Resolved MBP 13" i7 512 vs 15" i7 256

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by atblay, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. atblay macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2014
    Hi. Just wondering if I could get some buying advice. I'm trying to decide between the models in the title. I can't figure out if I'd be satisfied by the 256GB SSD or not. I don't run a lot of high-powered apps and what not. I mainly just do simple multi-tasking of media, word processing, and web browsing. The bigger screen isn't a big deal. I'm mainly just interested in speed. I want to open programs as quickly as possible. That would seem an argument for the 512, but I'm wondering if the 256 with i7 would be enough. Thanks for any input you can offer.
  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    For media, word processing, and web browsing you will not see a performance difference between the two computers.

    If you want a more portable computer, go for the 13" MacBook Pro.
  3. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    I have a 15" but if i had to choose between those 2 now would get the 512gb instead of the 256gb.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd recommend trying both out, I found the 13" model too small for my needs, I really prefer the larger screen. Other then that, I'd say look at how much space you're using now on a computer and project out how that will grow. If its well within the 256GB SSD then go with that model, otherwise select the 512GB SSD.
  5. atblay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2014
    Thanks for the advice, folks!

    I've been using a 13" MB Air for the past few years, so I don't think I'd mind not having the 15" screen size. And I'm only using ~112GB of drive space for storage, so it seems like the 256GB would be fine. I was just concerned because my MB Air, with a 256GB SSD, is sooooo sloooooooow, especially at waking. But it's got a much slower chip in it, so maybe that's why...
  6. nickdylan macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2012
    Sounds like the 256GB i5 would probably be plenty for your needs. 512GB isn't faster and won't change the speed you open programs, it just means that you'll have more space. There's no point at all in spending extra on the i7 - it's only a bit more powerful than the i5, and there's no difference in normal use. I'd suggest (if possible) you go to an Apple Store and see for yourself - 8GB/256GB 13" rMBP has way more power than you need for basic media, word processing, web browsing, light gaming, spreadsheets, and other ordinary use.
  7. atblay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2014
    Thanks. That's very helpful. I had considered just getting a newer MB Air and maxing out the RAM. But I'm really interested in the retina screen and I don't know if I can wait for an Air Retina, if that even happens.

    I didn't think the size of the SSD would make a difference in speed either, but then Apple includes this information: "Because flash storage is up to nine times faster than a conventional hard drive, everything you do is more responsive — browsing a large photo library, launching applications, opening files and waking MacBook Pro from sleep, for instance" (my emphasis). So I guess that's just marketing. :cool:
  8. gametime10 macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2006
    The jump from an MBA to 15" rMBP in terms of portability is pretty significant. Given your usage, go for the 13". Another option to consider would be to get 16gb of RAM instead of upgrading the SSD. You can upgrade the SSD yourself in the future, but not the memory.
  9. Orr macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2013
    Speed difference between 256 and 512 on the current PCI SSDs is negligible. There is much more of a difference between the base 128 and 256. And the 1TB is the fastest by a fair bit.

    The i7 upgrade is unnecessary in the 13" since it's still dual-core. 13" has way more than enough power for your stated uses. But if you want to spend more $, the base 15" provides a lot more under the hood (not to mention the larger and more exciting screen) than the upgraded high end 13" and is a much better buy imo.
  10. nickdylan macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2012
    Ahh, no, it's not just marketing - it's just a bit ambiguous. What they mean is that the new SSDs are much faster than the old ones (and even faster than HDDs). The amount of space doesn't really change how fast they are, it just changes how much you can store. Think of it like this -

    With an old 500GB 5400 RPM hard drive (standard on MacBook Pros before the retina line), it might take you 7 seconds on average to start a program, and you could store 500GB worth of programs.

    On the 128GB first generation retina SSDs, it might take you 4 seconds on average to start a program, and you could store 128GB worth of programs.

    On one of the new 256GB retina SSDs, it might take you 2 seconds on average to start a program, and you could store 256GB worth of programs.

    Basically, no matter what current-generation retina MacBook Pro you get, it will have very fast storage, and will start programs and open files very quickly. All the number determines is how many files and programs you'll be able to store on your computer.

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