Help me decide rMB i5 vs 13" MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by peonies, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. peonies macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2017
    12" MacBook 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 8gb 512gb, 2017


    13.3" MacBook Pro 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 8gb 256gb, 2017

    My current one is early 2015 base model macbook. (1.1 GHz Intel Core M, 8gb, 256gb)
    It is very slow. It is tooooo slow.
    It takes too much time opening up apps like Safari, Chrome, Word, Excel, etc.

    I need to finish off my degree thesis.
    (I think I have a excellent excuse/reason to buy a new macbook! haha)
    Now I cannot decide if I will try Macbook once again but with higher spec. or, go with MBP.

    Apart from writing thesis, I mainly internet surf, Youtube, Netflix, etc.
    (Once thesis writing is done, I (hope I) won't need to write again!)

    Do you think rMB with i5 will do for me?
    Or, should I go for MBP this time?

    Another question :
    What do you guys think about getting refurbished one from
  2. catportal macrumors regular


    Aug 11, 2016
    The MB is more than enough capable of internet surf, youtube, netflix etc.
    Unless you are doing video editing or something that needs powerful fan cooled processor for encoding, I would go with the MB, its very light and silent.
  3. peonies thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2017
    I don't do video editing.
    I know....
    When I bought it in 2015, I got the same advice.
    However, my 2015 MB..........!!! o_O
    It was a little slower than my roommate's MBP when I first bought it.
    I could bear with it then. But, not anymore.
    (I guess I am stressed out because I need to write !)
  4. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    The 2017 rMB is a different animal compared to the 2015. I love mine...and it's capable of even moderately intensive workloads, but it's not my only Mac.

    With that said, if this is your primary computer, and your only Mac, the MBP arguably has greater flexibility. I'm not sure what topic your thesis is in, but I assume it requires a crap ton of references. When I'm writing a research report, it is really nice to have 3 or 4 separate displays I can use for being able to view those references, Word docs, spreadsheets, database queries, statistical software, visualization outputs, notes, planning Apps, various crap from browsers, emails, etc. all simultaneously. It's a huge productivity benefit, at least for me. With the retina MacBook, that isn't a possibility. With the MacBook Pro, you have that option. On even the current generation MacBook, one USB out (that happens to be legacy USB 3.1) imposes considerable limits here and in regards to external connectivity in general.
  5. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    One of these will answer for you:

    Do you need the smaller size of the 12"?

    Do you need the extra USB-C/Thunderbolt ports on the 13?

    Do you need the extra speed of the 13"?
  6. peonies thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2017

    Do you need the smaller size of the 12"?
    - I don't think I mind...

    Do you need the extra USB-C/Thunderbolt ports on the 13?
    - Extra would be nice but not necessary. I have been using 2015 rMB and I have enough accessories.

    Do you need the extra speed of the 13"?
    - This is the thing. I am not so sure how much faster the 13" is compared to 12".
    - I have been using 2015 rMB base model, and it is very slow. So, I will love anything faster than this.
    But, how much faster would 2017 12" i5 be compared to 2015 rMB?[/QUOTE]
  7. Qu1ckset macrumors regular


    Oct 7, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    I wanted the MB since it was debuted in 2015 but the specs weren’t up to par , I bought the 2017 on launch day (i5/8gb/512gb) and for what your using it for with high serria it should fly threw it.

    The size and weight of the 12” Mac is perfect and I love how it’s silent. I use mine to browse with lots of tabs open , YouTube , and I have even games on it playing sc2 on med , very capable machine and highly recommend it over the added weight of the MBP.

    I will admit I have a high powered windows gaming pc , but to be honest between my phone, MacBook and PS4 it’s been collecting dust thanks to the MacBook!
  8. wineandcarbs macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    This is right on IMO. My 2017 rMB is quickly becoming my main computer but I do have a 2014 rMBP. Had I been purchasing when I was still in grad school I likely would have gone for the rMBP for the reasons ZapNZs listed above. Don't get me wrong, the rMB is an excellent machine and perfectly capable but the rMBP does have some extra conveniences and its worth considering whether those are things that would add to your productivity at this time.
  9. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    FWIW, I went from a 2015 rMB 1.1GHz/8GB/256GB to a 2017 TB MBP 3.1GHz/16GB/256GB and have never looked back.

    The performance difference is staggering, the extra ports are great and the TouchBar is ‘meh’ - but TouchID is excellent.

    Lots of use of the word ‘silent’ in this thread. Remember the new MBP fans don’t spin most of the time. My TB is also silent 90% of the time I’m doing nonsense on it (browsing, videos, etc.). The main difference is size and potential power. The MBP is greater in both of those metrics!
  10. the caveman macrumors 6502

    Aug 21, 2007
    I went from a 2016 mbp touch bar to 2017 m3 mb. Im a power user like i once was and mb does everything with aplomb, ie web browsing, youtube and iphotos, its light and small, much smaller than an already small mbp, and the battery lif is outstanding, also, being able to charge from a portable battery pack is a huge convenience. Not missing the mbp at all
  11. peonies thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2017
    Thanks everyone for your input !
    I think I am leaning toward to rMP.

    Now, deciding between following combinations.

    What do you think is more important? processor? RAM? or SSD storage?
    I do have an 3TB external hard drive.
  12. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    You should be able to do that with the 13” MBP too - same 60W supply, no?

    Personally I would go for X/16GB/256GB config. It doesn’t matter what X is, they’re all extremely similar. Theoretically the i7s are slightly more efficient, but in reality it won’t mean much.
  13. peonies thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2017
    Thanks for your reply.
    I guess I am going for i5/16gb/256gb. :)
  14. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    The 2017 MacBook Core i5 is roughly 30-50% faster than the 2015 MacBook Core M 1.1 GHz.

    I went with the m3/16 GB/256 GB, but if it were my only computer, I'd probably get the i5/16 GB/512 GB.

    Mind you, if it were my only computer, I'd strongly consider a MacBook Pro. My power lifting computer is a 2017 iMac Core i5 in a dual 27" screen setup.
  15. peonies thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2017
    Thank you. If I were to get MBP, I think I will go with i5/8gb/256gb. Do you think 16 gb RAM is necessary there too?
  16. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    If you need 16 GB, you need 16 GB.

    If you don’t, you don’t for either computer.
  17. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    With your stated usage, IMO the retina MacBook with the base m3/8GB/256 GB is just fine, and with the MacBook Pro the base + SSD upgrade (i5/8GB/256) should work just fine.

    That said, it's IMO worth checking out the touchbar as well. I was quite skeptical of it at first, but with High Sierra I think it is really going to come of age, and you might find it beneficial to your usage.
  18. peonies thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2017
    Thanks for your opinion. I was sure that I had made up my mind.
    Now I am weighing MBP nTB (i5/16gb/256gb) vs MBP TB (i5/8gb/256gb).....! :S
  19. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    I’m a MBP TB owner and I’m still recommending you - specifically you - to stick with the nTB and get the 16GB memory.

    The difference in CPU performance is absolutely minimal - you pay a lot for the convenience of the TouchBar itself.

    Unfortunately 8GB of memory is quickly becoming too little. I had very high memory pressure on my old rMB with 8 and, although I was using it quite heavily, I wasn’t really doing much more than an average person might do.

    In short, the average person will benefit more frequently from more memory than a marginally more efficient CPU.
  20. ascender macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2005
    More RAM is always better to have. I think everyone's agreed on that basic fact. There's loads and loads of posts on here about 8GB v 16GB RAM, particularly after the TB MBP launch.

    But I have started to question whether I need and can justify the cost to upgrade to 16GB RAM in a laptop, particularly with the speed of the latest SSDs in Macs.

    Going on what you've said, the base rMB will easily handle what you need it to do. If you have money to burn, get the 16GB RAM upgrade.

    If you're not bothered about the portability or need more ports, go for a 13" MBP.
  21. ParanoidDroid, Oct 6, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017

    ParanoidDroid macrumors 6502


    Sep 15, 2013
    Venusville, Mars
    That's actually not true. I happily connect my 2016 MacBook to 3 external displays. How? I use a USB DisplayLink port replicator from HP, but any DisplayLink hub should work. Just download the drivers, connect one Display via HDMI and the other two via USB3. It works! And since High Sierra, it works even without transparency bugs.

    Especially when I'm writing long texts I don't want to hear any fan noise. The silent MacBook is ideal for focusing solely on your thoughts.

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