Mulling between the 13" and 15" retina

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by geetee24, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. geetee24 macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2012
    Probably the 10000th time someone has asked this question but i realized everyone's needs (and wants) are unique, hence i decided to post. I'm just a general user (surfs, youtubes, check mails, skypes) who does photo editing on photoshop. May occasionally play some games (Football Manager).

    I would wanna get retina cos it is the latest gadget (and cos it's lighter), and I would be using this laptop for the next few years so I would like to future proof it. I like the specs that come with the 15" but size and weight-wise, the 13" caught my eye. I can't, however, convince myself that the money I pay for the 13" is worth it. Neither can I convince myself that the 15" is an okay size.

    Any help/advise would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012

    The closest to future proofing and getting max resale value later will be to do the fastest i7 quad core CPU with 16GB of memory. The tougher part is about SSD size. If you only want internal storage for OS, apps, and a little data (like email), then 256GB is likely enough. If you want larger internal data storage, go 512GB or 768GB. I went 768GB because it lets me take multiple week photo trips and have over 600GB to download my photos. When I get home the photos are post processed and moved onto external drives. So again, the SSD size needs to match how much data you need to carry internally.
  3. zakee00 macrumors regular


    Jul 7, 2004
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Honestly I feel like a top-spec MacBook Air would suit your needs better. 13" rMBP is bad bang for your buck, and 15" exceeds your needs unless you are just really itching for a play toy (which is as valid a reason as any to buy one I suppose)
  4. Mercenary macrumors 65816


    Sep 17, 2012
    Your better off with the air for your uses. 15" retina has the GeForce graphics card which is great for video editing and 3d games but won't get used for anything else (os x turns it off unless absolutely needed to save power).

    I have the 15 retina but just because we edit video so need the GeForce and i7
  5. *Batman* Suspended


    Oct 2, 2012
    Gotham City
    It's all personal preference of course. But I prefer a 15" laptop as I feel a 13" is too small and a 17" is too big (although Apple isn't making a 17" anymore). The 15" isn't too small and its not too big.

    The exception for me is in the ultra class like the Air, where you have the 11" and 13".
  6. sa7078 macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2008
    I've had the 15" rMBP since July and while I love the screen quality, it's just too big. I travel a lot and, while the weight and thickness are acceptable, it's the dimensions of it that are just too much. It's like a pizza box.

    I also use it in bed and the 15" is very hard to type on -- you have to reach over it to use the keyboard.

    Thus, I am selling the 15" and going for the 13". I need the portability, I don't do video editing but love the retina screen.

    If you get the 15" just remember it's pretty huge and you won't be able to use it on a coach seat tray or use it comfortably in bed.
  7. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    It's probably the 100,001th time, but really, forget that "future proof" idea.
    Given the fast-changing world of computers, making sure the computer you buy today will still be viable even in 3 or 4 years is risky, much less in the future. Would you buy a 5-year old computer expecting to use the latest OS or software on it? Hardly.
    As others have said, it seems you would be better off choosing a portable MacBook, either the Air or the rMBP 13" (bite the high-priced bullet there). I have a 15" and while you can take it with you, it makes for some serious luggage, while the Air is so much lighter :cool: and it is a very usable machine too, more than powerful enough for your needs as stated above. As for the higher-priced Retina, only you can decide, give the reins some slack or pull 'em in. Nobody here can take that responsibility. If you have the bucks for first-class, get on the train!:)
  8. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    You're right about future proofing, but the worst resale is always with the upgraded units. You NEVER get back what you put into the upgrades. For proof look at last year's 2011 MBA/MBP's. The loaded 'ultimate' models only get a $100-$200 pittance vs. the extra $700 the original buyer put in. Your 2.7 ghz top-of-the-line CPU will net you an extra $50 next year on re-sale vs. the $250-$300 you originally put in.
  9. Hakone macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2011
    Southern California
    Look at it as a price-performance(benchmark) ratio. In that regard, I believe the 15" wins.

    I'm pondering it myself, and if so, the 15 is my choice. With the government discount, it's $1999.
  10. Rhinoevans macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2012
    Las Vegas, NV
    Agreed, get the 15", unless you absolutely need the portability of a smaller laptop.
  11. Fultonpics macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2010
    i have both the 13 and 15" retina models. i love both. I use the 15" at work and mostly leave it there, but on occasion will take it out for field work or meetings. its not too bad weight wise and quite powerful. having the screen resolution is great when doing multiple documents at the same time. also great for photo work. company paid for it.

    I bought the 13" knowing it was overpriced, but I have to say it is amazing. the screen is sharp, and the size is perfect. I take it out quite a bit and don't notice it in my light backpack. I use it for on site photo work it works wonderfully--complex photoshop actions are very quick, but a tad slower than on the 15". At home, it is the perfect 'lap' top.
  12. geetee24 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2012
    Therein lies my second problem. If i were to get the 15", would 8GB of ram suffice? I'll probably get the 2.6 i7 too. I've read it in MacForums that 16gb is quite the overkill. :/ I move my post processed photos to an external drive too. I'm just wondering if 256GB is gonna be sufficient for a few day's worth of photos before I copy it into an external HDD. I'm hoping it is.

    would the HD4000 be able to run photoshop smoothly on the air? I'm assuming the air has a maxed out ram of 8GB.

    for something that's gonna cost me this much, i would probably want to stretch it as far as i can and make my purchase worth its dollar. changing a laptop every 2 years or so is not very cost effective. :(

    After milking the laptop for all that it's worth, I'd probably just sell it to the highest bidder (that's if anyone actually wants to buy it!), or pass it to my sister. :D

    That's exactly what i've been mulling over! just that it's a little biggggg. :(

    unfortunately, i don't have a generous employer. :(
    what do you mean by "complex photoshop actions" and how much of "a tad slower" than the 15" is it? just out of curiosity, is the weight difference between the 13" and 15" very significant over short and long periods of time in, say, a haversack?
  13. deuk1219 macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    I'm a Football Manager addict, and an former owner of a Macbook Air (2011), and a current Retina 15" w/16gb ram owner.

    I can tell you, you would want that discrete graphics instead of the Intel HD graphics!
  14. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Since my first Mac in 1984 (Motorola CPU with 128k memory) the trend is more power computers with more memory. I don't see that trend changing in the 3+ years I will own my rMBP. ;)

    For the OS and apps you run today, 8GB may be OK. But who can promise that will be true in 3+ years? To me maxing out the CPU and memory are not the really big extra is maxing out the SSD. But for our special needs, collecting photos in the field for weeks, it was want we needed.
  15. ob81 macrumors 65816


    Jun 11, 2007
    Virginia Beach
    I had this same issue. I went 13". I had the money to spend for the 15", but it is overkill. The base 13" is the only model that remotely makes sense though. If you do any upgrades, you might as well get the 15". I only edit photos, and don't play games on my laptops that much, so the 13" was fine. I love this thing.
  16. JCT macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2004
    Tucson, AZ
    My experience exactly - I just can't travel with a 15" and the compromises of my 2010 11" Air were starting to get to me. My new rMBP 13" is not a big difference in portability and the performance/display are great.
  17. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Well, I just returned a 13" retina in favor of a 13" cMBP i7. The screen is nicer on the retina, but it's simply grossly overpriced for it offers. 128 GB storage for $1699? That's what the Brits would call "taking the p$*!"

    If you have to have a retina, the 15" is the only one that makes any kind of sense.
  18. ///M5 macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2009
    Dude, what's with you and the 13" rMBP hate? You're now spamming everything with the overpriced BS. You returned yours? Good for you. Now let others enjoy theirs.

    OP, I bought the 13" rMBP (i7/512) and I'm extremely happy with it. Expensive? Yes. Overpriced? No. Portability always comes with a premium.

    15" rMBP is huge. Yeah yeah it's light and thin bla bla bla, but it's all about the footprint.

  19. cburton04 macrumors member

    May 23, 2009
    Debating the same issue now. With the extra hundred dollars off the 15 with the education discount it makes the decision a bit harder.
  20. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    All I will say is that I'm glad you have so little exposure to the world that you think returning a laptop equals "hate."

  21. Mac-Tech macrumors regular


    Jun 4, 2012
    Toronto, ON

    Go with a 15" RMBP! You won't look back once you purchase this beauty!!
  22. dragonev macrumors member

    May 28, 2011
    Some of the comments just killing me. rMBP 15" is a large size? Did anyone actually put it side by side with cMBP 13"? I did. And I have to say that the difference is negligible. I have a photo proof if someone need. However, it is much thinner and even slightly lighter. Of course, rMBP 13" is smaller and lighter, but the premium you pay for it is just too high. I was an adept of 13" form factor, but after getting this 15" I have to confess I am okay with 15". I have been waiting for rMBP 13" but when turned out in this outrageous price range, I decided that even though I do not need all of this processing power I have in 15", it gives a better feel of money spent.

    P.s. 15" creates a perfect balance across my gadgets, where each device is 5.7" bigger than the other.

    P.s.s. Thought of going for Air, but couldn't convince myself on ULV processor.
  23. geetee24 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2012
    is it that graphic heavy? i'm leaning on the 16gb ram already. :D

    true that. like i mentioned, i'm leaning on the 16gb!

    the base 13" doesn't cut it for me. i would've probably gotten the 2.9/8/256 13". but at that price, i could just top up another another 300SGD or so and gotten a 2.6/16/256 15". to each his own i guess. (to each his own problems too!)

  24. dragonev macrumors member

    May 28, 2011
    Of course it is larger, but much less than you would expect.

    Attached Files:

  25. geetee24 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2012
    maybe i just have small hands. :D

    finally pulled the trigger.
    now all i have to do is wait... and shop for the accessories while it ships.

    what should i look out for when i check the product upon receiving it?

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