Non retina MBP future-proof issues?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Nikolai01, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Nikolai01 macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2008
    I'm going to buying one of the current generation MBPs. I keep my computers for a long time (currently typing on my late 2006 MBP), so I want something that'll last me a while. I'm debating (like many) retina vs non-retina.

    One comment in one of the early reviews was a snarky comment about the non-retina MBPs--the reviewer stating that they "knew which way the wind was blowing". Do people think there is a significant chance that the non-retina MBPs are going to become obsolete more rapidly due to many programs being made to run on retina displays, and end up running more poorly (or not at all) on non-retina displays?
  2. Stetrain, Jun 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012

    Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    I doubt that they will be 'obsolete' in the way you say. A retina-optimized app should work just fine on a non-retina display.

    I think that there will be Macs (the Air at least) sold without retina displays for a couple years at least.

    There's a chance that a non-retina model could lose some resale value in a few years if Apple completely retires the non-retina MBP line, but I really don't think it will become obsolete from a software standpoint.

    In some ways it may be more future proof because you could upgrade the SSD easily with an larger capacity off-the-shelf model if flash prices continue to drop.
  3. spillproof macrumors 68020


    Jun 4, 2009
    It is far more easy to downscale resolutions than it is to upscale them. Meaning, I don't think any non-retina computer will become obsolete from not being able to run programs with retina only graphics.

    Plus, I don't see retina displays becoming the norm for all computers in the next 4 years anyway.
  4. doteyes9, Jun 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012

    doteyes9 macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2007
    I highly doubt we will see in the future Retina-only applications that people need to use. What use is an application if not everybody can use it? Many professional graphic designers love using external displays that they can calibrate properly and have control over, and until the external display market is saturated with Retina displays, you should be fine. Even then, most applications will have Retina support, but normal displays will still work. Any software company would be foolish to limit their application to a subset of buyers with a higher resolution screen just because "it looks better".

    I purchased a 2012 uMBP 2.7ghz w/ Antiglare display (After previously owning a late 2007 BlackBook) and love it! I also like its ability to be upgraded with aftermarket parts. Down the road SSD's and RAM will only get cheaper, and uMBP's can theoretically support 32GB of RAM if Apple doesn't soft-limit it. I move around a lot, so I needed the HDD space, and I hate how the glossy screens reflect the backlit keyboard.
  5. kdoug, Jun 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012

    kdoug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2010
    Iowa City, IA USA
    The rmbp is attractive, thin, light and expensive. I've been giving some of the rmbp owners a hard time but seriously, the average user cannot replace the battery on this thing because it's glued into the case. ifixit with all their knowledge and expertise couldn't remove the battery. These batteries are good for about 3 years or so. Apple is pushing this mightily over the unibody because there's some serious profit in this computer.
    I went with what works. My unibody cases have never popped or creaked and other than 00 and 000 screwdrivers, have not required specialty tools.
    I love my iPad 3 and I consider it a game changer, the rmbp I do not, more of a novelty.
  6. sweetbrat macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Redford, MI
    I don't think the retina MBP is a novelty, but I do think it's ahead of its time. Because it's such new technology, apps aren't optimized for it yet. There's also some issues surrounding graphic design/photography/other visual professions and how it will change them, how the professionals in those areas will handle the new technology. There's just a lot of unknowns at this point. That being said, I do think that retina screens will be the future of the Mac, probably over the next several years.

    Does that mean the regular MBP won't still be usable? Absolutely not. Technology isn't going to change that rapidly. People are still using the first gen iPad even though the new retina one is here. It will be the same with MBPs for quite a while still. Software will still function, and I would imagine you could get just as much use out of your MBP now as you would have before the retina was introduced. I bought an early 2011 refurb last year and I plan on keeping it for three or four years. After that it will get passed on to another family member, as usually happens with our family. I'm not worried about getting left behind. The retina MBP is an amazing machine, but it's definitely not for everyone, especially this early on.
  7. InuNacho macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2008
    In that one place
    Retina has got a long way to go before it becomes mainstream, you're gonna be fine with a current 15 MBP.
  8. Aodhan macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    I had a difficult time deciding. In fact, I had already ordered the MacBook Pro Retina, and ended up canceling it three days later. I went into the local Apple store and bought a MacBook Pro non-Retina, with 2.6GHz and the 1GB 650M video card.

    I decided this after a lot of consideration, because I thought back to the other three MacBook Pros I have owned. I changed the ram on two of them, and the hard drives on another two, and the battery on all three. With the new Retina, I cannot do any of these things. But with the non-Retina, I can still do all this, and apart from the display and SSD, I have the same hardware as the Retina.

    It was sort of a bummer to pass on the new hotness, the new thinner body design, but the Retina is almost a disposable computer. You cannot do anything on your own, you are locked into expensive repairs from Apple, and no upgrades. This was a deal breaker for me.

    Both notebooks will become obsolete in time. But between now and then, only one of them can be upgraded, only one has a semi-user-replaceable battery. And in my opinion, that gives the non-Retina the edge in the longevity game.
  9. kdoug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2010
    Iowa City, IA USA
    Great article on this exact subject,
  10. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    If something forces you to upgrade, it's unlikely to be the resolution of current displays. Apple can stop supporting whatever they like around the 4-5 year mark as they've already stated. I doubt the "retina" display will be where they draw the line next. Beyond that if it's going to significantly impact the cost of your desired configuration, I'd suggest counting that toward its eventual replacement machine. If your 2006 is meeting your needs, what makes you want to upgrade? At some point, such features will make their way into the lower pricing tiers. Right now they're using a low yield item to lock in a high minimum sale. It's pretty common, and lots of businesses do this. The people matching configurations don't seem to understand that you typically pay more for upgrades than you do in standard configurations. You can see this in other parts of Apple's line and the products of other oems. There is a charge bundled in there for ordering something non-standard.
  11. Blue604 macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2012
    Get the retina MBP. it's the future. I can see Apple release all retina or even better than retina display across all product lines. It's about business.

    On the other hand, I can see the non retina MBP to be retro and hip, just like the vinyl disk.
  12. kdoug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2010
    Iowa City, IA USA
    Probably not the best advise. The OP has a 6 year old MBP which means they won't be replacing every 2 or 3 years. Apple is touting the retina as the best thing since the iPad but the consequences of this ultra thin, almost non-serviceable device is when the user wants to replace a glued in battery or a cracked screen. I seriously don't see this product lasting 6 years, do you?
  13. Reimer macrumors regular


    Sep 15, 2006
    I'd also throw in the opinion that if you really want the retina display, I'd rather wait until the next revision with Haswell.
  14. anthony11, Jul 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012

    anthony11 macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Why? Because you bought an inadequate configuration? Or just because you think it makes you a badass?

    And this diminishes you how exactly?


    So? The integrated microprocessor on the one you bought means that you can't fix the ALU with a trip to Radio Shack and a soldering iron, yet this outrage does not cause you to buy a PDP-8 instead.

    AppleCare is the same price it was before.

    So buy it with what you need up front. Sheesh.

    Do you REALLY anticipate a need for >16GB RAM in a laptop?

    BFD. Apple's battery replacement service is hardly outrageous and most laptop users don't spend much time on battery power anyway.
  15. Meever macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2009
    I got the rMBP. I was going to get the higher uMBP and a Samsung 830 anyways. Once you do the math price difference is negligible.

    Having acess to HDD and ram is nice but I don't foresee ever using more than 8gbs in the next few years (barely use 3 now) and external USB 3 are just as fast as an internal at this point (rpm has become the bottleneck not the interface)

    But they're both fantastic machines with their own strengths.
  16. Aodhan macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    You seem really angry. I'm not really looking for a fight. I upgraded the ram because as time passed my needs changed. I replaced the hard drives because one went bad, and the other because I needed more internal space.

    I stated my opinion about the advantages of the non-Retina, and why I went with it over the Retina, sorry you disagree.
  17. DHagan4755 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    Yep. And Apple will further revise the classic MBP in the future when faster processors are available. Market forces will dictate when the classic MacBook Pro should be retired. The cost of solid-state flash storage is still pretty high. And quite frankly as has been mentioned, I think the retina MacBook Pro right now is an experiment. A lot of people are disenchanted with the fact that it's not upgradable. Steve Jobs said that the Mac was being demoted to a device when he introduced iCloud Apple worldwide developers conference back in 2011. As such, the MacBook Pro with retina display has become somewhat of a device, like an iPad or an iPhone which can't be upgraded. Time will tell whether the market adopts that non-upgradable mentality to the extent of the iPad or iPhone, when it comes to a computer.
  18. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010
    You have to order it with 32GB of RAM or you won't be able to Tweet next year.
  19. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    I think the following are reasonable:

    Over the next 4 to 6 years you'll likely keep your next computer, retina displays will absolutely become mainstream. I don't believe Apple will make any non-Retina laptops in 2-3 years.

    Software, clearly, will still support non-retina displays. But as the higher resolution displays become mainstream there may be new applications and games that are designed to run exclusively on Retina. Much like when the iPhone and iPad came out, we don't really know what these apps will be and if they'll be ones you care about. I think it's easy to predict there will be new developments in games, graphics, photo and video editing.

    None of Apple's current line-up are going to do well in resale value a few years from now. The Retina because prices will drop by hundreds of dollars, the non-Retinas because there'll be no demand for them.
  20. NickBoy98 macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    I just wish they simply added retina displays as an option to the classic macbookpros instead of forcing everyone onto a completely new piece of hardware...

    I would gladly take a classic macbook pro with a retina display than the new macbook with retina display
  21. Liquinn Suspended

    Apr 10, 2011
    I wish that would be possible. :p
  22. darngooddesign, Dec 5, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012

    darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Nothing in his post called for your overly bitchy response. At no point did he insult anyone who bought a rMBP.

    He is correct that the Retina MPB is more disposable because you can't make the same upgrades you can on regular MBPs. Dispoosable does not mean, cheap it just means you dispose of it instead of upgrading it.

    It's shortsighted to say buy what you need ahead of time. At the point of purchase some thigns aren't available or are extrememly expensive, which changes over time.

    Some examples:

    You couldn't get older MBPs with 16GB RAM because the 8GB sticks didn't exist. By the same token 4GB sticks are now less expensive.

    When I bought my regular MBP, a 1TB laptop drive didn't exist, now it does.

    The price of 512GB SSDs will come down, which makes that upgrade more affordable.

    I disagree. I see significantly more laptops out and about on battery power than out and about plugged in.

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