Entry level 15" vs High end 13" MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by anez, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. anez macrumors 6502


    Jun 7, 2011
    Considering upgrading my laptop at the moment, and I'm trying to choose between the 15" and 13" rMBPs. Assuming storage size and RAM to be identical, which machine is likely to be faster between these two:

    13" rMBP
    3.0GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz
    Intel Iris Graphics

    15" rMBP
    2.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz
    Intel Iris Pro Graphics

    Most of the usage will be standard stuff like Office, Pages, etc., but occasionally streaming video to Apple TV, and some use of Photoshop and video editing.

    The 15" option is €200 more expensive, and I'm wondering if it's worth the extra in terms of power or if the extra screen real estate is the only real upgrade. (The 15" actually does come with more storage, but considering that I mostly use an external HD, that's not a primary concern for me.)

    I'd appreciate any advice or info!
  2. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    The 15 has a much better GPU and a quad core processor instead of dual core. So, noticeably better graphics and CPU performance, as well as a larger screen. It is a pound heavier though.
  3. anez thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 7, 2011
    I doubt I'll be lugging it about much if I opt for the MBP instead of an Air, so the weight isn't that big an issue. (Was going to wait until the fabled Retina Air came out, but seeing as that now seems unlikely to happen before mid-2015 and will probably be more iPad Pro than anything, I think I'm gonna bite the bullet and go Pro instead.)

    What I'm really unclear on is the point where quad core supersedes dual core and how to work out the "tipping point", I guess-- it can't be just as simple as "quad core 2.2 = 8.8" and "dual core 3.0 = 6.0GHz", can it? I've seen arguments saying yes and saying no, and I'm not sure which is the reality.

    If you'd definitely see an improvement in performance, though, it's probably worth the jump. Thanks for the info!
  4. kwokaaron macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2013
    Honestly, the processors are at the point where it's so mature and powerful now that you'd probably be hard-pressed to find a difference in performance based on the 'standard stuff' you do. I would still say that the 15" is better though since it still turbo boosts to about the same frequency as the 13" on one core...
  5. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Here is a list of cpu benchmarks from a popular benchmark program.


    Look at 64bit multicore. It is a big jump. However, your use case may not need that kind of power.
  6. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    I think the 15" one is a better option for the processing power it provides while weights just 2kg. Also, the 15" screen is better if you need keep two windows opened side by side, e.g., when you're reading some text at left and you're building a presentation at right.
  7. burgman macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2013
    From your stated usage both machines are overkill. An Air with a nice monitor would do nicely. Having said that as a "want vs need purchase," go big.
  8. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    Yesterday I purchased the $2499.
    I run office and usually have side by side documents or Visio drawings open.
    The 13 wasn't cutting it.
    After seeing about a $300 difference it was an easy decision.
    The 15 is simply elegant and the screen unreal.
  9. anez thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 7, 2011
    Thanks for the insight, that's kind of what I was thinking.

    ...Gosh, yes it is-- thanks for the link. That was exactly the insight I was looking for! The 2.2 15-inch is coming in at 12983, and the 3.0 13-inch at 7203, so it's nearly twice as quick (with a bigger screen, and more memory) for only a 10% price increase.

    I might not need that extra right now, but given that they're getting harder to upgrade, I'm hoping to future-proof a bit.

    That is an absolutely excellent point, and I actually do a lot of this kind of work. The 15" would definitely be better for this, so thanks for drawing my attention to it.

    Thanks, but I don't think a monitor setup is suitable for me, as even though I won't be lugging it to work daily, I want to be able to move it from room to room easily. My previous Mac was an 11" Air; I found it underpowered, but the real issue was the screen size, which frustrated me. The extra real estate from the Retina screen is a must for me.

    So noted, and thank you, because I'll be doing a lot of that.

    I think for the extra €200, it makes a lot more sense to go with the 15". It's only a 10% price increase for more storage space (a nice bonus), nearly twice the overall speed, a better GPU, and a bigger screen.

    Thanks for all the help, folks; you've been amazing. :)

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