Buying Help: Macbook Air, Macbook Pro - Retina, or Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cpac54, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. cpac54 macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    Apologies, I posted this in the Macbook Pro forum before realizing the existence of this forum here (I'm new around these parts!). Mods, please feel free to delete the other one!

    So, I'm going back to university in September, and need to purchase a new laptop. After years of saying that my next laptop would be a Mac, I'm finally making the switch.

    Overall I'm looking to get something portable enough to be able to bring to school everyday, yet powerful enough to be useful as my only computer. Besides lots of essay writing, I would like to be able to do some light photo editing with Lightroom, and download a fair amount of media. I also stream a fair amount of live TV feeds during the NHL and NFL seasons. Storage capacity is less of a concern than are memory and processing speed for me. Having a laptop that's as future-proofed as possible would also be nice. Price plays a role (the cheaper the better!) but, I'd like to stay below $1500 CAD.

    I'm looking at the following configurations:

    MBA 13": i7 processor (1.7ghz, 3.3 boost), 8gb RAM, 256Gb SDD. With education discount, comes in at $1479 CAD. (plus a $110 Apple store GC).

    rMBP 13" (refurbished Oct. 2013 model)
    : i5 processor (2.4ghz, 2.9 boost), 8gb RAM, 256Gb SSD. Selling at $1279 CAD (refurb price, no Apple Store GC).

    MBP 13": i7 processor (2.9 Ghz, 3.6 boost), 8gb RAM, 500 HDD. Selling at $1224 CAD with education discount. Also comes with the $110 Apple store GC (I like the idea of being able to upgrade this model in the future easily with RAM and a SSD).

    I'm pretty much looking at the first two, and wonder if the slight decrease in weight (.22 kg) and increase in processing speed with the i7 is worth the extra money when compared to the refurbished rMBP.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts (and for any other configuration ideas you may have up your sleeves), they're very much appreciated by this mac rookie!
  2. snerkone macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2014
    Leuven, Belgium
    Retina Macbook Pro

    Hi there!

    I'm new here but I work at an Apple Reseller (since there are no official Apple Stores in my country, Belgium). So helping people with their decision is my profession! :)

    I'd go for the Retina Macbook Pro.
    I personally have a Macbook Pro 13" non-Retina and I'm hesitating to buy the retina model, although my Macbook still works fine.

    If you're searching for a workhorse that'd be able to run your programs for the next few years, the Macbook Pro retina is the thing.
    Not only is it cheaper (as you say on your post) it's better in a few ways. The retina model has ventilation shafts on the bottom/side which cools the device in a much better way than the non-retina model. The non-retina model tends to turn pretty hot and starts to turn up the fan when you're watching youtube videos in HD for example.

    The screen quality is much, much, MUCH better (no seriously), so when you're planning to edit photo's in Lightroom, your pics will look so much sharper. Black looks much deeper on the retina models than on the non-retina models.

    I'm a student Graphic Design and the Adobe Creative Suite/Cloud daily, technically the more RAM you throw at those programs, the better they perform but with 8GB of RAM you're pretty good.
    You'll see a much bigger difference in performance with your SSD, which is faster on the retina models than on the non-retina models (some kind of faster, newer kind of flash storage)

    So if I was you, I'd go for the retina model and buy me an external HDD to put all my unused files on.

    If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
  3. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    This: rMBP 13" (refurbished Oct. 2013 model): i5 processor (2.4ghz, 2.9 boost), 8gb RAM, 256Gb SSD. Selling at $1279 CAD (refurb price, no Apple Store GC).

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