Need some help with a decision regarding rMBP...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by drummahr, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. drummahr macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2011
    Hey all, I think I am posting this in the right spot.. I have been reading forums non-stop for the past few days regarding differences in Iris Pro, 650m, 750m, and then Haswell, IB, yadda yadda yadda..

    I'm a design student that frequents Photoshop (1GB+ files with 20-50+ layers), Illustrator, InDesign (2-3 page boards at ~36" x ~36"). AutoCad maybe 2 times a month for a blueprint design or a rough rendering of a project site. I occasionally use FCP X, but that does not matter to me at this point, as for the use at only once every two or three months it doesn't really matter if I have to wait 10 more minutes for an export. For InDesign, I always have had the display setting set to High-Quality so I can get a decent idea of what I'm printing. I also use a lot of Lightroom and Aperture to edit my photography for print.

    I just sold my late-2012 27" iMac w/ 3.4 i7, 24GB RAM, 128GB + 500GB SSDs, and the 680MX; so I have a pretty high standard of what my retina needs to be. I understand that desktops are not equal to laptops, but I need something that won't struggle in my uses.

    I have been leaning toward purchasing a used/refurb early-2013 model, as there have been a few popping up in my area for a good price. BUT, with all the reviews of how great (or is it actually?) the late-2013 with Iris Pro is, I am thinking maybe I could instead pick up a refurb of one of those. I can typically buy a early-2013 with 2.7/16/512 for around $1500-1600, and I have seen one or two late-2013 2.3/16/512 for $2000 (2200 in apple refurb store).

    There is just so much information that seems to contradict itself from some threads on here, that I'm not really certain as to what I should be buying anymore.

    So essentially what I absolutely need is the 512GB SSD, and 16GB of RAM. Ideally, zero lag in Photoshop, and minimal in InDes with high-qual display settings (if that's possible). Processor is essentially useless to me, as the benchmarks are so close, and I don't use FCP or AutoCAD too much to take those into consideration. No plans of selling whatever I choose for 2-3 years.

    My overall budget with tax is $2000, could potentially up to $2200, but was hoping to put some more money into my 'new lens fund' for my 7D.

    So, what would you buy in my shoes? A refurbished late-2013 with the Iris Pro (and no 750m), or an early-2013 with the 650m?

  2. Commy1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2013
    Well it seems pretty clear you're looking for the raw power, I'm not sure that anything available in the MacBook pros today could match that iMac you had.
    If it were me, I would look at the rMBP 15" with 750, 16GB ram and do some more research before choosing a CPU. Skimp on the SSD size because it'll be full in minutes with what you're doing, get an portable 2TB external harddrive or something and work off of that.
    Not sure what the total would be for the laptop. And I understand the lens thing. I'm in the same boat, looking around at lenses makes me depressed XP...
  3. drummahr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2011

    Thanks Commy1, didn't expect a reply so soon. What would you base the 750m recommendation off of? The fact that it has 2GB vs the 1GB of the Iris & 650m?

    I don't know if I could live with a 256GB SSD.. I'm super anal about organizing my computer, and don't want to lug around a portable drive since those tend to fail on me a lot, especially when I need them.

    The iMac was too much computer for what I used it for. No complaints other than having to sell it because I realized that once again I need the mobility more than the raw power.

    I've been saving my pennies for the 400m f/5.6 :D

    I noticed you're also a student. Also design? What do you have for a computer?
  4. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Look up to see if those programs use opencl for gpu rendering. If so, the iris pro is faster in the 15". If it renders in CUDA, you need NVidia. If it doesn't have gpu rendering, then it doesn't matter.

    You also want 16gb ram and a quad core i7 processor. Probably the most important attribute to consider. Finally, just get 256gb of ssd and a 1.5 tb USB 3 external hd for work. Use the ssd for cache and short term storage and the hd for long term storage.
  5. drummahr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2011
    Thanks, will have to look into the rendering. I think only PS and Final Cut use OpenCL at the moment, but I'll have to double check.

    Anyone else have any input? I think I'm leaning toward the late-2013, since Apple has had the 2.3/16/256 config pop up a few times in the last few weeks for under $2k. The 512 ssd would be nice but can't afford all of the features right now. Can upgrade the drive in the future..
  6. Commy1 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2013
    If I was in the situation where I had a notebook with the 650, I wouldn't upgrade because the differences between the two are comparable, but not stellar. Given that you're in the market for a new machine, I don't think anyone would tell you to go with the 650 over the 750. It has faster clock speeds, faster memory bandwidth, more memory, virtually everything in a GPU one looks for.

    It might also be worth noting that Iris Pro functions at the similar levels as the 650m, which will come with the Late 2013 with or without the 750 in it.

    The only reason I suggested the 256GB storage is assuming you go with the Late 2013 rMBP option, PCIe storage is stupidly fast, and when it comes to Late 2013 the storage is just about the only thing that can be upgraded. Third party PCIe SSD's will be on the market soon I'm sure, it will be possible to upgrade it later on for cheaper.

    I was in the same situation, I had an iMac (significantly less powerful than yours though), I sold it for the advantage of portability and power. I don't regret it at at all, the Late 2013 13" rMBP is truly a beast. I went with the 16GB ram and 256 SSD option and carry around a 2TB WD Ultra for aperture and everything else.

    And lastly, I'm an art student, not design though. Currently wrapping up a general diploma course before jumping into 3D arts, blacksmithing, jewelry, glassblowing etc. I got into photography basically on a hobbyist level, mostly so I could photograph my artwork properly for my portfolio and a few of my friends are more into it and I help them out when they need multiple cameras going on the same subject or just need help.
    Sounds like a big red ring beast. For sports I imagine? or wild life?
  7. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    On a side note, both the Iris-only and Iris+750M models are priced identically if the processor, RAM and SSD are matched on both models.

    I'd suggest the OP to get an Iris+750M model to have the best of both worlds. He can force the rMBP into just Iris-only or 750M-only with gfxcardstatus, depending on what he's working on.
  8. drummahr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2011
    I think I may actually opt for one of the 2012 15" non-retina MBP, as for about half of my budget I can pick up a pretty powerful machine. Looking at three right now, 2.3 i7 w/ 650m. Already have 16GB ram for one of these from my last MBP. When summer comes around I imagine a lot more deals on late-2013 will be available, so there will be the opportunity to upgrade then for a better price. I loved my old version MBP due to being able to open it up and doing the optical drive conversion and swapping out the hdd for a ssd. Samsung 840 EVO 500gb are down to $250, so that seems like a no-brainer to me. Resolution isn't really a big deal to me, as I can use my TV if needed, or pick up a used 27" IPS for pretty cheap.

    I'm more of a wildlife shooter, which is what I am planning on picking up the 400mm for. Also just do it for more fun than anything, haven't really entered my work into anything but that's something I plan on doing this summer. May actually pick up a minor in it to have a bit more fun job opportunities after school.

    Anyone else have last minute advice? ...Probably going to make a purchase by the end of the week, as I have a pretty big project coming up and am tired of going to the school's design lab to work on stuff.


    Thanks yjchua95.
    I just don't think I will be going that route, since I've never really been an early adopter, and there really aren't any used deals on the rMBP w/ 750m coming up. Think I'll be buying one of the older MBPs for the time being, and when the late-2013s start coming down in price I'll pick one up. If my budget weren't limiting I would buy a late-2013 in a heartbeat.

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