Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Buying Tips and Advice

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Jan 22, 2013, 06:40 PM   #1
kyle777
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: New York
13" Macbook Air and Mac Mini VS 15" Macbook Pro Retina

This is my first time on the forum so hopefully I'm presenting this question correctly!

I'm currently a freshman in college and at the end of the semester I'll be transferring into a broadcasting degree in another college. I've been thinking about buying the 15" Macbook Pro retina but have done some research and have been thinking about buying a Mac Mini and a Macbook Air.

Specs I'd get...

Macbook Pro retina 15":
i7 processor 2.6 ghz
16 gb RAM
256 gb SSD storage

-OR-

Mac Mini:
i7 processor 2.6 ghz
16 gb RAM
1 TB Fusion Drive

AND

Macbook Air 13":
i7 processor 2.0 ghz
8 gb RAM
256 gb SSD storage

Price isn't too much of an option to me. I will use it for Final cut pro X, Photoshop CS6, Pro Tools 10, Microsoft office, general browsing, and Minecraft map making. Also over the summer I will be traveling a lot, but once school starts I should stay put for the semester.

I figure if I got the Mac Mini and Macbook Air, that I could use the Mini for editing and the air for general activities and office.

I have a little while to decide but let me know what would be the better choice or if I should look into something else.

Thank you guys so much!!

Last edited by kyle777; Jan 31, 2013 at 05:54 PM. Reason: Wrong title
kyle777 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 22, 2013, 06:43 PM   #2
ConCat
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: In an ethereal plane of existence.
If you're going to use all those apps, then the rMBP 15'' for sure. The dedicated GPU makes a big difference.
ConCat is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 22, 2013, 06:44 PM   #3
Baklava
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Germany
I am a friend of splitting specific tasks to multiple devices, so in your case I would go with Mini & Air.
__________________
MacRumors 'iOS 7 Beta Suggests Non-Retina [...] iPad Mini in Development' - NutsNGum 'These are going to sell like hot cacks. Pun very much intended.' - bjsterilite 'Wut?.'
Baklava is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 22, 2013, 07:37 PM   #4
A Hebrew
macrumors 6502a
 
A Hebrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Minnesota
Get the retina, but wait till the refresh this summer. The mini and air are two devices which is pointless especially considering they are both weaker than the rMBP.
__________________
2012 13" MacBook Air | 2012 27" iMac | iPad 3 | iPhone 5
A Hebrew is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 22, 2013, 09:19 PM   #5
Yebubbleman
macrumors 68020
 
Yebubbleman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle777 View Post
This is my first time on the forum so hopefully I'm presenting this question correctly!

I'm currently a freshman in college and at the end of the semester I'll be transferring into a broadcasting degree in another college. I've been thinking about buying the 15" Macbook Pro retina but have done some research and have been thinking about buying a Mac Mini and a Macbook Air.

Specs I'd get...

Macbook Pro retina 15":
i7 processor 2.6 ghz
16 gb RAM
256 gb SSD storage

-OR-

Mac Mini:
i7 processor 2.6 ghz
16 gb RAM
1 TB Fusion Drive

AND

Macbook Air 13":
i7 processor 2.0 ghz
8 gb RAM
256 gb SSD storage

Price isn't too much of an option to me. I will use it for Final cut pro X, Photoshop CS6, Pro Tools 10, Microsoft office, general browsing, and Minecraft map making. Also over the summer I will be traveling a lot, but once school starts I should stay put for the semester.

I figure if I got the Mac Mini and Macbook Air, that I could use the Mini for editing and the air for general activities and office.

I have a little while to decide but let me know what would be the better choice or if I should look into something else.

Thank you guys so much!!
The Mac mini/MacBook Air combo is nice in terms of having two computers, but in both cases, you have the Intel HD 4000; which, for Final Cut Pro X and Photoshop, isn't ideal unless your usage is really basic.

The 15" retina MacBook Pro, in terms of raw performance, would be the most ideal route, but to only have 256GB of disk space is very limiting. If you only plan on using the internal boot drive as the drive where your OS and apps live with all of your data living elsewhere (either on a NAS, on an external drive, or both), then that's one thing. But if you want to take more than that with you, you're not going to be happy.

Ordinarily, I'd also give you the "90% of apps still aren't retina-optimized yet" speech, but it looks like your choice in apps to run on this thing doesn't apply. Final Cut Pro X is retina optimized, Photoshop CS6 will be if it isn't already. Same with Office 2011.

Personally, I'd go with a 15" non-retina MacBook Pro. Why? You get capacity, you get upgradability, and you get the flexibility of ports and connections that you might need rather than having to buy external modules or adapters. You still get the same CPUs and discrete graphics. You can have roomier storage or standard form-factor SSDs. Best part of all; it is far more user-accessible than any of the other machines you've listed. It's also cheaper than a retina. Think it over.
__________________
MacBook Pro (15" Mid 2012); PC Tower (3.4GHz Phenom II x4; Radeon HD 6850); 5th Gen iPod touch; 2nd and 3rd Gen tv; iPad Air Verizon; Galaxy S5 Verizon
"Don't Cry, Eat Pie"
Yebubbleman is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 2013, 12:48 AM   #6
kyle777
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: New York
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yebubbleman View Post
The Mac mini/MacBook Air combo is nice in terms of having two computers, but in both cases, you have the Intel HD 4000; which, for Final Cut Pro X and Photoshop, isn't ideal unless your usage is really basic.

The 15" retina MacBook Pro, in terms of raw performance, would be the most ideal route, but to only have 256GB of disk space is very limiting. If you only plan on using the internal boot drive as the drive where your OS and apps live with all of your data living elsewhere (either on a NAS, on an external drive, or both), then that's one thing. But if you want to take more than that with you, you're not going to be happy.

Ordinarily, I'd also give you the "90% of apps still aren't retina-optimized yet" speech, but it looks like your choice in apps to run on this thing doesn't apply. Final Cut Pro X is retina optimized, Photoshop CS6 will be if it isn't already. Same with Office 2011.

Personally, I'd go with a 15" non-retina MacBook Pro. Why? You get capacity, you get upgradability, and you get the flexibility of ports and connections that you might need rather than having to buy external modules or adapters. You still get the same CPUs and discrete graphics. You can have roomier storage or standard form-factor SSDs. Best part of all; it is far more user-accessible than any of the other machines you've listed. It's also cheaper than a retina. Think it over.
I'm not too worried about the storage cos I really want the Solid State drive (cos of the speed for booting) and planned on using externals anyways.

However that was another question I had, about the non retina 15". How's the performance of that vs the retina? Like I said in the original post, price isn't too much of an issue but is there any noticeable differences in performance? Also can you upgrade the RAM in the non retina to 16 gbs? And last question, although there's less pixels, if I were to get the non retina hi-res screen how does that compare with the retina?
kyle777 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 2013, 01:19 AM   #7
Yebubbleman
macrumors 68020
 
Yebubbleman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle777 View Post
I'm not too worried about the storage cos I really want the Solid State drive (cos of the speed for booting) and planned on using externals anyways.
Meh. Using externals is a pain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle777 View Post
However that was another question I had, about the non retina 15". How's the performance of that vs the retina?
If both were configured with SSDs, performance would be more or less identical. In terms of CPU, chipset, RAM, and GPU, they're the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle777 View Post
Like I said in the original post, price isn't too much of an issue but is there any noticeable differences in performance?
SSD vs. Hard Drives. Otherwise, if you equip a non-retina with an SSD, it performs as fast as a retina.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle777 View Post
Also can you upgrade the RAM in the non retina to 16 gbs?
You can, though Apple only supports up to 8GB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle777 View Post
And last question, although there's less pixels, if I were to get the non retina hi-res screen how does that compare with the retina?
It's comparable to using the "more space option" on a retina in terms of real estate. But you still have nowhere near the pixels per inch that you do on a retina.
__________________
MacBook Pro (15" Mid 2012); PC Tower (3.4GHz Phenom II x4; Radeon HD 6850); 5th Gen iPod touch; 2nd and 3rd Gen tv; iPad Air Verizon; Galaxy S5 Verizon
"Don't Cry, Eat Pie"
Yebubbleman is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 2013, 07:06 AM   #8
Santabean2000
macrumors 65816
 
Santabean2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yebubbleman View Post
The Mac mini/MacBook Air combo is nice in terms of having two computers, but in both cases, you have the Intel HD 4000; which, for Final Cut Pro X and Photoshop, isn't ideal unless your usage is really basic.

The 15" retina MacBook Pro, in terms of raw performance, would be the most ideal route, but to only have 256GB of disk space is very limiting. If you only plan on using the internal boot drive as the drive where your OS and apps live with all of your data living elsewhere (either on a NAS, on an external drive, or both), then that's one thing. But if you want to take more than that with you, you're not going to be happy.

Ordinarily, I'd also give you the "90% of apps still aren't retina-optimized yet" speech, but it looks like your choice in apps to run on this thing doesn't apply. Final Cut Pro X is retina optimized, Photoshop CS6 will be if it isn't already. Same with Office 2011.

Personally, I'd go with a 15" non-retina MacBook Pro. Why? You get capacity, you get upgradability, and you get the flexibility of ports and connections that you might need rather than having to buy external modules or adapters. You still get the same CPUs and discrete graphics. You can have roomier storage or standard form-factor SSDs. Best part of all; it is far more user-accessible than any of the other machines you've listed. It's also cheaper than a retina. Think it over.
And you get an optical disk drive!


But seriously, the standard MBP is still a great machine. The Retina..? - Apple gen1 products are best avoided in my opinion.

Last edited by Santabean2000; Jan 23, 2013 at 07:12 AM.
Santabean2000 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:18 AM   #9
kyle777
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: New York
Quote:
Originally Posted by Santabean2000 View Post
And you get an optical disk drive!


But seriously, the standard MBP is still a great machine. The Retina..? - Apple gen1 products are best avoided in my opinion.
Should I be concerned at all though that they will probably make all their macs retina based this summer, which would make mine out of date pretty quick?
kyle777 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:36 AM   #10
kyle777
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: New York
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yebubbleman View Post
Meh. Using externals is a pain.



If both were configured with SSDs, performance would be more or less identical. In terms of CPU, chipset, RAM, and GPU, they're the same.



SSD vs. Hard Drives. Otherwise, if you equip a non-retina with an SSD, it performs as fast as a retina.



You can, though Apple only supports up to 8GB.



It's comparable to using the "more space option" on a retina in terms of real estate. But you still have nowhere near the pixels per inch that you do on a retina.
Would there be a huge performance difference between getting a solid state drive or getting the 750 gb hard drive @ 7200rpm?
kyle777 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:11 PM   #11
Santabean2000
macrumors 65816
 
Santabean2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle777 View Post
Should I be concerned at all though that they will probably make all their macs retina based this summer, which would make mine out of date pretty quick?
Your Mac will still run just fine; there's always something new and flashier on the horizon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle777 View Post
Would there be a huge performance difference between getting a solid state drive or getting the 750 gb hard drive @ 7200rpm?
HUGE. New SSDs p*** all over HDDs in everything but price.
Santabean2000 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:15 PM   #12
kyle777
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: New York
Quote:
Originally Posted by Santabean2000 View Post
Your Mac will still run just fine; there's always something new and flashier on the horizon.



HUGE. New SSDs p*** all over HDDs in everything but price.
Haha okay! Last question, will I notice any performance difference between the 2.6 ghz and the 2.7 ghz i7 processors?
kyle777 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:25 PM   #13
ECUpirate44
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: NC
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle777 View Post
Haha okay! Last question, will I notice any performance difference between the 2.6 ghz and the 2.7 ghz i7 processors?
Nope.
ECUpirate44 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 25, 2013, 01:22 AM   #14
Yebubbleman
macrumors 68020
 
Yebubbleman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle777 View Post
Would there be a huge performance difference between getting a solid state drive or getting the 750 gb hard drive @ 7200rpm?
Yes, but it's not like a 7200RPM drive yields performance that isn't respectable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santabean2000 View Post
Your Mac will still run just fine; there's always something new and flashier on the horizon.



HUGE. New SSDs p*** all over HDDs in everything but price.
And capacities (for the time being).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santabean2000 View Post
And you get an optical disk drive!
Hahaha...man, I was beginning to think you had died. Haven't seen you around these MBP-specific forums in too long. How're the wife and kids?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Santabean2000 View Post
But seriously, the standard MBP is still a great machine. The Retina..? - Apple gen1 products are best avoided in my opinion.
This is actually a really great point, especially when it comes to MacBook Pros (as well as the PowerBook G4s that preceded them). All Rev A's tend to have issues that get worked out in Rev B. Rev B will introduce quite a few tweaks, most of which are under the hood, but occasionally, there will be a couple that are noticeable. All of these tweaks tend to be for the better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle777 View Post
Should I be concerned at all though that they will probably make all their macs retina based this summer, which would make mine out of date pretty quick?
They are likely only making all of their MacBook Pros retina based this summer, which is really to say that only the retina models will get updates while the non-retina models will get discontinued. They don't yet have retina panels large enough for the iMacs and the two displays that they currently sell (which means no Retina for the Mac mini or the Mac Pro either), and they don't have retina panels thin enough for the MacBook Air. As things currently stand, only 10% of currently available OS X software is retina-ready. That doesn't even count the various older programs that will likely never be updated with retina support (think Final Cut Studio 3 and all of the apps therein). So most software will look like crap on a retina Mac. Skipping out on retina today isn't a bad call. By the time whatever computer you buy today is naturally due for replacement, the move to retina will be in full swing and you will actually be able to enjoy the benefits of retina without the awkward period of time in which only a small handful of things have made the jump.
__________________
MacBook Pro (15" Mid 2012); PC Tower (3.4GHz Phenom II x4; Radeon HD 6850); 5th Gen iPod touch; 2nd and 3rd Gen tv; iPad Air Verizon; Galaxy S5 Verizon
"Don't Cry, Eat Pie"

Last edited by Yebubbleman; Jan 25, 2013 at 01:32 AM.
Yebubbleman is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 27, 2013, 12:11 PM   #15
kyle777
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: New York
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yebubbleman View Post
Yes, but it's not like a 7200RPM drive yields performance that isn't respectable.



And capacities (for the time being).



Hahaha...man, I was beginning to think you had died. Haven't seen you around these MBP-specific forums in too long. How're the wife and kids?




This is actually a really great point, especially when it comes to MacBook Pros (as well as the PowerBook G4s that preceded them). All Rev A's tend to have issues that get worked out in Rev B. Rev B will introduce quite a few tweaks, most of which are under the hood, but occasionally, there will be a couple that are noticeable. All of these tweaks tend to be for the better.



They are likely only making all of their MacBook Pros retina based this summer, which is really to say that only the retina models will get updates while the non-retina models will get discontinued. They don't yet have retina panels large enough for the iMacs and the two displays that they currently sell (which means no Retina for the Mac mini or the Mac Pro either), and they don't have retina panels thin enough for the MacBook Air. As things currently stand, only 10% of currently available OS X software is retina-ready. That doesn't even count the various older programs that will likely never be updated with retina support (think Final Cut Studio 3 and all of the apps therein). So most software will look like crap on a retina Mac. Skipping out on retina today isn't a bad call. By the time whatever computer you buy today is naturally due for replacement, the move to retina will be in full swing and you will actually be able to enjoy the benefits of retina without the awkward period of time in which only a small handful of things have made the jump.
Thank you so much for all the advice! I think I'll probably get the 15" non retina MBP with a solid state drive for now!

Thank you to everyone that helped out
kyle777 is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Buying Tips and Advice

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
11" vs 13" Macbook Air vs 13" Retina Macbook Pro? sofakng MacBook Pro 1 Jun 7, 2013 12:03 PM
Retina Macbook Pro 13" vs Retina Macbook Air 13" rMBA13 MacBook Pro 13 May 16, 2013 11:48 AM
Quad Mac mini and MacBook Air, or 15" MacBook Pro clarkjamesdigit Buying Tips and Advice 7 Apr 18, 2013 05:21 PM
13" Macbook Air and Mac Mini VS 15" Macbook Pro Retina kyle777 Buying Tips and Advice 1 Jan 23, 2013 03:44 AM
Price Advice: Thinking of sell my 15" MacBook Pro for Mac Mini and MacBook Air warehouse40 Buying Tips and Advice 5 Sep 28, 2012 03:03 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:31 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC