help! need advice for macbook pro for my wife

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vince217, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. vince217 macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2009

    A bit of a dilemma here. About to (finally) pull the trigger on a new 13" macbook pro for my wife. I plan to purchase one of the refurbished ones that recently came out when Apple dropped prices on the brand new modes. My problem is... which one should i get? I am torn between these two:

    Basically its a toss up between an 2.5 I5 processor with Retina and 256GB SSD or an 2.9 I7 processor w/o Retina but with 750GB HDD & DVD-RW. Oh, and its $1359 vs $1269, respectively (as of this posting).

    Both come with 8GB RAM.

    My wife is a photographer, she uses Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop heavily. She currently uses an old 13" macbook (2008, white shell) that is figuratively on its last legs.

    Is the Retina screen worth it when editing photos? Aside from the $90 price difference, I also have to factor in the cost of an external CD writer if purchasing the Retina Macbook, since she burns pictures onto CDs for her clients. The cost of an external HDD won't matter since I would purchase it no matter what macbook I choose. So I am really looking at around $150 difference (which, if i got the non-retina, could go towards immediately upgrading the memory to 16gb, which is impossible in the retina macbook, or so i have read).

    13" is the preferred size, so I am really not looking at the 15" and larger.

    Thanks for the advice.
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I'd go with the Retina. The extra resolution and sharpness would make a difference when editing photos. You can use any USB DVD drive, so you can likely save about $40 by going aftermarket rather than using the Apple Superdrive. Also note that if she uses Firewire components you'll need a $29 Thunderbolt adapter with the Retina. It works OK, but note that it doesn't provide as much bus power as a native Firewire port (it should work fine with portable Firewire hard drives, and anything that has its own power source).
  3. idunn, Feb 14, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013

    idunn macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    If the screen worth it

    With the recent price reductions the price of a refurbished 13" retina, at $1,359 (256GB—and of this posting not currently available), is tempting. It might be a good choice.

    If you haven't, compare the models and their respective screens in person. The cMBP has a perfectly fine screen, but the retina is obviously superior in sharpness and overall appearance. In photography, this alone may prove a deciding factor, if more a personal choice as either more than workable.

    Since money seems an issue, you might consider a refurbished cMBP with 2.5GHz, at the relative bargain of $1,019. The 2.9GHz you are considering does not practically speaking offer all that much of a difference in performance, save in the money spent. And for the difference in cost one could make a serious upgrade in adding a SSD themselves, as well as upping the RAM. Since the 13" retina is just barely able to push around all the more pixels with the Intel HD 4000, this other option would not only out spec but outperform it. Save of course still missing that lovely screen.

    Although one consideration with the current retina models is whether that lovely screen will in time prove more a demerit. Only months after purchase some have discovered quite disagreeable image retention becoming ever more pronounced with those. Not everyone, seemingly, yet a significant number. Presumably Apple will iron this out in time, but early adopters beware.

    Then also there is the advent of Haswell on the near horizon. Particularly with the underpowered (relative to its screens demands) 13" retina, Haswell should provide these with a significant performance gain. If determined to have a 13" retina, one may well wish to consider if patience until their probable release this autumn is worth the wait. Or, if opting for the retina now, if willing to settle and live with what it is, ignoring improvements of the future, and with in consideration likely less resale value.

    In the final tally the retina screen may be the deciding factor, and if not then the cMBP looks all the better by most yardsticks. But opting for a retina today puts one on the bleeding edge of what is possible, and as lovely as that is one had best be prepared for the journey, certainly the good in it, and hopefully not a few bumps down the road.
  4. vince217 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2009

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