rMBP or MBP + TBD?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iPadProd, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    #1
    Hey, I am going to be heading to college this year, I am going to study law, and I am wondering if I should get the base rMBP or a 13" MBP + Thunderbolt Display (Or even a refurb 15 inch and TBD).

    Along with law, my other goal is to major in graphic design, which I really get in to.

    I hear that the rMBP will show a lot of applications as fuZzy because most software doesn't support it, which is an obvious con. The con of the MBP is that it is probably going to outdate faster than the rMBP, and OS support will probably end a few years sooner.

    Any input on my situation? I also considered a MBA and an imac when it comes out.
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #2
    Base rMBP is pointless unless you are content to rely on external storage. Beefing up a base rMBP is another story, but given the still-low percentage of optimized apps compared to non-optimized apps, I'd say it won't be the sensible buy until it is the only buy. As for current non-retina MBPs, unless your hobby in graphic design is minor (and thusly doesn't necessitate anything beyond the integrated graphics on the 13"), get the 15". You probably won't need the extra 512MB of VRAM offered on the higher-end model, but it never hurts to play it safe, unless we're talking about your wallet. Still though, a baseline 15" non-retina MBP is the perfect sweet-spot for that sort of thing. As for the Thunderbolt display, I say go for it if you can afford it. It's powerful, but it's also pricey.

    That being said, I'd take the 15" non-retina MBP + Thunderbolt display combo over the iMac and over the MBA + Thunderbolt display combo any day of the year; the Air is not stellar as a primary machine unless your needs are not at all demanding and the iMac, in its current form, is poorly designed. It looks stunning on the outside, but on the inside, it's riddled with all sorts of design flaws that make it Apple's most failure-prone Mac. Most iMac users and prospective iMac customers like to ignore that fact because it's "just so pretty", but that beauty is only skin-deep.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    jmgregory1

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago and Spooner (when it's not 20 below)
    #3
    There are plenty of posts (and people) who would challenge your assertion that the Air isn't good for at least some basic design-related work. No, it's not going to be stellar at rendering hi-res video, but I'm guessing the OP isn't at that point now, given design sounds to be a secondary thing to their law schooling.

    A 13" Air is a great alternative, especially paired with the TB Cinema Display. You get a super light, fast, laptop for doing your school work and enough horsepower to manage just about any design tasks you throw at it. Remember, a great computer (like a fully loaded rMBP) won't make you a good designer. It can help you work faster, but that isn't where you're at right now and you may never get there.
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    #4
    It's good to be clear about the hardware needs. For law/pre-law and some design needs, the MBA may be just fine. IME for hauling many places around campus, the 2 less pounds to carry for the MBA is surprisingly helpful.

    If you expect to do much of the art in one place, the extra screen real estate of any good display is just easier (even though I like the rMBP).

    Unless your are fixed on the TBD, I would consider the Dell "S" or "U" series IPS LCD monitors. The picture on the Dells are quite good for basic functions, and the price difference is big. If you were okay with the rRMBP, a nice 24 inch IPS monitor may be fine. The 27 inch Dell S monitor is $400 cheaper than the TBD refurb.

    It's less than 8 weeks from Black Friday. If you can wait a bit, you might save 10 per cent on these purchases.
     
  5. macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    I never said that the Air couldn't do design work. Just that as a primary machine, it is weaker and that if the owner is serious about using their computer to do more than the basics, the Air shouldn't be their primary computer. The fact that there are many people on here that disagree with me is fine. That doesn't mean that they are any more correct than I am.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    jmgregory1

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago and Spooner (when it's not 20 below)
    #6
    Not trying to pick on you, just that considering the OP is a law student interested in design suggested to me that getting a "pro" version for what I will assume will be rare high cpu-gpu intensive tasks doesn't make sense.

    I used to work with a team of 6 designers, many of who were (and still are) running on old G4, G5 and older Intel Mac Pro towers (doing mostly graphic design work for product creation, catalogs, store signage) taught me that you don't NEED the best new MBP or fully loaded Mac Pro in order to be a great designer.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    #7
    I am in the same problem as the OP, basicly im thinking between doing all the work on the rMBP and buy that OR buy a macbook pro 13" + external monitor.

    Still don't know what I wanna do.

    Don't know if the screen estate of the rMBP is going to be enough
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    #8
    rMBP. ;)

    (then add external storage if you need it)
     
  9. macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #9
    This is so wrong I don't know where to begin.

    the Air is not stellar as a primary machine unless your needs are not at all demanding and the iMac, in its current form, is poorly designed. It looks stunning on the outside, but on the inside, it's riddled with all sorts of design flaws that make it Apple's most failure-prone Mac.[/QUOTE]

    Again, please, what? Where's the evidence of this iMac failure rate?!
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    #10
    You think the retina with its 15" display has enough screen estate? Because hooking up a retina to an external display is stupid imo, you would feel weird everytime coming from such a crisp display
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Location:
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    #11
    yes ;)
     
  12. macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #12
    Well, you should begin somewhere, because otherwise, I will continue to justify my point with facts.

    Here's one: A 256GB SSD can either hold some data, a lot of apps, but both is a tight squeeze. My iTunes library (Music, Apps, TV Shows, Movies, and Podcasts) is a good 400GB. I recognize that I could eliminate, at least TV Shows, Apps, most Podcasts, and most Movies, but having to redownload what I don't have and want to watch would be a pain. Similarly, I have a ton of programs. Most MacBook Pro users have a ton of programs because for most people, the MacBook Pro is their primary (if not only) computer. I have both a ton of programs and a ton of data. Might I be in the minority there, sure. Would most people be fine with a 256GB SSD? Sure. This is why the top of the line MacBook Air comes with a 256GB SSD pre-customization. However, the bottom of the line Retina MacBook Pro model is not priced for consumers that can only afford an Air; if you are buying a Retina MacBook Pro, chances are you're going to put it to work and I'm sorry 256GB of internal storage isn't a lot to work with unless you are connecting it to external storage on the regular.


    Go to any Apple Store or any Apple Authorized Service Provider. Ask them how often iMacs come in for non-accidental-damage repair. Then ask them how often each of the other Mac models come in for non-accidental-damage repair. You will find that iMacs are the most frequent offenders. It has been the case at every Apple Authorized Service Provider that I've ever worked at. Also note that the iMac has more temperature sensors inside it than every other Mac. Can you guess why? A lot of desktop components in a design that should've never been so thin. These sensors are in place in case the machine overheats in ways that none of Apple's other Macs would ever (because the thermal envelope in those machines never cuts it so close).

    ----------

    It's one thing to satisfy needs for today. It's another thing entirely to satisfy needs for tomorrow. A PowerMac G5, when solely using the versions of Creative Suite and Final Cut that were compatible with it, is still a very capable machine and it will satisfy most needs...for today. Buying a MacBook Air and not maxing it out poorly plans for the future of such a computer, because while it works great today, it won't in four years, and with the direction Apple is taking the future of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines, you can't easily retrofit these machines with upgrades; what you buy at the time of purchase is fixed. Again, Macs are pricey and it is in the best interest of anyone who can't readily afford new ones right away to spend the $200 in maxing out the RAM and to spend the money to upgrade to at least 512GB of SSD at the time of purchase, because while a baseline model from either the Retina MBP or the MacBook Air will be more than enough for today, odds are that it won't retain that kind of usefulness for all that long.
     
  13. macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #13
    I don't know anyone doing serious work that isn't connecting to an external drive regularly. And I know plenty of people that have made a good living working off of computers with < 256GB solid state drives.
     
  14. macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #14
    I could make a good living working off of a computer with a 128GB solid state drive. That doesn't mean that I can necessarily do a lot with it. And my point was that *UNLESS EXTERNAL DRIVES WERE TO BE CONSTANTLY CONNECTED* such a machine is pointless given how very capable it is otherwise. 256GB is not a lot of space in 2012.
     
  15. macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #15
    No probs bro, have a nice evening.
     

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