MB Pro Retina, Oct 2013 vs Feb 2013

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Eric-PTEK, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. Eric-PTEK macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    My wife and I travel for photography. It is not a business but a hobby of ours. We do a lot of high speed photography and I'm dying using my current laptop when we travel.

    We both have thin laptops, I have a Lenovo Yoga 2 and she has a Carbon X1 Touch with the hires screen. Both work well from a visual standpoint for reviewing what we've done but the battery life in Lightroom sucks and while they are fast for day to day things the low power consumption i5 is driving us nuts in Lightroom.

    A MB Air would present the same problem, too slow of CPU, not enough battery. I need a desktop replacement. So the only thing that really fits is a MB Pro. Better construction, highest CPU available with a decent screen, etc. I'd have to goto a workstation class PC laptop and I do not think the screens are as of high quality.

    We both get about 8-9 hours out of our laptops doing basic work, start Lightroom and we're lucky to see 1.5 hours.

    So I want to pick up a refurb Mac Book Retina 15, its ONLY use will be for Lightroom when we travel.

    The Feb unit has a higher base clock speed but is older architecture, the newer is slightly lower base but newer architecture.

    Plus the $500 price difference between the two. I'm not too worried about storage, we always backup to external drives because of the amount of pics we take.

    We're at the 12 Hours of Sebring this week and so far between the two of us racked up 8,000 photo's we have to sort through.

    For those familiar with the current models will one fit the bill versus the other, or just save the $500 and get the Feb model?

  2. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2014
    For one, the newer Haswell model is more efficient which means longer battery life.

    However, I don't think you are going to get 8-9 hours with the 15" either way. You might be able to squeeze that out with a 13".
  3. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    FWIW, the 13" Air offers the best battery life of all the Apple portables.
  4. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    If you want both battery life and graphics power, definitely get the October 2013 model. The February model has the old HD 4000 graphics, and has to switch to the high-energy-use nVidia 650m for any substantial work, whereas the October model has Iris Pro graphics.

    You can get the October model for $1,699 on Apple’s refurb store.
  5. Eric-PTEK, Mar 15, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014

    Eric-PTEK thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    Until you start to do any processor intensive work. The Air works well because most people surf the internet, email, some LIGHT Word/Excel/Office type apps. They have made it very efficient for video playback like Youtube and the like.

    However when you start to run the CPU at 100 percent, which Lightroom likes to do, your looking at less than 90 minutes most likely. Not to mention the performance in Lightroom is horrible on an Air if your dealing with a decent amount of data and large RAW files.

    I had a MB Air, once I started up Fusion and started to do some work battery life died. Same thing with Lightroom.

    I do no expect to get that much out of a 15" but at least 3 hours under heavier workload where I'm not always watching the meter.

    The October unit I was looking at was $2,499 since it had the 2.7ghz CPU.
  6. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    This sentence is false.

    If you’re looking for a high-end 15.4″ retina MacBook Pro with powerful graphics processing, get this one for $2,199.
  7. kathyricks macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    They're also available new in sealed box delivered on ebay for $2250-$2350
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313&_nkw=ME294LL/A&_sacat=0&_from=R40 And in most cases you pay no sales tax like you would from the Apple refurb site.

    It's part number: ME294LL/A - it's the fastest notebook Apple makes for graphics intensive tasks.
  8. tmoerel macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2008
    I am using a late 2013 Haswell 15" rMBP with Nvidia graphics. Normally I would get 8+ hours out of my battery under a normal workload.

    But....I also use Lightroom extensively and when using lightroom I get about 3 hours out of it. Whatever way you turn it lightroom is power hungry!
  9. Eric-PTEK thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    We ended up with a Mac Book Pro 13 Retina. The higher end model, i7 2.8ghz, 512GB SSD, 8GB Ram.

    Looked at the 15 and the size was just not going to work for us. I wanted the quad core but we could not fit it into our camera bag without being too tight.

    I bought the 13 with the idea if it was too slow we'd take it back. Running Lightroom and bringing in about 7,000 photo's over AC wireless I was down to about 63 percent from a 100 percent charge.

    I went through and reviewed about 800 pics and down to 43 percent in the course of an hour which is pretty decent.

    So even without the quad core its fast enough for what we want it for which is quick review of shots we've taken. It's fast enough to flip through and at least determine accept/reject without having to wait for the file to finish loading.

    The PPI is close enough and I'm happy with the photo quality. Wasn't happy about spending 2K on a small laptop but it is what it is.

    What is strange is the way Lightroom works on it. It does previews in 3 stages instead of 2 on the PC. On the PC I get a moderately clear shot then I get the final clear shot along with a change in color.

    On the Mac I get a moderately clear shot, then clear, then the colors change.

    So even though its slow to reach the final image I get to the spot where I need to make a decision to toss it or not.

    Plus running Lightroom is a good hand warmer :)
  10. SkimMilk168 macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2014
    Hi! Appreciate the details you wrote here. I'm in the market for a rMBP too and am still undecided what specs to go for. Your info here really helps a lot! Thank you!
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Perhaps due to the lack of quad core, it splits up the work more serially

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