rMBP or 2012 cMBP (15 inch)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by drelton, May 16, 2014.

  1. drelton, May 16, 2014
    Last edited: May 18, 2014

    drelton macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2014
    Hi everybody,

    Recently I've spotted 2 very juicy offers for buying a MBP. I'm looking for something that will last me +5 solid years with the least maintenance (where I am, apple technical service is very expensive and unreliable, and I'm always on a tight budget - I'm a musician). I will be using it for heavy music production and everyday stuff. The possibilities are these:

    * Retina MBP (15 inch):
    US 1,721.92
    Quad Core ¡7, 2.3 GHz, 6 mb shared l3 cache
    16gb RAM
    512 gb SSD
    -Conditions: 2 weeks of use (according to seller, let's assume so)
    -Has a 3 years guarantee

    * MBP (15 inch): US 1,477.23
    Model MD103, i7 2.3 GHz (turbo boost 3.3GHz)
    500gb HD
    4gb RAM
    Intel HD graphics 4000, NVIDIA Geforce GT 650M 512MB GDDR5.
    -Condition: new (Sealed)
    -Also has guarantee (still don't knok how many years, presumably 2-3)

    To start with, I was just looking for 2012 non-retina MBP because I like to expand my computers, don't care much about the display, and the fact that the Retina is practically non-repairable other than by Apple technicians would make me weary about using this computer for heavy stuff, lugging it around, ect. (my present black MacBook had many problems which were a nightmare to deal with, but at least it didn't cost that much as this thing)

    On the other hand, I'm reconsidering the Retina because of this particular price, and also because: I no longer care too much about the optical drive thing, it has a lot of RAM (which I hear is unlikely to fail) and I hear the SSD might be upgradeable in the future (I do tend to clutter computer space very quickly!).

    Any comments or advices are certainly appreciated!

  2. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    Hey Drelton,

    First of all, is the rMBP a 2013 model? If so, it sounds like a scam, because that is way too cheap. If it is a 2012 model, it is only maybe a scam.

    In terms of the argument for getting the regular MBP, there is no real reason to get it. Sure, it is user repairable, and you can upgrade it, but really the only thing you can replace on them easily is the hard drive and the RAM. The motherboard and the CPU are not upgradeable. The best upgrades on the MBP would essentially get you the specs of the rMBP, and that would cost you over 600$. The computer would weight over a pound more, have a worse display, have a less effective heat sink, worse speakers, and in the long run cost you over 2000$.

    There is no reason to try to upgrade the SSD on the rMBP. You might as well carry around a 1TB external HDD for any work that you aren't using on the go. The 512GB SSD is more than sufficient for any projects and software you are using right now. If the 1720$ rMBP is not a scam, it would be a shame to not spend the 250$ extra to get a much better computer. I'm not saying that the old MBP is bad, it is really a great computer, but for the work you are doing, there is no reason to get it.

  3. drelton thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2014
    Thanks a lot Matt, you do have a point -or several- in favor of the Retina. I will be able to check if this is a scam or not on Monday. If it isn't, then I will try and see if it's one of those dreaded LG screen line. If that where the case, would you still claim it holds its value?

    Anybody else would like to chime in, perhaps a word or two in favor of the old MBP?
  4. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    I think the pricing on the rMBP, if real and not a scam, make it a no-brainer. And I write that as someone who cannot stand the sealed design.

    The cMBP should be less in comparison - if it were me, I'd be willing to pay no more than $1200 if it is not from an authorized reseller. You could then upgrade to 16 GB RAM for about $140 and add a 500 GB SSD for about $225. In the US, at least, there' no reason to pay $600 for the RAM and SSD upgrades.

    If the retina IS a scam, as seems probable, the cMBP is a great machine that I wouldn't hesitate to own. And, in fact, I have owned it.

    One note - you're unlikely to get 5 years out of either one with any kind of demanding workload.
  5. drelton thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2014
    Thank you both for your suggestions. In case the rMBP offer were a scam, I will go to the buyer's address accompanied. Do you think a 15-20 minutes exam would suffice to confirm the laptop is in good condition? I will of course check the System Profiler and check the serial number thing in case the laptop is equipped with one of those dreaded LG screens.

    Any other suggestions, warnings? AFAIK, there are no other common hardware problems with these machines (I'm thinking of the read AMD Radeon graphics glitches in the 2011 cMBP series and the aforementioned LG screen issues).

    Kind regards!
  6. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    Oh ok, I assumed it was on ebay/amazon. If it is craigslist then I probably wouldnt meet anyone at a private location. Meet somewhere public. I was mostly concerned you wouldnt get a machine at all. If it is in decent condition then it might just be a good deal. I can't think of any other issues. Not all LG screens were bad, so just visually check to see if ghosting occurs by pulling up an image, keep it still, then swap to a white background.


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