View Poll Results: Which mid-2014 retina MBP??

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  • Base 13 inch MBP - 8GB RAM, 128GB Flash

    0 0%
  • Mid 13 inch MBP - 16GB RAM, 128GB Flash

    0 0%
  • Mid 13 inch MBP - 8GB RAM, 256GB Flash

    0 0%
  • Top 13 inch MBP - 16GB RAM, 256GB Flash

    0 0%
  • Base 15 inch MBP - 16RAM, 256GB Flash (i7)

    0 0%
  1. anm99's Avatar
    Hi,
    I'm going to buy my first mac laptop. It's been years I look at the lineup and see an obvious upgrade coming and then delay the purchase till the next year.

    The new retina line-up (mid 2014) has recently come out and I'm thinking of just taking the plunge, although I know the Broadwell processors have likely been merely delayed till next year.

    Wanting to take the plunge as I want to learn iphone app development and need a machine that will allow to me do that while I can also use it for my day to day - surfing, mails, office, music, etc.

    My biggest problem is I want to get the best value for my money and so am unsure which model to go for. The entry level 13 inch model with 8gb RAM and 128 flash is the cheapest and I think should allow me to do everything I want.

    However, given this is going to be my primary machine and I will want to keep it for the next 3-5 years I'm considering upgrading the RAM to 16GB at which point it seems almost unfair not to upgrade the flash to 256GB too. Going for the 256GB with 8GB RAM also feels a bit unfair, as I can always use external drive for storing things but will be stuck with whatever RAM I have. With both the upgrades I'm basically at the same price as the 15 inch base model which comes with the 16GB RAM as standard and 256GB flash but also gives me a quad core i7!!

    Now it seems, that I'm going to get a lot more for my money on the base 15 inch - but then there's the issue of portability at which point I think I should just go for the 13 inch base model - then the whole loop plays back and I'm stuck trying to decide which one I should go for. It's partly because the retina models aren't upgradable at a later date.

    Can you mac experts please help me?

    Base 13 inch MBP - 8GB RAM, 128GB Flash
    Mid 13 inch MBP - 16GB RAM, 128GB Flash or 8GB RAM, 256GB Flash
    Top 13 inch MBP - 16GB RAM, 256GB Flash
    Base 15 inch MBP - 16RAM, 256GB Flash
    08-29-2014 07:01 AM
  2. mikeo007's Avatar
    The base 13" is going to be your best value *IF* the lower end specs are enough for you.
    Otherwise, you're almost always going to be better to go for the base 15" which upgrades basically everything.

    From my perspective, it seems that Apple's strategy is to offer an attractive base option, with expensive upgrades. The upgrades are designed for someone who wants to keep the current form factor, but with more powerful specs.

    Another way to look at it is price-for-specs.
    From base to Mid 13", you're paying $200 for 128GB of SSD storage or 8GB of RAM. Considering that SSDs tend to go for under $1 per GB in the aftermarket, and RAM is also considerably cheaper, this value is terrible.

    From base 13" to base 15", you're paying $700. For that, you're getting 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, 2 extra cores, 2 extra CPU cores, a higher grade of CPU (including a higher turbo clock), 2" of extra screen real estate, 2x GPU power.
    Take away the $400 for RAM and SSD and you're left with an insane value for the extra $300 that you spent over the top end 13".

    TLDR; I'd either get the base 13" or the base 15".
    08-29-2014 10:10 AM
  3. anm99's Avatar
    Mike, exactly right!! I just can't see paying the 400 bucks for the upgrades on the 13' when I know the 15 inch would be so much better value.

    Although, as you rightly said - the 13' is probably the best model, if it suffices for everything I need it for. I've described above what I'll be using the macbook for, I will have no other PC and it will become my main computer - what are your thoughts? Will the 8gb RAM and 128gb storage be sufficient? My current laptop has 3 gb RAM and 312 GB storage, but it's a PC and that seems to have been enough to last me 3 years...not sure how well mac's age?
    08-29-2014 10:47 AM
  4. UJ95x's Avatar
    Mike, exactly right!! I just can't see paying the 400 bucks for the upgrades on the 13' when I know the 15 inch would be so much better value.

    Although, as you rightly said - the 13' is probably the best model, if it suffices for everything I need it for. I've described above what I'll be using the macbook for, I will have no other PC and it will become my main computer - what are your thoughts? Will the 8gb RAM and 128gb storage be sufficient? My current laptop has 3 gb RAM and 312 GB storage, but it's a PC and that seems to have been enough to last me 3 years...not sure how well mac's age?
    A lot better than most Windows laptops. I'd say get the late 2013 model with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD at Best Buy. It's cheaper than the mid-range 2014 model with the same specs, just with a slightly lower clocked CPU. That way you're not paying $200+ more than the base 2014 model just for extra storage.
    09-02-2014 02:39 AM
  5. jasonprice's Avatar
    If this laptop is to last you 3-5 years, I think you will want the additional RAM AND the additional storage. Ive been down this road before. Your mind tries to make you think that you can spend less money and get the 128GB storage option. Within a year I was having to move files around and constantly managing the space. For me, its worth the extra money to not have to deal with that later on. Especially if its going to be around for 5 years. Now maybe there will be a PCI-e SSD upgrade option later down the road, but I wouldn't count on it. Get the most you can within your budget. Oh, and if you are worried about portability, don't be afraid of the 15". I carry one for work, through airports and at conferences and I don't mind it a bit. The extra screen real estate is nice.
    09-02-2014 12:25 PM
  6. mikeo007's Avatar
    If I had to choose between the 2 upgrades on the base model, I'd probably choose to double the storage. 128gb is tiny, and OSX handles RAM very well. My 2010 MBP has 8gb of RAM and I don't think I've seen a page-out in years. That said, I'd still probably choose the 15", or do like someone else suggested and get an upgraded 2013 13" at a discount from Best Buy (it's basically the exact same machine).
    09-03-2014 12:16 PM
  7. agarwal.apar's Avatar
    I would suggest to go for Mid 13" MBP - 16GB RAM and 128GB HDD and just buy an external storage device. If possible, go for Time Capsule(2TB or 3TB depending on your requirement) along with MBP.

    I gotta MBA 13" 4Gb RAM and 128 GB disk and I am seriously contemplating to buy Time Capsule!
    09-03-2014 12:35 PM
  8. jasonprice's Avatar
    I would suggest to go for Mid 13" MBP - 16GB RAM and 128GB HDD and just buy an external storage device. If possible, go for Time Capsule(2TB or 3TB depending on your requirement) along with MBP.

    I gotta MBA 13" 4Gb RAM and 128 GB disk and I am seriously contemplating to buy Time Capsule!
    Considering the prices of the time capsules, why wouldn't he just put that money into additional storage on the mac?

    I think most people would agree... get however much RAM you can afford. That is the one thing you cannot increase. Internal storage should be the 2nd priority, I wouldn't buy a computer with less than 256GB. The external storage options sounds great until you don't have it with you and need that ONE document that you can only get by plugging in your external drive. Which happens to be sitting at home on your desk where you left it, because "Nah, I don't need my external drive today"
    UJ95x and shief24 like this.
    09-03-2014 03:51 PM
  9. UJ95x's Avatar
    Considering the prices of the time capsules, why wouldn't he just put that money into additional storage on the mac?

    I think most people would agree... get however much RAM you can afford. That is the one thing you cannot increase. Internal storage should be the 2nd priority, I wouldn't buy a computer with less than 256GB. The external storage options sounds great until you don't have it with you and need that ONE document that you can only get by plugging in your external drive. Which happens to be sitting at home on your desk where you left it, because "Nah, I don't need my external drive today"
    I agree about the RAM. But if you knew you needed something, why wouldn't you transfer said files to your main computer for however long you'll need it? I bought an external drive, because the only things I'll really need everyday are either web based or I already have installed on the laptop. Didn't see the need for 256GB of storage.
    09-03-2014 04:09 PM
  10. jasonprice's Avatar
    I agree about the RAM. But if you knew you needed something, why wouldn't you transfer said files to your main computer for however long you'll need it? I bought an external drive, because the only things I'll really need everyday are either web based or I already have installed on the laptop. Didn't see the need for 256GB of storage.
    I agree that it can be done. I'm looking at it based on what he told us. Its going to be his primary computer. Its going to be his only Mac. He wants it to last 5 years. Personally, I don't want to have to manage 128GB for 5 years. What if he decides in a few months that he wants to run a Windows VM? Ive had my current MBP for less than two months and am sitting at 120GB used. Thats email, documents, pictures, a handful of movies, some music and one Windows VM. I don't consider this a lot at all, considering everything that I COULD have on it. If he thinks he can get by with 128GB, more power to him. I'm thinking long term.
    09-03-2014 04:37 PM
  11. shief24's Avatar
    I used to have a 64GB Air. Good times...OP what did you end up doing? I bought the 128GB and space isn't an issue for me. But I use dropbox to keep all my university files and cloud services like evernote to keep everything synced. I also don't keep music on my laptop as I just use Google Play Music on my phone. Regarding your dilemma, I think you should go with the 15 inch and don't worry about the extra 2 inches. It won't make THAT much of a difference and you're paying a similar price for a 13 with upgrades.
    09-11-2014 11:58 PM
  12. Raptor007's Avatar
    For me on the MBP I opted for 16GB RAM since its no longer user replaceable and I wanted the most and picked up the SuperDrive since I do like to backup my movies and do some archiving. I did have a couple MBA a while back but they are getting left behind with no Retina yet super light and great for traveling.
    09-15-2014 09:35 PM
  13. xKrNMBoYx's Avatar
    Base 15-inch for me. 13" is a great size for portability but the 15" will still be portable but the 2" screen real estate will be useful. Additionally I try not to buy Dual-Core based computers anymore. It just doesn't seem cut for performance uses. The decision would be easy if RAM was user replaceable but sadly I believe they are all soldered. If you think you need a lot of RAM then you'll have to get the 16GB model. My Mid-2012 Macbook Pro only has 8GB of RAM. Sometimes some programs like to use a lot of memory, memory leakage, or weird memory allocation as cache, because of that I wonder how it's like to run 16GB of RAM on OSX. Storage on the other hand is available at lower prices from other manufacturers/retailers.
    09-21-2014 01:32 AM
  14. mbar9607's Avatar
    reason of upgrades is why i avoided getting the retina model of the macbook pro and just got the older model so i can install a bigger ssd and more ram when i want to and i can max it out and i have a cd drive still and ill be able to in stall the gm of yosemite as well so for me it was an overall win and i went with the 13" just for the fact if i do take it with me it wont be as heavy or a hassle as a 15" might be
    10-16-2014 07:57 AM

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