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Old Feb 11, 2013, 04:57 PM   #1
Charliefen
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Which Macbook should I buy?

Hey everyone, I've never posted in here before (hope its the right place) but I can't figure out what Macbook to buy. I'm going to college soon and I'll be studying art and computing. I also do photography as a hobby and play a few games (want to become a concept artist/designer and am used to the software on Macs from school). I'll be carrying it with me not everyday but 3 out of 5 days at least. At first I was thinking of the Macbook Air because of how light it is but then I thought it would probably not be enough for what I need. And then I thought maybe the retina because it's still light and powerful and I can just stretch that far with money and student discount. Any ideas please?
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 05:06 PM   #2
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If you want power - you really need to jump to the 15" rMBP - otherwise the difference between the Air's and 13" MBP's is not major.

Ideally a 13" Air would be best if it can do they "lifting" you need.

What apps? What games?
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 05:07 PM   #3
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If you can afford it, the Retina MacBook Pro is a wonderful machine. That said, the Air is plenty powerful, and you'll definitely notice the difference in size and weight. If I were in your position I would probably go with the 13" MBA. (I own an 11" MBA and a 15" rMBP.)

Do you know what software you'll be using for your classes?
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 05:13 PM   #4
Charliefen
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@Spink10 I'd be using Photoshop and Lightroom a lot, especially Photoshop for the art and photography side at least. Not so sure about the computing yet though. And as for games, mostly Diablo 3, WoW and Sims 3. So yeah I thought the Air at first and then Retina cause its powerful yet not as heavy as the Macbook Pro.

@mduser63 I'm not exactly sure yet other than the ones I use for photography and Art now. Again yeah the Air would be an ideal size but not sure about the power.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 05:30 PM   #5
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Oh and sorry that I'm a bit new at this (posting in these forums I mean) and I'm on my phone so that doesn't make it easier. I'd also need to know, if the retina is the one I need, 15 or 13 inch? Would 15 make it too big or would it be worth it as I know about the graphics card in it.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 05:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charliefen View Post
Oh and sorry that I'm a bit new at this (posting in these forums I mean) and I'm on my phone so that doesn't make it easier. I'd also need to know, if the retina is the one I need, 15 or 13 inch? Would 15 make it too big or would it be worth it as I know about the graphics card in it.
13 rMBP - 13" rMBP same video card - so if you are going to be doing gaming the only thing that will really improve it is by going for a dedicated graphics card - which requires a 15" MBP classic or retina.

So if you really want to have the power to play games - you will be dropping a lot of money - and be forced to carry a 15" laptop - though retina does help the weight.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 06:01 PM   #7
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My recommendation would be to get the cMBP. It's got the quad and high end video card for graphics and although you'd be lugging a little more weight, it is cheaper and you can do upgrades yourself later. Pick one up from the refurb bin for deeper savings.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 09:40 PM   #8
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I'm gonna completely second this guy's advice. The 15" retina is nice and fast, but we're still at a time where not everything has adopted retina support. Luckily a lot of common apps have, but there's still way more to go on that front. Similarly, it is a ton of money. To be fair, a retina 15" is cheaper than a non-retina 15" when configured from Apple with the same capacity SSD, though either way, that's still fairly expensive.

Price aside, there's much more on-board utility in a 15" non-retina; you have more built-in ports, easily accessible drives and RAM, also a removable battery. You might not get the retina screen, and it might be slightly thicker and weigh a couple pounds more (although it's not like any of us were breaking our backs on this design), it is way more utilitarian than the retina design will ever be, and for that much money, that's worth considering.

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My recommendation would be to get the cMBP. It's got the quad and high end video card for graphics and although you'd be lugging a little more weight, it is cheaper and you can do upgrades yourself later. Pick one up from the refurb bin for deeper savings.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 01:21 AM   #9
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So I think I've decided on the 15" for the gaming and really I've carried a lot in highschool anyway so I don't think it'll make much difference. Some people say retina and some non retina, think it'd help with photography and being lighter but I don't know. At leasr narrowed it down (sorry for being difficult).
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 02:51 AM   #10
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I would totally go for the normal MBP 15" hi-res and that's why:


It is still portable, not as much as a MacBook Air but still pretty ok.

You can play the games you want without sacrificing too much graphics quality.

It is easy to upgrade on your own even if you are unexperienced. There are lots of good tutorials for that. So you can get now one of the cheaper version of the MBP and put later some RAM and an SSD in it. Because at the moment you don't seem exactly aware of the requirements your laptop has to meet for your studying.

If you want even more resolution you can get an external display when you're working at home.


I would not buy a Retina MacBook Pro at the moment. I bet Apple will fix most of the issues people have with it with the next generation. But it probably still wont be really good when it comes to self-upgrading.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 05:01 AM   #11
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I would totally go for the normal MBP 15" hi-res and that's why:
I would not buy a Retina MacBook Pro at the moment. I bet Apple will fix most of the issues people have with it with the next generation. But it probably still wont be really good when it comes to self-upgrading.
There are no unresolved issues with a Retina MBP.
Apps that do not support Retina Display look just as good as on a non-Retina MacBooks.

I previously had 13" MBA, but now I'm using 15" Retina MBP.
Once you get used to Retina Display there is no going back. Just like transition to a Retina Display iPhone or iPad.
15" Retina MBP is not the best choice if you want to take it everywhere with you. 13" MBA is much better choice for that since it is much lighter and smaller.

I don't see a point in choosing Classic MBP since those are too heavy to take anywhere.

I would recommend to you to make a choice from these MacBooks:
1. MacBook Air 13" (lightest, thinest, but no Retina Display)
2. MacBook Pro Retina 13" (heavier and faster, smallest but thickest)
3. MacBook Pro Retina 15" (heaviest and fastest)
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 08:49 AM   #12
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I would recommend to you to make a choice from these MacBooks:
1. MacBook Air 13" (lightest, thinest, but no Retina Display)
2. MacBook Pro Retina 13" (heavier and faster, smallest but thickest)
3. MacBook Pro Retina 15" (heaviest and fastest)
I do need something that is light ish but still powerful, I don't think Air will be enough. And 15 is best for gaming so I guess I could go to a store and see if I can figure out the weight differences of both 15's?
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 09:17 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Charliefen View Post
I do need something that is light ish but still powerful, I don't think Air will be enough. And 15 is best for gaming so I guess I could go to a store and see if I can figure out the weight differences of both 15's?
You can check their weights on Apple's website.
But what is important is your subjective feeling of weight and dimensions, so going to a store is probably right thing to do if they let you lift it.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 10:47 AM   #14
Charliefen
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Ok thanks everyone, I'm going to go to a store and at least now it's been narrowed down to a few to choose from
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 10:50 AM   #15
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i'd suggest a 13' pro, and put an ssd in.
really speeded up my 2010 mbp!
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 08:28 PM   #16
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when does school start? if its not till fall, you should wait for the MBP refresh in the june timeframe.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 12:40 AM   #17
Yebubbleman
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Originally Posted by Charliefen View Post
So I think I've decided on the 15" for the gaming and really I've carried a lot in highschool anyway so I don't think it'll make much difference. Some people say retina and some non retina, think it'd help with photography and being lighter but I don't know. At leasr narrowed it down (sorry for being difficult).
Retina will only help for seriously high-resolution photography. If you are casual about it, you won't see all that much of a benefit.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:10 AM   #18
Igor84
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Hello,

I have almost the same problem as mentioned in the first post. My old lap-top (HP) burned out yesterday and I thought to try Apple this time, because like the design and think that the quality should be better also.

I`m studing civil engineering at the university and due to that I use a lot of AutoCAD and other drawing software. So my question is which laptop suits best for my needs? My old machine had 15" display and that is a bit small.
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