Retina Macbook Pro Worth It?

Discussion in 'All Things Apple' started by Syrome, Oct 15, 2012.

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Retina MacBook Pro Worth It?

  1. Yes

  2. No

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  1. Don Vito Corleone

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    I have been using a mid-2009 13" MBP for more than three years, and while it still works great, would be open to an upgrade.

    Unfortunately Apple isn't making it easy.

    I strongly prefer the 13" form factor and am really only interested in a 13" machine.

    The Retina machines are very expensive for something with no discrete graphics, particularly with the 512GB SSD I would personally want. I am not necessarily unwilling to pay $2,500 for a laptop, but it does make me hesitate. The MBA also gets expensive when loaded up with a lot of storage space.

    I think in an ideal world I would probably be most interested in a loaded 13" MBP without Retina but with the 1440x900 resolution of the Air. I might even be willing to pay more for discrete graphics. I could then plug in my existing 512GB Crucial M4 and roll. Sadly that machine does not exist . . .
     
  2. dave_the_nerd

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    It's worth it if the design tradeoffs it makes coincide with your specific needs.

    I'm not buying one.
     
  3. Ciber

    Ciber Platinum Member

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    I finally got around to firing up my 13" rMBP 2.9/8GB/512GB and so far it feels snappier than my 15" rMBP 2.7/16GB/512GB when doing things like expose, mission control etc animations. Which i guess makes sense since the HD 4000 is pushing less pixels.

    For those worried about the 13" driving 3 screens, here's a pic of mine running the built-in screen and two 27" Cinema's, all at native res.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/mxgvgd6gjr4x7oa/photo.JPG

    I think this 13" rMBP is going to replace my 11" 2.0Ghz i7 MBA as my daily workhorse.
     
    #53 Ciber, Oct 25, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  4. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Platinum Member

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    My guess is that it isn't overheating as fast as the 15" model... and that the EFI is less buggy.

    Damn it, Apple. Release another EFI fix already! If I don't get that within the next week, I think I'm going to exchange my rMBP.
     
  5. Ciber

    Ciber Platinum Member

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    I've been using the 13" rMBP for a couple of hours now on my lap and it's barely warm, i'd say it's running cooler than my 15" rMBP so far.
     
  6. Syrome

    Syrome Member

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    I am still torn on what to get! The new iMac looks very promising but no retina :(. Ciber, seeing how you have both a 13 and 15 in rMBP would you considering buy a rMBP or the new iMac?
     
  7. Ciber

    Ciber Platinum Member

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    My advice would be to get the 13" rMBP and get yourself a 27" or 30" screen for when you want a bigger screen. I have no issues with the iMac, i just think a laptop is the better option if i can only have one device. I've pretty much migrated to just using the 13" rMBP and plugging it into dual thunderbolt displays.

    No idea what all the drama is about the GPU in the 13" rMBP, my Mac Pro basically sits around collecting dust, i just never find myself needing its GPU's, RAM or 8 cores. I really wonder if most of the people blabbing here actually need these things(Probably not).
     
  8. rugby

    rugby Senior member

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    My 15" 2.6/16GB/768GB rMBPro is sitting in China now on it's way to me. My 17" i5 has seen better days and probably needs to be wiped at this point. It's become sluggish for a lot of tasks, even with an SSD drive. I do a lot of work with Deploystudio and FileWave creating filesets in Virtual machines and this i5 can't keep up.
     
  9. Syrome

    Syrome Member

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    I really do think investing in a Retina display screen is the correct way to go. Buying a non retina Mac at this point may just be a complete bad investment. I just have heard so many issues with the rMBP that's the only reason I keep questioning it.
     
  10. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Platinum Member

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    I finally got around to play with a 13" rMBP today. Did a swap with a colleague. He got my 15" rMBP for an hour, and I got his brand spanking new 13" rMBP for an hour. Here's what I thought about it:

    1) It felt heavier than my 15" rMBP. Overall weight was indeed lighter when it was in a bag, but when I picked it up, it felt like it had more heft/density.

    2) It's somewhat thicker. Not significantly so, but it didn't feel as thin.

    3) Zipping around the OS, I can say the lack of a dedicated GPU was not an issue at all.

    4) Supported 1440 x 900 scaled mode and also 1680 x 1050. 1680 x 1050 on 13" rMBP was actually pretty easy on my eyes. Not that I had issues with 1920 x 1200 on the 15", but... I liked 1680 x 1050 on the 13" screen a lot.

    5) XCode and Eclipse did feel more sluggish with the dual-core processor. But I would say that it was more because I was used to the quad-core processor. It wasn't like the dual-core i5 was slow.

    6) The fans rarely kicked in. I watched through a whole 4K video clip in Quick Time in... complete silence. My 15" bear would have groaned and moaned.

    7) Minor thing: I think texts on the 13" rMBP are a smidgen (5%?) sharper than on my 15" rMBP.

    I won't go into pricing since... I didn't pay for the computer! But it was a very nice laptop indeed. Would purchase it in a heartbeat if there was no 15" rMBP.

    On that note, colleague returned my 15" rMBP saying the extra screen real estate and performance was nice, but the slight increase in both dimensions made it harder for him to fit it on his desk and in his bag. Also that the fans blazed up quite often even though it wasn't loud.

    So I now see the 13" rMBP in a whole new light. I wont trade my 15" workhorse for it, but I think it's a nice choice... since there really is no other machine like it.
     
  11. TheStu

    TheStu Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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    The 15" has always held an advantage in performance, and specs, but it is not insignificantly larger than the 13", in all the wrong ways, and so has almost always been a non-starter for me. Glad to hear that the extra power in the GPU is working. No gaming on that rMBP anytime soon, but still, nice.

    I wonder if anyone will release a utility that lets you choose your own scaled res settings. 1920*1200 on the 13" would be interesting.
     
  12. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Platinum Member

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    Since 1680 x 1050 on the 13" screen actually looked slightly smaller compared to 1920 x 1200 on the 15" screen, I don't think you should go for 1920 x 1200 on 13"...

    It's at the borderline of what can be considered "viewable" in my opinions.

    Then again, I'm not one to comment since I have a UMPC that has a 5" screen that's 1280 x 800... though I hold the UMPC much closer to my eyes, so some of the smaller texts are offset by distance.
     
  13. Syrome

    Syrome Member

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    I just bought my 15in Retina MBP with 768 SSD and 16 RAM and it is hands down the best machine I have literally picked up.
     
  14. Minerva

    Minerva Platinum Member

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    I just downloaded an update that enhances graphics performance this morning...

    Scrolling on my retina macbook pro is definitely smoother with this update!
    On websites with pictures and dynamic content it's much better. Definitely recommended if you have a r-mbp. :thumbsup:
     
  15. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Platinum Member

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    Had my rMBP screen replaced yesterday. Reason was image retention. I didn't have it before, but at exactly 3 months after getting the computer, IR showed up.

    Now it has a Samsung screen. And the screen gets a lot brighter than the LG screen I had before. No difference in color reproduction or white balance, though.

    And not sure what they did, but the fan is a lot less noticeable now. The machine also runs a lot cooler. Fans also die down a lot faster after revving up.

    Looks like the "silent cooling tweak" may actually be related to the fans...
     
    #65 runawayprisoner, Nov 10, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  16. Syrome

    Syrome Member

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    Just talked to multiple Apple techs at the Retail Store and they said they have seen issues previously with image retention within the Retina Screens. I am currently typing on a 15 in retina and haven't had any issues but who knows down the road.
     
  17. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Platinum Member

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    If it's an LG screen, there are high chances that it'll show image retention after about 3 months of use... or earlier.

    If it's a Samsung screen, then you only have to worry about dead pixels.
     
  18. Syrome

    Syrome Member

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    Thanks Prisoner. I personally think the Retina screens are very well built to last.
     
  19. Syrome

    Syrome Member

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    Anyone else purchasing one recently and has any feedback?
     
  20. Zodiark1593

    Zodiark1593 Platinum Member

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    Not looking at the GPU and OS, I'd still have to say a no for me personally.

    It's a nice machine, and possibly one of the best balanced machines I've seen, but a few points where I don't find this laptop palpable, first, lack of a HDD option (I really need the space more so than the speed). Having to run an external drive, in my opinion, kills mobility more so than additional weight. In addition, the insane gouging on RAM, and finally, lack of an Optical Drive. Can't count the last one too much, but I find myself also using my own DVD drive quite a bit.

    So, not counting gaming, the rMBP would not fit my needs and hobbies.

    However, I seriously dig the screen. Seriously, every gaming lappy should have one. Dual 7970Ms and a 2880x1800 display would be a hit with me, no matter the weight (but muxed graphics please for battery life). :D
     
  21. gothuevos

    gothuevos Member

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    Sorry for bringing up this old thread, but I was considering pulling the trigger on a 15" rMBP in the next few weeks and wanted some feedback, especially regarding the notorious UI scroll lag/typing lag, etc. I know anand posted an article a couple weeks back regarding a webkit update that seemed to improve performance, but I'm seeing mixed reviews across other forums ranging from "it works great" to "the lag is worse than ever."

    Granted I need to pop into an apple store and try it for myself, but I just wanted some more recent feedback, especially for a $2200 machine. Thanks.
     
  22. rugby

    rugby Senior member

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    I think 10.8.3 will fix the laggy safari scrolling. I ran it on my 15" rmacbook pro and it is a lot better.
     
  23. Koing

    Koing Elite Member <br> Super Moderator<br> Health and F
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    Really tempted but I'm going to wait for Haswell. Ordered the Samsung 830 256GB for my 2008 Macbook with 120GB :p but at least it has 4GB of ram. Can't believe it's going this strong. Never had a laptop last this long.

    Looked at a few loaded 13 MBA on ebay as well, pretty tempting. 8GB ram and 512GB SSD for just under £1k.

    Haswell with 4 cores for the 13"?

    Koing
     
  24. joshhedge

    joshhedge Senior member

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    Coming from a 15inch rPro owner, I absolutely love the machine. Perfect for me and what I use it for - CAD, MATLAB, Virtual Machines, Word processing and casual gaming.

    The display is second to none, best notebook display ever. Performance is amazing - Note in Windows 8 bootcamp I can play modded skyrim at 1920*1200 with 8*AA at fixed 30fps, GT 650M is certainly no slouch - Being clocked higher than the GTX 660M! Further to this, in Windows there is no UI lag, a driver fix for OS X is definitely required.

    I have the LG display, I get slight IR on grey backgrounds, nothing major but the display is flawless otherwise.

    You will not go wrong with one of these. One thing I would recommend is upgrading to 16GB of RAM as that is non-user upgradable while the SSD in the long run is, hence why I chose the 2.6/16/256 BTO.
     
    #74 joshhedge, Dec 23, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  25. thecoolnessrune

    thecoolnessrune Diamond Member

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    I have a 15" Retina for a few weeks now and I can say I love the screen. I enjoy the lightness. I hate the lack of an ethernet port, I dislike not having a built-in optical drive, and the keyboard, while good, isn't as good as my trusty Thinkpad T-Series. I also dislike the soldered on memory and the mSATA. In other words, I think too many sacrifices were made on to bring the chassis to its current dimensions.

    If they would shoehorn the Retina display in the old MBP chassis, I would find that perfect (for me).
     
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