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What are all the differences between the 13-Inch “Early 2015” Retina Display MacBook Pro models? What are the differences between these models and the “Mid-2014” models replaced?

Photo: Credits to Apple Inc., 13-inch Retina Display MacBook Pro

The 13-inch “Early 2015” Retina Display MacBook Pro comes in three (3) models:


These new models boast of Intel’s third generation of Core processors with high-resolution IPS 2560×1600-pixel (227 ppi) Retina Display. All three models – mostly distinguishable by the storage, processor speed, and type, and price – used a Force Touch Trackpad, and the Broadwell quad-core processors, Intel’s Iris 6100 graphics.


Similarities & Differences in Early 2015 MacBook Pro Models

Many tech reviews considered the Retina MacBook Pro as “groundbreaking” which made consumers think that it is the most useful all-around laptop they can buy if they have the budget for the quality and technology Apple provides. All models have a dual display and video mirroring, 720p FaceTime HD camera, and the smart introduction of the Thunderbolt digital video output (Native Mini DisplayPort output, or DVI, VGA, dual-link DVI, and HDMI output).


As for their differences, it can be summarized as follows:



            Speed (in GHz)                       2.7                   2.9                   3.1

            Type (Core)                            i5-5257U         i5-5287U         i7-5557U


Storage (in GB)                                 128                  512                  BTO/CTO



Price (USD)                                        1299                1799                1499-1999



Early 2015 and Mid-2014 MacBook Pro: What’s New and Different?

The MacBook Pro gained favorable results in the market supported with positive reviews of the Retina Display, flash storage. optimal productivity and portability.  The Retina MacBook line, however, has no Ethernet port or optical drive. Newer models came with more advanced graphics, processors and architecture, as well as faster RAM, SSD and battery with higher capacity, much better than their predecessors.

Photo: Credits to

Aesthetics and Externals

All models are uniformly designed – 0.71 inch-thick, 12.35 inches wide, 8.62 inches deep and weighs only 3.48 pounds. Both Mid-2014 and Early 2015 models have a backlit keyboard, dual microphones and integrated stereo speakers. The earlier versions use a “no button” trackpad while the Early 2015 models come with a Force Touch trackpad with built-in force sensors to allow you to click anywhere for additional functionality.


Ports and Connectivity

Both 13-inch Mid-2014 and Early 2015 models have two (2) USB 3.0 ports and two (2) Thunderbolt 2 ports. They also have Bluetooth 4.0 technology, 802.11 ac WiFi, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, audio out port, and a 60W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter with a cable management system.



Both share the A1502 model number. “Early 2015” models are identifiable by MacBookPro12,1 software while “Mid-2014” models have the MacBookPro11,1 identifier similar to the line’s predecessors. At the bottom of the laptop toward the hinge, you can find the EMC Number where it’s 2875 for “Mid-2014” models and 2385 for “Early 2015” ones. And of course, Retina Display MacBook Pro can be identified each by their unique serial numbers.


Techable has a useful database that will help you identify the MacBook Pro you own, by just entering the serial number. Use this technology and learn more about the model you have for easy assessment and evaluation.


Internals and Architecture

Both models have soldered memory and PCIe-based flash storage devices. The “Mid-2014” models use the Haswell architecture, Intel Iris 5100 graphics, 1600 MHz DDR3L SDRAM memory and battery capacity of 71.8 watt-hours that is good for up to 9 hours continuous usage. All these are improved with the newer “Early 2015” models boasting of the more advanced Broadwell architecture and PCIe interface, Intel Iris 6100 graphics, 1866 MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM memory and 74.9-watt-hour battery capacity good for 10-12 hours.



13-inch Mid-2014                   13-inch Early 2015

Processor Speed                    2.6, 2.8, 3.0 GHz                    2.7, 2.9, 3.1 GHz

Processor Type                      Core i5 (I5-4278U)                  Core i5 (I5-4308U)

Core i7 (I7-4578U)                  Core i5 (I5-5257U)

Core i5 (I5-5287U)                  Core i7 (I7-5557U)

System Architecture               Haswell                                   Broadwell

Standard RAM                        8 GB*                                      8 GB*

Maximum RAM                       16 GB*                                    16 GB*

RAM Type                               1600 MHz DDR3L                  1866 MHz LPDDR3

Standard Storage                   128, 256, 512 GB                   128, 256, 512 GB

Storage Interface                    PCIe 2.0 (2-Lane)                   PCIe 2.0 (4-Lane)

Integrated Graphics                Iris 5100                                  Iris 6100

VRAM (Shared)                      1.5 GB                                     1.5 GB

Display Size                            13.3″ Widescreen                   13.3″ Widescreen

Display Resolution                  2560×1600 (227 ppi)              2560×1600 (227 ppi)

Max External Display              2560×1600 (x2)                       3840×2160 (x2)

Battery Capacity                     71.8 W h                                 74.9 W h

Battery Life                             9 Hours                                   10-12 Hours

Trackpad                                 Inertial                                     Force Touch

Dimensions:                            0.71 x 12.35 x 8.62                 0.71 x 12.35 x 8.62

Weight                                     3.46 lbs (1.57 kg)                    3.48 lbs (1.58 kg)

Order Number (US)                MGX72LL/A                            MF839LL/A

MGX82LL/A                            MF840LL/A

MGX92LL/A                            MF841LL/A

EMC Number                          2875                                        2835

Model Identifier                       MacBookPro11,1                    MacBookPro12,1


*RAM is soldered in place, and can only be upgraded (8GB configurable to 16GB) at the time of initial purchase.

Photo: Credits to

What’s better for you?

Choosing which model works for you is ultimately depending on your needs and usage — what you need the notebook for. If you’re a student and only need it for writing and basic computing, the “Mid-2014” models come at discounted prices locally or by order online. However, if you are a sound engineer or an animator, the “Early 2015” models may very well be a better option as you will experience optimal productivity and performance with the graphics and audio, plus the improved battery life is worth the upgrade.

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