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Which Macbook Pro specs do I need? (:

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey (:

I'm planning on purchasing either a 13" Macbook Pro Retina, with 512gb Flash Based Storage/2.6GHz, and an upgraded memory of 16GB, or the 15" MBP Retina, with 2.0GHz/256 Flash Based storage, and then upgrading it to 16GB. I was wondering whether you could tell me which model would suit me better, and whether it'd be wise to upgrade to 16GB?

I'm going to be using the Macbook for everyday work, but also for Photoshop artwork pretty much everyday, as well as editing a few videos and music pieces. I'll need to be using Safari with various tabs open and I'll be playing videos from Youtube while I work, often on Photoshop while having large canvases and multiple layers open. Occasionally, I'll need to be running games when I'm doing game design as well. I'm hoping that the MB will last me for atleast 6 years, throughout college - so thats why I thought the 16GB might be a good idea? I'm looking for high performance as well.

Any help is much appreciated ^^
post #2 of 7
You shouldn't plan to stick with a machine for 6 years. If you did that 6 years ago, you'd have a laptop slower than an iPhone. Your laptop will retain a certain resale value and you can use that to upgrade after a shorter time.

The 15" is a good bit faster than the 13" and is a better size for productive use but 256GB of storage might cause problems over time (especially as game design is likely to use Windows so you'd need Bootcamp) and while it's upgradable, the SSDs aren't sold in retail channels.

You can check out refurbs for better deals:

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FE294B/
http://store.apple.com/uk/product/G0ML2B/
http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/specialdeals/mac

They have the same warranty and can be extended to 3 years, they just come in a brown box.

The 13" is more portable for college but I recommend the 15" for what you want to use it for, especially game design as the Iris GPU in the 13" is not the Iris Pro in the entry 15" and not very fast. The Retina model is better than the old model available in refurb too as it has an IPS display so much better for colors.

The 2012 refurbs don't use PCIe SSD, the 2013 ones do so the storage is faster but both are very fast so either one would be a good option. The 2013 ones have 2GB of video memory though, which is good for game design.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I've just had a look at that first Refurb, and it seems perfect!! The price tag is brilliant and it comes with pretty much the best specs availible, I'll definitely look into that!

Quick question, would you recommend buying a refurb? Can I expect the same quality as a brand new MacBook, i.e, will it be wiped of memory, not come with any faults?

Thanks, this info is super helpful so far (:
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by XxMiaCatxX View Post

Quick question, would you recommend buying a refurb? Can I expect the same quality as a brand new MacBook, i.e, will it be wiped of memory, not come with any faults?

Yes, people have been buying refurbs for years and there hasn't been any quality problems. There may be a possibility of getting one with signs of use like a scuff mark on the base but I haven't seen reports of that, they are really strict with the process and for the amount of saving, it would still be worth it anyway. One from late 2013 couldn't have been used much at all and the return was probably something trivial. Every report I've seen and every one I've bought has arrived just like a brand new model. You can return it in 14 days if you find something you don't like about it. They wipe them and install factory software just like a new one. If you discover a hardware defect later on, it's also under the full year warranty. You have to be quick with these sometimes as they only have limited stocks.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
You were right in saying they go fast, someone else already beat me to it ):
I'll keep an eye out for refurbished models, if none come up I'll just go for a 15" ^^

Thanks loads for all of your help!!
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by XxMiaCatxX View Post

You were right in saying they go fast, someone else already beat me to it ):
I'll keep an eye out for refurbished models, if none come up I'll just go for a 15" ^^

They might not be out of stock, sometimes the stores take all the refurbs down - I've noticed it happens more during evenings and weekends. I don't know if this is due to the stock relying on the retail stores. They'll probably put them all back in tomorrow.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

You shouldn't plan to stick with a machine for 6 years. If you did that 6 years ago, you'd have a laptop slower than an iPhone. Your laptop will retain a certain resale value and you can use that to upgrade after a shorter time.

The 15" is a good bit faster than the 13" and is a better size for productive use but 256GB of storage might cause problems over time (especially as game design is likely to use Windows so you'd need Bootcamp) and while it's upgradable, the SSDs aren't sold in retail channels.
 

The iphone comparison is unlikely to hold up unless you are really drag racing cache loads with wonky benchmarking software. Even if they did catch up, what matters is that you can run whatever software is necessary. I don't necessarily disagree with the sentiment. It's more like if the thing happens to last 6 years, that's fine. Just don't base your budget around using it for 6 years in case that doesn't work out. Most people who say these things don't have any real insurance on the machine, so it's possible that external factors will render this impossible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XxMiaCatxX View Post

I've just had a look at that first Refurb, and it seems perfect!! The price tag is brilliant and it comes with pretty much the best specs availible, I'll definitely look into that!

Quick question, would you recommend buying a refurb? Can I expect the same quality as a brand new MacBook, i.e, will it be wiped of memory, not come with any faults?

Thanks, this info is super helpful so far (:


Refurbs are fine. For college you'll probably end up using lab computers a fair amount. There's no way that a notebook gpu is going to make that software really fly on a heavy model, although you'll probably stick to lighter stuff. It's unlikely that anything you do in the near future is going to push the machine to its limits unless you're already doing that kind of thing on your own time. College projects tend to be fairly light, and there's a reasonable chance of damaging that notebook somewhere during that 6 year period. I would suggest buying the lightest thing  that will meet your needs. The one case where you sometimes get a better return on dollars spent is ram. If your college works with DirectX, a VM may or may not work. You may end up in bootcamp either way. You want to plan on storage space for windows if necessary. Only you know how much storage you need based on looking at what you have already and estimating the extended requirements. All of it should be backed up to at least one additional drive that doesn't reside in your notebook.

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