MacBook Pro 13" vs. Retina MacBook Pro 13"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rsnapeuk, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. rsnapeuk macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2011
    Fellow forum users,

    Please assist me in choosing which MacBook Pro to purchase. To tell you a little about me - I'm currently at college studying business studies in my second year (A2) and wanting to purchase a MacBook to support me during the rest of my studies, and most importantly, whilst at university, which I start September 2013. I'll be studying away from home, so don't want to be taking my iMac with me. It's hassle. And to be honest I don't want to leave it with others - plus the advantage of having a portable computer to take notes there and then, beats the iMac.

    So the choice? I'm currently considering either...

    MacBook Pro 13" or *+*Retina*+*MacBook Pro 13"?

    2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
    Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz

    2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
    Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz

    Winner? Standard.



    8GB 1600MHz memory

    8GB 1600MHz memory

    Winner? Draw.



    750GB 5400-rpm hard drive

    256GB flash storage

    Winner? Standard.



    Glossy Screen

    Retina gorgeous display

    Winner? Retina (Obviously)





    Difference? £423.40.

    So in summary, if I was to purchase the Retina Macbook Pro I'd be paying £423 more, for sure a better screen, but with a significant amount of less storage (49GB), a less powerful processor.

    So other than the better screen, which sure is good - I can't find a lot of benefits? It's lighter and thinner. But I have my iPad for that.

    I'm almost definitely going to purchase a standard Macbook.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The bottom line is, is this.
    Do you want to pay more for a better screen, but less storage and no optical drive or is the storage and optical drive of more importance to you.

    For the 13" MBP its a hard decision, for me, on the 15" MBP, it was a no brainer since adding an SSD and ram to the cMBP brought it closer to the price point of the rMBP.
  3. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Zug, Switzerland
    Since you'll be only leaving next year in September, why the rush? I'd rather wait for the upgrades... most likely to come around Juni / July next year and buy one then.

    Anyway: You'd most likely do just fine with the 13" cMBP ( or maybe even better, a 13" MBA ). Get the rMBP only if you really like and can afford it without much problems.
  4. mankar4 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2007
    Storage should be a Tie at least, the SSD adds speed to your experience that is unimagineable on the standard mbp. Personally, I'd vote retina every day, but its up to you. The screen is more than gorgeous, it allows you to have much more screen real estate if you run it at a higher resolution.
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    If your storage exceeds the standard SSD, you an external drive to store all the large libraries of music, photos, documents you do not need to carry around on campus. Besides, you will need another external drive for Time Machine to do backups.

    So sell the iMac, get a rMBP, and at least one external drive (1TB or larger) for backups.

    Needless to say, be sure to get education discounts on all purchases.
  6. Dr Charter macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    I'd flip the winner on the storage category. SSD performance makes up for the lack of storage for me. External drives are cheap and small these days.
  7. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    I've owned both. I kept the cMBP.

    Faster storage does nothing if you can't get enough of it to be productive. And most of the advantages offered by faster storage are around booting the computer and opening applications, which typically aren't done all that often.

    The rMBP has a nice screen - no argument. But the lack of expandability, the lack of an ethernet port, the lack of an optical drive, and the price combine to make it a non-starter for me, regardless of how nice the screen is.

    For your described usage, the cMBP is a better choice.
  8. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    Definitely not unimaginable on the cMBP. In fact you can have more of it for less $$$ in the cMBP than you can in the rMBP, particularly with the 13" versions.
  9. rsnapeuk, Nov 6, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012

    rsnapeuk thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2011
    Thanks for our support, all. I have opted for the MacBook Pro 13", with the following configuration:

    With the following configuration:

    2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz

    8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM — 2x4GB

    1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm

    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

    Backlit Keyboard (British) & User's Guide (English)

    /edited due to wrong spec
  10. 0x000000, Nov 6, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012

    0x000000 macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2011
    The difference between that and the rMBP is only $100, right? Interesting.

    Edit: I forgot the i7... the difference is $300 then, for size, weight, HDMI and the screen.
  11. reery macrumors regular


    Sep 18, 2012
    If you just go for the drive space, the 750GB HDD wins. But if you go for performance and are doing serious work, the SSD is the choice here. We all know SSDs cost a lot more than outdated HDDs but I'll prefer a SSD anytime over a HDD.

    Even if my MBP had no SSD built in as standard, I'd buy one without hesitation.

    You can have the fastest i7 CPU, but the bottleneck aka HDD will remind you, how fast PCs were 10 years ago.
  12. rmcguinness9894 macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2012
    If you were going to get the ssd then you should have just gotten the rMBP for a little bit more. Or, at the very least, you should've done the ssd yourself after market to save a lot of money. Can't say that i agree with your decision.
  13. rsnapeuk thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2011
    Copied the wrong:

  14. rmcguinness9894 macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2012
    Lol ok that makes more sense haha

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