MacBook 13" Retina buy now or wait for Haswell?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Cydone, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. Cydone macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2011
    I'm sitting on a Macbook White 13" early 200......6. Ill let that sink in for a second.

    Done smiling?

    Ok, Ive been looking at upgrading! lol. But my nice little machine just keeps on trucking, so why bother.

    Obviously its maxed out (2gb/320gb/1.8gh dual), and I can actually still do some photoshopping, sometimes with huge lag, and crashes if I open up too many high res pictures. But it gets the job done.

    Now. Apart from some light photoshopping, I like to play CIV V. (on my PC). And Id like my new macbook to be able to play that game.

    Would that be possible on the new Macbook Pro retina 13", 8gb, 3ghz dual, HD 4000 graphics? Or is it ridiculous?

    Would it be playable comes haswell?

    Or should I just compromise on portability and go for the 15"?

    I'm just so happy with the 13" form factor, that im planning on sticking with that.

    Ive waited 6 years, and I can still wait, my machine wont fail me. But i'm ready to upgrade.. I just dont wanna upgrade to a machine, that cant play CIV V reasonably well :)

    So, there you go, light photoshopping, light gaming and normal office work.

  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Bottom line is that if you can wait until May or June for a laptop then its in your best interest. If you cannot, the Ivy Bridge based laptops are no slouches, you'll notice a big performance jump from what you currently have
  3. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2010
    I'm pretty much in the same shoes as you, except, I didn't have a 2006 MacBook, but rather a iPad 3 which was stolen. So now I'm thinking I'm just gonna get a laptop instead.

    Portability is important to me. So I was seriously considering a MacBook Air if they release one with retina screen. Rumors say one's coming... but I wonder if it will be able to do all the things you outlined because that's what my usage is like too.
  4. henrikrox macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2010

    If you are set on the 13", i think the biggest leap would be the IGP. From intel hd4000 to whatever the naming scheme it will be in Haswell.

    The little increase in peformance from the CPU you wouldnt really notice.

    I had the macbook air 13" before, but im glad i got the 15" rmbp, for the dedicated gpu. Because i like to play some games.

    You can probably play Civ fine, if you go way down on the resolution etc on the 13".


    Not to say it isnt coming, but im having real problems distinguishing the mba and the mbp 13" then. They would be actually the same machines, only one of them would be thinner, and cheaper (if the prices stay the same)

    That said, with the recent price drops on the rmbp. Which brings it very close to the mba price, i dunno why anyone would buy the mba over the rmbp. Its not as thin, but u get a x10 more powerful computer


    Heres a vid of civ 5 running on a macbook pro with 320m. Now the 320m is a bit better then intel hd3000, but worse then 4000.

    And again, CIV 5 really bogs down later in the game, because of all the stuff going on, however thats more CPU intensive then GPU intensive.

    The guy who posted the video shows the graphical settings at the start.

    Should give you an idea on what to expect on the 13 rMBP
  5. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2010

    Yeah, I totally see what you're saying. There are so many uncertainties and questions. That's why I'm waiting to see how it all pans out. I love the thinness of the MBA, that's why I lean more towards that, but if the new ones are really lacking by a lot when compared to the 13" rMBP then I might also elect for the rMBP.

    Decisions Decisions.
  6. henrikrox macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2010
    Hehe. i fully understand your decision. Since there are alot of uncertains regarding the future of the mba, if i gets the retina treatment or not. I guess its fine to wait.

    Im just worried they will bump the price of the mba if it gets retina. Which i understand, but i wish they didnt
  7. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    Then check out the refurbs on the apple store. I've purchased just about every Apple product I own from there. No issues yet. They will have the prior generation's models there, so if the price does go up, you will still be fine.
  8. RoboWarriorSr macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2013
    Understand that the retina mba won't arrive for perhaps years to come despite "rumors". After all they are "rumors". Main reasons include battery life and thinness. A mba, with the current form factor and technology, can't hold enough battery life to sufficiently run a retina display and the CPU with it's usual 5-7 hour battery life. Also, thickness of the computer will need to be increase so essentially, a retina mba would be what the current macbook pro 13" looks like with the current technology available.
  9. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    Well, I guess one can't say for sure.

    A retina MacBook Air may not be possible with today's technology. But laptops released 6 months from now will not be produced with today's technology. In 6 months, we will already have Haswell, which Intel is promising to have a much better battery life. According to Intel, Haswell will be a game-changer in terms of battery life, and it will likely double the current capacity of Ivy Bridge (if Intel is to be believed, and it is telling that this time is for real).

    We already have 5-hour+ battery Ivy Bridge ultrabooks with 1920x1080 displays running Windows (even the Surface Pro, with a tiny battery, runs for more than 4 hours). Acer has already announced ultra-high resolution ultrabooks to be released in late Spring 2013 (after Haswell comes out). Why can't Apple release a retina Haswell MacBook Air?

    I am not saying it will happen or not. I am just saying it is becoming more and more likely to happen.
  10. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2010

    Well the conclusion is that it's worth the wait if you're not desperate for a computer. I'm not desperate. So I can wait it out and see where things go. I would prefer the Air like thinness, but I'd be okay with the 13" rMBP too.

    I was checking out the 15" rMBP the other day. I actually really like the larger screen. I would ideally love a 15" rMB Air, but I think that's probably not going to happen.

    Either way, I'm waiting it out for a few months and hoping for something that makes my decision easier.
  11. intothepolis macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2012
    I would wait. Looks like Haswell is going to be a nice graphics upgrade.
  12. Nismo73 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2013
    I changed my mind and decided to return my Macbook that I recently got, and gonna wait for Haswell. I can still use my work Air...
  13. vampireszombies macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2011
    You can buy one of the new lower priced 2012 rMBPs now and use that ~$400 you saved rather than buying the Haswell rMBPs -if im assuming correctly will be the same price as the newest model rMBPs currently $1800+- for an iPad or software etc. ;)
  14. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    Intel's video is TEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERIBLE for both performance, and compatibility/drivers.

    If you have to get a 13" model, absolutely wait for Haswell. Intel hasn't flat out claimed it, but has implied that it performs almost on par with a Geforce GT 650m (they had ones side by side running Dirt 3, and the Haswell part looked pretty close to the Geforce). Of course even then, Intel cheats with their drivers and won't really be rendering as accurately as Nvidia and AMD do, their drivers will still be worse, AND that was the absolute best Haswell video configuration. It could well be that the 13" Macbook Pros use much worse.

    Still, Civ 5 in particular is bad on Intel video, so if it's got to be a Mac and got to be 13", absolutely wait for Haswell so you're doing as well as you can with that situation.
  15. Woodcrest64, Feb 28, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013

    Woodcrest64 macrumors 65816


    Aug 14, 2006
    If I were you I would upgrade your current machine with an ssd and i believe you can increase your ram to 4gb. Then wait for Intels Skylake processor for 2015. I don't know if you can hold out that long though. Skylake will be a single SoC solution with a flexible graphics pipeline meaning even better performance.
  16. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
    actually broadwell is when they revamp the arch of the igpu, so if you want to go by the best broadwell it is
  17. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    I'm not familiar with what changes they're making from Haswell to Broadwell (though on the CPU side they should be about the same), but the video on Haswell is maaaaaassivly better than Ivy Bridge, at least for the highest end of several configurations of it.

    It'll still inevitably have worse drivers, be more buggy, and cheat for performance as compared to AMD and Nvidia, but still, better choice than going with Ivy Bridge if those are the only two choices.
  18. TheZeitgeist macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2013
    Go for rMBP

    I picked up a rMBP 13" a couple days ago after deliberating over the same Haswellian question. And after a couple days with this thing, I am not regretting it at all.

    In last two days I've downloaded about six gigs of software etc., installed Xcode and iOS SDK, run the Simulator, compiled a couple apps, and run our company's machine-vision (Sikuli) automation at said Simulator.

    That Sikuli script is mean. Thousand lines of code there, couple hundred tests, actually plays around with hi-def video - running in the iPhone Simulator - among other tests. It is not an inconsiderable task for a computer to run that script at a simulated iOS device under test.

    Net result? After two days of that kind of rigor, I haven't heard the fans turn on in the rMBP 13" yet. And I know the fans aren't busted because the rMBP is barely warm, most the chassis still cold to the touch, after running all that.

    And if you are not used to SSD drives (don't know if you have one in your 2006 MB) the rMBP will feel so fast out of the box. Everything launches and quits so quick, waking from sleep etc. is half-second at most.

    Oh yeah, and it has a Retina display. Get one.
  19. LYFK macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2007
    @OP If you have gone for 7 years without upgrading, you can definitely afford to wait 4-5months no sweat. It's those people like myself who are in the 1-3yr upgrade cycles who are killing themselves trying to anticipate the best time to jump to the next lilypad.

    Unless you have to play CIV V TODAY. Then buy.
  20. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Civ V is horrible on OSX but in Windows an HD 4000 can run it on low I think.
    Some medium settings might work. On my 330M it runs fine in Windows on low/mid. On OSX lowest, minimum settings possible won't make it run without turning into a slide show after a few turns. On OSX it can only be played in Strategic view which is about as graphic intensive as 2D chess from 10 years ago.
    I used the Steam Civ V which should be up to date only a month ago. It is a worthless port.
  21. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
    my experience with intel igpu has bee improving lately, but broadwell is when its stated for he igpu to receive a revamp in arch, the cpu itself will go through few modifications due to shrinkage

    for some people the form factor and the weight count a lot, Im one of them. in the end I can hook up an egpu from the available options out there if I want more oomph out of it
  22. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2010
    I think that comment right there helps make my decision a bit easier.
    I think i'm leaning more and more towards the 15" now. The more I read, the more I realize I probably want the larger screen and the discreet graphics.
  23. Trubbles macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2012
    If you want to have the option of half-decent gaming (not "barely playable") then I would wait until Haswell.

    Even Civ IV will be affected by the HD4000's inability to drive 3m+ pixels.


    I've had my 15" rMBP for 2 months now ... I had debated between 13" Air, 13" rMBP and 15" rMBP for a while. I wanted a computer that could play games on my spare time, and so I chose the 15".

    I'm still VERY happy with my decision. It doesn't come close to my gaming desktop, but it can really hold it's own. I've been playing Skyrim at 1650x1080 (I think) at 8x Anti-Aliasing with everything on high or ultra (except shadows and reflections on low) and I maintain 50-90 FPS and a very smooth gaming experience. Then, I reset into Mac mode and I have a very functional 1920x1200 equivalent screen that allows me to work on 3 documents at a time laid out neatly on my screen (with thanks to a great utility called SizeUp).

    Overall - best computer I've ever owned.
  24. TheNewDude macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2010

    Thanks for the input.
    Now I can't wait to get mine!! Must wait though :(
  25. RAPTORSKI macrumors regular


    Jan 24, 2013
    British Columbia
    I cant wait

    I am going to be forced to purchase a rMBP 13" around late April or early May which sucks because I won't get Haswell or OSX 10.9 but oh well...

    I will just have to buy OSX 10.9 when it comes out and the battery life/performance of the Macbook should suit me just fine. Especially considering this will be my first Mac and my current laptop runs Windows 7, weighs a ton, overheats, and has a battery life of around 3 hrs, 4 hrs max.

    Can't wait for the beautifully crafted Mac though. ;)

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