My first week with my rMBP, and my thoughts on the purchase

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by joer80, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. joer80, Jul 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012

    joer80 macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2012
    I purchased the entry level rMBP and have had it a bit, and felt like I should share what I think about it so far...

    I am a web programer/designer, and I also like to play games. I immediately put bootcamp on, and split the hard drive in half, and put windows 7 on the bootcamp partition.

    1st off, after reading all of the reviews, I had many concerns about the machine before it even came in. The scaling quality, the cooling system, the lack of hard drive space, non retina ready apps, etc. to name a few.

    After using it a week, I can say that some of this, well alot of this is really being blown out of proportion...

    The only thing really bothering me right now, is using the apps that are not retina ready.. Using the scaled modes does not bother me one bit as long as the app is retina ready... (I run by default in the best for retina, and switch to high rez only when I am doing a layout in photoshop.)

    Surprisingly on the windows side, IE actually looks the best by default.... It appears to be already retina aware like safari. Windows chrome, firefox and even windows safari look like dirt..

    A lot of the control panel areas in windows are pretty bad also... Like the screens where you change resolution and such.

    I have been running windows and games at 1680x1050, and it looks amazing... Almost native... I really feel like windows 8 will fix the control panel screens that are not retina ready, so it should work out just fine in the end.

    I did install parallels 7 in osx, so that it would use my bootcamp partition as the image, and it seemed to mess up my drivers. You have been warned. I had to format to get everything working again.. Some apps would not launch, mouse went haywire in some games, etc.

    In windows using the dedicated gpu for browsing, the bottom is only slightly warm. Using the intergated in osx makes the bottom hardly warm at all..

    During gaming, it does get hot, but not as hot as my thinkpad did... Skyrim looks amazing... So does everquest 2.... Both are as smooth as butter.

    The machine opens Photoshop in 2-3 seconds, boots in under 20 seconds. Both windows and macos use up about 20 gigs by default, but they are at 30 gigs by the time I add my CS5 and browsers.

    In osx, I installed the program that lets me pick what gpu to use so chrome would stop kicking my dedicated gpu into gear just to run flash. That seems to help keep things cool. I also installed a program to keep my machine from going to sleep when I close the lid. That way I can download games and updates and such in clam shell mode..

    I did notice, the screen vents do open quite a bit when the machine is closed... I would say 1/2 open...

    To deal with the limited hard drive space, I have a file server at home that serves my movies up to my apple tv. Media stays ooff my laptop and streams from the server... Also, web work that is over a year old goes there. That server also has daily backups to backblaze, which is unlimited for only $5 per month. (2.5 terabyte worth of hard drive space.)

    I use steam, so all of my games progress is saved to the cloud, so its no big deal if I can only have 5 or 6 on bootcamp at a time.

    I put this machine next to a glossy 2011 macbook pro, and the glare reduction is dramatic... I also believe it is more durable and attractive when compared to the matt options of the 2011. (Never cared for the silver border.)

    I would make the purchase again!

    Hope that helps!

    Update: attached native screenshot of dreamweaver cs5 to show what a non retina aware app looks like.
  2. marddin macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    Thanks for your quick input. As you stated, everyone is over reacting and blowing a lot of the "issues" out of proportion I believe. Glad you are enjoying it. Can't wait for mine to come in mid july! :D
  3. luigi.lauro macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    You had me following you until that.

    Either you are a programmer, or a designer, it's like saying you are a female/male. :p Pick your poison!

    Jokes aside, thanks for honest feedback, much appreciated!
  4. joer80 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2012
    Also, I have noticed 2 kinds of people that see the screen. Some can't see the difference, and some see a massive difference. It is usually the graphics artists that can tell a huge difference, and the spreadsheet people that do not see the value.

    One of the best ways to show off the screen, is to open launch pad..

    All of the icons in launchpad have native hi rez sizes and are very colorful. When you do this side by side with a 2011, one looks very pixelated and dull and the other looks vector smooth when side by side.

    Hybrids do exist, but I will give it to you, there are other people who are purists better at either than me!
  5. BB.King macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2012
    London UK
    With all the fancy graphics you can do with CSS now days, you could be web programmer and designer.

    Good post OP, I've order a low and high end rmbp, leaning toward keeping the lower spec machine.

    P.S. how do you find battery life with normal web browsing?
  6. Tritons macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2011
    Do you have any dead pixels, ghosting, pressure marks or uneven lighting?
  7. joer80 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2012
    None of the above... It is simply perfect...


    One beef that I do have, is telling if the machine is sleeping or not. My thinkpad at times will fail to go into sleep mode, and if you put it into a case running, it can cause a thermal shutdown.

    This macbook is so quiet, if there is any background noise what so ever, I have a hard time telling if it is running or not, even if I put my ear up to the bottom..

    And there is no indicator light that I know of...
  8. BB.King macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2012
    London UK
    How do you find the keyboard typing feels compared to the ThinkPad?
    I had a ThinkPad with traditional keyboard, loved the longer key travel and feedback.
  9. joer80 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2012
    Its close...

    I love the curve feel to the thinkpad tips more than the apple flat top keys, but the thinkpad has a much longer travel, almost to the point of making my hands tired.... In comparison, it feels like too much effort to move the keys...

    Also, with the thinkpad, there is less of a click/snap to it. Has more of a mush type press...

    I would say after my hands adjust to the new home location, overall I will actually prefer the macbook pro keyboard....

    I am also in the camp of backlight keyboard > thinklight though... That little thinklight was dimer than leaning down my screen when it comes to reading documents... and it didnt reach the keys well... lol

    (The thinkpad I am using for comparison is a t500.)
  10. darwinian macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2008
    In R4, more or less
    Agreed. The practically silent machine NEEDS the indicator light. Or at least an iPad-like button that gives you that instant visual verification that the screen is at least off. Expecting the sleep light to return in future iterations of the rMBP.
  11. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Am I missing something? Doesn't it sleep automatically if you close the cover?
  12. joer80 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2012
    Yes, but windows laptops I have had in the past, will start to go into sleep mode, and hang part way through, where the screen is black, but the machine is still powered on with the fans going. Then you must hold the power down to fully shut it down.

    I just want to know if I go into sleep mode by shutting the lid, that it is fully asleep.
  13. BulkyCranium macrumors member

    May 23, 2010
    Ohhh! what program is that?
  14. joer80 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2012
  15. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    any more comments from designer/developer perspective? im not really caring about photoshop startup time or game performance.

    how is zoom quality on psds in photoshop for you? right now they're messed up due to the current version of photoshop not recognizing the retina screen.

    any other programs you use? what about illustrator? for me, all the text and vectors turned out pixelated.

    what coding editor/IDE do you use? the only one i know of thats retina-ready is coda 2.
  16. astrorider macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2008
    Considering they ditched the sleep indicator light years ago on the Macbook Air, I don't see it ever coming back. I think the intent is that if the lid is closed, it should be asleep (or in the process of falling asleep)'s supposed to be as simple as that.

    I'm not sure how well that holds up when you're using it in clamshell mode attached to an external monitor, since I haven't really tried it. If you unplug your monitor from your laptop running in clamshell mode does it go to sleep? If so, I guess that would be understandable as well.
  17. joer80 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2012
    Zoom quality in photoshop was fine to me...

    Right now I am using Dreameaver cs5. Have not tried my illustrator yet.

    Dreamweaver fonts are not pretty, but by increasing the font size of the code side, it made it stand-able until a patch is released. Seems like small fonts are worse...

    After I made the font bigger, I noticed it not being crisp at first, but soon forgot about it after a bit. Again, it is these non patched apps that bother me the most... But I know they will get updates.

    I only buy a machine every 3.5 to 4 years, so I can handle it for now and would rather struggle through the patches and updates.

    I will try to upload a screenshot of some cs5 apps in a bit..


    I am pretty sure if a display or a usb device is plugged in, it will not sleep with lid close.
  18. astrorider macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2008
    You indicated you installed a program that can keep your machine awake in clamshell mode, so now you're kind of at the mercy of however well that program was coded.

    I haven't had a problem with my Macbook Air staying awake after the lid was closed in over two years of use.
  19. joer80 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2012
    That is on the mac side. I am more worried about the windows side.
  20. astrorider macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2008
    That's a good point. I think I recall Apple changed things awhile back such that moving an attached mouse no longer wakes up the machine (you have to click the button), but still, I would hope that if you detach your mice, keyboard, etc, and put the laptop in your bag it would go back to sleep immediately so it doesn't drain your battery, given that there's no sleep indicator light.
  21. joer80 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2012
    The program I downloaded is easy to turn on and off with one click to the icon. Also, you can have different settings on ac vs battery power.
  22. joer80 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2012
    Here is a native screenshot... since it is so huge, i am cropping just a part of it so I do not have to resize it...

    You might have to back up from the screen to get a good idea of what it looks like since your screen will not have the dots so close together...

    Attached Files:

  23. katmeef macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2010
    Thanks for sharing your experience,

    Few questions :) I'm curious how did parallels run with 8 gb ram? Are you regretting not going with 16, and why or why not? Why do you prefer bootcamp over parallels?

  24. joer80 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2012
    Parallels worked great for downloading software to my bootcamp partition while I worked on the mac side, no slow down at all since you can give each os 4 gigs... but since it messed up my drivers so bad, I can not recommend it yet.

    I would be willing to give vmware a try though...

    It only takes about 20 seconds to boot into windows now, and that gives games access to the real hardware. It just makes games and such much more stable.

    For office and regular day to day stuff like IE web browser testing virtual machine is fine.. I just wouldnt do cad or video editing on one...

    4 gigs gets a bit cramped with a always running vm in my experience, but is plenty for just web design with an occasional vm. But 8 will be fine for years to come for a web designer. Other than those specific use cases above where a program can use 8 gigs on its own, but I don't do CAD or CGI work.
  25. katmeef macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2010
    Thanks, I won't be doing any heavy workloads or gaming in the virtual machine but will use some specific tools and apps for work which aren't available in osx. Will give parallels a try on the 8gb retina and see how it goes.

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