Which 2013 Retina MacBook Pro is right for you? It all depends on your use case and what characteristics are most important to you. An interesting, if inexact, measure of value is bang for the buck or raw processor performance divided by dollars.
Although Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro price spread has an appealing linearity, parsing Retina MacBook Pro benchmark performance (table above) by each model’s cost doesn’t deliver straight lines.
For example, the absolute performance leader is, of course, the top-end 15-inch iMac with the optional 2.8GHz (+$250) processor upgrade. However, with a Geekbench score of 12,588 and priced at $3,049, the most-expensive Retina MBP delivers a lackluster bang for the buck score of just 4.13 (table below).
Whereas the raw processor performance as measured by Geekbench compares favorably with Apple’s top-end 27-inch iMac, the value just isn’t there.
That said, Apple’s stock 15-inch Retina MBP with quad-core 2.4GHz processor and the same NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M + 1GB VRAM as the more expensive configurations, offers the most bang for the buck, roughly 25 percent more than the priciest models.
Naturally, spending more gets your more performance, but the obvious sweet spot in Apple’s 2013 Retina MacBook Pro product line is right about in the middle…