Is the rMBP 13" with Retina worth buying?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lesliewj, May 5, 2013.

  1. lesliewj macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2013
    Is the rmbp 13' with retina worth buying? I have seen many guys said that the display lagging will often happen, even it runs at 1440 resolution. I really want to hear your guys opinions. Thanks a lot.
  2. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    The image retention is not completely gone yet.
    And IMO, I dont really like it.
    For the price, you dont even get a dGPU.
    It makes sense that you want to preserve battery life but with the price eh.

    If you have hard time seeing the screen with 11in MBA, yea go for it.
    Other wise, I would go for 15in Retinas or cMBP 13~15ins.
  3. ssmed macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2009
    The 13 inch is fine, it is a practical size and reduced weight compared to the cMBP, works for most things and has a good screen. I have had no screen retention problems or lag and find the computer good to use. However if you need a graphics card, you will need a 15 inch laptop (c or rMBP). If you want reduced weight the 13 inch air is available. I tend to use the 1680 or 'best for retina' resolutions.

    You pays your money and you takes your choice
  4. lesliewj thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2013
    I indeed like the screen with retina very much. I meant to buy 13-inch air, but I decided to own a retina screen when I saw it at the first sight. If the 13-inch with retina has no retention problems, I will choose it.
  5. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    The new 13" is likely worth waiting for, and it's expected to be announced in only a few weeks (WWDC 2013). If you can hold off for a while, definitely wait until at least the announcement.

    The updated model will be better, but to what extent is unknown right now. Many hint at a large graphics performance boost which will end the lag problem.

    It's up to you, but I thought I'd let you know a refresh is expected very soon. More information/rumours can be found here:

    - Notebook refresh expected at WWDC 2013
    - Intel graphics updates
    - New Intel processor architecture (Haswell) expected to be in new Apple notebooks
  6. Clunge macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2011
    I have an early 2013 13" rMBP and it's an incredible machine.

    However, it is obviously worth waiting now Haswell is firmly on the horizon.
  7. lesliewj thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2013
    Thanks a million!
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its only worth buying if it fits your needs ;)

    Its a fine computer and with the retina screen, it raises the bar. Being so close to WWDC at this point if you can wait a month, then it may be your best bet, but if memory services me, apple typically refreshes the 15" MBP with the new chip set now and then a bit later the 13" (I'm not totally sure of this though)
  9. tomtakesphotos macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2013
    I have a 13" i7 2012 rmbp and I've never noticed lag or image retention. It's simply a beautiful piece of kit. I do a lot of photo editing in CS6 and it's lightening fast for loading and running fairly demanding processes.

    Also the 13" form is really nice if you're after portability.

    Definitely worth buying. But there's always haswell...
  10. Shadow%20Mac macrumors demi-god

    Dec 28, 2007
    I would say yes, if the 15" rMBP wasnt sooo much better. True, it costs more, but well worth the cash:

    More storage + ram
    quad core cpu
    descrete graphics card
  11. racer1441 macrumors 68000

    Jul 3, 2009
    The retention problems were way overblown by hysterical people. Don't' worry about it.
  12. mtntrance macrumors member

    May 2, 2008
    Palm Desert, CA
    I have a rMBP 13 i7 3.0 GHZ 512 SSD. It costs a bit less than the base 15. No lag, no performance issues for my use coming from a 2011 MBP 17. Couldn't be happier.
  13. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    This. It's the reason I'm waiting for the next refresh of the 13" rMBP. I want the 13" form factor, but with considerably more competitive performance to the 15".

    In my opinion, I wouldn't class the 13" rMBP as a 'Pro' machine. It offers a rather underwhelming dual-core processor, relatively low memory options, and an even more underwhelming Intel HD 4000.

    Geekbench benchmark of best 13-inch retina: 7,802
    Geekbench benchmark of worst 15-inch retina: 11,213

    (Geekbench benchmark of best 15-inch retina: 12,502)


    For the sake of £190 (difference between top 13-inch and lowest 15-inch), you're getting a theoretical 70% performance boost.

    Basically what I'm saying is, only buy the 13" if you really want a 13", otherwise just fork out the, relatively minor, extra for the 15". That said, who knows what the next refresh will bring...

    'Best' = top processor model
    'Worst' = lowest processor model

    As used by Geekbench.
  14. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    + bigger
    + heavier

    Nothing comes free. If size matters, the 13" has definite advantages over the 15".
  15. nealh macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2010
    I am sorry, I have to disagree. The 13in is an amazing machine. I got an Apple refurb $1780--13in rMBP i7 2.9ghz with 512SSD. There is no lag, the screen is perfect. The unit looked brand new.

    If you need the dedicated GPU then the 13in is not for you. I will never game on a laptop, so I have no need for it. All my tasks are not GPU intensive, so the smaller form factor, weight and $$ difference is huge to me.

    I have no idea when Haswell chips will be in the rMBP line. No one does at this point, its speculation. So need is key, if you can wait, do so. That way you can see what changes.

    I saw no big need to wait, price was perfect for me and wanted it now, not 3 mo or more down the road. My needs and requirements will not change, so the comparable "updated version" will take 6mo or more to get to the price point I bought at.(since refurb will take time to get in the pipeline).

    To each his own, thats my 2 cents
  16. srsub3 macrumors 6502


    Mar 10, 2013
    My problem, as many here, is that I need a good quadcore processor and 16 gb of ram... this means that to me the 13 actually is not good... I mean, good as a side machine with a powerful desktop... this is way I skipped this refreshment, and I've already decided to pass to the 15....
  17. lesliewj thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2013
    Yes, I couldn't agree with you more! I will not install windows system in rMBP, and I will not play games on it. All I want to do is to watch HD film(1080p), mails, web surfing, office, browse photograghs, listen to music and so on. Therefore, if I run at 1440 resolution and no UI lag on rMBP, I think that I will buy it.
  18. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    You don't need to convince me that you made the right decision ;)

    If you need a laptop, then the obvious choice is to buy one. That's the end of that story.

    However, from what you describe, you are far from a 'Pro' user. A MBA would almost certainly handle the tasks you do perfectly well. Again, that's not a suggestion that you made the wrong decision - I'm just backing up my point that the 13" is not really ready for 'Pro' users, yet it's marketed under Apple's 'Pro' sub-brand (or whatever you want to call it).

    It's all fine you saying "there's no lag", but the majority of, again, 'Pro' users will use the laptop with a large external display. With the known problems with the 13" running its own screen, I can only imagine things get a little choppy when running, for example, another couple of 27" Thunderbolt Displays off it. Problems seem few and far between, however.

    Although I agree that benchmarks are largely irrelevant for most, when it comes to a 70% improvement, it's the same percentage difference between a 2009 MacBook Pro, and a 2012 13" retina. That's 3 years of computing advancement...

    Benchmark-wise, the 13" rMBP is 3 years behind the 15", and only £190 cheaper. Naturally, this isn't exactly true, since squeezing that much power into a 13" tiny case requires a lot of technological advancement - but it can be used as a guideline to see what you're actually getting with a 13" rMBP.

    It's not got the specs for 'Pro' usage in 2013, I would still argue. I'm more than happy for people to point out flaws in my argument, so long as it's not done sarcastically. I'm not a 15" rMBP owner trying to make a point, I'm an owner of a 4-year old MBP who seriously wants the 13" form factor, but with considerably better internals.
  19. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    Why do people want to equate benchmarks to this laptop (or most laptops even)? The reality is that 95% of the time most users (including those that own the 15" and I've owned many 15" models in the past) aren't using 90% of the compute power of the laptop. Even when using full power, in my case processing RAW photo files, the difference for a whole day of shooting is maybe a few minutes in processing time. The benefit is smaller size and weight than the 15" and less heat. I like to use my laptop on my lap and the 13" is just better for this. Compared to the MBA, you get an awesome screen and slightly better connectors.

    I'll never understand the "it's benchmarks X and the cost difference is Y so get the bigger laptop" argument. When at a desk, I'd rather have a maxed out iMac than any laptop. If you don't take portability into account, why bother with a laptop at all? All computers are compromises, getting the best one for needs, not the fastest, is the only way to approach it.
  20. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    Well said.

    While I can see a need for the 15MBP I consider it "niche" market. It's way overpowered for what most really use it for. It's not ultra-portable and there are better/cheaper alternatives for gaming. I personally think that Intel's integrated graphics in the smaller laptop lineup have sold more 15MBP's than any marketing scheme Apple could have come up with.
  21. andy9l, May 8, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013

    andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    I said this in my post that you're criticising!

  22. Augustine864 macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2013
    HAH! I believe that. It might be what pushes me from 13" to 15" inch too. Really want that 13" footprint though. Admittedly, I don't have a very good reason, but its just in my head that after having had two Dell 15" laptops that I want to move to 13".
  23. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    You seem to miss my point entirely. I'm saying performance (no matter the number) is not the only metric in picking a laptop. If performance was the only metric, I would get a desktop.

    If someone wants a 15" that's great. I think it's a wonderful machine. But to ignore the fact that 13" has serious portability advantages over the 13" is silly and wrong. The only reason for the 13" is a more portable version of the 15". For 90% of my usage, the 13" is better, I don't care if the 15" on benchmarks is 10% better or 100% better. And this is likely true for many users, nobody is running a laptop at 100% performance all the time. If you are, you should have gotten a desktop.
  24. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    Fair enough, it definitely has advantages with regards to form factor. Mostly why I'm looking to get one. My point was focused more towards the massive performance sacrifices one must make in order to get a 13" over a 15". Of course if a 15" is out of the question for any given consumer, the argument is irrelevant.

    Perhaps I'm unrealistic in my desire for a more 'Pro' 13". I'm eager to see what the next refresh brings.

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