Which Macbook Pro to Get?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by monk64, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. monk64 macrumors newbie


    Aug 24, 2015
    Portland, Oregon
    I'm getting a first Mac laptop, mainly for work but I'll also heavily use it personally.

    My work is almost exclusively Office 365 apps, web, and basic network stuff like ssh. For personal use, I use Photoshop and Scrivener, and do some very light video editing (family stuff). I also use my laptop as a portable media player when traveling. I may add some games, but I generally like turn-based 4X games (civilization, etc.) not super graphic-intense stuff.

    I should add that I have a powerful desktop with tons of storage already, so this is not my only system.

    I have a hard, non-negotiable budget of $2500 which must include AppleCare ($249 for 13", $349 for 15").

    I'm considering two configs:

    13" Macbook Pro w/3.1Ghz dual core i5, 16GB RAM, 512GB flash ($2448 w/AC)


    15" Macbook Pro w/2.5Ghz quad core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB flash ($2488 w/AC)

    Really it comes down to the 15" having faster procs but less storage, while the 13" has more storage but slower procs.

    I'm leaning 15" with the assumption that 256GB ought to be enough and I can always plug in a Thunderbolt add-on hard drive...right? There are ways to get more storage and juggle what's on the laptop, but there's no way to get more speed.

    However, I wonder if I'm paying for a lot faster speed/bigger screen than what I need.

    Any thoughts? I'm thinking this is one of those "it all comes down to what you want" things but figured it couldn't hurt to ask :)
  2. CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    To me it comes down to screen size and portability. Can you live 13" screen size? The 13" i5 will perform fine for it's primary use of Office for work and occasional personal use. The 13" has more storage without lugging around external drives (also the portability issue again). I'm a big fan of the 15" MBP (as you can probably guess from my sig), but I'm not hauling my Mac around much.
  3. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Personally, I'd prefer the 13" as I don't really like lugging round external drives with me. It's another thing to go wrong (and to have to backup), so the 512GB is very appealing. Plus, if you're playing games, a modern game can easily be 15-20GB.

    The 15" would be much faster when using multi-core aware programmes, but they aren't really all that common. If you're not using FCP, Photoshop, AE etc every day then I don't think it should be taken as a massive advantage over the 13". Plus, you say you have a desktop for heavy lifting.

    It really comes down to whether you value more storage and portability over slightly more speed and larger screen. It will depend entirely on how you intend to use it.
  4. arggg14 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 30, 2014
    The two posters above pretty much summed it up. As this isn't your only machine, I wouldn't be scared of the 256GB SSD and the size/portability factor of the 13 over the 15 is negligible to me. If it were me, I'd pick the 15 for the larger screen and more overall power.
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    I'd say shop Best Buy, get the high end 15" rMBP for the graphics card, CPU speed and drive space.

    However, make your first stop at the post office, pick up a address change kit -- if you have a smart phone, log on and get your 10% off coupon using the info in the address change kit.

    Best Buy will be selling Apple Care in September, the machine should be $100-150 off, and you should get a 10% savings on the purchase.

    Should be darn close to your budget mark (might be $50 less than your other choices), you will get everything you planned plus the AMD M370X graphics chip, and the 512GB drive.

    But only if you can wait until September 13th.
  6. CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    Best Buy has caught on the Movers Coupon loop hole:
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I personally like this option because of the screen real estate and faster processor/GPUs you get. Have you looked at the refurbs to cut down on the price of the 15" MBP?
  8. PolygonWRLD macrumors newbie


    Aug 24, 2015
    I'd go big or go home, since the new 2015 models are unchangeable in terms of hardware so you would get a long run out of it with the quad core. 256gb ssd is enough and quite frankly apple's storage upgrades are quite extortionate, an external hard drive is easily usable and fairly priced nowadays.
  9. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2015
    Mukilteo, WA USA

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