Photographers - 15" 2.6GHz vs. 15" 2.3GHz Retina

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by peterb69, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. peterb69 macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2008
    I'm buying from Best Buy as there is a sale going on now, thus I can not build it myself. I would love to get the 512GB retina, but it is too expensive.

    So, these 2 models are the same price. The non retina has a 2.6GHz processer and 750 GB hard drive. The retina has only a 2.3GHz processor and only a 256GB drive, but it is SSD. Plus the retina display. Other then that, I believe the specs are pretty much the same.

    I use Photoshop CS5/6, Lightroom 4, and Microsoft Office for Mac. I do also have NIK pluggins.

    So for same price, I'm I better getting the non retina or retina 15" Macbook Pro.

    ps. I do not have an external monitor and do all my work flow presently on a 2009 calibrated 15" macbook pro. Hobbyist photographer
  2. squeeks macrumors 68040


    Jun 19, 2007
    if you're going to pay that price either way, and you think you will be happy with only 256gb of HD space get the retnia, that however was the reason i DIDNT get the retina, as i'd like to upgrade my HD before the entire machine.

    BTW dont let the 2.3 or 2.6 CPU be a deciding factor, you will not notice the difference.
  3. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The faster CPU will save you 2-3% (at most) on filter application in photoshop. I don't know if its such a big factor. Bigger disk is a good thing of course, but the retina's SSD is extremely fast. Overall, the retina will 'feel' much quicker because of the SSD.

    In addition, retina has a brilliant display (you'll have to wait for Photoshop updates though) and is significantly lighter.

    I'd take the retina. But then again, I am not a photographer ;)
  4. mohsy90 macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2011
    New York
    Yeah, go for the retina. Newer product, better display, thinner and lighter.

    SSD will compensate for the slower processor speed, though you probably wouldn't even notice it. And you can always use a external HD if you need the extra space.
  5. peterb69 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2008
    Yes, I am leaning towards the 2.3GHz as I will store my images on external drives.
  6. Tibits macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2011
    Good choice. Even with the 512 you would need an external drive before long. RAW takes up a lot of space.
  7. ecnal macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but if you went the 256 ssd, and it filled up a bit from storage etc- your scratch disks in photoshop would suffer and you may need to keep attached a larger hdd and nominate them as your scratch disks.
  8. msdarkroom macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2012
    For photography the SSD will be a big speed factor. SSD speeds crush the old spinning drives. An SSD with an external drive to archive your work is a great idea.

    That being said, I believe that none of the programs you list are currently compatible with or upgraded for the retina display. From what I've seen on other sites, PS and LR are essentially unusable for image editing on a retina MBP.

    Hopefully I'm wrong and somebody corrects me.

  9. keviikev macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2010
    Retina all the way!!!!

    Color is accurate on retina and 1900 by 1200 is great for pictures. Extra screen space and color accuracy make me a happy customer. Calibrated the Retina with Spyder Pro and Color LCD is similar to calibrated color.

    Recent picture taken

  10. Greg M macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2008
    The SSD in the Retina is upgradeable. In the not too distance future you'll be able to upgrade it. Will be expensive at first but the price will come down.
  11. squeeks macrumors 68040


    Jun 19, 2007
  12. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I still have yet to see anyone do in depth testing on this. It's more like ran third party software with mass produced puck under whatever conditions. Things look pretty and shiny. That isn't a real test:p. If it's accomplishing work, it's still fine though.

    I just want to mention that while they can be plugged in, expect it to be an expensive solution. OWC had them last time. Opinions on them vary, but having to develop something specific to people who want to update a single machine or machine line means that they may be expensive given the need to absorb R&D costs on limited volume.
  13. keviikev macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2010

    Prints like it looks on retina screen which all I want;) No scientific test needed I want color accuracy and I have gotten it with Retina.
  14. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    That is what is important, and it's something no one else has mentioned. You had another point of reference. We could all talk about the potential for metamerism based on lighting conditions, but for the most part I was just looking for something beyond the software says it's good, as displays can look good while still being misleading.
  15. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    No photographer/designer should make a purchase outside of the Retina MBPro at this time.
  16. Fortimir macrumors 6502a


    Sep 5, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    The specs on the color gamut aren't a secret. It's marginally smaller than the previous MacBook Pro, but closer to sRGB. Accuracy out of the box is pretty good... a tad bit too much contrast though.

    All my output is in sRGB, so that's all that matters to me. My apps work in ProPhoto and AdobeRGB... and that's great, but I don't need to *see* those spaces.
  17. doug in albq Suspended

    doug in albq

    Oct 12, 2007
    Great shot!

    Any post production on that image?
    Hand held or tripod?
  18. keviikev macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2010
    Single Handheld shot processed in LR4. Taken at twilight 30 minutes after sunset.
  19. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Small or large really doesn't matter as much as people think. Stable, warms up quickly, can be profiled/calibrated to consistent results, doesn't have noisy circuits that cause swimming, doesn't have "noticeable" dithering, etc. These are things that make a difference. Like I said, that the other guy could get a decent print match is a good sign. I still don't care whether they label it Adobe RGB or sRGB. If it holds it holds its profile well, that is much more valuable. You'd have to get pretty saturated before viewing would be problematic anyway. At that point if you're concerned about potential detail loss due to saturation, you can check individual channels. There's really nothing inherently unusable about an sRGB display by its nature. I've seen some very good ones built around this reference spec, and I've seen some bad ones. It's not how I'd set the goalposts. I'm just trying to say I don't go by raw specs when determining quality. They're too easy to manipulate. If it's providing you with predictable results, that is excellent. I was just cautioning against using the display as its own point of reference and assuming anything else to be invalid. All of you are making me want to try one out now.:mad: I don't so much need one. I just like testing things.
  20. samh4life macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2012

    Or you could've just bought a USB 3.0 or thunderbolt compatible external SSD which could potentially boost your storage up to limitless amounts.
  21. ZacT94 macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2012
    Woah the quality of that image is absolutely astounding. Now I'm even more certain about buying a Retina MBP.
  22. Drag'nGT macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2008
    I'm in your boat. Have you considered the standard MBP with an ssd and the 750gb in the DVD drive? Or even two ssds in raid 0?

    I really wish the retina was an option on the standard model. The rest of the time I plan to hook it to a 27" display.
  23. maratus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    Here's my advice:

    Once you go with SSD as an internal drive you'll never go back. It's as simple as that. That's why 750Gb HDD in cMBP shouldn't even be a decision factor. However a good 512Gb 2.5" SSD for less than 400$ is tempting. If you're not planning to do this upgrade for your cMBP straight, then go with 256Gb base rMBP.

    Once you go with fast and huge external storage, you'll be tempted not to go back :D Regular internal drives today still top at 1TB for 9.5mm and 1.5TB for 12.5mm (though I've never seen the latter outside of HDD enclosure). Get a reliable 2x4Tb external RAID 1 enclosure (4Tb total) or something similar. You also can have aforementioned <400$ 512Gb SSD in a nice 2.5" USB 3.0 enclosure, very rugged portable setup.

    Bottom line: I wouldn't store a big photo library on a single mechanical HDD that's mounted within a portable computer. So you must have an external drive regardless to fit them all, and here's the question - do you still need your entire library on your internal drive? Do you need a big part of it on your internal drive?
  24. Panini macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2012
    Palo Alto, CA
    The Retina model is primarily targeted at graphics and video designers. If it's not worth it for you, I don't know who it will be worth it for.

    That being said, you don't want to have buyers remorse when CS6 with Retina support comes out and you're left out of the fun.

    2.3 vs 2.6? No difference for you

    256gb vs ____gb? The former is SSD. If you're getting an SSD in the legacy model (from apple) its price will end up being more than the retina, so why bother.

    ODD? Do photographers even use these anymore?

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