[SOLVED] 2015 Macbook vs 2013 Macbook Pro

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trimar99

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I've been wanting a new laptop, and I've narrowed it down to two options. I can get a 2013 Macbook Pro with an i5 2.66ghz 8gb of ram and a 128gb ssd used for around 900$, or I can get a refurbished 2015 macbook with intel M 1.1ghz, 8gb of ram and a 256gb ssd for 1300$. Both pretty much fit my needs, but i'm just wondering if I should save up a little more for the 2015 macbook.
 
The 2015 Macbook used a Broadwell Core M processor. The Skylake Core Ms are actually pretty decent - they have as much cache as a mobile i7, and can Turbo Boost on both cores. It's basically a thermal-throttled and lower-clocked i7 (it will actually outperform an equal-clocked mobile i5 at short tasks).

The Broadwell Core M however is in my "definitely avoid" category. It can only Turbo Boost on a single core, so when multitasking it will either be using a single core, or will be stuck at 1.1 GHz on both cores. It is substantially slower than even the Skylake Core Ms.

OWC sells SSD upgrades which are compatible with the MBPs. The prices are ridiculous compared to standardized SSDs, but still better than Apple's prices.

https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc/macbook-pro
 

trimar99

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So you recommend the Macbook pro? I'm just wondering because it's older and used.

 
The speed difference between Haswell (used in the 2013 MBP) and Broadwell is nil. They're the same architecture. Broadwell is just Haswell shrunk down to 14nm, while Haswell is still 22nm. Broadwell does have a better integrated GPU, but Apple uses Intel Iris or Iris Pro in their MBPs, so the MBP should still be better for gaming.

There's supposed to be a power savings due to the smaller transistor size in Broadwell, but I haven't seen much from the Broadwell and even Skylake laptop benchmarks I've seen. I think we've gotten to the point where the vast majority of the power draw over the 6-8 hours you use a laptop is now from components other than the CPU, so reducing the CPU's power consumption doesn't help as much as it used to.

If this were a 2013 MBP vs a 2016 Macbook with Skylake, it'd be a tougher decision. But for a Haswell MBP vs a Broadwell Macbook, get the MBP. As for used, you're going to have to look it over, kick the tires, and decide for yourself if the wear and tear is acceptable.
 

trimar99

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Thanks for the help, I'll contact the seller for the MBP.
 

nolimits76

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Just to clarify, the 2013 MBP is a non-retina display? If so, this is what I refer to as their "legacy" MBP and it has not been updated since 2012 by Apple. So even though it may be a "2013 MBP" if it is this model, it was last updated 2012. If you buy one of these legacy MBP's today, brand new in the box, it was still last updated in 2012.

http://www.apple.com/shop/buy-mac/macbook-pro?product=MD101LL/A&step=config

I bought one of these NEW for my wife a little over a year ago. It's more than sufficient for typical needs (we aren't computer gamers), and hers is a little faster than mine (late 2011). Reasons I opted to purchase this for her:

1. Includes optical drive (superdrive)
2. USER can upgrade RAM as needs/desires change
3. USER can upgrade HDD (or change to SSD) as needs/desires change
4. OWC offers a solution that allows the USER to remove the optical drive & swap-in a secondary SSD drive

Price was good too. We went with a base model and student discount for less than $1,000 for a BRAND NEW unit. I fully intend to upgrade the RAM and HDD as her needs demand it. My 2011 is pushing a little over 5 years and going strong. I am considering the SSD swap on my own machine (uncertain if I will add a second drive using the optical drive upgrade or just truly do a HDD/SSD replacement).

https://eshop.macsales.com/Search/Search.cfm?Ntk=Primary&Ns=P_Popularity%7c1&Ne=5000&N=7854&Ntt=data+doubler

Overall, we are very happy with these MBP's. What I don't like about the newer retina models is they are "one & done" computers. Good model for Apple, but not for the end user as it forces them to upgrade & spend more upfront or replace their computer later on. I am interested to see if this changes before my MBP dies as right now I don't want to spend money on a computer I can't upgrade small stuff myself.
 

trimar99

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Yea, I actually decided to just wait to see if Apple actually releases new ones this year.
 

nolimits76

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If you are considering the "legacy" MBP, I wouldn't hold your breath for any updates. According to Macrumors, it's about 1521 days into the 2012 life cycle. Prior to this they were updating every 230-300 days. Pretty sure the next "update" will be Apple pulling the plug on this particular model. :(

http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#MacBook_Pro

The retina MBP and MBP Air are both due for updates soon based on previous life cycles as reported by Macrumors. In fact, both models are past their average update cycle and is currently in a "do not buy" recommendation as both should be updated soon.

http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Retina_MacBook_Pro
http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#MacBook_Air

As I noted before, for me the frustrating part is the Air and Retina MBP's is the USER cannot update RAM, hard drive, etc. They are basically throw away computers. Given the fact they keep the "legacy" MBP on the shelf, it tells me I can't be the only Apple customer that wants to perform their own upgrades. So I myself am also interested to see what Apple plans to release this new product cycle.
 

trimar99

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I'm not too worried about having an optical drive or upgrading RAM or storage. I mostly just want a solid well built laptop that I can use for school.

The only problem I have with the new iterations is the fact that they're almost certainly going to have USB-C ports only.
 

nolimits76

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I'd say your assumptions are correct. If you go to the Apple Store and compare the Macbook against the MBPr, you will see the Macbook has 1 USB-C power port and 1 USB-C port. No other ports are listed.

Yet, in the same breath, the Macbook is only 12" and ultra thin. As a MBP, they might opt for an extra USB 3.0 port or something else. Either way, the USB-C ports are backwards compatible so you won't be stuck from that perspective. I know, Apple currently makes a "doohickey" for connecting different devices. Normally this stuff is $30 or so. I'm sure there are 3rd party options as well.

All that said, Apple is notorious for minimizing and trying to keep their design clean so I think (2) USB-C ports seem more logical to me than anything else.

 
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