Which Macbook Pro to buy??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cool.aquarian, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. cool.aquarian macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2012
    Hi All,

    After a long wait, and saving good money, I am on the verge of ordering a Macbook Pro.

    But I am yet to make up my mind on which one to go for.
    My requirement are:

    Budget: Inside $2500.
    Screen: 13" or 15" (15" more preferable :))

    I plan to keep this laptop for next 5-6 years. Setup a triple booting System: MacOS, Windows 7 and Linux.
    Will use it for HD Videos/Movies (I want a good screen which is soothing for eyes), Music, Programming (Involves running simultaneous Database/Web/Application servers on Windows/Linux), Gaming on Windows with Bootcamp(light to medium games like Doom, Quake, NFS, GTA4, Left 4 Dead, Call of Duty4), Surfing Internet..

    And I prefer Glossy Display for better looking videos/pictures.

    I want the laptop to be without any problems afterwards.
    Would prefer to be as future proof as possible

    Following are the ones on my mind:

    Macbook Pro
    13-inch: 2.9 GHz

    2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
    Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    8GB 1600MHz memory
    750GB 5400-rpm hard drive1
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Built-in battery (7 hours)2


    15-inch Standard: 2.6 GHz with custom ordered Glossy High Definition Display (1680x1050)

    2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    8GB 1600MHz memory
    750GB 5400-rpm hard drive1
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
    Built-in battery (7 hours)2


    15-inch: 2.3 GHz Retina display with custom order 16GB RAM

    2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
    16GB 1600MHz memory (custom ordered)
    256GB flash storage1
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
    Built-in battery (7 hours)2


    Which one should I opt for??
    1. I will save lot of money on 13 inch one, but would it be sufficient for my needs (running database/web/application servers and gaming mentioned above)?
    2. The standard 15 inch is upgradeable. I can upgrade RAM/Hard Drive later. Only concern is the screen reflection too much?
    3. The 15 inch Retina, is not upgradeable. Though I can custom order 16GB RAM, I will be stuck with 256GB SSD drive forever(I don't have budget to go for 512GB SSD one). I don't care about Optical Drive, but may need Ethernet on rare occasions.

    Please suggest.
  2. njean777 macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2009
    If you are going to do any gaming on the machine ditch the 13in and only look at the 15in models. The next part is, if you want to ditch the capability to upgrade. If you do not mind then go with the retina (that is what I have and it works well for games as long as you set the res to non-retina in windows). If you want to be able to upgrade in the future then go with the classic macbook pro. It is really up to you.
  3. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Buy online and get the education discount and save more money. Or buy a 2011 refurb with a high res anti glare screen.
  4. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    Go for the 15" cMBP and upgrade the RAM to 16 GB when/if needed and the hard drive to whatever you need, whenever you need.

    Refurbs won't have USB3 or Ivy Bridge; USB3 is a nice addition.

    Retina is unlikely to last that long - it's a fixed system, and they will only get better/more reliable as time goes on. As you look around these (and other) forums, there are some teething problems with the retina models that you avoid by not buying one.
  5. twoturnspin macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2012
    Agreed that the choice here is difficult, if you are going to jump to a new machine go hard and get the best you can. The MBR Retina is just brilliant, totally love it and I'm not a fan boy. I went with this machine with a 2.6GHz CPU, 8GB RAM and 512GB HDD.

    Wouldn't 8GB RAM be enough for what you want to do? Could you switch out the extra RAM and go with the 512GB HDD instead?

    BTW just get the Thunderbolt Adaptor for Ethernet, it works fine.

    Last & most importantly - get the retina screen, most beautiful screen on a notebook I have seen and I've owned a bunch of notebooks.
  6. jvpython macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2011
    New Zealand
    You can now upgrade the SSD inside the Retina MBP with a kit from OWC. It's not cheap though but still possible :)
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Personally, I'd go with the rMBP because that's what I did ;)

    The price difference between the two is so slight in your configurations, I'd go with the one with the gorgeous screen. The SSD is upgradeable but not the ram. You can buy a larger SSD from OWC though its pricey. Its an option that you might want down the road

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