MBP Retina Display & Thunderbolt Display

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by HowBoutIt?, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. HowBoutIt? macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    #1
    I keep reading about various problems with the rMBP. I realize this is mostly a forum for people to come with their computer problems, but is this a technology that I should wait on a bit or move forward with the computer I was planning on ordering today (along with the Thunderbolt display and a few other items)?

    I have not configured the machine yet, but I really do not feel I have the knowledge it takes to get the best machine along with the Thunderbolt display.

    I have researched this some, read a ton of posts, but not many where the poster has a rMbP and a thunderbolt display. this will be my primary computer, but is mostly to replace a failing 2009 MBP (will not get into the details of the problems) for my position as a professor teaching o average 5-8 graduate courses/academic semester.

    I try but my knowledge in understanding techie stuff is poor. This is an area I have struggled with most of my life. I just have a hard time doing things/figuring out how to solve computer problems that most people is comes naturally.

    If anybody can help me with what cables, ethernet cables (I still have to be ready for the loss of my wireless signal and resort to a ethernet cable, especially if a class is in session). Can I use the display ports for what the rMBP lacks? For example, can I use the ethernet port on the TD and have that control my rMBP for course needs? What exactly are the Thunderbolt cables for? Is this the primary way to connect the TB Display to the rMBP or vic-versa? When I have looked at the options after configuring the rMBP there are several for the MagSafe. I realize this uses a smaller power adapter, but what are the additional accessories for? I found out one is for people who ant to use their older MagSafe adaptor so it allows for this but the other one I have no idea what this is for.

    is the HDMI port on the rMBP just for connecting the laptop to a TV or can this be used to connect the rMBP to the TB Display? I have had many problems with wireless connections so I have to be ready for this and resort to cables if I have problems, also in the area of printing/faxing/scanning, etc. Are the USB 3.0 cables port for this type of connection? am I best off getting additional USB 2.0 or are most accessories that would call for a USB connection ready to use USB 3.0? I will be getting a new Canon printer for this set-up so any recommendations would be appreciated.

    I think that is about it because I know how you hate long posts. I have had people tell me just get the machine and plug it in a use it, but I do not understand that when the ports are different, I sometimes need an ethernet connection , especially when I travel, etc.

    I really appreciate any help one can give me so I am ready when the machine (rMBP and the TB Display arrive. any input on using these 2 machines together would be appreciated. is the rMBP left open when using the TB Display or is there a way to use the rMBP closed but by using a wireless keyboard just using the TB Display? (I know this sounds really ignorant, but these types of questions I have and it is an example of how these do not come naturally for me.)

    Finally, is there any difference between a Flash Drive and an SSD? I hope I am not making a mistake by getting the rMBP when there seems to best many posts on various Apple forums of people having problems with their rMBP? O, I was also curious if (and I should say yes I have been to the Apple Store, but the 2 sales kids I worked with did not seem to have much more knowledge about these types of questions than I do) if the Applecare I get for the rMBP covers the TB Display of purchased at the same time or if I ned a separate Applecare plan for the external superdrive and the TB Display?

    Hope the post is legible, but I am running out the door. Thank in advance for any help/positive advice you can give me.
     
  2. DollaTwentyFive macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    #2
    To try and touch on what I can help with:

    The thunderbolt cable that comes with the display is used to connect the computer to the display. It is one cord pigtailed with the thunderbolt plug and a MagSafe plug. For a rMBP, you will need the MagSafe 2 adapter.

    The display indeed has an Ethernet port and you can use this as your Internet connection seamlessly. All data passes through the thunderbolt port. When you are traveling, you will need an adapter - available from apple - to use an Ethernet cable. There is no Ethernet port built into the rMBP.

    The HDMI port is for connecting to a TV or other device other than the Thunderbolt Display.

    The display itself only has USB 2.0 ports. So if you want to take advantage of 3.0, you would need to plug directly into the ports on the MBP.

    There is a "clamshell" mode which allows the computer to be used closed. I have an MBA that I use like this. It is in a BookArc stand and stays on my desk, closed, plugged into the ATD. I use a wireless keyboard, mouse, and trackpad.

    SSD and flash are basically referring to the same. It's a solid state memory instead of a spinning hard drive. The SSD has no moving parts so it is generally quite a bit faster.

    If you purchase the display at the same time you purchase the computer with AppleCare, the display is also covered under AppleCare.

    Hope this helps - now a question for you OP: Why the retina MBP? How much usage do you have with the standalone laptop? The ATD is not retina, so when it is plugged into the display, you will not be enjoying all that extra retina you paid for :D Now, if you use the computer a lot on its own, it may make sense for you. If it will mostly be docked, you may want to consider a classic MBP or even an MBA since it will spend a lot of time hooked up to a display.
     
  3. HowBoutIt? thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    #3
    Yes I am aware I will not have the luxury of the TB Display. )I am assuming the ATD is the same as the Thunderbolt display.) I her the TB Display has an awesome display but of course like you pointed out is not retina technology. I will use the TB Display when I am teaching and all other times the rBP alone will take the place of my current cMBP that for some reason is only about 3-4 years, but has a whole host of problems. I was going to leave Apple all together because I think they have reached that point when a company grows and becomes so big, they sell more and more but the great customer service goes out the door. the current MBP was give to me "free" to replace a MBP I purchased about a year before the manager at a local apple store saw me one too many times and the genius agent kept in up-to-date on all the problems I was having. I could, as well as you probably, go on an on about ways the apple store9s) have given me great customer service, but those days appear to be going. I can't even find an Apple store near me (there are 2) that will allow me to book an hour One-to One appointment even know that is why I purchased the One-toOne. the 30 min sessions, which they have replaced with the hour long sessions just do not allow enough time for someone like me. (but they sold me the one-to-one on hour sessions). sorry I got off track.

    I would get another cMBP, but I would like to be able to ad more than 8GB ram and have it done when the machine is made or done at Apple before it is shipped to me. Could you give me the link to this stand you use and do you think having your MBA closed takes anything away from what you see on your larger display? I am not sure the TB Display will have a desktop that will be exactly like my rMBP. I do not know for sure but I am having a hard time getting answers even by the so-called experts at the Apple Stores and the apple phone lines for sales, even know I always ask for a supervisor.

    Even know they have the 27" TB display right there when you are configuring the rMBP I am not convinced that this Display will work as good as it should with the rMBP from some of the many posts I have read. I just have times when I am teaching when a large display would be very helpful, but the big questions, because of my difficult time understanding these various technologies, is if this is a stupid purchase or if there is another display that might do the trick-like my TV screen? lol but seriously.

    So the TB Display comes with a MagSafe adaptor? I thought it was a regular power cord. One thing I do not like so far without even having the TB display is that there is no on/off switch. I have heard letting the TB display go to sleep until you use it next creates a lot of problems on its own.

    since a lot of my software is older and I need it for the webs platform to teach I will also need an external display. do you know if this display can take the USB 3.0? Why does apple put all these latest technology cables (ports) in the rMBP when most of them can't even be used unless you put out more money to buy more of the newer cables with adaptors at the end? I do have several of the TB cables that I purchased with teh iPhone 5, but I am not sure if they are exactly the same. On a picture of the TB cable that I saw on CNET for a review of the TB Display, the Thunderbolt "mini cable" (is what it looks like to me) does not look the same as the TB cable that came with the iPhone 5 (and ai ended up getting 5 of them ad gifts around the same time for my BD) I was hoping to be able to use them for this latest configurtion I am trying to understand and put together.
    Again, sorry for typing so much. :confused:
     
  4. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a

    NewishMacGuy

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    #4
    I'm running a 2011 cMBP-15 & cMBP-13 with the ATD display and it really works great except for one issue. Just attach 2 plugs (power & Thunderbolt), set your laptop in a stand and you're ready to go. Audio, ethernet, keyboard, mouse, iDevice docks, external USB and FW800 devices can all be hooked to the ATD and your laptop will automatically recognize them and switch.

    The one issue for many (and definitely for us) is occasional problems waking from sleep when you attach to the ATD in clamshell mode. Don't really know why this happens, but it clears up with an SMC reset.

    The additional upside of the rMBP/ATD combination is that you'll obviously gain GigE and FW-800, but at the cost of USB-3 (though the next ATD is likely to have USB-3).
     
  5. HowBoutIt? thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    #5
    Newish-
    Thanks for the info. if I could has=d 16 gb of ram I would stick with the cMBP. I want the ram added when the computer is at the Apple lab and not do it later. I am just odd like that because I do not have the knowledge to know if I am getting ripped of by the ram I am being sold even know I use a Apple approved store. Yes that is one of the problems I have read about. There is an active post about this on apple.com and one guy seemed to really help the others with the way he turned things/unplugged cables/put to sleep and the way he woke them up that really helped and so far after a couple months he has not had to do a NVRaM/PRAM re-set.

    is the ATD and the TB Display the same? Can you provide me with a link that shows the book type of stand you use? when I travel which is a lot I will just use my rMBP, which I am nervous about because I do not have the knowledge and I usually use an ethernet cable. I just want to make sure I have all the cables I need for the completely new set-up and if I am teaching and I run into a problem that is not a good time to try and figure out what to do.

    Why have you not purchased the rMBP yet? If you have a link to your book stand and it will work with the rMBP or cMBP and you are satisfied with it, I would like to get the same one. is getting all the extras to use your MBA confusing? do you think it will be for someone like me who will have a difficult time hooking everything up, making sure I have the latest and correct cables, and using the thunderbolt cable in all the places I can. I am not sure why it is just so hard for me to catch on to all of this stuff. the Apple Store is becoming less and less helpful/
     
  6. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a

    NewishMacGuy

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    #6
    At least you know that you'll be overpaying for the RAM.

    ATD = Apple Thunderbolt Display

    I only have to SMC reset once or twice a month, trying to figure out what is causing the issue.

    I use a 12South Book Arc & don't have a MacBook Air.

    I chose not to buy the rMBP because it's not user-upgradeable, the base configuration doesn't have a big enough HD for me to live with, and Apple's charging WAY too much for storage upgrades. As I will intend on keeping the rMBP for a while, I'll want to see 512GB base storage, a resolution to the image retention problems, and 802.11ac before I plunk down that kind of dough. That'll take a year or maybe two and until then a 2011 cMBP-15 with 16GB and a 750GB hybrid drive (all for less than $1000) will serve me quite well for now and minimize my depreciation losses when Apple does roll out a suitable rMBP. Same went for the 2011 cMBP-13 that I recently bought for my wife, but even more so since she needs more HD space than I do.
     
  7. HowBoutIt? thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    #7
    it sounds like you have the knowledge that I do not have. Do you buy your RAM online and install it yourself? How do you know the RAM is decent and compatible with the rAM installed? I have heard that different makes of RAM can cause some issues but I am not sure. I just would not know how to install it or what kind to buy. If I could install my own RAM I would stick with the MBP. Do you know how much the current MBPs can take as far as RAM? Is the 802.11ac a type of security for the Airport or any wireless connection?
     
  8. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a

    NewishMacGuy

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    #8
    I learned everything I know about the MacBook Pros here and on various other places on the internet. Let the both the search function here and Google be your guides!

    Good hunting!
     
  9. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    #9
    As good as the TB display is the screen still looks like crap compared to a retina display. I have a feeling the TB display is going to be replaced soon with a thinner model with USB 3. Maybe even a speaker port. ;-)
    All TB displays sold since June ship with a Magsafe adapter for newer model Macs.
     
  10. HowBoutIt? thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    #10
    Darwin-
    I thought the TB Display was fairly new. I would use the TB Display only when the rMBP is clammed up--when I am teaching an online course I think the TR Display would be helpful. The TB Display has 2 speakers that I heard are pretty good, but there are USb port which can be used as speaker ports. The Bowers & Wilkins takes just a USB port, the BOSE 5 takes just a USB port.

    I am worried my current MBP will die on me and I will be left without a computer to teach the courses I get paid for to teach.


    ----------

    Newish- unfortunately it is not that difficult when you have a gift for learning something. I got my first Apple computer, which was a desktop about 20 years ago and I have tried to learn by researching and in forums, but some things change so quickly and are hard to understand if you do know have a knack for the topic. If I wanted to upgrade a current cMBP to 16 gb of RAM what would you suggest I do to get that installed the MBP? How do you know the RAM yo are buying is good and not used? I know that sounds stupid, but if I was to install my own RAM I would have no idea where to get it and what to order.
     

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