MacBook Pro vs Pro Retina For College Student

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rossiskiracer91, Nov 22, 2014.

  1. rossiskiracer91 macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2014
    #1
    I am currently in the market for a new MacBook and am in need of some advice. I'm a senior in college going for accounting and will be graduating in May. I typically use my computer for internet browsing, iTunes, spotify, and heavy MS office use (mostly excel). My current computer is shot so I need to get a new MB. I went to my university tech store today and decided I either want a 128GB or 256GB MB Pro or MB Pro Retina. The kid I was talking to was pushing me toward the MB Pro because it was cheaper and could be upgraded down the road as I did with my current MB. He said that the retina is slim and has a good screen but it will cost me a lot if I have any issues after the warranty runs out. I'm a guy that has to have the latest and greatest, but also likes upgrading stuff so I can't make up my mind. What do you guys think? Thanks!

    Here is the information they provided me. If I got the regular pro I would for sure get a 128 or 256GB SSD along with 8GB of ram and possibly the 2.9 i7 if you feel that is needed.
     

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  2. Zerka macrumors member

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    Oct 31, 2014
    Location:
    San Jose,CA
    #2
    I, too, considered the non-retina MBP for school. It does have its perks after all, upgradable, optical drive, it's still a good laptop. For me it came down to leisure. I chose the SSD over the HDD for the speed, the retina over the non-retina purely for obvious reasons, and I like the retina models for their thinness. The non-retina model can be upgraded, but I fee that it, as well as the retina models, won't be needing many upgrades as they are quality machines after all. Getting service for retina models is a bit tougher, as you have to take it to an Apple store or an affiliate to get work done on it whereas the non-retina model can be serviced at most places. I think it all comes down to what you'll need. Will you need to upgrade your laptop frequently? If not then I'd just go with a retina with the specs you see future-proof for your needs. If budget allows, get the best fit MBP for you. I didn't want to settle for something I wouldn't be happy with 2 years from now. Whichever route you go, I believe you'll be content with your MBP :D
     
  3. rossiskiracer91 thread starter macrumors member

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    #3

    My current MacBook I kept for 7 years and upgraded the hard drive and the ram. I know that I want the latest and greatest but not being able I fix it myself worries me.
     
  4. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

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    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Well if you're sticking with Apple products, they're doing away with user upgradeable options. I can't see how anyone who uses a retina screen for more than 5 minutes would even consider a non-retina laptop. It's so much better and more enjoyable to do work on.
     
  5. rossiskiracer91 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2014
    #5

    Yeah I agree with you. Are you indicating that I shouldn't stick with apple products? I noticed that consumer reports rated the 13" MBP like ninth.
     
  6. Zerka macrumors member

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    San Jose,CA
    #6
    I'm afraid that's the price one has to pay for Apple's latest and greatest. However, if push come to shove I don't think the non-retina model will treat you badly. If need be it can be upgraded to fit you, but I think the performance of the retina models gets me. I love the SSD speeds and the display. Of course you can suit a non-retina model to similar if not the same specs as a retina model and still have the flexibility, albeit a tad more expensive.
     
  7. jdphoto macrumors 6502

    jdphoto

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    #7
    I agree with this. I feel like the best thing that can be done is make sure you get Apple care. Even though you won't be able to fix it, at least you can have Apple do it for free for 3 years.
     
  8. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 24, 2008
    #8
    If you're worried of user replaceable components strictly from a repair perspective and not an upgradability perspective I think the retina is fine. RAM typically doesn't go bad. Next, the SSD is much less likely to die as it doesn't have moving parts. However, if it does break (typically corrupts), it is not soldered to the main logic board, it is removable. It's called not user replaceable as the part is a custom Apple design so you can't get an off the shelf replacement for it. But Apple could replace it for you, or you could find a replacement for it and change it yourself.

    IMHO, for 200$ you'd be getting a much better computer. Smaller, lighter, amazing screen, much faster (the SSD makes the thing feel much snappier). I wouldn't be worried that it's less repairable.
     
  9. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 14, 2010
    #9
    It isn't just Apple, most premium PC notebooks are scarcely repairable/upgradeable these days. The 2010 MacBook Air was the archetype which has guided the industry: thin and light with flash storage; while the catch is that what you buy is what you get. In spite of all the benefits of such a machine, it's unfortunate it's so darn hard/impossible to tweak or repair your machine -- or put your mark on it.

    If I were you, I'd swing for the Retina. Here are the three prominent reasons I'd go for the Retina:

    1) The Non-Retina model you're looking at came out in June of 2012 and has not since received a hardware upgrade. Once you run through the specs, the Retina represents a better value.

    2) Apple is clearly phasing out the classic MacBook Pro. You really want to invest a grand or so in something Apple is trying to forget?

    3) Having just gotten a Retina MacBook, the display really is that nice.
     
  10. rossiskiracer91 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2014
    #10


    Those are some very valid points. Now I have a 128gb hard drive on my current Mac and have 50gb free. Would it be stupid for me to get another 128gb one? I have a time capsule also.
     
  11. rossiskiracer91 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2014
    #11
    Also, do you guys think there will be any Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals better than my education pricing??
     
  12. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #12
    I'd try searching for a used classic Macbook Pro with Apple Care still active (that is, valid at least until mid-2015). If you get it for around $750, you can buy a 250GB SSD (a Samsung 840 EVO, for example) and 16GB of RAM, so you'll have a very capable system for around $1000.

    Retina screens are overrated. They have a really nice resolution, but color accuracy is a real problem. Most people are unable to note the issue, but the truth is that retina displays are better but not that better.
     
  13. rossiskiracer91 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2014
    #13

    Thanks for the opinion but I'm not buying a used computer.
     
  14. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    Brasil
    #14
    Brand-new classic MBP: $1000 (student discount)
    250GB SSD: ~$140
    8GB: ~$75
    = 1215,00

    Brand-new rMBP with similar specs:
    = 1399,00 (student discount)

    In this scenario, I wouldn't mind paying an extra $185 for a retina display, pcie storage, better graphics, more battery life.

    The only chance for a classic MBP being competitive is by getting a used one, so you could have a 8GB/250GB system for around $900 with the bonus that you wouldn't have to pay taxes for the laptop.
     
  15. rossiskiracer91 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2014
    #15

    That's very true. I'm not at all concerned about price, just the most value for my money and how long it will last.
     
  16. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #16
    I would recommend the retina. I would imagine the biggest plus for you would be the fact that you can change the resolution to pretty much anything you want making it a lot easier to use Excel. I change the resolution on mine multiple times a day depending on what I'm doing. If you want even better value, I would suggest you look into the refurb store. The 2013 and 2014 models are pretty much the same, only a slight boost in processor speed, which is pretty much irrelevant for your uses.
     
  17. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a

    ohbrilliance

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    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #17
    I would get the retina for sure. It's a more modern machine - faster processor, faster SSD, longer battery life. For studying it is also considerably lighter, and smaller in all dimensions. You won't regret it.
     
  18. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

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    Dec 8, 2009
    #18
    refurb 15" macbook pro retina from the apple store online or 13" macbook air imo.
     
  19. Nehow, Nov 23, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014

    Nehow macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    #19
    Hello fellow college student:

    13.3" Macbook Pro Retina 2013 version for $1149. If you use Google wallet and order off of B&H Android App, get 5% off at $1092.

    Difference in the 2013 version compared to the 2014 is negligible. Pretty much the same specs with slightly slower CPU (0.2Mhz) to be exact. Deal has been going on for 4 days now. Not sure how long it will last. If you live outside of NY, it is tax-free and free shipping. I ordered one myself today, couldn't resist the good deal.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1010902-REG/apple_me865ll_a_13_3_macbook_pro_notebook.html

    Your welcome :)
     
  20. EdDuPlessis macrumors 6502

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    Nov 23, 2014
    #20
    As a student you want test to be kind to your eyes with all the reading. Go for retina.
     
  21. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

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    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #21
    Oh no.. I'm just saying if you stick with Apple products, you may as well give up on the upgrade path. I've been building and upgrading my whole life and I'm tired of it :). When it's time for a new system I'll sell and buy new. The retina screen is worth it though so hopefully that helps.
     
  22. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #22
    I'd either get a refurb 15" 2.0/8/256 for $1489 or get a cMBP at Best Buy. Best Buy will send you a student coupon, and you can combine that with a 10% off "mover's coupon" that comes in USPS relocation packets. Last I saw, BB is selling the MBP for $899; subtract the student coupon and mover coupon and you're getting a brand new computer for a bit more than $700 plus tax.

    Get an 8 GB RAM kit and SSD, and there you go. For that kind of price advantage, the MBP is a great way to go.

    NB - I switch back and forth from a retina to a non-retina screen all day, and have no trouble.

    PS: if you do go the 13" rMBP route, get the model with 256 GB storage.
     
  23. rossiskiracer91 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2014
    #23

    I got the student coupon for $50 off but it starts on December 12th. How do I get the movers coupon because the MBP I want is $75 off right now.
     
  24. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    Jan 15, 2003
    #24
    Just visit your local post office and ask for the mover's or relocation packet.
     
  25. rossiskiracer91 thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2014
    #25

    I just applied for one online and got the coupon!! Right now I'm better off buying the MBP with the $75 off and this 10% off coupon compared to the student discount.

    ----------


    Do you know if they would honor 10% off and student discount if it's already on sale?
     

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