Is the rMBP 15" (late 2013) overkill?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SweHockey, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. SweHockey, Dec 15, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013

    SweHockey macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2013
    I need to upgrade from my 2009 13" MBP. It's starting to get slow and can't handle stuff I need.

    First I thought of a new 13", but I know the 15" has quite better performance with the quad core.

    I'm looking at the 15" with 2.3 GHz processor, 16Gb RAM and 256 Gb harddrive.

    I'll use it for:
    1. Just the usual stuff like surfing, studying, watching movies.
    2. Music production with Logic Pro 9/X.
    3. No photo/movieediting. No games.

    I want it to last for about 5 years. That's why I took 16 Gb of RAM.

    But is it overkill for my needs? I don't really need the retina since I dont edit movies/photos, and most often I'll use a bigger external screen. But I do need to carry it with me sometimes and a few month a year I'll not have external.
    (It's probably not an option to buy the old MBP and upgrade it tough).
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think based on your stated needs the machine really isn't over-kill. Your desire is to have it 5 years and bumping up the ram to 16GB is a safe bet since you cannot upgrade later.
  3. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    What is the standardized test for "overkill"? What is the penalty? The answers are none and none. Purchase all the machine your budget allows. Then you know that you will not likely have any bottlenecks now or in the next few years. Be sure to get AppleCare and plan to keep the machine for at least 3 years.

    Persnally I would always get a minimum of 512GB SSD. There will not be a huge area left for data on a 256GB SSD after boot, OS, and a decent selection of apple, email...etc. Again, buy for the future....not today.
  4. SweHockey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2013
    Thanks. I'll consider buying a 500 Gb disk. But I could always use an external drive if I need it.
  5. SweHockey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2013
    How is a Mac mini 2,6 GHz Intel Core i7-processor, 16 Gb RAM, 256 Gb SSD harddrive compared to the 15" MBP?
  6. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    Since you’re not a hardcore gamer, and you aren’t doing intensive video editing, you don’t need the dGPU. I don’t know what your music production workflow is like, but if you’re not earning money based on how fast your computer is, you’ll be fine with the base processor and 8GB of RAM.

    There might be a few times when you’re doing something super-intensive that you max out the RAM, but with a PCIe SSD the swap speed is wicked fast, and you’d only see a few seconds of slowdown extremely rarely. If you were earning your living from your Mac, it might be worth upgrading the RAM, but if you aren’t then it isn’t.

    If you want the 15", go with the base model: 2.0 / 8 / 256
    If you want the 13", go with the mid model: 2.4 / 8 / 256

    Instead of paying for upgrades that you’d never notice or profit from, take the hundreds of dollars you’re saving and go do something fun. Or put it toward your next Mac: in 2-3 years, when you add what you’ll be able to sell this one for, it’ll be enough to buy even better machine.
  7. Yorrow macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2013
    I'm studying software development and will attend an engineer school in one year and a half. I'm a bit concerned about what you've said about the RAM.

    I'm thinking about buying a 15" rMBP with dGPU since I want the 512go SSD, the 13" screen feels a bit too small for me and 16go of RAM seems the right choice if I want to keep it 3 years or more. I don't play a lot but I would definitely play more if my mac was capable of running games such as BF4 or The Elder Scrolls Online with at least medium settings.

    Other than that, I would only use it for browsing the internet, do some photo editing and programming (all kind of programming, from Web development to mobile development and the kind of things I will have to do in engineer school, sometimes on a virtual machine, sometimes on windows with bootcamp).

    Do you think 16go is too much for my needs ? And will the dGPU run those games as well as I want it to do ? Otherwise, I would maybe consider getting the 15" base model with only a SSD upgrade.
  8. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    MacBook Air can handle every apps you have so go with 13 inches instead. :apple:
  9. Why?????? macrumors member

    Dec 6, 2013
    Well it depends. If the school has a windows-based curriculum for software development, then 16 GB can handle your entire windows development workflow in a VM and have a lot of headroom for your regular mac stuff as well.

    BF4 should be fine on the 750M at medium settings. Just don't expect to game at the full resolution.
  10. Yorrow macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2013
    Thank you for your reply.
    In my IUT, we uses linux almost exclusively, except for Excel (we have economics and management classes), Maple, Visual Studio (I don't know if we will use it again in the future) and a software to design databases (I don't remember the name of it, it's something I won't use on my mac anyway). I get Visual Studio for free thanks to my school and I've seen how bad it can be with a distant access. Would a VM run it as well as would Bootcamp ?
    The engineer school I want to go to also wants us to use linux (mainly) and windows.
  11. Why??????, Dec 16, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013

    Why?????? macrumors member

    Dec 6, 2013
    Yep. Visual studio should run well in a VM, as it's not very graphically demanding or memory intensive. If you use parallels or VMWare fusion, if I'm not mistaken, you can use your bootcamp partition for the VM. That can help you a lot, so you can just boot into windows when you want to game.

    With 16 GB, you should be able to run both windows and linux in VMs concurrently on OS X. And you can still program in OS X on top of that. Maple should also run well on a VM as it's quite streamlined compared to other math softwares, and operates well on the rather lethargic computers at my uni with only 3-4 GB of RAM. With 8 GB, you'd probably have reached the max if you did that. 16 GB will give you a lot of flexibility.

    I'd also recommend you to run linux in a VM anyways because it can be a massive PITA to get the drivers natively working if you're not a whiz on linux. Trust me, I've tried. Anyways, I'd say go for the 750M/2.3 GHz/512GB. It's brilliant!
  12. Yorrow macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2013
    Thank you for your help, I'll do that ! Certainly tomorrow ;)
  13. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    The only overkill is to your wallet--if you can afford it, buy it--no regrets here. :D
  14. Brittany246, Dec 16, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014

Share This Page