rMBP: 3 Days Later

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by outsidethebox, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. outsidethebox macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #1
    Here are my impressions after getting the stock rMBP a few days ago, hopefully it might be of some help to others debating getting one:

    - The Retina Screen - For the first few days it was amazing. However, to be honest I've found that I don't even notice or appreciate the difference anymore. People have said that once you use the retina screen you can't go back to a normal one anymore. This isn't the case, as I have been switching back and forth with my old MBP and have no problem whatsoever. The only big benefit I find is when I'm using Photoshop and Illustrator in the 1920 res mode and get huge screen real estate, but otherwise I think it's overblown at this point in time.

    For those who are concerned about a) bad pixelation in images and in most program and b) slow scrolling online, I can confirm that both are true to an extent. Almost any video online, including Youtube, as well as any image will look much worse/grainy than before. Also most programs, including all of Office, look pretty awful. Granted people point out that it will take time for everyone to adopt, but in my opinion this will be a very slow adoption. As for the scrolling, the lag is not that bad, but it is definitely noticeable - and this is coming from someone upgrading from a 2006 MBP; I imagine the difference will be even more acute for those used to newer systems.

    - Screen brightness - As others have noticed, the screen doesn't seem bright enough to me. How can people claim to use it at 50% brightness? My eyesight is perfect, but I can't use it in an well-lit room with less than 75% brightness or it becomes too uncomfortable to read text.

    - The new speakers really are amazing. Listening to music is so much more enjoyable now.

    - Battery life - Still after the third battery charge I'm only getting around 4-5 hours battery, and this is with very light usage (only internet, no flash intensive sites). This seems really strange to me, as in Anand's review and as claimed by Apple, light usage should get you around 7 hours usage (one factor might be the 50% brightness he set in the test, but I cannot confirm this as that level is not practical in my opinion).

    - 256GB SSD – I’m really learning how limited this is, coming from a 500GB HD before. I loaded my music, photos, and installed a few basic programs and I’m down to 70 GB. If I choose to install Bootcamp that leaves 30GB, which is very worrying.

    - The keyboard – More related to all unibodies, but it's very frustrating that I can’t keep this thing clean (without resorting to a keyboard skin). After coming from a 2006 MBP where the silver keys never had this problem, any slight touch leaves marks on the keys which are very hard to clean off. I've also read that after a few months the keys become all shiny and worn looking, which is making me worried, as I would definitely want to sell this next year to pick up the Haswell version which hopefully would fix a lot of the issues I'm having with the current model.
     
  2. axlvtt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    #2
    I don't have my rMBP yet, but I'm also worried about the brightness of the screen and battery life. There is also the lag because I'm pretty sure the Intel 4000 graphics just won't be able to make for a smooth experience under the retina display so it has to switch to the discreet card frequently which will significantly lower the battery life.
     
  3. Free Ale macrumors member

    Free Ale

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    #3
    I have the RMBP, and I am sure most of your worries will be put to rest, almost entirely. The HD4000 handles the screen just fine. There is small amounts of lag in small parts. Goldem Master Mountain Lion seams to have resolved this.

    Main idea: don't worry about it, I am sure you'll love it very much
     
  4. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #4
    YMMV, and without wishing to cast doubt on the OP I don't think you should worry too much. For me, the brightness of the screen is fine. It's a sunny winter's day today and the sun is shining directly into the screen from a large window behind me. On full brightness it's ok. As soon as the sun isn't shining directly at the computer the brightness goes down a few notches. In the evening the brightness is at about 30-40%. I would say I probably use it on 50% on average.

    Battery life seems pretty good to me. Browsing on the internet, doing some editing and that sort of thing gives me at least five hours in the evening, and the battery goes down to about 40%. I'm on the 7th cycle now, and battery life has increased a little. Using the dedicated GPU running games (e.g. in Steam), battery life is 2 hours or less. Depends what you're doing.

    I can see the "lag" that people mention, although to be fair it only exists when you are on heavy and inefficient web pages and you two-finger scroll as fast as you can up and down the page. This isn't something I ever do in real life. In fact, I use a bluetooth mouse most of the time and scroll with a scroll wheel because it's what I'm used to. There is no lag (since the scroll wheel is slightly slower than a full-speed scroll). It is absolutely fine at the speed I can sensibly scroll and view pages. At all resolutions. I usually use 1920x1200 or 2880x1800. We will have to wait and see whether things change with the release version of ML.

    The screen is so good that unoptimised web pages don't look as good as they could, principally because they are sitting next to beautiful text. Similarly, unoptimised applications that have their own text renderer (e.g. Thunderbird) look a bit rough round the edges. But it's not awful. In 2880x1800 there is no issue as this is an unscaled 1:1 resolution. Personally I'm fine with it. This will certainly get better as applications and web pages start to implement Retina (which they will do with increasing speed as Windows 8 comes out).

    Don't fret. I strongly recommend the MBPr, and wouldn't swap it for the world. Even though I had never thought of buying a Mac before -- this purchase was purely a hardware choice not an OS choice. Perhaps if the screen were brighter and the graphics faster it would be a better computer, for some people. But it isn't. That doesn't make it a bad one.
     
  5. Drag'nGT macrumors 68000

    Drag'nGT

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #5
    Why do most of the comments on retina make me feel like I went back in time 5 years to long discussions about 720p vs 1080p. If you can't tell the difference then good for you and whatever eye sight you have but most of us are interested in the effective screen real-estate. Retina is a term and an idea that we have learned to understand but the working area is what we are mostly interested in. If not, the high res or 1920x1200 would be plenty for most everyone.

    SSD is a performance feature. How quickly the machine operates is the bonus. But music and video gain no benefit from the speed of the SSD. This is a hard concept for some people but for many of us we began using external drives for storage years and years ago because the access time for a video didn't impede our productivity. Prices on SSDs have come down a lot, but it needs to come down even more.
     
  6. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #6
    Try Radtech OmniCleanz to clean the keyboard: http://www.radtech.us/products/omnicleanz.aspx OmniCleanz is non-conductible so No Worries using it on electronics. I also use it on displays, eyeglasses, camera bodies/lenses... you name it. An 8oz. bottle lasts me over a year cleaning all that stuff. RadTech also sells a microfiber screen protector that prevents dirt from being transferred from the keyboard.

    I have a year-old 13" MBP and it looks like new.
     
  7. jcpb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    #7
    I had a 32GB in my netbook, ~29GB after partitioning. Vista 32bit HP alone ate ~12GB. I had no choice but to load a small subset of media files on it, with everything else residing on external storage.

    Look at 256GB this way: do you need to have all the media files with you at all times? If the answer is no, 256GB is good enough even with a Windows 7 Bootcamp/VM. If you do, however, consider the upgraded MBPR model.
     
  8. outsidethebox thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #8
    Yes that is a good way to look at it. It's simply a matter of convenience for me, since I'm moving so much and I prefer to have everything immediately accessible, and I already overspent my budget without splurging $3000 on the upgraded model
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    I was living within two 128gb SSDs in my MBP so, having a single contiguous 256GB volume is a huge plus. I agree though, depending on your needs, the 256 is a bit constraining. The premium you're paying for the 512gb SSD is outrageous at this point so we have no alternative.

    I own a Qnap SSD, so my music and offline files reside there so I can easily live within the 256GB space. Hopefully in the course of time, OWC will offer larger SSDs for the rMBP that will be affordable
     
  10. Fed macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Liverpool.
    #10
    What resolution were you using?
     
  11. cmdrmac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Location:
    IA, USA
    #11
    For me the screen at max brightness is way too bright. I usually keep the brightness around 25% - 50% depending on what room I'm sitting in. But this is me coming from a 2007 MacBook which has a screen that is somewhat more dim than when I bought it 5 years ago.

    I've been using my rMBP for about 2 weeks now, and with normal usage I'm getting about 5.5 hours of usage (just normal web browsing, blogging, writing in my journal). When I start watching youtube or stream video (e.g., Netflix) that's when my battery life is at best 5 hours. Both times, I have the keyboard backlighting off and the screen set at around 50%. I have gotten about 6.5 hours with just browsing web and not really doing anything else.

    Personally, I keep most of documents on the hard drive. Audio files are kept on the cloud (iTunes Match). And all of my pictures reside on an external hard drive since they are all RAW files. I usually find this setup works well for me since I'm able to keep my internal hard drive lean and keep my other, more larger files, on another device.
     
  12. markp99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #12
    I thought to upgrade to the 512 option, but realized I was only delaying the decision point to begin move/archive segments of my data to external drives. Client data, photos, etc. 1.0TB USB 3.0 drives are so cheap these days, and performance is good enough for the only periodic need to access this external stuff; so, not a barrier at all and provides lots of options.

    File management will take some extra diligence, but once I establish my criteria, it "should" not require too much effort (hopefully).

    I am seeing 4-5 hr battery life too, under light usage. This is concerning for me just a bit.
     
  13. ninad macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    #13


    I totally agree with you, i am also using it for 2 weeks now, best laptop I every used. Only issue I found is, it becomes bit hot quickly when I work on Photoshop or video editing tools, but its fine great product.
     
  14. cmdrmac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Location:
    IA, USA
    #14
    I've noticed that it does get pretty warm when using a processor intensive software. Alas, the heat wave in the mid-west doesn't help matters either. I love sitting outside (during the evening hours) and drink an ice cold beer and do my work.
     
  15. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #15
    I have a 256GB split in half shared with windows on my Mac pro and have about 40GB left on both. And on my MacBook Air I have 128GB split between windows and Mac and I have about 20GB left.

    My only comment would be....stop storing everything on your Macintosh HD. It's meant for the OS and Apps...that's it.
     
  16. cmdrmac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Location:
    IA, USA
    #16
    You bring up a great point that I strongly believe in. With the cost of external hard drives so low, it makes it worthwhile to keep only the essential files (files that you absolutely need and/or are working on) on your computer. The rest of the files can be dumped onto a large portable external device or even in the cloud.

    There is definitely some inconvenience with this approach, but it does reduce the need to have a large disk space on the actual machine. I suspect that Apple will start pushing SSDs on all of its computers soon, and SSDs are still more expensive than traditional spinning drives (in terms of memory per dollar). With an increased prescenece of cloud solutions and cheap external hard drives, it makes some sense to keep the internal drive lean (for key documents, apps, etc.) and keep an external on hand for everything else.
     
  17. joer80 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    #17
    Dont forget you can force integrated video with that gfx switching program. That way your browser doesn't drain battery life every time you run into flash.

    As stated earlier, Mountain lion should reduce scroll lag.
     
  18. kamran9558 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #18
    well, thats something of a personal preference, I like to store atleast my music and movies on the laptop as I donot want to invest in a NAS right now.
     
  19. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    I was wondering how long it would take for the "Don't tell me what to store on my computer!" reply. Good job!
     
  20. distilled macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    #20
    This is extremely important if you want to get anything near the advertised battery life. Like most others on this forum, I recommend gfxCardStatus. Once you install it you'll be surprised at just how often the discrete GPU is enabled.

    Simply having the discrete GPU enabled noticeably reduces your battery life, even if the application using it isn't doing anything intensive. Chrome is especially eager to make use of your discrete GPU, even if a page doesn't use flash.
     
  21. kamran9558 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #21
    what do you expect???? everyone to follow your majesty's footsteps :)
     
  22. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #22
    It's called a suggestion for using your space more efficiently....I'm really starting to hate this forum!
     
  23. kamran9558 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #23
    and you should know that not everyone is in the same situation as you, and there is no reason to hate any forum if someone doesnt follow your "advice"
     
  24. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #24
    No, I hate that nobody can have a differing opinion on here with a bunch of flamers jumping down their throat over it.
     

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