Good Middle-Ground Choice?

Guitarboy315

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
31
0
Philadelphia, PA
Hi everyone, so I am still torn between a 15 inch Retina or Regular Macbook Pro for college (mainly for school work and Logic/GarageBand/MainStage as I will be a Music Composition major).

What gets me about the Retina MacBook pro is the price... I would do the middle model which is (drum roll please) $2,800 :eek: (yes, I will take advantage of education pricing but for now I'm just going to use non-education prices). And then with AppleCare which I think is a good investment, its another $350.00. Wow... Over $3,000 for a college computer...

However, what I'm thinking of doing is buying the top of the line regular Macbook Pro, upgrading the hard drive to 750GB and 7200 RPM (only $45 more) and getting the higher resolution display (for only $100 more). That brings the price to $2,349.00 which is a lot less than the Retina MBP even with Apple Care... And also, I feel as a music major, some old school people in the industry still do use CD's and I would not have to purchase an external drive. Also, I always have the ability to upgrade the RAM and hard drive...

However, I have one question. I know the upgraded display in the MBP isn't a retina display but is it better than nothing and worth the $100? Does anyone have any comparisons between the upgraded screen and the retina?

Also, another thing that I find concerning about the Retina MacBook Pro is that I have no idea how long it is going to take for developers to update their apps. These MacBooks aren't as plentiful as iPads/iPhones and I think the demand will die down a lot after this first wave of Apple-hungry customers... Also, I think I'll wait another 4 years until I get out of college before I buy another MacBook Pro (which will all probably be Retina) as Apple will probably have a better lineup.

Anyway, do you think the 2nd option of the upgraded regular MacBook Pro is a good option for me?

Thanks everyone!
 

mohsy90

macrumors 65816
Feb 4, 2011
1,332
1
New York
Why not just get the 15" base retina with 16GB ram. Is 256GB not enough?
You can get a real cheap external HD nowadays and an external superdrive for like $30.

Comes to $2179 before taxes and AppleCare. Personally would go for the retina.

If you want to get the non-retina, buy the base 15" at $1799 and then purchase an SSD and Ram upgrade and do it yourself. The processor upgrade, 4GB ram increase and 250HD increase to me isn't worth the $400 extra they are charging.
 

xalexx

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2012
48
0
Chicago
I went for the base retina. I'm a pretty heavy user but I still feel that 2.3 GHz Quad Core/8GB Ram and 256GB SDD(maybe with an external HD) is great. I bought the external superdrive for 79 bucks, too.
 

Guitarboy315

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
31
0
Philadelphia, PA
Why not just get the 15" base retina with 16GB ram. Is 256GB not enough?
You can get a real cheap external HD nowadays and an external superdrive for like $30.

Comes to $2179 before taxes and AppleCare. Personally would go for the retina.

If you want to get the non-retina, buy the base 15" at $1799 and then purchase an SSD and Ram upgrade and do it yourself. The processor upgrade, 4GB ram increase and 250HD increase to me isn't worth the $400 extra they are charging.
I went for the base retina. I'm a pretty heavy user but I still feel that 2.3 GHz Quad Core/8GB Ram and 256GB SDD(maybe with an external HD) is great. I bought the external superdrive for 79 bucks, too.
So do you think that the 2.3GHz processor is enough? Even for Logic? I'm not really worried about the HD because like you both said, I could always use an external or wait for OWC to release their own SSD upgrades... The only other thing is the RAM... which I'm pretty sure 8gb will be enough but it just kind of haunts me that I can't upgrade... And everyone seems to say that 16gb will be necessary for the future... :confused:

Good thing I'm used to a 2008 white MacBook pro because now anything I get will be significantly faster!
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,065
804
Pennsylvania
I briefly owned a maxed out 15" Macbook Pro high-res, and returned it 2 days later for a macbook air.

However, I stopped at an Apple store tonight to check out the new MBPR, and here's what I saw:

The new MBPR is thinner, lacks a DVD burner, and that's about it. The screen didn't seem any more amazing - infact, because of how the graphics are double-sized, the icons are the same physical dimentions as a MBP. The keyboard felt like it was the same to type on, and applications opened up quickly. What else is new?

Long story short, the MBPR felt like the e-penis of laptops.
 

mohsy90

macrumors 65816
Feb 4, 2011
1,332
1
New York
So do you think that the 2.3GHz processor is enough? Even for Logic? I'm not really worried about the HD because like you both said, I could always use an external or wait for OWC to release their own SSD upgrades... The only other thing is the RAM... which I'm pretty sure 8gb will be enough but it just kind of haunts me that I can't upgrade... And everyone seems to say that 16gb will be necessary for the future... :confused:

Good thing I'm used to a 2008 white MacBook pro because now anything I get will be significantly faster!
Yes, 2.3GHz/Quad Core will be more than enough for Logic. People run Logic on 13" MBP, I'm sure this new retina can handle it.

----------

And yes i would settle for the 16gb. if you plan on keeping this for the next 2+ years, get the 16GB so it can handle future software. 4GB/8GB is standard nowadays. In 2 years 16Gb will probably become standard considering how cheap ram is getting. So, you might as well max out because you'll be stuck with the 8GB if you don.t
 

Astroboy907

macrumors 65816
May 6, 2012
1,387
13
Spaceball One
I briefly owned a maxed out 15" Macbook Pro high-res, and returned it 2 days later for a macbook air.

However, I stopped at an Apple store tonight to check out the new MBPR, and here's what I saw:

The new MBPR is thinner, lacks a DVD burner, and that's about it. The screen didn't seem any more amazing - infact, because of how the graphics are double-sized, the icons are the same physical dimentions as a MBP. The keyboard felt like it was the same to type on, and applications opened up quickly. What else is new?

Long story short, the MBPR felt like the e-penis of laptops.
Yes, the scaled down retina makes the retina screen worthless IMO. I'd just get a Hi-Res, and an optical drive, and upgradability.
 

Astroboy907

macrumors 65816
May 6, 2012
1,387
13
Spaceball One
Do you mean the regular Macbook Pro or the Retina Macbook Pro?

Thanks for your help, everyone!
RMBP is scaled at default... correct me if I am wrong, but there is no option to use 2880x1800 at the moment, and the largest scaled is 1920x1200, right?

Edit: it seems an app CAN be scaled to use full res, but the developer has to do so..
 

Astroboy907

macrumors 65816
May 6, 2012
1,387
13
Spaceball One
Sorry, I meant in terms of investing in the Regular MBP or the Retina MBP.
Cant say... I still use 1400x900 :D
my preference would to be to not get the RMBP, and get the regular macbook so it can upgrade (with a hi res screen) (that is my personal preference)

But since I have not compared the 2 in person I cant say..
 

therealseebs

macrumors 65816
Apr 14, 2010
1,057
312
I would tend to think the "hi-res" display would be a better choice. Note also that I believe third parties make a drive adapter that lets you swap the optical drive for a second drive if you want -- which could let you, say, get an SSD boot drive and have a second drive for large data that doesn't fit on the SSD. Also the older MBP can use firewire drives (WAY nicer than USB) without a special adapter, etc.

YMMV.
 

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