Need help choosing rMBP config

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by High Rez, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. High Rez macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2014
    I am interested in buying a rMbp 15 inch. I am coming from the windows world and never owned a machine with OSX. I am a little nervous paying so much for a laptop. However, the laptop seems awesome and the screen is a huge plus as my regular screen is killing my eyes. I want to make sure I get the right configuration. Could you help me out? Here are my needs:

    - I am looking at a late 2013 or 2014 machine
    - I Definitely want 16 gb of ram
    - I will need to run windows 8 in bootcamp or vm. Mostly vm.
    - will use the machine mainly for programming, web surfing, typing documents, lot of reading
    - no gaming( well maybe star craft 2 )
    - i watch a lot of movies and online streaming videos. Can the intel gpu handle this with no problems?
    - I plan on driving 1 thunderbolt display, maybe 2. Would the discrete gpu help with this or is intel enough?
    - not sure if i need 256 or 512 ssd. Right now all my files, including windows, takes up 113gb. With the 512 being the larger drive, does it have better read and write speeds over 256?
    - I am not doing any video or photo editing. Just cropping of photos.
    - want to spend 2k ish. But want to make sure money is spent on components I will use.
    - thinking of doing config to max ram and cpu and skimping on gpu. Make sense with my requirements?
    - usually keep machines for a while

    Thinking of following 2 configs:
    1.) late 2013 refurb - $2k
    2.3 ghz cpu
    16 gb ram
    512 gb ssd
    750m gpu

    2.). 2014 new - $2.2 k
    2.8 ghz cpu
    16 gb ram
    256 ssd
    Intel iris pro

    Any other configs you recommend?
  2. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    I would go with #1. It will handle everything you throw at it and it's better value for money. Good luck :)
  3. mschmalenbach macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2008
    I have just bought the 15" rMBP with 512Gb SSD, 16Gb RAM, 2.5GHz i7 and discrete GPU.

    I'm not playing games but am on occassion doing video editing, rendering and also publishing eLearning multimedia modules.

    I run Windows 7 Pro 64 bit on Parallels 10 VM.

    This machine FLIES!!! I have lots of files and 512Gb is more than plenty, I suspect 256Gb will be fine for you.

    THe GPU ony really gets used when converting video etc.

    Parallels and Windows 7 is used for the eLearning work and needs performance and I certainly get that when I need it - I am VERY happy with it's performance.

    I maxed it out on the SSD size simply because these are not user upgradeable (not easily & cheaply)...

    I did look at a Lenovo equivalent (my work bought this, and Lenovo is the corporate machine - we have a contract with them or something...) and it would have cost more money in the end AND I'd still need my old Mac for debugging iOS apps on iPhone & iPad...

    I'm sure the 2014 model without GPU will be fine for you...

    And that screen is just heaven on the eyes!!!
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Option 1

    Go with option one why not, the 2013 machines are pretty much exactly the same but more hard drive space and a discreet CPU when neede is always a bonus.
  5. dollystereo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2004
    If you are thinking in keeping your machine for more than 3 years, choose the model without discrete GPU.
    GPU fails in the long term.
    The IRIS GPU is really powerful, and for starcraft 2 will be more than enough.
  6. High Rez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2014
    You make a very good point. I forgot but I bought my current laptop without a gpu for this very reason. I currently have a 5 year old thinkpad. The model i had before this one had a lot of complaints with the nvidia gpu failing. While mine did not fail I was worried it might down the road and so I went with the model I have now.

    Anyways, why do these discrete gpus tend to fail?

    I guess my main concern with the gpus isn't gaming but if I can drive 2 external thunderbolt displays? Does a discrete gpu help with driving external displays?

    I do tend to keep my machines for a while. I usually get rid of them when they get annoyingly slow.
  7. dollystereo, Oct 31, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014

    dollystereo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2004
    That can be done with a MBA.
    The IRIS Pro is a very capable GPU. It has 1TFLops of computing power, it's huge.
    If you are not gaming, the IRIS Pro is more than enough. Anyway, the GeForce 750m sucks at gaming. So I don't see a real improvement in getting that over the IRIS.
    There are very good deals for the 2013 IRIS pro model right now (BH, adorama, best buy) or just wait for black friday/cyber monday.
    I hope we will have a good gaming solution for eGPU in the near future, I follow techInferno forums pretty regularly, and we some nice solutions available if we want to game with our MBP.
    I think with skylake, the intel GPU is going to be really powerful, so we may not need discrete GPU anymore.
    Try to grab a 16GB ram model.
  8. High Rez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2014
    I think i will stay away from a discrete gpu. As long as i can drive a max of 2 thunderbolt displays well, I am completely satisfied. From your description, it sounds like I can.

    I think I am looking at the following config now: 2014 rMBP, 2.8 Ghz, 16 GB ram, ???Hd, Iris

    I am deciding which size ssd to get, 256 or 512. I guess I am the only one who can answer that. How do they compare with each other in terms of read/write speed? Larger ssds are usually faster than smaller, right?

    Adorama and bh are not on apples authorized retailer list. Little worried about that. Which authorized place can I buy the above config with the best price?
  9. dollystereo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2004
    No difference between 256 and 512 (or negligible). BH and Adorama are super serious vendors, with excellent customer service. I wouldn't miss the chance to get a deal with them. Anyway, you could wait for Black Friday (28 Nov).

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