Review: MBPr 13" replacing iMac 27" & Macbook Air 13"

gomatt

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 21, 2006
81
1
Hey guys,

I am not active on this site but figured I had such a good experience with my new Macbook Air Retina 13" I would share it.

Specs: Late 2013 13" retina, 8gb ram, 512gb PCIe, 2.6 i5
Additions: amazon UBS 3.0 hub, 2 WD passports 2tb, thunderbolt ethernet

Previously, I used an iMac 27" 2009 for my desktop. Was great due to screen size because I could watch tv shows on it. Was perfect size for working in Excel and the like (with fusion). I used the 13" macbook air 2gb ram for traveling, but the ram was so low for fusion. But everything on that laptop was great. It was a 2009, and always faster then the iMac 27".

So I didn't know whether to upgrade both, or do a laptop and use it as a desktop a monitor. After researching, I always found a flash macbook air, was just so good, I figured the iMac was a waste of power. I don't edit video, or play games. So if you don't do these 2 things, power is pointless. Go for flash storage.

I have the retina 13" plugged into a Asus pro art 27" IPS screen. Same as iMac pretty much. And its the best setup I have had yet. I put itunes, adium, and skype on my laptop screen, and use the main display for Fusion (Windows 7 for excel, work) and my mac desktop. Swapping between windows and mac I use expose. Works perfect.

Also, the windows runs perfect as native on fusion. I highly recommend it. The new macbook pro I have has never turned on the fan beyond the 1270rpm it runs at idle. Even when exporting photos from aperture, no fan. youtube videos on 10 tabs? No fan.

The thing runs so damn fast, I'm so glad I didn't get a 15" as it would have been heavy and waste of money.

The PCIe runs 3x as fast as my air did, and makes all the difference.

One thing that I didn't like, was after using the cheap displayport adapter to DVI AND the amazon 3.0 usb hub, it causes interference that causes the wifi to not pick up anything but the closest networks. Then it won't even connect, or stay connected. I researched online, and found out the problem. So instead of unplugging all my wires to find wifi again, I got the expensive 29.00 thunderbolt to ethernet, and love it. It connects when you wake up the machine, and the speed is better.

I would get 15mb down on one wifi channel, then 25 on another. It was so erratic, I will never use wifi on a main machine unless I have to.

The retina screen runs perfectly smooth on all resolutions, this "lag" people are talking about is so small, only a crazy freak would need to see this go away. I did so many tests in the store, every model, every setting. The new Pros have none of these issues.

Note about fusion and windows. While the new fusion DOES have retina support, using windows 7 and excel (where you need to be clear when you look at spreadsheets all day), the retina sucks. I have to use an external screen to use Excel. Excel only looks great on a native 1 to 1 pixel. If you buy a 15" retina laptop to use excel, forget it. If you work all day in excel, you need it to be on a non-retina external monitor. Excel looks great on macbook air, but on any resolution, bad on retina.

I use a 2TB passport 3.0 to backup time machine, and it backs up the 512gb on PCIe and 1tB passport 3.0. These go so fast, thunderbolt would be a waste of money. Also to note, the amazon 4 port 3.0 hub will power 2 passports and charge an iphone (not new ipads) with no external power. Powering all 3 from the macbook pro side port.

Another thing to note on Pro Vs. Air, is the pro has OPTICAL toslink out just like the iMacs (maybe only old ones have it). I love using this feature to run audio into my apple hifi or a DAC.

The new Pro is same size and weight (to me) as the air. You won't go back after switching to Pro 13". It is perfect in all areas. (with a screen hooked up).

Hope this helps some people with this same idea.

matt
 

xlp

macrumors newbie
Jun 4, 2009
28
0
Hey guys,

I am not active on this site but figured I had such a good experience with my new Macbook Air Retina 13" I would share it.
How much did you pay to get that? I want pictures! :cool:
 

CausticPuppy

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2012
1,483
18
The retina screen runs perfectly smooth on all resolutions, this "lag" people are talking about is so small, only a crazy freak would need to see this go away. I did so many tests in the store, every model, every setting. The new Pros have none of these issues.
10.9.2 fixed the lag (some of which actually got worse with the 10.9.0 upgrade from Mountain Lion). So even on my first-generation rMBP with the HD4000 GPU, the UI is smooth and lag-free at all resolutions now. :D
 

fskywalker

macrumors 65816
Nov 6, 2009
1,223
3
Hey guys,

I am not active on this site but figured I had such a good experience with my new Macbook Air Retina 13" I would share it
Macbook Air (MBA) Retina already available ???? :D. Guess you meant MBP instead....
 

jmoore5196

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2009
739
252
Midwest US
10.9.2 fixed the lag (some of which actually got worse with the 10.9.0 upgrade from Mountain Lion). So even on my first-generation rMBP with the HD4000 GPU, the UI is smooth and lag-free at all resolutions now. :D
Would you mind giving my late 2013 13" rMBP (i7/16/512) a stern talking-to? The lag is still very apparent when working with CC apps.
 

TechGod

macrumors 68040
Feb 25, 2014
3,165
845
New Zealand
Hey guys,

I am not active on this site but figured I had such a good experience with my new Macbook Air Retina 13" I would share it.

Specs: Late 2013 13" retina, 8gb ram, 512gb PCIe, 2.6 i5
Additions: amazon UBS 3.0 hub, 2 WD passports 2tb, thunderbolt ethernet

Previously, I used an iMac 27" 2009 for my desktop. Was great due to screen size because I could watch tv shows on it. Was perfect size for working in Excel and the like (with fusion). I used the 13" macbook air 2gb ram for traveling, but the ram was so low for fusion. But everything on that laptop was great. It was a 2009, and always faster then the iMac 27".

So I didn't know whether to upgrade both, or do a laptop and use it as a desktop a monitor. After researching, I always found a flash macbook air, was just so good, I figured the iMac was a waste of power. I don't edit video, or play games. So if you don't do these 2 things, power is pointless. Go for flash storage.

I have the retina 13" plugged into a Asus pro art 27" IPS screen. Same as iMac pretty much. And its the best setup I have had yet. I put itunes, adium, and skype on my laptop screen, and use the main display for Fusion (Windows 7 for excel, work) and my mac desktop. Swapping between windows and mac I use expose. Works perfect.

Also, the windows runs perfect as native on fusion. I highly recommend it. The new macbook pro I have has never turned on the fan beyond the 1270rpm it runs at idle. Even when exporting photos from aperture, no fan. youtube videos on 10 tabs? No fan.

The thing runs so damn fast, I'm so glad I didn't get a 15" as it would have been heavy and waste of money.

The PCIe runs 3x as fast as my air did, and makes all the difference.

One thing that I didn't like, was after using the cheap displayport adapter to DVI AND the amazon 3.0 usb hub, it causes interference that causes the wifi to not pick up anything but the closest networks. Then it won't even connect, or stay connected. I researched online, and found out the problem. So instead of unplugging all my wires to find wifi again, I got the expensive 29.00 thunderbolt to ethernet, and love it. It connects when you wake up the machine, and the speed is better.

I would get 15mb down on one wifi channel, then 25 on another. It was so erratic, I will never use wifi on a main machine unless I have to.

The retina screen runs perfectly smooth on all resolutions, this "lag" people are talking about is so small, only a crazy freak would need to see this go away. I did so many tests in the store, every model, every setting. The new Pros have none of these issues.

Note about fusion and windows. While the new fusion DOES have retina support, using windows 7 and excel (where you need to be clear when you look at spreadsheets all day), the retina sucks. I have to use an external screen to use Excel. Excel only looks great on a native 1 to 1 pixel. If you buy a 15" retina laptop to use excel, forget it. If you work all day in excel, you need it to be on a non-retina external monitor. Excel looks great on macbook air, but on any resolution, bad on retina.

I use a 2TB passport 3.0 to backup time machine, and it backs up the 512gb on PCIe and 1tB passport 3.0. These go so fast, thunderbolt would be a waste of money. Also to note, the amazon 4 port 3.0 hub will power 2 passports and charge an iphone (not new ipads) with no external power. Powering all 3 from the macbook pro side port.

Another thing to note on Pro Vs. Air, is the pro has OPTICAL toslink out just like the iMacs (maybe only old ones have it). I love using this feature to run audio into my apple hifi or a DAC.

The new Pro is same size and weight (to me) as the air. You won't go back after switching to Pro 13". It is perfect in all areas. (with a screen hooked up).

Hope this helps some people with this same idea.

matt
********. Just because you can't see the lag doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It is bloody annoying as well when it happens but thanks for calling me crazy.
 

TechZeke

macrumors 68020
Jul 29, 2012
2,364
1,978
San Antonio, TX
********. Just because you can't see the lag doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It is bloody annoying as well when it happens but thanks for calling me crazy.
Agree. I routinely see lag(if slight) all over the place on my rMBP. While still relatively smooth, it is no where close to the smoothness my old 15" cMBP w/ SSD.
 

CausticPuppy

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2012
1,483
18
Would you mind giving my late 2013 13" rMBP (i7/16/512) a stern talking-to? The lag is still very apparent when working with CC apps.
You need to give Adobe a stern talking to.

Lightroom is pretty laggy on this machine. Aperture is much smoother.

The legginess is Adobe's fault, not Apple's.
 

jmoore5196

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2009
739
252
Midwest US
You need to give Adobe a stern talking to.

Lightroom is pretty laggy on this machine. Aperture is much smoother.

The legginess is Adobe's fault, not Apple's.
Appreciate the feedback; I don't use either one. My problem is largely with Audition and the audio latency. I would think audio processing apps should be less demanding; Adobe and everyone else I've shared the problem with don't have a clue.

Audition is Smooth as butter on my 11" MBA; the rMBP is laggy. No idea why. Very disconcerting! Maybe I should switch to Logic.