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I want to buy a macbook pro in the near future, but choosing the configuration has been a headache for me so far. My options are :

Macbook Pro 13" Retina 2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz 16GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM 128GB PCIe-based Flash Storage

Or

Macbook Pro 13" Retina 3.1GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz 8GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM 128GB PCIe-based Flash Storage

Or

MacBook Pro 13" (non-retina) 2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM — 2x4GB 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm

I do photo editing quiet a lot. That's the reason i want to change my current laptop since its slow for editing photos and maybe sometimes playing some games. If you can help me decide i would really appreciate it. Thanks

closed as primarily opinion-based by Tetsujin, klanomath, Graham Miln, Mark, nohillside Jun 19 '16 at 11:05

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • BTW, I wouldn't suggest using a mac to play games - it isn't known for games. You should use Windows on a VM or bootcamp. – Brick Jun 19 '16 at 10:08
  • Is a cost a factor? Are you reluctant to get a certain model due to its price? If not I would suggest both more RAM and better CPU. – Brick Jun 19 '16 at 10:12
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(Note: This may be a bit opinionated due to the nature of this question, and I'll mostly focus on photo editing.)

From what I have seen, (at least on Photoshop) RAM and SSDs are the most important. There have been people who have run on i5s and get by just as well.

If you can avoid it, don't get the Non-Retina (i.e. get the Retina) especially because you are doing photo editing and it always helps to have a higher resolution while editing so that higher resolution pictures can be used. Also, the drive is not a SSD so it will run slower.

I would recommend getting the first option as you have said:

Mac[B]ook Pro 13" Retina 2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz 16GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM 128GB PCIe-based Flash Storage

simply because of the following reasons (as opposed to the second option that has the i7):

  1. The clock speeds are roughly the same (0.2GHz w/o Turbo Boost, 0.1GHz with)

  2. Having multiple threads (all i7s have hyperthreading which doubles the amount of threads) only helps in certain tasks.

  3. The two above reasons (in my opinion) do not justify adding USD$200 to the price, while the 16GB of RAM will help, even though it is USD$80 more than the first option.

For gaming: get the second option. More threads will improve gaming performance and all i7s have hyper-threading. The i7 also has a faster clock speed.

And if it is possible, you may want to just get the faster CPU and the larger RAM, since you want to both game and photo edit.

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