Help! - 13" 2.8ghz i7 or 15" 2.6ghz i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lockman_321, Jul 18, 2019.


13‑inch MacBook Pro 2.8ghz i7 or 15‑inch MacBook Pro 2.6ghz i7

  1. 13‑inch MacBook Pro 2.8ghz i7

    3 vote(s)
  2. 15‑inch MacBook Pro 2.6ghz i7

    12 vote(s)
  1. lockman_321 macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2019
    Hi All,

    First post on here.

    I recently decided to get a macbook pro.

    Currently have a windows desktop which was built for gaming however i cant remember the last time i played a game on it so i decided a laptop would be a better option. I though about getting a high end windows laptop but most of the devices i have at home are already in the apple ecossytem (applet tv , homepods, ipads, homekit etc) so i settled on a macbook pro.

    I am new to macs and i am having a tough time deciding between these two models

    • 2.8GHz quad-core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.7GHz
    • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
    • 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
    • 512GB SSD storage
    Cost £2499


    • 2.6GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
    • Radeon Pro 555X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory
    • 16GB 2400MHz DDR4 memory
    • 512GB SSD storage
    Cost £2579

    I will mainly be using the laptop for web browisng, excel spreadhseets, mobile development and potentially a few games (i may get an egpu down the line but would like to future proof if i ever decided to this). Also there may end up being a point for work where i need to use this laptop daily so i would be carrying it every day. For work i would just need to be able to use ms office applications (multiple at the same time).

    I am unsure of what is the better option of the two. I would prefer a smaller screen for portability but i feel i will be missing out on dedicated graphics card. However the 15" version costs more for a slower process cor. The next processor up is an extra 310 and i cant justify that. My budget is 2500 hence the conundrum.

    Between these two which will perform better in real word examples (not just benchmarks)? I have searched this forum but i cant seem to find a comparison between the 13" 2.8 and 15" 2.6
  2. souko, Jul 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019

    souko macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2017
    15" has 6 cores, 13" only 4, so 15" is more powerfull. And you can even buy 15" with i9 (8-core), 560X, 512GB SSD with I think about £100 more...

    EDIT: Sory, I see it is £220 more...

    Personally, would take 15". 13" with 2,4GHz...
  3. whg macrumors regular


    Aug 2, 2012
    From the 2 options I would take the 15" model any time for the screen size and the dGPU. If you really need the 13" because of weight and size when traveling, don't upgrade the CPU. Stay with the 2.4GHz variant because the upgrade isn't worth it. I would use the money towards a larger SSD.
  4. Howard2k macrumors 68020


    Mar 10, 2016
  5. TheBigApple2006 macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2006
    If you are carrying it every day, and especially if you intend to work with it during a commute, the 13” is a no brainer. You can connect it to external monitors at your destination, and its far more portable than 15”. I assume you don’t have an edu discount - have a look at the UK refurb store, plenty of good deals if you are willing to give refurbs a chance, and cashback through Quidco. You can get a comparable 13” model for much less this way.
  6. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008
    i7 on the 13" is a waste of money, get the i5, the difference in performance is minuscule and not worth it.

    For your workload, the dGPU probably won't even fire up.
    and if it does, 560X is a drag on battery and heat and it becomes loud and annoying.

    I'd say 13" i5, save the money.
    If you're 100% you'll need the performance, perk up for the 8-core.

    If you plan to game with an eGPU, it doesn't matter that much anyway, and 560X is crap.

    Also, i bought the 15" i9 at the end of last year and ended up returning it - getting a 13" instead, after being on 15" for 10 years.

    I don't like the 2018-2019 15", they don't feel right to me.
  7. kp98077 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2010
    honestly for your needs it seems like the 2.4 2019 would be fine! remember with the 15, it is hard to travel with...
  8. lockman_321 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2019
    Thanks for this. Food for thought.

    Right so 13" inch 2.8 performance gains are not worth it. A few people have said that. I have two SSDs (1TB and 500gb) in USB 3.1 Gen 2 enclosures so if they perform at the speeds im hoping they do then 512gb space should be enough as i will store everything on the external SSDs. I could use that money towards something else in the build though. Thanks for this.

    Unfortunately no discount. As this is my first mac i would prefer to buy it brand new. I know refurbs will be great but i will always have in the back of mind "Has this happened because it is a refurb"

    What made you return the 15"? Was it too big?

    Common consensus seems to be go for the 13" 2.4 as it is more portable and the gains with a 2.8 arent that great. Its gutting that there isnt a 13" version with a dedicated Gpu.
  9. waquzy macrumors 6502a


    Sep 9, 2013
    Leicestershire, UK
    If the money is not an issue I would get the 15” model. It’s only a pound heavier after all. Dedicated GPU, bigger display, slightly better resolution.

    I’m actually a big fan of the 13” models, heck I have one(only because I couldn’t afford the 15” one at the time), but to me when you compare them side by side the 13” model looks like a toy.
  10. lockman_321 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2019
    I just went to the apple store to see them side by side. I think the 15" may be too big....Damn!
  11. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008
    560X was hot garbage and any time it was activated the fans spun up terribly.
    It felt finicky and not at all solid as my 2012 15" did, for same tasks, fans spun up faster than they did on the poor old 2012.

    It was also too expensive for what it was, I decided to go for a powerful desktop (the mini) + a super portable with a decent amount of power.

    It luckily had keyboard and audio issues so I got a return after the period has passed.

    Frankly, if you're not going for the Vega20, the 555X/560X advantages aren't all that great.
    especially because it's a hot chip.
    I bought a 99$ thunderbolt 3 case, fitted with Evo 970 1TB, to use with both Mini and 13" (both 512gb) and the performance is pretty much identical. (samsung has better writes, internal has marginally faster reads, 100mb/s).

    I pretty much use the external all the time now because I don't find it necessary to use the internal from performance perspective.
  12. waquzy macrumors 6502a


    Sep 9, 2013
    Leicestershire, UK
    You would get used to it. Definitely go for the 15” model if money is no issue. Forgot to mention that the speakers are also better than on the 13”(well obviously as they are bigger) and the 15” has faster ram as well
  13. TheBigApple2006 macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2006
    Actually, the 13” resolution is higher by 7 dpi. Not that its noticeable, but it is higher. I have seen both side by side, and the 13” current design seems far more balanced than the 15”. Latter has an expanse of empty space, and the trackpad seems cartoonishly large. My issue is that I often work on library desks, and a 15” will be always large and unwieldy in such settings. The 13” is just about the right size.
  14. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008
    I disagree. I had the 15" and the speakers bothered me. I preferred the 2012 speakers despite the lack of bass, they didn't have some wierd tricks going on to sound more impressive than they are. Just, no.

    13" in my opinion have a much less hyped and processed sound and are less fatiguing.
    Not that i use often any of them, but the 15" 2018 speakers bothered me a lot everytime something played.

    And the dedicated GPU offers what, 2x the performance? and 10x the noise and 20x the heat, unless you spring for the Vega.

    I agree. I had no issues with the 2012 15" but the 2016+ models don't feel right. The 13" feels much better.
  15. lockman_321 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2019
    UPDATE - I have decided to go with the 13” 2.8 . I just figured that for the time I’m using it when it’s not plugged into the screen, 13” will be better for me. Also i went for the 2.8 over the 2.4 as i know that I would regret getting the 2.4 even if the difference is minimal. Thanks for all your help! Now I have to patiently wait until 8/8 for it to be delivered!
  16. kp98077 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2010
    well you do have the return policy just I will be surprised how many travel with the 15" or in coffee shops too :)
  17. kindaichi81 macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2015
    as soon as u try to maximise the spec of 13-inch. u should go for base model 15-inch instead.
  18. lockman_321 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2019
    I know but when i went to the apple store and saw them side by side i think the 15" is to big. The 13" is perfect in terms of portability i think which is why i have gone for it over the 15"
    --- Post Merged, Jul 29, 2019 ---
    You both have me doubting myself now! Although i think it is to big, i am going to go back to the apple store again and double check.
  19. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008
    Why bother? You are clearly set on something else you wouldn't get the 2.8 :D
  20. lockman_321 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2019
    This is what has me second guessing myself as I have maxed out the 13 cpu
  21. kp98077 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2010
    I had the 13" and although love the smaller size, ended up with at 15" base model due to power and screen, don't regret it! Everyone has the 15" clearly it's popular... coffee shops on the plane, airports (and I have no idea why people say you shouldn't travel with a 15"??) I see tons!
  22. Cosmo M3 macrumors regular

    Cosmo M3

    Sep 4, 2010
    I can see your argument about going with the 13 inch. Go with the size that meets your performance needs and comfortable for you.

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21 July 18, 2019