Switching from 15" (2015) to 13" (2017). Upgrade or downgrade?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by myachillesheel, May 5, 2018.


No upgrade vs. Upgrade vs. Add iPad

  1. Switching to 13" means a downgrade

    12 vote(s)
  2. Get 13" for the versatility

    0 vote(s)
  3. Get an iPP for the travels

    3 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. myachillesheel macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2018
    I was actually happy with the big screen until I realized that I am not carrying this enough to school due to the weight. I am just not getting the versatility of a laptop should be. As the 13" (2017) is around 1.5 pounds lighter, I guess I could finally have no issue taking it to my classes.

    I will lose the big screen and must co-op with the 13" screen, also the downgrade from i7 to i5 (even though I am going from Haswell to Kaby Lake). Also that the retail for my current Mac was $2200 compared to $1800 for the 13" MBP 2017.

    Other option is to stick with my current MBP and buy an iPad Pro instead once the 2018 version is released.

  2. sputnikBA macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2018
    If you are dead set on 13”, at least wait for the new models as it’s highly likely that they will get quad core chips.

    Otherwise, ask yourself if you really want to invest in a dual core machine in 2018.
  3. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    With the weight of my books for college, I certainly wouldn’t have let 1.5 pounds deter me from carrying my computer.

    Instead, I often found ways to get PDF versions of my college books and eliminated those as much as I could. Which made room in my bag for my 15-inch HP laptop.

    My average college bag weighed 75 pounds 3 days a week, and 15 pounds 2 days a week.

    So a couple pounds would make no difference to me. And yes I went back to college as an old man. Lol. So if you’re reasonably young, I’d say don’t let such a small amount of weight deter you.

    If it were me, I’d choose a larger screen for college. I liked big print that I could read at a glance while keeping an eye on my instructor and without having to focus my attention on the computer.
  4. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    It really depends on what you are doing with the computer.

    The 2015 15" has a quad-core i7 processor and "high-end" Iris Pro integrated GPU. The 2013 13" has a dual-core i7 processor and "mid range" Iris+ integrated graphics... 4 years of CPU/GPU development probably bring the 13"'s graphics and individual CPU cores within spitting distance of the old "high-end" parts but won't come close to compensating for 2 extra cores in applications that can use them.

    (I'm assuming that you have the entry-level 2015 15" with integrated graphics - if it was one of the better models with discrete graphics and faster processor then its just going to thrash the 13" all round).

    That probably translates to: for word-processing, web browsing and light graphics etc. the only significant difference is likely to be the screen size. For things like video encoding/editing, music production, pro graphics, compiling large software projects and other applications that are optimised for multi-core, the 15" is likely to be significantly faster.

    You can look up the "geekbench" scores online if you like - be sure to contrast the "single core" and "multi core" results.

    You should probably think back to why you got the 15" rMBP in the first place, rather than a 13" rMBP or MacBook Air. If I wanted something to carry around all day and wasn't doing CPU-heavy work I'd probably have gone for the 13" rMBP or Air - you can always plug into a large screen when you're at the desk.

    However, you should also see the discussions elsewhere about the 2016/2017 MacBook Pro keyboard reliability issues (whether you like the "feel" is subjective).

    Also, we're getting to the time of year when - unless your current machine is dead or dying - its worth waiting to see what (if anything) gets announced at the WWDC conference in June "just in case".

    If you think an iPad would serve your day-to-day mobile needs, with the 15" when you needed the extra grunt, then that's worth considering.
  5. Schranke macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2010
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    For 1.5 pounds the money is better spend on a gym membership ;)
    But as flyinmac said, look into how many of your books you can get in pdf format and then get an iPad.

    I Have been studying at university for the past 5 years now and I haver never regretted using an 15". I have however done a lot to minimise weight with an iPad. This has allowed me to bring all of my books and tons of pdf's every day as well as having an extra screen for powerpoints and other stuff. It is also a way better experience to read on the a Mac will ever be.

    In any case, wait to see what happens at WWDC before making any decisions.
    as a little extra I googled the Geekbench scores
    15" 2015 https://browser.geekbench.com/macs/384
    13" 2017 https://browser.geekbench.com/macs/415

    the 15" have a better multicore score and the 13" have a better single core score.
    I did look for entry level machines, just took the first result on google
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I wouldn't trade a 2015 15" MBP for a 2017 13" MBP.

    I would:
    - wait for the 2018 models
    - sell the 15" and get a 2015 13" MBP.

    My opinion only.
  7. coolX macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2016
    My advice: sell the 2015, make due with school's computer lab, and wait for apple to release a computer with a decent keyboard.
  8. jksu macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2009
    those that say "muscle up" i would disagree. would agree with those who are asking about your computing needs.

    i had an 11" mba for years... loved it. mostly do ms office, web, light photos editing. the 11" mba barely there weight and size were awesome. replaced it with 2016 mbp 13" ntb because i needed a bigger ssd and wanted a nicer screen. close to 11" mba size (albeit slightly denser/heavier package).

    recently picked up a 2014 15" mbp as a desktop replacement/work computer. large screen is nice for aging eyes, but i tried using it as a daily/travel computer and it is heavy! cpu horsepower wise it's definitely superior to 2016 mbp but day to day use it's pretty even (even though i got 2.8i7/16/512 for the 15" and 2.0i5/8/512 for the 13") with the 15" needing to turn on it's fans more. battery life also fairly even both around 5-6 hours depending on usage.

    the new 2016+ mbp is much slimmer and lighter (but also much more expensive and have had keyboard and other issues). mine's doing ok by using a keyboard cover and i have AppleCare. but back to the question of size, you will really like the new 13" mbp form factor if going back and forth to class/work...but if you're keeping the 15", and don't need a lot of horsepower while out and about, definitely consider an iPad and keyboard. now that i have the 15" mbp, i'm debating selling the 13" mbp for an iPad, 12" MacBook, or whatever mba 13" that might come out

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