Considering Upgrading from MBA

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jw3571, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. jw3571 macrumors regular

    May 21, 2010
    I've had a MBA 13 inch that is nearly 5 years old. It's been a great machine but i'm considering upgrading. The MBA hasn't given me any problems, but i'm thinking if I decide to upgrade I want a Retina Display and it appears that will never come to the MBA. I mostly use my laptop for email, internet, spreadsheets, iTunes(I have a fairly large library, and a large photo album. I have a few questions below:

    1. I'm torn between the 13 and 15, is either model more problematic?
    2. I tend to keep these for 3-5 years, what processor and Ram would be best? 16gb of ram overkill?
    3. When is the MBP scheduled for a refresh?

  2. Amethysa macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2015
    1. I've used MBA since 2011 and recently purchased rMBP 15" and its difficult to even use my MBA. 15" for internet browsing and spreadsheets looks amazing. However, it depends if you're using the device for portability as 15" MBP is significantly heavier.

    I'm actually going to refund my 15" rMBP mid-2015 as I can't justify $3500 for a MBP when my 2011 MBA does what I need - force touch isn't revolutionary. I'm holding out for rMBP 2016.

    2. What is current on the market will be good for 3-5 years, however you may consider getting a dedicated graphics card just to ensure the future usability of the device - which is only in the 15", 13" only has integrated graphics card. You'll never use 16gb of RAM as of now but it doesn't hurt to have it since all rMBP 15" have 16gb as their baseline. 8gb in rMBP 13" is ample for your needs for the next few years.

    3. rMBP is speculated to be refreshed in July-September, some say March but mid-2016 is evidently more likely.

  3. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Neither one is problematic. Do you prefer battery life and portability, or screen size and processing power? The 13" will be closer to your MBA when it comes to portability.

    Pick the rMBP with the SSD size that suits your needs and the stock CPU and RAM will do everything you need. For the usage you listed, 16GB of RAM is overkill.

    February 2016 at the very earliest, but nobody knows. Honestly the current models are all very good. The 2015 13" rMBP is a great performer and the battery life has been fantastic.
  4. jw3571 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 21, 2010
    One other question. How much of an upgrade are the speakers in the MBP 15 vs 13?
  5. Queen6 macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2008
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    Decent, equally given the superb audio quality of the new 12" Retina MacBook I fully expect the 2016 MacBook Pro`s speakers to be vastly superior to the current lineup. I tend to buy the high tier rMBP, only upgrading the spec if required, as Apple`s upgrades are notoriously poor value for money. With the 13" rMBP 16Gb RAM is just a luxury unless you need it, nor will it noticeably improve performance if you don't.

    The 15" footprint can be an issue if you travel frequently, and for your usage rather overkill, unless you specifically want a 15" Notebook. The 13" rMBP is by far Apple`s most balanced Notebook offering a good compromise of performance & portability. Personally I find my own 2.8Ghz, 512 SSD 13" rMB more than a match for the 15" with the larger Mac only really pulling ahead when applications can take advantage of the quad core CPU, same applies to the dGPU. The 15" is a great system if you need the performance the Notebook can deliver, if you don't it`s mostly just expensive.

    FWIW I own & use 12" 13" & 15" Retina`s for business purpose.

  6. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    1. You don't need the power of the 15" for your uses. It comes down to preference.

    2. See 1. You don't need the power, why bother paying more for something you will not be using to its potential?

    3. Sometime between now and whenever Intel comes out with a new processor for them. Nobody knows but high ups at Apple, and we aren't them.
  7. eimis993 macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2013
    Well, for your usage even the cheapest retina 13" would be enough because it still has 8gb of ram.
  8. Algus macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2014
    FWIW I have 16 GB RAM in my desktop and only 8 GB in my Macbook. For day to day there is not discernible difference. I do run VMs and the desktop is far more capable (between vastly more storage space and the RAM) than my Macbook. I do recommend you get at least 8 GB of RAM (nonissue if you are targeting a Pro). My 2012 Mini came with 4 GB RAM initially and while it ran quite well, the RAM upgrade provided a significant performance boost. I would expect 8 GB RAM to remain adequate for daily use in 3-5 years but I suppose we cannot rule out the possibility of feature bloat. Apple is asking a bit much for the 16 GB upgrade in the 13'' Pros, but it may be money well spent.

    13'' Pro, even at base configuration, is a pretty powerful "prosumer" level machine. It has far more power than you need to do what you list and you will notice a significant performance bump over a 5 year old Air.
  9. jw3571 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 21, 2010
    Do we have any idea of when the next apple event is?
  10. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Nothing is scheduled.
  11. cerberusss macrumors 6502a


    Aug 25, 2013
    The Netherlands

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