Replacing 17" MBP with Retina, worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Totty, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Totty macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    #1
    First off, even without any further description of the 17", I know the answer to a reasonable, logical person. Not worth it. I am a pretty logical person, so I've already got that part nailed down. I'm really just trying to talk myself into replacing my current laptop. Details are that I have a very capable desktop PC for gaming, but I do use my laptop for some gaming (WoW and Diablo 3 would be enough). I enjoy the large screen space of the 17", so would probably run the Retina at least at 1650, if not 1920.

    Current machine is Core 2 Duo, 4gb, SSD. So, the Retina would be a pretty good jump in performance, but the SSD in the 17" allows it to do quite well for day to day tasks. I am not a creative Pro user, I would be using the laptop for programming and some Diablo 3. The current machine handles Diablo 3 very poorly with its 9600m GPU, but again, I have the desktop PC I can use instead.

    All that said, the current machine is ok for now for what I ask of it. I want to know if moving to the Retina will be a large enough jump in "pleasure of use" to make an upgrade worthwhile, or if that sweet spot won't be hit for another year or two.

    Note: Just realized my sig is super old, so ignore the machine listed there. :D
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    You do have the option of picking up 2011 17" MBP in the refurb store.

    I know a number of 17" MBP owners who are dissatisfied with the lack of 17" MBP. I think the 15" is a great is a option, but if you're attached to the 17" form factor you still can purchase one
     
  3. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    Coming from a Core 2 Duo, you should notice a pretty big jump in performance, especially from intensive applications. And gaming should be a night and day difference- the rMBP runs diablo very well and I'd imagine it'd run wow even better.

    Since you do have a desktop, it comes down to whether you want to be able to do everything your desktop can in a portable machine. If that is important enough for you, you should definitely go ahead and get the Retina. If you feel like you can live without all that performance, then keep your MBP for a couple of more years then upgrade. I personally enjoy using laptops more than desktops for whatever reason so the upgrade would be worth it for me. However, if you don't find it a necessity for you to have a laptop as capable as a desktop, than you might hold out for a few more years.

    You do already have a SSD, so there won't be a huge difference in everyday tasks. Definitely do think you'll notice a big difference when running intensive apps, though.
     
  4. Collin789 macrumors regular

    Collin789

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #4
    It somewhat seems that your main concern in the screen size? Although those 2 extra inches can make a difference, I think the biggest difference from the 15in MBP (non retina) is the resolution. Once you hit the 17in display, you get that high-res screen bump, which is really nice. The nice part about having the Retina is that you can change the resolution on the fly. For me, if I'm just looking at a web page and nothing else, I like the larger page size. However, if I need to fit 2 things on the screen at once, changing the resolution is always easy.

    Of course the overall spec bump of the computer will be nice as well.
     
  5. Totty thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    #5
    Thats really where I'm at, I think. I did have a 15" before this one, and I went to the 17" for good reason, I suppose. I think the ability to do higher res on the Retina will make it different than my previous 15". Still, as long as I can hold out, I feel like the "smarter" part of me wants to just keep going. Then the "shiny, new" effect takes over. Then I open up Terminal and see my uptime is 177 days and get a feeling of accomplishment. Rollercoaster ride.
     
  6. Collin789 macrumors regular

    Collin789

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #6
    I thought I would run my Retina MBP in a higher resolution, but since I got it, I've had it in the "Best for Retina" setting. Until you need some more space, thats where I would leave it. Unless you just prefer to always have more space.

    Whatever you decide to do, the Retina MBP really is an awesome machine. If I were in your shoes and had the money, the screen on the Retina would be more than enough of a reason to upgrade. But that's just because I think Apple's Retina displays are one of the best things they've added to their devices. When I got the Retina, the screen was most defiantly not the only thing that was upgraded.
     
  7. Meever macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    #7
    Dat scaling.....

    You'll be able to fit just as much stuff on the 15" physical display as you could have on the 17" screen if not more.

    Some software even behaves in such a way that you won't actually benefit from running at a higher resolution.

    In aperture for example you get the larger hud/ui that the lower resolution provides while you get the full sized image. It's pretty mind blowing.

    But again 2011 17" would also be a fantastic option for you. Use that for a few years and see if apple is crazy enough to try a 17" rMBP >:D
     
  8. FandangoUK macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    #8
    I took some convincing but am so glad I got the rMPB. I have been using a 17" windows machine for 4 years and it had becoem way too slow for lightroom and photoshop. Before WWDC I said to myself that I would not switch to apple if they scrapped the 17" version as I do not need to move it much.

    The retina convinced me and really glad I went with. Very light and stays cool and quiet. Screen is amazing and it is incredibly fast. I use programs like lightroom and photoshop where screen estate is important but have found the switch is fine and glad I made the move.

    The screen is pin sharp and whilst not 3D it really brings a depth of field and vibrancy to images that otherwise look lifeless.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    Take a trip to apple or best buy (if they have the retina MBPs out) and play with one and see how the screen size, resolution and retina display works. At the end of the day, you need to decide if the retina MBP fits your needs and while we can talk about the advantages/disadvantages going from a 17" MBP to a rMBP the bottom line is you have to use it yourself to see.
     
  10. EJ123 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #10
    But you wont' see it as well? At 1900x1200 on a 17", I can somewhat fit two documents concurrently. But the print size gets small. I understand I may be able to do this with 15" on a Retina but at some point the eye tires of trying to look at small print. For that kind of work (multiple document), I have the feeling the 1900x1200 17" is better than a retina because the extra resolution is lost on the eye capability.
     
  11. Southernboyj macrumors 68000

    Southernboyj

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Location:
    Mobile, AL
    #11
    Side note to this topic: I played Diablo 3 today at max resolution and it ran great, constant solid fps and it looked SOOOO beautiful!
     
  12. Boe11 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    #12
    I've got the rMBP and formerly had 17" MBPs.

    The rMBP is great. The screen is gorgeous. The form factor is nice.

    Personally, my opinion is that even with the increased screen resolution and clarity, the 17" still offers a unique experience that can't be matched by a 15". It's hard to describe, but to me the 17" MBP always made me forget that I was working on a laptop. The 15" (even rMBP) doesn't quite offer that same experience.

    I just went back and read that you have a C2D 17". I think the rMBP would definitely be worth the jump in that case, and offer a much more pleasant experience in work and play. The jump between a SB 17" and the rMBP, I'd have a harder time advocating.
     
  13. FastEddiebags macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #13
    17in mbp '11. That way you won't have any regrets and you get the screen size you want. Or buy an external monitor and get any mbp you want
     
  14. natebookpro macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #14
    I had a 17 MBP strictly for the higher resolution. I only need the high resolution about 25% of the time, so the rMBP was a great option for me. 75% of the time I have it at 1680 and the other 25% its at 1920. If you need the 1920 resolution more than half the time I would probably lean towards a 17 inch.
     

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