Which mac is the better buy?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by boateng, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. boateng macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    #1
    I am a law student and I need a new mac

    I have narrowed it down to....

    15' 2015 Mac with 512gb storage - £1,870 (including education discount)

    13' non touchbar with 512gb storage and 16gb ram - £1,628 (inc education discount)

    I want this mac to last me at least 4 years......Some people say it is better to go for the 2016 non touch bar 13' macbook but the 15' screen will help. I will be mainly using Microsoft office and researching online...

    Advice please...
     
  2. paaj macrumors member

    paaj

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    #2
    performance of the 15" is much better, but not really needed for Office and internet.
     
  3. itegypt macrumors 6502

    itegypt

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    Aug 6, 2011
    Location:
    US/Q8
    #3
    if screen size/weight isn't an issue for you the 15" is a great laptop
     
  4. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Best advice I can give for people who want to system to "last" is to get a quad core cpu. Even the 2011 quad core mac mini's still fly while the dual core 2012-2013's MacBook Pro's are a bit slow in comparison. But like the above poster says, you don't need much for office and internet.
     
  5. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #5
    I would get the newer 13" model. You don't need the extra processing power of the 15" and I suspect you will find more value in the fact that the new 13" model is considerably more portable (3lbs vs. 4.5lbs) and significantly better battery life (10-12 hours+ vs. 6-7 hours).
     
  6. justyncuk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #6
    If you're requirements really are Office and web based research the 13" is a better bet - lighter, greater portability.

    For those tasks I would also consider a refurbished 2015 13" MBP plus a Transcend Jetdrive and save £400, they are not going to stress the system at all. I still have a 2008 MBP that is still more than capable of those tasks, you don't need to worry.

    Hope that helps rather than hinders.
     
  7. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Missouri
    #7
    The CPU and GPU in the last-gen 15" is going to perform significantly better.

    However, something that's being missed is the blazing speed of these new PCI-e SSD's. In a lot of tasks, including basic productivity stuff, the 13" 2016 model is going to FEEL faster because of that insanely fast drive. It's also got a better display.

    Frankly I don't think you could go wrong either way. Given the choice between those two; I'd probably go for the previous generation 15". But my needs are more CPU/GPU dependent. If you're wanting to browse the web and do basic productivity/office type stuff on a train with the sunlight shining through; you're going to miss that 500+ nits screen and blazing fast SSD more than you'll miss the CPU. If you're going to do any gaming, video/photo editing, or other "content creation" type stuff; then you'll really miss the CPU and GPU.
     
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #8
    Buy on screen size and budget, for your use case any computer you buy will be fine.
     
  9. Fozzybadfeet macrumors 6502

    Fozzybadfeet

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    Oct 7, 2009
    Location:
    NoVA
    #9
    Both options are great and would last you for years.
     
  10. xb2003 macrumors 6502

    xb2003

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Location:
    MO
    #10
    Unlike aforementioned, I wouldn't base the decision off the speed of the SSD. While it is definitely true that the new ones are faster, the ones in the 2015's are still head and shoulders above most other things on the market and, in almost every case, your bottleneck will not be the SSD.

    I would consider the 15" in your shoes. You would probably value being able to split screen things when you are typing a document, and that is just easier on the 15"
     
  11. boateng thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    #11
    thats true
    thats a good option

    maybe i should even get the 13' touchbar?
    --- Post Merged, Nov 9, 2016 ---
    Hmm i am going back and fourth on which one to get

    the 13' is smaller and more portable...but i have no intention of moving around so it will sit on my desk. The 13' non touch bar is newer and will probably have a better resale price....and as people say is faster and will cost me slightly less money.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 9, 2016 ---
    is it really much better? Isn't the new 13' supposed to be faster
     
  12. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Missouri
    #12
    Yes, much better.

    The new 13" model is only slightly faster than the previous 13" model. Intel's push as of late has been for efficiency, not performance. The new chips use a lot less energy, thus enable a much smaller battery; that's how you get a thinner, lighter, faster MacBook Pro without sacrificing battery life.

    As ever, the 15" model is significantly more powerful. The larger size allows for a bigger battery and better cooling. The 15" models, 2015 or 2016, are going to have much faster CPU's. Ignore the clock speed (expressed in "GHz"), because that's all but meaningless these days. The CPU's in the 15" models are a lot faster, especially quad-core models. The discrete GPU will make any sort of content creation, even light photo editing, work much faster and much smoother. The Apple Stores around me don't seem to have as much software as they used to. But if yours do, fire up something like Photoshop or Lightroom and compare the performance between the 13" and 15". You'll notice, if nothing else, those applications run much smoother and cleaner than on the 13". That's the dedicated GPU.
     
  13. boateng thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    #13
    I am leaning towards the 15 because of the bigger screen
    I must say though I am thinking if i should try and get money from my parents to by the 2016 touchbar 15' but spending over £2000 on a laptop as a student does sound a bit much!
     
  14. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Missouri
    #14
    The 2015 15" will still be more powerful than a 2016 13". It's an option. The 2016 15" is quite a bit quicker than the 2015 15" though, if you can swing it.
     
  15. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #15
    You'll definitely get "more for your money" by picking up "last year's model".

    If you can live with the 15" display, that may be the way to go.

    But consider that the larger display might be more work to carry around in school.

    Have you consider the 13" "alternative":
    The 2015 13" MacBook Pro.

    Advantages:
    Price
    All the legacy ports you'll need
    Slightly better keyboard (quieter)
    Faster CPU
    Should remain functional as long as the 2016 model does.

    Disadvantages:
    It's not "this year's model"…

    Final thought:
    Get the 2015 13" model.
    Then use the cash you saved to buy a 4k display for your room, as well.
    Small screen for portability around school.
    BIG screen for back at home!
     
  16. el-John-o macrumors 65816

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    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Missouri
    #16
    Despite what's being repeated around here, last years 13" does not have a faster CPU than the 2016. The benchmarks are out there for all to see.

    Worth noting that you can't put Thunderbolt 3 on a 2015 model, but you can certainly get new cables or dongles (almost any cable you use now, whether it's USB 3, or displayport, or whatever; you can get a USB-C version. You only need a dongle if the USB cable is soldered into the device. Like a muse) to use all of the ports on the 2016 model.

    I have a 2012 13" and the new 15" models are actually just as, if not more portable. They're every bit as light, and by shaving off a lot of the bezel and such, it's actually not a lot bigger.

    However, you are right for sure. 13" is the perfect size for portability. Big enough to actually get work done, small enough to fit neatly in a crowded airplane or slip into a backpack. I like the idea of a 13" model and a 4k display. I absolutely love my 27" 4k displays. That was a big motivator for me going to the 15" model for the first time, now. Driving two 4k Displays plus the onboard display for a great triple monitor setup. In a sort of "frog in a pot of boiling water" way, I probably won't find the 15" to be any less portable, as it's only slightly bigger than my 2012 13" in external dimensions and is actually a hair lighter. The 2015/2016 13", of course, is even MORE portable. Not "just as" portable. But I'm happy with the portability of my current notebook.
     
  17. Altis macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    #17
    2015 15"... any extra money should go into an external monitor for when you're doing work from home.
     
  18. xb2003 macrumors 6502

    xb2003

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Location:
    MO
    #18
    You might actually find the 2016 15" to be a less "smooth" experience than the 2016 13" or the 2015 15". I use the term Smooth loosely.

    The 2016 15" has two different graphics processors, one built into the CPU and the other being a discreet unit. While the discreet graphics processor is fairly powerful, the intregrated one is weaker than what's in all the aforementioned models. MacOS delegates more demanding tasks to the discreet processor, but nothing you have discribed will activate it. This all will likely lead to UI being less smooth, especially as future updates of MacOS become more graphically demanding.
     
  19. Ma2k5 macrumors 6502a

    Ma2k5

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    #19
    Last years 28w CPU will be faster in prolonged use - benchmarks are quite misleading when dealing with even core-m, 15w and 28w dual core processors. The main difference is the power capacity which certain benchmarks fail to show.

    Run various programs, have extended loads and some other scenarios - and you'll see the 15w throttle way before the 28w, which is where you'll see the true performance difference.

    Burst loads and certain benchmarks won't be enough to show the benefit of having 28w over 15w, especially when the clock speeds (with turbo boosts) aren't that different.
     
  20. fatalogic macrumors regular

    fatalogic

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    #20
    If you're just using office and web browsing you would probably be fine with a 12inch Macbook. Plus an external display and you're golden. Buying a macbook pro for your usage case is like buying a ferrari to drive to the cornerstore. Paying a pretty penny when you will probably use 5% of the potential.
     
  21. boateng thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    #21
    thats true

    i guess the new macbook pro 13' in space grey looks nice but the 15' may prove to be better value for money?
    --- Post Merged, Nov 9, 2016 ---
    thats true but i do more than that....netflix....itunes....movies etc...

    but the macbook is too small and the macbook pro is the better computer. just wether to get the 15' or 13'
     
  22. xb2003 macrumors 6502

    xb2003

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Location:
    MO
    #22
    You don't need the power of the 15", so that comes down to portability vs. screen size (and money.)

    2015 vs 2016 just comes down to whether the new features are worth the premium. Will you embrace USB C, or will it be a pain? Can you adapt to the new keyboard, or will it be a hindrance? Do you value the size reduction?

    These 2016s really did change quite a bit from the 15's, and about every change has good and bad. I think part of the reason Apple is still selling the 2015s is because of how much different the machines truly are.
     
  23. boateng thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    #23
    Yeah that is true

    I'm thinking of perhaps going for the 2015' 15 but something is saying like you said i dont need all those specs there i should go for the non touch bar 13/ meaning the smaller screen
     
  24. xb2003 macrumors 6502

    xb2003

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Location:
    MO
    #24
    I mean, yeah, you probably don't need the power of the 15". But at the same time, the non-touch 13" is the same price as what you are looking to spend on the 15", of course new vs. used.

    If you don't mind the extra size and value screen real estate, you are getting a lot more for your money with the 2015 15".
     
  25. bobosing316 macrumors newbie

    bobosing316

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2016
    #25
    I am in the same situation as you. I am mainly thinking the 15inch bigger screen & more powerful CPU (with abit more expensive) over the 13inch newer & nicer screen. Ultimately, i will advise you to go for the 13inch no touch bar, save the 200 bucks and get an external monitor (if you need it in the future).

    The reason is that the 2inch difference will not be noticeable if you compare to any standard desktop monitor (23inch+++).

    My advise is to wait for the touch bar 13 review in the next few weeks and decide before chrismas.
     

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