I need some realistic advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by someoneoutthere, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. someoneoutthere macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2014
    The Great Lakes State
    So this is going to be one of those "I am planning on buying a MBP" threads...

    The reason why I decided to reach out to you all today is that, just last week alone I "attempted" to buy four different variations of rMBPs [refurb, high-end 13", base 15" and high-end 15"] on four different days.

    I have been long wanting to switch to the Mac platform, I don't want to use a Windows platform machine anymore [so yes, going with a Retina Display MBP is already the answer here]

    Little bit about my current laptop... It is an ASUS G73JH. I put an SSD and upgraded the RAM up to 16 GB gradually. It also has a i7 740QM (1.73/2.93) and an HD 5870 GPU inside. The screen is the classic 17.3" 1600x900 one, nothing fancy about it. It is about 4 years old now.

    Next... I use it a lot for photo and video editing, occasional programming, blogging, and web browsing. So it has been more than capable of putting up with whatever I throw at it. [although I'd love video-editing to be a little faster // oh, I don't deal with any intense 4K stuff, it's mostly GoPro/Canon videos]

    ^^ I also did run into quite a few articles on how some photographers have been using their MBAs to get the photo-editing work done, which has always been something that bugs me in terms of deciding the MacBook platform I really want to concentrate on.

    When I get the MBP... I will use it for the same purposes PLUS occasional boot-camping.

    I am not quite sure about the necessity of a dGPU. I think I'd be able to get away with Iris/Pro Graphics.

    I don't really care about the portability. Having traveled with this giant thing for around 4 years now, anything smaller will be a breeze.

    The only issue I have with the current 13" rMBP lineup is the i5 processor. When I buy a laptop, I tend to keep it for ~5 years. I don't want to be stuck with an i5/dual core processor for that long.

    That brings me up to the 15" lineup: I have read a lot about the memory compression capability of the current OS. I also did take the "memory test" on the Wiki pages. 8 GB of RAM seems to be quite sufficient.

    Storage is either going to be 256 [maybe 512]; as my experience with this 128 gb on the Windows machine has been an absolute nightmare.

    Processor... I don't know. My experience with this giant laptop is that the HDD was more of a bottleneck than anything 'till I put an SSD in. SSD made life a lot easier.

    I could use some of your experiences with the base 2 GHz or the high-end 2.6 GHz processors [i7]. [I also did look at the benchmarks]

    So... What would you do? I am confused. You see, I have a decent idea in terms of the specs I "really" need, but my lack of experience with the Mac platform is hitting me hard.

  2. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
    If you doing photo and video editing, more RAM will be of benefit vs. a faster processor.

    The 15" rMBP with 16gigs of RAM and a 512SSD would work fine. Yes, the lower end 15" rMBP with 8gigs/256SSD would work too (keeping your photo/video work on a separate external drive would be recommended in this case).
  3. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    From your description, I believe that the base 15" model would be absolutely sufficient for your needs. The CPU does not matter much — getting the faster version will only improve performance by few percent, and that only for demanding workloads; so no reason to overpay here. The Iris Pro is more or less on par with your Mobility 5870, it will be slightly faster for some tasks and slightly slower for other ones.

    There are also some (more or less convincing) rumours of an immediate lineup refresh, with slightly faster CPUs and more RAM. I'd wait a week or two to see whether those rumours are true (a minor update for the same cost is always neat).
  4. someoneoutthere thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2014
    The Great Lakes State
    I believe a 256 SSD would be fine since I keep most of my digital work in an external drive.
    I also do agree with the more RAM > faster CPU remark, as I have seen Photoshop hitting as high as 9 gigs (I then realized that there is actually a setting under the performance tab where you can limit the amount of RAM PS can use)


    That was one piece of information that I could not really find on the Internet, an exact, if not close comparison of my current GPU and the Iris Pro. Thanks!
    Yes, I have been following those rumors. I am not in a hurry, so I will definitely go ahead and take my time.
  5. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    Get the high-end 15-inch model. If you plan to use this laptop for the next 5 years with the purpose you described, then it is the way to go. 16 GB RAM will make a lot of difference in the coming years, even if it is not making any difference now. And a 512 GB SSD will be a blessing for keeping all the stuff you want to, especially if you want to install Windows on BootCamp. You may want to wait for the refresh which seems to be imminent, though.
  6. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Base 15" rMBP sounds like it is for you. Intel GPU does better for battery life in bootcamp, as graphics switching is disabled in bootcamp. Nothing you are doing requires a dGPU. If you need extra space, get a nice USB 3.0 external HD.
  7. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I dont think the dual core in the 13" would limit you a lot.
    Most apps you describe do not make any use of the 8 threads the quadcore offers.
    If you value money and portability the 13" is the way to got.

    I have the rmbp in my signature and very similar needs to you.
    I decided against the 15" because I travel a lot and the extra 1/2kg and size does bother me.
    Multitasking Lr, Ps, browsers and offices apps doesn't push my model at all.
    But the dual core makes rendering an exercise in patience.

    The only advantage for you would be screensize. Editing photos, i sometimes wish my screen were bigger.

    You havent written anything about your budget yet.
  8. kittencounter macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2013
    Base model of the 15 rMBP. 256 GB SSD (enough space for apps). Iris graphics (enough for everything except gaming). 16 GB RAM
  9. someoneoutthere thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2014
    The Great Lakes State
    I am inclined towards getting the high-end 15" rMBP - future proof.


    I agree. I don't need a fancy 2 GB GDDR5 GPU sitting idle under the hood. But then, when I go ahead and "bump" up the configuration (larger SSD, 16 GB RAM), the price is almost the same as buying the base high-end 15" rMBP.
    PLUS, Amazon.com has the base high-end 15" rMBP for $2,449 - tax, shipping, etc. included.


    I don't want to invest $1,799 + any other applicable fees in an i5/dual core CPU machine in the year 2014 - I don't see that as a future-proof CPU. Like I said in the original post, I tend to buy a new one once in every 4-5 years.
    I agree with the screen size remark. 13.3" would be a little too small, especially when I am so used to the convenience of the current 17.3" screen.
    Budget... No limitations. I could go shell out well over $3k on a high-end 15" or get something reasonable for less than $2k on Amazon - like the base 15" with no dGPU.


    My only concern with the base 15" without a dGPU is that I can't really foresee how demanding these video/photo-editing applications will get in the next 4-5 years.
  10. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    I would wait for the refresh that seems imminent and then I would get the higher-end model. 8 GB seems OK for me as of now, and I do not even do photo editing. OS X Yosemite will probably consume more RAM than OS X Mavericks as it is more graphics intensive. In 5 years, even 16 GB may feel too low.

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