Macbook Pro Retina Alternatives

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by randomhkkid, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. randomhkkid, Jul 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012

    randomhkkid macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #1
    So the rMBP is out and it seems to be the best balance of power and portability available. Just from the get go I would like to say what I look for in these alternative computers:
    • quad core i7 options
    • at least a 1080p display
    • dedicated graphics (About the level of 650m)
    • under 2.6kg (5.7 pounds)
    • At most 1 inch thick

    So far the competitors that I have managed to find are, however they all seem to have slight 'problems':


    Dell XPS 15 - 640m, heavier than the rMBP

    M14x R2 - Too big and heavy

    Asus Timeline X - Much slower, 768p screen

    HP Envy 15 - Heavy, and has a reputation for problems. (edit has a 7750m comparable to 650m)

    Samsung series 9 - Lacks dedicated graphics, no quad core options

    Macbook pro 2012 non-retina - Too heavy

    Msi GE60 - 1.5inches thick

    Sony Vaio S - 640m LE

    Sony Vaio Z - Power media dock issues

    So the question I have for you guys is are there any windows laptops that are not on the list that should be. The reason for this is that I think it would be helpful for people who love the portability and power of the mac however the price is a bit too steep.
     
  2. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020

    TheMacBookPro

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    May 9, 2008
    #2
    I don't believe there are any at this point. I'm a diehard Windows person but even I have to admit that the Retina Pro is one of the, if not the, best light and powerful computers out right now.

    I'd say the Sony VAIO Z is fairly close- quad core IB i7, 1080p 13.1" screen, 24mm thin, 2.5lbs but the dedicated 7670M graphics is in the external dock. I still love mine though, will be continuing to use it in places where I don't want such a large screen.
     
  3. leenak macrumors 68020

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #3
    You won't see one under 5lbs (I don't think)

    The MSI GE60 is 5.28 lbs and meets your requirements. (actually, I double checked and it appears to be 1.5 inches thick)
     
  4. BlazednSleepy macrumors 6502a

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  5. leenak macrumors 68020

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #5
    Oh and it weighs in at 6.4 lbs but there is the Razer Blade as well.
     
  6. Slivortal macrumors 6502

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    Jun 14, 2012
    #6
    The real thing I've seen that blows the competition out of the water is the SSD. Almost no laptops carry that standard, and upgrading whether by shop or by yourself is 250-400 easy.

    I know System 76 can offer similar specs if you spec out its top of the line model for like $1500, but I'm not sure how thick it is.

    EDIT: And the graphics card is somewhat moot, because the 650M has to spend a lot of its power just on the MBPR's screen.
     
  7. randomhkkid thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #7
    I was considering the Vaio Z but apparently the power media dock has issues with drivers allowing it to run some games leading to much reduced performance than what the graphics card is capable of. The acer aspire m5 also looks good however the screen is somewhat lacking.
     
  8. strausd macrumors 68030

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    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    While that is true, you also need to take into account the fact that Apple overclocked the 650M to perform at the same level as the GTX 660M. And under Windows, you can push the overclocking even more:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1394602
     
  9. randomhkkid thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #9
    Also if you are only gaming it would only render the resolution you run the game at (I think) so it wouldn't lower the performance compared to a stock 650m. On a thread about overclocking I saw someone managed to get the card to 580m levels:eek: with very little effort.
     
  10. rrm998 macrumors regular

    rrm998

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    Jun 15, 2012
    Location:
    Houston, TX USA
    #10
    I suggest the new Sony Vaio S 15.5 inch. It's an IPS panel and slightly less weight than the rMBP. I haven't seen any reviews of it yet though.
     
  11. strausd macrumors 68030

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    Texas
    #11
    That is very true. When in game, rendering will be solely based on the settings in the video game itself, not the display settings in system preferences.

    And my guess is that overclocking to get near 580M speeds is greatly helped by superior cooling.
     
  12. randomhkkid thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #12


    I've added the Vaio S to the list, it looks good but Sony only puts in a 640m LE that is a significantly crippled 650m (450mhz slower). I'll try to find the thread and post that I read, the people on the thread all agreed that the rMBP is turning out to be a great overclocker and the temps stay under 90C which is fine for these macs.

    edit:

    Here is one thread, I'll keep looking for the one i saw with the almost 580m overclock
    http://att.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1394602
     
  13. Sahee macrumors regular

    Sahee

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    Germany
    #13
  14. randomhkkid thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #14
    Unfortunately for me I plan on doing plenty of gaming :D and a pretty substantial amount of HD video editing.
     
  15. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #15
    Wrong. HD4000 is enough most of the time. 650M is a total overkill and only kicks in for 3d applications or heavy video decode.
     
  16. Slivortal macrumors 6502

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    Jun 14, 2012
    #16
    Yes, but I was assuming we were talking about when the graphics card does kick in (in which case it will spend a lot of its power on the screen). If we're talking about scenarios where we wouldn't need the 650M, then the whole entire graphics card argument is moot.
     
  17. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

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    Jun 29, 2011
    #17
    yes the PMD has some problems with it.

    the m5 uses a ulv processor, now denoted by a U at the end of the cpu number, and I wouldnt buy one due to the poor build quality, its the same chassis of the m3.



    in games there is no scaling, it will run at what res you are putting on it.



    That vaio S15 is a good laptop, you could just look for the vaio SE reviews, since its basically the same chassis and screen, no changes that I know of. regarding the power of the 640m LE, you have to be aware that there is a fermi and kepler variant of this gpu, and that can lead to a drastic performance decrease in gaming if its fermi, the sony notebooks come with the kepler variant.

    The envy 15 can be had with the 7750m which performs about the same as the common 650m, not the one that is in the RMBP.

    Regarding the msi ge60, I wouldnt advise buying it. The msi ex625 was one of the laptops that I had, basically the chassis is a lot like the ge60, and sincerely it was one of the worst built notebooks that I know, the screen hinges broke, there was peeling of the paint coat on the notebook, it had one of the worst keyboards that I know with tremendous amount of flex, and the list goes on. It performed quite well though.

    you could try looking for the sager no6165 look at xoticpc for that model, it comes with the 650m GDDR5 and weights about the same as the current MBP.

    but to the point, there isnt a notebook with the same package as the RMBP, simple as that. You are going to compromise somewhere along the line. Be it in battery life (highly important for a power sipper like me), build quality, weight, thickness, power...

    one that weights 1kg more than the RMBP or 500g more than the MBP, is the sager NP9150, for 1.5k you can buy it with the 7970m which is more than 2x more powerful than the RMBP in terms of gpu power.
     
  18. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #18
    Ah, sorry, I misunderstood, I though you were talking about UI rendering.

    As far as gaming does, 650M is more then enough for 1680x1050 or even 1080p. Of course nobody is going to play games on the native resolution, but nobody has to, anyway :) Output scaling to native resolution is basically 'free' anyway, so the performance is constrained by the gaming resolution of your choice.
     
  19. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020

    TheMacBookPro

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    May 9, 2008
    #19
    That thing is pretty weak for $3k 17" 'gaming' laptop: the only gaming credentials about it is the Razer logo.

    The M14x-r1 had its specs stuck into a smaller 14" chassis with an optical drive to boot (and it weighs the same). R2 is even more powerful, and that whole 'games will be made specifically for it so it'll be like a console!' thing didn't really work out.

    The new 7670M-based SV-Z models are supposed to completely fix the performance issues but I can't say for sure myself because mine is the older model.

    Are you by any chance in Hong Kong?
     
  20. leenak macrumors 68020

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #20
    I agree, I seriously wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

    ----------

    My only comment is that my Sony is what drove me to buying a MacBook. I figure if I spend $1400 on a system, I shouldn't have so much trouble and fighting with Sony about it wasn't worth it anymore.
     
  21. randomhkkid thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #21
    Yeah I am in Hong Kong :D However I can also buy in the UK if I really need to.
     
  22. randomhkkid thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #22
    This is one thing about all those people saying 'oh this mac is so overpriced you can get a much better windows laptop for less' yes you may be able to get a windows laptop with better specs on paper but there is still nothing that is a direct alternative at a much cheaper price. The Vaio Z for example is around the sam price and less powerful. I'm not against windows in fact I have a windows desktop and my whole family owns laptops running it, just the people who make the claims about the 'overpriced' rMBP annoy me.
     
  23. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020

    TheMacBookPro

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    May 9, 2008
    #23
    Cool, there seems to be more and more hkers on here nowadays :)
     
  24. randomhkkid thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #24
    Yeah I guess it is partly due to the increasing presence of Apple here.
     
  25. Aodhan macrumors regular

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    Jun 16, 2012
    #25
    It's not just the hardware, consider build quality too. MacBook Pros may have their hardware problems here and there, but they are very high quality. I've had a PowerBook and three MacBook Pros, and they are all still running, and pretty much look as good as they did the day I bought them. I have a Dell SXPS notebook, on the other hand, that is falling apart. In fact every Windows notebook I've ever had quickly began having cosmetic issues. Poor build quality.

    There is no alternative if you want a notebook that will last 4-5 years. The MacBook Pro has a proven record.
     

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