Configurations for the MacBook Pro Retina 15"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Omar Comin' Yo, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. Omar Comin' Yo macrumors member

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    #1
    After debating for about two weeks on whether to get an iPad Air/MacBook Air combo, or just a a MacBook Pro Retina (for now), I decided to go with the Retina. I was talked into the Retina by a few friends, and after checking one out at the apple store, the screen is pretty. Not sure I need the firepower, but its there..

    I primarily use my current laptop (an older MacBook Pro) for writing (several writing intensive programs), some occasional photoshop, and tinkering around with Final Cut Pro. I'd say 70% writing, 20% Final Cut Pro, and 10% photoshop.

    Now, I am a bit torn on the configurations. Upgrading from a 2.0Ghz to the 2.3 Ghz is an extra 90 bucks, but I'm not exactly sure I'll need that. I have a tendency just to upgrade options just because, but I'm not sure I will be using too many programs to justify it. I definitely will up the RAM to 16 GIGS because you can't upgrade the Retina after you purchase it.

    Over the holidays, I ended using my parents iPad Air pretty extensively, which is why I was considering the iPad/MacBook Air combo. I was surprised how often I used the Air when it was lying around the house, it was just so more convenient for consuming media/internet, than my laptop.
     
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #2
    Then I'd recommend getting the stock CPU (save the $90) and get the 16GB RAM upgrade.

    For writing, a Quad core i7 should be more than plenty.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    You're not really going to see a huge difference between the 2.0 and the 2.3GHz cpu. Its a nice to have, but if budget is tighter then you want, then definitely as jav6454 stated, use the cost savings towards the 16GB upgrade.
     
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #4
    Plus a dedicated GPU, if possible.
     
  5. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a

    Wuiffi

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    Oct 6, 2011
    #5
    How big should the SSD be?

    If you need 512GB (and 16GB RAM) I'd go for the 2.3 Ghz version with 750M just because.

    If 256GB is more than enough stay with the 2.0Ghz version. You save a few bucks and won't really notice the difference.
     
  6. leman macrumors 604

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    #6
    Why not the 13" MBP? Its still absolutely sufficient for your tasks and more mobile.

    The OP doesn't need a dedicated GPU.
     
  7. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a

    Wuiffi

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    #7
    Probably the 13" would be best for him, but if he likes the 15" and wants 16GB Ram and maybe 512GB SSD why not go for a (nearly) free dGPU?
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    Perhaps screen size - I had a 13" MBP and found it too constraining. The 15" is pretty mobil, I use the same Tom Bihn backpack for the laptop, yet I have a larger display :D

    The dGPU is nice if you can get it, but I don't think its worth the upgrade costs for the OP based on his stated needs.
     
  9. doitdada, Jan 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014

    doitdada macrumors 6502a

    doitdada

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    #9
    Just ordered the baseline. 8GB works for two years, then I just sell it and upgrade the whole computer. I have had two Macbook Pros configured to the max, and nobody cares about the specs when I sell it, they just want a mac cheap. And by the way, I love having the latest and greatest. Who wants to be last?

    I bought it for the screen and weight, specs are so good at the moment, until 4k goes mainstream, which will be another five years, no need for more horsepower in your computer than the entry level Macbook Pro 15.

    Dedicated gpu means more heat, more noise. My older Macbook Pros just made me hate the dGPU because of the fans spinning up at the slightest load.

    With piracy being wiped of the planet because of streaming/cloud services, gigabytes ain't that important. You should rather use your money on a wireless broadband service. I sure did.

    Futureproofing is the worst deal on the planet, as so many things can turn our needs upside down in a few months. Like I bought a 8TB drive for my movies and music, just to sign up for a Netflix account and a Spotify account, leaving the drive almost blank.
     
  10. s2mikey macrumors 68020

    s2mikey

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    #10
    Well said and I agree. Everyone gets pointed towards the most expensive, loaded laptops and most simply don't need and will never need such horsepower. 16GB of ram? Really? Not for writing and casual use. 8GB is more than enough!
     
  11. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #11
    Always check the price list: http://prices.appleinsider.com

    While it is a 2012 machine, a 2.8GH CPU, 16 GB of memory and 756GB of SSD for less than $2400 is a great deal. A 2013 2.3GH processor with 16GB and 1TB of SSD costs almost $3000.

    I get our Macs from Mac Mall for lowest price and no tax.
     
  12. luffytubby macrumors 6502a

    luffytubby

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    #12
    Don't buy Broadwell. Go for Skylake. Skylake is also 14nm, but it has some great features.

    - DDR4, much more power efficent.
    - 20. PCI E lane. Dat bandwith.
    - 128 MB L4 eDRAM cache on chip. mmm. dat buffer.
    - quad-core as the default configuration(quad-cores in 13 inch).

    Broadwell will be a small update with upgrades the iGPU. If you want the big stuff, wait 1,5 years for Skylake. Broadwell will hit the market in 6-9 months. If you wait 18 months instead you get skylake. game changer.
     
  13. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a

    Wuiffi

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    #13
    I heard there is coming even better stuff after skylake! ;>
     
  14. kurzz macrumors 6502

    kurzz

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    #14
    You're wrong. I heard after skylake it gets slower and bigger.
     
  15. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #15
    Please be aware, after 14nm, we will hit the atom wall, at which transistors will just be a few atoms wide. Any smaller than that, we can't get.


    All that is left is a bigger chip or much more efficient architecture. No more going down the small side.
     
  16. Nik macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    To make things even more complicated.

    Regarding Final Cut Pro, Anandtech (extremely reputable!) writes:

    "The difference in performance between Intel's Iris Pro graphics [low end 15" rMBP] and NVIDIA's GeForce GT 750M [higher end rMBP] is staggering. The Iris Pro rMBP15 configuration takes nearly an hour to complete my test, while the dGPU configuration does it in a little over 21 minutes."

    So, the GPU is really a game changer with Final Cut Pro. The Iris Pro is nowhere near the 750m!
     
  17. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #17
    This has always been known. Only diluted die hard Apple fans think an integrated GPU will work for a "Pro" machine.
     
  18. Nik macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    What does this have to do with "die hard Apple fans"? Both products are by Apple. I think it's just Intels marketing which is stuck in some peoples minds. :)
    The Intel Iris Pro can manage low resolutions nearly as good as the nVidia 750m does. But with higher resolutions (like the Retina MacBook Pro!) this changes really substantially. We agree on this, so lets move on and don't get stuck in a Intel vs nVidia discussion :)

    From my experience the higher resolutions on the MBP (looks like 1680x1050 and "looks like 1920x1200") are not handeled well by both graphic solutions. I don't know if MacOS is the reason for this because I can play Crysis 2 without lag, but the interface of OS X lags a little when scrolling and switching between spaces.
     
  19. Omar Comin' Yo, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014

    Omar Comin' Yo thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    I went back to the apple store and played around some of the other models and it seems like the more research I do, the more i spend time reading about different models the less decisive I become.

    An apple sales person said there is no way I could run Final Cut Pro and do writing on a Macbook Air. He made a hard sell for the Retina, even though Final Cut is more of a hobby than anything. He also suggested the Mac Pro Desktop, which to me is ridiculous for what I need a computer for. I stopped listening to him after he tried to sell me that.

    MacBook Air - 1.7 Ghz - i7, 8G RAM, - 1400-1600ish
    15 MacBook Pro Retina - 2.0 Ghz, i7, 16G Ram - 2100-ish
    13 MacBook Pro Retina - 2.4 Ghz, i5, 16 RAM - 1500-1600ish
    Lower End 27 iMac - i5 - Fusion 1 TB - Upgrade RAM off Crucial - 1800ish

    Pretty much have to go laptop since I live in LA.

    Not really sure what Turbo Boosting the processor accomplishes.



    What is Mac Mall?


    Isn't the dCPU only a 90 dollar upgrade? Or is that the highest upgrade for that setting?
     
  20. kurzz macrumors 6502

    kurzz

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    #20
    Well, I'd try to sell you everything in the store too. Those ipod socks also help warm your small hands in the winter, why not get a few?
     
  21. Omar Comin' Yo thread starter macrumors member

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    #21
    There is upselling, and then there is trying to sell a guy a Filet when he has a beef jerky in his hand. A desktop Mac Pro is just silly since I explained to him what I was looking for.
     
  22. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #22
    One of the largest Apple retailers in the States.
     
  23. Omar Comin' Yo thread starter macrumors member

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    #23
    Is RAM or processor more important when considering a laptop if you use FCP as a hobby?
     
  24. commac macrumors regular

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    Nov 1, 2013
    #24
    Welcome to the Macward spiral. Its as if their marketing team doesnt want you satisfied unless you have the top end everything in which case you need to be ok spending $$$. At a certain point you need to take a leap of faith otherwise youll be researching till the cows come home.

    Mac sales people (in my experience) are typically not very knowledgeable when it comes to the details. You'd have a better chance talking to a "Genius" if you have real questions.

    The Macbook Air is a very capable machine especially at the spec you listed. It would work with Final Cut Pro for little projects but you would not be happy trying to edit pro 4K video projects...

    If you plan to be out and about often get an Air or 13" rmbp if you plan to have it more at home I recommend the 15".
     
  25. Omar Comin' Yo thread starter macrumors member

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    #25

    I am definitely leaning towards the Retina. If you max out the MBA, its similar in cost to the retina's, but you don't have the nice screen or better speakers. I'm not sure 512GB of Flash HD is necessary, the 256 will probably do. Hard to make 'the best decision' since FCP is more of a hobby than anything, and many of these write-ups I"m reading are for serious editing.
     

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