No B.S. Quickie (rMBP REVIEW)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by valleydesign, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. valleydesign, Jun 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012

    valleydesign macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2012
    So I have been using my new rMBP 2.7/16/512 for about 2 hours now, and while I haven't had the chance to really stress test this thing I'd like to share my first impressions.

    First, you should know that I am upgrading from an early 2008 mbp and will mainly be running CS6 plus some light gaming on my new rMBP.

    Out of the box everything is as perfect as you would expect from apple. It comes in a minimal white box with the computer, power adapter, and some paperwork I'll probably never open let alone read.

    Everyone knows how light and thin this is but its hard to truly understand until you take it out of the box for the first time. Anyone that tries to say this isn't a portable machine is delusional.

    After booting up, I noticed 2 things. It's really fast, and it has a really nice screen. (who would have known...) Its crisp, vivid, deep, and detailed. It will be the nicest display you have ever used. The only thing that could make it any better is if it were 27".

    *insert complaining about glossy display*

    I wouldn't say its a "gloss" display but it's definitely not matte either. I love it. In my opinion, it's just enough gloss to make the screen "pop" but not so much that it is a mirror like previous MBP's.

    Plus, you bought a laptop. If you are sitting in direct sunlight... Move?

    Now lets get real technical and dive into the performance of your new workhorse.

    Apps launch instantaneously. SSD is a beautiful thing.

    The Intel i7 won't even break a sweat on simple tasks. Fans don't budge. The downside to this is that you might have to boot up Diablo III if you want to cook some eggs with you bottom case. (I didn't even know my rMBP had fans until I played D3 for a bit)

    Oh, the ram is fast too. Just for ***** and giggles I highlighted every single app, right-clicked, and hit "OPEN". ~7 seconds later, I was trying to close every app on my computer.

    (is there a shortcut to quit all programs??)

    The key board is nice. The speakers are really nice. The track pad is nice. This is near perfect in form.

    What about function.

    It lags. Everywhere.

    EDIT: Installed the updates. Fixes much of the lag.

    It's not unbearable but its definitely noticeable. Scrolling and even dragging things causes it to lags a little, but its definitely not enough to hinder this machines function or give you a headache. I'm looking forward to ML in the hopes that everything will be smooth and polished with that update. (you have to believe this machine was built for ML and nothing earlier.)

    The lag is undoubtably caused by one thing, that 2880 x 1800 screen... We'll get to that in a second.

    One of my favorite improvements (keep in mind that before this I was on a '08 mbp) is the heat management. For 2 whole hours now I have been using this on my lap and not once have I needed a cold towel, ice bags, or burn treatment!! Now like I said earlier, I haven't had a chance to really stress the cpu or gpu but after 2 hours of mail, web, some 1080p youtube and some light CS6, my MBP has hardly reached room temp. I couldn't tell you how well the fans work or how quiet they are because, sitting in my living room with the tv on quietly and ambient outdoor noise, I have no idea if my fans have made one complete rotation or not.

    EDIT: The first time I heard the fans was while playing Diablo III. This computer gets hot, but you have to poke it a little to get it going.

    Now for the screen. It's a blessing and a curse.

    At "best for retina" CS6 is unusable. (I believe "fuzziness" is the technical term)

    I downloaded an app called SetResX that allows you to run your rMBP at it's native resolution of 2880 x 1800. Tons of workspace and beautiful art boards but it is also completely unusable due to the tiny menus and tools that come with that insane resolution.

    So at this point, I'm starting to panic a little. I've got a 27" ACD I can plug into, but whats the point of a graphic designer buying a laptop if the only time you can run CS6 is when your hooked into an external display.

    "best for retina" was too hot, 2880 x 1800 too cold. So I opened up my display options and chose "more space" and it was just right. Kinda... (the furthest right scaling option)

    Don't get me wrong, it's not a perfect solution but you actually get a somewhat larger workspace, menus and tools that are just big enough, and you get rid of a lot of the "fuzziness" that currently plagues non-retina apps at the "best for retina" resolution.

    The pixelation still exists in some areas but after diving into a design for more than 20 min you will completely forget about it.

    With all that being said, I am impressed. This machine is not only beautiful on the outside, but is a complete and utter workhorse on the inside. Sure it has its flaws, but none of them will stop you from completing your work or getting frustrated in the process. With ML arriving in less than a month and retina updates coming later this year for most of the popular apps on the market, the rMBP will only get better.

    As you would expect with an Apple product, everything has been design with a purpose. This machine is the result of years spent refining and perfecting a design ideology.

    While nothing is perfect. Apple is getting damn close.


    If theres anything else I missed or anything specific you guys want me to take a look at, let me know. Remember these are just the observations and (mostly) unbiased opinions of one graphic designer. Take it for what it is.

    P.S. After about 3.5 - 4 hours of constant use, I am at 41% battery out of the box.

    P.S.S. took about 1 hour 15 min to go from 41% to 100%

  2. thetechteen macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2012
  3. pacman7331 macrumors regular


    Apr 5, 2006
    Nice. I ordered the same config yesterday.

    When did you order yours? I assume early in the first week.
  4. Androidpwns macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2011
    27"... srs?
  5. HighEndMac macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2011

    Nice, you are putting my “early adoption” fears to somewhat of an ease… I am also coming from an 08 MBP
  6. valleydesign thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2012
    I ordered late 6/11 ~11:45pm
  7. 3soteric macrumors member


    Oct 28, 2010
    in a pineapple, under the sea
    A 27" MacBook pro would be great fun to lug around :)
  8. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    It's not the nicest screen I have ever used. I'll take my Matte display over the Retina glare screen any day off the week. I'm going to wait till Apple ships Matte Retina screens before I jump to the Retina MBP's.
  9. valleydesign thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2012
    I surely don't mean to say Apple should make a 27" laptop but at 15 inches, the next best thins is plugging into my ACD.

    Agreed. It would be nice to have a true matte screen but this screen is nowhere near as bad as previous MBP displays. I had a Matte in my early '08 MBP and I'd say the rMBP is right in the middle of that and the full gloss in the last update.

    Luckily with something this portable you can adjust and move to good lighting.
  10. GaiaAero macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2010
    I'm running DP4 Mountain Lion and I'm experiencing little to no lag. Hopefully it'll be the same for you when it's released. Cheers! :D
  11. Auzburner macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2008
    Syracuse, NY - USA
    My identically configured rMBP arrived yesterday as well. I'm having very similar observations. I'm at the smallest option for screen resolution in System Pref's.

    Battery life is amazing and the build quality is tremendous.

    Loving it so far. Will have to post more later.
  12. Pipper99 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2010
    Fort Worth, TX
    After I downloaded the software updates and Spotlight stopped indexing, I haven't noticed any more lag. I'm curious to see if the lag improves for you.

  13. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Perhaps the OP could find an app to force the discreet GPU on all the time, which will surely help reduce lag.
  14. valleydesign, Jun 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012

    valleydesign thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2012
    Not sure why I didn't think to check for the software updates... Downloading right now. We'll see if that does the trick.

    EDIT: The update seems to have alleviated most if not all of the lag.
  15. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    Yeah, I have a 2.6/16/512 and I barely notice any lag and its not on the OS, only on Safari and it is very slight.
  16. theAXEDhead macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2012
    Excellent review

    Thanks for taking the time for the straightforward excellent review. Glad to hear that the patches have alleviated the lagging. I had a long play with a 2.3 model in my UK Apple store and could not see any lag anywhere.

    I have a 2.6/16/512 on order. I am coming from W7 PC, so imagine the kick I am going to get out of it!

    Could you share your thoughts on why you went with 2.7 vs 2.6?
  17. HighEndMac macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2011
    Its faster...

    Cuz its faster! 2.7 > 2.6 hahaha
  18. theAXEDhead macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2012
    price to performance ratio considerations

    Genius :p

    My interest was around the price to performance ratio considerations. It is like a 3.8% boost in speed (though perhaps more with the extra threads) vs a 10% price bump. I understand if optimum performance is a must then this makes sense, but wondered on the thinking (and trying to see if I haven't missed a trick myself).
  19. puke macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2007
    I'm getting my 2.3/16/256 tomorrow along with a brand new Thunderbolt Display 27". I'll post my findings here for those who are thinking about that configuration.

    Congrats on an awesome purchase and i'm happy to see that the updates are fixing the issues the rMBP had in the start.

  20. Pipper99 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2010
    Fort Worth, TX
    Great! Also, thanks for the review. :)
  21. HighEndMac macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2011
    Ya i know, sry i was just being a smarta$$. To be honest its probably not worth the cost, like you said the added speed does not coincide with the price jump. But if you have the money, its hard to not upgrade. Its like you dont need a Lambo, but i bet you would drive one if you had the option.
  22. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    You do not need an App to do that. If you turn off Auto Switching in System Preferences under Power, it will leave the nvidia GPU on all the time.

    If you do want an app, get gfxCardStatus (version 2.2+ for 2012 MBP support), and you can force on whichever GPU you want. I set mine up to always have the nvidia on when I'm plugged in, but when Battery it forces the Intel to stay on and it helps battery power tremendously.

    Mines the same specs as yours, and there is barely any lag noticed, but 95% of the time I'm plugged in with the nvidia going.
  23. valleydesign thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2012

    This^^^^ :p
    I figured I might as well spend the $$ to spec it out. Also probably didn't have to have the 16 gb ram upgrade either but considering you can't upgrade in the future, might as well just spend the cash now. Plus the way I look at it, my computer makes me money. Those upgrades will easily pay for themselves over the lifetime of my rMBP. Shaving seconds off here and there adds up real quick when you depend on your computer 8-10 hours a day 5 days a week.
  24. ctbear macrumors 6502a

    Dec 6, 2010
    So I had mine for about a day now, and although the update definitely fixed some of the lags, it is still noticeably more laggy than my 2010 15". Particularly in Safari and Chrome. (One way to see this: on Chrome's new tab page, switch from the apps page to the most visited sites page back and forth. You will see that the animation is not smooth at all)
    But it is not the lag that bothers me the most. As we all know texts and vector graphics are scaled perfectly and they look sharp and crisp. But the images are not - so what we have is a very sharp looking paragraph besides an ugly, blurry image - in many webpages. This is not something easily fixed by software updates.
    I believe the rMBP is not ready for prime time yet - largely because we don't have the content and apps designed at the retina level. Hopefully by the time gen 2 comes out we will have more retina-ready apps and contents.
  25. ender21 macrumors 6502


    Jul 15, 2010
    Southern Cal
    And gfxCardStatus takes care of this switching GPU from plugged-in to battery for you? If so, that's a must have. Thanks!

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