Retina or Standard MBP for me?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by modelbehaviour, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. modelbehaviour macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Yes, I know. Another one of these 'help me decide which MBP to buy' threads. Sorry in advance!

    Basically I'm a student with a year left at university. My main uses for a laptop are internet, word processing and holding/watching a lot of movies/music (around 106GB all together) which I put onto my iPad. I don't do video editing but I occasionally do basic photo editing. I'm not too worried about portability but would like to be able to carry it across campus now and then without my arm falling off which it does with my current MB!

    I currently have a 13" 2007 white Macbook with a 2.2 Ghz intel core duo, 4GB RAM (upgraded from 2GB) and a 120GB hard drive. In short, I'm trying to decide whether to buy the top end 15" 'old' MBP or the base model Retina.

    I love the new design/screen and the idea of a speedy SSD, but the 256GB hard drive worries me as I get annoyed at my current 120GB which is constantly full (though I do have a portable 500GB external drive). I would need to buy an external disc drive but that doesn't worry me since I only use it for ripping DVD's now and then using handbrake. I'm also kind of worried about not being able to upgrade it (although I guess I wouldn't need more than 8GB RAM for my uses?) and the scroll lag everyone is talking about - although I don't know if that'd affect me since I'd only use it with the default screen resolution?

    The 'old' MBP is still a massive improvement on what I have now and the 750GB HD sounds amazing, but I worry the design will be outdated too quickly as I intend to keep whatever I buy for roughly 4 years.

    Long story short, help?!
     
  2. charlieegan3 macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Location:
    U.K
    #2
    1st off everyones situation is different so don't worry about asking.

    It sounds to me like the only thing holding you back from the 'old' MBP is the Design? would that be right? You don't seem too keen on the retina (small ssd, + non upgradable RAM) by that i'm guessing you are looking at the base model?
     
  3. modelbehaviour thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Yes, well that and the weight. It has a lot of things like ports which I don't need and I find the screen a bit too reflective.

    I'm by no means knowledgable with computer internals so I'm not too bothered about upgrading, I just did it with my current MB since it was easy and not very expensive (and I got someone else to do it!) I'm able to choose the 16GB RAM upgrade when I buy it but I don't know if it's necessary for me? Although I would prefer the 512GB SSD I don't think it's worth another £400+ to me to go to the model up when I don't find putting stuff on an external HDD that much of an inconvenience. I guess I just worry that in 3-4 years it'll be as full as my 120GB is now!
     
  4. modelbehaviour thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 23, 2007
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    UK
  5. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    #5
    I honestly this the old style MBP would be great for you. Yes, it's heavier than the retina MBP, but I haven't found it to be a problem carrying it around. If you're worried about the screen being too reflective, can you opt for the anti-glare? It will still be very functional after 3-4 years, and you can opt to add more RAM or an SSD later on to speed it up if you want (and SSDs should get less expensive as time goes on, as well, so you can put in a larger one for less money).

    You just have to decide which features are most important to you and base your decision off of that. No matter which one you get, using it for 3-4 years shouldn't be a problem at all.
     
  6. robinpow macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #6
    First off you have to remember that sometimes our emotions get in the way of common sense. It's only natural to want the newest fanciest toy out, but common sense will often tell you, what you need.
    Who really gives a crap if you computer isn't the newest one out or even out dated? If it does the job, that's what counts

    For me I need screen size, I need as many ports as they can give me. What I don't need is a fancy super high depth screen.

    As to weight, sure lighter is nicer, but the realty check is, do you really have a physical problem carrying around an extra pound? I've been carrying TWO 17" MBPs around for years and I'm well over the half century mark, if I can physically carry two all over the world, I think most of the people here should be able to carry one.

    Yesterday I ordered a new 17" MBP, with 16gig RAM, anti-glare screen and Apple Care from my favorite seller on eBay. I'm now set for another 2 or 3 years. Good luck with which ever one you choose.
     
  7. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #7
    For expandability and storage the non Retina 2012 MBP rules, more options HDD + ODD, SSD + ODD, HDD + HDD, SSD + HDD, SSD + SSD, user upgradeable RAM. For the latest Mac experience and instant performance, less weight, wait for Mountain Lion and the Retina MBP. I really want the latest Retina MBP, however my own internal logic tells me the 2012 non Retina is the more flexible system with potentially greater longevity.

    If you are on a budget look at the Late 2011 MBP, lack of USB 3 is the only real negative, they are tremendous performers.
     
  8. kaydot macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    #8
    Hi,

    I have the same 2007 Macbook you have! Exciting!

    Based on what you have written (student, uses, etc.), I would look at getting the base model MBP without Retina. The graphics card and CPU in that machine will handle your photo editing no problemo. Then I would look at upgrading to a hybrid Momentus XT drive which will give you the 750gb space and 8gb flash for quick boot and load times. You can also do an after market upgrade of the RAM to 8gb for $50. HD and memory upgrades are quite easy on the "old" MBPs.

    Since you do your surfing and video watching on the iPad, the screen, while nice, seems unnecessary. While you're on a budget, this machine will do. And when the time comes to replace it in a few years, every machine will have Retina and you won't be paying a premium only for the screen.

    I have carried 15" laptops around, and while they are heavier than a 3lb air, they aren't terrible with the right bag. Messenger bags are probably the worst, and I would recommend a double shoulder backback for long treks. A new bag is probably a better solution than paying a premium for the MBPR.
     
  9. modelbehaviour, Jun 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012

    modelbehaviour thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Thank you for your inputs everyone, very much appreciated.

    I'm still leaning towards the retina, purely because I saw the screen today and it is amazing. Money isn't really an issue for me (I been on placement all year so have been earning unlike a normal student!) I have it on my iPad and iPhone and love it, especially when a huge majority of my time on my laptop is spent online I think i'll get a lot of enjoyment from it. The scroll lag worries me a little but I have faith in Apple that it'll be fixed with mountain lion, and I guess it isn't that much of a problem if you don't have it set on the massive resolution. I think 256GB SSD will be enough for me, I'm just being greedy wanting 512 which I'd probably never fill!

    Yeah the weight is kind of an issue for me, I'm a girl (you probably guessed?!) and 2 lbs less in my handbag makes a fair bit of difference! I'm a bit of a fashion freak and quite picky (read VERY) when it comes to bags, since I would never ever wear a backpack I'm always carrying it on my arm or shoulder which can become a bit of a hassle when walking 40 mins to the other end of campus.
     
  10. emailsfh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    #10
    I'm going with older style MBP with antiglare high res screen. I try to keep my macs for over 4 years, and this will allow me to upgrade memory (potentially up to 32gb when that actually exists) and expand my drive space using SSD and optibay in the future. You will get a great computer that can grow with your needs, and save as these parts will be cheaper to buy when you need them in the future. And you get the same processor and performance as the "sexy" RMBP, USB 3.0, etc. I don't think you can go wrong with this unless you really want the screen.

    I just don't like having Apple or anyone limiting my options from the get go, so RMBP is not for me.
     
  11. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #11
    So true, I admit I do want a R-MBP, yet have little need of it`s features. The 2012 non R-MBP will fit my needs and i would have several upgrade paths, in general I run two MBP`s right now a Late 2011 15" MBP 2.4 i7 and an Early 2008 MBP 2.4 Penryn which has more than paid it`s way.

    I may let my heart rule my head and go with Retina, i know it will do what I want, however needing to compromise on internal storage or go the whole hog and "go big" really at a loss, so I will decide one ML is out the gate, or simply stop and wait on 2013`s offerings.
     

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