Pimp the 13" MBP or go with 13" MBPR?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Roosashi, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Roosashi macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2014
    Argh, I am on the fence, should I go to town on the old MBP and do this:

    2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM — 2x4GB
    512GB Solid State Drive
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)


    Go Retina and do this:

    2.8GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    512GB PCIe-based Flash Storage

    This is for graphic design and photography, (15" is not an option) old school looks like it has more punch. Please help me make the call!

  2. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Go Retina. The Retina MBP is actually way faster, plus you get the nicer screen.
  3. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I am not sure what the point of the old mbp would be.
  4. Roosashi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2014
    An expensive paperweight - just like my 15" 2011 MBP after it decided that switching between graphics cards was all to hard.
  5. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I think as a paperweight it is way to expensive and akward. Get a small bag and fill it with sand. That holds paper down very well. Be carefull to close the bag properly to avoid a sandy mess. If your paper increases you can easily upgrade to a bigger bag and reuse the sand.
    If you want an expensive paper weight i would go with chunks of gold. They are more expensive.
  6. AJB1971 macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2011
    If you look at the Geekbench results the MBP scores 6740, as it uses the older Ivybridge processor, whereas the Retina i7 uses the Haswell processor and scores 6896 -

    You might also want to consider whether it’s worth upgrading the Retina to the 2.8GHz i7, as the standard 2.6GHz i5 model scores 6627.
  7. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2011

    If you're using it for graphics designing, you'll definitely want the better screen. The 13" cMBP screen is quite 2005 in my opinion. The 13" rMBP has an amazing screen. Also, if you want to truly future proof your investment, consider going for the 2.6GHz i7 processor and 16GB RAM. It'll be worth it.

    Best of luck!
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    The Radeongate fiasco happened on your 2011 15" didn't it?

    It happened to mine too.
  9. Gman021 macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    If you absolutely without a doubt need a new computer, get a rMBP.

    But try to still use your current computer until the 2015 macbook pros come out. It will be worth the wait. But the current rMBP are amazing.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If you upgrade your old computer how long do you envision keeping it? A year, maybe two. How much money will you be investing, 400 to 500?

    If this will keep your laptop going for at least a few more years it might make sense but I think the retina display is a huge upgrade in of itself imo.

    If I were in your shoes and I had the money to upgrade or buy new? I'd go with the new one as I'd be worried that I'd still buy a new rMBP in a year after upgrading the older machine.
  11. Roosashi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2014
    Thanks for the input! Looks like the Mbpr i7 8gb is on the cards - hope it doesn't run as hot as my last MBP 2011 15 - this time I'm getting the extended warranty :cool:
  12. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    The rMBP will have way more punch.

    New one has haswell, old one has Ivy Bridge - the 2.8 haswell is slightly faster than the 2.9 Ivy Bridge, and the GPU is way faster.

    Retina model has PCI-e storage, and that will be nearly twice as fast as SATA-II SSD used on the Ivy Bridge model (though the difference in day-to-day-use won't be as apparent unless you copy lots of large files).

    That retina screen. With the old model you're confined by the limited screen real estate, while the retina model can run in scaled resolutions just fine.
  13. joeytp macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2014
    Quebec, Canada
    Go with the rMBP... :O Apple should stop producing non retina ( http://www.macrumors.com/2014/03/05/apple-to-stop-13-inch-non-retina-macbook-pro/ ) it value will decrease much faster...
    The rMBP is also faster, thinner, and what about the resolution :eek:
  14. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    I am not a graphic designer nor photographer, so I am genuinely curious:

    What sort of workflow requires maxing out the processor speed, but neither 16GB of RAM nor the extra-fast 1TB SSD?
  15. joeytp macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2014
    Quebec, Canada
    I would go in the same direction adding ram or ssd would be my upgrade... On the rMBP the ram quand not be upgrade after the purshace i would go for 16Gb...

    I work with CATIA/Solidwork (3D CAD) and my 2.3Ghz is way enough...

    But it's my opinion other migth not approved ?
  16. Roosashi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2014
    It comes down to budget, I wasn't expecting my MBP 2011 to fry its logic board so soon. And with no warranty my choices are limited. At the end of the day I think the i7 upgrade is the best choice on the high end 13". I'd go a 15 but the cash flow doesn't reach past $2700 - (including warranty) that and the laptop has a secondary use for travel and a non-designer. Best of both worlds I guess.
  17. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    The difference between the 2.6GHz i5 and 2.8GHz is insignificant, so IMO, the upgrade isn't worth it.

    Both have 4 threads, but I think the i7 has a slightly larger cache.
  18. Count Blah, Mar 15, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014

    Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    For the 13" I agree. You are limited to iGPU. Had it been the 15" cMBP, there might be an argument. Specifically because of the use for graphic design.

    The reason to go with a cMBP is for user expandability. Both options have 8gigs of ram and an sad. So the difference is nil, but the rMBP has a better iGPU. Other than $$$, rMBP is the winner for the stated use.
  19. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    Remember that the old 13"Macbook will use Intel HD 4000, where as the Retina uses Intel Iris 5100. Plus, buying a retina will have much better resale value seeing as 1. it's newer 2. it's screen 3. PCIe Flash and 4. because it's not on it's way out like the old non retina is.


    At that kind of money, how is the 15" entry not an option? Your non retina config costs more than the entry 15" retina Macbook Pro. And if you wanted 512Gb of PCIe based Flash in the 15", keep an eye on the refurb models to get it cheeper.

    And if it is for portability, the non retina 13" is very thick compared to the both the 13" and 15" retina's.
  20. Roosashi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2014
    I found this pretty interesting: i5 vs i7

    So, as a general rule, if you are a programmer, video editor, or work in 3D rendering, or deal in huge finance documents then you should veer towards the Intel i7 CPU. If you are a photographer, image editor, gamer or musician, then the i5 is a more financially prudent choice. It’s worth noting that the i5 often provides plenty of power for the average Mac user. Spend the money on extra storage or RAM.

    I'm rethinking my setup. As for the 15" low end, I think I can do better with a 13" and more RAM.


    If you had $2700 for a MacBook Pro and are a graphic designer interested in video editing and photography what would you buy? Note you need to cover the warranty too...
  21. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Agreed. If you multitask like crazy and need lots of storage the cmbp with 16gb ram and 2x1tb ssd is nice.
    In any other case the rmbp is the way to go.
  22. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    For the vast majority of people, the 13.3″ rMBP with 2.4 / 8 / 256 is by far the best bang for the buck at $1,499 retail, $1,399 edu, and $1,269 refurb.

    If you want a 512 GB SSD in the 13.3″ size, the best options are 2.6 / 8 / 512 for normal use or 2.6 / 16 / 512 for heavy professional use. Those go for $1,799 and $1,999 new, respectively, or $1,529 and $1,699 refurb (though none are currently available refurbished).

    If you like the 15.4″ size, for the vast majority of people the base 2.0 / 8 / 256 is phenomenal. The next logical step up is the 2.3 / 16 / 512 model. Those sell for $1,999 and $2,599 new, or $1,699 and $2,199 refurb.

    For processor-intensive tasks, the 15.4″ models—which are all quad-core—will blow the 13.3″ ones out of the water because the 13.3 inchers are all dual-core. There’s the obvious screen size difference, plus the 15.4 inchers all have Iris Pro graphics, and the high-end 15.4″ model has a separate nVidia 750m graphics card as well. If the 15.4″ size works for you, the refurb prices make the decision a no-brainer.

    If you must have a 13.3″ machine, either wait for refurbs or just spring for a 2.6 / 16 / 512 model at full price. The upgrade to RAM is more important than a tiny CPU bump, but if you’re okay with 8 GB RAM then you don’t need either upgrade.
  23. Roosashi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2014
    Thanks Qaanol, best answer yet.

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