MacBook Pro Retina Comparison Question!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JordanTheJew, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. JordanTheJew macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2013
    Hi all!

    I'm looking to buy a 15" MacBook Pro Retina for school and I'm not really sure whether to go with the BEST one or the not as loaded one. My question is, what are the differences between the different levels of GHz (2.4GHz+Turbo boost 3.4 GHz vs. 2.7GHz+Turbo boost 3.7GHz vs. 2.8GHz+Turbo boost 3.8GHz), the 8GB vs. 16GB memories and the amount of flash storage (256GB vs. 512GB)?

    Basically, what are the differences between each spec element of the two computers, and what options would be best for an average college student? Edit: I will also be gaming on this computer.

    Thanks! :)
  2. mneblett macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2008
    If you can't get done what you need to get done at school with a 2.4GHz i7 processor, you're not going to get it done with a 2.7GHz processor.

    Personally, I buy a lower-clock CPU that's reasonably close to the top-end because I'll never "feel" the difference (i.e., 2.4GHz ~= 2.53GHz in real life), and apply the savings to things that will make the machine feel more responsive: more RAM and better display and GPU (if choices are available).

    If you are serious about gaming, (a) you're looking at the wrong machines, and (b) the difference in CPU still won't help that much.

    As to storage, 512GB would be more future-proof than 256GB, but plenty of folks live within 256GB fine. There's always external storage for big files/projects.
  3. JordanTheJew thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2013
    Got it. This is pretty much what I've narrowed it down to:

    Standard MacBook Pro with 2.6GHz w/ 1GB GDDR5 memory, 8GB of RAM, and (512GB SSD?) for $2,668+tax?


    MacBook Pro Retina with 2.7GHz w/ up to 3.7GHz Turbo Boost, 16GB SDRAM, 512GB Flash Storage, and USB Superdrive for $2,678+tax? Or would you go with 2.4GHz and 786GB Flash?
  4. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    It's not going to be a huge difference. But keep in mind Macs aren't the best platform if heavy gaming is your intended usage. But how much storage you go with is up to you.

    You will really only notice the processor boost when working with applications that push the CPU full-throttle.
  5. JordanTheJew thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2013
    No I'm not a heavy gamer. I'm just talking like games such as Civilization, Maybe Sims idk nothing huge. Stuff I can do with steam etc.
  6. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    If you routinely work with dozens of browser tabs open, or intend to use virtual machines like parallels then max RAM will help you a lot.

    If you have or want to carry more than a dozen HD videos or TV series, in your laptop's iTunes library, then max internal storage will be much more convenient, 256GB is the minimum you should be looking at.

    You won't notice the processor unless you do a lot of video rendering or editing of RAW photos.

    Otherwise, it is a laptop used for school, and with a good chance to get damaged or stollen... so minimize your cost.

    On the other hand, the rMBP is difficult if impossible to upgrade. So if you intend to keep this thing for the typical five years, maxing out the RAM and internal storage will more future proof you. Max CPU would be nice,IMHO.
  7. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    If you like gaming at all you'll be running virtual or bootcamp Windows. You will notice the 16Gb.

    I'd say 16Gb is a definite. SSD size the biggest you think you need/can afford. Processor speed last of all.
  8. fskywalker macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2009
    I think you can do better than that in prices if you consider used machines. Just sold my mint, sept 2012 built, 2.7/16/768 with Applecare until 2015, mouse, keyboard and an extra power supply for $2400 plus shipping.
  9. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Agree with the posters, especially my light saber totin' homie.

    Asking if you need a higher spec'ed mac is like ordering off a menu with no prices: if you have to ask, it's not for you.

    You can find used retinas on ebay or craigslist for relative bargains if you don't need the best and latest, especially with the possibility of the line being upgraded to Haswell as soon as next two weeks. I picked up a 2012 base 15" retina from CL for $1400. You can take some of the money you save and also buy Applecare.

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