13" Macbook Pro 2.9GHz, 8G,1TB ATA Drive vs 13" MBP-Retina 2.5Ghz, 8G, 256GB

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mhlof, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. mhlof macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm having trouble choosing between:

    *13" Macbook Pro 2.9GHz, 8G,1TB ATA Drive
    *13" MBP-Retina 2.5Ghz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz, 8G, 256GB flash drive

    I'm currently studying Web and application developing and I'm planning to build and run everything on this macbook. Is Macbook Pro with retina display worth purchasing?
     
  2. robvas macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Only you can decide if the Retina display is worth it. Do you think the iPad 3 is worth it over the 3? iPhone 4 over the 3?
     
  3. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #3
    In general, the iPad and iPhone are used very close to your face compared with your computer. The difference in pixel density is very, very noticeable as a result. There is a visible difference with the retina laptops, but it's not quite as dramatic.
     
  4. ncrypt, Mar 6, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013

    ncrypt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I think that the real gain from the retina display is the (potential) increase in real estate which for me makes a big difference when you want to be productive :D

    Considering what you're studying, I guess you'd want a few windows open next to each other, so the resolutions the rMBP can go up to would be a real boon.
     
  5. robvas macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    You'd think so, but if you switch between a regular MacBook Pro and a Retina often, it's very easy to see.

    The iPhone 3GS has about the same PPI as the MacBook Air, around 130 ppi. In either case it's doubled, so the distance you hold it from your face doesn't matter because it's higher on the phones.
     
  6. BigBeast macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #6
    I won't go into detail about Retina. Suffice it to say that it's great, and I love it.

    You'll also notice a much bigger improvement in speed with the Retina version, since it houses an SSD vs. a platter drive in the regular MBP. The SSD removes the bottle neck of the conventional MBP- the disk drive. You'll notice much fast application loading, file reads and writes, and quicker log in times.
     
  7. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #7
    I didn't mean to come off as dismissing the retina screen on the MBP as being unnoticeable, but I stand by my original statement.

    Case in point, I have an iPad 3. If I use my iPad and then use my computer with my face very close to the screen, the difference is painfully obvious. I can see the pixels and text looks almost fuzzy. Yet at my normal viewing distance with the computer on my desk (more than an arm's length - at least three feet), my computer screen looks perfectly fine. If I place my iPad by my computer screen then I can see some difference again, but it's nowhere near as apparent as when I'm using my iPad up close.

    This is why I balked at the idea of comparing an iPad 2 vs. iPad 3 and equating that to rMBP vs. standard MBP. This is a principle familiar to anyone who prints photographs, too: the pixels per inch (dots per inch) makes a difference, but it becomes very difficult to appreciate it the farther your viewing distance is. Again, devices like the iPhone and iPad are usually very close to our eyes by virtue of being hand-held devices and having smaller screens. People's setups (viewing distances) for their laptops will vary, and the retina MBP will be noticeable in nearly all cases. It just won't be the earth-shattering difference that retina on the iPhone/iPad was.

    Standard MBPs may ship with a traditional hard drive, but there's nothing preventing a consumer from replacing it with a SSD of their choice. The benefit is that some third-party SSDs outperform the SSD that ships with the retina, and it's possible to pay less for more storage capacity as compared with paying Apple's prices.
     
  8. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    United States
    #8
    Definitely the MacBook Pro (non-Retina).

    • You can upgrade to 16GB RAM. The Retina will *always* be limited to 8GB RAM. Big downer in my opinion.
    • 2.9GHz CPU is definitely better than a 2.5GHz one.
    • I believe the 2.9Ghz is i7 whereas the 2.5Ghz is i5.
    • 1TB hard-drive space means you'll have enough space for everything.
    • You'll have an optical drive. You can even take out the optical drive, move your 1TB drive to that space, and set a SSD as your main drive. That way you'll have speed AND space. Can't say the same about Retina MacBook Pros unless you want to dish out $2,500-$3,000 for a 1TB SSD.
    • Last but not least, there seems to be more potential issues with Retina MacBook Pros, most noticeably IR (Image Retention).
     
  9. Ultra AleM macrumors 6502a

    Ultra AleM

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Location:
    Italy
    #9
    I personally think that the MacBook Pro 13 i7 is more powerful (having a faster i7 CPU instead of a slower i5) and has way more storage, the DVD drive and it is cheaper and upgradable (storage and RAM up to 16GB).

    On the other hand the Retina is lighter and thinner, has a better screen and it has better speakers.

    I'd go for the cMBP i7.
     
  10. bkends35 macrumors 6502a

    bkends35

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    IMO the difference is huge on the laptops too. The cMBP looks like garbage to me compared to the retina.
     
  11. mhlof thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    #11
    Thanks everyone!

    Thank you so much for all thoughtful replies!

    I would definitely enjoy watching movies or reading with better quality, but my main concern is the storage space and I can't have both :( I wish I could. I will definitely upgrade MBP from 8G to 16G.

    Let's say I'm getting MBP 13"(non-retina), does paying extra $100 for 1TB hard drive instead of 750 GB worth it? I'm not sure how much space a general web developer will need to download all kinds of software. I'm also planning to purchase an external hard drive to back up all the files. So I don't think I'll take up spaces other than the software.

    My second question is if I end up spending extra $100, would it be better spent on 1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm or 128GB Solid State Drive?

    Again, thank you so much for your input!
     
  12. BigBeast macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #12
    750 GB of software?? That my friend, is INSANE. 750 GB will be more than enough for you. I have to guess that you are new to developing, and computers in general to ask a question like that- no worries. Save your $100. If you want even more info, you can read below. If not, save the $100. And I also should say, for web developing, and Photoshop usage, a Retina screen is a mighty fine tool to have.

    Decided to read on? Here's the other stuff.

    I wouldn't pay an extra $100 for an internal drive, when you can have the 750 GB internal, and buy a 1TB external for $80 (amazon.com). That way, you save $20 and now have a total of 1.75 GB.

    As for SSD, unless you worry about the durability of your hard disk drive (SSD has no platter head and removes most risk of damage via moderate sized drop), then the only other improvement an SSD will make is speed. Unless you're connecting the SSD over thunderbolt, the best you'll get is USB 3.0, which isn't nearly fast enough to warrant buying an SSD. Besides, even if you did want to run an SSD over thunderbolt, the cheapest thunderbolt enclosure I've seen is $350. Let's not forget that you'll also be getting a drive that's an eighth of the size of the hard disk drive.
     
  13. pseudoghost macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    #13
    I would really question your need to upgrade from 8GB to 16GB of RAM. Most people simply do not ever upgrade their machines, and really 8GB of RAM is likely to be enough unless you are doing some serious number crunching (which it sounds like you will not be doing). Adding extra RAM gains you absolutely nothing if you do not use it, and you'll likely run into CPU bottlenecks before you can saturate 16GB of RAM with 100s of applications running at once... Just saying, if you can't really point your finger to what you're going to do with 16GB, then you probably won't need it.

    My advice these days is, except in very specific circumstances, do not buy additional hard disk space. You can buy a small external 1 TB USB3.0 hard disk for $60 online, and it will be as fast as an internal disk (USB3 is fast enough that the disk is the bottleneck).

    Don't spend the extra money period. 128 GB is pretty small.
     

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