MacBook Retina vs 1st gen 15 Retina

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by andrew8404, May 9, 2016.


Which one to buy?

  1. MacBook 999 new

    5 vote(s)
  2. 1st gen MacBook Pro 15 retina

    8 vote(s)
  1. andrew8404, May 9, 2016
    Last edited: May 9, 2016

    andrew8404 macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2009
    Loma Linda, Ca
    Another which should I buy question. Looking at either purchasing last years MacBook Space Grey for 999 new (900 refurb or used) or 2012 15 Macook Pro Retina used for 899. Both have 256ssd and obviously the 1gb video card on the Pro. My uses are mostly browsing and amateur Lightroom use and occasional video editing but nothing heavy. I would like to play a few games like Starcraft but isn't a deal breaker otherwise I'd go the Pro route. Anybody have any preferences or thoughts? Also, I've been only using a iPad Pro 12.9 as my main computer for a few months and love it but would like RAW ability editing and a traditional computer set up. So I would be selling the Pro.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd opt for the larger MBP, you're getting a better CPU and GPU, which will come in handy with LightRoom and your photo editing and I think the 12" display on the MacBook is just too small to do those tasks effectively - at least for the long haul
  3. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I like the 15" models. I don't like the rate of gpu failures that seem to occur with Apple's laptops. My own preference would be for a 15" model but one of the ones with integrated graphics. It won't be as nice for Starcraft. It won't make any difference in Lightroom. Video editing is application dependent. It could go either way.

    Also watch out if it's a 4 year old battery. They're expensive to replace.
  4. ethandt72 macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2016
    I'm somewhat in the same boat as I am looking at a used 15" Retina 2012 as well. In regards to the battery, I asked the seller how many charge cycles the battery has gone through and he told me 527. How many charge cycles are they rated for?
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    They are rated for a 1000 but that plays second fiddle to age, Apple only guarantee them for 80% of design capacity for 1000 cycles or the end of the warranty whichever comes first.
  6. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    They don't guarantee that. They say something like holds up to 80% for up to 1000 cycles. After 3-4 years many of them do go bad regardless of cycle count. It's not the only factor. It's also not atypical of batteries. It's only something to consider because Apple charges $200 for battery service on that model.
  7. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    They will replace it free if it drops below 80% within 1000 cycles or within the apple care period, that's pretty much a guarantee. $200 is fair for the work and the quality battery you receive (about 3x the cycle capacity of a standard laptop battery) it is a consumable part and will need replacing eventually.
  8. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    That is incorrect, although they could have made an exception in your case. It's certainly not a standard policy. They only warranty the battery for the warranty period, so 1 year or 3 years on a new computer or 90 days on battery service. I've consulted their help pages and paid for battery service. My 2011 macbook pro had the battery replaced at around 500 cycles in 2014 a couple months after applecare expired. They charged $179 + tax at the Apple Store. Also see their page on batteries.
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    And if it had needed to be serviced within AppleCare they would have replaced it free, this is well known if not explicitly stated.
  10. MRxROBOT macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2016
    The Late 2012 15" MacBook Pro is the more powerful laptop of the two but I had a nightmare of a time with mine. Failure after failure with that laptop but others got along just fine with it so your milage may vary. Seeing as you considering the 12" MacBook, you probably don't have the need for a Quad Core CPU. With the 12" being the newer of the two MacBooks, in your shoes I would opt for it. In my shoes, I'd save up a bit more and get the late 2013 15" :D
  11. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Strange to be cross-shopping these two. My choice would be a 13" retina after the summer update. Maybe a refurb of the 2015.

    Regardless of what you choose, beware of the overhead costs associated with used laptops. Battery, GPU, logic board, other failures, etc.
  12. jashic01 macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2016
    Food for thought - I have both and the difference in carry weight is astounding. I never want to carry my 15 rMBP ever. It's that heavy. But if you're fine with the iPad pro for carrying, then sounds like the rMBP will give you more versatility / options with what you have. I use mine as a desktop. I carry it around maybe once a month or so.

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