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Old Jan 31, 2013, 03:10 AM   #1
map1978
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Which 13" model would you choose?

I am looking to purchase a 13" model but having trouble deciding between 3 separate choices. These 3 models are based off B&H prices, which is where I get my gear from.

Now this machine I am purchasing will be my everyday computer with only Lightroom and Aperture being the only RAM hungry apps being used.

Here are my choices..

1. Base 2012 MBP non-retina w/ 8GB RAM upgrade and Sammy 830 256 SSD...$1400 (give or take due to where I buy the upgrade parts).

2. Base rMBP w/ 8GB RAM/128 SSD...$1575

3. MacBook Air 1.8 i5 w/ 8GB RAM/128 SSD...$1270

So all 3 models are within a few hundred dollars apart, low to high

I've owned a 11" MBA recently so I'm familiar with the MBA form factor. Do i go the MBA route due to lightest of all? Do I go non-retina MBP for custom upgrading at any time? Do I go brand spanking retina new?

Looking for opinions and why you would go with that choice. I am looking to make this decision sooner than later.

Thanks to those who share there helpful input
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 03:19 AM   #2
Mac Write
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Question?
How much will you travel with this computer? Do you need an optical drive (I assume not since you've had an air before), How much storage do you need? Would you benefit from the Retina display or the light weight of the Air?
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 03:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by map1978 View Post
SNIP

Now this machine I am purchasing will be my everyday computer with only Lightroom and Aperture being the only RAM hungry apps being used.

Here are my choices..

1. Base 2012 MBP non-retina w/ 8GB RAM upgrade and Sammy 830 256 SSD...$1400 (give or take due to where I buy the upgrade parts).

2. Base rMBP w/ 8GB RAM/128 SSD...$1575

3. MacBook Air 1.8 i5 w/ 8GB RAM/128 SSD...$1270
Lightroom AND Aperture (well, I won't question that), but it seems that you're working with photos. Here are my thoughts:
- 8 gigs RAM is THE minimum. On the cMBP, check also self-upgrade prices - they're usually some tens of bucks/euros cheaper
- is 128 GB (storage) enough? Do you keep your photos somewhere else once they're through the workflow? As a corollary: if you deem 128 to be sufficient, why is the cMBP spec'ed with a 256 SSD?
- photos like resolution. Unless you have an external display, you will have some pain with the 1280x800 of the cMBP.
- the cMBP is the only expandable of the three. You can ditch the superdrive for another internal hard drive (for storage) and you can go all the way to 16 gigs of ram. So if you feel insecure, then that might be the way to go.

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Old Jan 31, 2013, 07:45 AM   #4
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One big advantage of the 13" rMBP is you can run not just higher res on the built-in screen but there are 2 Thunderbolt outputs as well as an HDMI output - so you can run more than one external monitor.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 08:05 AM   #5
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i have both but i certainly prefer the retina and its more modern design oh and the screen obviously more space to work with is always good. now i can run photoshop and itunes on the same desktop and maybe even keep the iMessage window open

keep in mind that the "old" macbook pro design will be most likely obsolete this summer and adopt the retina mbp design. i'd be pissed knowing the "new" design is just around the corner

if u depend on a superdrive, u can get a cheap external one for like 30 bucks. i took out the superdrive of my old mbp but i havent even needed it on my rmbp yet
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 08:29 AM   #6
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I switched from an 11.6" MacBook Air to a 13" rMBP and am happy with the move. As long as you are comfortable with 128GB of SSD then that may be your best option. The screen is worth it, in my opinion. Plus, you get the HDMI and second Thunderbolt ports, which helps if you want to connect to an external display and still want to use a Gigabit Ethernet or Firewire adapter.

I think the jump from the 2.4lb 11.6" MBA to the 4.5lb classic MBP would be too noticeable an increase for the average Air user. Even going to the 3.6lb 13" rMBP was noticeable, but manageable. That's why I stuck with the 13" model (though the 15" with the quad core and discrete GPU for $200 more was tempting).

I previously had a 13" MBA. While the 1440x900 screen was nice, you can emulate that resolution in the 13" rMBP if you really want to, without too much of a performance hit (it looks nearly as sharp as the native 2560x1600 "Best for Retina" resolution).

Also, the base 2.5GHz rMBP is roughly equivalent to the 2.0GHz i7 upgrade in the Air, so keep that in mind. It puts the price differential into context.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 08:55 AM   #7
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I have an Early 2011, 8GB memory. It is all I use for photo work. I'm grateful I can upgrade it. 3rd party SSD's are cheap.

Lightroom actually runs pretty lean.

If you do any serious work with Aperture/LR you should have a decent external monitor anyway. This makes the rMBP moot.

And... if you distribute any of your work to clients, a DVD burner is still the cheapest distribution medium. Yes, you can get an external burner but it still comes built in with the cMBP (for now anyway).
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 09:04 AM   #8
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I'd go with the Air...

I had a 13" Air for 2 years and I loved the form factor. I only upgrade to the 15 rMBP because I wanted to be able to game on the go (and I dropped my Air..)

The cMBP or uMBP or whatever people are calling it is very outdated IMO due to it's pathetic 1280x800 screen.

The 13" rMBP is overpriced. The only reason I can see for buying a 13" rMBP is if you really need the retina display and can not wait until this year's rumored retina MacBook Air
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 09:51 AM   #9
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The cMBP or uMBP or whatever people are calling it is very outdated IMO due to it's pathetic 1280x800 screen.
A lot of people prefer the large pixels of the cMBP screen.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 11:06 AM   #10
map1978
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Thanks for the replies

Like most stated, I would be doing editing on an external. This is why I wasn't going to jump on the rMBP wagon just yet. I really like both the cMBP and rMBP designs, plus I don't think I'd have a problem with Apple getting rid of the classic design. To this day, I still miss my 12" PowerBook G4 design. Point being...Apple changing the cMBP design this summer isn't part of my decision.

The main reason I was going to pick the cMBP, is the ability to slap 8 or 16 RAM inside and also adding any size SSD. Plus, like someone mentioned, having a DVD burner on a machine is still helpful to have for clients or traveling.

Since I already owned a 11" Air recently, the 13" Air was 3rd on my list

I think I am deciding between the base cMBP with RAM/SSD upgrades VS base rMBP. I had a tough time managing a 128 SSD on the 11" Air though, so I am a little concerned about that. $2Gs for a rMBP w/ 256 sounds tempting, but over my budget.

I really didn't think this would be tough, but it is nice to see Apple has many choices these days.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 11:15 AM   #11
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I always get base 13" this time 2012 Base 13" and upgraded to 16GB and 240 GB SSD could not be happier
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 12:23 PM   #12
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If you are still thinking about the rMBP, remember that with USB 3.0 enclosures, additional third party SSD storage can be added externally. I am very happy with the performance of my external USB 3.0 enclosure that I use with an OCZ Agility 3 SSD. I think the enclosure was about $20 on NewEgg.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 12:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by KPOM View Post
If you are still thinking about the rMBP, remember that with USB 3.0 enclosures, additional third party SSD storage can be added externally. I am very happy with the performance of my external USB 3.0 enclosure that I use with an OCZ Agility 3 SSD. I think the enclosure was about $20 on NewEgg.
This is a very good point and I didn't think of this option
Thanks for the suggestion

My head keeps going back and forth between all 3 machines..weighing all pros and cons
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 04:41 PM   #14
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I had the same dilemma and went with a non-retina MBP and upgraded the HD to a 256GB SSD. My reasons were:

1) About 75% of the time, it's hooked up to an external monitor either at home or at work. I couldn't justify the extra cost for the retina display given that I wouldn't be looking at it all that much.

2) I don't consider the MBA or rMBP to be that much more portable since they all have about the same footprint plus regular MBP isn't exactly thick or heavy anyway.

3) The base MBP is still the best bang for your buck.

4) I'm not exactly thrilled about ever buying '1.0 technology'.

5) I just don't put any value on a retina display. It doesn't allow me to do my job any better/faster. Likewise, the extra portability of the MBA doesn't allow me to do my job better/faster.

6) I really like having a built-in ethernet port. Yes, I know adapters exist but I'm constantly plugging into wired networks.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 06:56 PM   #15
map1978
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Well I made the mistake and checked out the rMBP next to a cMBP...Damn it

The rMBP was so much lighter and thinner that you can't notice it in pics. The screen is really that stunning. The cMBP looked meh after just 10 mins on the rMBP. Now I am back to square one haha.

Do I go...

-base cMBP with 8GB RAM/256 SSD

or

-base rMBP 8/128 SSD and live with the non-upgradable parts

going nuts in my head
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 07:11 PM   #16
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Base rMBP w/ 8GB RAM/128 SSD
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 10:14 PM   #17
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What about these 2 choices? Thanks for the input so far.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 05:14 AM   #18
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What about these 2 choices? Thanks for the input so far.
MacBook Pro with Retina Display for SURE!!!! It's cheap as well, you know you can use an external hard drive so I think 128GB shouldn't be a problem!

Trade 128GB for a beautiful Retina display
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 05:20 AM   #19
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Not sure what your needs are, but if you want light and won't need the HD, go for the MBA. Retina display is nice but I don't care for it.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 06:16 PM   #20
map1978
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Thanks to all that gave suggestions

I spent about an hour in the Apple Store today comparing the 13 MBA vs rMBP. I decided the cMBP was too heavy for travel and on the go work. I probably felt it was heavy after using a 11" MBA for many months. Plus after just 10 mins with the rMBP, the screen on the classic looked awful. Sucks because I liked the freedom of the user upgrading RAM/SSD at a great price.

The 13 MBA didn't feel right. I remember the 11 MBA bothering me while typing with the sharp edges. I also picked the 11 over the 13 back then too. The rMBP design looked and felt like an actual laptop. Surprisingly not heavy either.

My budget was $1500
It got pushed to $1575 and I'm going to get the base rMBP
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 06:23 PM   #21
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Given the comparable prices, I'd go with the latest tech.... the rMBP
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 10:37 PM   #22
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If you can manage it, the applecare add on at B&H is only $89.99 if you get it when you purchase the macbook.

ETA: The appleinsider bundle is even a few bucks less and you get a free sleeve too.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 10:42 PM   #23
map1978
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If you can manage it, the applecare add on at B&H is only $89.99 if you get it when you purchase the macbook.

ETA: The appleinsider bundle is even a few bucks less and you get a free sleeve too.
What bundle are you talking about? EDIT: Found the bundle, nice deal!
Thanks for the AppleCare tip...will add it for sure at that price

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Old Feb 1, 2013, 10:51 PM   #24
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What bundle are you talking about? Got a link?
Thanks for the AppleCare tip...will add it for sure at that price
http://appleinsider.com/mac_price_guide/#bundles

Before you add it to your cart, be sure to click the link to add the free software.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:31 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by map1978 View Post

The 13 MBA didn't feel right. I remember the 11 MBA bothering me while typing with the sharp edges. I also picked the 11 over the 13 back then too. The rMBP design looked and felt like an actual laptop. Surprisingly not heavy either.

My budget was $1500
It got pushed to $1575 and I'm going to get the base rMBP
I think you'll enjoy it. I was about to post the link to the Best Buy promotion (they have it for $1515), but since you are getting AppleCare, the bundle from B&H is a better deal. Good luck with the rMBP!
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