Resolved 13" Macbook Air and Mac Mini VS 15" Macbook Pro Retina

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kyle777, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. kyle777, Jan 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    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!!
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    ConCat

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    In an ethereal plane of existence.
    #2
    If you're going to use all those apps, then the rMBP 15'' for sure. The dedicated GPU makes a big difference.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Baklava

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #3
    I am a friend of splitting specific tasks to multiple devices, so in your case I would go with Mini & Air. ;)
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    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.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    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?
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #7
    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.
     
  8. Santabean2000, Jan 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #8
    And you get an optical disk drive! :D


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

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    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?
     
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Location:
    New York
    #10
    Would there be a huge performance difference between getting a solid state drive or getting the 750 gb hard drive @ 7200rpm?
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #11
    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.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Location:
    New York
    #12
    Haha okay! Last question, will I notice any performance difference between the 2.6 ghz and the 2.7 ghz i7 processors?
     
  13. macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    NC
    #13
    Nope.
     
  14. Yebubbleman, Jan 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013

    macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #14
    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.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Location:
    New York
    #15
    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 :)
     

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