Once and for all I want to choose a suitable machine!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Smeaton1724, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Smeaton1724, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013

    Smeaton1724 macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #1
    My indecisiveness has gone on for 2 years!

    2 years ago when I graduated I had a Dell XPS gaming system, maxed out, with a Samsung 24" 1680 x 1050 monitor. I used it as a bit of a render farm - basically the brute power made up for my lack of ability at rendering. The reason for the Dell was Power Vs Cost compared to a mac, plus my life was all in the same place, so a desktop was ok.

    Since then I've got into employment and the technicians do the rendering and I do calcs, project programming etc - so less "brute force" in terms of power for my day job and I work in varied locations.

    As I've always been on the Mac side (iMac G3, eMac, G4 Tower, iBook) I decided to treat myself to a shiny new MBP 13" 2011 model, but sold it within 6 months due to the Intel 3000 graphics and the upcoming refresh (2012 models). I lost patience and just got a Mac mini with AMD graphics and a 1080p monitor but hated the lack of portability, so bought a MBP 2012 13" model with upgraded RAM and better Intel 4000 graphics, but I'm finding it limited in terms of screen resolution.

    In my spare time I've set up a small print venture, do some digital graphics work, along with iBooks publishing and I'm looking at 3D printing, the screen real estate feels too cramped, I want more on the screen but I feel I'm limited by the low resolution.

    Additionally we've started to travel on weekends and I take my DSLR and my iPad Mini which for me is the perfect combination, so I wouldn't be necessary to travel with the machine everywhere, just have some portability.

    So I've been looking at:
    2012 Macbook Airs 13" - will the extra resolution be enough vs the power loss.
    2012 retina MBP's - 13" provide more estate or just more detail? 15" too expensive or my ideal machine I need to splurge the cash on?!
    2010 MBP 17's - Too old?
    2011 MBP 15's - Good compromise?

    I would settle for an older machine on a cost basis but I really want a machine that will last 3/4 years which is why I'm leaning towards a new machine - plus USB 3 and thunderbolt.

    In terms of budget I want my needs to take priority as I'll only end up changing again.

    Any help much appreciated.
     
  2. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    I know it isn't on your list, but I'd go with the 15" Retina.

    If that doesn't work and you need more screen space, maybe a 13" MBA or rMBP and an second display where you work most often?

    *edit* How about just keep the 2012 13" you've got right now and buy a nice display to go along with it?
     
  3. robvas macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    You can effectively run 1680x1050 on the 13" Retina. And not just the resolution, but the viewing angles, colors, etc are miles ahead of the Air. The 15" Retina has more horsepower and the option to run what's basically 1920x1080, but it's quite a bit more cash. It does come with the 256GB SSD by default so that might factor in as well.

    The bad part of the 17's is they don't have built in USB 3
     
  4. Shaddow825 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    #4
    get a refurb base model 2012 15" cMBP and upgrade ram and put an SSD in
     
  5. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    Skip the 13" MBPs and get the 15" (classic, not retina) with the high-res display option. The 15" also has the quad-core which will boost performance if you do any rendering. Best "bang for buck".
     
  6. Smeaton1724, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013

    Smeaton1724 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #6
    The issue I have with a second mintor is I'd spend all my life at home in the spare room, I've tried doing that with a 1080p monitor and loved the resolution but never got to sit on the sofa.

    I like the 13 retina but the graphics concern me and I'd need 256GB so pricing is:
    13" rMBP £1461 vs 15" rMBP £1528.

    In that scenario the better machine is the 15.

    Comparing a 15" rMBP vs cMBP:
    rMBP £1528c Vs MBP £1357 (Anti glare upgraded option)

    The rMBP has better screen, graphics, 8GB RAM and lighter.
    The cMBP has upgradeability so I could fit my own RAM to 16GB and an SSD and come out at the same price as the retina.

    Either way it seems a 15" would suit my needs better than the 13" which is what I've been thinking for a few months.
     
  7. Smeaton1724, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013

    Smeaton1724 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #7
    Update:
    Just been into a local store and played with a cMBP 15, rMBP 13 and rMBP 15. Love the extra portability of the retina 13 and in settings can increase modify the resolution, major issue is the small SSD, unless I keep my iTunes on another drive. Oh and the price of the 13 in relation to the 15.

    In terms of future proof I'd say the 15 would suit me for the desired 4 year cycle, I think the 13 probably 3 years max.
     
  8. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #8
    Analysis paralysis?

    Your post reminds me of sum1 who, having trained as a classical artist, find digital medium constraining. Having to work with pixels and a limited canvas drove him nuts.

    Ur dilema is simple. Get the most for your budget. That's it. And work within those constraints.

    After all that, ur asking if a 2010 too slow? Indubitably.
     
  9. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #9
  10. Smeaton1724 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #10
    Well I've been offered a 2010 17" for £800 so a saving of £700 over a retina was considered :)

    The budget could stretch to a rMBP 15 but if my needs would have suited something lower then I'd have considered that advice.

    ----------

    Apple sell them for £1,599 refurbished, I'd rather go the rMBP route than that, or save the £700!
     
  11. robvas macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    How large is your iTunes? Could you fit it on a 64GB USB or SD card?
     
  12. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #12
    If you don't want to drag around storage consider a NAS as a must have. I've not needed or used USB 3 or Thunderbolt storage and would not want to be plugging and unplugging some cable every time I moved my MacBook (power cable excluded).
     
  13. Smeaton1724, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013

    Smeaton1724 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #13
    iTunes is 55GB, around 8,000 songs - I have this all uploaded to Google Music but want it in iTunes too. iPhoto 25GB, eBook Collection, Documents & Notes (I'm completely digital), running around 15GB, plus design stuff at around 10GB. So around 105GB plus apps and other temporary things.

    I have the 30GB above syncing to a Dropbox account with 52GB.

    With any laptop I'd be looking at utilising the SD Slot with a 32GB Class 10 card and also a 16GB USB Stick (for movies to transfer to TV).

    I suppose I could move iTunes to the SD slot (with a larger card) to free up a large chunk of storage but long term I'd just prefer a 256GB SSD as it allows space for growth.
     
  14. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Location:
    Southern California
    #14
    I vote for this wise advice above.

    I have a BTO fully optioned 15" retina. It's nice but overrated.
     
  15. Smeaton1724 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #15
    The weight and size reduction overrated or performance with the screen?
     
  16. MBP17er macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #16
    Get any 2010 or 2011 MBP 17.

    The screen real estate cannot be compared. Running it on 1920 x 1200 is a dream and you will love the DVD slot.

    Any other Macbook/Pro looks and feels like a toy in comparison.

    Get an anti glare one - it's lighter and better. Not much heavier than a glossy 15.

    Also, you can use the Expresscard Slot to put in a thunderbolt or USB 3 interface if you want, or even buy 256G flash drives that fit in there and are easily removed.

    You can remove the Superdrive and put in a SSD in the future, as well as upgrade ram and the HDD/SSD in the future.

    That's impossible with any of the retinas.

    I would not go back to a 15, and once using a 17 would be dissapointed had I bought any 15.
     
  17. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Location:
    Southern California
    #17
    I'm not being critical, but the retina display is not the end all and be all that Apple want's the public to think it is.

    I'm quite used to very high res IPS displays. I have one for my Mac Pro at home, and two in the lab at work. Thus it's just not that big of a deal for me.

    I ordered my CTO MBP retina for more reasons than just the display :)
     

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