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I am not sure how much logical my question is but I am planing to purchase MBP for the first time and looking at the options I have in place, I am all confused.

I am looking at these 2 options

  1. MacBook Pro with 1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm and 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  2. MacBook Pro 8GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 memory 128GB PCIe-based flash storage

there is some difference between the processor, but I am not much concerned with that.

I will be using the MBP for the development which includes a development editor (Eclipse), a tomcat server and some other tools.

My only concern is about the Storage as with the second option, it seems to be quite on the lower side.

Can any one suggest me what is the other difference between these 2 MBP (other than Retina display) which can be critical in taking the decision (with the fact that I will be using it for development most of the time).

MacBook Pro 13-inch

2.5GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM — 2x4GB
1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Backlit Keyboard (English) & User's Guide

13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

2.7GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz
8GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
128GB PCIe-based Flash Storage
Intel Iris Graphics 6100
Force Touch trackpad
Backlit Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
  • You did not provide model numbers, and stated you are not concerned with the processor or Retina display. The specs you did provide are nearly identical, except for storage, which is going to be irrelevant for development. What exactly are you asking us to compare for differences? – tubedogg Mar 16 '15 at 5:13
  • @tubedogg: sorry for confusion, I have updated my question with the details – Umesh Awasthi Mar 16 '15 at 5:16
  • Those computers are essentially identical, with the difference that the latter one is going to be slightly faster and does not have a CD/DVD drive. If you can live with 128GB of storage, the second machine will FEEL a lot faster than the first one because of the difference in storage technologies. – tubedogg Mar 16 '15 at 5:19
  • @tubedogg : Thanks for the quick reply, however 128GB seems quite low for me, as I need minimum 512GB, but going for the 512 with the latest one is out of my budget, so I was just trying to understand the difference and how much it will matter in real life :) ( provided I will be moving from window platform :-p) – Umesh Awasthi Mar 16 '15 at 5:29
  • My advice if you are on a budget: Take the 13" 8GB non retina with 512GB hard disk, and swap that out for a 512GB SSD as soon as you got the money. Those should less than 200EUR (or USD). You can do it yourself, or go to a shop to have it replaced. – Arne Mar 16 '15 at 5:39
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The only measurable difference aside from storage space is that the SSD version will be slightly more secure from data loss from the occasional fall. SSDs don't suffer from disk drive failures of scratched disks. But if your not clumsy, that's not a problem. Go with the 1TB drive. 128gb is pitiful in this day and age.

  • The speed of the drives, especially with a 5400 RPM mechanical drive in the mix, will have a very measurable impact. – tubedogg Mar 16 '15 at 16:51
  • @tubedogg op is not using it for any data throughput intensive purposes. And the negligible difference in speed is less important than ops stated concern about storage capacity. – cde Mar 16 '15 at 17:14
  • Whether it's a "measurable difference" is unrelated to whether the OP wants or needs more space. The slower drive may be a better fit for his particular situation because of size, but that doesn't change the fact that running with an SSD would speed the system up noticeably overall. – tubedogg Mar 17 '15 at 18:58
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If you want the latest and fast technology buy the 5th Gen I core. Because you are getting a faster hard drive, processor, graphic card and memory. For and add 200 dollars. And I would update it to an I7 core.

Remember when you are buying a laptop the hard drive and memory can be upgrade. But The mother broad and processor can not be upgrade if you want a faster computer. So if you are on a budget I would go with less memory and hard drive space.

  • Actually, you can't upgrade the memory in the retina model - only the older model's memory is upgradeable. – firefoxuser_1 Oct 16 '15 at 2:20
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The first one has an external drive, the second hasn't.
Biggest difference is the storage, number one has a HDD which can store more data, but is very slow and can get easily damaged trough shock
The second has a SSD, which can store less data, but is way faster and shock-resistant.

For more information, please provide the exact model name, for example: MBP Mid 2013, 2,4ghz

It also seems very unusual for me, that a MBP with an i5 has an external drive and a HDD, is this an upgraded old one from eBay or so?

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