Is the 15" Retina a choice?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Vox Populi, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Vox Populi macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2011
    Right now I'm trying to decide between getting a 15" Retina or waiting for the top level 27" iMac.

    I'm a student film maker and I do a lot of work with Final Cut, Premiere and After Effects. Would the Macbook be able to handle this kind of work load? How much more powerful would the iMac be? Being a student, portability is important. But being a film maker, power is just as important.

    If I were to get a Macbook, it would be BTO.
    16gb memory
    2.6ghz quad core i7
    256gb SDD

    So what do you guys think? If you were in my position, do you think it would be better to wait for the upper level iMac or get a Macbook?
  2. Michason macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2012
    If portability is important, why would you ever even consider the 27" iMac?
  3. renault4 macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2007
    Take the long view; sooner or later expect a 27" retina thunderbolt display mated to your 15 rMBP
  4. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    If portability is a key requirement....then a maxed out BTO rMBP is what you need, not a stationary iMac (regardless of its performance). I got the 2.7 CPU in my rMBP so that I know I should not have any performance issues for the 3+ years I own the machine....I will never kick myself for purchasing a lesser machine.

    You might be able to go an Apple store and try Final Cut on a rMBP to judge the performance for yourself. What might be acceptable to one person is not to another person.

    Being a student, be dang sure to get the ed discount on the machine, Apple Care any any ATD you might get. ;)
  5. bmunge macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2012
    I was in the same boat as you. I've gotten frustrated waiting for the 27" iMac and would enjoy the portability so I ordered a rMBP with the exact spec configuration you mentioned. Looking at benchmarks, it should handle all of the software you mentioned. I think the retina display would be huge for editing video, given that you can see the video in full size while still having plenty of room for your software.

    Something to consider is the extended return period for the holidays. If you do jump on a rMBP, you have until January 7th to return it. Ideally the iMac 27" would be out by then and you could reassess your purchase. Good luck.
  6. Vox Populi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2011
    That's a really good point that I hadn't thought of. Does anyone know if the return policy includes BTO macs?
  7. bmunge macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2012
    It does. You can read the full policy here:
  8. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    You do realize that after effects so far has no intention to be updated for retina right? And why would you go for the 2.6 option since 2.7 has the extra cache that would be better for video work?
  9. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    I very much suspect your choice will be between having storage for lots of video or not. Or rather, how you go about achieving that.

    256gb in an rMBP used for crunching a lot of video will be limiting - and having more internal storage in an rMBP is EXPENSIVE. You'll need more storage, be it in an external thunderbolt enclosure or whatever.

    In terms of processing power, either machine will handle it.
  10. Vox Populi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2011
    I edit from external hard hard drives, so that isn't too big of a concern for me. I'm just worried about performance.

    In terms of performance with these kinds of programs, would there be a big difference between the 2.3, 2.6 and 2.7?
  11. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The only thing the iMac is really better at is gaming ;) And it has more real screen estate.


    Not really. We are talking about a few percent at best, and that is during peak operation. E.g. these benchmarks show that 3610QM (sufficiently close to the 3615QM used in the rMBP) achieves 135fps in x264 encoding test while the fastest QM3820 has 148fps (its 8% difference). In other words, if the 2.3 needs 2 minutes to export a video or whatever, the 2.7 would need 10 seconds less. And thats more or less the only time you will notice a difference. Is it worth the increased price? That what you'll have to decide.

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