Retina or non-Retina for me?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NickH88, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. NickH88 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    Florida
    #1
    I'm most likely getting a new MacBook Pro, but haven't yet decided on Retina or non-Retina. I am currently leaning towards the non-Retina.

    I am a college student hoping to get into the Film program, and if I do, I will need a FireWire HDD (all Film students are required to have them), and I understand that only the non-Retina has the FireWire port. I also like the non-Retina's inclusion of an Ethernet port (used to set up wireless routers or in the rare hotels that lack Wi-Fi), audio line-in and line-out ports, and above all else, an optical drive. While I know that there are adapters that can provide the Retina with FireWire, Ethernet, line-in, and line-out connectivity, along with external optical drives, these are extra accessories that I'd have to buy, and would be a bit of a hassle to use (and transport if necessary) instead of having something built in to the laptop.

    The Retina, on the other hand, has that amazing display. Unfortunately, I've read that applications that are not Retina-optimized actually look worse on the Retina display. I use many applications that would fall into that category, such as user-created programs and Firefox. I will need to run Windows in Boot Camp, which I've read conflicting reports about the appearance of (though this is prior to Windows 8 support in Boot Camp). The reduction in weight is definitely a plus. The HDMI port is nice, but I don't really see myself using it thanks to Apple TV. I like the stereo microphone system. It has the potential for more memory than the non-Retina (16 GB as opposed to 8 GB), as well as more flash storage (768 GB flash storage as opposed to a 512 GB SSD). The lack of upgradability and more expensive service due to the design is not really an issue; I would just make sure to order the system with excellent specs and purchase AppleCare to avoid the need to pay for potential battery replacements, etc.

    I do not have a desktop, so I guess you could say that whatever I get will need to be a desktop replacement, but still portable enough, as I will be taking it with me to class (and elsewhere of course). As a prospective Film student, I will be doing a good deal of video editing (the Film program at my college teaches on Final Cut Pro). Other than that, I will be using it for web browsing, multimedia playback, taking notes in class, homework, and occasionally programming.

    Given my usage of the computer, is the display of the Retina model, decrease in size/weight, stereo microphone system, and potentially better specs (more memory and more flash storage) really worth the lack of features that I want (and an increased cost, though that isn't a huge deal)? How much of an issue would I have with applications that aren't Retina-optimized, along with Windows?

    Which MacBook Pro is right for me? As I said before, I'm thinking the non-Retina - particularly the 15" model with the antiglare display.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Birdmagnus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    #2
    Seems like you already kind of answered yourself. The non-retina macbook pro should be able to do everything that you need it to do. Also I'm pretty sure that you can buy 16 GB ram and probably 768 GB SSD in the future from third party site and install them into the laptop yourself.

    The retina display is amazing, but it is not that big of a difference to me and I'm not a film student, so I don't know how much you will benefit from it.
     
  3. attis macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    #3
    It's a hard choice. The 15" MacBook Pro Retina is, to my knowledge, the first of its kind and the beginning of "a new era". To me, it seems the world is not Retina-ready yet, and therefore, the exceptional hardware design isn't used to its full potential. It might even, as you say, be a worse experience in some cases.. The downsides of being an early adopter.

    It wouldn't really be a smart move for Apple to do it, because they really want us to buy the new Retina Macbooks so they can continue their move to Retina with all of their products, but personally I would really like a version of the 15" MBPR with the traditional HighRes AntiGlare display. It would lessen the strain on the hardware and battery, and would appeal to us who don't benefit from the Retina capabilities. But this theoretical computer I think would have lowered the sales of the Retina, and therefore the production volume of it, and the ability for Apple to invest more in the production of Retina displays for having even more of a lead over the competition in the future, when Retina will be more widely accepted, implemented and used in software. When it's the new standard, quite simply. My money is on 2018, +/- 1 year :p;)

    As a "nice gesture", which I don't think they had to do, Apple offer the MBPClassic. It's even upgraded to Ivy Bridge, so it's still competitive alongside the Retina. So that brings us to your question - wich one to get when neither is perfect?

    It's a tradeoff - the Retina has better thermal management, with the new fans and air intakes, so it will might handle video editing over long periods of time, or at least be nicer to use if it's quieter and cooler. Or maybe it will actually be faster as a result of the better cooling - I remember the 2011 MBPs having to throttle down over time because they got too hot. Ivy Bridge might be better, but the old MBP does get warmer overall.

    I prefer the AntiGlare display, but you might benefit from the Retinas ability to go virtual 1920x1200 when working with FCPX(?).

    The TB-FW/-Ethernet adapters might be an inconvenience, but possibly something one could get used to? The TB-adapter you could gaffer to the FW-cable ;) I taped the Magsafe2 adapter to my second charger. And if you invest in a ~$2k laptop, I'm guessing you will get a case/sleeve for it? Just make sure to get one that fits your Magsafe/harddrive/adapters in the 2nd pocket. Not perfect, but maybe acceptable if the benefits outweigh theses inconveniences?
     
  4. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #4
    You can also easily and cheaply upgrade the ram (up to 16 gigs) and slap in an SSD in a classic. You'll have a machine you can use for the indefinite future, and by the time it no longer suits your needs all macs will probably have retina displays.
     
  5. NickH88 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    Florida
    #5
    Thanks for the replies, everyone!

    To be honest, I haven't seen consumer-level 768 GB SSDs... do they exist? The biggest I've seen is 512 GB.

    You bring up a good point about thermal management. I often sit my laptop in my lap, so I need something that won't be overheating. Being quieter is nice, and better performance as a result of better cooling definitely is as well.

    I have never been a fan of laptop sleeves, but I will definitely be getting a carrying case. Speaking of cost, both the configurations I'm looking at are in the $3000s.

    I would definitely be using an SSD in the non-Retina model. I was planning on paying the ridiculous Apple price to have the 512 GB SSD included with the MacBook, as I've read that you need to have the factory-installed drive inserted when bringing your machine in for service, so if the issue is related to a 3rd-party drive you're using (which seems quite likely when all your programs and files will be on it), then you're out of luck.
     
  6. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #6
    A valid choice, if you prefer convenience over savings. Truthfully, I've also felt a twinge of anxiety over the last few days after reading a couple of people reporting their big Crucial M4's like mine shutting down, though mine seems to be unaffected. SSD failures are generally pretty rare, much more the exception rather than the norm. If Apple didn't charge twice as much as what a consumer can buy them for, it would be a no brainer to one from them.

    Good luck with your purchase, and enjoy your new MBP!
     
  7. Poisonivy326 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    #7
    Get the Classic. I don't buy anything first gen Mac because the next generation will be better, cheaper, and have better specs. Plus the classic is upgradable. Just bought 16 GB of RAM for it. The screen resolution sucks compared to an the rmbp but I think right now the 13" rmbp is the most overpriced machine they have.
     
  8. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #8
    I can't speak for the rest of the post, but this is simply not true. The regular MBP can and will accept 16GB of RAM with not a single hiccup. In fact, the chipset, according to intel, will take 32GB of RAM when 16GB SO-DIMMs come out a bit later down the road, so this should not be an issue to you. 16GB is readily available these days for less than 80 dollars.

    As for the SSD's, you can pop one into your machine for cheaper than what Apple'll charge you and keep the old HD, in an external firewire enclosure, and voilà! You've got your external drive handy.

    Please don't buy your upgrades from Apple's website, you are getting yourself torn a new one with the prices.

    The big selling point for me is the upgradability the non-retina has. I can buy a SSD and increase my RAM down the road if I feel the computer is holding me back, things you cannot do with the retina.

    Capacity of the internal drive shouldn't really matter, as you can always burn old projects to DVD or fill up a few external drives.

    Just my two cents.
     
  9. pgiguere1, Dec 10, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012

    pgiguere1 macrumors 68020

    pgiguere1

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #9
    In your case, the big advantage the rMBP would have over the cMBP would be that you could see 1:1 1080p video. On the cMBP, you'd have to scale down the video preview to like 50% while editing so you could be missing some details. Even a full-screen preview wouldn't display a 1080p video perfectly.

    If you plan to use an external 1080p monitor along with you cMBP, this is not an issue though. I simply personally wouldn't like to publish a 1080p video I haven't ever seen at native resolution.

    Another thing to consider is that the rMBP's screen has more accurate colors: http://cdtobie.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/color-gamut-of-retina-display-macbook-pro/
    Reproducing 99% of sRGB means what you see on-screen are the true colors of your work, not a distorted reproduction that may look different on other monitors.

    However, if you plan on using software that is not Retina-optimized more often than software that is, I would advise against buying a rMBP given that for some reason, upscaled software does look worse on a rMBP than on a cMBP, even though they're running at the same resolution.

    You could always put your screen in 2880x1800 when using non-Retina applications so that you still benefit from the rMBP's massive resolution (that's what I do in Photoshop), but you'll probably find yourself putting your face closer to your screen than before just so you can read the tiny text and click properly on tiny UI elements.
     
  10. amit715 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Location:
    new york
    #10
    honestly although the retina display is better i am completely happy with my 13 inch pro which i upgraded the ram to 8gigs and replaced my hdd with a 256 ssd .my friend got the retina and i don't see much difference in performance ..the non-retina model will fit all your needs and save you some money
     
  11. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #11
    Retina, here is why... cost isnt as significant as many thing, especially with EDUCATIONAL Discount.


    WITHOUT EDUCATIONAL DISCOUNT


    Base 15" MBP - $1799
    Base 15" MBP w/ High-Res (1680x1050) Display - $1899
    Base 15" rMBP - $2199

    Base 15" MBP - $1799
    +Decent 256GB SSD $200 (average)
    +Decent 16GB RAM $80 (avg)
    TOTAL - $2079

    Base 15" MBP w/ High-Res (1680x1050) Display - $1899
    +Decent 256GB SSD $200 (average)
    +Decent 16GB RAM $80 (avg)
    TOTAL - $2179


    Base 15" rMBP -
    Stock w/
    • 2880x1800 Retina Display
    • Samsung SSD w/ TRIM
    • Sharper IPS Panel
    • Slimmer
    • Lighter
    • HDMI
    TOTAL - $2199


    WITH EDUCATIONAL DISCOUNT


    Base 15" MBP - $1699
    Base 15" MBP w/ High-Res (1680x1050) Display - $1789
    Base 15" rMBP - $1999

    Base 15" MBP - $1699
    +Decent 256GB SSD $200 (average)
    +Decent 16GB RAM $80 (avg)
    TOTAL - $1979

    Base 15" MBP w/ High-Res (1680x1050) Display - $1789
    +Decent 256GB SSD $200 (average)
    +Decent 16GB RAM $80 (avg)
    TOTAL - $2069


    Base 15" rMBP -
    Stock w/
    • 2880x1800 Retina Display
    • Samsung SSD w/ TRIM
    • Sharper IPS Panel
    • Slimmer
    • Lighter
    • HDMI
    TOTAL - $1999
     
  12. spb3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #12
    get retina. you will not regret it. the only regret may be that you will not be able to go back to non-retina.
     
  13. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #13
    I concur 128%, is that possible? lol. :D
     
  14. therealseebs macrumors 65816

    therealseebs

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #14
    If you have a reason to want Firewire, I strongly recommend the cMBP for now. The retina's got some nice functionality, but if you have reason to care about FW and Ethernet, those are going to be sore spots. Depending on what you're doing, you may also end up needing an optical drive.

    I am really hoping to someday see an IPS-panel antiglare. Retina resolution would be cool, but honestly I don't care; I have a 15" PC with a 1920x1080 display, and it is plenty high resolution for me. I would like the better thermal management of the rMBP, but then, I'd like the even better thermal management of a machine that's thick enough to have a reasonable amount of heat sink. :)

    The other consideration is upgrades: Hard drive and memory upgrades after the fact are cheap and simple for the cMBP, and completely impossible, so far as I know, for the rMBP. (At the very least, they're completely unsupported.) So if you get the cMBP, you can replace the hard drive with a larger drive, or an SSD. And 16GB of memory (a nice thing to have) will set you back maybe $80-150 in the normal market, while it's a $200 upgrade for the rMBP, and Apple won't even sell it for the cMBP so far as I can tell. And then, two years from now, you can upgrade the hard drive again if you want...
     
  15. skier777 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #15
    Film=Non
    No question. You need a TON of HDD space.
    You need a disk drive.
    You need to get the 1050 screen.
     
  16. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #16
    I have a rMBP, 2.3/16/256 and I was able to get a Samsung 512GB SSD from a display model rMBP so I decided to make a quick video showing the painless procedure of swapping out the the SSD in a rMBP with another Samsung or OWC SSD.


    You will need;

    • Pentalobe 5 Driver
    • Torx T-5 Driver
    • New SSD from Apple/Samsung or OWC.
    • 5 Minutes or less for physical swap.
    • *Swap Data from Old SSD to new SSD

    I highly recommend the Samsung over the OWC since it is faster and the Samsung doesn't use the Sandforce controller, where as the OWC SSD does.

    *To get all my data from the old SSD I used CCC to make a bootable clone of my current SSD to a USB3 External Hard Drive. Once the clone was done, I physically swapped out the SSDs. I then booted from the External HDD, once in OS X, I then used CCC again to make a bootable copy of my External HDD to my SSD installed. You can also just do an Internet Recovery of OS X if you want to do a clean install or if you do not have an external HDD to clone to.

    VIDEO: http://youtu.be/_Crd__bTThk?hd=1

    For those wondering, I have an iCarbons White Carbon Fiber vinyl.
    http://www.icarbons.com/collections/...retina-display
     
  17. therealseebs macrumors 65816

    therealseebs

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #17
    Are these generally available as standard parts you can pick up from computer stores, then? I was under the impression that the rMBP used an unusual connector, so you couldn't generally assume that you would be able to get new drives that worked with it in the future. (e.g., if Intel comes out with a 1TB drive, will I be able to get one that I can put in the rMBP?)
     

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