Cant decide what to buy 15 retina base or high

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by judgetr, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. judgetr macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2014
    Hello guys,
    I work as software engineer.
    This computer will be my prime computer.

    My problem is this;

    Most of the times i will use this computer for coding stuffs - xCode mostly

    But i will use this computer around 4 years and since these new boys can not be upgraded after the purchase i'm having hard time to decide.

    8 gb seems really but really low.I m sure that it will be enough for me for now but later?Not sure, even my 4 years old vaio has 8 gb ram...

    I m not a hardcore gamer, i only use basic games like dota and something like that.

    I have enough cash to buy high end but 2600 $ is really looks a lot when i can make use of 2000 one .

    Btw i cant get 2200 $ just 16 gb ram one, i m not on usa and i dont have enough time to wait 1 month for customized shipment.

  2. sfwalter macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    If your plan is to keep the Mac Book Pro for 3-4 years I would get the most machine you can buy. I would definitely get the 16GB because you never know in 2-3 years what your needs will be.

    I think you can stick with the integrated graphics unless you do alot of Photoshop work. I've seen test where the base 15" with the Iris Pro Graphics that shows it works could with Photoshop unless your doing some crazy rendering.

    If I could only choose a stock configuration and your plan is to hold on for 3-4 years I would go with the $2599 model. However based on your needs I think it would be best to get the $1999 and add the 16GB ram.
  3. judgetr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2014
    i am currently in new jersey.I only have 5 more days in here.

    Do you think if i purchase a configured computer, will it be in my address in 5 days?

    Thank you.
  4. Baadshah macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2008
    I would say get the one with descret graphics. If you are planing to keep it for long, its the best option.
  5. BuCkDoG macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    I personally would get the higher end config. It's definitely the best deal. The base 15 inch does not have a discrete GPU which in my opinion is absolutely ridiculous for a 2,000 machine regardless or how you plan on using it. If your scared of the price tag, look at the 2012 refurbished Models as those are still excellent machine and offer a great value for your dollar. Good luck.

    @Baadshah The word is Discrete not descret. :)
  6. GSPice macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2008
    Yeah if you can't get custom configuration, get the high end, especially since you're going to have the device for awhile. Otherwise I'd recommend just getting the max ram and storage.

    I decided against the 1 TB storage because while I need lots of storage, I don't need lots of fast storage - which is much more expensive.
  7. commac, Jan 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014

    commac macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    I picked up the high end model mostly because I thought I needed a dgpu. After lots of testing and research I've learnt I don't seem to need a dgpu since I don't game and the Iris Pro is actually better suited to my needs.

    Iris Pro is better for OpenCL acceleration (eg, Photoshop and Premiere), better for conserving power while on battery and is less of a nuisance since you dont having to deal with gpu switching. It is still unclear to me if the difference in OpenCL performance is driver based or a hardware limitation of the 750M. Also note you cannot use the Iris Pro on the high end while connected to an external display because the 750M is forced... Also, the only game Ive tried is Bioshock and it runs better on the Iris Pro.

    I was all set to return the high end model since Id like to take advantage of OpenCL acceleration while connected to an external display but now find myself used to the freedom of 512GB of fast storage and like the clock bump to 2.3GHZ so paying the same price for the same model but without the free dgpu plus waiting weeks for the custom order to arrive and to hope it doesn't creek or have screen problems is a big undertaking.

    My advice would be if you need CUDA for any software you currently use and/or have a use for the 512GB of fast storage get the high end. Its a great machine and provides the most flexibility if you are not OpenCL dependant.

    Otherwise, I'm sure the base model would be fine and possibly better if you'd like to run OpenCL accelerated apps on multiple displays and/or plan to use battery power in windows or connected to a projector.

    What would you do with the 600$ saving?

    The 16gigs is nice but truth be told its pretty hard to use up 8GB or ram unless you know you need more. Mavericks is pretty efficient with ram. Also, you are theoretically looking at less problems with an igpu only model as you have one less part to worry about breaking.

    If I had to do it again I'd probably go base model from the start but I have a desktop and reasons not to have the dgpu.
  8. Pinksteady macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2008
    Get the high. You'll always be wishing you had it if you buy the base model.
  9. jayroc2k macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2009
    I agree with Commac on the ram as I recently upgraded my old macbook to 8GB from 4G, it seems to use about 5-6GB ram when running safari with many tabs, chrome and lightroom at the same time.

    I even tried opening aperture, iphoto and imovie and only just about went past 6.5GB.

    I only ran into issues with my previous 4GB ram after updating to mavericks, so I suspect four years from today. It will be the OS demanding more ram.

    By then we'll all be hungry for the latest new macbook X-files edition with eight cores in the base config and SSD running at twice the current speeds, 4K displays etc (dreaming)
  10. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    This was a tough choice for me. I'm a developer, with XCode being one of the main tools I use. I found the stock 8GB 13" rMBP discounted by 10%, and I just couldn't justify the $400 price difference to order a non-discounted custom macbook with 16GB. I realise that you're talking of a lifespan of 3-4 years, but for what it's worth, this machine has run fast without hiccup for the last couple of months, all the while running several memory-intensive apps and not bothering with manual management of what I have running. For the first couple of days I tried gauging what was happening with RAM, but came to the conclusion that the mac uses as much ram as it can, and that system responsiveness is of most importance.
  11. Ardmanz macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2013
    I recently bought the base configuration but after thinking about it, I want this to last at least 4 years so I think I'm going to swap it for the upgraded spec. If I don't it will eat away at me. Haha.

    Will Apple let me pay the difference or will I have to return it, wait for the refund then order again (I don't have another 2k of disposable cash at the moment).
  12. davidjearly macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    For your needs, as posted, you absolutely do not need anything more than the base 15" rMBP.

    I use this exact machine for even more GPU and CPU intensive tasks than you listed, and I've yet to experience a single limitation.

    For about the same you'll pay now to buy the more expensive option, you could easily save that and use it to upgrade your machine in a couple of years if new software was released that your machine struggled with (though I doubt that will happen).

    You do not need more than 8GB of memory and you absolutely do not need a dGPU.
  13. jayroc2k macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2009
    Unless we decide to get 4K moinitors when they are cheaper! but even then, the dGGU does not yet support 60hz in OS X

    here is to hoping apple will release drivers for both when they release 4k panels

    or stitch us all up by releasing updated models with this "minor" bump in specs
  14. rev.b macrumors regular


    May 1, 2009
    I may be wrong, but OpenCL can run in Iris Pro while running an external display. At least mine does in LuxMark v2.1.

    It can even run OpenCL simultaneously on the 3 available devices - i7 CPU, 750M and Iris Pro.


  15. commac macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2013

    That would be very interesting but I guess the software would need to allow for this sort of thing. I just know that Photoshop as is feels more responsive with the 750M disabled which is quite troubling for me.
  16. richard371 macrumors 68020

    Feb 1, 2008
    If you need 16GB and 512 SSD like I do for VMs the 2599 is a no brainer. The 2.0GHZ base model with no dGPU configured with 16/512 is 2500 so for 100 more you get 300 megahertz faster cpu and the GPU.

    If you don't need the extra ram and SSD I do not feel the gpu is worth $600. As we have seen some apps run better with the iris and some with the 750m. I assume drivers will be updated in the future.
  17. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    This is like Bill Gates saying that 640K is more memory than anyone will ever need on a computer.
  18. rev.b macrumors regular


    May 1, 2009
    But it is possible, and if OpenCL is to be used, you got one more device, that can work in parallel with the other two.

    Despite that, Iris pro is almost twice faster than 750M when benchmarked alone, and only adds roughly 17% to that total score.

    When I got my rMBP I was undecided, as I could get 2.6Ghz/Iris/16Gb RAM/512 Gb SSD and 2.3Ghz/750M/16Gb/512 Gb for the same price.

    I do not regret getting the one with discrete graphics.
  19. davidjearly macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I think it's clear from your signature where your preference lies when it comes to buying new machines (cough: 'maxed').

    That doesn't change the facts. The OP does not need this, and likely won't in the next few years. There is not going to be a paradigm shift in software requirements, by that factor.

    Oh, and I never said the OP will not 'ever need' more. I just advised not to waste money on something absolutely not required.
  20. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Go with the higher-end model if you could swing it. I was looking/lusting over the specs of the 15" Retinas the other day and, contrary to the norm, the higher end model is a better "value" than the base model. You get 16 gigs of memory and 512 gigs of PCIe storage, not to mention a discrete GPU -- now that's a professional notebook. If you're anything like me, do it for the sake of not lamenting your decision later. The base is still a very serious machine if you have any inclination to frugality. I wish I could afford either.
  21. judgetr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2014
    i got the high end

    i m not even sorry guys. This thing is just beatiful :)

    thank you for your advices
  22. 7itanium macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2013
    I picked up a lower end model with a larger SSD and 8GB RAM

    I wasnt sure this would be quite enough for me because I do some video editing and music production

    I have been pleasantly surprised... I have yet to maximize this machines capabilities and it outruns my 8 core 16GB custom desktop all day long

    not saying dont get the high end one... I just question weather its necessary and id like to help avoid buyers remorse
  23. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    8 GB should be fine for years and 256 GB of storage is perfect for me (I'm not a storage fiend). The discrete GPU is nice to have though. Congrats on your new machine! I am envious. I'm envious of those who have the base model too.
  24. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    8GB is more then enough for quite a while, many Mac users are still rocking with 4GB - OSX is a better memory manager then windows is :) . If you have the funds and are overly concerned then yeah perhaps for peace of mind its better for the upgrade.

    Since the memory is soldered in, you have no chance of upgrading I can see going to 16gb just in case.
  25. DiCaprioAngel macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2013
    New York
    I, myself, purchased the highest end of the retina MacBook Pro because I intend on keeping this laptop for as long as I possibly can (I'm not made of money, so I can't keep buying the new ones that come out). I'm obviously not using all of the 16GB of RAM at this moment, but like many people have said, you never know what will come of the future - you might end up needing it later, so if you get the 8GB, you might regret it later. This laptop put a huge hole in my wallet, but it's the best purchase I've made so far. I don't regret it at all because I know I have a laptop that I could rely on for the next few years.

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