Non-Retina or Retina for university?

kkasaye

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 12, 2012
16
0
Hey, I'm getting a new laptop soon because I'm. entering university this coming september. I'm really torn between the Retina base level, maybe buying an external optical drive with it just in case, or buying a 15 inch 2.6 GHz non-retina macbook pro. With the promotional student discount they both cost the same. So which do you guys think I should get? Ps I'm going to be carrying it around a lot, and I'll be using it for gaming, and video editing and some minor music production.
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,548
18
Definitely check them out in person before you buy.

I would lean towards the Retina version simply because of weight. A 15" non-retina model seems like a bit much to carry with you to class.

The only thing to keep in mind is that with the Retina model you have to order it with the amount of RAM you want, you can't upgrade it later.

PS there are like 3 other threads asking specifically about a Macbook Pro for a college student in the first page of threads, might be worth reading those as well ;)
 
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ECUpirate44

macrumors 603
Mar 22, 2010
5,750
8
NC
I'd go for the non retina mbp with the High res screen 1680x1050. I never buy rev A of a new product. Depending on your habbits, 256 gb may not be enough. I carry a 15" everyday and it's not a problem.
 
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TSE

macrumors 68040
Jun 25, 2007
3,041
646
St. Paul, Minnesota
The non-retina MacBook Pros are definitely a better bang-for-buck, especially if you throw in third party RAM and SSDs, but if you want a more portable computer with a great screen, and not minding paying a bit more, go for the Retina MacBook Pro.
 
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Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,548
18
If I was entering college right now I'd be buying a 13" Air.
Agreed. It's really between the 13" Air and the 15" Retina MBP unless you really really need the huge internal hard drive. Unless you really need quad core on a budget, in which case a refurbished 15" isn't a bad deal.

Especially since you can buy a USB 3.0 external hard drive with 1 terrabyte for around $100:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822165276
 
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malman89

macrumors 68000
May 29, 2011
1,651
6
Michigan
Graduation gifts.
That's one hell of a gift - especially for someone who can't justify it over cheaper alternatives (except maybe an art school kid needing it for the school curriculum - only example I can think of).

If I was entering college right now I'd be buying a 13" Air.
Yep, same. I was an original Air hater, but it sure has come a long way that I would buy a 13" MBA if I was going back to school this year and had to get a Mac.

OP, I also recommend the following:
 

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lecturenotes

macrumors member
Mar 30, 2012
32
0
Agreed. It's really between the 13" Air and the 15" Retina MBP unless you really really need the huge internal hard drive. Unless you really need quad core on a budget, in which case a refurbished 15" isn't a bad deal.

Especially since you can buy a USB 3.0 external hard drive with 1 terrabyte for around $100:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822165276
I would also opt for the macbook air.

When I went bought a macbook air for college, it was one of the best things i ever did, simply because of the portability factor. Even my girlfriend with a 13" macbook pro wished she had the macbook air.

Of course I had a rev 1, so I wouldn't do that again. Give the retina a miss, buy the macbook air (13' if it's your main computer), use the savings to buy an external drive, and an external screen at least.

Other peripherals like a mouse and keyboard would be good if you decide to use the external screen as your computer and the laptop itself as a sort of mac mini while at home.

Seriously a second screen, or at least a very large one, is the best thing every for college.
 
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JohnDoe98

macrumors 68020
May 1, 2009
2,488
99
If you are going to be a serious student who works a lot on your computer, get the Retina and save yourself some eye strain. Also, don't bother with the external Optical drive "just in case". Only buy if it you already need it.
 
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danetello

macrumors 6502
Dec 23, 2010
258
0
London, UK
I would probably go for the Retina MBP, especially if you will be carrying it a lot. Display is awesome, so it should be great for gaming.
 
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PVisitors

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2011
522
2
The whole patronising of "you have too much money for a college kid" is so patronising and almost the same as when Windows fanboys trot out the line "you can get a PC for £300 instead".

Let people decide how they want to spend their money rather than saying they have too much money for whatever reason.

Honestly between the 15" Retina and non-retina I would go for the retina (assuming the screen is as good as people are saying it is). You're getting equal performance, a vastly better screen (both resolution and anti-glare) all packed into a weight less than the 13" MBP.

Edit: Just to clarify that isn't a direct dig at the previous guy in the thread, it's just an observation from it what some people do on this forum, and it's rather frustrating.
 
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kkasaye

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 12, 2012
16
0
thanks for all the feedback, i'll probably end up going with the MBP w/ retina. And regards to it being too costly, I'm not draining my parents money, I've been saving with my part time job and I really want the quality that it provides.
 
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SDAVE

macrumors 68040
Jun 16, 2007
3,381
443
Nowhere
Non retina comes out pretty low in terms of cost. You can still get the Hires display.

I would get that and pop in an SSD in a few months...then you can sell it and buy the next revision of the Retina mbp.
 
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taedouni

macrumors 65816
Jun 7, 2011
1,105
25
California
I just graduated from the University of Michigan (Aerospace Engineering). I would not recommend purchasing a Macbook Air. First lets look at priorities.

You are entering college and you need a reliable computer that will last a good 4-5 years (luckily Apple makes long lasting products). I do not know what you will be studying but if it's anything that requires a little power, then I highly do not recommend purchasing a Macbook Air.

Now between the Macbook Pro retina vs non retina.

Non Retina Pro
+Replaceable parts (RAM and storage)
+750 GB storage
-Uses 5400 RPM HD
-Extra weight and thickness
+/- Optical drive
-For the same price you can pick up the base Retina model
+.3GHZ faster (minimal)


Retina Pro
+New Design (Removed ports that 99% of consumers do not use)
-Only 256 GB of storage
++++SSD (SSDs are not overrated)
++++Retina display (For the same price as non retina you have a retina display, you can change the scaling resolution to fit your needs)
-.3GHZ slower (minimal)


I advise that you get the Retina Macbook Pro.
Get something that will last you the 4 years without regrets.
 
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dylin

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2010
642
47
California
It's consumerism, man.
lol just logged on to to compliment you on your AVI profile pic

edit: oh and OP, I say you might want to hold out on the retina and just settle for the 13" air. As a student on the go, it may be best to make use of something incredibly portable.

Although if you might need the added horsepower, then sure, the 15" retina pro would be a nice buy. As someone else mentioned earlier, the display may also help in relieved eye strain due to its clarity.
 
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