Hi res vs. retina - please help me decide whether or not to exchange!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jrouse, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. jrouse Suspended

    Jun 13, 2012
    Hi everyone,

    I have been following this forum since well before the release of the new 2012 MBP and RMBP but this is my first post. I have been using a 2008 MBP but sold it a few months ago to plan for a new laptop. After WWDC I was confused as which model to go with but decided on the regular MBP since I like the ability to customize my computer, replace parts, and get a 750gb hard drive with the 2.6 i7. The screen was not important, at least at that time.

    I looked at the Retina model in store and must say it is very nice. I am afraid of the lack of CD drive, ethernet port, restrictions on changing parts, and less storage/processor for the price. I have exactly $2200 to spend, and with my student discount I went for the high end regular Pro. I'm still within my return policy and I feel like I made a bad decision.

    When I look at my regular Pro, it looks fine. Even better compared to the PCs we have at my house. But I have the newest iPad and can definitely tell the difference when going back and forth. I've popped in the Apple store a few times and the new Retina Pro looks amazing. I also noticed the High Res display on the regular which looks nice too.

    I'm hoping you guys can point me in the right direction. I only have 3 more days left to return or exchange, and I'm thinking of either exchanging for the Hi Res option or going for the Retina with an upgrade to 16gb of ram.

    I will not be doing any video or photo editing, my uses are very simple. This will be my only computer and I won't travel much with it, but I'll definitely have it on my desk and maybe take it out of the house once every 2 weeks or so. I will use it for basic computing such as word processing, spreadsheets, web surfing, etc. I will also use it for music storage. I have a large library of music that takes about 200gb and would like to have it with me, although I can adapt to the idea of using an external with the Retina. I will also use Logic Pro for music production, more as a hobby, not professionally.

    I need some help guys - should I keep my regular MBP ($2199 2.6 i7 model), go for the same model with the Hi Res display for an extra $100, or go for Retina with 16gb RAM and use an external?

    I know my uses are not that demanding but I'd like to have the power if I need it later. Logic Pro requires a lot of processing power, and I will be running other music creation software.

    Any help would be great!
  2. gakuran hitori macrumors regular

    gakuran hitori

    Nov 13, 2008
    Based on what you've told me, I would stick with the computer you have and save for an ssd. I use logic quite frequently on an early 2011 mbp with many plug-ins and have never felt my computer to be insufficent. Even if you use it more intensely down the road I don't think what you have will give you any trouble. The ssd in the retina mbps would provide a large improvement with processing large audio files, but you can always install one in yours. Their prices are always going down, also. Unless you absolutely need the retina display, I think you've made the right choices based on your usage.
  3. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Jul 25, 2011
    No one here can really give you the "right" answer, but it all comes to down to your gut feeling. If you feel you'd always regret not getting the Retina model, and you really enjoy the screen, I'd suggest going with the Retina. If you feel obligated to get the Retina for an unknown reason, then maybe it's not better than the cMBP for you. One thing to think about is the Retina has flash storage, which, although it has less capacity, is a very luxury and awesome feature to have. The retina actually turns out cheaper when a cMBP is configured in a similar way. As far as uses go, both machines are going to be similarly powerful so I don't think that's an issue.

    As far as external drives go, I think you'll learn that using them every once in a while isn't so bad. I love to make the sacrifice of capacity in order for my drive to be extremely fast, and I will never go back to a traditional HDD. SSD's really do make a huge, noticeable difference, and I'd personally get one every day of the week.

    Something also to keep in mind is that you can't get a 16GB model in the store (unless it's the ultimate which is like $4000). You'll have to order it online which will cause some delay :/ .

    I used to have the hi-res antiglare screen on my 2011 and I now have a rMBP. I love the upgrade and would take this model everyday of the week. This is simply opinion, though. I love the screen, but I could do without it. My advice: if you feel you'll always regret not getting the Retina and you enjoyed using one, go ahead and get one. IMO you won't be disappointed. You're getting a better screen and a fast, fast SSD for the same price.
  4. jrouse thread starter Suspended

    Jun 13, 2012
    Thank you both for your replies. I'm on my MBP right now and I looked at my 750GB hard drive, and I've only used 150gb (600gb free space)...and I have more than I need on here.

    I feel like the regular MBP makes more sense logically (lol) - like it is a smarter decision since I can do my own upgrades, I can add more storage later, etc. But part of me really feels like that Retina display would be nice since I could read text much more clearly and have the SSD to make the computer run quicker. Plus the idea of an external HDD could work.

    Do you guys think it is worth it to get the 16gb? Or is 8gb enough for my basic use plus Logic? I was only using 4gb on my 2008 and it seemed fine.

    I don't know...this is a tough decision for me. I'm usually one to do plenty of research before buying something expensive but I can't decide what to do here. I thought the cMBP was fine but that damn Retina display is just so clean looking!
  5. Asherpotter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2012
    Get the 16 GB ram. You can always go to Apple to upgrade the SSD if you run out of space, but if you end up requiring more ram they'll have to replace the entire logic board.
  6. DrJohnZoidberg macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2012
    That's probably all the information you need. Exchange it.

    As for HiRes vs Retina, only you can make that decision. In your place I would probably opt for the Retina. The HiRes has some benefits over the Retina, but you have to have some very specific requirements for those to outweigh the advantages of the Retina.
  7. gokart mozart macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    Yeah, you don't want to regret this purchase down the line, and if you already feel as though you've made a mistake, then that's a sign. Honestly, the cMBP is perfectly good for your usage. The RAM could be upgraded later for less by not buying it through Apple. You can also upgrade to an SSD down the road. The Hi-res option is a no brainer on the 15" and is the only thing that you really need to do upfront.

    You're not commuting with it or anything, so factors with the retina such as reduced weight and slenderness aren't even coming in to play here. The cMBP is cheaper than the retina, and the Hi-res version will look better at its native settings than the retina would at the same 1680 x 1050 (for more on this, read how the retina model's scaling works). You'll also have more "screen real estate" at the native setting than the retina would at its "best for retina" (1440 x 1280) setting.
  8. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    Like you, I was on the fence between getting the RMBP and the MBP with a hi-res upgrade. I landed on the MBP with hi-res upgrade simply because I could get the low-end now, and when it started "feeling slow" I could upgrade to an SSD and 8 or 16 GB of memory without buying a new computer, increasing the longevity of a $2,000 computer purchase.

    I didn't NEED a 15" laptop (my use case would probably rate a 13" MBA most of the time) I just couldn't bear the thought of dropping from a 15" screen on my current computer, and I'm on a 13" MBP all day at work. Based on that, the RMBP was more computer than I needed.
  9. mykelala01 macrumors 6502


    May 17, 2009
    It get down to what is important to you. Eye candy or upgredable parts. I belive that Rmbp is the future of laptop. Which is the same with your ipad. It is a computing obsolescene, you are ending want it, whenever apple released a new version. With better hardware bigger drives and faster processor. And remember this is the 1st gen mbpr.... Which is, you are being the beta tester. Until the right technology caught up. I say the next 3 years. Take macbook air as an example. Or even your 2008 macbook pro. Compare to your 2012 macbook pro.
  10. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    You don't do a single thing that would take advantage of the retina display.

    If all you do is word process and surf the web, take note there are currently NO retina optimized word processors, and 99% of images on the web will look fuzzy/blurry.

    And since you do no photo/video editing work, the main benefits of the retina display are basically lost on you since those are the optimum times the screen will shine.

    I don't know of any DAW that's retina friendly yet either. Stick with what you have now and don't give in to the consumerist nonsense of needing to spend more money just to feel better. It's silly and useless to you.
  11. davidec macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2008

    I use Logic and several other music and audio apps and I just got the new cMBP hi-res. it is absolutely all you need. In twelve months time I'll clone the 7200rpm 750 gig for an SSD and pop in 16g at a minimal cost. It feels like this model would last me longer than the rMBP
  12. Randomoneh macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2011
    Really? He is never looking at photographs or reading something online? :rolleyes:
  13. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    online? pretty much every single photograph is going to look WORSE than on a regular screen. duh.
  14. Randomoneh macrumors regular


    Nov 28, 2011
    Text will look better and photographs he took with his camera and transferred to MacBook will look better.

    Also, high-resolution images online (viewed at original resolution) will look good too.

    Of course regular images on news articles and such things will look bad until high-res version of same image becomes available.
  15. kdoug, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012

    kdoug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2010
    Iowa City, IA USA
    I went through this exact same dilemma less than 2 weeks ago. I ordered the MBP Hi-Res Matte 2.6 with 750GB through the Apple store thinking I would keep it for several years. My reasoning was upgradability over the Retina model. When I received it I wasn't really overwhelmed by anything. Actually underwhelmed would be closer to the experience. It's the same old chassis and screen the Apple's been using for years, it looked old and felt old. The people in my office couldn't understand why I didn't buy the Retina for about the same money, good question. When I saw the Retina I was blown away, this is how a new computer should make you feel! So, I sent it back and ordered the 2.3, 16GB, 256 Retina which I'm patiently waiting on. I have a USB 3.0 external I'll use for VM and Time Machine.

    I'd also like to apologize the the Retina owners by calling it a oversized iPad 3;)
  16. 01mggt macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010
    Do what your gut tells you to do. Just remember you will have to get on the list for a 16gb model as stated above unless you get the maxed out version in the store. If you are like me, I like to be an early adopter. I love new tech. I fell in love with the rmbp when I first saw it in person. Do I NEED the retina display? No. The most pro thing I currently do is editing my own personal DSLR photos for personal use. Although I will be going to school once my military enlistment is up for a BAS in computer information systems. But like I said, I love new tech. I was the first person I knew to rush out and buy a 3dtv. People loved to tell me how it was a waste of money and how I could have gotten a bigger TV for less money. They ate those words when they sat down and played 3d games on my PS3!

    In short, I know if I bought a non retina mbp it would eat away at my soul every day lol.
  17. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    Don't take tech advice from someone who actually bought a 3dtv :)
  18. 01mggt macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010
    You say that now, but pretyt much every game I currently play on my PS3 supports 3d and they look amazing. Playing Uncharted 3 in 3d for the entire play through was so awesome. Not every peice of tech fits every person. Even friends how said it was a waist are suprised by how awesome it is to watch movies and play 3d games on. But that's not the topic of the discussion. I was basically saying to buy what makes him happy :)
  19. jrouse thread starter Suspended

    Jun 13, 2012
    Well guys I jumped ship to the Retina. I really thank all of you for the support, the bottom line is my gut told me to go Retina. I don't need more than 256gb storage since I can use my externals (I have a couple, both 1TB) and the 0.3 difference in processor won't be noticeable to me I'm sure. I just love the display on my ipad 3 so the Retina sold me.

    I walked into my local Apple store today and talk about luck - they had one base model left so I exchanged my cMBP for the base model. I thought about going with the bto 16gb but like I said I used to run 4gb and that was plenty, so I'm sure 8gb can hold me based on my needs for at least 1-3 years.

    Thanks again for your help guys - I can't wait to get off work so I can go home and turn it on!
  20. 01mggt macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010
    Congrats! Let us know how it turns out. I wish mine would hurry and come :(
  21. sofianito macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2011
    Congratulation! I hope you are happy now:)

    I must say Chapeau to Apple's marketing team. Their main strategy is to make you feel that you need badly the $latest$ regardless of what are your real needs and how is your economy, else you will regret it for the rest of your life... XD

    I would advice people to stop eating white refined sugar during at least one week before to take an important decision... Get and read the "Sugar blues" book by William Dufty to understand what I mean...
  22. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    This is precisely what I was getting ready to advise. Enjoy your new RMBP.
  23. jrouse thread starter Suspended

    Jun 13, 2012
    Well I'm home now and I'm typing on it...wow - this display is just too clear, don't think I can ever use a normal screen again!

    I can't believe I fell for Apple's marketing but the solid state drive is definitely faster and I can definitely tell it's thinner. I also like how I have a USB port on both sides, didn't like how everything was on the left on the cMBP.

    Anyways, thanks for the help everyone!
  24. MacGurl111 macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2010
    Haha. Yes true. :D However, I don't like to go clothes/makeup shopping so throughout the year I'll save those money and buy things from Apple (with husband permission) :D

    To the OP usually if there's an ounce of doubt about something that generally means I'm not happy. When I make a purchase that I'm happy about I'll usually keep it, am completely satisfied and no second guessing. Enjoy your rMBP and let us know how it works out! :cool:

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