Why is the 15 inch MacBook Pro so expensive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Windows&Apple, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Windows&Apple macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2013
    I need justification for spending close to $2,000.00 on a 15 inch MacBook Pro. I'm still trying to figure out how a machine (although beautiful) can be so overpriced! I'm not looking at the retina, instead it's the base 15 inch (2.3GHz).

    The specs I have laid out right now is:

    • HD Anti-glare screen
    • 8GB RAM
    • 500GB 5200RPM HDD
    • AppleCare

    But for the price I'm paying, the HDD is small, 500GB is a bit too small for what is essentially a Rolls Royce of laptops... the speed isn't an issue, I understand why it's a slower speed, so I'm fine with that. The "HD" anti-glare screen isn't really HD... it's not 1080p, it's just a step under that and that's disappointing. The 8GB RAM upgrade is a $100, but I could do the upgrade for 1/2 the price.

    From what I see, I could get these same specs in an ASUS for a cheaper price and I'd get a 1080p screen. I'm just trying to understand why I'm asked to pay so much for so little?
  2. chrisperro macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2009
    trackpad ,OS, build quality ,costumer service, just a few ....
    Is your money do whatever you want to do with it.
  3. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    Short answer: apple likes big profit margin.

    Long answer: you could get an ASUS with a 1080p screen, but then you:

    1) wouldn't have OSX would you?
    2) the build quality of the ASUS is likely less than that of the MBP.
    3) ASUS warranty doesn't have the luxury of having many retail locations with "genius bars" for quick support.
    4) ASUS resell value drops much faster than your MBP.

    etc, etc.
  4. Windows&Apple thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2013
    I suppose the resell value is true, and the "image" of a MacBook Pro aswell. I think I might just buy a high-end 13 inch and toss an SSD and 16GB of RAM in that baby. It'd be cheaper :D
  5. SAIRUS macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2008
    Can't add 16 gig ram on the 13".

    I got it for my uses, which involve a need for mo powa
  6. A Hebrew macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Jan 7, 2012
    First of all, take the 8gb RAM out of your calculations, all companies rip you off on ram upgrades (or at least most). The cost is probably much higher than it has to be but I assume that Apple is keeping it at the same price of the last few generations because it will be discontinued anyway, and they want to push newer technology.
  7. Windows&Apple thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2013
    New technology that replaces RAM? Probably, but for now, I need it and the upgrade is pretty expensive. I'm hoping the 2013 MBP's will have 8GB's of RAM standard across all models, upgradeable to 16GB
  8. JeffiJers macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2012
    idk but i agree with you OP.

    Well maybe base model.

    as soon as you go hi res, or any upgrades you are not that far off from the retina which comes stock with flash storage, thinner, and better display.

    I am picking up the retina because of this otherwise i would have bought a 15pro if it was say 1600 for the base w high res.

    infact, idk why they all dont come 1050...

    apples prices are weird, the 13 air and cpro are priced perfectly and the 15 retina is a good price for what you get .
  9. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    This thread does not talk about the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, it is talking about the classic MBP, which in fact can take 16 GB RAM since 2011 regardless of display size.
  10. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    Yes you can, if you install it yourself (doesn't apply to the retina).

    -Sent from my 13" MacBook Pro, running 16 gigs of RAM.

    By the way, if yo are running a cMBP, I STRONGLY suggest upgrading yourself. Apple upgrades are kind of like accessories installed on a car by a dealership, it's pure profit gouging. The cMBP IS user upgradeable. Get the right tools (00 screwdriver, etc.) so you aren't stripping screws, and get the stuff you need. I got 16GB of RAM for less than $80. Also popped in a couple SSD's.

    Over a Windows machine, for one, you're ditching Li-Ion batteries for more expensive Li-Po batteries that ver, very few Windows machines run. Also, the built in battery is much, much bigger than on a windows laptop, because it doesn't need an enclosure or all the hardware that's required to make a removable battery (it's the reason apple went that route). So not only do you get industry leading battery life, that battery life will still be there a year down the road, and will outlast most Windows laptops. You MIGHT find a Windows laptop that gets 6-7 hours (in day to day tasks, obviously more intense stuff eats it), but 6 months from now it's battery life will have degraded much faster than the MBP.

    You get OSX, obvious advantages there.

    Despite what others say about a big profit margin, a lot of it is in the materials. The MBP is made of aluminum, not plastic. It uses a premium quality display (even the non retina will knock most laptop displays out of the park in terms of brightness, color, contrast, and overall look). These things might not matter to you, if not, then you might be spending too much. Some, like myself, are willing to pay for that type of a laptop, one with exceptional build quality, and the top notch materials. When you compare RAM, CPU and Hard Drive, it looks like the RAM is a bad deal, but there IS more to it than that!
  11. vpro macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2012

    Go for an awesome refurb 17"MBP, with the mass savings - upgrade the heck out of her, then and call it a day - Apple offers alternatives which are often times way more justly and makes more sense. Don't let them dictate by limiting the current options. Or wait till late 2013.
  12. A Hebrew macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Jan 7, 2012
    That part was the computer in general.....not ram.
  13. locoboi187 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2012
    Well Applecare raises the price right there. And for $2k id just get the rMBP
  14. Windows&Apple thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2013
    It's tempting, but the ability to upgrade the laptop myself is worth the loss I take when it comes to screen resolution :cool:
  15. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    So for the same price you'd go for 1/2 the storage, 1/2 the RAM and the Retina display. For the price of a BASE Retina MBP you can get a base 15" with the hi-res display, 16 GB of memory (the retina will have 8 and you CAN'T add to that) and enough left over for an SSD (that can be installed in parallel with the existing spinner if you remove the SuperDrive).

    I still don't get that argument that "for $2K just get the RMBP" when other than the display it's actually LESS of a machine and there's ZERO opportunity to make it more of a machine except for upgrading the SSD - which, by the way, is not the same SSD as you'd get for a CMBP.

    By the way, my RAM and SSD upgrades are based on non-Apple upgrades and self-installing (which is quite simple).
  16. Windows&Apple thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2013
    So what would be the difference between a fully pimped out 13 inch (2.9 i7) verses a base 15 (2.3 i7)? :confused:
  17. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Dual Core (13") vs. Quad Core (15").
  18. TRAV9614 macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2012
    There is also a dedicated GPU.
  19. Windows&Apple thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2013
    But I assume the SSD would make applications run a lot quicker, and the added RAM would only boost performance, is the dual core vs. quad core really going to make that much of a difference?
  20. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    It depends on the application. For web browsing, e-mail, and basic Office tasks, likely not. If you are running photo editing software, video or audio encoding, and similar CPU-intensive tasks that can take advantage of the extra 2 cores, then it will.
  21. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    There are three types of applications (putting it simply) that you are going to use. Many applications will be a combination.

    Disk intensive, CPU Intensive, and GPU intensive.

    Disk intensive applications will benefit from an SSD. Anything that uses or manipulates large files will benefit from an SSD. Your operating system is very disk intensive, so it 'feels' faster. Don't be fooled though, it's not going to make your computer run intense applications faster, it's simply allowing data to move around faster.

    CPU Intensive apps benefit from multiple cores, lots of cache, and a good clock speed. The Quad Core i7 will do this better than the dual core i5 or i7

    GPU intensive apps can include games, 3D rendering software, etc. These apps will struggle with the HD4000 graphics, even though the HD4000 is leaps and bounds better than previous Intel graphics. The dedicated GPU is very important here.

    Just decide what you need it for. An SSD is NOT a replacement for a faster CPU, though an SSD is the best way to make your computer 'feel' faster.

    The biggest performance boosts the 15" are going to have, is 2 extra cores and a dedicated GPU. SSD or not, heavy, and intense applications are going to benefit from that. However, if the majority of your use is writing papers, browsing the web, occasional photo viewing and editing, etc. etc., then you would benefit MORE form an SSD/Dual Core combo, than an HDD/Quad Core combo. (Though obviously the best performance comes from an SSD/Quad combo)

    That said, the latest MacBook Pro has some really good stuff from Intel. The Ivy Bridge i5 chips and the HD4000 are really, really good for what they are. Unless you are doing serious video editing or wanting to game at high settings and resolutions, chances are the 13" will provide the performance that you need. It's much faster than previous generation MBP's.

    Like I said before, decide what level of performance you need, and whether it's worth the cost. Also, go play with them at the Apple store. Some hate the 13" form factor. I happen to prefer it GREATLY, but I've encountered people who look at it and say "How can you get anything done on that small screen?". Well, to be fair, I DO have a 27" ACD at home, but, the lower resolution doesn't bother me for the stuff that I do when I'm on the go. Again, YMMV, so you need to determine what YOU are going to use it for.

    I do photoshop and lightroom work, some fairly intense photo editing, and even a little web design on mine, but that's all when connected to the larger display. On the go, it's web browsing, word processing, blogging, emailing, etc. Light duty stuff, so I'm able to get away with the 13". (Though the 13" doesn't have any hiccups driving photoshop, lightroom, etc., all at 2560x1440). However, 'converting/encoding' type tasks such as exporting RAW files into JPEG, etc., take longer on the 13" MBP than they do on my quad core desktop. Again, your mileage may vary!
  22. PatriotInvasion macrumors 68000


    Jul 18, 2010
    Boston, MA
    I love the PC vs Mac price debate as if they both run the same OS.

    Aside from the high end design of a Mac, you are paying for the access to Mac OS X - complete with iLife, Mac App Store, and an overall much more polished and stable OS experience.

    By saving a few bucks on the Asus, you get a Windows based computer complete with "Intel Inside" stickers, a ton of bloatware (90-day risk free AOL trial!) and probably some 15-month subscription to McAfee Antivirus...Yuck with a capital Y:p Go with the Mac and be happy. As others have said, you'll make the extra money back in resale value.
  23. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Resale value is fickle no matter what. People rely on it too much at times. It's not as consistent as it's sometimes portrayed on here. Asus is capable of exceptional build quality. They spun off Pegatron. Pegatron has since done some work for Apple. A frequent complaint you'll find on Asus is that in the event you do need warranty support, it is difficult to obtain. Their ultrabooks turn up a lot of complaints, but they're not necessarily the dead notebook or unusable type. If you look at Amazon, the reviews are pretty detailed.
  24. Queen6, Jan 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013

    Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    For me there is absolutely nothing compelling about the 13" other than the size, the 15" absolutely dominates the 13" in every aspect, anyone looking to buy the 13" should think about it carefully.

    Apple set the standard for performance with the 15" Retina and now they are looking to cash in on those who are not able to live with the 15" footprint. A 13" Retina with a basic CPU upgrade (dual core i7) costs as much as a base 15" Retina in many countries which is a bad joke to say the least.

    It makes little sense to go with a 13" Retina unless you are absolutely tied to the form factor; the CPU`s performance level of the 15' over the 13" in isolation is significant to say the least, anything CPU intensive is simply going to be completed far faster, any app that can take advantage of multicore architecture more so.

    GeekBench Results:
    • MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2012) Intel Core i7-3520M 2900 MHz (2 cores) 7797 (High end)
    • MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid 2012) Intel Core i7-3615QM 2300 MHz (4 cores) 10799 (Base)

    My own base 15" Retina benchmarks at over 11K systematically (Link: just hit 11040 and 11043 and 11096) and on top of the far higher CPU rating you will have both the HD 4000 and GT 650M GPU`s, superior audio, higher resolution, twice the storage capacity. If i was forced to buy the 13" Retina i would be very unhappy to say the least giving up so much, saving just a couple of hundred dollars, for the sake of the smaller footprint

    The bottom line is the 13" Retina is priced far too high, i applaud Apple`s ingenuity and engineering prowess, equally their greed is staggering just when will enough be enough $$$$. The 13" Retina should have a base price range of $1200 - $1300, the standard 13" should certainly be sub four figures, in general the 13" line is grossly over priced, as fundamentally it`s a basic computer with little to nothing changing since it`s introduction in 2008 as the Aluminium MacBook; duel core CPU, integrated graphics only, and very poor resolution on the standard model. Apple are simply cashing in on the desirability of the form factor...

    The straight up answer is buy a bigger bag, and you will have all the performance you need, at all times ;)
  25. Liquinn Suspended

    Apr 10, 2011
    Build quality.
    Customer support.
    Re-sale value.
    Ability to have Windows native and you can dual boot OSX AND Windows on the same machine; you can't do the same with a PC; legally.
    Access to the app store.
    Comparability with other Apple products.
    Better battery life than on most cheap PCs.

    That's a good list of reasons; but it's your money. :p

    You get what you pay for.

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