Need Help Deciding Between rMBP and cMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bowlman23, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. bowlman23 macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    I'm trying to figure out which MacBook would be best for me. I'm going to be using the computer for the basics, along with Premiere Pro, LightRoom, InDesign and Photoshop.

    It's a tough choice because I want the 15" and once I upgrade the cMBP with a SSD and the Hi-Res 1680x1050, it's more than the base retina. Of course, I could pick up my own SSD, which is the main benefit of the cMBP.

    Anyone feel one way or the other on this? On one hand, I like the fact that I can upgrade the cMBP, but I've had two of them the last 6 years, but I've never really upgraded, except RAM. The Apple site has the 2.6GHz rMBP with 512GB SSD for $2379 that's really tempting. One thing about the rMBP that bothers me is that InDesign hasn't been updated yet, and I use that quite a bit.

    I'm torn. I'm just curious to get some people's opinion. Thanks for the help, guys!
  2. Windows&Apple macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2013
    The retina is properly overpriced. Samsung and Google got a 2560x1600 AMOLED screen in a 10.1 inch tablet, along with a proper CPU, a decent GPU all for under $400 (Nexus 10). Apple will drop the price of the retina when other manufactures come out with similar, if not better displays (look for them at CES 2013 in a few days).

    I would buy a cMBP, stock. Do not pay for any upgrades from Apple, you can get 16GB of 1600Mhz RAM for $79.99 which is a bit pricey, but it's decent RAM. I would also pick up an Intel 520 240GB SSD. Those things are beasts and when the retina comes down in price, you can pick one up after selling your pimped out classic :)
  3. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Get the cMBP, as it’s better value at the moment. RAM and HDD upgrades from apple are expensive.
  4. bowlman23 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    My only hesitation with the cMBP is the resale value will likely be less than th rMBP. I want the machine to last 3-4 years before replacing, and I love that Macs actually have resale value.

    Anyone like the rMBP or is the general consensus the cMBP. It's tough because I always love new stuff, lol.
  5. TofSanity macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2010
    you're going to get plus/cons from both sides. go to your local Apple Store or Best Buy and see them for yourself. then look at your budget and needs. purchase with no regrets. good luck PEace
  6. pgiguere1, Jan 6, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013

    pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    The Nexus 10 uses a PLS panel, not AMOLED, which is Samsung's IPS equivalent.

    The rest of the hardware in the Nexus 10 is also nowhere near "proper" to be used in a laptop. The CPU and GPU are a lot weaker than any modern x86 hardware (Atoms aside), even the 13" rMBP with its dual-core i5 and integrated graphics will be by far more powerful. While the Nexus 10 is pretty powerful in the tablet world, running a real computer OS is a different game and a Nexus 10 is closer to a netbook in terms of performance.

    And that's not talking about the RAM and storage both being 4-8 times higher and a lot faster and the other stuff making the rMBP more expensive like the aluminium enclosure, high quality trackpad and backlit keyboard, much bigger battery, cooling system, better speakers and the fact that it's bundled with an actual computer OS.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm sure both rMBPs have higher margins than a Nexus 10, but the price comparison you're making isn't valid when you consider technical details. The only thing these two devices have in common is a high screen resolution, and that's not strictly why a rMBP costs so much.

    Other than the screen and lack of keyboard, the Nexus 10 is essentially a Samsung Series 3 Chromebook ($249).
  7. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    Plenty of threads on this.

    Depends on what you need/want/budget.

    cMBP has upgradeability, so especially RAM and HD(which spec-wise is the only thing that really separates the the two) you can by high quality RAM and HDD/SSDs for half or less the price Apple charges for upgrades.

    rMBP has form factor and weight, but far more expensive and you get much less for the money than you can get buying 3rd party on a cMBP.

    My cMBP is more than powerful enough for me, and I paid only around $200 for my 1TB HDD and 16GB of RAM.

    I recommend the base "15 cMBP then putting your own RAM and HDD. Upgrading the HDD is not much harder than putting in RAM, just extra screws and a connector.

    Keep in mind also, that you get to keep the stock components after upgrading the cMBP.
  8. drcrane macrumors newbie


    Apr 23, 2012
    I have been in the same decision process the last weeks and came to the conclusion that a cMBP 2.6 Base Model with a self upgrade SSD (Samsung 840) is cheaper than the rMBP with 16gb an 512gb ssd.

    So i got the cMBP with the High Res Matte Screen and love it, i really liked the retina screen when testing it out at my local shop but it has some glare issues and the fact of the still persisting problema with image retention and performance hiccups kept me away from it.

    The cMBP is matured and reliable for work everyday. And from a hardware spec point it is identical to the rMBP.

    Check them out yourself and them decide.

    By the way, many applications are still not retina optimized and it certainly will take longer as for the ipad apps to become retina-ed.

    My personal advice is buy now what you need now, the business is so fast moving that you can not plan for years ahead.

    ...and do not buy 1st Generation Apple Products!
  9. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    Not true, sir.

    cMBP is overpriced...

    retina will get you dual thunderbolt port which equals 2xPCIe in expansion space. You can connect a full-speed OWC Excelsior (800mb/s)... And still use one for everything else.

    The only real benefit of going cMBP is if you plan to do a dual SSD Raid0 (800-900mb/s internal drive). Now that's something. That's really the only thing that had me holding back for ordering retina.
  10. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I wouldn't be too sure. The rMBPs aren't upgradable, which might hurt resale. Note that the MacBook Airs have some of the worst resale values across the Mac line, though that's also partly because Apple has improved it so rapidly (consider that the original MacBook Air's 64GB SSD option was $1000 more than the base model). Also keep in mind that in general, a lower-priced machine will lose less in actual dollars than a higher-priced machine. I've always recommended to people who like to buy new every 2-3 years that they buy the lowest priced model that suits their needs (of course I go ahead and tend to buy higher end models :eek:).

    I have a 13" rMBP. I came from a MacBook Air. The screen is night and day, but partly that's because the Pros have always had better color gamut than the Airs. Retina is nice, though to be sure right now the "wow" factor isn't quite the same as it was with the 3rd Gen iPad or iPhone 4, partly because software needs to be updated to take advantage of the way Apple has implemented "Retina" support.

    If you also use Windows,it can sometimes be sketchy, as well. While in general Windows 7 handles scaling a bit better than OS X, by default it starts everything at the native resolution so it requires a bit more tweaking. I've had some issues getting Windows 8 to work on the rMBP (hopefully that will be fixed once Boot Camp actually officially supports Windows 8).
  11. TechZeke, Jan 6, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013

    TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    Nope, this is outdated. If you buy now, a cMBP comes out to be $200 cheaper even with the hi-res screen, and this difference is only getting bigger as time goes on. That's not even including the price of adapters you have to buy want use features the cMBP has that the rMBP lacks, and the difference in total price becomes even bigger after tax.

    This is the advantage of not being bound by apple's stagnant upgrade prices. Stuff is only getting cheaper.

    With that said, I don't think the rMBP is overpriced for what it is. No computer gives that much power in it's form factor, as well as giving such as a nice screen. However, the cMBP is a great option for those of us who can't drop $2200 down on a laptop and who are looking for a bit more bang for your buck.

    Now, the high-end cMBP I think is a little overpriced. The CPU is only 10% faster and the performance difference is almost non-existent in normal use(It's literally the SAME CPU with an extra 300Mhz), and if you put in your own ram and HDD on the base model you can get better specs for cheaper that feel exactly the same as the high-end model.
  12. Livewings macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2012
    Get a rMBP and shut up. You'll hate cMBP for its existence.
  13. xShane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2012
    United States
    You'll hate rMBP for its existence when you find out everything is soldered in and you need to send your rMBP in when even something minor happens to the hardware.
  14. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    i got both and i love my new rmbp.

    its great to be able to switch between resolutions and finally hdmi on board. i already got used to the retina display. lookin at my older mbp now is giving me a headache

    the old mbp is gonna be vintage soon as the rmbp is probaly going to be the standard in the future. they most likely offered both to slowly get people away from the superdrive and to milk it a little to charge more for early adopters like me ;)
  15. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Overall repair rates are pretty average for Macs. Computers in general are pretty reliable. True, it would be a little annoying if you need to bring it back, but considering that it will be working about 99% of the time (or better), I'd rather have the machine that I want.
  16. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    That is not outdated! I put that together two or three days ago for crying out loud.

    Yeah, "upgrades are getting cheaper" is like saying "buy a new computer in 4months, it will be cheaper". 4Gb and 5400rpm drive is hardly comparable to an all-flash architecture of rMBP performance-wise. Not to mention if you replace the drive with OWC you get to keep a 256gb SSD (worth 200$), compared to 750Gb 5400rpm drive, worth what, 50$?

    Even if you put in the best HDD in the world it will never perform like an SSD.

    At this moment, going highend is going to cost you substantially more on the cMBP.

    Also, not fair comparing features. I didn't compare features, I compared performance ghz vs ghz gb vs gb. Or else I can say "you're going to have to spend another 900$ on an external retina screen"???
    Some people don't need FW and Ethernet. Some people can live with an adapter.

    Else you can get the cheapest PC laptop and argue "you don't need a VGA adapter, that's gonna cost you".
  17. circa7 macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2013
    Is it connected to an external display at all?
  18. Obese Lobsters macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2010
    I say go for the retina, especially at that price. You know that the next OS update will take advantage of SSD macs similar to how 10.8 brought about power nap for SSD standard macs.

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