Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Finally got to checkout the rMB and rMBP 13" in person

rambler358

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 5, 2014
99
31
Torrance, CA
As someone who has never had a Mac before, but do have an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch - I was finally able to get to my local Best Buy and check out the rMB and the new 13" rMBP which I've been quite interested in. And out of curiosity I also checked out the Surface Pro 3 as a indicator of what the Surface Pro 4 might be like. Now I do have a pretty high-end gaming PC that I built myself, running Windows 8.1 and I'm looking forward to seeing how Windows 10 improves things on the PC side.

Now the purpose of me wanting a very portable laptop was mainly for my motorcycle travelling, vacation trips and being able to run real programs the iPad can't - such as Garmin BaseCamp for my on the road GPS updates. I was really hoping that Apple's upcoming iPad Pro would be a hybrid iOS/OS X device that would be able to run OS X programs - that would've been the perfect travelling device for me I think. But I really don't see that happening anytime soon, so the portable laptop search was on and I really want to give OS X a try. So this evaluation was two-fold for me - checking out the new Mac laptops, and seeing how I was able to navigate around OS X never having a Mac before. My wife is also looking for a new computer, and I wanted to see if she'd be able to adapt to OS X easily.

So first I check out the new 13" rMBP. A very nice machine, but I immediately notice the weight when I pick it up. But I was actually quite surprised to see how similar OS X is compared to Windows, and I was able to get around and do the basics quite nicely! And I initially think I prefer the OS X UI compared to Windows. I then start checking out some apps - Mail, Maps, App Store, Photos, iMovie and Safari. I first tried Mail, and when I clicked it I got a couple quick bounces and it started right up. Now I know what people are talking about when they refer to apps bouncing. I closed Mail and then reopened it, no bounce this time. And I continue with the other apps checking them out. Maps was pretty quick, but took a fraction of a second to redraw when I moved around the map, very fast I thought. But the weight of the rMBP was still more than I wanted to deal with.

So the test of the rMB is next - they had gold and space gray sitting right next to each other, and both were the 1.1GHz Core M versions. I have to admit my preference was for the gold, but I liked the space gray as well. I pick it up. And though the rMBP is only 1.5 lbs heavier, I definitely notice how light the rMB is - the size weight would be perfect for my travelling needs. So I first open up Mail, and I get 3 bounces before it opens - one bounce more than what the rMBP gave me. I close Mail and open it again - no more bounces just the rMBP. I think it must be some caching the OS is doing. I check out the other apps as well, but in particular Maps - as I want to see how the CPU/GPU handles the redraws. Not bad at all really, just a tad behind the rMBP in speed but not by that much.

My next test was the keyboard as I've heard +s and -s about it. I opened up Notes and just started typing whatever I felt like. I have to say I liked it, and me coming from a PC keyboard with lots of travel. I actually preferred it - I just had to lightly tap the keys to register, and the click was not loud, but there and just confirmed the key press. I also liked using the new trackpad - much better than what I've used on Windows laptops for sure.

So... I come away from this ready to order a new gold 1.3GHz rMB - I liked it that much. Performance seemed to be good for what I'd be using it for. Anything else and my PC is there, at least for now. Who knows, maybe after spending more time with OS X, an iMac might be in my (and wife's) future. Sorry for the long-winded post, but I felt I needed to explain my reasoning for anyone else who might be in the same situation. :)
 

jetjaguar

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2009
3,247
1,556
somewhere
Ive been thinking about ditching my 15" rmbp for a maxed out rmb .. i have an iMac and the only thing i would use the laptop for is office / surfing the web / email and maybe some youtube .. still trying to make up my mind though
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jetcat3 and Ghost31
Comment

Dark Void

macrumors 68030
Jun 1, 2011
2,614
478
Nice write up and I am glad you found what is suitable for you!

I personally believe OS X is a much more user friendly experience than windows - you shouldn't have any issues adjusting if you are familiar with computing in general. Perhaps a few speed bumps to overcome, but nothing major - it's very easy to manage and I think just by reading your thread you will come to prefer it. I loved Windows XP and enjoyed 7 a lot - 10 looks good so far but OS X is just preferable to me. It's a preference matter after all. I had sort of the structure as you in a sense - my notebook was a Mac and I had a custom Windows desktop just for gaming. I eventually just stopped caring about that even and split from Windows as a whole in my personal use. No hate at all for Windows, but I find it to be a terrible experience after using OS X for the last 5 years.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rambler358
Comment

JoePa2624

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2014
246
102
AZ
The rMB sounds like it might be a good option for your #2 machine. The performance that you saw is pretty standard for my everyday uses.

Welcome to the club! (potentially)
 
Comment

Phil77354

Contributor
Jun 22, 2014
661
478
Eastern Washington State
I went to the local Apple Store a couple of days ago, intending to check out the new retina MacBook after researching it online and comparing it with Apple's other laptop models, planning to order one for my wife once I'd finalized my choice. After looking at it for a while and discussing with the Apple specialist, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they had a few in stock (Apple online had not shown any stock at my store and was showing 2+ week delivery). I ended up going home with the silver 256GB model.

It is an incredibly slim and lightweight laptop. Very fast to boot up. I like the keyboard and the trackpad. For our uses I don't really see any deficiencies.

My home office computer is a 6 month old retina iMac with solid state hard drive as well, so I'm very pleased to have equipment with few (or no) moving parts to fail, as well as the greater responsiveness of the solid-state hard drive.

If not too late, you might want to check your local Apple store (if you have one). They just might have one in stock. The store here said they were receiving them just a few at a time, and they sold out fairly quickly. I was lucky to be at my store when they had several available (all three colors and different configurations).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jetcat3
Comment

rambler358

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 5, 2014
99
31
Torrance, CA
If not too late, you might want to check your local Apple store (if you have one). They just might have one in stock. The store here said they were receiving them just a few at a time, and they sold out fairly quickly. I was lucky to be at my store when they had several available (all three colors and different configurations).
My local store did, but not the 1.3 GHz model which I want. Store genius said those had to be ordered online currently.
 
Comment

Eric8199

macrumors 6502a
Feb 27, 2009
782
151
I close Mail and open it again - no more bounces just the rMBP. I think it must be some caching the OS is doing.

Are you sure you're actually closing the app? One difference between OSX and Windows is clicking the "X" on a Mac doesn't always close the program — it just minimizes it. Mail is one of those programs. You need to click on the taskbar on the program name and select "quit" to actually close the program. That was one of my biggest frustrations with OSX when I made the switch and now is the biggest annoyance of Windows when I have to use a PC.
 
Comment

rambler358

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 5, 2014
99
31
Torrance, CA
Are you sure you're actually closing the app? One difference between OSX and Windows is clicking the "X" on a Mac doesn't always close the program — it just minimizes it. Mail is one of those programs. You need to click on the taskbar on the program name and select "quit" to actually close the program. That was one of my biggest frustrations with OSX when I made the switch and now is the biggest annoyance of Windows when I have to use a PC.
No, I guess I didn't actually close it then. Guess I still got some OS X learning to do!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Eric8199
Comment

Macalway

macrumors 68030
Aug 7, 2013
2,748
1,137
No, I guess I didn't actually close it then. Guess I still got some OS X learning to do!

You might try: 'command W' .This will close the front window of an app. 'Command Q' will close the app and all of it's windows

I couldn't do the 'x' thing myself. What's the point?
 
Comment

shenan1982

macrumors 68040
Nov 23, 2011
3,641
80
Thanks! Just ordered the 1.3 512mb gold. Also got the $79 adapter and AppleCare+. Have a July 21-28 estimated delivery date. Argh, now the waiting and anticipation begins...

Why not just buy the 1.2\512 in store? Almost all stores have them, and as others have posted on here, the speed difference is negligible, if any at all.
 
Comment

JoePa2624

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2014
246
102
AZ
Why not just buy the 1.2\512 in store? Almost all stores have them, and as others have posted on here, the speed difference is negligible, if any at all.
Supposedly better battery life? But that's why I went with 1.2ghz. Couldn't see the value in an additional $150.
 
Comment

shenan1982

macrumors 68040
Nov 23, 2011
3,641
80
Supposedly better battery life? But that's why I went with 1.2ghz. Couldn't see the value in an additional $150.

As someone pointed out, apparently processor speeds are just the same batch that happen to perform faster... they're not specifically manufactured to run faster.
 
Comment

rambler358

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 5, 2014
99
31
Torrance, CA
As someone pointed out, apparently processor speeds are just the same batch that happen to perform faster... they're not specifically manufactured to run faster.
The chips are obviously manufactured as higher spec - sys info reports the higher CPU speed, so they're a different chip and not actually the same batch.
 
Comment

lo100469

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2013
72
9
Brussels
Why not just buy the 1.2\512 in store? Almost all stores have them, and as others have posted on here, the speed difference is negligible, if any at all.
I find your post misleading. There is a circa 10% performance gain on performance, confirmed by the benchmarks. Maybe negligible for you maybe not for others... And there is positive impact on battery life.
 
Comment

shenan1982

macrumors 68040
Nov 23, 2011
3,641
80
I find your post misleading. There is a circa 10% performance gain on performance, confirmed by the benchmarks. Maybe negligible for you maybe not for others... And there is positive impact on battery life.

I've seen only benchmarks showing a 1-2% difference between the models. Where are you seeing 10%? That's a huge leap from 1.1 to 1.2, and 1.2 to 1.3. I'm not saying it's negligible to me, I'm saying those who have spring for the CTO 1.3 vs the stock 1.2 models have reported general performance to be the same. Certainly not a 15-20% cost justification or reason to wait a month for CTO instead of buying the higher model in stores today for most.
 
Comment

shenan1982

macrumors 68040
Nov 23, 2011
3,641
80
The chips are obviously manufactured as higher spec - sys info reports the higher CPU speed, so they're a different chip and not actually the same batch.

Not sure that's the case. Someone in here had claimed they all are the same process and the same production, however when they come out, some run at the higher clock speed, and those are sold as such. Of course they can give them any model number they want. Not sure. I'm not real up on processor technology, but one thing I do know from past experience is that a 0.1 ghz processor difference is not going to be noticeable for most users. Certainly not noticeable to the tune of worth the price per ghz increase.
 
Comment

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,782
3,431
That's the base clock. The chips burst to 2.4, 2.6, and 2.9Ghz respectively.
 
Comment

MyopicPaideia

macrumors 68020
Mar 19, 2011
2,112
933
Sweden
Not sure that's the case. Someone in here had claimed they all are the same process and the same production, however when they come out, some run at the higher clock speed, and those are sold as such. Of course they can give them any model number they want. Not sure. I'm not real up on processor technology, but one thing I do know from past experience is that a 0.1 ghz processor difference is not going to be noticeable for most users. Certainly not noticeable to the tune of worth the price per ghz increase.
This is correct. The Core M chip 5YX1 is a "binned" part based on yield testing of the wafer after the manufacturing process - the 5Y31 bin is the least "efficient" yield, running at a base clock of 0.9GHz, the 5Y51 "average" yield bin runs at a base clock of 1.1GHz, and the 5Y71 "high end" yield bin runs at a base clock of 1.2GHz, all at the same TDP.

Apple has over-clocked the 5Y31 part to its max recommended by Intel, to 1.1GHz, but have only over-clocked to the middle step according to Intel's official literature by 0.1GHz in both the 5Y51 and 5Y71 parts.

This has led to the hypothesis that both the 1.2 and 1.3 rMB's would be less prone to throttling due to being more thermally and thus also power efficient in addition to having better performance. This hypothesis, while logical (and one I support), is very hard to actually prove by us normal mortal forum goers.

Will need an in depth investigation by people like those at Anandtech or something to try to prove or disprove this.

That said, I see no reason why there should be more efficiency in the 1.3 than the 1.2, as they are (presumably) over-clocked by Apple similarly to each other. It is only the 1.1 that appears to be over-clocked to the max
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dayv
Comment

shenan1982

macrumors 68040
Nov 23, 2011
3,641
80
This is correct. The Core M chip 5YX1 is a "binned" part based on yield testing of the wafer after the manufacturing process - the 5Y31 bin is the least "efficient" yield, running at a base clock of 0.9GHz, the 5Y51 "average" yield bin runs at a base clock of 1.1GHz, and the 5Y71 "high end" yield bin runs at a base clock of 1.2GHz, all at the same TDP.

Apple has over-clocked the 5Y31 part to its max recommended by Intel, to 1.1GHz, but have only over-clocked to the middle step according to Intel's official literature by 0.1GHz in both the 5Y51 and 5Y71 parts.

This has led to the hypothesis that both the 1.2 and 1.3 rMB's would be less prone to throttling due to being more thermally and thus also power efficient in addition to having better performance. This hypothesis, while logical (and one I support), is very hard to actually prove by us normal mortal forum goers.

Will need an in depth investigation by people like those at Anandtech or something to try to prove or disprove this.

That said, I see no reason why there should be more efficiency in the 1.3 than the 1.2, as they are (presumably) over-clocked by Apple similarly to each other. It is only the 1.1 that appears to be over-clocked to the max

But he "feels" it's snappier and getting something for the $150 to go from 1.2 to 1.3 and wait 4 weeks hehehe
 
Comment

MyopicPaideia

macrumors 68020
Mar 19, 2011
2,112
933
Sweden
But he "feels" it's snappier and getting something for the $150 to go from 1.2 to 1.3 and wait 4 weeks hehehe
What can I say, I did the same thing. :)Of course, I haven't ever owned a Mac that wasn't maxed out either...some never own anything other than the base models.

Can't really say who is right, it's all a matter of personal preference and the individual "perceived value proposition." For me personally I feel it is worth my money. Others may not feel it is worth theirs...who am I to say how someone else should spend their money? ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: rambler358
Comment

shenan1982

macrumors 68040
Nov 23, 2011
3,641
80
What can I say, I did the same thing. :)Of course, I haven't ever owned a Mac that wasn't maxed out either...some never own anything other than the base models.

Can't really say who is right, it's all a matter of personal preference and the individual "perceived value proposition." For me personally I feel it is worth my money. Others may not feel it is worth theirs...who am I to say how someone else should spend their money? ;)

Yeah. If you keep it for a while it's more worth it than for someone like me who upgrades every year. The cost for those incremental upgrades never come back in resale. If it was 1.2 to 1.6 I could see value but not at 1.2 to 1.3. But then again I don't like to wait months when products come out so I buy what they offer at launch.
 
Comment

Queen6

macrumors G3
What can I say, I did the same thing. :)Of course, I haven't ever owned a Mac that wasn't maxed out either...some never own anything other than the base models.

Can't really say who is right, it's all a matter of personal preference and the individual "perceived value proposition." For me personally I feel it is worth my money. Others may not feel it is worth theirs...who am I to say how someone else should spend their money? ;)

I opted for the the "middle ground" with the 1.2; I need the space of the 512 SSD, the wait for the 1.3 was impractical for me. So far I am not disappointed, dare say the 1.3 has an "edge" equally I agree quantifying it would not be a simplistic task, short have haven both systems side by side for a good period of time. Another aspect is on release of Gen-2 with Skylake I will upgrade by default.

Q-6
 
Last edited:
Comment

Lanny3

macrumors newbie
Apr 29, 2015
24
6
I've seen only benchmarks showing a 1-2% difference between the models. Where are you seeing 10%? That's a huge leap from 1.1 to 1.2, and 1.2 to 1.3. I'm not saying it's negligible to me, I'm saying those who have spring for the CTO 1.3 vs the stock 1.2 models have reported general performance to be the same. Certainly not a 15-20% cost justification or reason to wait a month for CTO instead of buying the higher model in stores today for most.

Geekbench scores:

Single Core Multi Core
12” MacBook 1.1 (2015) 2358 4604
12” MacBook 1.2 (2015) 2593 5318
12” MacBook 1.3 (2015) 2865 5785
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ghost31
Comment

shenan1982

macrumors 68040
Nov 23, 2011
3,641
80
Geekbench scores:

Single Core Multi Core
12” MacBook 1.1 (2015) 2358 4604
12” MacBook 1.2 (2015) 2593 5318
12” MacBook 1.3 (2015) 2865 5785

6% benchmark improvement for 12% cost increase. Pass.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.