I am here a bit sleepless contemplating my purchasing options for an upgrade. I am on a somewhat old Core2 Duo MacBook Pro 13" that has been revamped with an SSD HD and memory, to a state where it is more responsive in everyday life than my much newer Dell Inspiron with core i7 with dedicated ATI Video. So... after much pondering, I decided to sell both and invest on a new MacBook Pro, and leave the windows world. Even more after 8.1 ( went back to running Windows 7 ).
Thing is, being in Brazil, the hardware cost is much steeper compared to the US ( in basic terms, I would pay for a low end 13" retina model close to the cost of the high end 15" retina model with nVidia card ). The option is to travel to NYC, buy it straight from a store, and spend on plane tickets and hotel lodgings the pricetag difference, which is indeed, nicer than just seeing that money burn elsewhere in taxes and profits, but still won't make it affordable.
That said, my budget would allow me to, with the sells and some savings, go with some ease for the 13" retina 16Gb i5 2.4Gb model with 256Gb of storage ( storage not being really an issue for me ), for 1699.
I could strain myself for the 13" i7 model also with 16Gb ram and 256Gb, if improvements would be that significant in everyday life ( Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, GIS, CAD, SketchUp ).
Now, the jump from the 13" models to the cheapest 15" model, considering I am starting at 1699 would be considerable enough for me to decide to go for broke, seriously strain close to ruin my finances, and get the higher end 15" retina model with the nVidia card.
My question is... as a student, not yet profiting... in everyday life... how much of a hindrance the Iris non-pro card is, for manipulating models? On SketchUp for example, the biggest we ever do is a few city blocks, with trees and people in separate layers, only turning everything on for final rendering in presentation.
So, as I am an apple user, but not an apple fetishist... if you were in my shoes... what would you aim for, considering all models would be 16Gb ones?
Is the i5 and i7 with iris so close to each other, I would hardly notice any difference in everyday CAD and SketchUp usage?
Is the 13" i7 worth the added pricetag of 300 on an everyday basis, and I would feel a significant improvement?
Or, life will be impossible with the added nVidia card?
Sorry for the very tricky question, I realize maybe not many people here even use the low end MBP for anything other than browsing and light tasks and reserve serious work for a dedicated desktop... but I am hopeful
Thank you so much,