Macbook Pro Retina 13" + external monitor or 15" retina only

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JeroenDebruyne, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. JeroenDebruyne macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2011

    I am a webdesigner, using alot of photoshop and wordpress related stuff.

    I need a new workstation and I am trying to decide what to get, basicly doubting between these 2 options:

    1) Macbook pro retina 13" (as I need to take the laptop to customers aswell it is a nice to have the portablity over the 15").

    I would then hook up an IPS monitor to make my workspace complete and for more screen estate, also having both an retina dispay and a normal IPS screen is nice for photoshop work (having both I mean).

    2) Just buying the 15" retina macbook pro

    Doing all the work on there, is the screen estate enough? I think even if I would buy this I would want to hook up an external monitor anyway... especially to check non retina work etc

    So yeah basicly im just trying to decide if a 15" retina macbook pro would suit me to do ALL the work without having to need a 24"/27" external monitor for screen estate.

    Everytime I asked myself the question I came up with the no answer..

    What do you think?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd go with the 13" + monitor. The larger screen 20 to 30" will be better then the 15" screen (even if that screen is a retina screen).
  3. thewordiz macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2010
    bigger "is" better

    Well, remember the MBPr 13" is only dual-core, 15s are ALL quad-core. That could make a diff. As well as the fact that every 15 model over the base model has Invidia graphics card which you may want as well.

    There are some really nice 4k 28" monitors trickling out on the market now. Dell's is nice and so is Acer's

    15s are pricey for reasons other than screen size. Also, regardless of which one you get make sure you get 16gb as, these units are not RAM upgradable.
  4. JeroenDebruyne thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2011
    I have enough with the power the 13" has. I only do photoshop work and wordpress coding.

    So I think it would be indeed best to go with a 13" and then get myself a nice new monitor.

    Does not really have to be a 4K, I think I might look at the dell ultrasharps.

    The point is that a 15" retina still does not have enough screen estate to just replace a desktop, sure it has enough power but when working in photoshop or coding or browsing its still nice to have that extra screen size.

    Thats why I am leaning towards 13" + dell monitor as my setup.
  5. audiokid macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2013
    I recommend 13" + monitor. For your needs/uses it seems the way to go.
  6. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    The previous generation used NVidia graphics with Intel HD Graphics on the cpu die. These latest revisions use Intel Iris (on the 13") and Iris Pro (on the 15") with Nvidia. Just wanted to clarify your odd abbreviation of Nvidia+Iris. ;)

    I originally wanted the 15" Retina ... that thing is a beauty ... and I'm glad I cannot afford either at the moment.

    When I can I think I'll go with the 13" or await for its refresh (praying and hoping it too gets the Intel Iris Pro, while the 15" gets something a LOT more powerful from Nvidia or from Intel Iris Pro where it no longer needs ATI or Nvidia).
  7. Black.Infinity macrumors 6502


    Apr 17, 2010
    Apple tree-Toronto
    I just bought the 13rMBP Late 2013 2.6/16/256.

    I'm trying get used to it because i moved from 15 to 13, but the screen quality is great, texts are super sharp.:)

    The only thing I don't like is that during scrolling PDF files it gets slow. I wish apple would offer the Iris Pro on top of the line 13 rMBP.

    It is not that much a problem but since I knew this problem with 13 retinas. It becomes annoying to me.
  8. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    I have just moved from a 7 year old 24" iMac to a 15" rMBP. I thought it would be perfect as I could get the same 1920x1200 work area using a scaled mode. But it is too small to use for long periods.

    I have now teamed it up with a 24" 1920x1200 monitor. I could probably have done that with a 13" rMBP.

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