View Full Version : Time to upgrade. Not sure what to choose.

29th November 2014, 11:05 PM
So it seems like my old MacBook (late 2008) has given up on living and it's time to find a replacement. I went to an Apple store and asked about the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro retina, both 13 inch screens. When I explained what I'd be using the computer for, the staff recommended the MBP. I told them, my main applications are Photoshop and Corel Painter, with a Wacom drawing tablet.

I decided to do my own research and found out the MBP 13's GPU is not really that much better than the MBA's. Furthermore, when I checked out the refurbished late 2013 retina laptops at the Apple website I found a 15 inch MBP similarly priced to the 13 inch. So now I'm wondering what to do.

As I mentioned, my old MacBook unibody (late 2008) was mostly used for Photoshop (heaps of layers and filters) and Corel Painter. It wasn't brilliant, but with its RAM memory expanded to 8GB was working Ok-ish.

I'm happy with 256 GB storage, anything larger is a plus. Same with screen real estate, 15 inches would be nice but not a must have. More interested on best bang for the buck. I'd appreciate your opinions about the following machines:

MBP 13
Refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro 2.6GHz Dual-core Intel i5 with Retina Display - Apple Store (Australia) (http://store.apple.com/au/product/G0QC0X/A/refurbished-133-inch-macbook-pro-26ghz-dual-core-intel-i5-with-retina-display)

MBP 15
Refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro 2.0GHz Quad-core Intel i7 with Retina Display - Apple Store (Australia) (http://store.apple.com/au/product/FE293X/A/refurbished-154-inch-macbook-pro-20ghz-quad-core-intel-i7-with-retina-display)

The MBP15's advantages are the Nvidia graphics and the quad core processor, aside from the screen.

The MBP13 has twice as much RAM, and storage.

Do you guys think the 15's quad core and better GPU would offset the 13's RAM advantage? Specially when we consider the fact that with the retina laptops you're stuck with the RAM you get when you buy the computer.

And my last question, is it worth considering the 2014 machines? Even if I'd get less RAM at a similar price?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


30th November 2014, 07:17 AM
There's a lot for consideration here. I had a 13" MBP (but not with retina) and eventually gave it up because I needed an external screen to actually see what I was doing, with photo editing. I bought the screen and then wondered why I had a laptop (not mobile anymore) so I switched to a Mini. I think if all you are using is the laptop, the 15" would be well sufficient. My "old" (late 2012) Mini manages to run photoshop easily, so either of those would be fine - and better/faster than my Mini. I don't use any Corel products but I imagine it would be fine with those as well. The bottleneck for me is the HD, which is the original 5400rpm. I have 16GB but really need an SSD. You'll have that. Do you think you could work effectively in 13"? I think I could manage on 13" retina, but I know I can't on the regular screen. Lastly, I would probably get the refurb, if cost is a consideration (it always is, for me). Hope some of this makes sense... just that I have been mulling over the same sort of thing lately and eventually came down on the side of 13" though I am a LONG way off getting one. (Justification for purchase is nonexistent)

30th November 2014, 09:34 AM
Hi Sue,

Thanks for your reply.

I was working Ok with the 13 inch screen, I got used to it. I suppose a larger screen would mean a bit less zooming in and out.

By the way, I just re-checked the MBP15 from the link and realised it has the same Intel (Iris) GPU as the 13, probably with more memory. I guess the MBP13 is looking better now.