Performance versus Price of the 15" MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JonDziok, Jan 27, 2014.


What is is most important to you in your Macbook Pro?

  1. Processor Speed and Performance

    12 vote(s)
  2. Screen Real Estate

    2 vote(s)
  3. Price Savings

    0 vote(s)
  4. All of the Above

    3 vote(s)
  1. JonDziok macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2013
    Washington DC
    I'm in the market for a new MacBook Pro, but I wasn't sure if I was getting the best bang for my buck (back in the pre-Haswell days when each MBP iteration was a poor performance boost from the last, I couldn't bring myself to drop another 2 grand on a laptop that was only 10% faster than my current model, a 2007 MBP).

    As you can see from the table, I compared all of the average benchmarks from different models again the 15" 2.3GHz MBP from late 2013. Then, I compared the average changes in performance, as well as input some preliminary pricing data for the models I could find. What it look like, is by paying an extra 8% to upgrade to the 2.6GHz chip, I'll be gaining an extra 8-9% performance in 64-bit OS. If I were to downgrade to the 2.0 GHz model, I would save 21-23% on cost with only a 8% drop in performance for single-core activities. The real issue for me with that is the lack of a discrete video card for any graphic-intense processing in VMs and a loss of 19% performance in multi-core activities (which is my whole reason for going with Apple in the first place).

    While the prices can only get better and the performance gaps will not get any greater, it's tax season and I'm going to put my return to good use while I still have it. Apple has come a long way since the beginning and I plan on sticking with them until SkyNet...

    I didn't include any 13" MBP because... well... dual core... the end.

    The benchmarks came from the three most recent pages for each model of 15" MacBook Pro from the GeekBench 3 postings and were compared to 32-bit and 64-bit single core and multi core benchmarks.

    The prices reflect real-time prices on and in the refurbished section. [I applied the education/educator discount for an extra $200 off the MSRP]

    Prices do not include tax.

    What do you guys think?

    I have the Excel spreadsheet to add more numbers if anyone has a different/better benchmarking program.

    I put a lot of time and energy into this article, so if you wouldn't mind voting/repping/+1'ing me to gain a little standing in the forums, Id really appreciate it :rolleyes:

    Attached Files:

  2. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    It is interesting that the performance difference in the 2.0 and 2.3 2013 models is much larger in 64 bit mode.

    I don't get the full point of your comparison, in particular as far as prices are concerned. The difference between the $1999 model and the $2599 model (2013 models, full retail price) includes a storage and RAM upgrade. The price difference of the CPU upgrade alone is only $100, probably only $90 in the EDU store. So getting the faster CPU seems like a no brainer, if you want the performance.

    A few prices for you:
    The June 2012, 2.3 GHz model is $1599 refurb and has a 650M GPU
    The Feb 2013, 2.4 GHz model is $1659 refurb (also 650M)

    Since you care about the GPU, it seems to me that:

    1. The best budget solution is one of the two models above
    2. The late 2013 2.3 GHz for $2199 refurb is a great deal... you get 16 GB/512 GB so more future proof, PCIe storage speeds, better battery life, TB2

    The 2.6 GHz option doesn't seem very attractive to me. Sure you get 8% performance for 8% price, but the question is whether that performance increase will do anything good for you in practice.
  3. blooperz macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2013
    An older model/refurb is always going to be much better value for your money with the way apple prices its hardware... Haswell was only a minor bump. Performance didn't increase much other then the "token" number boost, and it's unlikely that most people can appreciate the difference between the 2 generations in most usage situations. Go with the feb 2013 model IMO.
  4. jondunford macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2013
    Going for a poo Moderator
    i just want to point out at every opportunity that in america you can get a maxed macbook pro for the same price as a base model in europe

    same for every other apple product
  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Everythign is cheaper in the USA. But the average salaries are also lower. Also, 'legally' purchasing in the USA is barely worth the cheaper price because you will need to pay the VAT for importing the computer. Of course, if you are an european and are able to 'sneak' the laptop in from a vacation/business trip, then its a great deal.
  6. blooperz macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2013
    The economy stinks in Europe too, worse than here AFAIK. You should just move here, and get yourself a macbook after you arrive to reward yourself :)
  7. JonDziok thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2013
    Washington DC
    Just wanted to add that the average specs were among ALL configurations of each model. Some had 8GB RAM others 16GB etc. The average is just that: an average. And again, the benchmarking program is only raw power, not in any specific program or application, so use this information as a general guide, not the bible.

    Thanks for the replies and votes!


    So there is currently a October 2013 2.6 in the refurb store for $2399 (by far the best deal of all of them) and no, the processor upgrade price from 2.3-2.6 is $200, $180 in edu store.
  8. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011

    I meant the 2.0 to 2.3 GHz upgrade.

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