Cannot decide 13" or 15" MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by roddypimentel, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. roddypimentel macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2014
    Hudson Valley, NY
    So, back in March I replaced my home windows pc for a Mac mini with a 256gb ssd. I have slowly but surely lost access to this machine as it's mainly my kids machine now.

    Since I'm going back to school for my Masters (it's never too late). I decided it was time to replace my work provided crappy ultrabook and get myself a personal sort of desktop replacement MBP.

    Here is the use case...
    It will be used as my day to day personal machine. It will house roughly 200gb of music and pictures. It will be my primary computer for my masters. It will at any time hold between 1 and 2 virtual machines. 1 Linux, 1 windows. It will be used for novice video and picture editing. Basically it will be my crutch I carry everywhere.

    No matter which I get. It will have 16gb mem and 512gb ssd. The question I can't seem to answer for my self is that of proc/size. My life would be simpler with the i7. But it will not with the heavier laptop. I prefer the size of the screen. Just not the extra weight.

    Money is always an issue. But really this is a 3-4 year investment. Maybe even 5. So I don't really care about the money, although it will hurt mentally knowing I spent so much. It won't hurt the bank though which is what matters.

    Your thoughts are highly appreciated.

    Excuse my typing. Done from the iPad on a moving train....
  2. Dsching Suspended


    Sep 11, 2014
    If you are maxing it out and with your usage go for the 15".
  3. lparsons21 macrumors 6502


    Jun 3, 2014
    Southern Illinois
    While your uses are more than my rather mundane ones, here's how and why I decided to get the MBPr 13" (late 2012).

    Mine has 8Gb RAM and 128Gb of SSD and is more than enough for me.

    I initially decided that my iTunes library of video and music didn't need to be with me when I was out of the house, so I moved the library to an external HD connected to my TimeMachine. That took the pressure off of storage space and it works quite well for me.

    And at home I generally have it replacing a desktop. I connect it to a 24" PS3 3D display and have a USB hub connected to it and use the full size USB Apple keyboard and Magic Trackpad. That fills my 'real work' needs very well.

    Might not work for you, but hopefully it is food for thought.
  4. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    OK I am going to propose something slightly different, however I have good reasons for doing it.

    Get a 13" with 16GB RAM and a 256GB SSD.

    Get yourself a twin bay NAS and use RAID 1. Preferably get a NAS that will allow you to access it remotely.

    That way you'll have your photos and music on your NAS, and have a cheaper Mac that will deal with your needs.

    Being RAID 1, the NAS will make an exact copy of itself on the second drive. Therefore if a drive fails, you still have all of your data, and just have to replace the failed drive to regain your data redundancy.
  5. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
  6. roddypimentel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2014
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I already have a 4TB Raid 1 Synology. I want to keep my music and pics with me. And then use the Synology as my backup to such. Which is then backed up to an external and then criticals backed up to Amazon Glacier.

    My concern is. The people that have the 15. Is the weight/size worth the performance boost to carry this up and down.
  7. luked14 macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2010
    I've used both 13" and 15" rMBPS and by far I prefer the size of the 13". The increased weight and dimensions of the 15" make a big difference from a portability standpoint. If you plan on using it at a desk most of the time, the difference probably won't matter. But if you ever use it on the go, the 15" might feel cumbersome at times.
  8. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    It really sounds like you should be going for the 15", maxed out. Saving some weight and cash are a poor economy if it's not going to run the way you expect it to over the next four years.

    You might want to reconsider your media library, though. Like another poster above I have decided I don't need all of my music/video/etc. with me all the time, and it lives on an external drive.
  9. aoaaron macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2010
    I got a base 15''.

    By the time you upgrade the RAM/SSD, you are already in the territory for a 15'' which has a bigger screen, better graphics on board and has a quad core processor. It became a no brainer for me. Also I found the keyboard more comfortable.

    Also the 15'' is ridiculously light. I couldn't really tell the difference between the two in the apple store.
  10. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2013

    As someone who was adamant, and supremely convinced that the 13-inch form factor was the "ideal" size for portable laptops, when it came time to purchase my own 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, uncharacteristically, I hesitated.

    I had the money, but...

    There was no allure, no draw, no temptation. Lighter than the 15-inch, check. Easier to transport, check. But the thought of parting with my money for the 13-inch didnʻt fill me with the anxious, excited feeling that Iʻd known with previous Apple purchases.

    Iʻd wanted that feeling! And it had to be a Retina display. But I realized that my only alternative was the 15-inch. And...what was making my decision difficult were my prejudices about the 15-inch form factor. I distinctly remembered a friendʻs pre-Retina 15-inch MacBook Pro as being an around-the-house laptop, not something Iʻd ever take outside. My knee jerk reaction was that it was too big or too heavy, like his was. But this is where I was wrong.

    Once youʻve experienced the 15-inch Retina, the 13-inch seems a lacking alterntative. The 15-inch is gorgeously big. When youʻre looking down at your laptop, speaker grills subtly evoking your MacBookʻs "Pro" moniker, and visually giving it that premium oomph (they sound good too :)), you can't help but smile. Yes, of course it looks and is bigger, than itʻs 13-inch sibling, but remember, it is just as thin. This is its secret.

    The 15-inch has a larger footprint than the 13-inch, but the impression that it conveys is that itʻs long and slim, and yet, discretely powerful. Quad core i7 processors and muscular graphics, all in a portable package.

    If these attributes appeal to you, then the added weight or seldom inconveniences because of its larger footprint will not bother you. I carry mine in a messenger bag daily, along with two to three heavy books, and Iʻve not once regretted my decision to purchase the 15-inch over the 13-inch.

    Get yours, youʻll love it.

    ***No offense intended to 13-inch rMBP owners. We all have different likes and needs. These are my personal opinions and experiences. ;):):p
  11. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I am a happy 13" owner. The "13 has a lot of portability advantages but I just think that the "15 would be right for the OP. Nice to see that you enjoy your 15. :)
  12. Icehawk macrumors member


    Aug 8, 2008
    I'm lost.
    The 13" is ~3.5 lbs.
    The 15" is ~4.5 lbs.
    The unibody 13" I have is ~4. something lbs.

    I'm getting the 15". Both will last you 4 or more years depending on your needs. I used my brother's 13" rmbp for a while. It almost felt too light and/or small. Both are great machines, but the 15" is what I'm going with.
  13. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    Cannot decide 13" or 15" MacBook Pro

    Awesome! Glad you're enjoying your 13-inch. Yes, I've been very happy with the 15.
  14. blooperz, Nov 2, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014

    blooperz macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2013
    upgrading the processor is almost never worth it...unless this machine is paying for your home mortgage lol.

    edit--- and the work benefits from a slight inc in processing power**
  15. saudor macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2011
    since you already have an ipad. go with the 15. the i7 should come in handy in powering those VMs. As someone else already mentioned, the difference in weight is negligible. I myself went with the then fat and heavy 15 inch and still dont regret it.

    I would regret it today if i went with the 13" as that is now too underpowered for my needs (I use VMs as well). the 15" tend to last spec wise too..If i needed something light, i have my ipad for that
  16. SkimMilk168 macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2014
    I've got the 13" and 15" at home (see my signature). 13" sure feels lighter when compared side by side. The speakers on the 13" also sounds better than the 15" (maybe due to the direction the speakers are outputting). The screen on the 15" is good when you want to do photo editing. And I've just started carrying my 15" in my backpack during my daily commute (subway, buses, short walks). It doesn't hurt or make me tired. So, if you are carrying a backpack, I doubt you will feel the weight pulling down on you. ;)
  17. roddypimentel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2014
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Wao. This last batch of comments have been extremely helpful. Thanks guys, I'm leaning heavily on just going all out and getting the 2500 15". @nobodyjustwalks your post was detailed and awesome.
  18. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    Glad it helped! Also glad that you were able to receive feedback from passionate 13-inch owners. Whatever you choose, hopefully itʻll be the best for your usage scenario. :)
  19. bgd macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2005
    Just a comment on the VM front. I'm currently using a 2010 MBA with 4mb of ram. I run 3 different VMs (not at the same time), 2 linux and 1 OSX. From my experience it's memory which is more important than processor.
  20. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    13 inch MacBook Air is perfectly fine for you and all of your needs. :apple:

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