A bit of background about myself. I'm an IT consultant, which means I spend months at a time at customer sites on projects, hotdesking. I rarely have an external monitor to connect to, so i'm almost always relying on my laptop screen to get stuff done. My old laptop was an Early 2011 13" cMPB, i7, 8GB RAM, 128SSD. So my reasons for moving onto the retina laptop? I wanted more screen real estate, but maintain the portability and weight of the 13" laptop. The 128SSD was also getting a bit restrictive. The new retina model I purchased is Early 2013, 2.7Ghz, 16GB RAM, 512 SSD. I've been reading this forum for months working out if I should get it now or wait for Haswell. Some people couldn't notice the performance issues, some could, not sure who to trust, I decided to go ahead and take the risk and purchase. So, based on this, I've done some benchmarking using the quartz debug tool so everyone here can see what the performance is like. Personally for me I find 1920 x 1200 too small, so I run the laptop in 1680 x 1050. The performance is better in "best for retina", but for me 1440 x 900 is just too big. So all the tests below are performed in 1680 x 1050. The following states are the FPS rate as depicted by the quartz debug tool when scrolling through the particular applications. i've used the same files (PDF, XLS, etc.) with all testing. Early 2011, 13" cMPB Medium Detail PDF: 40 FPS High Detail PDF: - 30 FPS Large Spreadsheet (Excel 2011): 12 FPS Safari (not webkit) on buzzfeed.com: 45 FPS Safari (not webkit) on gmail Inbox: 10 FPS These are the tests using the new retina macbook. I used gfxCardStatus to switch between integrated and discrete graphics. Note that I also performed the tests in dynamic switching mode, and the discrete graphics never kicked in. Early 2013, 15" rMPB Integrated Graphics - (GPU Diode Temperature: 45c) Medium Detail PDF: 20 FPS High Detail PDF: - 15 FPS Large Spreadsheet (Excel 2011): 10 FPS Safari (webkit) on buzzfeed.com: 50 FPS Safari (webkit) on gmail Inbox: 25 FPS Discrete Graphics - (GPU Diode Temperature: 60c) Medium Detail PDF: 25 FPS High Detail PDF: - 15 FPS Large Spreadsheet (Excel 2011): 10 FPS Safari (webkit) on buzzfeed.com: 55 FPS Safari (webkit) on gmail Inbox: 35 FPS Now, with the final test I found a hack on these forums where you can rename /System/Library/Extensions/AppleGraphicsPowerManagement.kext and it basically allows the discrete graphics to go a little harder. The temperature of the GPU does increase slightly, but the performance is much much better. Discrete Graphics - Kext Deleted (GPU Diode Temperature: 70c) Medium Detail PDF: 30 FPS High Detail PDF: - 25 FPS Large Spreadsheet (Excel 2011): 20 FPS Safari (webkit) on buzzfeed.com: 60 FPS Safari (webkit) on gmail Inbox: 45 FPS ------------------------------ Based on these tests, these are my thoughts: 1. From a user experience, the integrated graphics is not sufficiently powerful enough to move the pixels at a smooth frame rate on the display. 2. The safari webkit is amazing and really helps the performance of browsing, I use this exclusively. This makes me believe that software optimisations can be done to correct the UI performance issues in other applications. 3. I don't think if Haswells 50% increase of the integrated GPU will be enough to provide the performance people want when mobile, although it will definitely be better. I think a software fix needs to happen in addition to this. The way I am running the laptop at the moment is with the kext file disabled and using gfxCardStatus to manually change between discrete and integrated. When I am at a desk and plugged into a power source, i'll use the discrete graphics, and the performance is very good, and very similar to my old 13" laptop. When I am on the road or in a data centre or something I change to integrated graphics, but I don't really care about the performance because i'm usually either just in a web browser or terminal session. So, my final thoughts on the retina? 1. This is the best laptop that I have ever owned. 2. The screen is amazing (anti glare, contrast, retina graphics etc) 3. Running on discrete graphics with the hack in place you should have no issues, the temp on the GPU runs a little higher but still within acceptable limits. 4. Running on integrated graphics you will have a slight performance hit but you will usually only use this when you are not at a desk doing intensive work. Plus, the safari webkit makes any browsing as fast in integrated as discrete (as shown in my benchmarks). 5. I don't think Haswell will be enough to improve the integrated graphics performance, some software modifications will need to be made. So, if you really need a laptop, the early 2013 retina is an awesome machine. Just be aware that it won't run silky smooth on integrated graphics.