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Help Choosing the right macbook

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello guys. i just reacently sold my 15inch classic 2012, it was very bulky and i do not DJ or produce music on it anymore. Focusing more on my college work (international business major) i decided to get a more portable macbook. but im faced with a couple of issues. first off going from 15 to 13 i might miss the screen estate as i still make flyers in photoshop and do some ableton live work.

 

The refurb 15inch 2012 retina (ive never had retina models remmeber my 15' classic was first macbook) can be had for 1450 on amazon, craiglist offerings and even 1599 on the apple refurb store.

 

my buddy has a maxed out feb 2013 ivy bridge model 13'. its got an i7, 8gb ram, 526 ssd. hes selling it to me for 1500. i jumped on this deal because he had 3 years of applecare. going to apple however revelaed his mom had canceled the policy so now im really just wondering if i should get option 3. however i saw the battery only had 4 charge cycles... its honestly brand new

 

option 3 is the mid grade haswell model. its only i5, 8gb ram and 256 ssd. with my friend's model i was going to dual boot windows and play a little league of legends (dota like game). but the battery life and extra sleekness of the october 2013 model is enticing. with 256gb ssd however i dont think i would be able to dual-boot .  the good thing is with EDU pricing it can be had for $1399.

 

so as you can see i have boiled down to 3 options. i can get a workhorse 15in thats not too carry friendly ( i have to lug it around campus to library on trains ect) a maxed out 13in from the feb 2013 ivy bridge, or a mid range haswell. can anyone help me out here im going crazy lol. do you think black friday will have very good deals? are all these in retrospect even upgrades to me classic 15? the harddrive at 5400rpm was painfully slow i cant wait to experiance ssd and retina display... thank you all for your time.


Edited by Cristian Florez - 11/11/13 at 8:48pm
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

no help ? i need to decide this week if the i7 ivy bridge can match or beat the i5 haswell in performance and similar battery life in both models.

post #3 of 9
256GB is a little small to have Bootcamp but you can get away with about 50GB for Bootcamp and Windows 7, maybe a touch less. This would leave you just over 200GB for the Mac side. The later MBP also has PCIe SSD, which is quite a bit faster than the previous SATA model and you'll get Thunderbolt 2.

If your friend's MBP is still under warranty, you might be able to get Applecare on it but I don't know if it can be applied, cancelled and reapplied.

The 15" is great if you need a desktop replacement as it is a very powerful laptop but it is bulky for carrying around a lot.

I'd say the Haswell 13" at $1399 would be the best route. Black Friday deals last year I think were $100 off so you may get it for $1299. The extra storage on your friend's model would be good to have but the Haswell one has a better GPU and longer battery life.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

does the haswell i5 256 ssd really outweight an ivy bridge i7 with 526 ssd ? should i wait for black friday ? he says that he will give me a 2 week period to see if i like it, i mean its maxed out in all regards it should be stronger than the mid level model now shouldn't it ? i want to jump on the haswell 13 but with that small of a hardrive and a 3.0 i7 vs 2.4 i5 is making me over think the entire situation. it sucks that there are no bench marks to help me make the choice either everyone compares i5 to i5 in the same generation or i5 to i7 again in same generation but there is no i5 to i7 4rth gen vs 3rd gen.

 

the lack of apple care does not bother me as i like to upgrade every 2 years but right now im focused on buying what has more usability and raw power. the main reason i want to ditch my classic 15 because opening up photoshop was a chore... its a quad core processor and it took forever for the slow 5400rpm drive to do anything.... 

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cristian Florez View Post

Hello guys. i just reacently sold my 15inch classic 2012, it was very bulky and i do not DJ or produce music on it anymore. Focusing more on my college work (international business major) i decided to get a more portable macbook. but im faced with a couple of issues. first off going from 15 to 13 i might miss the screen estate as i still make flyers in photoshop and do some ableton live work.
You got rid of basically a brand new MBP? I really don't understand why you would do something like that.
Quote:
The refurb 15inch 2012 retina (ive never had retina models remmeber my 15' classic was first macbook) can be had for 1450 on amazon, craiglist offerings and even 1599 on the apple refurb store.
This is even more perplexing, You want to replace the machine you just sold with one that will deliver the same performance more or less?
Quote:
my buddy has a maxed out feb 2013 ivy bridge model 13'. its got an i7, 8gb ram, 526 ssd. hes selling it to me for 1500. i jumped on this deal because he had 3 years of applecare. going to apple however revelaed his mom had canceled the policy so now im really just wondering if i should get option 3. however i saw the battery only had 4 charge cycles... its honestly brand new
I didn't even know that you can cancel Apple care. Frankly for a college student AppleCare actually makes sense, I would otherwise avoid Apple care.
Quote:
option 3 is the mid grade haswell model. its only i5, 8gb ram and 256 ssd. with my friend's model i was going to dual boot windows and play a little league of legends (dota like game). but the battery life and extra sleekness of the october 2013 model is enticing. with 256gb ssd however i dont think i would be able to dual-boot .  the good thing is with EDU pricing it can be had for $1399.
The 2013 models are basically bargains if you ask me, You get a lot of balanced performance for the price. However 256 GB is hardly enough secondary storage these days. It is at best a minimal configuration. If you are at all serious about dual booting you need to either get the 512 GB model or use external storage for the Windows boot partition. Frankly I don't dual boot preferring instead virtual machines but the point remains if you can keep the image off your primary disk you free up a lot of space. Windows and a few apps can easily take up 30GB.
Quote:

so as you can see i have boiled down to 3 options. i can get a workhorse 15in thats not too carry friendly ( i have to lug it around campus to library on trains ect)
Unless you are a senior citizen or otherwise incapacitated I don't have much to say other than don't be a wimp and get yourself to the gym. Seriously Americans should be better than this.
Quote:
a maxed out 13in from the feb 2013 ivy bridge, or a mid range haswell. can anyone help me out here im going crazy lol.
Well it is too late but getting rid of the MBP was stupid! As such you need to make a decision here and probably quick if you are still in school. To that end I'd suggest getting a MBA tricked out with Max RAM and a good SSD.
Quote:
do you think black friday will have very good deals? are all these in retrospect even upgrades to me classic 15? the harddrive at 5400rpm was painfully slow i cant wait to experiance ssd and retina display... thank you all for your time.

You realize nobody can answer the questions above for you, right? It all depends upon what parameters are important to you. The MBA is highly recommended for students like you due to its battery life and portability. Lets face it most business majors could get by with a $2.00 calculator for all of the intelligence involved in such programs. A MBA would be more than enough for anything a business major is likely to need.
post #6 of 9
You are a business major by your own admission, what difference will a processor make for you. I think you need to get over yourself here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cristian Florez View Post

does the haswell i5 256 ssd really outweight an ivy bridge i7 with 526 ssd ? should i wait for black friday ? he says that he will give me a 2 week period to see if i like it, i mean its maxed out in all regards it should be stronger than the mid level model now shouldn't it ? i want to jump on the haswell 13 but with that small of a hardrive and a 3.0 i7 vs 2.4 i5 is making me over think the entire situation. it sucks that there are no bench marks to help me make the choice either everyone compares i5 to i5 in the same generation or i5 to i7 again in same generation but there is no i5 to i7 4rth gen vs 3rd gen.

the lack of apple care does not bother me as i like to upgrade every 2 years but right now im focused on buying what has more usability and raw power. the main reason i want to ditch my classic 15 because opening up photoshop was a chore...
So now you mention Photoshop. Any SSD Apple sells will improve load times as will having lots of RAM in the machine. The advantage Haswell has is far better OpenCL acceleration. That assumes that the functions you use have OpenCL acceleration written for them.
Quote:
its a quad core processor and it took forever for the slow 5400rpm drive to do anything.... 
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cristian Florez View Post

does the haswell i5 256 ssd really outweight an ivy bridge i7 with 526 ssd ? should i wait for black friday ? he says that he will give me a 2 week period to see if i like it, i mean its maxed out in all regards it should be stronger than the mid level model now shouldn't it ? i want to jump on the haswell 13 but with that small of a hardrive and a 3.0 i7 vs 2.4 i5 is making me over think the entire situation. it sucks that there are no bench marks to help me make the choice either everyone compares i5 to i5 in the same generation or i5 to i7 again in same generation but there is no i5 to i7 4rth gen vs 3rd gen.

There's a CPU benchmark here (click the 64-bit multi-core tab):

http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

The older i7 is 8% faster. Having the 512GB SSD is a plus over the 256GB but if you are going to pay $1500, you could get the top 13" Haswell at $1699 educational and then maybe $100 off in the Black Friday sale. This way you'd get a new machine, 512GB PCIe SSD, roughly the same CPU performance, graphics would be about the same, Thunderbolt 2 and longer battery life for just $100 more than the used one.

Either option would be ok though. If you need the 512GB SSD, the Haswell one would be at least $100 more and you'd have to wait to see if the Black Friday sale lowered the price enough. If you are happy with the condition of the used model, you can at least close the deal just now.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

thank you all for the responses. its unusual for me to be this indesisive, likewise i dont know why i told you guys what my major is because you then assume im some kid with no computing needs . lol. i used to DJ weddings/sweet 16's birthdays ect. because i want to focus on school more i want my machine to be more portable then the 15' was. it sucked trying to make edits in music production software on such a big machine on the go. it sucked bringing it to the library. it sucked that even itunes and the mac osx settings took up to 5 seconds to open. photoshop took forever. i do reviews on mixers and technology all the time so im editing video for my youtube channel, i take photos at parties to edit on aperture for our entertainment group's facebook page. im not a casual user

 

this is why i wanted to go from the 15inch classic to the newer retina ssd models. why's it so hard to understand lol. my friends laptop had 4 battery cycles on it. its literally brand new. it even has less then than 8 cycles my classic mbp came with.... but the choices right now are too much for me to decide on myself. not only do i want bang for buck, i want to stop CARING about my laptop, i was obsessing over model numbers and specs to the point of having them memorized and distracting me i just want to get 1 and be done with it 

 

1. customize a haswell 13 with i5 2.4hz 8gb ram 556ssd = $1699 (edu pricing) 

2. buy a febuary 2013 ivy bridge with i7 clocked at 3.0gz 8gb ram and 556 ssd = $1500

3. mid range retina on macmall discount here is $1459 !

 

a portable laptop is the most effeicent thing because i have a custom built PC at home if i truely need quadcore processing power. but because im on trains, commuting , going to study groups i need that portability and battery life. the macbook air wont push the software that i want to run and i think the 13inch is perfect. its just dependant on wether a maxed out to the top ivy bridge model is in anyway better than the mid level haswell. 


Edited by Cristian Florez - 11/12/13 at 6:35pm
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cristian Florez View Post

its just dependant on wether a maxed out to the top ivy bridge model is in anyway better than the mid level haswell.

Performance-wise, they are pretty much the same. If you don't get Applecare on the used model and it was bought when it came out, you'll only have 3 months warranty with it vs 12. Also, low battery cycles aren't always a good thing over long periods of time. Some people have reported early battery failures due to lack of use. They have chemicals inside that need to be activated regularly to stay healthy and there are recommendations to power cycle them every couple of weeks.

The price on the used one looks ok though for it having a 512GB SSD. I personally would get the Haswell model if the 512GB model was $1599 in the Black Friday sale or some discount site vs the used one at $1500. For the $100 difference, you get an extra 9 months warranty, the battery life is higher as you can see here (11 hours vs 6):

http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/29/macbook-pro-with-retina-display-review-13-inch-2013/

you get Thunderbolt 2 with 4K display support, PCIe storage (700MB/s vs 400MB/s), Iris graphics (similar performance but should work better with OpenCL 1.2/OpenGL 4). The Haswell model should run cooler so less fan noise too.
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