Base 13" rMBP - Really that gimped?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by zaranoff, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. zaranoff macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2012
    I'm planning to buy my nephew a base 13' rMBP since he really wishes one for christmas.

    He will most likely be using it for web browsing, watching movies, spotify, word processing/homework and gaming cs 1.6 (lol). Maybe edit some simple clips in iMovie.

    I know the endless RAM rants... But really want to make sure if the 4gb ram 128gb ssd will suffice? Or am I gimping the overall system? It's mainly the retina screen he's after otherwise the base mba would be the obvious choice.

    Anybody here owning the base model?

  2. Jesla macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2013
    Tennessee USA
    Go for extra ram and call it done. Very capable machine.
  3. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Theoratically the 4/128 should work.
    But getting faster 256 and 4gigs of ram more for only 200,- is really a no brainer.
    Be warned though: with the standard retina config ms word is almost unusable.
    It glitches and lags really really bad.

    Download third party rdm app to adjust it to none retina for this.
  4. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2010
    I got the base 13 on black thursday as a back up machine for the family. I use it mostly for office for mac apps and the web. I have had no issues at all with office apps.

    We have the earlier retina macbook pro with 8gbs and I can tell you the newer base machine with only 4 mgs is faster opening large powerpoint files.

    I also see no difference in working with iMovie.

    For $200 it is a no brainer to go the the 8/256 model. But for the $400 I saved over the middle model the base is plenty powerful.
  5. 6mtg37s macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2010
    I have the 4mb/128gb machine and I always think about switching to the 8/256 but it works so fast in this form that it is somewhat useless for me to switch up. I use Office (Word, PP and Excel) almost everyday on it and it is super smooth, no lag at all. I also use it for a couple games and it's superb.
  6. TheEnthusiast macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2013
    Go for it, OP. For those uses, 4GB of RAM will be more than fine. It's a Macbook Air with a retina screen, in essence. If you really want to spend $200, get AppleCare with the education discount.
  7. racer1441 macrumors 68000

    Jul 3, 2009
    I have the base. You'll be fine.
  8. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    If that's all you're ever going to do the base system is fine. I fell for the BB $1099 special on the base rMBP and I returned it after a few days. Despite it sharing the same 4gb ram as the MBA, I noticed it ran out of ram faster and had more page outs. Possibly the higher res makes it use up more ram in safari.
  9. marivaux macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2013
    Wait, what's up with this? I am planning on getting the retina (not the base model). I (unfortunately) have to use MS Word--is it really a problem on the retina? I thought they had fixed most of the problems by now. What's the third-party app you're talking about? Does the "non-retina" setting mean that you get the same bad pixellated text that you get on a non-retina screen?
  10. TheEnthusiast macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2013
    Not sure what that guy was referring to, but I have no issues with the Office 2011 Suite. Obviously the programs looks like garbage, but all that is required is downloading the updates. After that, text looks like how one would expect. A few minor things do have some blur though.
  11. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    There are retina modified or retina base models.

    The retina macbook pro does not run ms word smoothly. Give it a try before you buy.
    Some docs work better but i had some which are unusable.
    It works almost always fine with pages and keynote though.
    They did not fix the scrolling lag and wont in the future either. Apple is not working on this.

    U can fix it with a third party app:
    (Retina display menue)
    Choose 1200x800 without hidip!
    And yes of course it then looks pixelated like the none retina.


    I didnt write that the text doesnt look fine.
    When u scroll in certain documents it lags like crazy.
  12. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Apple is not responsible for fixing Microsoft's bugs.

    Would you be so kind and provide a link to one of those 'certain' documents?
  13. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Thats obvious.
    Later maybe. Just try a .docx with some graphics in it.
  14. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    It can be more than that. Some of what they need to test and re-test may come from API changes. I can't even imagine the size of that suite.
  15. zaranoff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2012
    Thanks for the replies guys! Much appreciated. I went with the base model.

    My reasoning was that if I went with 8gb ram in the base model I might aswell buy the mid model. It's always might aswell... with Apples clever pricing=)

    It will also be a tad bit easier on my already abused wallet, bought myself a cMBP and an ipad air recently.
  16. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I just opened a custom docx in Pages and pasted several hundred high-res photos in it - sometimes over a dozen partially overlapping ones on the same page. No performance degradation so far. I don't have MS Office, so I can't test that.

    There does seem to be a bug in Apple's API regarding images in hi-DPI mode though. Scrolling lag reported by users ultimately has image data as a common denominator. E.g. Safari exhibits scrolling lag on certain pages, which disappears if the images are switched off. I assume there is something wrong with NSImage which sometimes prevents the data to be uploaded to the GPU in time. I am very curious about that, but unfortunately, I lack both time and knowledge to debug it...
  17. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Ms office lags.

    I hardly notice lag in pages.
  18. Rick-ITA macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2013
    I took the half-way and got a 128GB SSD / 8GB RAM.

    As for me 256GB SSD are not enough to store all of my data while 128GB are enough for applications, 10GB of music, 5 GB of pictures, Windows XP virtual machine and all my documents, with more than half of the SSD still free.

    The big point here is that you can't upgrade RAM. Moreover consider that your Iris GPU will work with only 512MB video RAM.
  19. TheEnthusiast macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2013
    It dynamically allocates up to 1GB of system memory for all 13 inch retina Macbook Pros that use the Intel Iris graphics.
  20. marivaux macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2013
    Sorry to bump this thread (I forgot to look at my quote notifications until now).

    So, wait, everyone. Is Office "almost unusable" on rmbp, or is it really that "some documents with a lot of graphics have scroll lag"? Those are two really different things.

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