Macbook Pro 500GB or Macbook Pro Retina 128GB?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by buzzerz, May 4, 2016.

  1. buzzerz macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2016
    Okay... some advice would be appreciated... I'm torn between the MacBook Pro 13.3inch 500GB hard drive and the Retina 128GB flash drive. The 500GB is cheaper and has the superdrive (which is convenient more than anything else) whereas the Retina is up-to-date and faster.
    The display doesn't bother me to be honest so here's my question:
    It would still be cheaper for me to buy the 500GB with 8 GB RAM but would I really benefit from that? Likewise I could upgrade to the 29GHz Core i.7 but would it mean much to me?
    I use the Mac for writing, browsing and music (listening) mostly. The 500GB is important for storing reference materials etc but not essential.
    Any top tips?
  2. Jeff R macrumors 6502

    Jeff R

    Jan 28, 2014
    I would get the MacBook Pro Retina and a 1TB or 2TB portable hard drive. Besides being up to date & faster, It looks better too lol.
  3. EmlynDewar macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2011
    Chengdu, China
    It's a bit grim the the old Macbook Pro non-retina is still being sold. The internals are just so, so old. And whilst they're hardly slow with an SSD and enough memory, the screen resolution is comical, and technology has moved on!
    I know you say the screen doesn't bother you, but I'd used a friends Macbook 13 retina, over my junk old C2D 13" Pro and it's just a much nicer screen to look at.
    I'd also not advise buying a mac with their miserable mechanical hard-drives.

    Buy the best, newest hardware you can! Anyway to stretch to 256gb SSD in the retina?
  4. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    No comparison. Get Retina.

    If you do lean towards the old model for whatever reason, there's no point in upgrading the CPU, and you shouldn't pay Apple's obscene prices for RAM upgrades which you can do yourself for a quarter of the price.
  5. jdasikainen macrumors 6502


    Mar 4, 2016
    Bald Knob Arkansas
    yeah go retina or get a used 15 inch non retina from 2012 thats what i think would get you better performance either way older 15 inch gets u a quad core and dedicated cpu while the 13 retina gets u faster storage and such
  6. robertk328 macrumors regular


    Jun 24, 2010
    Another vote for retina. For the better screen and the SSD. And if at all possible to get the 256gb you should.
    Reference materials could be on an SD card in the slot? Music you'd have to stream with only 128gb but it could be kept on an SD card as well.
  7. jdasikainen macrumors 6502


    Mar 4, 2016
    Bald Knob Arkansas
    i never thought about that that would actually be a good idea for expanding storage as sd cards could just fit in the slot of the mac and you could go all the way up to a 250gb sd card and be good especially if u get the 250 gb ssd
  8. Howard2k macrumors 68020


    Mar 10, 2016
    Tough call without knowing how big your music library is.
    But my gut says the Retina. For extra storage you could use SD, USB, or NAS.
  9. r6mile macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    London, UK
    Absolutely get the retina - it's a bit of a disgrace the 2012 Macbook Pro is still being sold. If you need more storage, get a USB 3.0 external hard drive (you can get 1TB for £40 these days), or even one of those SD cards that sit flush with the laptop - I use one and it works great.
  10. 2457248 Suspended

    Apr 4, 2016
    my advice if you're on a budget, rather buy the 13" macbook air than the old macbook.
  11. smelly cat macrumors regular

    smelly cat

    Apr 17, 2010
    Do not even consider buying the old MacBook Pro with optical drive. That's old technology for the price of new!
  12. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    If you're considering the non-Retina 13" MBP, you'd save a ton of money buying it used. The one they sell now hasn't been updated in years, so why not just buy an '11-'12 used for hundreds less?
  13. oldmacs macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2010
    I bought the 2012 non retina pro last year and put an SSD in it - much better solution for me than the Retina Pro Apple gave me as a warranty replacement.

    Given how underpowered the Retina 12 inch Macbook is, the Non Retina pro should get a fair time of support, though it is a lot of money to pay for 4 year old internals. Perhaps second hand as others have suggested and put an SSD in.
  14. gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    I actually think the MBA is more suitable for you. If you are really keen on the MBP then get the second hand.
  15. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    With that usage you clearly do not need much computing power. Have you thought about a MBA? Better battery life than either machine, plenty capable for your uses and smaller and lighter?
  16. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    I would put a little more money away and buy a retina with 256 GB or more.

    128 GB will be extremely annoying and you'll waste a heap of time juggling files between external media which kinda defeats the purpose of having a machine that makes things easy for you. Trust me, you don't want 128 GB. Save a little more money for it.

    I wouldn't touch the non-retina 500 GB machine with a stick, unless you are planning to swap out the hard drive for an SSD (which will eat up any cost saving) and like carting around old obsolete, overweight machinery with much less battery life.

    The in-built speakers are also much, much better on the retina machines than the old previous models (even my retina 13" has way better sound than my 15" classic), if that counts for anything.
  17. buzzerz thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2016
    Many thanks for the excellent suggestions. I've decided to go MBP with retina.
    Cheers everyone!
  18. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    I just would not spend that kind of money on a computer without the Retina display.

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17 May 4, 2016