rMBP 13" vs rMBP 15" for iOS App Development

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lostinmysenses, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. lostinmysenses macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2014

    I've recently decided I'll be buying a Retina MacBook Pro and will be mainly using it for coding/iPhone app development. I've never owned a Mac before and have previously only been an Alienware/Windows laptop owner, however, I have finally decided to make the switch over to Mac.

    So basically, I need a recommendation from you all as to what laptop to get. (I apologize in advance since I'm sure there are countless threads like this, but I'm just sincerely looking for an honest and personal recommendation.)

    The premise is that I'm getting a Mac to develop and code my own apps, Adobe CC usage, Avid Pro Tools music recording software, and honestly looking to do some gaming on Elder Scrolls Online when it releases.

    So my options are as follows:

    rMBP 13"
    2.8 GHz i7
    512 SSD

    (In regards to this setup, I would be open to the suggestion of 8GB and 256 SSD if the upgrades aren't deemed to be crucial.)

    rMBP 15"
    2.6 i7
    512 SSD

    (In this case, I'm open to the suggestion of the 2.3 i7 processor.)

    On a final note, I do intend to keep this setup for a good 4-5 years.

    Battery life is not a huge deal to me as long as I get a good 6 hours portability and I'm sure they both do so.

    Another thing, really the only game I have in mind to play is Elder Scrolls Online, and at most, for about 3 hours at a time. I don't need all settings maxed out, but I do want a medium/high performance with no lag or stutters.

    Ideally, I'd like to run a few things at a time without a hitch in switching apps. (i.e. Running Adobe CC, xCode, Spotify, a few windows in Safari, etc.)

    That's all I think I have for now, I apologize again for such a long post, but I sincerely appreciate your input.

    Thank you.
  2. Hexaea macrumors member


    Nov 29, 2008
    Any kind of real work I cannot imagine doing on a 13 inch screen, personally. 17 would be ideal but seeing as we can't get those anymore I'd say go with the 15.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Either will work, though the 15" would be better imo because of the screen real estate.
  4. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Either will be fine. I use my 13" rMBP for iOS development, and bump the screen res to either 1440 or 1680, which provide plenty of screen real-estate for Xcode.
  5. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2014
    What is "real work" in your eyes? Have you tried? It's actually 13.3". I think it's funny when people dismiss the 13.3" version. The screen is actually large enough to do almost anything. The operating system is optimized for multiple screens and desktops.

    Most people don't want to lug around a DESKTOP with them in a 15" or especially the 17".
  6. lostinmysenses thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2014
    Thank you for the quick responses.

    As for screen size, for me it is not an issue.
    (I previously came from an 11.5" screen and that was fine, if not perfect for me.)

    What I am worried about however, is about the multitasking capabilities and whether I can handle decent graphics capabilities on the 13" in terms of only having Iris. (Not Iris Pro) The reason for moving to the 15" is really just for the dedicated graphics in case I need it for Photoshop and such, or if it's really necessary for what I will be using the laptop for.
  7. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    For your use, I'd get the above with the 2.3 i7 processor. The 2.6 is fine if you have the extra cash lying around.

    For what you want to do, I think you will benefit from a quad core and of course the discrete GPU for gaming. Iris Pro is nice and fine, but for gaming I don't think it is a good option, and things won't get less demanding in the future.
  8. lostinmysenses thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2014
    Hmm. Thank you.

    What if I were to drop the gaming aspect?
    (I'm just really trying to see my options.)

    Would you still recommend the quad core and the dedicated graphics card?
    Or would you then choose the 13" over the 15" for my case?
  9. lostinmysenses thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2014
    Edit: I apologize, I realized I should probably be more specific in what I'm trying to assess.

    Basically, I'm wondering if the 13" will be able to run everything that I want to do seamlessly and not feel slow, or like I could use more computing power.

    I'm okay with the fact that I can't game on this system, but I'm more interested if it'll be enough to code/use photoshop/handle music recording software and multitask between programs.

    If that's the case, then I see the 15" as the solution to that, but if the 13" is more than capable, then I would rather go with that as my choice.

    I just don't want to get the 13" and realize that it's not enough for what the majority of my work will consist of, of course, if it can game then that's acceptable too. However, I don't want to get the 15" if it's solely on the idea to play a video game. Yet, if the graphics card will be crucial to the laptop for what my 'work' consists of, then I'm okay with the fact that I get to game on it. Does that make sense?

    Sorry again if I'm being a little confusing.
  10. iKrivetko macrumors 6502a

    May 28, 2010
    If you are interested in TESO, there's a thread about it in the gaming section, and one of the devs occasionally posts there. You can probably ask him about the Iris'/Iris Pro's performance.
  11. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    You got the 16 GB of ram right thats for sure. I think all macs should come with 8 these days but after going from 8 to 16 I see around 8 to 9 GB in use on average so the overhead is good. OS X is smart enough to take advantage of additional ram like pretty much all Unix OS'.
    For a dev, unless smaller size is imperative you want the 15".
  12. lostinmysenses thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2014
    Thank you for the responses.

    From the looks of it, it seems I will opt for the 15" due to the bigger display, quad cores, and the dedicated graphics card, however, any thoughts on the 2.3GHz vs the 2.6GHz?

    I know it was previously suggested that for my use I should go with 2.3, but is there a justifiable increase for the 2.6?

    It seems like I'm already maxing out everything as it is, any input?
  13. pl3xpython macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2014
    I just got the beta for TESO, and use a base configuration $1999 rMBP 15". The game runs at (xxxx)x900p medium graphics. It doesn't look very good.
  14. lostinmysenses thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2014
    Ah, thank you.
    This helps a whole lot.

    How do you feel about performance? (Regardless of medium quality visuals.)

    Maybe off-topic, but how do you feel about the game in general?
  15. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    If you needed something solely for app development, you could always go the route of mini + external screen. I would have a bitch of a time with an IDE on a 13" screen. If you want to fit an appropriate amount of stuff, it becomes annoying to scan for things like typos if they aren't correctly flagged or just organize various tabs.
  16. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2012
    I developed some apps with xcode on an 2010 15" MBP, so either would be fine for it.

    But since you want to do some gaming and are going to use Pro Tools, get the 15" rMBP.

Share This Page