High-end Non Retina Macbook pro or Base Retina Macbook pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Votre Altesse, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Votre Altesse macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2012
    #1
    Hello everyone, i am kinda new here.

    I have been using my acer laptop for 3.5 years. I am considering a macbook pro since I will be entering uni soon. It is really a tough decision for me to make between the two, maybe some of you kind souls out there can offer me your valuable opinions?

    I love the retina macbook pro because its only 2kg, even lighter den a non-retina 13 inch macbook. However, since i'm a business student, i will quite frequently run application in boot camp. After reading through some comments, i notice that retina display dont really run well with windows. I will also be playing some not so intensive games such as league of legends and I heard that the gpu that retina has does not really compliment its retina display meaning that running game on such high resolution wouldn't make the gaming experience exceptional. I've some questions regarding retina macbook. For flash storage, is it true that if the flash storage is corrupted, it is impossible to retrieve the data even if you are willing to part with the money unlike the traditional hard disk? Also is the cooling system better in the normal macbook pro or retina macbook pro? Also, is 256gb enough for me to run boot camp? I don't usually store music, movies or videos on my laptop. My current acer laptop has 320GB HDD and after 3.5 years i still have about 120GB left. Most probably I will be using this for the next 4 years

    Thanks in advance for any replies Cheers
     
  2. Vampire5003 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    I have the retina model, so let me chime in. If your playing games the Retina MBP has 1GB of VRAM which is a improvement over the 512MB that the normal 15 inch has. I play Starcraft 2 and League of Legends and run them at 1650X1050 and at ultra on sc2 and high on LOFL and get around 80FPS. IMO if I had to get the non retina model I would get the model customized with 1GB of VRAM, 16GB RAM, SSD, and High Res Screen Upgrade (upgrades resolution from 1440X900 to 1650X1050). IMO go with retina.

    Hope I help!
     
  3. Queen6, Jul 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #3
    High end non Retina; the Retina MBP is very cutting edge they are also outstanding computers (i have one myself), however I am not running Windows nor do i have to rely on it as a sole computer. MS wont be in any hurry to make their apps compliant with the Retina display nor will others which may be difficult to live with over the long term, and 256 might be a push with the two OS`s and app`s, admittedly it`s no big deal to have a small 1Tb USB 3 drive in you bag.

    The Ivy Bridge CPU`s run cooler in general, without a direct side by comparison it`s difficult to say which of the 2012 MBP`s run cooler. I would say the Retina as Apple will be more focused on the new line. My own Retina certainly runs far cooler then my Late 2011 15" 2.4 i7 (Sandy bridge) MBP.

    Far as I know if an SSD fails it`s "dead in the water" so backups are essential, same goes for HDD as the cost of data retrieval in the event of a "hard" failure can be significant. At a minimum I would back up to an external drive and the Cloud, if you loose your work, the last thing you will be concerned about is the computer.

    As much as I would like to recommend the Retina, the MBP will just be a lot easier to live with for your use and studies, you wont have any worries regarding software compatibility, and you wil have more than enough space for all your needs.
     
  4. Panini macrumors regular

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    Jun 12, 2012
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    Palo Alto, CA
    #4
    Unless you're looking to upgrade via 3rd party, the regular MBPs cost more than the retina models when fitted with an equivalent SSD.

    If I were you, I would definitely get an SSD. It makes more of a difference than processor and GPU combined for daily use (unless you're gaming, but even then it dramatically decreases load times and texture update latency).

    So considering SSD is your best bet, are you going 3rd party upgrade or upgrade via apple? 3rd party and you might save around $100 off the retina model, but that brings it down to $100 for a smaller build and retina screen.

    Well, if you get high-res, that's already $100, so for the extra $100 you might as well get the retina.

    Also, the retina is cooler and a lot less noisy than the regular MBPs because of the famous "asymmetrical" fans and the way it draws its air from both sides.

    As for resolution, you can always lower the resolution on retina and get the same performance boost, so that's no reason to opt for regular.

    SSDs fail a lot less often than an HDD. An HDD is mechanical, there are a lot of things to go wrong - it's pretty hard to mess up an SSD drive so it's overall more reliable.
     
  5. Votre Altesse thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2012
    #5
    Thanks for your help! Is your retina macbook the base model too?

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    Thanks for providing me so much information and clearing my doubts :) I will definitely take them into consideration when picking out the right mac for my uni:)

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    Thanks for your reply! I will definitely consider them well :)
     
  6. Swain macrumors member

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    Nov 6, 2011
    #6
    Slightly off topic but:
    Are you playing League of legends on bootcamp or the client made by Boompje?
     
  7. Orihara macrumors newbie

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    Jul 7, 2012
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    Adelaide, Australia
    #7
    Since we're going off on this tangent, how does LoL run at 2880x1800?
     
  8. Votre Altesse thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2012
    #8
    I would like to know about that too!

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    and this!
     
  9. zerotiu macrumors regular

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #9
    If I were you, I will think these :

    1. OS
    You will use windows 'quite frequently' as you said. Will you learn to use OSX? Because in my opinion, if you don't use OSX, macbook pro is not a value for money machine. I personally think that using windows only in macbook pro is like you buy a sports car and change the engine with city car engine (is that even possible?:D but you know what I mean)

    2. Do I really need a mac?
    If you want to learn to use OSX, I suggest 13" macbook pro. My colleagues play Diablo 3 happily with their 13" MBP.
    If I were still a student, I won't buy retina. I will buy cheaper MBP / other brands and I can still satisfy my other wants / needs.

    3. Think about your personal financial level
    Is $2200 worth spending? I believe that you can afford of course but as a student, is rMBP your need or your want? This is just a gentle reminder, because we are talking about electronics that soon will be obsolete faster than sneezing :D . Sadly, teenagers nowadays are spendthrifts.

    4. Weights
    If you want a macbook pro weights 2kgs than you have no choice. Buy a retina. But wait, consider number 1,2, and 3 first.

    Retina is a good machine though, I've ordered one but hasn't arrived.
     
  10. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    #10
    You're a business student who will mainly be in windows and want to play games. Why are you considering a MacBook again?

    As for retina, if you're willing to pay near $3k for blurry non-retina windows, bad battery life due to using the discrete card 100% of the time and thus causing more heat, all to shave off some weight then by all mean go for it. or you can be a student that isn't stupid and pick something more appropriate for your needs.
     
  11. zerotiu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #11
    Guess you've never heard gfxcardstatus and please mention, which laptop uses discrete card and has better battery life and also has slim body like mbp/rmbp.

    Comment like yours deserve thumbs down, sadly it's been disabled.
     
  12. Slivortal macrumors 6502

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    Jun 14, 2012
    #12
    I'd personally go RMBP over the MBP just for the SSD, unless you can find one for cheap and have the desire to toss it into an MBP.

    But I'd honestly look at non-Mac computers as well. If you're going to be spending virtually all of your time in Windows, there's no reason to limit yourselves to ones that use OSX - half the reason Macs work so well is that the OS complements the hardware.
     
  13. ugp macrumors 65816

    ugp

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Inverness, Florida
    #13
    I went with the High End MBP and put my own SSD in. I am going to replace the Optical Drive with the Stock 750GB HDD. I did not want to be an early adapter to a new item as expensive as the rMBP. The cMBP have been proven to run well and serve their purpose just fine. One you put a SSD in the cMBP it's pretty much the same thing minus the Screen and with a Processor Bump.
     
  14. Votre Altesse thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2012
    #14
    I'm just looking for some constructive feedbacks. Never use MacBook before doesn't mean I can't start using it. I can learn how to use the os in Mac. I'm sure there are programmes and apps suitable for me.

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    Like this will give it a thousand thumbs up if I could:)

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    Thanks for your opinion. I am really keen on getting a Mac this time to figure out their os since I have been using windows for more than half of my life. Would reall love to try out what apple can offer me:) and since I can set up boot camp on the MacBook. It will be perfect for my transition into Mac. Which non Mac computer allows you to set up Mac? But mayb 3-4 years down the road when I have worn out this Mac I maybe going back to windows:)
     
  15. Slivortal macrumors 6502

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    Jun 14, 2012
    #15
    If you want to use OSX, I recommend getting an Apple. Hackintoshes are illegal, and don't work very well to boot.

    One thing I may recommend is virtualization. I find it easier and faster than going through the hassle of dual-booting, and the tools can be free (VirtualBox).

    Remember that if you run Windows, you'll also have to purchase a copy of Windows, unless your school offers some kind of Student Alliance (many do). That's an additional $100-$150 if they don't, though.

    I'd recommend the MBPR if you choose to go the virtualization route, and I actually highly recommend that you do so. It's a great computer; but you should try to use OSX for your main OS if you want to get the full experience.
     
  16. Votre Altesse thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2012
    #16
    Actually I'm leaning towards the high end MacBook pro too but I'm not so keen to replace an ssd. I will probably only be using it for around 4 years. The ssd that the market offers current are not value to the money spent on them. One of the reasons which Im leaning away from retina MacBook is because of the small ssd. After some consideration, I realize if I want to set up a partition for boot camp I may have to split the flash memory into two which is not a wise idea. I too prefer the idea of sticking to the true and tested cmbp. Retina MacBook pro is a great laptop in terms of weight and display but currently the display will not be of any use to me and since it's the first of its line, no one is sure of what's in store for it. Maybe after fours years when it's time to change my MacBook. The retina mbp will be my choice than:) I think I have got my answers! Thanks to everyone who contributed their opinions! Really appreciate your help!:D
     
  17. Slivortal macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I'd seriously recommend reconsidering getting an SSD - honestly, if you get a base MBP and spend the upgrade money on an Optibay/SSD, you'll find yourself with a far faster computer. The speed upgrade from an SSD is hard to beat with CPU upgrades, RAM upgrades, etc.
     
  18. Votre Altesse thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2012
    #18
    Ok I will use virtualization for my MacBook! My school will help me set up mac. Just have to bring it to them and they will install all those programmes which I will need:) the one and only thing I'm really worried about is the weight of non retina MacBook pro. I'm a small frame girl and carrying my Acer laptop for the past 3 years has become so taxing that I mostly forsake my laptop and bring my tablet to school instead. Retina is really light at only 2kg for a 15inch. Air is out as its lacks the gpu:)
     
  19. VFC macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 6, 2012
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    SE PA.
    #19
    On a side note, I would suggest Parallels 7 rather than Boot Camp. That way you can stay in Apple OS X and switch immediately to Windows without having to waste time restarting (twice). Plus you can drag and drop files between Win7 and OSX apps very easily.

    I installed Parallels 7, Windows7, and Microsoft Office Pro on my 2012 non-retina MBP. Easy install and works great.

    http://www.amazon.com/Parallels-Desktop-7-for-Mac/dp/B005FDK7J6
     
  20. Votre Altesse thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Is the ssd really that fast? So it would be a better idea if I get a base mbp with upgrades to ssd?
     
  21. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #21
    If you two main criteria are weight and a dedicated GPU, then the base RMBP would be the one for you if it's in your budget.
     
  22. Slivortal macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Of course, Virtualbox is free and provides better sandboxing (if that's what you want). They're both good, though.

    I'd recommend an MBPR first (because it comes with SSD preinstalled), but if you're dead-set on an MBP, I'd recommend upgrading to SSD.
     
  23. Votre Altesse thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2012
    #23
    You are right... At first I have decided on a normal mbp but what you say makes sense too that means back to square one hahaha. Actually the main reason I am deciding on a high end Mac is because it comes with 1gb VRAM whereas the base model only has 512mb VRAM. Don't really care about the 2.3 to 2.6 hgz thingy and the increase of hard disk space from 500gb to 750gb. But the retina flash storage of 256gb seems really little to begin with.
     
  24. ugp macrumors 65816

    ugp

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    Inverness, Florida
    #24
    Once you switch to a SSD it's hard to use a standard HDD again. When I got my MBP I wasn't quite happy with the performance of the Stock 5400RPM drive. It was very slow. Once I replaced the HDD my boot up time went down to around 10 seconds. Apps just open without hesitation. It really has spoiled me when I use my iMac I get kinda mad on how long things take to open. Prices have come down a lot and are getting more affordable. Amazon and NewEgg have sales on them all the time.
     
  25. Votre Altesse thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2012
    #25
    Really thanks a lot for you help here!:) I know no matter what I choose I will still love the decision I make because both are actually great machines to begin with!
     

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