We see no end to the threads that are asking which laptop model to purchase and which options (dedicated GPU, amount of memory, type and amount of internal storage) to purchase as part of a new laptop or as an expansion for an existing laptop. There are two major limiting factor for many purchasers, cost and form factor. Many can only spend a max of $x.xx no matter what their technical requirements are for the laptop. And some folks can not, or do no not want to, carry around a large and heavy device. Granted large and heavy are subjective. After carrying a 17" laptop with two HDs, a solid state 15" rMBP seem small and light to me. Both the size and cost range vary with the model range from 11" Macbook Air to 15" Retina Macbook Pro. As we can see the cost will range from $899 for the basic 11" Macbook Air to over $3000 for a Retina Macbook Pro with fastest CPU, GPU, max memory, and max internal storage. What contributes to the price/cost? Several things you need to consider: Screen size: 11", 13", 15". Yes size matters. Screen type: Retina or non-Retina. Retina will cost more in a case where the same size screen is available in both types. CPU cores: The basic is a 2 core processor with a quad core being more expensive. Selecting this option is about know what apps you need to run and how much data you need to crunch. CPU core speed: The faster the CPU the faster the performance of the OS and apps. But depending on the apps you are running, you may not experience a real benefit. Again, you need to know your use case. Dedicated GPU: The lower costing laptop use the integrated Intel graphics processor. The higher costing rMBP model will have a dedicated GPU chip to do a faster job of graphics/video handling. So the question is will you do run apps like extensive photo editing or perhaps video editing, or heavy duty gaming that could benefit from a dedicated GPU. Memory: The basic amount ranges from 4GB to 16GB. And on newer Macbooks memory is soldered in and can not be upgraded by the user. So this, like the CPU and GPU topics need to be dimensioned for your use case. Personally I would tell everyone to order a minimum of 8GB in any Macbook. It adds a small percentage to the overall cost. Storage: The new MacBooks are all solid state with SSDs for storage instead of spinning platters. The larger the SSD, the greater the cost. But at least you can now get replacement SATA-based SSDs for the 2012 MacBooks (from Transcend) and PCI-e based SSDs from OWC (and maybe others). So we do have options on increasing the internal storage to 960GB-1TB range if needed later. I am changing out the 768GB SSD in my 2012 rMBP for a 960GB SSD. So all the things that drive the cost, the only item that you can change in the field is the storage. On your Macbook order, you need to get the screen size, CPU, GPU, and memory the way you will need it for the years you plan to keep the machine. In real world economics one of the basic laws is: Cost rises to meet income. In the same way in computers, the work load from the OS and apps over time rises to meet the computers's resources (screen, CPU, GPU, memory, storage). Understand your use case (for computer resources) and add 25%. Happy computing!!!!