Help with choosing 3 different MBP!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by johnnyyt, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. johnnyyt macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2013
    I was looking online and this forum seemed to have the most info on macs so I'm hoping to get my answer here. This post might get a bit lengthy..

    This laptop as of now, is going to be my main computer so I would be using it at home and school so portability is a factor. I also want something that is going to last me in the long run because I plan on buying a desktop later on as well so the mbp will just become my laptop for school and commuting. I mainly do your average student work so documents and web browsing but I also game a bit. Storage needs to be at least 256gb or higher, but i dont want an hdd. I'm coming from windows and they're laptops are all customizable so this is something new for me..

    I have come up with 3 different macbook pro solutions

    1) Macbook Pro 13" - $1099
    core i5 2.5ghz
    4gb ram > 16gb ram - $100
    500gb hdd > 256gb ssd - $200
    TOTAL - $1399

    2) Macbook Pro 13" - $1399
    core i7 2.9ghz
    8gb ram
    750gb hdd > 256gb ssd - $200
    TOTAL - $1599

    3) Macbook Pro 13" Retina - $1599
    core i5 2.6ghz
    8gb ram

    I was at the Apple Store yesterday and I was speaking to one of the workers and they told me that the 2012 MBP's ram and drives were both customizable but the new retina mbps aren't, hence the upgrades which aren't from apple
  2. ob81 macrumors 65816


    Jun 11, 2007
    Virginia Beach
    Crappy that almost 500 views with no reply.

    Get option 3.
  3. xShane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2012
    United States
    Hello. First of all, welcome to the forums :)

    I would vouch for option 2. You'll get the i7 processor with 2.9Ghz which is faster than the rest. A processor is NOT upgradeable down the road, so this is a good thing to start with. Furthermore, you can upgrade the RAM from 8GB to 16GB later on for roughly $80. Lastly, you can always upgrade to an SSD as you mentioned.

    However, if you go with the rMBP 13", you'll always be stuck with the worse i5 2.6Ghz processor, and you'll also be stuck with 8GB RAM. You will never be able to upgrade it to 16GB. Although possible to upgrade the storage, it's tough and has some complications.

    So once again, option 2.
  4. droidbook macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2013
    I did alot of research and 2 weeks ago purchased the first option and installed my own 16gb of Ram

    Macbook Pro 13" - $1099
    core i5 2.5ghz
    4gb ram
    500gb hdd

    I really did not want to spend money on the retina with a smaller harddrive and no dvd burner inside.

    And I love my macbook pro 13 very fast the screen is beautiful.
  5. dlimes13 macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2011
    Perrysburg, OH
    I would go with option 3. Ready to go out-of-the box with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD, and the Retina display.

    Look here:

    You can get the 8/256 model from MacMall for around $1475, not $1599 as you put in your original post.

    The difference from the i5 to i7 is not much or worth the upgrade. They are both dual-core still.
  6. iPhonesandMacs macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2012
    The MacMall macbook pro you are talking about for $1475 is not the mac he is talking about he posted the 3rd option as being the 2.6, not the 2.5 that macmall is selling for $1475, and the one you are talking about only has 128 GB of storage
  7. dlimes13 macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2011
    Perrysburg, OH
    My bad on the CPU, but it does have 256. But IMO, the 2.6 vs. 2.5 is a waste.
  8. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    To play Devil's advocate, I'd suggest the base 15" retina. Yes, it's an extra 500 bucks. Yes, it's an extra pound in mass, and 2 inches bigger.

    However, it is literally twice as powerful as the 13" MBP, so it will probably last you 2 years more than the 13", before it starts to feel slow. Secondly, if you play graphically demanding games, the discrete GPU is a must. On the other hand, if you don't play graphically demanding games, then there is no longer any reason to buy yourself a desktop, as the quad core CPU will run toe-to-toe with any quad core desktop CPU.

    And you have to remember that the 15" Retina is actually lighter than the 13" Unibody, and only just 1.35 inches wider.
  9. Davy.Shalom macrumors 6502


    Dec 23, 2008
    Option 2 is the best. Processor is solid and the 8 GB is a good starting point. It can be upgraded later on and you can add a larger SSD in a year or so when prices come down. With the retina, you'll be stuck with the amount of RAM that order it with. You also won't be able to upgrade the storage as easily. I think all in all, the 2.9 i7 is way more functional. I just bought one and it's acting as both my main portable and desktop replacement (with a monitor). It's a very capable machine.

    Another thing to note is that if you intend on using these computers past 3-4 years, or even fewer, you need to consider the battery. If your retina battery goes through all its cycles, you will pay apple to replace it at a high price. There is no alternative since the battery is glued to the case. With the 2.9 i7 standard 13" you'd be able to pop out the battery, order a new one from iFixit, and pop the new one in. This is a small thing to consider but when I invest >1800 in a computer, I tend to use it for at least 4 years. I'm on the go a lot and since apple doesn't cover normal wear and tear, it's a good idea to be thinking ahead.
  10. maliu macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2010
    The battery is built in! No popping it out. No Mac batteries are removable anymore.
  11. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
  12. iPhonesandMacs, Feb 22, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013

    iPhonesandMacs macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2012
    All of the classic macbook pros all have removable batteries, the ones still sold in apple stores
  13. Farkus macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2013
    Hello, another newbie here. I'm also trying to decide between multiple configurations. What's the proper protocol around these parts? Clog the board with "Which Macbook" threads or hijack someone else's?

    As for my input on johnnyyt's dilemma, I would pick option 2 just for the upgrading potential and the stronger processor.
  14. majkom macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    Did u think about mb air? 13 incher?

    Cheaper, lighter, more display estate (higher res. Than mb pro) and same weak gpu like mb pro and retina mbpro

    Tn panel, weaker cpus and thats it
  15. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I would choose the rMBP. It's the best of the bunch. It is lightest and smallest. It has as good if not better performance than the others (due to better thermal management); then it's got a terrific display.

    The fact that you're considering it, I would assume the price isn't the issue.

    Many views are from bots (like search engine bots that index the pages).
  16. johnnyyt thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2013
    thanks for the replies guys. really appreciate it

    money is more of an issue than it may seem. the prices i have posted are based on apple's prices but if i can somehow manage to get any of the 3 for cheaper, that's the one i'll be going for.

    in terms of the macbook air, this is what i originally wanted but i spoke to a few of my friends and they have told me that it wont last me past 3-4 years because it would just slow down and become annoying to use

    to sum it all up, i'm leaning towards option 2 or 3. it all comes down to the faster cpu or the retina display.
    8gb of ram is the same as 16gb since it would be difficult for me to even use that much ram anyways.
    the rMBP comes with a 256gb ssd so that wouldn't need to be upgraded either.

    is it worth paying the extra money for the retina display, but sacrificing on cpu power?
  17. etn macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2013
    As you plan to buy a desktop later, you can use this one for heavy computing tasks hence a comparatively slower processor shouldn't be an issue.
    Besides, for most common tasks (email, web, word processor etc) an i5 is more than adequate.
    If you are like me and *hate* glossy displays, go for the Retina due to its reduced glare. So option 3 all the way.
  18. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    If gaming is in the picture, unless it's extremely casual and you do not mind setting every to "low", then I wouldn't get a 13" Mac period. The integrated graphics card simply won't cut it.

    With that said, I'd probably spring for the third option.
  19. vatter69 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2013
    If you dont need an optical drive - Retina.

    Lighter, as fast as the others really and the screen is awesome. Initially i wanted the Air but after i saw the Retina in the store i was completely blown away.

    I will not buy any laptop ever again without IPS and HiDPI display.

    Also, by the time you need more than 8 GB, you probably want a faster CPU too, so limit of 8 Gb was not an issue for me.
  20. Davy.Shalom macrumors 6502


    Dec 23, 2008
    You open the screws, take off the lower shell, and can order parts from iFixit. Anybody competant can do it.


    Most of the new ones have removable batteries, assuming you take the definition of removable to mean that you can remove it...

    It's really not that hard. You open the bottom shell, take off the connector plug, unscrew some securing points and the battery pack pops right now. Guides are available at iFixit.
  21. wallysb01 macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2011
    If you're looking for deals, you can sometimes find open-box discounts at Bestbuy or Fry's (if you have one locally), that can substantially drop the prices and sometimes come with upgrades. Its worth looking at.

    If you're a student with your current needs, I don't think you need the i7. I have an early 2011 15" MBP base i7 2.0 GHz, and I hardly tax the CPU at all. I got it thinking I would occasionally use it for some computationally difficult tasks, but now its web/email/word-processing only and any i3 will outlast other parts of your laptop for those tasks. So, if you want to spend an extra $300, get the retina. Though, if money is really an issue, you should think about the cost/benefit of both the retina and the SSD. They are both certainly nice, but you're spending $500, or nearly an extra 50% of the base 13 MBP on them and you're not getting 1.5x the computer in functionality.

    I vote option 1, $500 is a lot for a student that doesn't really "need" the upgrades and is already spending $1100 on a computer that will met their needs. But do get 8GB of RAM in that thing. 4GB is just not enough anymore. And, that $500 goes a long way when buying a desktop (presumably PC) to supplement your needs in a couple years.
  22. Applefanboy8153 macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2012
    A retina display macbook pro is a perfect balance between power and portability, it is macbook air without the crappy processor. The retina display is the most beautiful display there is (Pixel has an odd aspect ratio). The 8GB RAM is perfect for another 4 years at least. Also if you want to get a MBA then that would be fine too as 3-4 years is the max you can expect out of a computer. Also an SSD would mean that you need'nt upgrade later. SSDs are the future. My sister is using a MBPr 13 (Base config) she is a student and commutes for almost 3 hours daily so she finds the MBPr to be a perfect balance between portability and power without sacrificing connectivity.
    FYI: I was stuck here too and decided to go with a MBPr, arrives tomorrow! :apple:
  23. mtntrance macrumors member

    May 2, 2008
    Palm Desert, CA
    regarding the rMBP and upgrade choices...

    I was obsessed with whether to upgrade the processor from the i5 2.6 to the i7 3.0 or not. I wound up ordering the i5 BTO and upgrading to the 512 GB SSD. My thoughts were the i5 uses less energy-makes less heat due to being lower watt without a dramatic performance improvements if going to the i7. If I am going to spend money on a upgrade (with the education discount), I figure it will cost me 16% more to upgrade the SSD to 512. If I upgrade the SSD and the processor to the i7 as apple encourages I am looking at a 28% increase in cost. Twice the storage for 16% more is easier to digest. When the retinas came out I understand apple was asking at least $500 to upgrade the SSD and you didn't have a choice on whether to upgrade the processor or not.

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