Which 13 inch MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lawler, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. lawler macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2010
    Halifax, UK
    Hi all

    Long time lurker here and would appreciate any advice on which 13 inch MBP to get.

    I have been holding out for any refreshes for the last few months but further disappointment came our way yesterday with no updates!

    Current MBP:

    I currently have an early 2011 13 inch MBP, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5, 4GB, 500GB.

    This is now running quite slow and I think it is time for an upgrade.

    Use requirements for new MBP:
    Apart from general browsing, the main use will be for photo/video editing using Lightroom, Photoshop, iMovie etc. as I am a keen camera enthusiast and make a few videos on YouTube.

    I was looking at the 13inch over the 15inch also as the size is an important consideration (I understand the graphics card on the 15 inch would be better but may be a bit much for my enthusiast needs).

    MBP I am looking at:
    I am considering the top spec 13 inch MBP, 3.1GHz Intel i7, 16GB, 512GB.

    Would this be a bit high specced for my needs as described above?

    Appreciate any advice!

    Many thanks
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Any one will be fine, the i7 is a pointless expensive upgrade and I don't see you needing 16gb either but it won't hurt.
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    You'd be better off swapping your HDD for an SSD in your current Mac and maybe upgrading the RAM too.

    That would make a massively positive difference at a far cheaper price -- or at the very least, ensure it's working much smoother before the next refresh.
  4. lawler thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2010
    Halifax, UK
    Thanks for the advice.

    I really wanted to upgrade now to use over the summer and could do with a Retina screen for picture editing etc.

    My partner got me a £1000 gift card and also selling the old one so won't really have to pay anything further towards.

    I am also bored of constantly waiting for a refresh when the technology now seems to be perfectly adequate in the latest form.

    I take on board the comments regarding i5 and 8gb been enough for my needs. Would this be the general consensus or would either upgrade from this benefit me?

    Thanks again for all your help!
  5. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    As keyanxiety said, you could just upgrade your current cMBP with SSD and more RAM.

    That said, if you really want a new rMBP, any current 13-inch rMBP would meet your needs: just be mindful of the SSD size.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Unless you absolutely have-to-have something new RIGHT NOW, I'd advise you to hold out until the new MacBook Pros are introduced.

    Then, be ready to make your choice:
    - Buy new (new ones are rumored to be a big "step forward")
    - Buy the "just discontinued" model at closeout pricing

    Rather than buy a 15" model, I'd suggest a 13" MBP and use the spare cash to buy a nice external display. A 27" retina display might be a great choice.

    If your current model is "getting slow", the EASIEST way to breathe some new life into it is to add an SSD. Takes 15 minutes along with a Phillips #00 driver and a Torx T-6 driver. Also, get a USB3 enclosure and put the old drive into it for backups, etc.

    As another poster suggested above, the SSD will make a GREAT difference in overall performance.
    This will "get you through the summer", until the new models are introduced.
    Buy an external enclosure, and you can even "re-pupose" the SSD into it later on, and keep using it with the -new- MBP...
  7. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Just get a rMBP with 256 GB SSD and call it a day. The screen change alone is quite impressive and you lose over 1 pound in weight and 1/2 inch of thickness. Go to your local Apple store and play with a new 13 rMBP. It is a nice system.

    Option 2 is to wait until fall when they "should" release a new 13 inch MBP. If you want, in the meantime you can speed up your current MPB with a $100 256 GB SSD.
  8. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    This is the config that I went with. I walked into an Apple store just over a year ago and told them I wanted a 13" rMBP with 16GB of RAM, and this was the only option they stocked. I ended up paying $200 more than a CTO model from their website, which I was fine with because I needed a computer now, but it's not a noticeable upgrade.

    Unless you absolutely need 16GB of RAM, the stock 2.9GHz i5, 8GB 512GB model will probably suit all of your needs. Or just wait until the new models are released.
  9. Patron_Saint Suspended

    Jun 10, 2016

    I'd recommend looking at the 15" model again. Portability isn't much different and you get a much, much nicer machine. The base model is plenty for your needs, and comes in cheaper than the model you're looking at with over twice the performance.
  10. Ubele macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    I bought the stock mid-range configuration over a year ago: 13" i5, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB SSD. I use it for basically the same things you do. I did a lot of research beforehand and concluded that upgrading to the i7 wasn't worth it, and that 16 GB of RAM was overkill. I'm completely happy with its performance, and the Retina display is gorgeous, especially for editing photos.

    In retrospect, I wish I'd upgraded to a 512 GB SSD, but I make the 256 GB SSD work. My iTunes collection is large, so I have to keep it on an external HDD. I also keep my Sony a6000 RAW photos on the HDD and store and process them in Capture One for Sony. Exported JPGs, as well as iPhone originals, go into Apple Photos, which I'm fine with, especially since it now supports extensions. My Photos library still fits on my MBP's SSD, but that won't be the case forever.

    One reason I bought the 2015 13" MBP is because it supports 4K displays at 60 Hz. I usually use my MBP on the couch or the deck, though, so I haven't been motivated to replace my older 1080P external monitor, which works fine when I want more screen real estate.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd replace your MBP's HDD with an SSD and wait for the next generation MBP to be released. Then I'd hang onto your 2011 MBP and use it as a media server and backup computer. When I got my 2015 MBP, my plan was to sell my 2012 Mac mini. However, my MBP wouldn't upgrade from Yosemite to El Capitan. I'd get an "unexpected error" during the upgrade--at which point, I'd have to restore my Yosemite setup from Time Machine. What I finally had to do was make sure my Mac mini had everything on it, do a clean install of El Capitan on my MBP, and then reinstall all of my software and data files from scratch, using my Mac mini setup as a "template" so I knew what to put on my MBP and how to configure all my software. I decided that having a backup computer is a good idea. I also keep all my peripherals connected to the mini, which is convenient.

    If you do decide to buy a MBP now, though, you can save money by buying from Apple' Refurbished store. I've bought many refurbished products over the years and never had a problem.
  11. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    I have the i7 with 16GB/1TB (I'm using it now) but in all fairness i would simply go with the i5 and 8GB.The 2.9/512GB model for an extra $300 may or may not work better for you if you intend on storing lots of stuff, however i'd spend the money on a NAS and keep everything but the essentials on that rather than local.

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