Opinion on Macbook pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by scooby3, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. scooby3 macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2013
    Hi everyone, I am currently seeking to purchase a 15" macbook pro with retina display. I am in my 3rd in college and majoring in Information technology. I have always been a windows user and I basically got tired of the previous windows laptops I've had. Now I would like your opinions on whether I should get the retina display or not. I know they come standard with the 256gb flash storage and 8gb of ram. I plan on dual booting windows at some point and installing Vmware for school purposes. Will that be sufficient memory? Also, should I wait till they come out with a new edition of the macbook models, kind of wanted to get the latest model without having them come out with a new release anytime soon. Would like to hear your opinions and experience. Thanks
  2. ahdickter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2011
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    First off, welcome to the MacRumors Forum!

    To start off, have you looked at any model of Apple MacBooks? Anywhere will work: Apple Store, BestBuy, Microcenter, etc. You might find that a Macbook Air or non-Retina Macbook Pro might work better for you.

    In terms of RAM, keep in mind that it is soldered to the motherboard, so it cannot be upgraded. Depending on how long you plan on keeping it, and what your needs are, you might want to spring for the 16GB. Different people will tell you differing opinions on how much RAM you need to VMWare solutions smoothly, but it's up for you to decide.

    Good luck!
  3. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    I'd stay away from retina because I like to upgrade the ram and hard disk. With the non-retina, you can even take out the optical drive and add a second sdd or a big hdd.

    On the other hand, if screen resolution matters a lot, the retina looks pretty. 8 GB should be enough (seems to run mountain lion and windows 7 fine on my 3+ year old macbook), but OS/windows 10.9 /9 and 10.10/10 might be more taxing.
  4. wingate.white macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2012
    Jacksonville, FL
    like vistadude said you can't really upgrade. I've got a 15 inch retina, 2.6/16/512 of the first model and its been great for me. I have windows 8 on bootcamp and it runs smoothly. I chose to get 16 gb of ram since you can't upgrade later on and for me, i'm glad i did. It could handle 8 fine but as I've seen web browsers and other programs start using more and more over the past few years I expect them to continue to use more. I highly recommend grabbing a retina, it performs extremely well
  5. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    I also use VMWare Fusion extensively.

    The rMBP has the stones to run several VMs simultaneously. It's an absolute beast. Highly, highly recommended.

    But max out the RAM and get more than 256GB of SSD if you possibly can. If you're using VMs, keep in mind that they take up lots of disk space and require a significant RAM footprint to run. I'd consider my 16GB/512GB model close to the minimal configuration for serious VM usage.

    The RAM is not upgradeable on the rMBPs, so that's another reason to buy the machine fully stuffed. But you can swap out the SSD easily enough (though it's not considered a user-serviceable module) if you need more space someday.

  6. shnn2011, Apr 13, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013

    shnn2011 macrumors member


    Feb 19, 2013
    I would not suggest buying a retina model if you have sharp eyes.

    Everyone is diffrent, but Retina screens are far from perfect, and in a case like mine I see all kinds of spots and discoloration in different parts of the screen.

    The never ones are a bit better, but they still suffer. It is particularly obvious and annoying to me in dark rooms while viewing darker colors.

    Some people can't see the spots, some people can, but it doesn't bother them, and some people like me are deeply annoyed by them.

    I have seen some near perfect screens, but it's rare.

    Somone took a photo of one of the those type of screens and although nothing was visible to them, a slow shutter speed revealed all sorts of imperfections.

    Then there is the potential for burnin.

    Also the retina is not a multiple of a standard resolution, so watching a 1080p movie on it will look worse than watching it on a lower resolution hd screen.

    Who cares if the pixels on the "Retina screen" stacked are higher than the tallest building. That's a stupid sales pitch if you ask me.

    Honestly, what in the hell does retina even mean; it is meaningless to me to name a screen after a body part rather than name the technology and its benefits.

    Also, the retina screen does not come in an anti-glare variant, and is not suited for professional photographic work according to the people working at the Apple Store themselves.

    The antiglare higher resolution screen, is however a very decent option.

    Of course this is just my opinion, and there may be many who disagree.

  7. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    I converted from Windows to the rMBP when they came out last year (wasn't looking for a Mac, just went with the specs). There are some irritations, and particularly using the Finder and searching for files can be a nightmare, but if you organise your files well so you always know where they are, you'll be fine. Overall the pros comfortably outweigh the cons. There are a number of vociferous anti-retina posters out there, but there are also many very happy, visually unchallenged, demanding users of them. Hardware-wise I am extremely impressed, easily the best bit of computer out there at the moment. The only problems I've had have been because of my lack of experience with OSX.

    I run XP and Windows 8 virtually as well, and would say that while 8/256 will do the job, it should be considered an absolute base. If you can stretch to 16Gb RAM and a larger SSD then you really should.
  8. johnnyyt macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2013
    i had a similar situation before i went out and purchased my rMBP 15 base model. my first idea was to get a non-retina MBP 15 and just throw in 16gb of ram and a new ssd.

    i did the math and in the end, i'd be paying almost equal, if not more, than the base model retina but i still wouldn't be getting the retina with that price.

    in the end, i got the base 15 rMBP with 16gb of ram. i'm running windows 7 through bootcamp because i dont see the benefit in having windows 8 unless you have a touchscreen.

    this machine is a beast and easily the best laptop i've ever owned. my last laptop was an alienware and it started out grea but it slowed down drastically after a year or 2. macs on the otherhand, seem to last for ages.
  9. JHUFrank macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2010
    After having worked on both a Macbook Pro, and a Macbook Air, I can't stand the weight of anything near as heavy as a Pro anymore. I would be very inclined to beef up a rMBP to max ram and 512gb drive and use that. I am certainly considering a rMBP for my next laptop.
  10. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    I have been a Windows/Linux/stock PC OS user for 24 years.

    OS X is very crafty - no registry, applications are a breeze to install and transfer, and is a solid operating system, which is better than Windows and Linux. Of course, I don't play games and don't need to. Any nitpicks I have on the OS happen too rarely to mention, but I do miss the icon and button appearance in OS X 10.6 and earlier...

    Sometimes the hardware isn't perfect (heating concerns, backlighting, and other things I would expect on a $500 Windows laptop but not a $2500 "quality-designed" device), so I make sure to do CPU-intensive tasks at my desktop as opposed to the laptop.
  11. boso macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2012
    Windows run a lot better on a mac anyway

    forget the retina, save the money for a retina monitor, supported by he not retina mac anyway get a big HD and have the best of both worlds.
  12. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    There's no such thing as a retina monitor right now. The closest we will have is the $5k 4k 30" Sony LED monitor next year but the current version of Thunderbolt doesn't even support 4k so there would be no way to output to it at native resolution.

    Anyway I wouldn't suggest a hard drive, they're really slow once you've used a SSD. I'd rather use an external one for large files.
  13. TC400, Apr 14, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013

    TC400 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2010
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    I too am in school for IT and have a rMBP please do your self a favor and go for 16GB of RAM memory is always important!
  14. scooby3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2013
    So should I just wait till they probably come out with a new lineup or price drop on the 15" rmbp 16/512. If i were to get the 256gbssd can I always upgrade? I've currently got my eyes set on the 16gb 15" rmbp but unsure of the hard drive capacity.
  15. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    You can easily upgrade to 480 or 512GB if you have the cash (~$400 for parts), 720GB drives may be difficult to find. The HD plugs in, not soldered like RAM. If buying new, it is usually less money buying the disk memory you need up front than trying to upgrade later. And you avoid any potential for warranty issues.

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