Which base 13" rMBP would you rather buy: 2012 refurb for $1059 or 2013 new for $1199

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dmk1974, Oct 24, 2013.

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Which base 13" rMBP would you rather buy: 2012 refurb for $1059 or 2013 new for $1199

  1. 2012 refurb for $1059

    9 vote(s)
    17.3%
  2. 2013 new for $1199

    43 vote(s)
    82.7%
  1. dmk1974, Oct 24, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013

    dmk1974 macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #1
    Now that Mavericks is out as well as the new rMBP models, I am still so tempted by that retina display to replace my current 2013 MacBook Air 13" base unit. I figure I should be able to sell it for $900 since it's just a couple months old.

    The refurb price has dropped to $1059 on the base 2012 rMBP 13" and the new 2013 rMBP 13" can be had with the EDU discount for $1199. From my MBA, it would be roughly a $160 upgrade or a $300 upgrade.

    2012 rMBP 13" "Pros":
    • $140 less
    • 4 GB more RAM

    2013 rMBP 13" "Pros":
    • Faster processor?
    • Faster graphics chipset
    • Faster SSD
    • Newer chipset
    • 1 hour longer battery life

    Same on both:
    • SSD size
    • Beautiful retina display
    • Similar "UI lag/scrolling"
    • Close enough in size and weight (yes, 2013 is slightly thinner and lighter)


    I know many will say that the RAM is worth upgrading for $100 and then paying more for the 2013 version to make it $1299, but for this comparison and poll, I'd like to keep them as the base configs (especially since my current 2013 MBA has 4 GB and seems just fine for my use). Thanks!
     
  2. aiyaaabatt macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    #2

    If 4gb is fine for your use, definitely I would go with the newest base rMBP for $1199 (if you can't reach the $1399, 8gb, 256gb - which is best value for $, IMO). Iris 5100 destroys HD 4000... I feel sad inside for those who are stuck with HD4000 only.
     
  3. ano0oj macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #3
    Why buy something a year old and nearly the same price as new?
     
  4. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #4
    Honestly, because it's an "upgrade" cost for me from the MBA (~$160 or ~$300) and from some brief reviews so far, not much benefit has been reported (other than battery life). I'm sure some more detailed reviews will be out shortly. If they perform about the same though, why spend the extra cash? For me, the retina display is the primary driver for the potential "upgrade".
     
  5. Nilok64 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    #5
    Even with the 4GB extra ram, the 2013 would be faster in non-gaming use? I am also trying to decide between the two.
     
  6. wkw macrumors 6502

    wkw

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    Eugene, OR
    #6
    Your air has the latest ssd design which is much faster/quicker than the 2012 rmbp
     
  7. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #7
    Correct. I still hope to find some benchmarks on the processor speed comparing my MBA to the new rMBP. I may just have to get a 2013 rMBP to try it out at least. We'll see ;)
     
  8. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #8
    Neither - the mid-end late 2013 is the sweet spot for most people.
     
  9. AlecMyrddyn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Location:
    Southern Maine
    #9
  10. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #10
    Well, I grabbed the base 2013 rMBP after work. Setting it up right now (this entry is from the rMBP). Seems pretty good so far. Slightly more lag than my 2013 MBA, but not terrible (yet). Need to keep setting up and installing apps.
     
  11. Nilok64 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    #11
    Would you guys still recommend the base 4GB 2013 model over the 8GB 2012 model?
     
  12. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #12
    So far with very limited testing tonight, my base 4 GB model seems to be working just fine. Really for me, it's a retina version of the base MBA that I am likely replacing.

    I would like to compare this though side-by-side to a 2012 base with the 8 GB. I bet the speed difference isn't all that noticeable. Not processor, but screen UI animations and scrolling. This 2013 when cranked up to 1680x1050 does stutter slightly, but not too bad. 1440x900 (same as my MBA but retina) is a little snappier. Of course when I have it plugged into my 24" monitor at 1920x1080 (non-retina though), it's perfectly fast.
     
  13. Fallingreason macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2013
    #13
    I am also deciding between these 2 preconfigured retina mbp's. I do not think it is safe to say that if 4gb is enough for you in a MBA then the same will be true with the rMBP, due to the display.

    Right now my base 128/4gb 2012 MBA is doing fairly well with mavericks, but it can get a little bogged down when I'm at school with multiple projects and workspaces open.

    Last year I thought 4gb was a risky move when I bought my MBA because it's been the standard for quite a while now, yet that hasn't seemed to change at all. In fact it just gets you more with mavericks!

    If there are reports of any stuttering with the new base 13 rMBP, I will likely get the 8gb model.

    What I would like to know is how much more ram needs to be used by Iris than the HD graphics to drive the display. 4gb may be fine for airs but the base 4gb retina may not feel like a retina air.
     
  14. dmk1974, Oct 28, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013

    dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #14
    After a few days of testing, I would say that the 2013 seems about the same as the 2012 (from what I recall). At the higher retina 1680x1050 res, still some lag...maybe not as bad as 2012. But the OS difference may play into it as well.

    The battery testing has been interesting so far too on this 2013. I track real-usage (not the projection given in the battery status bar). For all tests, here's my settings:

    • Battery Health App for tracking %
    • Chrome, Mail, iMessage, Dropbox always running
    • Chrome: AdBlock, FlashBlock, Lastpass enabled
    • 12 dots brightness/2 dots keyboard, BT off
    • Before Cycle 2, I drained to about 2-5% remaining and then fully charged to 100% as reported by the Battery Health app.

    Results so far with the 2013 base 13" rMBP:
    Cycle 2
    10/26-10/27 2013
    1680x1050 retina resolution
    322min/82.7% used 6:29 pace

    Cycle 3
    10/27-10/28 2013
    1920x1200 non-retina resolution (using QuickRes)
    237min/45.6% used 8:39 pace

    Cycle 4
    10/28-10/29 2013
    1440x900 retina resolution
    181min/45.2% used 6:40 pace

    Cycle 5
    10/29-10/30 2013
    1440x900 non-retina resolution
    144min/29.1% used 8:14 pace


    Not sure if because Mavericks is learning or whatever, but it's interesting that my battery life was much better when running at a high-res non-retina resolution.

    I think today/tomorrow I'll test at 1440x900 with retina enabled. I wonder if the retina resolutions are not only more laggy by battery eaters as well.
     
  15. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    #15
    Retina resolutions (technically called "Hi-DPI" resolutions internally) are indeed harder on the system. The reason is that they render at double the resolution they are emulating.

    1920x1200 is simply that resolution. The Display does the rescaling as it would anytime you use a non-native resolution. It gets a little blurry (still pretty good because of how high res the display is in the first place), but it doesn't require any additional work from the CPU or GPU beyond what it takes to render the desktop at 1920x1200.

    When you use 1680x1050 (Retina) you're actually rendering to 3360x2100, then scaling back down to native resolution. This requires significantly more work by the CPU (and hopefully a good amount of that is exported to the GPU on Mavericks, as that was supposed to be why it performs better at retina resolutions). Actually, even "native" retina is going to be more work for the system than non-retina 1920x1200 for the same reason: You actually render to 2560x1600.

    I'd personally love to see the option to use true pixel doubling at "half-retina" resolutions. The blur you see with non-native resolutions is bilinear filtering, however at half the native resolution the system should be able to use pure pixel doubling (so things get a little more pixelated, but it's not blurred and just looks like that half res is the panel's native resolution).

    In fact, the rMBP does use pixel doubling correctly if you run a 3D application at half-res while the desktop is at native retina (you can try this with Minecraft if you want to see what I mean). No idea why it insists on bilinear filtering when you set the desktop to half resolution (probably because Apple doesn't officially provide this option without a 3rd party utility, so why bother optimizing how it works?)
     
  16. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #16
    Good explanation. Makes sense. I'll be interested on the battery life and lag when I test it at the 1440x900 HiDPI resolution.
     
  17. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #17
    So far, at 1440x900 retina resolution, I have used 32.0% over 121 minutes (6:18 pace). I'll report back later tonight after more time used at this resolution.
     
  18. iKrivetko macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    #18
    The 13" is an upgrade in every aspect. Why you would want the old one is beyond my understanding.
     
  19. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #19
    They are both 13" that I listed. One is newer than the other though. Not convinced yet that the 2013 is an upgrade though in every aspect. Performance seems to be the same and I'm kinda disappointed so far with the battery life at retina resolutions. But I would like to see data on the 2012 with Mavericks.

    Coming from my Haswell MacBook Air though, my priority for changing is the display, not battery life.
     
  20. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #20
    If you're not gaming, why does a user care? The HD5100 lags just as much as the HD 4000 at any other hi dpi mode than 'Best for Retina'. The CPU isn't much faster either. For what I do, I'd take the 8gb model anytime as the 4gb will be hitting ram limits sooner.
     
  21. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #21
    Battery life testing updates above in post #14.
     
  22. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #22
    Here's an updated post summarizing battery life of both the 2012 and 2013 rMBP 13" laptops. These are my actual use test results, both using Mavericks, and the conditions described below.

    Settings:
    Battery Health App
    Chrome: AdBlock, FlashBlock, Lastpass
    Chrome, Mail, iMessage, Dropbox
    12/2 dots screen/kb brightness, BT off

    2012 rMBP 13" (Mavericks 10.9)

    1440x900 retina resolution (same lag noticed vs 2013 rMBP)
    40min/13.4% used 4:58 pace
    1680x1050 retina resolution (much more lag noticed vs 2013 rMBP)
    104min/37.5% used 4:37 pace
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1440x900 non-retina resolution (using QuickRes)
    31min/8.1% used 6:22 pace
    1680x1050 non-retina resolution (using QuickRes)
    94min/25.1% used 6:14 pace

    *********************************

    2013 rMBP 13" (Mavericks 10.9)

    1440x900 retina resolution
    228min/55.3% used 6:52 pace
    1680x1050 retina resolution
    322min/82.7% used 6:29 pace
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1440x900 non-retina resolution (using QuickRes)
    144min/29.1% used 8:14 pace
    1680x1050 non-retina resolution (using QuickRes)
    34min/6.3% used 8:59 pace
    1920x1200 non-retina resolution (using QuickRes)
    237min/45.6% used 8:39 pace
     
  23. johnnylarue macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2013
    #23
    Major no-brainer. The 13" is the only 2013 MBP that represents a "real" upgrade over its predecessor. But put 8GB of RAM in it.
     
  24. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #24
    I agree. Of these TWO, I've decided the 2013 is the better option due to:
    • Better battery life
    • Significantly less lag at 1680x1050
    • Newer chipset
    • Better FaceTime camera quality for some reason (though same spec)

    To me, it's worth the extra $140 even though it has only 4 GB RAM. Maybe I'll throw down for an 8 GB model, but that's money that can be spent on a new iPad (Air or Mini 2). :)
     

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