Return new MB Pro Retina 13 for Air or Non Retina?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bigjeep127, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. bigjeep127 macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2012
    So I've seen a handful of threads on this issue and I am going nuts trying to figure out what to do. I'd really appreciate some opinions and could use some answers to a couple of questions.

    1st Mac was a mid 2007 base model Macbook with no upgrades. I used it up until a month ago when the HD failed. The computer was a joy to use from day one til the last day, no issues with it slowing down much. I doubled the RAM to 4GB when I upgraded it to Lion. I always upgraded the OS when I could.

    2nd Mac was bought a week ago. $1499 model Macbook Pro Retina 13", 8G RAM and 256G SSD.

    The user experience is pretty dang sweet for the most part. Surfing the web and clicking around is great. Then I start to notice some choppy scrolling in Safari and also Finder. All settings are default. I think it's no big deal until I load some SlowMo videos from my 5S into iPhoto last night and the computer then behaves like it's 9 years old as I'm trying to play them. Choppy, laggy, some beach balls. Maximizing the screen is a slow effort. I read a bit online and lower the resolution to the lowest setting, barely makes a difference. I'm pretty upset considering my iPhone plays these movies with no problem. My AppleTV also plays them fine even though sometimes it takes a few tries for them to play.

    Here's my question. I read there are issues with the graphics chip in my new MB not being optimized yet. Is this something that will get fixed in the future through software? I read people hoping for a fix back in Oct 2013 and it doesn't seem fixed yet. Is the Iris chip inherently too weak? I'm still within the return window, I got the MB Pro because I thought it would faster than the Air. The Retina is cool but not imperative, the Air still looked great IMO. Would I be better off with an Air? Or maybe even the non retina Pro? I like the upgradability of the non retina BUT I did make it 7 years on my previous base model Macbook with only doubling the RAM. So it's not a huge deal IMO.

    FYI, my uses are mainly web surfing, email, itunes, ms office, ichat, airplay videos to TV, iphoto (not really any editing, just a tad maybe), google sketchup (some small woodworking designs, not drawing houses or anything) and watching HD movies on a plane or trip. I would also like to play with imovie and edit some simple movies of my dog or something, nothing professional.

    Am I the only one having the issue with the slowmo videos in iPhoto? I can't find much on this specific subject.

    Help is much appreciated!
  2. nickandre21 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2012
    Ensure you have all the latest updates for your computer. Does the slomo videos work well on quicktime? It would be great if you monitorer the cpu activity when you carry iut this task just to see if iphoto is carrying out any background activity.
    Since it is new i would take it to apple and have them look at it as i assume you are still within 14 days. Also verify with another laptop on display to see if that to gives the same issue.
  3. kathyricks macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    Others have reported similar lag experiences with the 13" rMBP even when doing basic photo editing. That's one reason I opted for the speedier, though larger and less portable base model 15" - they routinely sell for $1700 - $1750 delivered on ebay in new in box condition. You can also get them from the Apple refurbished store for $1699. Of course you should check with Apple first to see if they know of a way to fix the lags on your 13".
  4. bigjeep127 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Unfortunately I'm at my max budget with the $1500 model. Have you been satisfied with the 15"? I'm used to the 13" anyways and will probably stick with it.

    I was hoping there was someone out there who had the same experience as me and went to the Macbook Air? I will go back to the Apple store and talk to them but when I was initially shopping the Pro seemed faster than the Air. iPhoto especially hauled butt on the Pro 13", not sure why the videos pull it to a crawl. I know they're 120fps and probably large files, but if the iPhone runs them fine my $1500 laptop should as well, IMO. Thanks everyone.
  5. bigjeep127 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2012
    So I just got home and started messing with the videos in iPhoto and iMovie. Things are running very quickly now. iMovie is especially impressive. Not sure what was going on last night. My battery was at 3%, does that make a difference at all? I'm full now and the thing is flying.
  6. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    If you were running intense programs last night with very little battery left, that can make a difference.
  7. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    I would keep your computer. It's a better than either non-Retina alternative, especially for someone who is not wont to upgrade. If you continue to have problems with it, I would exchange it for another of its kind.
  8. Joelist macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2014
    Neither Iris nor Iris Pro have strength issues. some early users may have had some driver optimization issues but the iGPU is the strongest one out there and the Pro version is basically the same as a GeForce 650M
  9. mcarling macrumors 65816

    Oct 22, 2009
    It will run faster when plugged in to power than when running on battery.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If the lagging in iphoto is a major issue that you cannot live with, then definitely return the rMBP and get an MBA or a cMBP. Personally, I'd get the MBA because of the battery life.

    I have a 2012 rMBP and I'm not suffering from performance lags so its difficult for me to say what you should do since I'm not suffering.

    Good luck
  11. Donka macrumors 68020


    May 3, 2011
    The CPU & GPU will likely be under driven when so low on power to conserve run time i.e. they will down clock and run much slower to use less battery.
    You will not have this kind of an issue with a full battery or plugged into the mains. Looks like you have answered your own question. Enjoy your Pro. I have the previous HD4000 retina 13" and never had problems so I'm sure you will be fine.
  12. Uyski macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2014
    I think it's completely normal, because that's what happens to mine to.
    It laggs alot when the battery is below 5%, but after charging it up, its completely smooth.
  13. bigjeep127 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2012
    This is all makes sense now. Thanks everyone for the help. I think I may have overreacted, I was VERY happy with the performance last night :)

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