rMBP: 13" vs 15"?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Nrwrit3r, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Nrwrit3r macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2010
    Hello! So I spilled coffee on my laptop and need to purchase a new one. I had a late 2009 MBP and want to get a new one.

    I'm a senior in college, and will be working for a year and then applying to PhD programs. I want to be able to run SPSS, Mplus, and other statistical analysis software on my computer, which will be the most CPU-intensive processes I'll require. I also use an external monitor, if that matters. I'm looking to make my purchase go as far as possible and hopefully last a very long time (no coffee spills this time).

    As I consider the various hardware upgrades, the price jumps very quickly. Self-modification is not an option, as I'm also buying my university's 4 year Applecare warranty and don't want to void it. Part of me feels that it might be better to buy a computer that will last 2-3 years for half the price, and get a new one if the speeds are slow. Would I even notice a difference between quad core and dual core, or a slight increase in the GHZ (I don't really know how GHZ impacts computer speeds)? The other part of me thinks it might be best to buy the top of the line so that it can last as long as possible.

    I originally considered the MacBook Air, but the screen resolution is a huge factor in my desire for the rMBP.

    Looking at the rMBP, the 13" is a lot cheaper than the 15". It only has a dual-core processor, however. Is a quad-core going to increase the usability in 4-5 years from now? Does it matter?

    If not, then my next decision is on the GHZ and RAM options. I'm thinking 16GB of ram is probably a good investment, since I don't know what future programs may require of the computer. How does the GHZ come into play?

    I'm not sure if it's worth spending a lot more for the 15" rMBP with 16gb of ram and quad core, or whether I should do the 13" with either 8 or 16gb, as well as
    which GHZ option I should choose.

    I'd really appreciate any feedback/input/advice!

    Also, should I wait till Black Friday or could I buy one and then return it Friday to get the discount? [I really need a computer this week for work].
  2. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Unless you need the specs today, maxing out doesn't really work as there no such thing as "future proofing" a computer, especially a laptop.

    Does your 2009 compare to today's offerings? Does it matter what specs yours have now that it's 2013?

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