Pro 13" or 15" (non-retina)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jatorade, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. jatorade macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    Man, I'm in a tug-of-war between 13" and 15" (undecided which low or high end model I should get). Extensively I'll be using it for writing and research (Office apps, Scrivener, internet, etc) and view videos. Also I'll be doing a bit of design, video and photography stuff with PS, Illustrator and other Adobe apps, and I don't game much.

    I know 15" is overkill based on my needs, but I can afford a high-end one and figure it could handle whatever developers come up to throw at it for the next five years, especially Mountain Lion and future upgrades, and it also has some value if I decide to sell it in 2-3 years for a new laptop. Still a part of me says forget it and get a 13" since it could handle my needs and save some money anyway--which in this direction I figure that I'll be buying a new laptop in 2-3 years.

    So, do you think I'll be crazy for getting a high-end 15" (or low-end 15"? and like I said that I can afford either one) or should I get a 13" instead (low or high end model?)?
  2. Slivortal macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2012
    Take the money you were going to spend on a high-end 15" and get a base Retina. The specs are pretty similar apart from the Retina's SSD, which will make it FAR faster (and has a Retina screen to boot). It will probably keep its value better as well.
  3. \-V-/ Suspended


    May 3, 2012
    Get the base model 15" if you can afford it. It has a dedicated graphics card and will be more "future-proof" than the 13", which only has the onboard Intel HD 4000. You can upgrade the RAM or hard drive later if need be, but you can't upgrade the graphics card.

    If you were going to get the high end 15", you might as well get the base model rMBP. The SSD is astronomically faster than the HDD in the non-rMBP
  4. FastEddiebags macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2012
    Get a low end 15 and upgrade ram and ssd yourself.
  5. zil macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2012
    it's not all about the hardware specs

    I would think about this dilemma in terms of form factor and screen size rather then how powerful these computers are.

    The 13" obviously has a smaller form-factor meaning its screen size is smaller. Not only is it smaller in terms of absolute dimension but also its resolution is significantly lower. Especially it's an issue with the vertical resolution. Subtract the pixels taken by the browser address bar on top and the dock on the bottom and you will find yourself scrolling a lot.
    The positive is that the 13" has a bigger pixel size which some people find easier on the eyes (but this is very personal and not everyone agrees).

    Another issue is that although the keyboard itself is the same in both models, the 13" has much less space around the keys to rest your hands on. People with bigger hands can find this uncomfortable.

    Both are nice machines however and once you made the choice don't look back :)
  6. currahee2100 macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2009
    When doing research I've found that having multiple monitors is useful, secondary to having a high resolution. The 13" Pro offers better portability, but the 15" offers more power.

    If you have a need to make charts, having a bigger screen may make your life a little easier. If you will dual screen, then it is less of an issue. If you have the money I would just get the 15" Pro.
  7. ATLCarGuy macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2012
    Atlanta, Georgia
    I was in the same predicament, and decided to go with the high end 15" cMBP instead of the low end rMBP or the high end 13" cMBP.

    I figured I'd rather have a 750GB HDD, removable/replaceable RAM, and a built in CD/DVD drive, none of which are available on the rMBP. Having a dedicated graphics card was also important to me, and the only one available on the 13" cMBP is the Intel Integrated 4000.

    My previous MB was 13", so moving up to a 15" is definitely going to take some getting used to, but I'd much rather be able to run simultaneous applications and see many things at once than be confined to a 13" screen.

    Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase and would do it again in a heartbeat! :)
  8. jatorade thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    re: rMBP, it's fine machine, no question. But it lacks upgradeable ability and I need a CD/DVD drive (yeah, I know it's backward, but still need it for various reasons and don't feel like carrying an external one routinely). Also I think I'll rather wait to buy a retina laptop in 3-5 years once Apple had kinks worked out.

    Thanks for advice, I'm a go for a high-end 15" cMBP.
  9. sojha macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2011
    Why not a 13 inch retina? The rumors are out there for one being released in September.

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