rMBP Dilema: full specd' 13'' or 15''

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by asdrombo64, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. asdrombo64 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2015
    #1
    Hello everybody!

    I am a graduate student that does a lot of reading, writing and video-watching in his laptop (6-8 hours a day, my Ph.D. deals mostly with text and film). I currently have a 14 inch Sony VAIO -almost five years old- and I was thinking about getting a RetinaMacBookPro. In addition to these tasks, I would like to be able to do some light gaming. Mostly FIFA 15 and Pro Evolution Soccer 15 On Line, but also Diablo 3, Sim City, CS:Go and Civilization V. (Sports, RPGs and City Builders are my preferences in that order) I am not a huge fan of graphics neither someone you would call a hardcore gamer, I don't need to see every bit of detail in my screen, but I would like a nice playable experience without lagging issues.

    I am between two set ups, both with apple care protection plan:

    13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
    2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
    16GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
    1TB PCIe-based Flash Storage
    Intel Iris Graphics 6100
    Force Touch trackpad
    Backlit Keyboard (English) & User's Guide

    and

    15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
    2.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    1TB PCIe-based Flash Storage
    Intel Iris Pro Graphics + AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB GDDR5 memory

    Portability-wise, I have measured my current laptop and compared it with the 15 inch rMBP, and the rMBP is only one centimeter bigger in length and width -and a lot less bulky and heavy, so even though the 13 inch is more portable, it's not like I would be getting something much bigger. But I still cannot decide between the two, mainly because I don't know if the dedicated GPU is needed for the things I wish to do or if I am overkilling. Also, for the money I would be putting on these machines, I am expecting a lifespan of 6-7 years. Too much?

    Last but not least, would improving the CPU in the 15'' bring significant power enhancement? I have read that it does not in the 13'' model.

    What do you guys think?

    Thank you so much!
     
  2. pjfan macrumors regular

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    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus OH
    #2
    If the portability of your current laptop is acceptable, then go for the 15". This machine is significantly better and will be operating in six-seven years.

    Others can weigh in on specifics around the games, but since you're playing a "2015 Sports games", I suspect the dedicated GPU is a solid investment.

    Sorry I can't advise on the CPU upgrade - check out geek bench or other threads to find some specific advice.
     
  3. asdrombo64 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 25, 2015
    #3
    Thanks a lot Pjfan! Yep, size is not an issue. I have been carrying this Vaio thing for five years, and with the 15'' I would be getting something slightly bigger but less heavy.
     
  4. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

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    Location:
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #4
    I would have said go with the 13 but you are thinking about maxing it out and that makes it a horrible value. The maxed out 13 is the biggest ripoff in computer history unless money is not an issue for you.

    You say that size is not a factor so the 15" is the right choice. :D
     
  5. asdrombo64 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 25, 2015
    #5
    That is also the thing, you know? I get the feeling that I am spending a lot already as it is with the 13 inch... so why not stretch it and get the 15 inch, being that it is portable for me.

    I have looked around a lot, including gaming laptops with dedicated GPUs, but I keep getting this bulky things or unreliable computers that will not hold up their warranty and so on and so on. Either that or very basic laptops with the same specs than the rMBP but with poorer displays. MACs were not my first choice, but I wound up here.

    I have just measured them both with a measure tape. The 15 inch is exactly 1.39cm wider and 0.91cm deeper than my current laptop.
     
  6. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

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    Mukilteo, WA USA
  7. asdrombo64 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 25, 2015
    #7
    My current laptop? Yeah, its almost half a kilo heavier, and one centimeter taller too.

    It's amazing in five years how they have managed to make this things lighter and slimmer.
     
  8. asdrombo64 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 25, 2015
    #8
    Just to be clear, this is the model: Sony Vaio VPCEG13EL.
     
  9. pjfan macrumors regular

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    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus OH
    #9
    If you're buying at an Apple Store, you have 14 days to change your mind. When you're looking to max out the 13", portability is the only factor to cause you to consider that - in my opinion.

    The MBP are solid machines which has caused me to dislike every laptop built from other manufactures in my experiences. I think you'll fall in love with the 15" and feel that it's more portable than what you have!
     
  10. Fthree macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 14, 2014
    #10
    if you are already stating that then you should go ahead and grab a 15. I have both a 13" and a Maxed 15" i loved the probability of the 13 but after using the 15 for a few weeks I've grown accustomed to it.

    Note- I went to the apple store and asked if they had a model with the TB HD and they did BUT it was fully maxed out 2.8, 16, 1tb DGPU. I did get a student discount but if you aren't wanting all that then you will need to order online.
     
  11. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

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    #11
    No, I was talking about the 15 vs 13. The 15 weighs 4.5 lbs and the 13 weighs 3 lbs.
     
  12. asdrombo64 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 25, 2015
    #12
    z31, yes, that is true, it is heavier.

    Good advice Fthree, thanks.

    pjfan, I know, it's this thing that, for starters, nowadays a lot of the buying is done via internet-mail, which i don't like. I want to be able to "feel" the laptop before buying it. The other thing is that I have read once again reviews of laptops whose hinges/keyboards/touchpads failed... and, you know, I am a guy who doesn't want to spend money carelessly.
     
  13. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #13
    If you are concentrating on gaming get the pro with the dGPU.

    But to be honest you'll get better gaming out of a 14 inch razer blade or similar for the same size and weight etc...
     
  14. throAU, Jul 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015

    throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #14
    I considered the above when i was shopping for my 13" machine. I wanted 16 GB RAM. I figured, hey - i want 1TB SSD and not have to worry, ever. I didn't want another 15" machine (i find the 13" size far nicer to carry - and I've had a heap of 11-15" machines for both home and work).

    And then I ended up with a $3700 AU build cost for a 13" box. And it was just way too much. Had the cash, but really didn't want to blow that much on a computer. So i went with an off-the-shelf 8 GB 13" with 512 GB SSD. Which is enough for the time being at $1200 less. That I can spend on beer. Or track days on my bike. Or my mortgage. Or just put it in the bank for the 2017 model.

    Unless you NEED all that today, consider going for something less, pocket the difference, and upgrade sooner. Attempting to future proof by paying top dollar for spec way in excess of what you need today is a bit of a mugs game - those components will be WAY cheaper in 18-24 months time.

    A base spec machine in either Pro will run everything you list, but the discrete GPU will be smoother in games.

    For you, get a reasonably specced 15" machine, be happy.


    edit:
    i wouldn't call a maxed 13" the biggest ripoff in history - if you want a smaller-than-15 inch machine with those specs you pay for it sure... but there's nothing else on the market with that SSD performance - and that 1TB of PCIe SSD is the big big cost. If you don't care about 13 vs 15 though, the 15 is way better bang for the buck.


    I would not spec intending the machine to last 5-7 yrs (and for all of the machines we're talking about, the only things that matter for longevity are storage and RAM - CPU and GPU over the lifespan you're talking is entirely irrelevant - the difference between high end cpu and low end is just not much - you won't gain any additional usefulness by going higher on CPU - sure faster will be faster, but in terms of the machine still being usable - its not going to make a difference vs. low end).

    Why? Because warranty only goes for 3. If you spec for 5-7 and it dies after 4, you wasted your money - the machine is dead. The battery life will be well and truly shot by then too.

    Spec to last 3 years (drop a grade down on RAM and SSD to save a HEAP), plan to turn the machine over for a new one in 3-4 (or even 2, so you can sell it for more money with applecare still covered). if it is still working after 3 years, great - maybe push it another year, or sell it off and get more money for it second-hand whilst it is still useful, and buy a new machine with warranty.

    Also - 5-7 years is a long time in computing. You'll be looking at several new thunderbolt standards, several display standards, new USB standards, etc. You'll be using a real old machine with very slow ports that can't drive 8k displays, etc. by that point.
     
  15. asdrombo64 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 25, 2015
    #15
    Samuelsan, I thought of the RazerBlade and I like very much their design and specs, but it lost the race mainly for three reasons:

    1) There are no retail shops, I don't know where in Boston I could "feel" it and all the warranty is done via mail, a thing I am still not accostumed to -nor that I like. Also, the extension of the warranty only covers another extra year. With AppleCarePlan, I get 3 years.

    2) There are no spanish keyboards in the RazerBlade line and I need a Spanish keyboard. I do a lot -A LOT- of writing and it is very tiresome if I don't have the ñ key.

    3) While it has a better graphics card it doesn't have the 1TB SSD -nor HDD for that matter. It only goes up to 512. If they're releasing a model with higher storage, maybe that could be another option.

    throAU, how did you wind up with a $3700 machine? The rMBP 13'' I am thinking on is around 2500, and the rMBP 15'' is $2900, both including the AppleCarePlan.

    About the waiting game, it's a thing. I need the machine for my work, so I'm thinking about buying it either this month or the next. I thought about waiting for christmas sales or something like that -black friday?... but I don't know if that could be a factor regarding price -I am new to the american laptop market so I am getting all the info that I can.

    About upgrading sooner -4 years instead of six-, I'll think about it, you've put some on some good thoughts there ;)
     
  16. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

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    Mukilteo, WA USA
    #16
    Australian dollar is not as strong as the US dollar. ;)
     
  17. asdrombo64 thread starter macrumors newbie

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