Early 2011 15 inch pro vs 2014 13 inch

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by a8ree, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. a8ree macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2014

    Looking for some advice...

    Currently I have the top spec early 2011 MacBook Pro 15 inch. Best processor available at the time (i7 quad core), 8gb ram with 256gb SSD

    Think it's time to update and get a device back under apple care. I have had the main board replaced twice under warranty!

    I would prefer to drop down to a 13 inch pro but want to ensure that I am not going to see a decrease in performance. I am looking at the top spec model and see that the processor is only dual core. These will be differing processor architectures but will the speed be comparable?

    A lot of the work I do is using VMware fusion so it would be good to understand the performance with a lesser core count.

    Any advice?
  2. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I would say to find a refurbished 2012 15" that's the same type that would be within the same price range that you're looking for.

    Do you use the I/O ports very much? Are there sow that you never use and can do without?

    For example, many people don't use Firewire anymore and there are more and more people that think a built-in superdrive is also unnecessary. If this is the case with you, then consider a retina display model.

    Otherwise, going from the early 2011 to even an early 2014 will not give you the same performance that I can see.

    Sure, the newest one is Haswell, but the power increase/power efficiency is negligible given the decrease in number of cores. You'll also be losing the additional GPU and some screen real estate.

    In my opinion, I would backup your current machine and do a complete reinstall of the OS or even get new RAM and a new HDD. That would save money over buying a new machine and it might just do what's necessary to keep you satisfied with your current MBP.
  3. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    At least that Mac can still run Snow Leopard :D

    A fresh install always helps! ;)
  4. a8ree thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2014
    Thanks for all the information. I found a guide that showed the comparable specs of the two machines (old v 13 inch) and it confirms what everyone is saying. I wont get the same performance in the current 13 inch range.

    I think I will try hold on until the line is refreshed (June?) in the hope that the 13 inch range will include a quad core.

    To be honest, the price is less important than the size / performance.

    I seem to attract a high failure rate in my MacBooks...my first machine had the mainboard, graphics card and 'super'drive replaced. My current machine has been in twice for a mainboard replacement - it is in at the moment! That makes me really want to get a new machine with applecare as most of the failures would be uneconomical to repair.
  5. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    I honestly don't expect a quad core to be included in the 13-inch any time soon. It might be if they have a lower clocked quad version of the Haswell installed, but I also doubt that.

    That sucks that you had that many problems with your 15" since I had the same model a couple of years ago that I was kind of forced to sell because of finances.

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