Should I get the 13" rMBP (2015) or the 15" rMBP (2015)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tamas.jaroli, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. tamas.jaroli macrumors newbie

    tamas.jaroli

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
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    Somewhere they can't find me
    #1
    Hi all!

    I am planning to buy my first Mac ever, and though I did tons of research, still struggling about the versions and specs.

    It will replace a '09 or '10 laptop, and will be my main and only computer, which I will use both for entertainment and work. Mostly I will do iOS app development, Python, C++, Ruby on Rails, Scala, Windows Universal Platform app development (Windows phone and store, ofc in Bootcamped Windows), F# and WCF server development. Also listening to music in Spotify, watching movies and series, browsing, and some documentation and presentation.

    After weeks of research, I found the 13in early 2015 Retina Macbook (2,7ghz, 8gb rams, 256gb flash drive) perfect for me, although hence I never had a Mac before, I started to worry about that will the i5 2,7ghz and the 8gb rams be enough for me.

    Also, my current laptop has a 15in crappy display (1366x768), and yesterday I went to a store to check the 13in version, and I found it a bit weirdly small. I am planning on buying an external display later too, so I think I can get used to the size difference easily.

    Even though, I am wondering what your opinions are. Will the 256gb, 8gb ram model be enough for me, or I should consider getting the same spec with 16gb rams, or should I get the 15in base model?

    My planned budget is about 1600$.

    [EDIT]
    I forgot that I always do multitasking but not that heavy. Mostly 1-2 instances of IDE, 1 text editor, 2-3 terminals/consoles, Spotify, File browser, browser with 10 tabs, and sometimes 1 Virtual Machine.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Zirel Suspended

    Zirel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2015
    #2
    15" and you can thank me latter ;)
     
  3. tamas.jaroli thread starter macrumors newbie

    tamas.jaroli

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    #3
    Why? :D
    By the way, the "Mostly I will do..." part is for the whole section, not only the iOS development part.
     
  4. alexmarchuk macrumors 6502a

    alexmarchuk

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    Jun 28, 2007
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #4
    Quad core i7. I bought the first rMBP that was released and with the i7 and it lasted me 3 years before I sprung for the new mid 2015 one for PCIe and other changes (AMD, 16GB instead of 8 now on and on). But the 15" even the base model will get your bang for your buck.
     
  5. jermy4 macrumors demi-god

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #5
    You need to decide which screen size you want because based on what you plan to do with it either one will probably meet your needs. That said the 15" model comes standard with 16GB ram and has a quad core processor vs the dual core one in the 13" model if that helps you make your decision.
     
  6. alexmarchuk macrumors 6502a

    alexmarchuk

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    #6
    The i7 in the 15" will basically handle anything you throw at it.
     
  7. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    Is portability and battery life important? If so, get the 13" model. the 2.7GHz/8GB/256GB model will suit your needs just fine as long as the HDD capacity is enough for you.

    Is screen size and processing power important to you? If so, get the 15" model.
     
  8. elite327 macrumors newbie

    elite327

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    #8
    I'm in a similar situation as far as making a decision between the 13" and 15". I tried out both and decided where I won't be taking it with me that often I'm going with the 15" as it's my desktop replacement and I want the larger screen.
     
  9. whodatrr, Oct 23, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015

    whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #9
    Typing this on a new i7/512/16 that's an absolute dream! I love this laptop, but bringing it back to Apple. reason I'm bringing it back is I decided to buy a new iMac. I had planned to migrate form my old iMac to a MacBook, but it did't work out for me. Pretty much the only two reasons I want the iMac are: 5k screen, and the ability to use three big high res displays. The rMBP 15 almost made it in that it can push two nice externals and its own, but I'm spoiled.

    Other reason is that the rMBP is a pretty big system, for my mobile needs. I do 70% of my work from the desktop, but this setup is just too big for the rest of it. It's a darn shame, and I'm still a bit torn. While this thing would be a bear to lug around in airports and such the screen would be soon nice to work from in hotel rooms. Dang.

    Anyhow, I decided to have a desktop and a more portable and cheaper laptop. I'm now looking for a 13 rMBP, to use as my laptop. It helps that the smaller MBP will cost a lot less than my maxed out 15.

    But if I could only choose one system, and couldn't have both a laptop and a desktop, it;d be the rMBP 15 all the way! This thing is sooo fast! The screen is beautiful, and productive. I really will hate to se this thing go, by my new iMac should be arriving tomorrow.

    Buy the 15" rMBP, and don't look back. If I could only have one, that's what I'd do. You'l be running VMs, compilers, and such - you'll like the quad core power. You may have a bit of trouble buying one for $1,600, but there are deals to be had on last year's models.
     
  10. jf1450 macrumors regular

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    Aug 25, 2012
    #10
    If your going to be in software development you're going to want screen real estate. Go for the 15 inch.

    Jeff
     
  11. c8rlo macrumors 6502

    c8rlo

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    FL
    #11
    15" rMBP, if you need more screen; you can always hook it up to an external monitor.
     
  12. whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

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    Jan 12, 2004
    #12
    Definitely rMBP15. And I may still be on the fence as far as deciding to keep this 15, or the new iMac. I just hooked my rMB up to two 2.5k external displays, a 1080p display, and have its own brilliant 15" display running. Doing a bunch of tasks and everything is humming along without a hiccup. This is a great machine!!!
     
  13. alexmarchuk macrumors 6502a

    alexmarchuk

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    #13
    Running on the internal display, GTA 5 runs "okay" with modest settings. However, on a 1080p LED television with the rMBP display turned off, it runs fantastic. Pushing that many pixels on the internal is too intensive for the dGPU.
     
  14. whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #14
    Yeah, after a while of intentionally stressing the system, things started to go just a bot South. Fan started spinning, throttling stared, and things slowed down. But I was pushing it hard. Still, I think he rMBP 15 would work for me. I just think the new 5k iMac will work a bit better. So, I'll take the new iMac, return the rMBP 15 (it was an open box purchase anyhow) and buy a low-end rMBP 13 and my laptop.

    At the end of the day, I still need a desktop and a laptop. Maybe in 2.5 yrs, when I do my next refresh, things will change?

     
  15. doitdada macrumors 6502a

    doitdada

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    #15
    Benchmark enthusiasts are the real haters.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #16
    I like the 15" MBP because it gives you a quad core processor, and the larger screen. Depending on your tasks the 15" MBP can also be configured with the dGPU.
     
  17. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #17
    The 13" is significantly more portable and cheaper.

    The 15" is more powerful, has a bigger screen, but less portable and more expensive.

    Pick according to you priorities.
     
  18. tamas.jaroli thread starter macrumors newbie

    tamas.jaroli

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    #18
    Wow, thanks for the many replies. Well, as somebody mentioned earlier, I have to decide size fits for me. I think the 13" model will be enough for me. I don't travel a lot, but sometimes I have to carry my machine with myself, and also like to use it from bed/couch, but I will use it with an external display, so the 13" is my choice. (Another point, and might sound silly, but I don't really like the design of the 15" one, the keyboard is too small and looks weird for me :) ).
    Also I choose the 13" over the 15", because I will not do any video and photo editing, so I do not need that plus power.

    I have a i5 S series, 8GB rams, 128gb ssd config at my workplace, running windows 8.1 with 2 monitors, both at 1680x1050 resolution, and I do those things I have mentioned in my first post (of course except the Apple related stuff and the movie watching :) ), and it's more than enough.
    BUT as I already mentioned, I am new to Macs, I don't know if the 8gb would be fine, or I will quickly outgrow it, so should I rather go for the 16gb (it is a custom build, and at my country, it isn't easy to get one, have to wait a lot, and costs 200$ more, which is a lot here.)

    Another thing is, I guess, I will quickly fall into love with macs, so I might get a more powerful iMac later, so if I think this way, the 8gbs should be enough for 2-3 years, and if I have a more powerful desktop machine then, it can be enough for longer.
     
  19. SDColorado macrumors 65816

    SDColorado

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    #20
    I purchased a 13" MPB for the portability, thinking I would replace my 15" with something smaller and lighter. The thing is, that never happened. While I liked the small size and light weight of the 13", the screen size was often an obstacle with the applications, I use with it. In the end I held on to both the 13" and 15", just recently replacing the 15" with one of the late 2016 models. The "13 is going to be sold, it was never used as much as the 15". But I did learn from 3 years of owning both sizes, scaling down to just one of the two, it's the 13" that is going.
     
  20. doitdada macrumors 6502a

    doitdada

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    Oct 14, 2013
    #21
    I agree. The 13" is great if you own a desktop or laptop that can be used as a workstation, but you will never really be satisifed using a 13" or smaller as your only computer.
     
  21. SDColorado macrumors 65816

    SDColorado

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    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #22
    I purchased the 13" with motorcycle travel in mind. When I was going to be away from home for a couple of weeks and needed something more than just the iPad. In that sense it worked well. It fit better in the panniers than the 15" and took up less room. But for home use, it was mostly relegated to taking to the local brewery when I wanted to sit outside and drink a pint or two while doing some early evening work on a summer night.

    For home use, I always went to the 15" for any extended use, which is why I never parted with the old one as planned. I will miss the 13" occasionally, but not enough to justify holding on to it and with the thinner and lighter design of the 2016 15", its a little of the best of both worlds.
     
  22. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #23
    Having owned both sizes, I will never own a 13" again.
     

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