13" rMBP Underpowered?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pmontanarella, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. pmontanarella macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    #1
    Hi all,

    I've read plenty of reviews of the new 13" Retina MBP and they all seem to say one thing in common: the 13" rMBP is underpowered and overall can't cope with all the pixels it needs to drive. I was wondering if any owner of the retina MBP could share their opinion? Does it lag noticeably? I am looking to buy a new laptop however, after reading about this issue I'm looking more to the non-Retina MBP than to its Retina counterpart.

    Thanks in advance,

    Pietro
     
  2. Km133 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
    #2
    Hey -

    I've been using mine for just over a week and I've had no problems. Been surfing the web and streaming music via Spotify constantly, mixed with running some stats programs, word, powerpoint and some basic graphics editing. All in "best for retina" mode.

    Things are running as smoothly as the day I got it - I've not had to turn it off once (apart from the odd software upgrade on day 1).

    As for supposed scroll lag on the web I can't say I've noticed any - Safari is very smooth.

    Of course it will depend what you plan on using it for. I'm sure I don't use anywhere near what it is capable of.
     
  3. PatriotInvasion macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #3
    The non-retina/current gen 13" MBP has the same i5 processor, half the RAM, and a slow as hell 5400rpm 500GB hard drive...and it still can power itself and an external display of up to 2560x1600.

    That said, why would the 13" rMBP be underpowered when it has twice the RAM (8GB) and a super-fast 128GB SSD pushing the same exact resolution that the non-retina model can push to an external display?

    It's only considered "underpowered" because a bunch of people on these forums (including myself at one point) got the notion that the 13" would share the same specs as the 15" in a smaller form factor (dedicated GPU, quad-core, larger SSD)...when this wasn't the case on the previous gen either. The 13" rMBP is $500 less than the 15" and makes some sacrifices to do so. I own one and am very happy so far as I don't do anything that requires the 15"'s specs.
     
  4. pmontanarella thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    #4
    I'll be using it mostly for browsing, email, word (for school) and powerpoint. I will probably also be doing some light video and photo editing (with iMovie).
    I don't think that will be a problem.

    Thanks,
    Pietro
     
  5. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    Jan 15, 2003
  6. Vctr macrumors regular

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    May 24, 2012
    #6
    The 13" Retina MBP is doing more than just "pushing pixels to a high res display" ... It has to resample everything that is happening on the screen so that it shows an effective resolution of 1200 x 800 / 1440 x 900 / or 1680 x 1050. That is what slows the computer down.

    In your example, the regular 13" MBP is pushing pixels to a 2560 x 1600 display where pixels are being displayed on a 1 to 1 basis.
     
  7. joshhedge macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #7
    I believe it to be mostly driver related, for my 15"rPro at least, give Apple some time to release some updates.
     
  8. PatriotInvasion macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #8
    I think the "Best for Retina" resolution is not using scaling which is why it does not provide a disclaimer saying it will affect performance. If it were, wouldn't the iPad be "underpowered" as well given the same process with the 1024x768 resolution doubling?
     
  9. stevelam macrumors 65816

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    Nov 4, 2010
    #9
    Pretty much all of this is wrong and irrelevant.
     
  10. PatriotInvasion macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10
    Correction: Looks like it does do the scaling at all resolutions. What is the most taxing on? The integrated GPU of the 13" or the processor?

    Either way, I haven't had any issues thus far and have a hard time believing Apple would release a $1,700 product that cannot handle itself. Seems like the issues lay in the minds of "spec-heads" versus actual real-world usage.;)
     
  11. bizack macrumors 6502

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    Apr 21, 2009
    #11
    I've had mine for a few days and it's an awesome little machine. I'm selling my MBA in exchange.
     
  12. PatriotInvasion macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #12
    I corrected my post, but why doesn't the iPad have the same problem displaying 2048x1536 on a 9.7" screen? Isn't some scaling going on there as well?:confused:
     
  13. Maggot FF macrumors member

    Maggot FF

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    Sep 24, 2012
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #13
    The "best for retina" option screen is also scaled. And lets not forget that the 15" is also using the HD4000 most of the time, unless you use some "demanding" software, and that screen has even more pixels to handle. I can notice some slight lag on my 15" from time to time (very rarely, luckily), but mostly it's as smooth as butter, and i seriously believe it´s a driver problem.

    I don´t think the 13" is underpowered, its easily on par with other 13 inches out there, and when you go for that size, you have to sacrifice something else. plain and simple. I can´t believe people had hopes for a 13" with the 15" power. It just isn´t possible.
     
  14. PatriotInvasion macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #14
    At least not at the $1,699 price point, which was critical for them to reach to bring retina Macs to the masses.
     
  15. mfram macrumors 65816

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    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #15
    I haven't noticed any "underperformance" from my new 13"rMBP. I had the 2010 MBA before. This machine weighs a little more. But the CPU is way faster and the display is tons better. I have watched videos and do a lot of web surfing and programming. Have noticed any 'lag' yet. The animations all look smooth to me.

    I do not use the machine for serious gaming. If you want a gaming laptop, there are probably other better choices.
     
  16. Moshe1010 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #16
    If you travel and need something light, go with the rMBP or MBA 13". If you need more power, go with the 15" rMBP. On a daily usage, such as surfing, writing, and basic graphic design (photoshop) - you won't see any difference between the 13" and 15" rMBP. If you start to edit video and deal with extra large image files, then it would be wise to get the 15" rMBP.
    Is the 13" rMBP overpriced? probably, but if you have the money and it satisfies your needs, why waiting?
     

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