First Mac, 2015 Macbook Pro Retina !

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lorper, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. lorper macrumors newbie


    Dec 19, 2015
    Hey there everyone. Just purchased my first MacBook Pro. I initially ordered the 13" MacBook Pro And was planning to upgrade the HDD and Ram but when I went to the store and seen the Retina display I caved. So I went with the 13" 2.5ghz i5 with 16gb ram and a 256gb SSD.

    My first experience is WOW ! This thing runs like a dream. Its so fast and smooth. Simple little things like scrolling and zooming when surfing the web is so smooth. I haven't got anywhere near testing the capabilities of this machine yet. I bought it for the sole purpose of Audio Production. So by next week I hope to be running Logic Pro X and indulging in all the fun. Right now Im just too busy with Xmas to do much with the MacBook. Im getting loads of questions but I'm sure it won't take long to effortlessly run this OS.

    I have a few concerns that I was hoping you guys or gals could clear up.

    1. Apparently theres no way to get into the back of this Macbook if something breaks and needs to be replaced ? Is that true ? This was kind of the reason I was gunning for the 2012 Macbook but I got lost in the retina display as soon as I seen it and couldn't resist the bright colours and sharp picture quality.

    2. How reliable are these computers ? Can I expect this thing to last a good few years ? I did purchase the Apple Care warranty as I furred it was worth the money considering the cost of the macbook.

    3. Battery use, I am mostly going to be using this computer at my desk when recording but I went with a MacBook because I travel a lot for work so I want the portability as well. Is it OK to leave these plugged in for days to weeks at a time or should I regularly be using the battery so I don't ruin it ? Not really sure how all that works so hopefully someone can clear that up.

    4. SSDS, another thins I've read about SSDS is that they can only write and re write data X amount of times. Is this something that I should be concerned about or are we talking years here ?

    Sorry for all the questions but I'm pretty new to a lot of this new technology. Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    Congratulations on your new machine! I also have a 13" retina MacBook Pro, though a late 2013 and I really enjoy using it. I am glad to hear that you did not choose to go with the old 2012 model (Apple should be ashamed for still selling that machine 3.5 years later).

    It is possible to change the battery and SSD, but it is not as trivial as it used to be. So the short answer is yes, it is true that you cannot replace parts yourself as most of it is soldered in place, except for the glued in battery and the proprietary SSD.

    In my experience they are very reliable. As mentioned before I have a 2 year old model and it is performing as well as when it was new. I did not purchase AppleCare with my MacBook and (unless something happens in the next 10 months) it seems to have been worth it. But since you got AppleCare you have nothing to worry about for the next 3 years.

    You should be fine doing that. It is good for the battery to be exercised once in a while, but it sounds to me like it it will be okay.

    SSD's generally last longer than HDD these days and have more read/write times than their spinning counterparts. You should worry more about having a spinning drive in your MacBook than the SSD. In other words, you have a more reliable machine with the SSD compared to HDD. It will most take many years before the SSD gives in.
  3. treekram, Dec 19, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015

    treekram macrumors 65832

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    So I went the other way - I bought the 2012 non-Retina model.

    MadDane gave good answers to each of your questions so I'll just give my overall impressions.

    I took a look at a Retina iPad (readily available to me) that I used that for comparison. "Monuments Men" (BluRay) (I thought it was meh movie) has an extra video which has several still pictures to (I suppose) showcase the high resolution available on BluRay discs. I used that to compare Retina vs. non-Retina. There's definitely a difference but it wasn't convincing enough ($-wise) to me. Actually I was more impressed at how colors don't become distorted at different angles than I was at the resolution itself. It's easy to become enamored of the technology, that's how Apple makes so much money. For me, I like to get video content from sites like YouTube and cable movie/documentary channels (in other words, FREE). So I'm generally not watching the best quality video in the first place. To get better quality video, I like what my home-theater receiver (Yamaha) does to enhance the video. But to each his/her own. I have no qualms with people who go with the Retina technology.

    If you have 3 years of warranty with AppleCare, then really, being able to not replace components is of no consequence in those 3 years (unless you're at fault for the damage). After the 3 years, then obviously, the 2012 model is better in that respect. If you turn over your computers every three years, then again, then even that advantage disappears.

    As for expandability, you're at 16GB and you can't go beyond that whether the RAM was soldered or not. As for the SSD, we may get SSD's with larger capacity but we've pretty much max'd out speed with current SSD's and SATA-3. You have 256GB so it'll be costly to go beyond that (internally) on your MBP, but if you don't mind, you can get pretty compact SSD's using USB 3 or Thunderbolt (a big step down in peformance from the internal SSD, though). I know some music folks absolutely who absolutely must have the (USB) DAC on it's own bus and because the Retina MBP has one bus for both USB ports, if that's you, then your mass-storage expansion has to be done via the more-expensive Thunderbolt.

    So even though proponents of the 2012 MBP praise it's expandability - when you come down to it, it's really the cost of Retina, getting 16GB and whatever amount of SSD you want that matters. It's just much cheaper on the 2012 non-Retina MBP as long as you're willing to pay the performance penalty of older technology (more so with the SSD than the CPU).
  4. Spudlicious macrumors 6502


    Nov 21, 2015
    Bedfordshire, England
    I have the same model as the OP, but I was certainly tempted by the 2012 model for the obvious reasons. In the end, I wanted the better retina display.

    When people critisise Apple for non-upgradeabilty, there are things to bear in mind. What percentage of their customers would ever perform a DIY upgrade? Not many, I'm sure, because most folk are not enthusiasts such as frequent this and other forums. And those who'd want to fit their own SSD or RAM do know the score, they have other choices and can vote with their money.

    To the OP, I'd say forget about SSD write cycles, just use the computer. If the SSD bites the dust you're covered, and Apple would not have used something likely to cost them big bucks in warranty claims. As with all computers, backup, backup, backup, make a religion of it, and also have a boot drive in a USB3 housing. When you're wearing a hard hat the wrench doesn't fall on your head.

    I have a Macbook Pro and several other laptops. Guess which one I'm proud to own?
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The MBPs are sort of sealed in a sense. There's nothing that apple considers user replaceable or accessible, but if you have the correct tool, you can open that bad boy up. The ram is soldered onto the logic board, so there's nothing you can do there and while the SSD isn't soldered, it is using propriety storage that can only be found on ebay (from other Macs), there's no 3rd party resellers.

    I think very reliable which is why I buy the Macs. I still have a 2009 Mac Mini chugging along no problem, as I do a 2010 MBP.

    That's all I do and I've not had any problems.

    There is a finite amount of times it can write info, but that number is so high it's not expected to be reached, i.e., the laptop will be replaced long before that occurs.
  6. lorper thread starter macrumors newbie


    Dec 19, 2015
    Thanks guys. Cost was a factor but after I upgraded the 2012 model to 16gb ram , 2.9 ghz i7, and the 256 SSD. The retina was in the ballpark of pricing. Withing $100. And I had to wait another week or two for the 2012 model to ship and I am from the microwave generation so I want it now :)
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    1. A bit of googling goes a long way. It's been that way since 2012. Most Windows ultra-books are that way also. You want thin and light and powerful? Gotta give up repairability, it makes room for the rest.

    2. As reliable as any electronics. You'll get duds that die a quick death and others that'll last longer than the user cares to use them for. I have an early '08 machine still kicking with no issues.

    3. Again, a bit of a search of the forums or google will tell you all you need to know. This particular horse has been beaten to death, then to a bloody pulp. The gist of it is: it doesn't matter, and hasn't mattered since Apple switched to LiPo batteries. LiPo batteries do not give a crap how they're used. They last 3 to 5 years before croaking and that's that. No amount of babying, monitoring, plugging it in or not will change that. Leave it plugged in for months on end if you like, you're not going to hurt anything.

    4. You are very, very, very unlikely to run into this. If you don't believe me, just read this:
  8. treekram macrumors 65832

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    My pricing calculation (using refurbs) with me doing the upgrades would have had a non-Retina 2.5GHz, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD about $100 less than a Retina base model. The 2.9GHz upgrade would have made the non-Retina more expensive than the base Retina model. To upgrade the Retina to 16GB/256GB would cost $400 - too much more for me so the question was to make do with base Retina with newer technology or the non-Retina with the RAM and storage I wanted. It was pretty much a tossup at that point. In the end the 3 things that tipped the balance to the non-Retina were: 1) battery replacement cost and design ($70 more if done through Apple and more or less non-user replaceable on the Retina models); 2) screen durability (to make the Retina more thin and lighter); 3) I found out that I could do RAID 0 with the non-Retina so I want to see how that works for a personal project involving a lot of video files where the files are not transcoded when they are edited. The 2.9GHz is probably what would have delayed shipment. I got my refurb in a few days (to Hawaii!).

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