Help Choosing a New MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Paulg2uk, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Paulg2uk macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    Hey guys,

    Just need some advice from some of the new MBP owners out there. I been wanting to buy a new MBP for ages now and have been putting it off until now. I have an old 15" 2.8 Ghz core 2 duo unibody that I've had since 2008. Great machine never let me down, but its starting to show its age.

    I was thinking of getting a new 13" MBP retina which I thought might be better and a little more affordable than the 15". I don't really do any heavy processing like video editing or photo's, maybe the odd stuff from holidays and events with friends and family. I am however a musician and like to record my demo's etc via garage band with my apogee duet interface. Apart from that its mostly surfing and email's and maybe the odd game.

    I just wondered if going to the 13" is a good move from an old 15" unibody? Anyone done the same recently?

    Many Thanks

  2. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009

    I personally would avoid the retina for the first gen for a few reasons but the biggest would be intel hd graphics only on the 13" version. The second reason is that in a year they will have replaced the current pros and so there will be much more depreciation than is normal with an apple product. Since you have no real need for anything the retina pro offers you would be further ahead with the 13" air and it is like half the price.
  3. Paulg2uk thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    Thanks for the post. I'm actually thinking of going with the 15" retina now as I've noticed it's quad core and not duo core like the 13". I'm just thinking would 8gb of RAM be sutible for my needs? I'd like to upgrade the SSD but can't really afford to do both.

    Also what's the 2.3's like over the more expensive 2.6 processor? Is that worth upgrading as we'll?
  4. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
  5. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    My only question is in what way is your machine showing its age? Because by going 13" you are staying two cores, but by getting 15" you will bump to 4.

    If your use is as you say, that probably won't make a difference, other than the "odd game", which would be better on a higher spec 15".

    Also, check the software you use for music on that 13 screen and make sure there's enough real estate for you to use it happily.

    Lastly, buy the max ram available when you buy.

    Or, with your budget, look at refurb non-retina models?
  6. Paulg2uk thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    I noticed that myself. If i'm gonna upgrade I might as well go for quad core as there will be hardly no difference from the core 2 duo processors I'm guessing? Has much has changed between the processors in all these years? I'm a bit out of touch with stuff like that at the moment.
  7. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
    actually there is a very large difference in terms of power from a core 2 duo to a ivy bridge cpu.

    Usually what we see is that the rmbp 13 aint cost effective, if you want you can go for the cmbp 15 or the rmbp 15.

    The difference in terms of cpu power from the 2.3 to the 2.6 are not going to be noticed by you.

    We usually advise for to go with 16gb instead of just 8gb, simply because its not upgradeable in the future.

    Storage is a personal thing. But you can order a SSD from OWC if you want or go to ebay and find an apple SSD that fits in the rmbp.
  8. Paulg2uk thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    Thanks again for the info guys, you've been a great help. I'm thinking of the RMBP 15" 2.3 and just maxing out the RAM to 16gb and possibly the SSD storage as well. That should be more than enough for me. I can also use my sisters student discount so that should save a bit also.

    Is the SSD easy to remove and install? I assumed it was soldered to the board or is that just the RAM?
  9. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
    the ssd is easy to remove, the ram is completely soldered. OWC SSDs for the rmbp top at 480gb, so if you plan on getting the 512gb upgrade already, there isnt much that you can do. And the 768gb aint cost effective.
  10. Paulg2uk thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    768gb looks good but its so expensive over here in the UK. I'm sure it is in the US as well. It's costing £800 in the UK and converting that to dollars its nearly $1300. I think it was only $1000 if you order from the apple store in the US. So we get charged a lot more for it which is ridiculous. But then will it be worth it in the long run?
  11. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    You should note that UK pricing includes VAT. The pricing on the US site does not include sales tax. They are different rates. Sales tax would be on a state by state basis, but you do have to factor that in. There are a couple other brands where I'm jealous of UK pricing, but only a couple.
  12. Lifequest, Oct 30, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012

    Lifequest macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2010
    I hope this helps in your comparison. I assume you already know the differences of 13" vs 15" rMBP -weight price etc.

    Geekbench and Passmark G3D

    Your 2008 MBP benches (rated score):
    Geekbench (CPU+memory/hard drive)~3500
    Graphics: 181

    13" rMBP
    Geekbench: ~7500
    Graphics: 514

    15" rMBP
    Geekbench ~12000
    Graphics: 1300 (though according to others, the 15" graphics is overclocked by Apple to surpass the 660M which benches 1,600, so it should be over 1,600.

    Upgrade: You will see VAST improvements compared to your 2008 and that is mainly from the SSD (not GPU or CPU even though there are huge improvements). Boot up takes about 10-15s. You can launch 5-10 programs simultaneously in 15s. Launch photoshop in 4s. Launch words in 2s. All these improvements from the SSD.

    Between the 13" retina and 15" retina; you will see no real life difference between boot time, shutdown, mail, web surfing, watch movies, seeing photos.
    It is also arguable that unless if your music program utilizes 4 cores (not many software do even today), the turbo-boost from dual core i5 would make it very hard to discern increased performance when compared to the quad i7.

    The 15" would excel in HD video exporting (probably saves you 40% time) as well as gaming. Lots of reviews show the 15" can game at max resolution with near perfect frame rates.
    The 13" will be able to game in medium settings. Don't expect more and you'll be fine.

    You need to ask yourself for my purpose, is the increase between medium and max setting worth: the extra $200-$300, the extra 300grams of weight and the extra size.
    For me, I said yes as my purpose wasn't just increase in game settings. So I'm upgrading from the 2009 MBA to a 15" rMBP.
  13. Paulg2uk thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    Many thanks for the post. So really going back to the 13" rmbp its gonna be more than enough to do what I need. I'd be running garage band, logic. The usual stuff like iMovie and i also have a windows partition where I use vmware fusion but that never runs anything that heavy maybe the odd game and video conversion software. I think the 15" is the way to go for me personally but I do like the smaller size that the 13 inch has to offer. Its one of those things for me if I was to get a mac that could do more I'd probably take advantge of its features and use them.

    I also plan on keeping this for a at least 4 years like my current mbp so it might be an idea to future proof it a bit.
  14. Lifequest macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2010
    Gaming with VMware is a bit intense though. OS Emulators tend to drain a lot of RAM.

    15" might be better if you are considering those things + 4 year future proofing. You are coming from a 15" MBP so you'll see a huge decrease in weight and size (thinner and smaller foot print).

    Up to you :)
  15. Paulg2uk thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sorry my mistake I don't play games within vmware I'd have a dual boot setup and do it that way. Its a tough decision but I think I'm gonna have to go for the 15" it makes sense to. Its always the same when I buy a new mac I wanna make sure I do the right thing

    Does anyone out there own a 13" rmbp and would use it the same way as me? I'd be interested in your opinion and experience.
  16. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    If you get a retina, go for the 15". The 13" is overpriced for what it offers. If you can, go for 16 GB RAM and the 512 GB drive if you can. The difference from 2.3 to 2.6 isn't worth the money.

    Good luck, and enjoy!
  17. Paulg2uk thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    That's precisely what I'm gonna do. That's it I've made a decision 15" retina 16gb of ram and 512gb ssd 2.3ghz sorted! Thanks for the input guys its much appreciated.

    Does anyone know how much I'd get for my late 2008 mbp if I put it on ebay? Just out of interest. It's a 2.8ghz core 2 duo 4gb of ram 320gb hard drive. The only thing wrong with it is the super drive no longer works.
  18. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    Certainly max out the ram if you get the rMBP. If you don't want to lay out the money upfront you can do the SSD later, or if you have a discount all at once

    This is the only aftermarket SSD for the retina, as far as I know. If you look, there is an install video that will show what's involved.
  19. Paulg2uk thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    Thanks for the link, seems easy enough. The only trouble is i live in the UK and I've been in contact with crucial about an ssd and they have none listed yet. Is it worth getting the drive from them? max space is 480gb. Apple are doing 512gb. Probably worth just getting it from apple and waiting for a larger driver to come out?
  20. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    I think this is strictly a financial decision. Unusually for Apple, getting the upgrade from them on order isn't that much more expensive than aftermarket, but its still significant

    If you don't carry about the extra cost, do it now. If it already feels expensive, see if you can live with stock storage knowing that you can upgrade later. Also, SSD costs (about a dollar a gig) are still liable to come down, so who knows what the upgrade will cost next year, you might save some dough. I'm perfectly happy running a 256g system, i have a 500g hdd in as well, but I don't really need it other than for a mirror of my media collection

    There is a OWC dealer in the UK (

    And one in Europe (priced in Euros, might save you some)
  21. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
  22. Paulg2uk thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2008
    Thanks for the links I'm wondering if its worth it in the long run when the bigger drives come out. I think I'll stick with 512gb from apple. I'd really love to go to 768gb but I can't warrant the extra cash for it. And I don't think I'll have enough limit on my credit card for that. I don't plan on ordering till next week anyway. I'm going to check out the ipad mini on Monday so I'll make my final decision next week.

    Thanks for everyone's help its much appreciated.

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