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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 14, 2013

So I was looking at getting the new 13 inch macbook pro retina
w/ i5 2.4ghz, 8gigs ram, 256gb solid state

then I started looking at refurbished mbrp's and I saw a 15inch mbpr that is only about $100 more.

Refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Quad-core Intel i7 with Retina Display

Originally released February 2013
15.4-inch (diagonal) Retina display; 2880-by-1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch
8GB of 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
256GB Flash Storage
720p FaceTime HD Camera
NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memor

Just wondering what does everyone think would be the better bet long term? I mostly will be using this for work related stuff (programming, writing lots of documents, but also watching movies and I would like to play games as well)

I'm hearing the gt650M is doing better then the intel iris 5100 that comes w/ the new one. I would also like to run windows 8.1 in VM or possibly bootcamp.

Also how are refurbished models, are they still going to be as good as buying a new one? any help would be grateful.



macrumors 6502
May 15, 2011
I've had very good luck with refurbs - they've got a normal warranty, and you can put applecare on it if you like -- I recently bought a 2012 rMBP 15" (otherwise same specs as the one you mentioned) and added the applecare.

Supposedly the iris 5100 is better than the previous integrated graphics, but I still like having a discrete adapter (games), and thats one reason I went with the old model.

As far as 13" vs 15", I think bigger is better (probably buy a 17" rmbp if it existed :), but thats personal preferences. I like to have a *lot* of windows up at the same time, so more screen area the better (I actually run at full 2880x1800 non-retina). If you're more the type to fullscreen apps and such, the 13" might be just fine.

I suspect the newer 13" has better battery life, but not sure.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 14, 2013
how much of a difference is there % wise going from the 256gb ssd from the refurb model to the pcie ssd's in 13inch, and how much would that effect performance in the vms?

I'm thinking I will just need 2 vm's running (1 win 7 and 1 win 8) and since the 15inch mbpr are quad core I assume that will be better so I can dedicate 4 gb ram, 2 cores to a vm vs 1 core and 4gb ram on the mbpr 13?


macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
Elkton, Maryland
The new SSDs have breakthrough performance! Somewhere around 700 MB/s I am told. However that will not do you much good if you are running out of VRAM. In day to day usage, unless you work on really large files, the SSD will only be slightly faster. The new integrated graphics are great, but the early 2013 you referenced will really take the cake.

It is really up to you. If you do any advanced work in photo or video then you will appreciate the dedicated GPU in the early 2013 model. However, if you just run basic programs and VMs then go get the late 2013. It is not like the Iris graphics is sluggish by any means and in many cases the pure graphics power will be offset by the faster drive in rendering times.

:apple: Altemose :apple:
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