Dilemma, which 13" - cMBP / rMBP / MBA? Buying after 5+yrs.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by peanut48, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. peanut48 macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2006

    I know this is asked very often but I've not bought a Mac notebook in 5+ years so I feel the need to make a very wise and practical decision since I doubt I'll have the luxury to replace my purchase over the next few years atleast.

    I'm confused over the cMBP / rMBP or maybe even the Air. I definitely want the 13" screen size. Optical drive isn't necessary since I've barely used one over the past few years.

    I currently own an early 2008 Macbook (White plastic body, upgraded the RAM, terrible battery life) and a Sep-2010 27" iMac (so I'm covered for screen size & optical drive).

    I run an online company so I'm most of the times using Chrome with a gazillion tabs open (I know I have a problem!) which crashes my current macbook (sometimes slows down the iMac) but I know it's more to do with the Chrome memory leak than my machines. I use photoshop (burdens the macbook). Watch some movies or TV shows online. Code occasionally. Pretty much sums up my usage. Barely game ever since I switched to Mac's all those years ago so not a very heavy user. However I do need a giant HD since I'm always running out of space (120gb of the macbook :( ) and I have an aversion to external drives (own 1 TB Ext. plus others but barely use them).

    However I've been dying to get a new macbook but it's not an urgent need since I've got working condition machines to tide me over.

    I'm currently in India, so don't have the option of returning my purchase if the the cMBP gets updated.

    While I love the options of upgrading the cMBP which I might bump the RAM I also don't want a heavier laptop. I know lots of people upgrade the HD in the cMBP to SSD, I'm not sure if I'll do that or will be able to find something cost effective from here in India.

    I've found a good(?) deal on the cMBP base model (~$1225 - MD101HN/A - i5 Dual-Core 2.5 GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, 500GB 5400 RPM HD), which on other threads here have been suggested to upgrade the RAM & HD to SSD for a better machine. I've never purchased a base model anything, so its a little difficult to convince myself :rolleyes:

    Would it make sense to do that or get the i7 cMBP? Will there be much difference? or will a MBA be better? With the Air I'm only skeptical about the HD (to be honest don't know much about Air's).

    Or is it worth splurging on the latest rMBP considering I won't buy a new macbook for atleast 3 years.

    Sorry if this post has been TMI, but I'm anxious about this new purchase. Thanks in Advance!

    Or just wait for the cMBP to be upgraded?
  2. Asuriyan, Mar 19, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013

    Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2013
    I'd definitely get the 12" PowerBook. That thing is a champion of portability. :)

    Failing that, I would either max out a RMBP13 or get the Classic, max the CPU, and get your own SSD and RAM. Your need for storage space makes me inclined toward the latter option.
  3. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    I'd get a base model 13" cMBP, up the RAM to 8GB and add an SSD. If you plan on keeping this next MBP as long as you've had your current one, you'll eventually want the option to put 16GB RAM in it. RAM limitations, for me, tend to be a big reason why I wind up replacing my laptops. It's also nice to know that you can easily replace the HD with a normal, 2.5" sized HD later on. Plus, you can replace the DVD drive with a 2nd HD (you mentioned storage and an aversion to external drives ...). The base model 13" cMBP is still the best bang for your buck IMO. I just feel like one has to sacrifice a lot when moving to a MBA or (13") rMBP, especially if you're perfectly fine with a 1280x800 screen. I mean, it's not like either one is really that much more portable.

    I wouldn't go for the i7 unless you could get one on sale. It's just not worth it unless you're doing a lot of computational type things where that extra 10-15% might help. Otherwise, you'll never notice the difference. You definitely won't notice the difference 5 years from now.

    I had a similar dilemma not too long ago and went with the i7 13" cMBP and am very happy. The only reason I went with the i7 over the i5 was because it was the holidays and it was on sale for $150 off. Otherwise, I would have went with the i5.
  4. vatter69 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2013
    If you stare alot at your screen, get the Retina. I mean if you use your Laptop with an external monitor, get the Classic.

    The fonts are so sharp, it's so easy on the eyes, it's really noticable after about a regular workday. In front of your usually ugly LCD -> iStrain (pun intended !:)) 8 hours in front of the retina - it's so beautiful.

    Get 512gig version if you need it but if you are sitting in front of your Macbook the entire day, i suggest you consider the Retina over everything else.
  5. peanut48 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2006
    Thanks everybody! Its helping me realise that I should think more bang for my buck than the latest fastest is the best.

    Thanks! It seems to be the smart option to do so. Now I'm just thinking if I can wait until June-ish for the cMBP to be upgraded and then grab the base model. It would definitely be a shame if I got one now and it got upgraded in a month. But I know that's how technology rolls. So it's really a question of willpower.

    Yes I'm sitting in front of my macbook all the time, thanks to it I now have migraines and wear glasses. But apart from that I'm not so sold on the Retina considering it would mean more dollars (rupees in my case). I gues I will need to spend some time on my bro-in-law's 15" rMBP before I decide.

    Funny you mention the powerbook, it's what made me a mac convert. Bless them darlings!
  6. Barhen macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2013
    I would suggest the macbook air 13". It can do everything you need, especially coding, web browsing and watching videos. I would max it out to make it extremely speedy. It's more than capable of running on a external monitor and many people use it as their main work machines that doesn't involve any video work. I dont really consider the 13" retina as an option vs the 15" model with a graphics card but that is just me.... The 13" screens are hard to work on full-time so most people plug it into external monitors which makes the retina screen go to waste. (one of my main reasons)

    Myself, I do game a little, not much but I also do heavy photoshop work so I dished out for the retina version 15" so I have the GPU (graphics card) to power up whatever extensive video I can throw at it.. It became my main machine full-time and its only slightly bigger than the 13" air (and around 1 1/2 lb heavier) but having more room to work with is always good(screen space).. and my eyes doesn't strain or squint at all with the retina.. so easy on the eyes when you work on it everyday.
  7. wolfpuppies3 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    Virginia, USA
    I would recommend the MBA and also advise to stay well clear of the MBR. You may wish to read the article on today's 9to5Mac.com about the horrible and numerous problems there are with the MBR.
  8. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    The MBPr is great and I have no problems with mine
  9. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2013
    All of which but the screen were firmware issues that were addressed with the SMC update, and none of which affected the 13" model.

    My advice to you would be the same as my advice to the author of that editorial: check your facts.
  10. peanut48 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2006
    Thanks everyone, I think I'm pretty clear that I'm not looking at the rMBP simply because of the non-upgradabilty and extra dollars. The Air on the other hand is a consideration simply coz it doesn't have the optical drive and is lighter to carry.

    I guess I need to compare the cMBP to the MBA to check which would be better suited when upgraded to max RAM and higher HD capacity.
  11. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    The MBPr and MBA even out in price as you upgrade them

Share This Page