Reasons to get 15" cMBP over 15" rMBP ... Any of you prefer the cMBP still?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Adamantoise, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    So I'm buying a new Macbook Pro soon, and it has to be a 15".

    Right now, I'm leaning towards the base 15" cMBP. I plan to replace the stock HDD for an SSD of my own (Samsung 840), I also plan to replace the stock RAM with RAM of my own (Samsung 2x4GB DDR3 1600).

    Before I pull the trigger, I was wondering if there's any reason I should be considering the rMBP over the cMBP?

    I mean, I only really envy the native HDMI port and the retina display, all that 'it's thinner' mantra doesn't mean much to me.

    Will I regret buying a classic over a retina?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Advantages of the rMBP - thinner design, superior screen, integrated SSD, HDMI port
    Advantages of the cMBP - optical drive, ethernet port, user replaceable drive and ram.

    I went with the rMBP but the cMBP is no slouch but for me the cost difference wasn't that much when I started configuring the two similarly, i.e., adding an SSD to the cMBP.
  3. Adamantoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Yeah, I got my SSD over thanksgiving with all the sales. If I had known I might start considering the rMBP then I would not have bought it.

    Man, as nice as that machine is, I do want an Ethernet port and an optical drive.

    Bah, back to reading reviews I guess.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Sounds like the cMBP is the machine for you, unless the lack of the retina screen is a show stopper.

    You can get a TB to ethernet adapter but it doesn't lock into place, just sits there through friction - I've had it come out a couple of times. Since you own a SSD now, I'd say go for the cMBP
  5. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    I recently went with a 13" cMBP over the rMBP but if I was in the market for a 15", I still would have went with the cMBP over the rMBP. It just works better for me. A major factor for me is the fact that the integrated screen is usually not the primary screen I'm looking at. While I do take my laptop all over the place, most of the time it is hooked up to an external monitor. Thus, I find it silly for me to pay extra for a screen that I don't really look at that much. I know adapters exist but I also really like having an integrated ethernet port. It's sort of a big deal for me.

    Weight/thickness isn't really an issue for me. A 15" laptop is always somewhat of a beast due to its footprint (which is a big reason I went with a 13").
  6. Adamantoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Thanks. It would have been nice to get the extra memory on the GT650M but I suppose I can live with it if all I'll be playing is Civilization. (Besides, I have a desktop machine for gaming)

    Yeah I currently own a 13" Macbook Pro, but after trying to write my thesis on it, I quickly realized I needed a laptop that offered more screen real estate. I think I'll just suck it up and go with the cMBP. Weight isn't an issue for me either, I'll just toss it in a neoprene sleeve and put it in my backpack (that's really the only way my machine travels).
  7. Handsome Bacon macrumors regular

    Handsome Bacon

    Apr 10, 2012
    Location: Location!
    I work with music as a career SO the classic MBP appealed to me much more as I could add an extra large capacity HDD for sample libraries. The libraries I use are orchestral string libraries, guitar libraries, brass libraries, etc. So it made more sense for me to go the cMBP route as a large capacity rMBP would have pushed $4,000. I work with a large 27" IPS monitor most of the time so the extra display real estate wasn't an advantage. In my case I added an Intel 520 series SSD as the main drive and 16GB of memory. No complaints!
  8. Raunien macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2011
    I bought a 2012 cMBP because of the anti-glare screen (added as upgrade). I can't stand glossy displays and the black border of the rMBP was enough to turn me off.

    With that said, the rMBP is an amazing machine and if you don't mind the glossy screen, it's a great option.
  9. michial macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2009
    I love the cmbp. I have the base 2012 15" model and its more than enough. Unless you're a professional with hard core needs or an affluent hobbyist a rmbp is more computer and more money than 90% of the population need.
  10. efirmage macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Just don't go to the apple store and spend too long on a Retina display. Just spent some time comparing the two and it will have to be a retina for me.


    Display - I'm a photographer, I'd be upgrading the display on the cMBP anyway, but it's still not close.

    Thinness/weight - big difference, especially after getting used to an Air. Typing on something that thick isn't as comfortable either, and I do a lot of that.

    SSD - sure you can pop in an aftermarket upgrade, but I worry about the warranty. Make sure to put back the original if you plan on getting it worked on.

    Thermal management - I'm a casual gamer, and the heat management seems much better in the retina.

    Reasons I'm opposed to the Retina:

    No repairability/ultra proprietary parts upset me. Any repair on a 15' Retina would be $400+. I want longevity out of my computers and the retina does not promise that. Not a great situation with the cMBP either, but it's slightly better.
  11. Adamantoise thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    I'm a photographer too, any worthwhile editing is performed on an external monitor for me as I like having the larger screen real estate. But yeah, that retina display is sure enticing.

    I really do want the retina display, but the lack of an Ethernet port and an optical drive is a negative for me. I suppose I'm still living in the past, but I just can't let go just yet.

    I honestly don't care for the machine being thinner or weighing a little less (1 lb to be exact). I mean, it occupies the same footprint as the classic, I'm not sure those tradeoffs were worth it, but I suppose they didn't have me in mind when designing the machine.

    I also like being able to repair my machine myself, this is huge for me. I really don't know anything about the internals of the retina, I would be lost if I attempted to fix one myself.

    I suppose I'll just be going with:

    Base 15" Classic Macbook Pro
    + Hi-Res display (1680 by 1050)

    Lol, I would have even considered a Windows laptop, but those manufacturers are all obsessed with that foolish 16:9 aspect ratio that makes no sense on a laptop.
  12. angrydog macrumors member


    Dec 12, 2009
    I had the Late '11 MacBook Pro with the High-Res screen and recently got the rMBP and let's just say that I will never go back to the cMPB. For me the 1920x1200 resolution is perfect for me to jungle multiple windows whilst writing reports.
  13. therealseebs macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    I can't say what you'd regret. Me, I got a cMBP.


    1. RAM and HDD upgrades.
    2. Ethernet and firewire ports. I still use these both actively. I am not okay with needing dongles for them, because if I have dongles for both of those, I am out of video ports. (HDMI will not drive a 2560x1600 display...)
    3. Antiglare display. I can't stand glossy. Yes, I've seen the "less" reflective Retina display. It's still too glossy for me, and I can't use it.

    I would say, give serious consideration to going for 16GB of memory. It won't cost that much more, and then you don't end up buying it anyway a year later and having 8GB of memory you have no use for.

    You don't mention the size of SSD, or your usual use environment, so I don't know how much it'll matter to you whether you have access to more space easily. SSD prices drop rapidly, so don't feel too pressured to get the absolute largest you can. And of course, if you get the classic, you can use a firewire 800 drive with it.

    The native HDMI port is indeed a nice thing; one of the nice things about the 2012 mini is having thunderbolt open while using an HDMI display. But overall, I've been pretty happy with the basic premises of the cMBP, and the Retina display does not suit my needs as well; at resolutions other than 2880x1800, it looks worse to me than a plain 1920x1200 or 1680x1050 display, it's glossy, and so on. In practice, it's a 1440x900 display with really sharp pixels, and while it really is very pretty, that's not enough screen real estate; increasing the effective real estate really hurts the clarity, MHO.

    But me... I'd regret the rMBP, because of the glossy display and total lack of future upgrade options. It comes down to personal taste and likely use cases. I tend to use machines for the full three years of their AppleCare, and by three years from now, I am quite confident I will have replaced the 480GB SSD I put in my machine with a larger one, and if it turns out the motherboard really CAN support 16GB DIMMs, which will likely exist by then, I may have upgraded to 32GB too. :)

    And of course, any time you buy something expensive, you're gonna tend to have some reservations or regrets. I still sorta wonder if I shouldn't have turned to the dark side, gotten a machine with significantly more CPU and GPU power and the ability to run them at capacity for a long time without overheating, and probably a second internal drive bay, spent $500 less on it, and done a Hackintosh. But I am not comfortable with the Hackintosh concept. As of yet, I am able to muddle through with what Apple's willing to sell, but I really do worry about their ever-increasing emphasis on thin machines that lack ports I actively use.
  14. FuNGi macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
    Just opt for a refurb hi-res cMBP and you'll be on your way.
  15. Hackintosh Sr. macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2008
    I think there are exactly 1,000,012 threads about this debacle
  16. therealseebs macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    A couple months back, Micro Center had a very large stock of the 2011 MBPs in hi-res antiglare at very low prices. The Apple refurb store tends to list them on and off, but they sell out quickly; I do recommend hi-res if you get the cMBP. Waiting a few days can save you a bunch of money on one.

    Also. The Apple store says that the refurbs "qualify for OS X Mountain Lion up-to-date". This is not true. They ship with 10.8 on them, but this is not the same thing; up-to-date is a separate program which gives you a special key you can use to get the 10.8 download added to your app store account. Machines that come with 10.8 loaded on them DO NOT qualify for this. (This almost never matters, mind, but it is a difference.)
  17. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    Don''t buy an 840. They are very unreliable. Get the 830 instead.

    Once you have had a retina screen anything else looks like crap.

  18. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    I don't necessarily think that once you've had a retina display you really can't use anything else. I've had 2 15" rMBPs and returned both of them. I'm currently using a 17" cMBP with the hi-res antiglare screen and I love it. It is a great display and I plan to swap the SuperDrive for a Blu-Ray drive in the future so I can take advantage of the 1080p and excellent speakers. :)

    I also have the same config you are considering going with - base 2012 15" MBP with the hi-res antiglare and because of the savings, upgradeability, repairability, etc. I prefer it over the two rMBPs I previously owned. But the speakers are not nearly as superb as they are on the late 2011 17" I have so I am returning it.

    Whichever you end up with will certainly be an upgrade from your 13", in basically all aspects. Enjoy it. :)
  19. makaveli559m macrumors 6502

    Apr 30, 2012
    With the cMPB, you get more space you can even upgrade to better harddrive and you can upgrade the RAM at anytime you want. Plus you get more ports and optical drive. Slimmer isnt always better no matter how shiny the high screen resolution is.
  20. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    I have a 2009 MBP with 15" 1440x900 display.

    I also purchased a rMBP a day after they came out.

    Ever since, I frequently forget where the cMBP is for days, even weeks at a time.

    For me it is like "Would I rather watch an old 13" portable with rabbit ears or the new 60" Plasma in HD?"

    That and it is far easier to grab and run with. The ability to move with it is greatly enhanced, whether walking through house or with it stuffed in a bag.

    No comparison.
  21. Lord Flashheart macrumors regular

    Lord Flashheart

    Apr 10, 2007
    Cardiff by the Sea, CA
    I will be getting a hi-res matt cMBP. The size difference doesn't matter. I don't like glossy, still use optical and like that I can upgrade the HDD and Ram. Now my dilemma is buy now or wait for next update. Will there still be a cMBP with the next update?
  22. Ploki macrumors 68030

    Jan 21, 2008
    I doubt it. And even if it will be, it won't do much for the 15"-er. Looks to me like haswell is bigger on power-saving and ultrabook performance than high-end performance. (better integrated graphics > not really relevant for 15"er, better performance per watt,etc)

    If you ask me MBA will be updated before the retina, and cMBP is most likely to get dropped. Given the GPU performance increase we might see a lower priced rMBP15" without discrete graphics, it's not the first time apple offered a 15" without discrete graphics.
  23. MadTester macrumors regular


    Mar 24, 2012
    Amen to that brother! :D
  24. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    Love my 15inch 2012 2.7GHz High-Res AG Samsung 830 256GB AppleCare MBP for $1500 :)
  25. nizmoz macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    That is not a advantage but more of a disadvantage because you can upgrade the cMBP to a much better SSD.

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