Macbook Pro 17 inch VS 15 Ratina

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by binknon7, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. binknon7 macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2013
    Which one should I buy? Any advantage for 17 inch over 15 ratina??

    I will buy 17 inch from Ebay.
  2. LabGuy macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2013
    17" is superior for me.

    -I prefer physical real estate over resolution
    -Matte display is far superior to retina's glossy display
    -Sound is far better over the retina
    -I have a 960GB SSD as my boot drive and a 1TB secondary storage drive in one laptop.
    -no need to carry around Thunderbolt to Ethernet/Firewire adapters
    -I get USB 3 over my Belkin thunderbolt dock, so no competition there
    -It's not THAT much thinner and lighter than a 15" MacBook Pro. I prefer to have a larger screen than a smaller notebook.

    To each their own. If Apple made a retina 17" for $5000, I'd buy it.

    Also, I've owned my 17" for 2 years, I also had a top of the line retina for a month. I kept the 17".
  3. binknon7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2013
    Thank you so much for your responded!
    That make me more confident!
  4. LabGuy macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2013
    No problem. Be aware, there are some die hard retina fanboys on this forum who will tell you you are crazy for wanting a 17" MBP. I respectfully disagree. The processor performance of the 15" rMBP over the latest 17" MBP is NOT huge. And again, it's a personal decision, but I find that the 17" fits my desires more than the rMBP based on my needs for internal storage and physical screen real estate. But to each their own.
  5. binknon7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2013
    Yes! me too! I think Macbook Pro 17 inch is the best laptop you can get. I just want to make sure that there are not much different between these two model ( apart from the display. )
  6. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    I had two 17" MacBook Pro's (2006 to 2009 then 2009 to 2013) and I really really wanted Apple to make another 17" notebook. A retina 17" with a 4K display would have been an instant purchase for me.

    It didn't happen so I decided to wait a year (June 2012 when the rMBP's first came out) to 2013 for Haswell. I held out because I was hopeful that maybe a 17" with 4K would come and it did not obviously.

    So I bought a 15" maxed out Haswell, the one in my signature and I think I can give a good perspective on this having owned two 17" (One classic and one Unibody) and now the 15" rMBP.

    Obviously the display on the 15" is incredibly sharp, much sharper than the 1920x1200 display on the 17" it is easily noticeable in only certain conditions however. I run my rMBP at a scaled 1920x1200 resolution which means it renders the desktop at 3840x2400 and then scales that down to 2880x1800 to fit the display panel. It looks much sharper than the 17" does but it's not really that noticeable in normal use only if you're up close like the sort of closeness required on a plane in economy class.

    The weight difference is very very noticeable. I can easily without any effort or strain hold my notebook by its side with one hand, like you would with an iPad. I wouldn't recommend doing this for an hour of course but moving the notebook around is much easier. It is also drastically thinner, the display is a lot thinner not only the base.

    The keyboard on the rMBP doesn't feel as good as the 17" keyboard in my opinion. The keys feel cheaper and don't go down as much as they do on the 17" - I think this is something you could get used to in time (I already have) but the 17" keyboard is just better.

    The 802.11ac wireless on the new Retinas is very very good. Incredibly fast with great range. The PCIe SSD is also insanely fast. In some tests I did I was almost reaching 1.1GB/s writes. The best SSD in a 17" is going to be about 550MB/s write at best which is not slow by any stretch and you always have the option of putting a second SSD in the 17" and using RAID0 which would reach 1.0GB/s writes if you used the fastest SSD's available.

    The trackpad feels the same on both notebooks and it's the same size. It's responsive as ever.

    Having HDMI out on the 15" is convenient but if you never hook up to a TV, not needed. The 15" can also drive two displays over Thunderbolt simultaneously like two 27" or 30" panels each at 2560x1440 or 2560x1600. The 17" with its single Thunderbolt port can only drive a single 27" or 30" display and it doesn't have native HDMI you need to use an adapter.

    The lack of an ethernet port on the 15" may affect you or it may not. Personally for me I picked up a Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter and although I will seldom use it, it does work perfectly with no noticeable CPU overhead and gigabit speeds.

    Obviously for me I went with the 15" because I found it more compelling than a 2011 17" - Had Apple released a 2013 17" with Retina display I would have jumped at owning one but I think the 15" is a respectable replacement. Be forewarned about what I mentioned though, the keyboard on the 15" isn't as good, it doesn't have native ethernet and you're limited with the storage being proprietary and the RAM being soldered. The 17" is still a powerhouse with great performance and I think in a lot of ways the 15" rMBP tried to change too much too quickly making the 17" a very attractive proposition.
  7. LabGuy macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2013
    This is the only issue I would argue against. I, for one, never hold my notebook by its side with one hand. If you're comparing one against the other, sure, I guess it's a point of comparison. But for day-to-day use, it's a non issue. I'm willing to move one pound of computer around to gain the advantages the 17" MBP offers me over the rMBP 15", but I'm a big guy, so the weight difference is negligible to me.
  8. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    Well it's more than just a pound, it's 6.6 Pounds vs 4.46 Pounds. That's a 2.14 pound difference. Basically 1/3rd chopped off the weight.

    I always had to hold my 17" with two hands because it was heavy and flexed more than I liked when being held from one side but with the 15" that is not necessary it is definitely built more like a slab with no movement and its reduced weight is probably part of that.

    But I'm not saying the reduced weight is a reason to get the 15" it's just one of the niceties in having the smaller notebook. I'm sure a lot of people buy the iPad Mini over the iPad Air for the same reason, personally I got the iPad Air because although it's a bit heavier and a big bigger I prefer the larger physical screen and just like with the MacBook Pro's I prefer the 17" screen regardless of the weight gains inherent in owning the larger portable.
  9. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2013
    Consider, too, that to get the same kind of power as you get with the 17" MBP - you're looking in the PC world at laptops with 2x the thickness, and nearly 2x the weight!

    The 17" MBP might not be a 'lightweight' compared to the 15" rMBP - but compared to (almost) every other PC 17" laptop, it surely is!
  10. albertdros macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2012
    I just received my 15 inch retina fully loaded yesterday. Coming from a mid 2010 17 inch matte display I kind of love both.

    As for resolution, I'm running on 1900x1200 on the 15 inch just because I'm used to it from my 17 inch. I love the retina screen for its crispiness and sharpness. Though, the 17 inch also has it's charms for the obviously bigger size and matte display. However, when I used the 15 inch for a while and then go back to my 17 inch display, I'm surprised on how 'pixelated' everything looks. It's just not sharp compared to the retina.

    Weight, well... Why do some people here say the difference is not much? I personally think it's a huge difference! The retina is so much lighter than my 17 inch. I carried my 17 inch everywhere though, in a bag with also alot of camera gear. I'm not a whiner so I don't really care but from a objective viewpoint the 15 inch is just so much smaller AND lighter. Saying the difference is not that big is just fanboyism to the 17 incher I guess...

    To sum this up: I like the feel of both machines and I will obviously continue to use my 15 inch retina because it's so much faster. Although I wish they would make a new 17 inch model with retina screen and I would definately buy it.
  11. MacMan988 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2012
    I also have a late 2011 17" and it came with Lion. I upgraded to ML and now its running Mavericks. I never had any issues with performance. Sometimes I run Windows 7 in parallels while having several Safari windows opened and the performance is still good (Sometimes I have felt that I might benefit from some extra GBs or RAMs though).

    Btw, Is there any benchmark comparison that we can compare the 17" performance with newer models?
  12. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    Here is my 15" rMBP benchmark. From what I can tell it's the highest one on the site for the 15" Haswell rMBP but their sorting on the site sucks and doesn't sort properly so I can't confirm that:

    Then here is the fastest 17" on the site that I could find (Late 2011 Model):

    Use this link to compare the two directly on one page:
  13. binknon7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2013
    Thank you so much for your respond :)


    Thank you so much for everyone respond :D
  14. double329 macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2008
    MBR 17 is good. When I am at work, that is what I use. I just got my own personal rMBP 15. I like both of them. I like them both.
  15. Zodiac.mj macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2013
    Been there, I switched from 17" to 1st gen retina and now to maxed out Haswell one. You already know a bit from previous posters, let me just tell you why switching to 15" was a good idea for me.

    I use my MPB when I'm at home, at my desk in my office and from time to time I need to pack it up and go meet some clients. Running around with 15" is easier than with heavy 17 inch.

    At my office I always hook it up to an external display, so for 80-90% of my work time I don't have to look at the screen. And finally, battery life and performance is much better on those new retinas.
  16. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2013
    I'd buy the 17" there is just no replacement for the screen.

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