13" MBA vs. upcoming 13" Retina MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dmelgar, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    #1
    13" retina Macbook Pro is rumored to launch before October this year.

    Any guesses on what it might contain and be priced at?
    I'm debating holding off on a 13" MBA to see what the 13 rMBP will look like.

    I'm assuming pricing has to be between the 13" MBA and the 15" MBP. So less than $2200. Maybe $1800-$2000 for the base model.

    Assume retina display, double current resolution, so 2560x1600. In the past, the 13" MBP has had a weaker GPU, so I assume no discrete GPU. If thats the situation, does it really need a larger case? Could it be the size of the 13" MBA?

    Of course if will be SSD only.
     
  2. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #2
    i think you have the price point right. Anything lower and it would kill off the regular pro line completely. It would definitely be a bigger case than the 13" air.
     
  3. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    #3
    I will for sure stick with the MBA.
    Mega-large resolution / pixel density is not everything.
     
  4. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #4
    it is sexy though :) I would be kind of disappointed if i spent $1600 on an air and a 13" base retina with similar specs came out for the same price
     
  5. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    #5
    I seriously doubt it will be at the same price. It might be "close" but it will still cost more. Even then, I'd still go with the MBA for the portability and the not huge performance difference...

    I can live without more pixels / higher resolution and unoptimized applications. Things look just fine on the MBA screen and if some do look bad, they'll just look 2-3 times worse on the retina display.
     
  6. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #6
    For a bigger case you'd expect better specs than just retina. 16GB of RAM? Room for 2 drives (2 x 512GB SSDs anyone?). Quad core?

    They must answer the question "why would I buy this instead of the Air?". And the answer should be more than just the screen.
     
  7. jksu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    #7
    if you don't "need" to buy a 13" mba now, i think waiting until october to see if the 13" retina mbp drops is a good idea.

    all speculation of course, but i agree your price guess is in the ball park. unlikely to undercut mba price given the additional features (retina display primarily).

    expected differences from mba:
    - 13" 16:10 display with a retina resolution
    - non-wedge form factor to accommodate a larger battery
    - hdmi out like on the 15" retina mbp
    - 2 thunderbolt ports, to allow ethernet and display
    - dedicate gpu
    - higher ram/ssd options?

    i love the form factor of my 11" mba, but would prefer a nicer monitor. would consider going up to a 13" retina mbp to do so...
     
  8. Barna Biro, Jul 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012

    Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    #8
    Only some games take real advantage of more than 2 cores... Most of the software out there hardly utilizes 2 cores ( not to mention they aren't optimized for more either ). As far as I can remember, 16 GB memory is possible even now, that can definitely be a nice thing to have ( for some )... but it's far from being a deal breaker ( with a bit of management, you / no one will need to have 10-15+ or more applications running simultaneously... of course, if you really want to, no one is stopping you, but not having 16 GB of memory will still not be a deal breaker... in real-life, only an extremely small percent of people "need to utilize" more than 8 GB of memory and they would in general not go for the notebook for serious work cause even if they have plenty of memory, there will be other components bottle-neked / limiting them ).

    Seriously now, the entire rMBP hype is mainly about the screen...
    So will it be with the 13" rMBP model once it hits the market...

    In order to cool performant hardware, you need to either have performant and surely loud fans ( cause I doubt that "dead-silent" but mega-performant fans will hit the market anytime soon ) + space or the hardware itself should not just be "mega-performant" but produce almost no heat ( somehow )... Of course if comparing the two notebooks by raw-power, the 13" rMBP will most likely be faster than the MBA... but then again, 90% of the users don't really need the power, nor do many know how to correctly utilize the better hardware.

    As for app optimization... Mac anyway has a relatively small market share compare to Windows. Now add how may "retina" displays exist in the World ( you can boost the number a bit, estimating "future sales" )... Most of the companies will not invest money / time into updating their software for a quite small pool of users. Again, I'm not saying that "no one will", there will surely be a few that do ( like Adobe, mainly because of their graphics tools ), but I am confident that there will be a lot more that won't...

    IMO, quite a few years have to pass until the amount of software "optimized for retina resolution" will reach a decent percentage of the entire market. Until then, for 90% of the users it will serve one main purpose: "bragging rights" :)
     
  9. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #9
    that is how I feel. I have the 11/i7/8/256 and after student discount cost me $1600. I would easily fork over another $200 for a great display
     
  10. dmelgar thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Apr 29, 2005
    #10
    I think this whole "app optimization" thing is somewhat overblown. Most Cocoa apps will appear with high res text without any modification. Its only lower level apps that did their own rendering where it becomes an issue. Graphics/image processing does need changes to handle the retina display.

    There's another useful aspect to retina display. Today Apple displays support a variety of display resolutions, but anything other than the highest resolution ends up looking very fuzzy because rendered pixels end up between actual pixels. End result is that you can only really use the highest display resolution.

    With a retina display, you have such high resolution that you can support a variety of display resolutions and have it look really good. So a 13" 2560x1600 display can show 1280x800 (the default font size), but would also show 1440x900 (the 15" MBP default) quite well although not "retina" like. ie probably as good as a 15" MBP but not as good as the 15" rMBP.
     
  11. Barna Biro, Jul 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012

    Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    #11
    Well yeah... comes down to personal likes and dislikes in the end. I had the rMBP and didn't really like it... not saying it was bad, but it was far from great too ( at least in my personal opinion ). Of course, it has a fast CPU and a quite decent GPU and nice form, but meh ( just a lot of marketing around the screen ).

    If I disliked the 15" model, chances are I will not like the 13" rMBP more either. But yeah, if you think it fits your needs / taste, then go for it and enjoy it to the maximum ;)
     
  12. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #12
    My guess:

    13" 2560x1600 IGZO IPS display
    256GB SSD standard, same upgrade options as the 15" RMBP
    4GB RAM standard, 8GB and 16GB options.
    Dual-Core i7 with a low end NVidia GPU.
    2x Thunderbolt, 2x USB 3, 1x HDMI

    $1699 starting price
     
  13. stevelam macrumors 65816

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    Nov 4, 2010
    #13
    if the performance is as bad as the 15" RMBP WITH a discrete gpu, i can't imagine how it will be on the 13" with no discrete gpu unless theres going to be a huge leap in performance from integrated cards next year.

    ----------

    meh. the reality is you're still working on a 15" screen no matter the resolution. if resolution independence came to external monitors it would be way more useful.
     
  14. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #14
    I also agree. If it performs like the current retina, i couldn't do it. The lag made me feel sick!
     
  15. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    Feb 6, 2009
    #15
    Shouldn't be any worse than a current gen 13" MBP hooked up to a 27" display.

    According to the Anandtech article part of the 15" RMBP's issue is that GPUs aren't optimized for 2880x1800, since it isn't really a common resolution.

    2560x1600 however is a pretty common resolution. It's been used on 30" monitors for years, including cinema displays.
     
  16. will waters macrumors regular

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    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
    Great Britain
    #16
    MBA, In the end the MBA has got an improved screen over the current MBP, and you can get it sooner, and unless the new rMBP 13" has got a discrete graphics card, the integrated GPU will be fried in no time

    Will
     
  17. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    Feb 6, 2009
    #17
    It'd be no different than using a current 13" MBP or MBA hooked up to a cinema/thunderbolt display all the time.
     
  18. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #18
    Well, the real nerds are saying that integrate performance will supposedly improve with Haswell, and especially Broadwell. Anandtech all but said to wait for one of these two if you can in his review.

    I presume it may be a bit easier for a graphics chip to drive a 13" display over a 15", though I may be wrong. But I'd settle for a 13" IPS display with improved contrast and viewing angle instead of the relatively washed out one I have in my 2011 edition.
     
  19. asting macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2012
    #19
    +1
    These resolutions really aren't that groundbreaking, and will certainly be smaller on the 13 mba vs the rmbp.
    Can't the mba drive its own display and a cinema display at the same time ? i doubt an improved screen would have more pixels than that, and if they do i doubt integrated graphicswould struggle to handle it. Yeah, you won't be gaming at that res, but it'll work.

    All this talk of "discrete graphics" seems like fear mongering paranoia.
    My "inferior" integrated graphics are much faster than a large portion of older dedicated cards.
     
  20. infectedfall macrumors newbie

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    Dec 18, 2011
    #20
    Well of course you're not just getting it for the screen, it also has asymmetrical fans!
     
  21. dmelgar thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Apr 29, 2005
    #21
    The updated MBAs reportedly also have asymmetrical fans.
     
  22. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #22
    They are similar to the retina's but not nearly as good =/
     
  23. RightMACatU macrumors 65816

    RightMACatU

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    #23
    +1 on your guess
    I'm on the fence between a MBA 13/8/256 and a potential rMBP 13/8/256 for let's say $1799.
     
  24. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #24
    I really think people are under estimating the price. The difference between the 11" and 13" air is $100....i think it will be the same between the 13" and 15" retina....making it $1999 at the cheapest and keeping the student discount at only $100 off. Maybe $2099 and giving you $200 off
     
  25. RightMACatU macrumors 65816

    RightMACatU

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    #25
    I'm justifying the price difference due to the fact that an entry level 13 rMBP will most probably have dual-core (vs quad) and 4GB RAM (vs 8). But yeah, if they beef up the above, $1999 is totally reasonable too.
     

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