Help: refurb MBP 2.9GHz 2012 vs refurb rMBP 2.4GHz 2013

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by alexpohab, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. alexpohab macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2014
    #1
    Please assist in my decision between the following refurbished 13" MBP currently available for $1189 from Apple. MBP (June 2012) 2.9GHz dual core Intel I7; 8GB; 1TB hard drive. rMBP (Oct 2013) 2.4HZ dual core Intel I5; 8GB; 256 flash.
    I am looking to replace a late 2008 13" MB which I have upgraded to 16GB w 500MB, but it has an old 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. Other considerations:
    I do like the built-in ethernet port (of my current & available 2.9GHz MBP)and use this daily; I do like the built-in disc drive of older MBP (although used much less frequently) and perceive this to be a greater benefit than a retina display; The benefit of extended battery life of rMBP is minimal since mostly used as a desktop; I will consider eventually upgrading the new purchase with a larger flash drive at the expiration of the Apple warranty, and increase RAM.
    Is there anything inherent to the 2012 2.9GHz I7 processor equipped MBP that would make it an inferior choice to the 2013 2.4GHz I5 rMP in terms of dealing with future Apple system upgrades? On the surface it appears not, but I welcome and value your knowledgeable input.
    Thanks
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #2
    The Retina display is definitely a worthwhile feature. The 2012 model has a slow hard drive in it, and while it can be upgraded with a standard SATA SSD (I have a Samsung 840 Evo in mine), it will never be as fast as the rMBP with its PCI based storage. The rMBP is also running a newer chipset and is much faster (despite the lower clock speed) in day to day use. The rMBPs also run a lot cooler and have better fans in them.
     
  3. alexpohab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2014
    #3
    Thanks. You make a compelling case for the improvement of the fans and operating temperature. Less so for the value of Retina for my use (spreadsheets, documents, web sites). I do not use this for gaming or serious photo/movie editing.

    I did mention that I would eventually upgrade to a large capacity SSD in either machine. What I failed to mention is that I would probably encounter the need to increase RAM before adding storage. I intend to run Windows simultaneously with either VMware or Parallels. I just realized the rMBP would not allow me to add RAM.....I'd be capped at the 8MB offered in the model I am considering. The 2.9GHz Ivy Bridge model MBP would allow me to increase RAM up to 16MB at a later date (after warranty) as well as the hard drive.

    Your earlier comments have been most helpful, but unless you can inform me that a 2.4GHz Haswell with 8MB RAM is much more capable than a 2.9GHz Ivy Bridge with 16MB of RAM in a 13" MBP, I am inclined to take up the offer for the older technology. Thanks again for your contribution.
     
  4. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #4
    On a pure specifications basis, the 13" rMBP in that configuration would score about 5,500 give or take on a multi-core Geekbench test. The classic MacBook Pro (cMBP) would get around 5,800 on a multi-core Geekbench. Both configurations are at 8 GB of RAM. If you have not used Geekbench, or are unaware of what it is, then you should know that it is a cross-platform benchmarking tool. The higher the number the better...

    The Retina model would feel faster in day to day use due to the PCI based storage. It is faster than SATA III by a decent amount but you are limited then in your options on storage from the factory. The Retina Display actually really shines in your usage case, as spreadsheets, word processing, and websites would look as sharp as a razor on that display. It is also much lighter, at 3.46 lbs vs. 4.5 lbs on the classic MacBook Pro. The positives of getting the Retina model would be the better display, wireless AC, dual Thunderbolt 2 ports, HDMI, dual microphones, and the faster flash PCI based storage.

    The classic MacBook Pro also has some positives for itself as well. The optical drive can come in handy, the memory and hard drive is user upgradeable (per Apple), easy to repair (I do work on them all the time), as well as Ethernet and FireWire. The major downfall I see is the 1280x800 IPS display, which really shows under Yosemite's new fonts. The wireless card is Wireless N 3x3:3 which converts to a maximum of 450 Mbps wireless speed. I know I am just throwing random specs out to you but I want you to make the right decision as these machines are big investments and not expenses.

    I personally do not own a Retina model. I have a mid-2012 cMBP (2.5 GHz i5, 16 GB RAM, and a 120 GB Samsung 840 Evo) which handles what I do well enough. The thing is, you need to decide what you value the most. Do you want the newer computer with more ports, better display, and all around sleeker and lighter design or the classic MacBook Pro with Ethernet, SuperDrive, and upgradeability. If you use Ethernet in one location most (if not all) the time, then simply leaving the Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter plugged into that cable would work fine. Just so you know, you can upgrade the RAM (memory) and hard drive within warranty but Apple does not cover that part then. The rest of the Mac is still covered.
     
  5. alexpohab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2014
    #5
    Thanks again for your insight. Without it I probably would not have made either decision without any lingering doubts. Now if I were relegate my choice to a coin toss, I would be satisfied with either outcome.
    So I'll take my chances and see if there is still a refurbished "classic" MBP 2.9GHz still available for me, and use the savings toward a new iPhone. It's probably about time to take advantage of the power of IOS8 and Yosemite!
    Your help was much appreciated.
     
  6. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #6

    Make sure the Classic MBP is a mid 2012 and not a 2011. The 2011 models do not have the appropriate hardware to use Handoff and Continuity between iOS 8 and Yosemite. Also, make sure you get it from Apple Online Refurbished Store!
     
  7. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #7
    retina for text

    I personally feel that the retina screen makes the most difference for text, yeah photos look good and movies but it really comes into it's own with text it looks like print, the anti glare and great viewing angles all combine to make it brilliant with text and fgive less eye fatigue issues.
     
  8. mstgkillr macrumors regular

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    Feb 11, 2012

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