
  3. rivryan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2012
    Thanks for the reply! Base 15 inches, at least from the website, start at $1799 which means you pay $1900 after tax

    2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
    4GB 1600MHz memory
    500GB 5400-rpm hard drive1
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 512MB of GDDR5 memory
    Built-in battery (7 hours)2

    I understand the specs are way better, at least graphics car wise, but the size is a big issue for me. I ended up ordering one for $1390 FLAT (no shipping fee or tax) from since they have a good deal going so i still havea bit of money left over for apple care and a case for the computer. I hate something about the 15 inch (personal preference) and have only used 13 inches for a laptop since i travel a lot and work a lot on campus. Thanks for the advice!

    Question: should i invest in a SSD in the future? Can i remove the HDD from the 2012 macbook pro? SOryy this is my first macbook and i'm jw :confused: Also, any advice on where to get apple care for way less than retail?
  4. grpaul349 macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Why not just buy it from the apple store and save $100 and get $100 iTunes card - your original post said you were a student. Buy the base for $1099 and call it good
  5. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    How about getting the base model 13" Pro and adding RAM and SSD yourself? $1099 with student discount.

    Occasionally you can get a 256GB Samsung 830 SSD (same controller that Apple uses for the Air and RMBP SSDs) on sale for around $200.

    If there's a 13" Retina MBP I would expect it to start at at least $1599 if not higher.
  6. igiboi macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2012
    you should, its a good investment. But I got mine refurb, a corsair I think. cost me 80$ including tax same warranty same everything 120gb. Figured somewhere down the road they would get cheaper so didn't opt for the samsungs or intels that are way more expensive. If 512gb gets cheaper I would get it in a year or so.

    I just bought a external enclosure for the stock hdd on the macbook pro and put my large files on there like music and vids and 120gb works for me. Even had it partitioned and installed win7 oem there for school. Maybe if warranty runs out ill replace superdrive with those optibay things.


    You should've gotten it from bestbuy, they will match apple's deal from educational pricing, but instead of 100$ iTunes card, you get 150$ bestbuy gift card. Thats what I did.


    yup base model I think is way better on price rather than the top end cos the bump in price doesn't really justifies the small upgrade from hardware. Then you can put your money on the upgrades you would get like the ssd and ram or accessories like cases or bags.
  7. rivryan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2012
    Sorry don't know much about computers (hence me getting a mac) but i just plan on investing into an SSD for this mac later on. Trying to find a good one to snag maybe black friday or something. Also, they stopped the whole $100 off thing and i think they just give you a $100 itunes giftcard which is useless to me unless i can sell it for 80$ or so. I paid $1390 FLAT (free shipping no tax) and am pretty happy with that with the specs i got:

    2.9 ghz i7
    750 gig HDD
    8 gig ram
    and everything else you get with a macbook.

    Sorry to sound ignorant lol but i just wanted a mac, i had the option of a mac 13 inch vs. a dell studio 14 (currently have now) and i've regretted it for the past 2 years. Figure ill just go macbook and be done with it. Getting the base macbook would have been $1199, but with tax it would have come to around $1300. Just hate paying tax, haha.

    Thanks for all the replies! Anyone have tips on a decent SSD they have experienced in their 13 inch?
  8. Rockoar macrumors regular


    Mar 8, 2012
    Paris (France)
    If Apple release a 13'' rMBP I think that we can all agree that it will not sell under the $1700-1800 price range, which is way more than what the current 13'' sells for.

    Have you not thought about buying a MBA instead? Display resolution is a little bit higher, the SDD is obviously faster (not a lot of capacity and quite pricy, tho, that's true) and the graphic card it's the same so you won't have any problem there.
  9. rivryan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2012
    Never thought about a macbook air, bc personally, it is just way too thin! It's awesome, i can agree with that, but i want a laptop to feel sturdy and solid rather than be able to lose it in my backpack amongst all my folders and papers lol. Sorry to be picky, but MBA and MBP 15 inch were out of the question to begin with. But with this mindset, i'm definitely losing money :(

    Just plan on throwing in an SSD sometime in the near future on this MBP13 and keeping it for the next 3-4 years. I'm sure it will last that long unless technology fast forwards and we have something crazy come out...(other than the retina display).

    FIgured the rMBP13 would be no less than 1700$ and that's definitely not in my budget as a college student. $1390 was pushing it. Might as well get an entertainment system for $1700 if i wanted to watch something that high def! But i'm sure IF i had the money, i would totally go with retina.
  10. dona83 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2004
    Kelowna, BC

    240/256GB SSD - $180 to $240 depending on which one you get.

    8GB RAM, less than $100, 16GB RAM, about $200.
  11. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    I think it should be fine for your gaming as you are willing too accept the lower end of the graphic spectrum. Not that I can speak for the HD4000 or those games directly, but as a reference I have been playing Assassins Creed 2 and Just Cause 2 (steam summer sale ftw) on my 2.3 i5/4GB/HD3000 MBP from early 2011 with pretty medium settings (full resolution, usually high texture detail with most of the fluff turned off). AA/AF, reflections and shadow detail are the sort of extra unimportant detail that should be turned off to maximise FPS.
  12. TickleMeElmo macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2012
    I think if they release a rMBP it won't be this year. I think they will wait for Haswell before they do since it will allow them to put a quad core into the machine. Moreover, it will allow them to forgo the discrete GPU route (since Haswell should be 2.5x the power of the current Ivy Bridge iGPU).
  13. rivryan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2012
    Sounds good but when it all adds up:

    $1100 computer
    $240 SSD
    $100 ram
    $100 tax on computer

    would be around $1550-$1570 total and that's pushing the budget haha. That's why i said ill just wait till black friday for some good SSD deals (if there are any) and once i throw that in my computer, I'll have a decent cpu with a bad graphics card lol. All good though! And like i said, I'm not too graphic intensive, i play on low graphics on my studio14 as of now.

    Here's an article and some benchmarks about the HD400 if anyone is interested:
  14. mordecailee macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    Later is always better if you don't need it now. They update these things like twice a year and it sounds like your current setup is fine for what you are doing.

    In argument of upgrading now: They did just update them. I bought the base 2012 model and then installed a 240GB SSD and 16gb of memory for under $1300 not including tax. (I watch slickdeals pretty regularly and got Best Buy to match a $1000 price from Fry's) I did 16gb because I am a designer and frequently use 10-12gb on my iMac. 8gb would be fine and $50 cheaper.

    I don't do any gaming and really only bought it because I needed to be have a portable workstation because I've found myself travelling around somewhat frequently as of late.

    There really isn't a correct answer. Gaming is almost always better on a PC and if that is your most intensive activity then I don't really see a reason to switch. Upgrading to the i7 in the MBP isn't going to increase your gaming performance as much as getting the 15" with the dedicated graphics. You could always go refurb 15" as well.
  15. rivryan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2012
    thanks for the reply and you make complete sense! Thing is, i have to get rid of my studio 14 since the family computer died and they need a laptop. SO, yea that's the backstory and i ended up getting the portable 13 inch MBP for myself and giving up my dell studio 14. How much was you SSD? and you mean $1300 for your whole setup and not just the SSD and ram right?
  16. dona83 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2004
    Kelowna, BC
    As mordecailee said, you can upgrade these things over time, that's the beauty of a MacBook Pro. Just get a base model on student discount and work from there! Btw, first upgrade should be an SSD, you'll see a dramatic increase in performance from the get go. Prices are continuously going down so in six months, a good 240GB SSD will be under $200 and 8GB 1600Mhz RAM will be closer to $50.
  17. mordecailee macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
  18. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Jul 25, 2011
    Not that it helps now I suppose but actually they do offer $100 off plus the $100 App Store/iTunes Gift card. The base is usually $1199 but it's $1099 with the student discount. Same goes for the higher end 13''.
  19. dbam987 macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2007
    MBP13+Corei7+SSD == WarpSpeed

    Getting the MBP13 now is a very good idea now, as the segment has been refined greatly now that it sports Core-i7. I pulled the trigger on it today, opting for the higher-end 13-inch model and swapping out the HD for a 256 GB SSD drive pulled from an older machine I had. With an SSD installed along with a Core-i5/i7 processor on board, it will be capable of "warp speed". :D
  20. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I'm somewhat curious why you regretted it. Dell is all over the board in terms of their machines. If I ever bought one, I'd look up reviews first. Integrated graphics are still definitely worse, but they have improved. Go to 8GB of ram as that will grant it the highest possible vram allocation which may make a difference. Some games suggest a minimum of 512MB vram. With 4GB the HD 400 allocates 384MB as opposed to 512MB. That is why I suggest that. It may not be amazing in games, but it's a significant step up from their prior offerings. Next year will probably be another significant update. The 13" machines are where I really think you're best off buying the current year. They saw the biggest increase over the prior year, so the lowest ivy 13" is superior to the top 13" from 2011. When it comes to cost decisions, Apple doesn't discount the prior year enough on these lower end machines to make it compelling.
  21. dona83 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2004
    Kelowna, BC
    I also bought a Dell two years ago, a Vostro V13. 0.78" thin, was a decent computer. Paid $1,400 for it but that was with three years extended warranty with accidental damage protection, which I used six months in when I spilled beer on it. Had the hard drive controller die on me four times, and the battery went about 15 months in. So I bought not too long ago what I should've originally bought two years ago, a 2010 13" MBP. Threw in an SSD and 8GB, I love it love it love it. :)

    On the note of the hard drive controller, it wasn't really a big deal, other than the whole diagnostics process the phone support guys make you go through. Out of warranty, these controllers cost $25 a piece and take 10 minutes to replace.
  22. rivryan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2012
    Regretted DELL because it just felt cheap compared to MacBooks. It didn't feel solid and felt like plastic, not mention it being kinda bulky and heavy. I had a LOT of problems with it which dell support (very best) fixed and replaced BUT I sent in my
    Computer 2-3 time for different problems. Overheating was a BIG issue with this Computer but It's all good, the computer lasted me almost 2 years and it's still going good! But it's just time for an upgrade and I have to give up my dell.
  23. igiboi macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2012
    Corsair vengeance ram is 55$ in amazon. 8gb -either 2 4gb cards or 1 8gb card


    keep an eye out on, sometimes they release ssd sales that are worth it. But you have to be quick and buy it asap, cos they usually run out fast. I was able to snatch up a 128gb ssd corsair for 70 something close to 80$. I had it reserved, and good thing I reserved it cos when I got there at around lunch time,they're all out.
  24. Slivortal macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2012
    I'd recommend buying now. There was just a refresh (best time to buy a computer), you really don't have the cash to be looking at an RMBP 13" if it comes out (my guess is it'll be well over $1500, before tax), and this way you'll have a new comp BEFORE the school year starts.

    Order from the Apple store, because you get a student discount. While the HD4000 may be able to handle a bit of casual gaming, for maximum gaming experience you should look into a PC with a high-end graphics card that you can probably get for about the same price.

    If you do stick with an Apple, I'd actually recommend a MacBook Air. It's lighter, and whatever slight power loss you get from the ULV processors will be more than made up by the fact that you're using an SSD (which will probably even help out with gaming). It has the same HD4000 integrated graphics, and you can also upgrade it to 8GB RAM. I just honestly think the non-retina MBPs aren't great deals at this point.
  25. rivryan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2012
    Thanks for the advice! Wish i saw this sooner or before i ordered my MBP13 :eek: it's okay though, i'm sure ill be satisfied with whatever i get. I'm the casual laptop user so I'm not too nit picky with having everything perfect or not getting the BEST deals. Thanks for all the replies! Didn't think i'd get this much hype over my question haha

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