Want to get a Macbook Pro, not sure if I should get a used 17" or 15" retina

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JediCass, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. JediCass macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2015
    #1
    So, I have been needing a laptop for awhile and I am having a hard time deciding what to get. What I like is a bit of storage space, since I like having at least most of my programs installed. I would also like to be able to do some light gaming on it, nothing more demanding than Diablo 3, since a laptop is much more convenient to tote over to my buddies house than my gaming rig. I also have been doing a bit of light work in Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Beyond that, I would like it to be my primary computer, so I can just hook my gaming rig up to the big screen and be done with it.

    So, I have been looking around and I really like the MBPr 15 inch, and I think even the baseline model would do everything I need it to do, I was just wondering if the 256 GB would be enough space for what I need? How well does the integrated GPU do in light gaming? I can probably up to the next level if I need too.

    I have also looked at some used models and the specs on the late 2011 17" model is not terrible, and some of them have been upgraded with SSDs and what have you. However, most of those use the HD 4000 iGPU and I am not sure if that would cut it and after reading about RadeonGate, I do not think I would want to purchase one with a dGPU.

    Anyways, any help would be appreciated, thanks in advance!
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    At this point a 2011 MBP is getting a little long in the tooth. I'd not put too much money towards a machine that is going on 4 years old. I'd recommend a 15" just from the perspective you get modern ports, CPU, GPU.
     
  3. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #3
    I would 2nd the 15" choice as the 17" is getting a little aged.
     
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #4
    Not To mention....

    The radeon gate issue with 2011 17 inch macbook pros, the fact that they weigh a ton and are huge they have old connectivity USB 2, only one thunderbolt, no AC wifi, no bluetooth 4.0, no HDMI.

    The retina screen is fantastic and the ability to scale the resolution can give you more space on the 15 inch if needed. I would definitely reccomend you go with the new one and not pour money into old tech that may well fail...
     
  5. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #5
    I much prefer the 17" Macbook Pro, but given its age (and the issues with the last revision's GPU) I don't think it's prudent to buy one anymore. 15" rMBP it must be.
     
  6. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, USA
    #6
    We are now at the point where age is the biggest factor. Go with the 15" retina.
     
  7. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #7
    I also second the retina. Too many tradeoffs with the 17" due to its age, such as a slower SSD, CPU and lack of retina display.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    As others have mentioned above, if you get a 2011 model, you are flirting with "Radeongate", which can render the Mac unusable.

    You'd be FAR better off with a retina model, and by being content with the 15" display...
     
  9. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #9
    Get an rMBP, otherwise you are flirting with Radeongate.

    The 2011 is a fine machine, but I wouldn't touch one with someone else's bargepole.
     
  10. Sirious macrumors 65816

    Sirious

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #10
    Onwards and upwards with the 15 inch.
    It's also going to be future-proof.
     
  11. JediCass thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2015
    #11
    Awesome, I was leaning more that way anyways, now as for the size of the hard-drive, I will store most of my files on my external drive, but like I said I like to keep most of my stuff installed at one time. Would it be worth spending the extra bit and getting the 512 GB with the 750m?
     
  12. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    [[ I will store most of my files on my external drive, but like I said I like to keep most of my stuff installed at one time. Would it be worth spending the extra bit and getting the 512 GB with the 750m? ]]

    Don't they charge you an arm and a leg for "upgrading" to a 512gb SSD?

    I'd keep the money in my pocket, and learn to live with a 256gb drive and an external drive (or even two of them).
     
  13. JediCass thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2015
    #13
    Well, the 512 also gets a discrete GPU.
     
  14. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #14
    The Iris Pro eats through games like Diablo 3, even at higher resolutions. For gaming the Iris Pro is more than enough in most cases. There is little reason to get the high end model if you won't fully utilize the dGPU and you don't push the processor to max on a routine basis to notice difference in performance from the faster processor. I highly doubt you would, as you are considering a 4 year old machine.

    From my experience, even with work apps like AutoCAD, my music collection, other apps, dropbox, and 20+ games on steam, I still only use half of the 256GB SSD. Since you have an external drive anyway, spending extra money on the 512GB makes even less sense.
     
  15. JediCass thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2015
    #15
    Excellent. This definitely seems to be my best choice. I know I am asking a lot of questions, I just want to be sure before I drop this much cash.:)
     
  16. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #16
    No problem, I have late 2013 base 15" Iris Pro/8GB of RAM/256GB, and so far whether it be AutoCAD, pixelmator, gaming, or whatever else, it has eaten through it all. Even the base 15" will certainly be miles faster than the old 17" for sure.
     
  17. JediCass thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2015
    #17
    Thanks, this has helped a lot. Now its just a matter of waiting for my tax refund. :)
     
  18. johnhurley macrumors 6502a

    johnhurley

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #18
    Yup a no brainer.
     
  19. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    ....and USB3. With a 2011 17" you are stuck with USB2 and Firewire, although you can use a Thunderbolt dock to provide USB3 ports.
     
  20. JHUFrank macrumors 6502a

    JHUFrank

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    #20
    All out on the 15 inch rMBP, then use it for 4-5 years.
     

Share This Page