cMBP15 vs rMBP13

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MajkJaro, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. MajkJaro macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2013
    I'm going to buy on thursday my mac computer. My budget allows me to buy a rMBP13 (i5, 256, 8gb - the early 2013 model) or the base cMBP15 (4gb, i7, 500gb).
    My needs:
    - internet
    - office work (writing mainly)
    - photo editing (amateur)
    - video editing (dslr movies made by me)
    - youtube
    - movies occasionally

    Ideal would be a rMBP15 but it's out of my price range. My concern is will I benefit more from a bigger screen and i7 or a faster SSD drive and retina screen. I don't play games on a computer - I have a PS3 for it.

    Need to hear your thoughts!
  2. Hungry&Foolish Suspended

    Mar 29, 2012
  3. MajkJaro thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2013
    Unavailable in Poland... In Poland (in us $) bse retina mbp15 costs 3000 $. Out of my range...
  4. gmm421 macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011

    The only reason to spend extra $$$ on a retina is if you have cash laying around gathering dust. The retina screen is nice, but if you have another gaming system and primarily watch movies on a large screen TV, then why not just use the screen everyone loved before the retina. Also, the non-retina MBP is RAM and hard drive upgradable, unless you like to buy a new laptop every few years.
  5. MajkJaro thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2013
    But would the 15 inch be much more powerful when it comes to photo editing? Or does in Lightroom/Photoshop the ssd come more useful?
  6. kahkityoong macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    The 8GB RAM would be most useful for photo editing.
  7. kingalexthe1st macrumors 6502


    Apr 13, 2013
    While I don't know about the MBPs, I use Lightroom 5 on my 2011 MBA and it's fine. Not much lag at all, which I put down to the SSD.

    I also do a bit of editing in iMovie, and every now and again I'll get the spinning wheel for a few seconds but it's not a deal breaker. Again, i think it's the SSD responsible for the speed here.

    Consider the regular MBP, but the retina is really ideal for full-on professionals and I think you'd waste your money. It's a LOT of money to spend on a computer, after all.

    Depending on how much video editing you do, consider the MBA. Mine is from 2011 and copes extremely well, so the 2013 models would undoubtedly be worth looking at.

  8. MajkJaro thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2013
    Can someone compare the power of a cMBP15 and rMBP13?
  9. Yell0w macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    I have a early 2008 15" macbook pro, I upgraded the hard drive to a SSD and 4GB RAM, it's still running strong but I just can't decide if I should get the cMBP or rMBP when it's time to upgrade. I mainly use it for web browsing and some typing, just home stuff, online video streaming, no games. What should I do?
  10. brianb568 macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2013
    I would be wary of getting less than 8g of ram.
  11. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
  12. Artagra macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2007
    The advantages / disadvantages are as follows:

    Macbook Pro 15" (Non-retina):
    - Quad-core CPU - faster in any multi-threaded tasks such as video encoding / transcoding, rendering, and other tasks that benefit from multiple cores.
    - Faster GPU - improves 3D tasks such as gaming and design work, and also applications that use the GPU to accelerate general processing.
    - Ability to easily upgrade memory / HDD.
    - Larger screen allows you to see more content at a time (1440x900 screen)

    Retina Macbook Pro 13":
    - Much, much, much, much faster SSD. Really, it's a night and day difference. For your usage, the SSD will make the Retina Macbook feel much quicker 9 out of 10 times, even though it has a slower CPU and GPU.
    - More memory (but, you can't upgrade the memory)
    - Screen looks way better and causes less eye strain. This, however, is a very personal thing. Some people (like me) look at the retina and are sold. Others hardly notice the difference - so I would suggest looking at one yourself.
    - However, the screen does display less content by default - it's 2560x1600, but OS X doubles everything on Retina screens which gives you the same screen real-estate as on a 1280x800 screen. You can run at the scaled resolutions up to 1680x1050, but you do lose some quality and I find it creates additional eye strain.
    - Smaller and lighter.
    - Can't be upgraded easily.

    Personally, to me the choice would be made as follows:
    - Can you afford to upgrade the 15" with an SSD and additional memory in the next 6 months? If not, rather go Retina. The SSD is really that important.
    - Can you notice the difference of the screen? If you can and you like it, it pushes you towards the 13".

    In terms of your usage, either machine will be much faster than needed (assuming you upgrade the 15" with an SSD) so you can't really go wrong either way :)
  13. dollystereo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2004
    The CMBP is best value for the money. You get a Quad core CPu and a much more powerful GPU.
    Go to and pick a samsung 840 drive, and your machine will be as snappy as the retina.
    I have a cMBP with a 256 ssd + 1tb HDD (optical unit mounted) and is as fast as my brothers rMBP. In any CPU intensive (multithreaded) this machines is faster, and in gaming is way faster to (Geforce 650 vs crappy intel 4000).
    Anyway, for your need I would get a maxed out Air.

    The entry level 13 rMBP is a really bad purchase.
  14. gmm421 macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011

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