Trying to decide on the right new laptop

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ZachsMacDaddy, May 27, 2015.

  1. ZachsMacDaddy macrumors 6502

    ZachsMacDaddy

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #1
    I’m trying to decide on a few ideas.

    I have been using a 2012 cMBP with 2.3Ghz i7 running 16GB and a 960GB SSD. However, I hardly ever find myself taking the laptop anywhere because it just seems a little big for me to haul around.

    I picked up a 2013 13” MBA with 8GB, 256GB, and an i5. i love the feel of the MBA, but when I run Handbrake to encode some video, the horsepower really shows the difference. What used to be relatively quick takes forever, and slows down the laptop overall, making it awkward to do much else. Even the browsers seem to stutter while Handbrake is running on the MBA.

    So, I’m weighing some options:

    1 - Get 2013 MBA with i7, 8GB & 512GB SSD to be my portable system, and a quad core i7 2012 Mini to run on my desk that can do the majority of the video work

    2 - Get a new (or refurbished) 13” rMBP with 8 or 16GB, and 512GB SSD, maybe 1TB

    3 - Get a refurbished 15” rMBP with 16GB and 512GB SSD

    I have a over 350GB iTunes collection of music and videos. My iMovie collection is huge too. So with the 256GB in the MBA I have now, I have to store those on an external drive. I’d have to store some on external still with a 512GB SSD too, but if I had the MBA & Mini setup, I could keep iMovie stuff on the Mini and do iTunes on either the laptop or mini.

    Reading about the staingate issues some folks are having, I worry about using one of the rMBP systems since I typically have my laptop in clamshell mode and connected to a TB dock. One of the suspicions I have read is the excess heat while in clamshell mode.

    I like the ultralight feel of the MBA, and the 13" rMBP isn't far off from that feel. I worry that the 15" rMBP will still feel big, but that quad core power sure seems like it would blow past the dual core i7.
     
  2. JMCM macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    #2
    I would go with number 2. Smaller screen and alot of space. Question though, refurbished from apple?
     
  3. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    I'd also go with option 2.

    Going from a quad core CPU to a dual core CPU will be noticeable in resource intensive tasks like handbrake.
     
  4. ZachsMacDaddy thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZachsMacDaddy

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #4
    Oh yeah. I only buy refurbished direct from Apple. The fun there is that I can't get an i7 with 16GB from the refurb store. The only 2 options with i7 that are ever available are 8GB/512GB. If I go new 2015 I can go i7 with 16GB and 512GB or 1TB, although the cost would be way above a refurbished 15" 2014 with 16GB and 512GB.

    ----------

    Would it be a huge performance drop to go from a 2012 2.3Ghz quad i7 to a 2015 3.1 dual i7?
     
  5. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #5
    I have a late-2013 13" rMBP and have had no issues with the staining, but I don't use clamshell mode.
     
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #6
    Don't bother with the dual core i7, it's only 5% better at best compared to the 2.7GHz i5, because it's just a dual core part like the i5s.

    The performance drop won't be noticeable in single threaded tasks, but will be very noticeable in multi threaded tasks.
     
  7. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    Just comparing the Geekbench scores, you'd go from a 10,841 on the 2.3GHz to a score of 8675. It's not a huge drop, but benchmarks don't tell the whole story.
     
  8. ZachsMacDaddy thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZachsMacDaddy

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #8
    I've seen several pages that say handbrake really benefits from an i7. However, I'm leaning towards #'s 1&3. The 2012 mini quad i7 would perform almost the same as my 2012 MBP. But then I can see me taking my MBA with me, only to realize that what I need is at home on the mini. The 2014 refurb 15" with 16gb & 1tb is around the same as I'd pay for a maxed out 2015 13". It's a just over a pound lighter than my 2012, but feel sleeker and its screen sure is sweet.
     
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #9
    Handbrake only benefits from a quad core i7, not a dual core i7. The dual core i7 is exactly identical to the dual core i5, besides the higher clock speed and the slightly larger cache. If you look at Geekbench scores, you'll see that the dual core i7 is only about 4-5% better than the i5 at best, even in multicore tasks (which is what Handbrake is).
     
  10. ZachsMacDaddy thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZachsMacDaddy

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #10
    Ok, so the quad core i7 will provide the most power, and will help me the most when encoding video. But can anyone tell me how something like Handbrake performs for them on a dual i5 or i7? Maybe length of time to encode a 1.5-2 hour movie?

    The price difference for me on a loaded 13" 2015 rMBP vs 15" 2014 refurb is about $90 (with the 15" being just slightly more than the 13"). I keep thinking "why pay nearly the same for a smaller laptop with less cores?" But the size, weight, and likelihood of me taking it out more often definitely come into play.
     

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