Which MBPro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kwmun, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. kwmun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2015
    #1
    Heya, I'm currently torn on which MBPro to get. Will be starting uni soon and looking into doing programming and running a few VMs on the MBPro. I also do abit of a light gaming. First time Mac buyer and any advice will be great.

    Retina MacBook Pro 2015 13" i5 2.7ghz/256gb SSD/8GB ram

    or

    Retina MacBook Pro 2014 15" i7 2.2ghz/256gb SSD/16gb ram (base model)

    The 15" is slight more ex at about 15% more than the 13" which I'm willing to stretch if it's worth it. Or should I just put the money and upgrade the RAM on the 13" instead? Thanks.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    The 15" will give you better performance running multiple Vms due to the quad core processor and superior GPU. I'd opt for that model given your usage.

    The 13" main advantage is its a bit more portable thanks to its smaller size., but aside from that I think the 15" is a better option - just my $.02
     
  3. mlts22 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    #3
    I went with the 13" because I like the size, as I wanted something to be easily carried around, and that to me is more important than the two additional cores.

    However, if size isn't an issue, it would be a no brainer. I'd go with a 15" MBP.

    RAM is also something to consider. Since you can't add DIMMs later, I would always make sure I am buying 16GB, even if it means a BTO machine.

    Finally, I'd probably consider paying for a bump to a 512GB SSD, if at all possible. VMs are space hungry, and the onboard SSD is extremely fast, so might as well place them on that, as the disk is a lot faster than even an external USB 3.0 SSD.
     
  4. Rusty33 macrumors 6502

    Rusty33

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    If you want portability you want a 13. Carting around a 15 inch computer will get real old, real fast. Yes, you trade off some screen real-estate...but well worth it IMO.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    I've travelled with a 15" laptop for years, you get used to it and the larger screen size is a big plus (at least for me).
     
  6. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    If it wasn't so expensive, I could see the 12" rMB and a desktop in the dorm but apple really pushed the pricing point of their retina MacBook
     
  8. Cuniac, Jul 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015

    Cuniac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Location:
    Phoenix
    #8
    If your going to run VM's on you MacBook you will want to get the 15in. The reason being is resource management. I run a few VM's myself using Parallels and as with most VM software you will set the resources your computer will set aside just for that VM. You really never want allocate more than about 80% of the CPU to the VM, If you do it can impact the performance as it will leave little room for the Mac OS to function without issue.

    Now the 13in model comes with a 2 core I5 and 8GB of ram. since the CPU's in the 13in and 15in are hyper threaded the VM software will see each core as two, this will allow you to assign half cores if you want to. Example being the 2core i5 will show 4 allocatable cores in the VM software allowing you to set 3 when its really just 1 and a half actual cores. Even though VM software has come a long way in the past 5 years its still going to run as well as the resources you give it. So running say, Windows 8.1 on 1.5 cores of your 2core i5/i7 in the 13in and giving it 6GB of you 8GB of ram is not a lot of power for it to play with. It will run, but maybe not how you would want it to. If you need to run more than one VM at a time the 13in will definitely be under powered.

    The 15in on the other hand has some power. you get a 4core hyper threaded CPU, so 8 allocatable in you VM, and 16GB ram stock. Not to forget it has the faster 5200 Intel integrated graphics that is faster than the 6100 in the 13in. With these specs you could run (as I do) 2 actual cores (4 in your VM) and 8GB ram for Windows, Plus 1 core (2 in your VM) and 4GB of ram for Linux, leaving you mac with 1 core and 2.5GB of ram free to be able to successfully manage all of these tasks. That missing 1.5GB of ram is the shared ram the Mac uses as VRam that you will split up as needed for your VM's. If you decide to go one more step up to the dGPU 15in MBP you will get 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRam. That would free up that extra 1 GB of ram as well as provide you with 2GB of faster Video only memory.
     

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