I make good money working full time on MBP. Please advise, which MBP Retina to get?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dandanapple, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. dandanapple, Jun 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012

    dandanapple macrumors newbie


    Jun 14, 2012
    I have been obsessing over which one to buy. I could use some help to put me out of my misery.

    I've been looking forward to getting an SSD laptop for years and now it's finally time. The base 2.3 ghz would be an incredible upgrade. I currently have the base late 2009 MBP (2.53 Duo).

    The 256 GB HD is more than enough. I get by with about 100 gb currently and find myself using the cloud more and more.

    8gb ram is more than enough. I use 4gb currently and only rarely find myself reaching the limit.

    My use is primarily the web and Office. I've always gone by the philosophy that those marginal bleeding-edge CPU upgrades are a big waste of money. So… it seems I should get the base 2.3 ghz model and be happy as a clam.


    My life and business is centered around my laptop. I'm always on my MBP. I work full time on various virtual businesses I create and run. I travel and live pretty much anywhere I want in the world, just me and my laptop basically. I make good money ($10k/month), and my income is basically limited by my productivity and time (a faster CPU might save me some time and aggravation, will it?). I can also deduct the purchase for business so that drops about 20-30% off the price.

    But I also don't want to drop $600 (after tax) to upgrade to the 2.7 for basically no benefit, that's a poor investment.

    So, what should I do? Over a year of full-time use, will I shave, say, 10 hours of wait time off my use? If so, I should just go ahead and upgrade.

    On the other hand, if my savings amount to a few imperceptible milliseconds per day, then I should stop wasting my time with this question and just get the base model.

    I know I'll look back on myself for being silly for thinking about this so much, but right now, I basically can't do anything else because my brain is so locked up on this. Your help is appreciated.

  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    You'll not see a huge jump in performance if you upgrade to the higher end retina MBP, and you're paying a premium for for the 512gb SSD.

    My recommendation is to get the base retina MBP, perhaps upgrade it to 16gb just because you'll not be able to upgrade it in the future, i.e., ram soldered onto the logic board. In theory the SSD may be replaceable in the future, so that might be an option.

    To summarize, since you're living well within 100gb of storage, and the cpu upgrade isn't going to boost performance that much the base model makes the most sense imo.
  3. pandamonia macrumors 6502a

    Nov 15, 2009
    get the 2.6ghz 512gb and you will be set. Your productivity will go up most from the SSD.

    Also how do you make 10k a month on a notebook lol
  4. AspiringSurgeon macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012

    Easy solution; base model + 16GB of Ram. If you require more storage, go with some USB 3.0 options. They have options that literally plug in and are virtually invisible. If connectivity will not be a problem, there's plenty of cloud storage options available to you as well.
  5. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    Although I did see some comments that Retina apps may start to take more space, if you are only using 100 GB now, then the base model should do you well. You shouldn't need more than 8GB of RAM and I wouldn't recommend the 2.7GHZ to anyone except those that just like spending money ;)

    I did order the 2.6GHZ/512GB but my needs are a bit different and I knew I wanted 512GB from the start.
  6. eron macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    Since it's just web and office, I would say just the base model will do. I would suggest spending the money elsewhere to increase your productivity.

    1)Consider an additional Macbook Air for travels you don't need the larger screen. +Faster mobile broadband to update documents through the cloud, if you travel locally.

    2)Backing up software and hardware

    3)Ethernet adapter for faster upload/download

    4)An external display. I suggest something non-glaring. Like the Samsung S27a850
    Else, if you really really want to shave a few seconds of loading here and there, you certainly can max out the processor and ram. Not really any gain from a bigger SSD.
  7. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Stock entry model should serve you well. If most of your files are just text 256GB will be more than enough. I have a 128GB SSD in my 13" with mostly text docs, but a few movies, a couple dozen apps (inc. Word and Adobe CS5), no songs, less than 50 photos, and always maintain about 50GB free space.
  8. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011

    I think your ego needs a bit more inflation....
  9. ppone macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2011

    For your use case of web and office, you won't see too big of an improvement that might warrant upgrading on performance alone. The SSD will definitely make opening up your documents, booting up your laptop, and coming back from sleep a bit faster. In that case you might shave a few seconds to minutes, every day, which will definitely add up to over 10 hours in the course of one full year. If that is a criteria for you, then it is definitely a check on that. However mostly people rarely need to reboot, their macbook pros, but it does happen most often due to the software update, which require a reboot.

    Since your constantly working on your MacBook Pro. You need a little redundancy. Your laptop could die for whatever reason and might take some time to repair. So in your case you might need two similar laptops. One for primary use and the other for the backup, in case the first one dies, you have very little downtime.

    I think for the redundancy reason alone you need a new laptop, which is similar to the one you have.

    Now, the biggest reason to get the retina MBP, is of course the retina display. I have tried it out yesterday and was definitely impressed at how clean and crisp it made the text look. For someone who is typing all day into an Office Suite, this might be beneficial. However, the third party app needs to update for retina, or it could be a little hurtful to your eyes.

    So I would go to an Apple store and see which 15 inch MBP is right for you. Play around with the applications you use often. Between the retina or non retina, you can't decide until you try it for yourself.

    If 15 inch display is the perfect size for you, don't consider the MBA.

    Anyways, I have a feeling you will get the rMBP.

    Btw, if your taking any continuing education course, or maybe enrolled in free and open courses, you might qualify for a education discount. Which might take off 200 dollars right away on the rMBP. Since you travel so much, New Hampshire is tax free. Also Discover Card offers an additional 5% on the online apple store. In the end if you play it out right, the savings would be huge to you.

    Hope that helped.
  10. niuniu macrumors 68020


    Mar 29, 2009
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    Same position here. I make $30,500 a month being a successful businessman.

    But I'm struggling to decide if I should get the more expensive MBP that so many teenagers have bought with their low incomes, or struggling parental incomes.

    I just can't decide..even though I can deduct 30% off the cost price as a business purchase.

  11. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    I make lots of money too, but I would like to hear from the proles how I can show that I have more money than the topic starter who earns a laughable pittance.

    Should I have it gold plated or platinum plated with encrusted diamonds?

    Please help guys.
  12. ppone macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2011
    Like my answer above, the only reason you should get one, assuming yours is running sufficiently at the moment, if for redundancy.

    If you can handle downtime, well, then there is no need. If your laptop is the primary tool for your business, as OP as stated, you need to invest in some redundancy, so your business doesn't go down.

    In terms of that redundancy, you maybe as well get something similar to what you have or a bit nicer. The retina is way nicer.

  13. AspiringSurgeon macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    LOL, I see what you did there
  14. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    I'm thinking the diamond encrusted MBP myself ;)
  15. kwjohns macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2007
    I make great money, too. I'm looking to purchase a few thousand MBPRs and am looking for the one with the greatest softness while also durable as I only wipe my butt with the finest of toiletries.
  16. torana355 macrumors 68030

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    I earn 300k a year, should i spend the extra $600 cash for a better cpu? Im so confused please help........
  17. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    One is happy to see so many other well-to-do folk. We simply must do lunch at the country club.
  18. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    I don't know, but if you ever need a disposable camera, iPhone 4S is the way to go. Just snap, upload and bin the phone - great for travelling!
  19. EEXOOO macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2009
  20. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    I think you should dedicate your time to evaluating more important purchases that will have a bigger impact on your finances, such as whether to Biggie Size that McDonald's meal for lunch.

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