rMBP vs Late 2011 17" MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CARABAO, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. CARABAO macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #1
    Hey guys, would like to get your expert advise..
    I'm torn between getting a rMBP (maybe base model only) and a Late 2011 17" MBP.

    Price is almost the same, and the 17" still is still covered by warranty and can be extended with Apple Care.

    rMBP
    Pros:
    1) New technology
    2) Faster (with the SSD and faster RAM)
    3) Fantastic screen (but I plan to use it at 1920x1200 most of the time)
    4) New design / lightweight
    5) USB 3 / HDMI

    Cons:
    1) Flash CS6 not yet supported
    2) Laggy UI (for some that I've seen - hit and miss here)

    17" MBP
    Pros:
    1) Upgradeable (will definitely upgrade to 16gb RAM and swap the optical drive to an SSD)
    2) Native 1920x1200 resolution
    3) No need to wait for Retina app support
    4) More ports

    Cons:
    1) Yesterday's technology / design
    2) Heavy

    Will use either for:
    iOS development, mobile / web development, UI design. Planning to keep for 2-3 years as my main machine. I mostly work at home and I have an 11" maxed out mid 2012 MBA hooked to a Dell U2713hm monitor.

    I would like to get a second mac to be my desktop replacement while the Air can be used for travel and light work.

    If the rMBP wins, I'll just wait for the Haswell update as I'm not really in a hurry to get one as of yet.

    Any thoughts? Any inputs would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #2
    Personally, if you're looking to spend the same amount of memory, I'd avoid the 17" MBP, its just too long in the tooth for my liking.

    I've not heard any issues with CS6 so this is news to me (I'm on PS 5.1 and not upgrading at this point).

    You're basically buying a 2 year old computer that's 2 generations old for the same amount of money you can get a current gen.

    If you wait a bit longer perhaps apple will release a haswell based MBP and either get the Ivy Bridge model for less or the new generation chip set.
     
  3. FastEddiebags macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #3
    I'd agree with the above post, especially since it seems like you are going to use an external monitor anyways so the 17" vs 15" would seem to drastic compared to the 27" dell.
     
  4. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #4
    Buying 2 year old hardware of similar spec (let alone previous generation) when you could have new for the same price is nuts.


    I'd go for the retina every time.


    And yes, definitely wait for haswell, the power consumption is going to be awesome.
     
  5. mattonthemoon macrumors regular

    mattonthemoon

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #5
    Any sort of 'lag in the UI' is completely gone in 10.9. I am part of the AppleSeed program, obviously i cannot say too much, it is leaps and bounds faster.

    On top of all this, even after 1 year with my rMBP it still wows me every time i open the lid.
     
  6. CARABAO thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #6
    Wow guys, thanks for the replies! Looks like I'll be waiting for the Haswell release now.

    It's also nice to hear that an actual AppleSeed developer has tried 10.9 and has broke news that it won't be laggy.

    Really really great news :) Thank you again!

    ----------

    So is everything on CS6 retina ready? It's too bad that I can't try the apps I want from the store. Been researching about Flash CS6 support, but I can't find any. Though I've seen some screenshots of non-retina ready apps, and they seem just fine to me... though of course you'll definitely notice it if everything on the screen is so sharp.
     
  7. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    #7
    I'm sticking to my late 2011 17" MBP until Broadwell (and hoping Apple wizens up and brings back the 17", in Retina flavor!)
     
  8. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #8
    I'd buy the 17"

    I dislike the rMBP quite bit.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #9
    Is it because of the form factor, i.e., a 17" laptop or something else that causes you to dislike the rMBP?

    ~Mike
     
  10. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #10
    It's a disposable product with Less flexibility. I don't like the philosophical idea behind it or the new Mac Pro. In the Power Days I didn't mind the bubble as much because Power was better, Apple is dragging us back into the bubble with out having something that is "better".

    On a less philosophical not, the palm rest on the 17" are longer and don't mess with hands 13" or sit uncomfortably on my wrists 15".
     
  11. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #11
    I sold my 17" cMBp a while back thinking I'd wind up regretting it. In short, I don't..I bought a maxed out 13" rMBP and it's fantastic, does all the heavy lifting I did with the old heavy Mac, and the screen is great...true, you do sacrifice real-estate, but I can drop down if I have to.

    I don't miss carting the big old beast around, the new one has USB3, direct HDMI and other features not available on the 17" It was a great tool in it's time, but like maflynn, I think it's past it's prime now.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #12
    This does seem to be the direction that apple is heading, sealed products that the end user should not and cannot open up.

    I never was a fan of the 17" laptop just because its so large. I have my rMBP hooked up to a 24" monitor when I home and that extends the power of the laptop immensely and the 15" size of the display when traveling is not too big, like its 17" brother but not too small.
     
  13. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #13
    I'm not a small individual so the 17 in form doesn't bother me. I'm about to try the laptop as desktop replacement by this time next month as my Mac Pros get sold. We'll see if I'm happy with it hooked to my ACD I dunno it never really occurred to me try. I was kind of hoping this ultrabook and similar thing would phase out but the entire mobile market is moving that way it makes me feel old at 36 :eek:
     
  14. Grohowiak macrumors member

    Grohowiak

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    #14
    As a dev that 17" will become a blessing if it's the only screen you intend to use.
    Screen estate > pixel density no matter how you look at it.
    Yeah it's bigger but that also means more space inside for heat distribution.
    It's a dev machine after all.
    Besides developing for iOS can be done pretty nice with a 2009 macmini so discussion about technology in this particular case is pointless.
    Go with tools that will make your work easier/better not with "the new kid on the block" just because he's new. If you will become a successful dev your next purchase will be a maxed out pro anyway. For now choose wisely.
     
  15. Doward macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 21, 2013
    #15
    Doesn't even have to be the only screen you use. I hook my 17" up to a 27" when 'docked' at home, and on the road the 17" screen is perfect.

    Like GermanyChris, I'm not a small guy - the 17" is absolutely wonderful.
     
  16. CARABAO thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #16
    Been working all day with my MBA hooked up to my external monitor with no hassles and it sometimes bugs me if I really need a second machine. The thing is, a very nice screen really matters to me. It's a toss up between a bigger native screen vs a smaller screen with great pixel density.

    Now, my question is...

    Now that the Haswell update is just around the corner, will investing on the 17" MBP be worth it for a 2-3 year use? Could've been an easier decision last year, but spending this much money should be dealt with utmost care - I'd hate to imagine myself being stuck with a machine that I don't like 6 months down the road.

    Decisions, decisions...
     
  17. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #17
    the 17" is 132PPI not "retina" but not bad...

    You have more flexibility with the 17" but you may not need it. That express card slot opens many possibilities. As SSD's get bigger and cheaper you'll be able to upgrade for less cost. Your RAM ceiling could end up higher...

    *edit* I look at it this way the 17" is a lot like a Mac Pro if you don't "get" it it's likely not right for you.
     
  18. CARABAO thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #18
    Yeah, that's great way to look at it. The 17" is very modular and changeable, thus more adaptable down the road.

    I'm gonna upgrade the RAM to 16GB and install an SSD in place of the ODD. I'm gonna keep the big HDD though for my files (lotsa files for dev). Are the expresscard options for SSD expansion many? Last time i checked, they weren't many and it costs a lot.. Better to buy an external drive. Wish it had USB 3 though! Anyway.. back to topic.. Thanks for your insights by the way! :)
     
  19. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #19
    USB3 Express card..
     
  20. Mechinyun macrumors 6502

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  21. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #21
    I wouldn't count on stable drivers moving forward. The list of officially supported express cards for Macs has been dwindling. Even some of the officially supported ones suck.
     
  22. vpro macrumors 65816

    vpro

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    #22
    GREAT response.

    This is the right sort of response, I dislike those responses that suggests buyers to get an external monitor, as if most consumers who purchase notebooks hadn't thought about that, perhaps they have 6 externals already with their desktop at home, they are looking to replace the desktop or have a really large, pro - mobile notebook like the MOSTER 17" MBP?

    The 17" MBP lives LONG and still prospers - respects!
     
  23. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #23
    Right with ya. We used 17" MBPs solely from the PowerBooks to a pair of 2011 (2.3 & 2.5) that we still use for primary lighting control in our business. They've been relegated to that task alone. I loved them...for almost a decade and couldn't imagine using a 15" 'anything'. Til we got my wife a 15" rMBP last summer to replace an aging MacPro that she wasn't happy with the space it was taking up. I was immediately smitten. Bought mine two weeks later and as someone said earlier....it still puts a smile on my face. Couldn't be happier. While I did absolutely enjoy the 17"---& considered it the pinnacle of mobile computing....the switch to the rMBP for me, was revolutionary. Lots of reading....lots of text, lots of video and photos...the absolute sharpness of the display is incredible. While we have put SSDs inside both 17" 2011s...the rMBPs just seem 'faster'.

    Oh, yeah...it's also cool to finally have a laptop I can use on an airplane ;)

    I remember thinking the same thing...for a long time. Boy, was I wrong. YMMV

    I get it. I got it. RAM ceiling won't be higher. I/O is last gen (USB 2--single thunderbolt and no HDMI). The express card is a joke. I bought two USB 3 'slot' peripherals from OWC. Neither worked. Other than adding SATA (which can easily be done via thunderbolt) or a few more USB (2) drives...there just isn't the support I was looking for. The older PCMCIA slots in the PowerBooks were killer. We still use them for offloading P2 footage from our Panasonic cameras

    Have you found one that works with decent thorough put? I haven't.

    Seriously....I truly wouldn't have it any other way years past. The 17" was it. The rMBP has changed my view and the way I use my laptop.

    PS...I never had an issue with the size or weight of the 17" MBP

    J
     
  24. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #24
    If we see 32GB SODIMM's this year it will be, though I question whether that will happen with DDR4 around the corner..

    I have a ORICO USB3/eSATA card the works just wonderfully
    I have a generic $9 card from Amazon with a serial port so I can connect to one of my plotters
    I have a generic ASM 1061 esata card (gotten before the orico)
    I have SD card reader from OWC
    I have an express card smart card reader for work
    I have a 48GB Express card SSD that I use for scratch if I'm away from my desktop and need to get something done

    I have yet to find a use for a TB port
     
  25. agaskew macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    #25
    I have both a 2011 17" cMBP and a 2012 15" rMBP.
    They may not be the exact models you are discussing though - the 17" cMBP only supports, and has fitted, 8Gb RAM, plus a Momentous HDD. The 15" rMBP is a 2.7/16Gb model.

    FWIW my thoughts are that the 17" is a fine machine. Its great if mainly used on a desk, has nice 'roomy' screen. Performance wise its pretty good - I found 8Gb a bit limiting as I run multiple VMs regularly. We have others in the office with SSDs fitted and they are a little bit faster to load apps, etc. However it is big, and heavy, IMO too heavy to be carried around with any regularity by me. If its going to sit on a desk all the time and replace a big external monitor/keyboard/mouse set up, it wouldn't be a bad solution.

    But it would need to a good chunk of change cheaper than an rMBP, to be justifiable. This is because my rMBP is smaller, thinner, lighter, has *that* screen and, at least when comparing these 2 machines, is significantly faster in every way I use it.

    Just my 2p worth.
     

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