Which 2014 15 inch retina macbook pro to buy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by gonzal, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. gonzal macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2014
    Hi guys,

    I decided that I would like to buy the new 2014 rmbp 15in screen. I definitely want the 15in for the size. My problem is if I should get the one with or without dedicated graphics card?

    I am a college student and a biology major with a focus on moleculer and cellular biology and genetics.
    I would use it for...
    school work…
    movies/streaming video
    the occasional game such as Civ 5 and stuff like it. Not hardcore games

    So is it worth getting the dedicated graphics card? I would like the computer to last for 4 or more years. Is it worth getting the best one so it will last longer/ will having the the graphics card make the computer last longer? My thinking is since I'm going to spend $2,000 why not spend the extra $300 to get the top of line computer with the thought that it will last longer (is that even true?)

  2. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    Really, you could get by with a base MacBook Air. Even the base 15" would be HUGE overkill already.
  3. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas

    If you have to go 15, get the base model 15. Better yet, get a 2013 refurb and save some serious coin.
  4. Neykon macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2009
    You could consider what I did since I needed a new laptop for my bachelor which starts this month: I went ahead and bought the 2013-generation Retina, 15" (which was the newest one until a week ago) and saved a fair share compared to the newest generation.

    The update Apple gave the Retina last week is basically this - the new base model got i7 2.2GHz compared to i7 2.0GHz - essentially the exact same processor with added 200MHz. OBS, we're not in the 90s anymore. 200MHz is NOT a difference you in will notice in the world. The GPU is as well the exact same (Intel Iris Pro GPU 1024MB). Also they gave it 16GB of RAM instead of 8GB. Now, I don't know about you, but I create electronical music and edit photography as well besides my programming studies, and I've never needed more than 8GB - if I really did, I reconsidered what I had running and closed some applications.

    TL;DR Buy the 2013 generation which outdated last week - you'll save a lot and won't feel any difference compared to the new base, 15" Retina.
  5. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030


    Jun 12, 2011
    Even the 13" Retina would be overkill, however if you want a 15", I'd get one of these two MBPs:



    Now, the first one is older then the second. The first one came out in Early 2013. It has:

    2.7GHz Quad-Core Ivy Bridge i7 processor
    16GB of RAM
    512GB Flash Drive
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M (1GB of VRAM)

    The second model is a:

    2.0GHz Quad-Core Haswell i7 processor
    8GB of RAM
    256GB PCI-e based Flash Drive (faster then the Early 2013)
    Intel Iris Pro Graphics

    Now, the first model is about half a year older then the second one, but had twice the RAM and twice the Flash Drive storage. The second newer one is 700MHz slower, has half the RAM, half the storage (but its a faster PCI-e Flash Drive) and no integrated graphics.

    However, the newer one is Haswell, which is much more power efficient then Ivy Bridge. It also has Intel's integrated Iris Pro graphics which (IIRC) benchmarked the same, if not better then the NVIDIA found in the older model. In newer version of OS X it even allocates more VRAM to it; 1.5GB versus 1GB in the last model. I know its like this on the 16GB models at least, not sure on the 8GB models. Maybe someone with one can confirm please.

    Geekbench, which tests the processor speed and overall speed of the machine (minus video and hard drive) found that the 2.0GHz model is almost as powerful as the 2.7;

    2.0: 3194 Single Core and 12303 Multi Core
    2.7: 3452 Single Core and 13392 Multi Core

    For what you are wanting to do, I would get the 2.0. It will probably be supported for longer, has a better video chip and faster storage. You could also get the beefier Late 2013 model:


    This is the computer I am actually typing this on. Its a beast of a machine, and I would recommend it if you are a serious gamer or video editor for no other reason then the discreet GPU. Geekbench scores:

    2.3: 3485 Single Core and 13617 Multi Core

    Not much faster then the 2.7 on Geekbench, however it gets better battery life and will most likely run cooler since its 500MHz slower. It also has the same memory and size of flash drive, however remember this one will be faster on the Flash Drive side since it is based on PCI-e. You also do get the discreet GPU which has 2GB of VRAM on this model.

    Whatever way you go the Retina MacBook Pro 15" will be powerful enough to handle it. I'd still check out the 13" Retinas and maybe even a top of the line 13" MacBook Air. Both will probably suit your needs just fine.

    Hope this helps!

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