Early 2013 rMBP 15" vs Late 2013

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

  1. evancg macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    Hi all,

    I haven't had a Mac since...oh, System 7.5.3 probably? I'm a developer and I'd like to start working on iOS stuff (in addition to my current web and Android stuff). I'm looking at moving to a Mac so I can develop for all three platforms (and potentially more). I also do some light PC gaming. Ultimately if the Mac works out, I'll probably switch to primarily using it rather than my similarly but older spec'd Windows laptop (2nd gen i7, 8gb, 750hd, GT555m).

    Thanks to a student coupon and open box deal from Best Buy, I was able to get a 15" rMBP Late 2013 8\256 for $1600. I'm in the process of putting it through the paces to make sure it wasn't an open box due to being problematic. At the same time, I'm still wavering between this and the Early 2013 rMBP 15" that Apple sells refurbished for $1660. Since I have a bunch of questions, I'll just go with a list method to simplify asking\answering.

    1. I can heat up my Macbook pretty fast with SimCity, Furmark, etc. The fans do kick in, but it's not hard for me to jump the CPU\iGPU to 90 - 95~. Reading these forums that sounds common. I imagine on the Early 2013 it's an even bigger issue with the dGPU?

    (tl;dr - Heat issues on Early 2013 are worse than Late 2013?)

    2. 8GB is probably just barely enough, and with the Early 2013, if I'm working off the GT650m, I wouldn't be using any RAM for video memory as the GT650m has it's own memory to work with, correct?

    3. Beyond the improved gaming performance and potential for additional 1GB available memory, are there any reasons to consider paying $60 more for a refurbished Early 2013 over Late 2013?

    4. In reading, it sounds like the Early 2013 iGPU struggles a bit when rendering the desktop, particularly if you run in a non-native resolution (1650x1050, 1920x1200). Is that accurate? The fix for this seems to be people forcing the GT650m to run more often, which results in a shorter battery life (between charges, not overall).

    The gamer in me is saying spend the extra money for the older, faster GPU, but the thinking part of me is looking at all the console, portable, and mobile games I still need to play through and telling me the cheaper and newer Macbook is the more reasonable choice.

    TIA for your input.
  2. 366Gunfighters macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    Gaming is not the strong point of any Mac.

    You need a different vendor or a different approach to your Mac.
  3. evancg, Mar 19, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014

    evancg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010
    It's not a strong point, no, but it's roughly equal to (Iris Pro) or stronger (GT650m) than what I use now for my light PC gaming.

    So with that being said, the comparison questions between the two models still stands.

    Edit: And not to answer my own questions, but I wound up ordering the refurbished Early 2013 (almost by accident - placed the order, changed my mind, went to cancel, saw Apple put a hold on it and I needed to call them so figured I had until later today to make up my mind, and they shipped it already). Guess I'll compare the two myself and make a decision after a week of testing. Still concerned about the temps on the BB open box compared to what others report though. Perhaps there was a reason it was returned...

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