New Macbook cMBP with SSD and 16GB vs rMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by keithhubner, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. keithhubner macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2013

    I am looking to purchase a new Macbook, I am torn between a classic 13 inch MBP with an SSD and upgrading to 16GB RAM and a 15 inch Retina MBP with 16GB RAM.

    Obviously there is quite a price difference but here is my thinking:

    13inch cMBP is cheaper and can be upgraded to SSD and 16GB RAM at a low cost, it is also portable.

    15inch rMBP is expensive and can't be upgraded, still portable but has amazing screen.

    I am worried about reports of retina performance issues and screen issues and I am thinking that the classic might be the better option and cheaper!

    My main usees are:

    - Logic 9
    - Bit of photoshop
    - Dreamweaver
    - Web browsing
    - Watching HD video
    - Lots of music
    - GNS3 (for those who don't know it's a CPU and RAM intensive router virtualisation program)
    - Word, excel etc

    So this question is for 2 groups of people, those who have 13 inch cMBP with SSD and 16GB and those who use the 15 inch retina.

    Any thoughts or advise would be greatly appreciated.

  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Do you want get by with cheap (if any MBP can be considered cheap) or have the better tool in your tool box. With the portability of the rMBP 15, I rarely use the cMBP 13 any more. With the 2013 rMBP refresh, many resellers are offering steep discounts on their stock of 2012 models.

    I had parallels (windoze 8), safari, mail, messaging, and numbers open yesterday and used up all 16GB of ram.
  3. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    I'm a bit confused why not the 15 cMBP?

    The quad core would be better for Logic 9 than the 13. And you could upgrade the ram and disk drive. Also the extra screen realestate would make things visually a little easier. Also the 15" has a dedicated audio in while the 13 doesn't.

    But I went with the 15" cMBP so I may be a little biased. I tried the 13" though, and looked at the retinas but the base 15 (now upgraded to 16gigs of ram) with a 500 gig hard drive seemed like the best for audio production.

    I still think it is.
  4. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    I would go with the 15in cMBP and get SSD+16GB RAM.
    If space is an issue, optibay can be an option.
  5. keithhubner thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2013
    Thanks guys, I am only really considering the 13inch cMBP because the 15 inch is not portable enough. I want to be able to take it round the house and away with me now and again.

    Unfortunately for my wallet I am being pulled to the rMBP!


  6. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    I think that for those uses, a 15" computer of any sort would be very beneficial due to the larger real estate for Photoshop, and it needs a quad core for a very processor intensive program. The discrete GPU is also a big plus. So I would say, that if you are not considering a 15" cMBP, get the 15" rMBP. The screen and thinness and cooling is just extra goodness.
  7. keithhubner thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2013
    Yeah seems like the best option to be honest, just need to get applecare as the screen issues and soldered RAM etc scares me! Don't fancy nearly 2K down the toilet after a year!

    To be fair I would say I don't use PS that much, but that's mainly due to limitations of my current setup, ideally I would use it more.

  8. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    What year and brand computer do you have now? Coming from anything other than Mac and earlier than 2010, this rMBP will seem crazy powerful and fast due to the SSD, its quad core proceesor and discrete GPU with 1 GB of vRAM. And, of course, relatively simple to use, due to OSX (if you will not do Bootcamp most of the time).

    The rMBP 15" with a 2.7 GHz processor and 16 GB of RAM is 2800, but you can grab it at amazon for $2680. plus Applecare and NO tax.
  9. keithhubner thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2013
    I have a white macbook from 2009, also have another C2Duo Mac so it's a massive performance leap!

    I'm work in IT so pretty clued up about all the hardware benefits.

    Oh and I know someone at apple so discount is available :)

  10. xShane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2012
    United States
    Get a 15". You will get a dedicated graphics card, which sounds like something you'll need with all that photo/video editing.

    Get a 15" cMBP with 1GB VRAM, 16GB RAM, and a SSD.

    Or get a 15" rMBP with the same specs (and yes, the 16GB RAM) if you can afford that (but expect to pay significantly more).
  11. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    Not portable enough?

    Weird. I think it's perfect and I've owned the 13" MBP and 11" MBA.

    I usually record while in clamshell mode, then I can take it to the couch or bed and further work on things.

    Never once thought it wasn't portable enough, but to each their own.

    If you're throwing out the 15 cMBP then, your only real option is the 15 rMBP, as you really need the quad core if you're going to do audio recording.

    I believe there's a youtube video of someone with a 13" MBP showing the CPU becoming strained while playing back a track in logic.
  12. johnnyyt macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2013
    i was torn between the same decision but instead of the cMBP 13 i was debating between the cMBP 15 and rMBP 15.

    i ended up going with the rMBP because yes the cMBP is upgradeable but that's pretty much it. you can upgrade it all you want but in the end, you still wont have the retina display. youll be spending the same amount on the cMBP as the base rMBP but you still wont have the retina display

    many can argue if the retina display is worth but in my opinion, i own a few apple devices from ipods to ipads and iphones but none of them come even close to the retina display
  13. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Weight and portability are funny because things like form factor and balance are variables that tend to get overlooked. And when it comes to the rMBP15 and cMBP15 (I owned both) then I was surprised that the weight difference wasn't that noticeable in day to day use. Yes, the rMBP is thinner and looks prettier but in the end they both shared the same shape and when I switched from rMBP to cMBP I didn't miss a thing. (BTW. I also didnt miss Retina. It was so amazing at first but after a few weeks of drooling you start getting to work and it doesnt feel as important is it used to.)

    Personally, I think the rMBP is the future but its also ahead of its time in that it has everything necessary to be a powerhouse except storage capacity. That 256GB SSD was such an anchor to the system so I went to the cMBP with 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD (optical bay) and now I feel this is the true flagship MacBook for Apple.
  14. keithhubner thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2013
    Thanks everyone for their time in replying to me, some interesting views.
    The next curve ball is what is coming next. I know they say you can wait forever to buy but we seem very close to a revised macbook.
  15. keithhubner thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2013
    Thanks, what's the battery life like when you use hdd in the DVD bay? I've read that it is greatly reduced?
  16. F1 Fan macrumors regular

    F1 Fan

    Apr 18, 2012
    AFAIK the situation is still that Intel won't release Haswell until June (possibly later - I did hear whispers of delays?). Chances are that it'll then be another 2-3 months before new MBPs come out.

    Personally, I'd be surprised to see new MBPs before Oct-Nov. They've only just been updated.
  17. keithhubner thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2013
    Anyone got any feedback on battery life when you replace DVD with HDD or SSD?

  18. johnnnw macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2013
    It's going to be a little less technically, but it won't be that noticeable. The power usage is still pretty low.

    If you really want to go crazy, get two SSD's ;) Less power usage by two ssds over ssd + hdd.

    And you could RAID 0 for unreal speeds. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
  19. keithhubner thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2013
    You say that but it's definitely an option!
    Has anyone out there done it and can comment on experience?

    I still haven't made my mind up! But 13 inch is slowly not becoming an option now and bizarrely the 15 inch cMBP is!
  20. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    I've been very happy with my 13" (spec in sig), although I'm considering selling to fund a max spec Retina instead! I can't help myself!
    Must resist!
  21. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    Sorry, that boggles my mind, I've been using 15" MBPs since the Rev1 with...too many trips to count, carrying it for work and pleasure and have never felt that it wasn't portable enough, especially if I 'm just carrying it around the house. I'm also still not sure I understand why the 15" cMBP isn't an option while the rMBP is (or why the 13" MBP is out of the picture)
  22. keithhubner thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2013
    Interesting to hear your view.

    rMBP is only really an option due to it being lighter. I'm concerned that that the 13 inch won't be powerful enough for what I want.

  23. Rhinoevans macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2012
    Las Vegas, NV
    Dont waste your money on the Retina. Not worth it and provides no additional power, just a pretty screen.

    Get the cMBP 13 if you really need portability and do not need a dedicated Video chip. Which I think is overrated anyway.

    ELse, the 15 cMBP.

    Good luck.
  24. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    I have a rMBP 15, Spouse has a cMBP 13, Daughter has a MBA 13.

    The Air is most portable, but the screen is meh. The cMBP feels clunky in comparison to the rMBP, however. The rMBP has lost just enough weight that it just feels more portable than the cMBP to me. Maybe its the placebo effect of being surprised by how lightweight and thin it is.
  25. Ploki, Apr 3, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013

    Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    13" cMBP and 15" rMBP feel the same weight-wise and also in hand. 15" retina feels a bit like tad squished 13" cMBP.
    much more portable than the old one.

    My main use is Logic9, Max/MSP and a layman DW, AI and PS.

    opinion opinion.

    I disagree. Yes, it is worth it, and as of now it does offer some additional power both through higher specd GPU + update cpu chips.

    15" cMBP specd lower than 15" rMBP will cost almost the same at the current state of things.

    Have you actually tried configuring it the same?

    I'll do it for you:
    Base Price:
    cMBP 2.7/4GB/HDD: 2.249$ + 110$ RAM 16GB + 249$ for 256GB Samsung 840pro (comparable performance)
    == 2609$

    No HiRes display. 2709$ for HiRes display.

    rMBP 2.8/16/256GB SSD: 2.749$
    (note: rMBP has actually higher clocked CPU and GPU.)

    Bottom line? You pay 40$ for Retina vs HiRes display or 140$ for Retina display on actually better/faster/cooler/quieter laptop.

    Just food for thought.
    But cMBP has had crappy pricing since the launch of retina anyway, and the sheer fact that they did not update it only confirms its imminent demise.

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