In the market for a MBP. What setup do you recommend and is retina really necessary?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 1080p, May 20, 2013.

  1. 1080p, May 20, 2013
    Last edited: May 20, 2013

    1080p macrumors 68030


    Mar 17, 2010
    Planet Earth
    I am going back to school (at age 33!) and am currently the owner of a base 2011 iMac. After WWDC, I will be looking to purchase a Haswell MBP (and sell my iMac).

    There are 2 routes I am considering...

    Buy a 15" MBPr.


    I want a powerful Mac that is also portable... but I might miss the media consumption abilities of my iMac. It doubles as a "TV" in my bedroom (because of it's size) with iTunes, Netflix & Hulu.

    I am considering buying a non-retina Haswell MBP and a 27" Thunderbolt Display with some of the savings from skipping "retina" on my new computer.

    Basically building setup like this one:


    What do you guys think? Is retina THAT big of a deal?
  2. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    There may not be a non-Retina Haswell MacBook Pro. The fact that the classic MBPs were not updated with the early 2013 Ivy Bridge Processors is a sign that they are potentially EOL. Guess we'll get a better idea after WWDC (although the fact that MacBook Air supplies are dwindling suggest an Air announcement instead).

    Apple and other PC manufacturers seems to think so, as HiDPI displays and 4K HDTVs are starting to pick up steam. But only you can really answer this question. It's subjective. Some people hardly notice any difference.
  3. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
  4. 1080p thread starter macrumors 68030


    Mar 17, 2010
    Planet Earth
    Well in the currently line of Notebooks, there is a huge price difference between retina and non-retina. If retina comes down to the price levels of non-retina, then I won't mind.


    I can't go from a quad-core iMac to a dual-core MBA. 15" MBP is the only quad-core laptop. Also get better graphics from a MBP.
  5. Phan0121 macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2013
    Assuming you get the base 15" cmbp with upgraded CPU and 1gig 650M, you're looking at $1999 vs the base rmbp plus 16gig ram at $2399. You'll end up spending another $370 for 16gigs of crucial ram and a 256gig Samsung 840 Pro.

    So the trade off is $20 and an extra 500gig HD for a Retina screen.

    I'm still leaning towards a 15" cmbp with an Anti-Glare Hi-Res screen. (Education Discount)

    FYI, posting this from my iPad so excuse my laziness with grammar and such.
  6. luffytubby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2008
    The Retina Macbook Pro has a thinner profile and is one pound lighter. IMO the rMBP15 is the borderline in weight for something that is comfortable carrying around all day.

    It's a ultrabook thin machine with desktop class performance. It's screen is so good, that you might not even want to hook it up to a thunderbolt display.

    But that's also because the thunderbolt display is very high price and lacks features of modern monitors. IMO it's a bad deal. Thunderbolt is very convenient but not a must for a Pro user, as they have more ports and the 15 inch version has a bigger screen and has a lot of real estate.

    If the OP is using his machine for media capabillities like Netflix, and Hulu, why not just buy a Apple TV and hook it up to some 40 inch HDTV?

    Storage is very expensive on the Retina model. To use it as a bootcamp + media files(music, movies, large images..) you really, really need the 768 SSD model, and that drives price 300 premium up right now (on some Apple Stores at least. Depends on country.)

    rMBP is high end tech, and you are not just paying the screen but also for such power in such a light machine. Haswell should sing thanks to better integrated GPUs, and the Nvidia chip, Maxwell in the rMBP15 a year from now, will be bundled with Intels Broadwell processor which means we might see, 680m quality graphics in this notebook. It's not a sure bet, but it is a possibility.

    It's hard to tell people to wait though, as the Haswell upgrade will also be fast. But it's apparent that Broadwell will be the biggest thing for Intel in quite a few years.
  7. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    For me, the main benefit of the rMBP is the reduced weight and increased portability. The screen is just a great feature you get on top of it. Basically I completely agree with what luffytubby said above.
  8. ColdCase, May 21, 2013
    Last edited: May 21, 2013

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Instead of the expense of a ATD, you could consider a much less expensive option for you larger monitor which is basically used for TVs. There are several excellent 27 inch monitors for ~$300. You could also think about a regular TV with HDMI inputs. There are some very good 29 inch monitors more suitable to movie viewing, but ~$500.

    I say this because the rMBP 15 screen is so good with text and clarity that I end up using my external 27 inch monitor only for large scale graphics work and watching video and photo slide shows.

    I think you can get a optioned rMBP plus decent display for less than a cRMP and an ATD. And currently there are better monitors than the ATD for less money ( ~$600). The next ATD release may change that, however.
  9. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    No, especially if it's mostly going to be sitting in a dock like that, in clamshell mode, connected to an external monitor. Personally, I think the classic MBPs are better machines but then again, I don't put any value on the fancy retina display. It's just a nice-to-have that doesn't help me get my work done any faster.
  10. abc123 macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2004
    You probably need to give a few more details on what your needs are, specifically what your need the computer to be able to do while at home and what you need to to do as a portable device.

    If it was me, I'd be tempted to keep the iMac for home and pick up a refurbished air for school (about $1300 for the 11.6" duel i7, 8GB, 256GB HD when in stock), but again, it would depend on what I was studying.

    The retina screen is really nice but it is kind of like a cup of tea on a cold morning. It is great to have but you can function without it just fine.

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