What would you do? (MB vs. rMBP 13)

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Lewis841, May 14, 2015.

  1. Lewis841 macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2015
    Hi all,

    I thought I would ask for some advice, as this is clearly the best place to ask; I hope you don't mind.

    I have a 1.3 256gb MB on order (about 3 weeks away) and I think the it's size is perfect. But I'm not the richest of people so I want to buy something that has an element of future-proofing to it. So, my questions:

    1) Will the 1.3 struggle to play .MKV files or other 1080p film files?

    2) Does the 1.3 really lag or is it just the UI issues currently?

    3) I'm considering cancelling and instead ordering the rMBP 13 as there are no issues with processor performance and, hopefully, I'd get 4+ years out of it at least. How many years do you think we will be able to get out of the new MB?

    4) Is the rMBP 13 easily portable? Do people carry it around and use it in coffee shops (I tend to see just airs)?

    Sorry to ask, but I know you will all have far better experience on this than me. FYI - this will be my first Apple computer.

  2. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    If you are concerned about having the computer for multiple years (especially 4 years) I'd say hands down get the rMBP. The rMB is a great form factor but the CPU is not the fastest. How long it last is really up to the user in terms of what they find acceptable performance. Some would say it's not acceptable right now. Some would say it would be OK in 4 years. It's a very subjective thing.

    If portability is not a primary factor for you, then the rMBP is the safe bet.
  3. thitiv macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2011
    Bangkok, Thailand
    It depends on what you use it for. I came from a maxed out quad core rMBP 15" and a maxed out Air 17" because the nature of my work has changed. I have replaced the Air with a 1.1 / 256 rMB (because it's the only model in stock at in the retail shop I visited). The size and the screen are perfect. At leisure time Mac Bluray Player plays 1080p MKV movies smoothly even at full screen mode. UI lag is a minor issue to me. It is slower than other Macs because the nature of the Core M processor is different but it does satisfy my needs.
  4. kingofwale macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    I personally have 1.2Ghz version.

    1...no lag with my .mkv (tested it a few movies). however I do have issue with some .ogm non-hd files, that might be the issue with the file itself.. so ymmv

    2. it lags for me, but others here have been saying it doesn't bother them. so it's really up to you.

    3.. depends if you travel with it a lot, I like the lightweight of it and I travel constantly

    4. again depends on what you see as "portable". 13 incher is definitely not "heavy", but it's not light either.
  5. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    You get the most future-proofing by buying the most current model. That's the rMB right now. If and when you get to sell it, yours will be oldest for sale and hence cheapest. If you try to sell a rMBP13 there will be others older and cheaper competing with you.

    Do not get overly worried about things reported on these forums. There were any number of complaints about the rMBP15 when that came out, and that was an amazing machine and still is.

    The 1.3 rMB will not blink at playing any video files.
  6. kingofwale macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    no. rMBP is more future-proof (if Apple pulls the same crap to USB-C like it did with thunderbolt)... it will also have better resell value.

    don't buy this if you think about future-proofing, buy it because i want something super-light and just can't stand the horrible screen on MBA
  7. TheNotoriousMAZ macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2009
    Phoenixville, PA
    The new rMB is a first generation Apple product. If the original iPhone, MacBook Air, and slimmer 1st gen iPad are any indication - the second generation will come with far less compromises. I recommend the same for people who want the Apple Watch. Apple has a great track record with working out the kinks of the original product.

    Go with the rMBP. For the same price, it's easily 3x the computer.
  8. bmclaurin macrumors member


    Nov 10, 2011
    Las Vegas, NV
    I have both, and if I could only have one, it would be the rMBP. You can get a brand new early 2015 13" i5 2.7/8/256 right now for $1,499. No waiting either, as you could buy it in any Apple Store and walk out that day with it. The 13" rMBP is very portable, has outstanding battery life, and inspires tremendous confidence. Don't get me wrong, though, as the new rMB is a beauty and is highly usable. It's just that the rMBP is a considerably more capable machine. Good luck with your decision. The good news here is that you really can't go wrong either way.
  9. zamboni52 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    rMB vs rMP13

    I bought the refreshed rMBP13 about 2 weeks ago and absolutely love it. The screen size, retina display, fast processor and updated SSD makes this thing almost perfect. The battery life is also amazing. This laptop is by no means heavy or big...unless you compare it to the rMP.

    I watched the rMB reveal and was very impressed. You can't ignore the looks and the portability. However, I remember thinking...is it too small? Will the screen be big enough to do any work? how long will the battery last? Then I started reading the reviews of how slow the processor is and that it is comparable to a 2012 MBA. This got me worried.

    Luckily, I was able to get a 1.1/256 SG from Best Buy online while they were in stock for a few hours. I received it yesterday and loaded everything that I put on my rMBP. Right off the bat I was discouraged because as I was setting it up I got the spinning beach ball as it was creating my user account. I thought that the computer was bogged down and that it was just running slowly. I hard powered it off and started again. I searched the internet and found that the "hang" happens sometimes when setting up Yosemite on any machine...not specific to the rMB. I wanted to start clean so I did a full restore and set it up again. This time everything went fine.

    I installed MS Office and downloaded all of the software updates as quickly as I could. I have 100MB download at home. Installing the updates seemed noticeably slower than when I set up my rMBP just 2 weeks ago. Strike 2. I read somewhere that during the initial setup the computer is indexing files and this will slow down the computer as it is running in the background. So, I decided to plug it in and let the computer do its thing overnight.

    So today with all of the updates installed and assuming all of the indexing complete, I'm using it under normal conditions. The first thing I noticed is that it is not that slow. Using Safari, watching Netflix/Hulu, watching iTunes, using MS Word...perfect. I didn't notice anything significantly slower than the rMBP. I don't keep a lot of programs running at the same time and I like to use multiple desktops and gestures to switch between them. I have 5 desktops with Safari, Mail, iTunes, MS Word and Sonos on them. Maybe I'm not sensitive to "lag", but quickly swiping between desktops shows no lag for me. It is quick and smooth. Right now, I'm typing this on Safari with 3 tabs open and Netlix running in a small window. I'm using 1440x900 resolution and everything is big enough for my 48 year old eyes (I do still have 20/15 vision though).

    The other big thing I noticed is the speakers. They are amazing for watching movies or listening to music. Definitely better than the speakers that sit at the bottom of the rMBP. It's not just loud but the sound quality is amazing! You would not expect this from a small laptop. Apple definitely paid some attention to the sound on this laptop.

    The keyboard looks great at night and took about an hour to get use to it. There is not a lot of key travel, but there is a satisfying click that makes it easy to type more accurately. You just have to try it out. Some people hate it. I really like it.

    Having said all that, I haven't made my final choice yet, but I'm really leaning towards the rMB. The screen real estate is better than I thought, the keyboard is nice, the speakers are great and the battery life is about on par with the rMBP so far. So for what I will primarily use it for, it is just as good as the rMBP but a lot lighter and smaller. It is easy to carry around the house and use on the couch. I'll be taking a business trip to DC next week and will bring this one with me for further evaluation.

    The single port has not been an issue for me. I bought the Apple USB-C to female USB-A dongle for my thumb drives, CAC reader and external HD.

    BL: Performance-Good; Battery--Good; Screen real estate--Good; Keyboard/Trackpad--Good; Speakers--Excellent; Portability--Excellent. I will likely return my rMBP and keep this one...the extra space on the 256GB SSD is definitely a bonus. BTW: i bought the 2.7/128 rMBP for $1099 while on sale at Best Buy and the 1.1/256 rMB for $1120 (10% off + $50 student disc).

    Hope this helps anyone trying to decide which one to get.
  10. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    The speakers on the rMB are truly fantastic, much better than any other Apple laptop except the 15" rMBP. The backlighting also is better than the older keyboards.

    If you are choosing a laptop for this year, then the rMB has strong arguments for it. However if you want something to last 4 years (which the OP mentioned), I have doubts the rMB is going to hold up well for that long simply due to performance of future laptops.
  11. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000


    Mar 19, 2011
    San Diego, CA

    If you are on a tighter budget and/or you can only have one machine, the 2015 13" rMBP would be the way to go realistically.

    As others have said, the new MB will handle everything you're planning to throw at it with no problems whatsoever, but if you are in a position where you are going to be keeping the machine for 4+ years, the rMBP will show its mileage less over time, and as your sole machine will be more versatile. That's not saying you wouldn't be able to have the MB for 4+ years, I'm sure you easily could, its just that depending on what stage of life you personally are in, 4 years could be a long time, and a lot could happen in that time period. Your usage needs could change significantly, etc - if you are a student now, but will have moved on to a professional field within the time frame for example.

    True, the rMBP does weigh in at almost double the MB, and the same for thickness, but if your definition of travel is the ocassional trip to the coffee shop, that shouldn't be a pressing issue.

    Seems even here in the MB section of the forums, people, me as well, are leaning towards the rMBP for your particular situation, but only you can really know what will be best for you ;)

    Actually, if you can swing it, it might be a good idea to not cancel your MB order and order the rMBP as well, keep them both for two weeks, and try them out in your typical use case scenarios. See which one you like better, and then weigh the longevity aspect, return the one you love less! :)
  12. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    I chose between the same two computers recently too. The reason I went with the MacBook rather than the MacBook Pro was that I didn't want to buy a computer that had a 3 year old design that is likely to be replaced very soon. I would have found myself regretting my purchase when the new Pro came out (with USB-C, butterfly keyboard etc).
  13. Lewis841 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2015
    Thank you all for your replies.

    Sadly, I'm none the wiser. I think I will order the rMBP too just to have a play whilst I'm waiting for the MB.

    As with the last poster (just up there ^ ), I think I will be annoyed if I buy the pro just to find it outdated next year if there's significant changes to the design (thinness, keyboard, bezel, weight etc).

    I'd be happy with the macbook if I could get 3 years out of it...Does anyone think this is possible? Or do you think that it's going to be a behind the times performance wise after say 2?

    Finally, does anyone know if the 1.3 is significantly faster than the 1.1 or 1.2? The only things i've seen so far is geekbench scores, but I'm not sure how that translates to the real world!!
  14. junkw macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2010
  15. iBilal macrumors regular


    Apr 14, 2015
    I think at this stage, a rMBP 13 would be better ..

    for a college student .. it's also much better value ..

    plus you're going to need those ports ..

    the new MacBook is a vision of the future .. we're not there yet ..
  16. junkw macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2010
    the rMB will last easily 4 years. My current main machine is a 2009 MBP (6 years old) and the rMB 1.3 is 2.5 times more powerful than my MBP according to GeekBench.
    And I do a lot more than just watch .mkv...

    It's a tough choice between the rMBP and rMB as they both great machines but I don't think the "4 years" thing is a valid point of comparison, as both machines will easily suffice.

    mac benchmarks here: http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks
  17. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    If you are going for longevity, then I still think the rMBP is the best bet. However, I definitely expect that the rMBP will be completely redesigned in 2016 to make it more like the rMB. Apple has said the rMB is the future of laptops. They don't mean except for their other laptops.
  18. Music Lover macrumors member

    May 10, 2015
    I think the opposite!
    Very soon, the 13" Pro going to be a dinosaur; Heavy, big and obsolete.
  19. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    13" rMBP, better value and greater usability, MBP will hold value longer as the current rMB is a Gen One product and will be usurped around Q1 2016 by MB with Skylake which may bring Thunderbolt and improved iSight camera, it will bring superior battery life and graphic performance.

  20. RUGGLES99 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2015
    With todays version of the rmb you will be disappointed mainly because it probably will be updated in the next 6 to 12 months and way further updated over the next few years. all of that will cause you anxiety and jealousy because of how outdated version one is. And it will cost far less. Just look at how the mba changed after the first much criticized, overpriced iteration. I probably will get one, but will wait at lesst a year to see what improvements have been made.
  21. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    I would get the MacBook Pro because of the ports and keyboard.
  22. headcase macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2007
    Raleigh, NC
    A well written summary. When you started to use the "strike 1" and "strike 2", I thought you were going down the path of ending up with the rMBP. But a good writer shouldn't be overly predictable, and you weren't here. ;-)
  23. zamboni52 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    Thanks for the comment. I switched to the rMBP today and do notice the bigger screen size. Also, the keyboard feels good, almost familiar compare to the rMB. Probably because I've been using this type of keyboard for many years on my older MBs. Last night I was streaming iTunes on my Apple TV in "extended desktop" mode and noticed that the rMBP seemed a little smoother while streaming to the Apple TV and doing work on the laptop. It's really not noticeable unless you are really watching it and you should really expect this based on the better hardware of the rMBP. This is not be a normal use case for me, but it's could to know that you can do it with a rMB. I'm still on the fence about which one to keep and will probably make a decision next weekend.

    I don't know why but the speakers are really good on the rMB and it makes watching videos or listening to music more enjoyable. This is becoming a bigger selling point to me. I have a pair of Beats Studio Wireless and PowerBeats 2 headphones and they definitely sound better than the speakers, but the laptop speakers sound good enough that I don't feel the need to put them on when listening to media. More to follow...
  24. shenan1982 macrumors 68040


    Nov 23, 2011
    The same can be said for buying ANY piece of technology, so it's a completely pointless argument. It's like buy a car.. every year a newer one comes out, and every 3-4 years major redesigns come out. If you never just dive in and pull the trigger, you're always going to be waiting for when technology reaches its limits (Hint: never)... so to suggest someone wait because something better is on a 12 month roadmap, demonstrates you don't have a fundamental grasp of how technology works.
  25. theSeb, May 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015

    theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    What would a typical college student need "all of those ports" for?


    With that attitude you'll never buy anything. I'll PM you in 2020 to see how hoping that technology stops progressing is working out for you.

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