Buying advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macbanda, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. macbanda macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I'm in the market for a replacement to my old back MacBook Pro. I thought the new 13" retina was a no brainier choice but now I'm thinking the non-retina may make more sense.

    I'm an educator so hauling lighter loads makes more sense - hence the 13" choice

    I mostly use my computer for creating presentations, and accessing information online. I have recently gotten into digital photography and plan on getting into some video editing. I also do some light ProTools work.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, the non-retina is faster in relation to its retina counterpart and therefore may serve me longer bu I miss out on the beautiful display.

    Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
  2. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
  3. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    If I were buying right now, I'd pick up the base 13" MBP. I've seen it on sale for $999 pretty regularly at Frys. I'd upgrade the RAM to 8 or 16GB and the HDD to a 250GB or maybe a 500GB Samsung 840, I've seen them for about $300.

    The retina display is really nice though, so if you feel it's worth it, I don't see a problem going that route. Just try to catch them on sale. Frys had the base 13" rMBP for $1549 not too long ago...
  4. Essenar macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2008
    The main issue with the 13 Retina is that once you upgrade the SSD/Ram (Which is necessary due to the soldered parts), it comes dangerously close to the 15 Retina in price. And for the price, the Retina 15 is miles and mountains ahead of the Retina 13 in terms of performance. (Quad core standard, much MUCH better graphics card)

    In all honesty the 15 Retina is not that much heavier. It's less than a pound heavier than the 13 Retina and about the SAME weight as a 13 Classic.

    What I would advise:
    Option A:
    Classic Boosted: My choice.
    A 13 MacBook Pro with upgraded i7 processor.
    Newegg 16GB Ram kit and 256GB Vertex 4 SSD. This will put you at about $1400. The performance will be screaming. It'll be light, it'll be powerful and it will definitely suit your needs.

    Option B:
    Retina 15:
    15 Retina base with no upgrades and merely an education discount.
    You get 8GB of ram, a quad-core processor, much better video card and surprisingly, about the same weight as a Classic.
    The issue is, you pay about $600 more, which would benefit you a lot more in things like: An AppleCare warranty, a keyboard skin, Satin case or even an iPad (which you'll end up using a lot more for lectures anyway, trust me).
  5. macbanda thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Thank you for your detailed reply. The fact is that I use my iPad in the classroom more and more so I'm now thinking that a 15" may make more sense since it will give me more space to work on editing/music projects. My last computer lasted me nearly five years - this after I was going through a laptop every year to year and a half. In other words, it may make more sense to spend the extra money since the computer may last me quite a long time?
  6. Essenar macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2008
    If you're looking for longevity, you will definitely enjoy a 15" more. For the money, the 13" Retina is just not worth it. And the 15" is not that much heavier. In fact, I believe it has the same weight as the 13" Classic. Actually I was wrong. The 15" Retina is .04 pounds lighter than the 13" Classic lol.

    The 15" Retina has two thunderbolt ports, an HDMI port, the two USB 3.0 ports.

    The 13" Classic has only one thunderbolt, no HDMI, has a FireWire 800 and an ethernet port with the Super Drive.

    Even on the occasions that you are mobile, I promise you the 15" won't be that heavy. The 15" is more like a 15" MacBook Air, but I hesitate to give it the Air title because it usually signifies weaker performance. The Retina 15" is light, nimble, elegant but beastly, powerful and a complete work horse.
  7. macbanda thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Thank you, excellent points you're making. If it weren't for that hefty price tag, I'd be getting that 15" retina today! It seems like it's the best available and won't be obsolete for a while.

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