Is the current 15" RMBP enough for my needs?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cityathrt, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. cityathrt macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    I currently have the 2011 11" MBA with 1.6 Ghz and 4g RAM. I've been very happy with it until my usage habits started out stripping the system this year. Now that I'm averaging 10+ g of page outs a week, I was eagerly anticipating a refresh to the RMBP that didn't happen yesterday...

    My question is, will I see enough of a difference with my usage habits to warrant waiting for a 2013 RMBP? At any given time I have 10+ tabs open in Safari, ~5 tabs in Chrome parked on various vids with one actually playing a vid, some various finder windows, and photo editing software open sometimes converting RAW. Occasionally I will have Word or Excel or PowerPoint briefly open, Skype, VLC media player and Adobe Lightroom briefly open as well.

    I would be going for the 15" RMBP BTO with 16g RAM, 256g SSD at 2.6 ghz (whatever the lower CPU is). Education pricing places it at $2,199. Is this the configuration that gives me HD4100 (I believe that's the newest one I've read about in the forums) and do my needs warrant waiting a bit longer? I primarily want a gorgeous screen to view pictures on and a machine that doesn't choke on my usage. Many thanks.
  2. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    The retina model was not updated yesterdy so it still has the HD4000 and 650M. You will likely see a huge difference upgrading now with the quad core procesor and discrete GPU. If battery life is not a huge concern for you, current model is great. If you want to hold out until the models are refreshed, I think it will be released alongside Mavericks this fall.
  3. Chuck-Norris macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2012
  4. cityathrt thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    Thanks for the quick response B, much appreciated. Battery life isn't the largest concern for me now. With my usage, I usually get around 2.5 hours on the MBA battery and that's usually adequate. I bring my cord along if I think I'll need it for longer. Am I reading correctly that the new rMBP will actually downgrade to Iris graphics and hence won't be a discrete GPU? That would definitely push me to getting one now as I'd greatly prefer a model with a discrete GPU.

    Chuck, I already have a MBA. I'd like to go for the retina screen to fully show off my pictures, and would like a 15" as I'd also like to view my pictures in their bigger size glory. I'm also going to be using DPP (the photo editing software mentioned in original post) and Lightroom more and more this year, which I think may tax the MBA a bit much. Finally, I want to be able to keep this laptop for at least 3 - 4 years, I wonder if I may outgrow the MBA again if I get another MBA.
  5. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    Based on the usage model you've given you'd be absolutely fine with a Apple refurbished base rMBP for $1,599.00:

    Unless you're a professional photographer 8GB should be fine and should last you 2-3 years at least. Personally I don't think your needs warrants a $2,200.00 Mac, but if you can afford it why not.

    EDIT: in fewer words I don't think the current 15" rMBP is worth full retail price at $2,200. If you're going to buy new wait for Haswell and get your money's worth.
  6. cityathrt thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    I hadn't actually considered a refurbished option before! Thanks so much! It's really.. so much cheaper. However, I am leery (maybe unjustifiably so) of refurbished products -- particularly as the new LG screens only started shipping earlier this year, and the refurbished ones were all made in 2012?

    I'm also uncertain of 8GB vs 16GB of RAM, but was previously thinking I should max it out for the longevity of my machine. I run DPP (Canon's photo editing software) and Lightroom, and process around 500 RAWs a month. Granted I'm no professional, but would my usage push the limits of 8GB? Two years ago I thought 4GB was more than plenty, now... (looks silently at the additional 6GB of page outs she gained over the night). I will be getting Mavericks when it comes out, hasn't the trend been for OS to eat up more and more system memory?
  7. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    Apple refurbished have the identical return policy and 1 year warranty as new, so no worries from that perspective. Your concern about the screen, on the other hand, is valid. The thing with refurbs though is that they have been physically re-inspected by Apple service technicians (my refurb came from an Apple service center in PA, USA), so these aren't machines that rolled right off the factory line at Foxconn. I would say there's less chance for defects right there. No guarantee as to what type of screen you'll get, though (mine was a Sammy).

    There's a lot of back and forth on this, so it's hard to say. I still think you'd be fine with 8GB processing 500 RAWs/month, but that doesn't account for what may happen with your workload in the future, as well as new releases of Lightroom having bigger requirements. 16GB will always be a good idea, of course, but then you lose out on the refurb price.

    You have a couple of options, though. You can buy the base rMBP and give it a test run for the 14 day no questions asked return period. If it's choking on what you're throwing at it you can always return it for a refund. Secondly you can head over to and set up an email alert to warn you when a 16GB refurb model becomes available.

    Or you can always buy new and add the 16GB, but it's going to cost you.

    PS. Don't forget options like Open Box/Clearance at sites like Best Buy if you're in the US (link), a few posters here have scored some pretty sweet deals.
  8. applepie555 macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2012
    I swear that yesterday they had 16gb models..must have all sold out

    Since they are 2012 likely is it for them to get more?
  9. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    The current 15'' RMBP upgraded to 16 GB RAM should be fine for your usage. You have to evaluate your storage needs to decide on the SSD size, and think about whether you want to spend extra cash on a faster CPU.

    To me right now it is very unclear what the next rMBP will bring. I would expect an incremental upgrade (haswell CPU, PCIe storage, 750M Nvidia GPU). The biggest advantage here would be on the power consumption. The faster storage could be nice, but it's not a huge jump.

    Of course Apple could be more radical with the rMBP - Iris only graphics, redesign, etc... but I would be surprised if they do it. The 15'' is designed with a discrete GPU in mind, any new design costs extra money, and I would guess that Apple will first try to earn its investment back with the current design before going for something new.
  10. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    You're the customer every computer manufacturer loves... Any 15" from the past 5 years will do the trick for you (although honestly any computer from the last 5 years would do it).
  11. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    Apparently they were available approximately 8 hours ago according to the website. If you're on the lookout for a 16GB definitely use this website, it should help you track one down.

    Availability will go down increasingly as the days go by, as the 2012s were officially discontinued with the release of the early 2013 models. The question then becomes when the early 2013s will become available as refurbished - nobody knows really.
  12. cityathrt thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    Haha thanks Interstella, I'm helping the country's economic recovery. :p Would you be able to enlighten me why I keep paging out though? And why my system does beachball now occasionally, and I see crazy graphics breaks/distorted pages when zooming in and out on web pages? To me that's a sign that I'm running out of memory, if I have nothing to fear from buying a machine with 8GB of memory, I'd love to have that assurance.

    Swerve, thanks so much for your responses. I bit the bullet earlier today and bought the one in the link you sent over. I figure if all else fails, I can still return within 14 days. It arrives on Thursday, I will definitely be loading everything up and abusing it for a week to see how it performs.
  13. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    Congrats! I think you'll be very happy with your purchase, the rMBP's all flash setup is fast, you'll be spoiled by its speed pretty quickly. And for $1600 too, at that price it's hard to beat.
  14. gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    Any Macbook is capable of running DPP and LR together. I use DPP and LR in my early 2011 MBP and it's fine. 500 RAW photos in a month does not matter because you are NOT opening/working at the same time. That makes no sense. You need to figure out why you are having page out.

    I think it's more about your 10+tabs with vids sitting in the background. Is it part of your work or it's just your practice? If it's just your practice then organize your work and open those sites after you are done with the one you are currently on because you can't watch 10 vids at the same time anyway.
  15. cityathrt thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    Here's an example that just happened moments ago. Safari with three tabs, Chrome with three tabs (only one buffering a vid, the others are random websites), VLC media player, Skype open but inactive, and previewing about 20 RAWs in DPP. I opened the lens correction tool to correct for some barrel distortion in a picture, and had the entire thing quit on me due to "insufficient memory". This is what I've been running into and what I'm trying to avoid with my next machine. I'd love to know why I'm racking up the page outs as well.. Activity monitor places me at 1.2 GB wired, 1.8GB wired, and .6 inactive for a total use of 3.6 GB. :confused:

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