No reason to buy High End 15"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iMarvin, May 2, 2017.

  1. iMarvin macrumors 6502

    iMarvin

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Location:
    On the internet!
    #1
    Hello,

    Is it just me or is there absolutely no reason to buy the high end 15" version?

    I mean, if i spec the low end with a 512GB ssd and the Radeon 460 i land on the same price as the high end one?

    The only thing i loose is 0.1Ghz of CPU power, but i instead get double the VRAM which is a massive difference.

    The reason i'm wondering is i'm about to order this config but this just seems odd in some way.

    Regards, Marvin.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Yeah that would seem to be the case, but then I never noticed, probably because I never configured the base model, rather I only need the stock model.
     
  3. iMarvin thread starter macrumors 6502

    iMarvin

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Location:
    On the internet!
    #3
    Sure, some people might go that route, just get the base and be over with it because it does what they need.

    But atleast I'm not crazy, since you found it peculiar too.

    I'd take the two extra GB of vram over the 0.1 GHZ any day. I'm placing my order tomorrow!
     
  4. petsk macrumors 6502

    petsk

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Location:
    Northern Europe
  5. havenyoung macrumors regular

    havenyoung

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    #5
    The stock high end model has better availability and sometimes deeper discount across retailers.
     
  6. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    I think OP is referring to the 15" models.. 2.6 vs 2.7 vs 2.9. It always depends on what you need. Low is 2.6, medium is 2.7 with the upgraded L3 cache and then the 2.9 gives the maximum performance offered. If you don't know the reason for needing better performance, chances are you don't need it.
     
  7. sublunar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #7
    Good spot with boosting the low end Mac to 512Gb SSD and Radeon 460 whereas the stock higher SKU already has 512Gb SSD but only a Radeon 455 in exchange for a slightly faster 2.7Ghz i7 over the lower model's 2.6Ghz. What hasn't been noted is the extra 2Mb of cache that the 2.7Ghz model has. Whether or not that makes as much of a difference as the Radeon 460 GPU over the 455 is debatable.

    As mentioned elsewhere though, the stock higher SKU could be heavily discounted out of the box at a third party retailer (Amazon UK already offer it for significant discount - £2404.92 at the moment, list price is a staggering £2699 - that's an 11% discount) whereas to get one from Apple you're paying list price or going via the refurb store for £2329 (reduced from a configured price of £2709) - a 13% discount from new. I know Apple will have properly tested their refurbished models but an off the shelf brand new machine from Amazon has to be interesting for people who don't want a refurbished model.

    The discount pretty much covers the price of Applecare in the UK for those models and from what I hear it's the standard risk assessment for Rev A models - a higher than normal chance of a lemon.

    The general issue with these machines is that they are very much a Rev. A model - everyone will know about the variable battery life - using the old style non-terraced battery, GPU issues (especially with the 460), keyboard complaints etc. Some of these are fixed in software, some could be lemon models, but how many issues are like the controversial noisy keyboard which will afflict most users until a Rev B. model comes along?

    There's plentiful supply of the 15" in multiple specs in the UK refurb store at the moment and I hadn't thought to think about the different combinations.

    One other point to consider for down the road. If in 2-3 years time the Mac is to be replaced by Apple for whatever reason under Applecare the cleverly specified low SKU Mac will be a special order whereas the off the shelf higher SKU may have a much better value equivalent immediately available on the shelf. In that instance, you're at the mercy of Apple Store manager as to what they decide to do.

    UK users will already know that prices are highly overinflated thanks to the exchange rate. This has improved in recent weeks and may yet be better still come October - a time when Apple may choose to drop prices for the 2017 Macbook Pros which have been a victim of the poor exchange rate since last year.
     
  8. jinnyman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, IL
    #8
    Whatever available in the base model is plenty enough for me. Only things you should consider are SSD storage space.

    Of course, shec differences are not insignificant if you really want the best spec possible. But in that case, your need for such expensive model should justify your purchase itself and you shouldn't be asking this question anyway.
     
  9. darksithpro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    #9

    Marvin, IMO the CPU speed with modern 4 core, 8 thread Core I7s is the least of your concerns. The benefit is so minuscule it's not important at all. The biggest benefits will be GPU performance, maximizing system memory and hard drive space. SSD is the way to go. Remember, if you buy an Apple laptop it's a one shot deal, no room for future upgrades. How will the highest spec Core I7 benefit you if you don't have enough system memory, or if your GPU is too slow to handle the graphics processing, or you run out of hard drive space too soon? IMO the CPU is the MOST overrated spec people look at, while the GPU, RAM and hard drive are the MOST important. A core I5 will always be better in general than a Core I7 if it has a faster GPU, more memory and a faster and larger hard drive.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    Correct, but if you look at the title, the OP is talking only about the 15" MBP
     
  11. blackcypher macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2017
    #11
    It's a common question I think many customers face when purchasing any computer, not limited to MBP's.

    It's always a combination of whether you just want to have the superior model, whether you have the budget for it and whether or not the extra features benefit you or not.

    For me I purchased the flagship 15" online, and I won't lie about how I wanted some of the better features but I do a lot of non-linear analysis and transcoding which can take a long time and every few minutes I can spare means I can start up another project sooner, leading to more productivity.

    The difference between my 2015 15" flagship MBP is that I can finish on average 6-7 projects more per day on the new model than the previous. As far as everything else, for me it's just fluff to help me go to bed better, lol.
     
  12. Mr. Dee macrumors 65816

    Mr. Dee

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Location:
    Jamaica
    #12
    The biggest reason to get the 15 inch is the screen itself, but the entry level cost and specs make it a deterrent. Apple once sold a 1,700 15 inch model, I believe it was on the pre-retina generation. It only had integrated graphics, but it was the right price and balance of features for users who didn't need all the bells and whistles but a laptop with a large screen.

    I was contemplating the Haswell 15 inch when I made my purchase, but I said to myself, this processor will be 2 generations behind by the time Skylake comes out. Apart from that, if you need to throw a lot of intense work at your system and you need some mobility and a larger screen, its the best one to choose. I have been surprised the 13 inches flexibility and how much fun it is to use. Its like, easy to carry around. When I put in my backpack, I hardly feel its presence.
     
  13. zarathu, May 3, 2017
    Last edited: May 3, 2017

    zarathu macrumors regular

    zarathu

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    #13
    Unless you are doing heavy graphics, a late 2013 15" MBP at 2.6 ghz limited to CPU side is 96% as fast as the current model. You can buy one with 16 gb ram and 512GB SSD for about $1700with a full year warranty from a famous reseller in Washington State. The graphics card of the current models is 2x faster according to Geek Bench, than my old integral Irispro 5200. But unless you are actually needing that kind of graphic power, its not a lot of use. People who differ will be telling me about stuff that shows the inadequacy of the Iris Pro 5200---which is a given.

    The 15 has the 15 inch screen which is essential for my work. I've done the 12 inch screen and its just too small for the screen graphics work I do to see. Having a 8 thread i7 2.6(3.8 boost) is just gravy.

    The MPB is simply not made for heavy gamers or for heavy raw graphics video users who need speed of action. But then doing something as simple as making a 55 minute movie with iMovie takes 6 minutes compared to 55 minutes on my 2011 i5 iMac.

    Apple will never make a gaming machine or a desktop in a lap top. They are into sexy and thin. We all know that---at least those of us who have been with apple for a long time(30 years for me).

    I was using a dual core x200 Thinkpad running Linux Ubuntu until January. I realized that while it did the work for me in speed, it was just not much fun. And so my new to me very very late 2013 15 MBP is 7 times faster, has more desk space, allows me to do my work with less steps, and bottom line, is way more fun to work on.

    I laugh at the carrying around thing. I'm 68 years old. I carry three or four books, headphones, power brick, extra storage HHD's, sometimes a dvd burner in my back pack. The difference between a 3lb mac and a 4 lb mac is not even noticed.
     
  14. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #14
    Well one reason is the screen but the "biggest" reason to get the 15" is to get a quad core cpu. The difference in MacOS performance with a quad core and dual core is night and day. Again, if all you're doing is email - the difference is no longer night and day. I would rather have a 13" quad core if they made one.

    These performance comparison are not really accurate, especially to those in the market. I've had the 2013 machine you speak of, and it's not 96% of the performance of the 2016. Maybe it is if all you're doing is email or typing a document but that's a blanket statement. The 2016 flies compared to the 2013 model. Connected to an external monitor with a video playing in the corner of the screen, 3 browsers open, emails, a bunch of different apps - the iris struggles with hiccups every now and then. Maybe the CPU was capable but when you have much faster SSD's and much improved graphics engines in the 2016, the 2013 is not even close to 96% of the current model. I would put it at 75% at best when it's probably even lower.

    Guys don't forget - the 2016 is a beautiful machine. You're not paying for the specs obviously, it's thin - it's fast, it looks great and it's a joy to use. Whether or not that's worth the enormous price tag is up to you. There will always be more value in buying a refurbished machine. It's like buying a new car - not as good of value as buying used.
     
  15. zarathu, May 3, 2017
    Last edited: May 3, 2017

    zarathu macrumors regular

    zarathu

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    #15
    Re: "Connected to an external monitor with a video playing in the corner of the screen, 3 browsers open, emails, a bunch of different apps - the iris struggles with hiccups every now and then."

    This is what I said. But I said that the CPU is 96% of the performance of the current machine(or should have been specific about saying---I fixed it).

    Of course the Iris struggles if you do that. But if you do not need to use anything other than the screen on the laptop, then you will not notice a real difference.

    Many people who buy the current machine(not power graphic users like you) never stress the Iris pro like that. I connect mine to an external HD TV to watch movies and have no difficulties because it doesn't drive the TV, it just provides an input.

    Power graphic users may not be happy with a late 2013 MBP, but then they are the same ones complaining that they need 32gb ram. I've never used more than 12gb with every application I have open. And the only application that I have which uses all 8 threads is Handbrake.

    But its people like me that are not here complaining that the MBP doesn't have 32 gb of ram, the most current Kaby Lake, and a graphic card that is too big for the form fit of the design patterns that Apple is using.

    Most of the everyday users of the MBP don't even know this website and forum exists. This is a skewed audience.
     
  16. Mr. Dee macrumors 65816

    Mr. Dee

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Location:
    Jamaica
    #16
    Its night and day with specific programs, but for the vast majority of general purpose applications, which probably 95%, you don't need a discrete GPU. My brother teaches AutoCAD 2017 using a $300 Toshiba and he seems to get the job done. Lets not forget, the dGPUs in the 15 inch are not considered that powerful either.

    Apps like Photoshop not necessarily going to see a that much of an advantage. Sure, if you want to drive two 5k displays, then yes, its a strong recommendation.
     
  17. JMacHack macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2017
    #17
    Battery in the 15" model is bigger, and those specs are energy hogs.
     
  18. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a

    jackoatmon

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    #18
    i got the 2.6 and maxed everything else out. 2mb more of l3 cache is almost as irrelevant as a 0.3ghz increase in clock.

    the law of diminishing returns hit processors like 5 years ago. as long as it's got 4 cores and hyperthreading you're good to go to the market, darlin'
     

Share This Page