rMBP vs MBP. price comparison thoughts.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by phyrexia, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. phyrexia macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2010
    RMBP, 2.6, 16GB, 512GB SSD : $2999

    MBP, 2.6, hi-res, 8GB, 750GB HDD, + 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD : $2299 + $519

    sata usb3 enclosure: $25

    So if you went with the Retina MBP you're at $3k with no additional goodies. With the regular MBP you get the same performance, a DVD burner, better theoretical gaming performance (if that's your thing, and it's at the cost of lower resolution, of course), a 750GB hard drive to store your whatnot on, and an additional ~$200 in your pocket.

    So I guess some dust has settled. Is the screen worth the upcharge and any foreseeable maintenance issues as a result of the new design?

    I enjoy my ipad3 primarily because of the screen, but I have to try to see the pixels on my 17" MBP as I type on it now.
  2. maratus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    It's more fair to use Samsung 830 512Gb retail price for this comparison instead of M4 (I suppose 400$ for 512Gb is actually Crucial M4). But never mind, M4 is fine (as long as it doesn't use Sandforce :D ), and Samsung will eventually go down to comparable price in near future (I hope so).

    It's not only resolution that matters, retina display is IPS and it's a big deal. I'd say screen alone is worth 500$ premium. But that's just me, I'm sick of TN color shift and I even considered 3kg+ Elitebook simply because of the IPS screen. Gaming performance advantage of the hi-res cMBP isn't a moot point because you can run 1440x900 without scaling artifacts on rMBP (and it's questionable whether 2880x1800 in games makes sense from visual/performance standpoint). And rMBP is Very lightweight for a powerful 15.4". There're lots of threads about how 13" MBP is more portable than 15" due to its weight and here we go, rMBP is even lighter :)
  3. phyrexia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2010
    I own two 830s and a 470...but yes I used the M4 price, it makes the equation look nicer ;)

    I looked at a Retina MBP for a moment at the apple store, but it was near the door and there was already a lot of dust and general smegma on the screen. I need to go into that store at night when it's dark outside to get a better idea of it, I suppose. I was initially unimpressed (safari was choppy and the apple store software wasn't retina compatible so I just laughed at it) but I guess I am not going to swear the thing off just yet.

    I have been running the few games I play at less than native res to keep the framerates up anyway so I can't see how the retina display at native res would be fun.

  4. jtcedinburgh macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2010
    :eek: Now, I know that people love their Macs, but I'd hope not that much........ :D
  5. zerotiu macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2012
    IPS really matters. Yes, it is not a new technology but it is nice to have IPS.
    If you consider this from your perspective (you have early 2011 MBP right?), I think you can wait a little bit longer (if you want to change the MBP).

    But if you look from my perspective (I have early 2008 MBP) and other people who have older MBP, I think it is very possible if we want to buy retina. New processor, bigger memory, ssd.. they are just ordinary speed bump. They make difference but they are still ordinary, so normal, meh... Because we've endured using old MBP.

    but IPS screen! new design! .....WOW! this is difference! This is completely different. That's why, although it has higher price, it is not a big problem, I persoally need to satisfy my urge to change my MBP :)
  6. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816


    Nov 8, 2010
    South Carolina
    I think the M4 comparison is acceptable since an upside to the MBP is its upgradeability. The downside however is TRIM is enabled for Apple's SSDs. In terms of real world performance, a random user would not be able to tell what SSD is currently in my MBP (crucial by the way).

    Seems the rMBP has its lovers & haters. Honestly, I was super stoked when Apple announced the rMBP because it shows the future of the MBP lineup. However, at this point I think there is an overweighted premium to be the first in on this technology. While I would loved to own one, I have a few requirements: 13" screen, 500GB HD, DVD drive (I'm not opposed to carrying an external DVD). Obviously the first was a disappointment.

    Once SSDs come down in price, a 13" rMBP should weigh in around $1,500-ish (I'm thinking 2014). I think this will be the time Apple moves away from the legacy MBP and the rMBP becomes standard fare. I agree with the OP that the dust has settled and the consumer must be willing to pay a premium for the rMBP's awesome screen. Again, that's not a bad thing just a fact of owning the best technology.
  7. eron macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    I wonder how you compared your partner/future partner.
  8. maratus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    And one more thing. A person who wants a DVD drive these days and actually uses it on a regular basis may have some specific requirements which internal drive couldn't satisfy. In that case, external drive is a better option, since you can chose anything from a fast Blu-ray monster or high-end Plextor with proven recording quality to a specific drive that works extremely well with scratched low-quality CDs. It also may be compatible with small CDs unlike slot loading drives.

    I'm not saying that there's no point in having a built-in DVD and I don't want to deny its convenience. But it's time to ask yourself whether having it just in case is still worth it given how much space it takes.
  9. phyrexia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2010
  10. dhartung02 macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2007
    Little Rock, AR
    Its not JUST the screen either. Some people prefer the form factor specially if they are carrying it around with them every day.
  11. phyrexia, Jun 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012

    phyrexia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2010
    I can understand that. From my perspective, however, I have not minded the size/weight of laptops for several (10?) years. I carry my 17" around most of the time. It is larger than my 3 previous laptop computers (if a little thinner than the first one).

    The difference (in weight, anyway) between the 17" and the rMBP is less than the weight of an iPad, which to me is small enough to be inconsequential. Walking around, I cannot tell a difference in the weight of my bag regardless of whether I brought the iPad or not. I do, of course, understand not everyone is a 6'3" 200lb male.

    That is a good point (and, y'know, I removed my DVD drive, but I like being able to stick another SSD in there.)
  12. pandamonia macrumors 6502a

    Nov 15, 2009
    looks like your comparing apples and oranges

    it would be better to compare a 2.3ghz Retina to a 2.6ghz MBP as both gave 1gb GPU 8GB Ram and 256 GB SSD (or Option)

    In that instance the Retina is better value. 300mhz CPU wont affect a thing especially in a notebook.
  13. phyrexia, Jun 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012

    phyrexia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2010
    How is comparison between two machines of differing specifications better than a comparison of two machines with equal specifications?

    A 2.3 rMBP vs a 2.6 MBP is the apples-to-oranges comparison. How do you justify your opinion?

    If I wanted a 2.3ghz machine I would just stick with my 2.2ghz 17", which I am beginning to believe is a better solution for me than an rMBP would be, anyway. (I don't even want/need a new computer. I am interested in the discussion.)


    Looking at the low-end (a questionable decision when buying Apple products, IMO, since they're all overpriced. I try to see how to get screwed the least ;) )...

    2.3 RMBP, 16GB, 256GB, 1GB gpu: $2399
    2.3 MBP, hi-res, 4GB, 500GB HDD, 512MB gpu + 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, satacaddy: $1899 + $413: $2315

    Now the Retina Display is only a $75 upgrade, but you still get a 500gb external drive with your plain MBP. And now I realize the graphics card difference as well.
  14. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    The 300MHz step up from the 2.3 does not make a noticeable difference (unless you put two otherwise identical machines next to each other doing the exact same thing) but the jump from 512 to 1024 VRAM will make a noticeable difference especially in graphically intensive applications.

    That's a more articulate way of putting what he's saying.
  15. phyrexia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2010
    Oh, I did not notice the low end 15" has the 512MB graphics card...
  16. pandamonia macrumors 6502a

    Nov 15, 2009
    I just priced up a 2.6 vs a 2.6 with the HD screen and basically you still need to put a 512GB SSD inside to match it. You dont have much money in the budget to do that.
  17. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I price matched the 2.3 rMPB with the cMBP with similar specs and the classic model came under the retina model by about 400 (I think I upgraded the classic's display to matt/hi res) but I then had to purchase an SSD, and even if I opted for a non-apple SSD, a 256 SSD was going to eat into that 400 pretty much entirely.

    My point, I'm getting a fabulous screen, and awesome computer for about the same $$ as the classic model :)
  18. pepatrick macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2011
    Ultimately the cMBP is going to be more expensive. Not by a bunch but it will be more. I didn't get the retina display for a couple of reasons. One...it is new and based on what I have read, its not perfect..close but not perfect. Two...my MBP spends 99% of the time attached to a 27" thunderbolt monitor. The high res antiglare monitor is still considerably better than any PC laptop offering. When SSDs get cheap enough, I will add a 2nd one to the optical bay and not have to pay Apple or OWCs ridiculously over bloated prices due to the proprietary connector.

    Current MBP is a 2012 2.7, 16gb and Samsung 830 256gb SSD. With education discount it was 2400 and change and I spent about $350 on ram and ssd. That would put me a little over the retina equipped with similar specs. I like the flexibility of the cMBP, I dont have to wait 4-5 weeks to get it and still have the ultimate MBP. Selling the 1tb drive on ebay will save me another $100.00 so that actually pretty much makes it a wash.
  19. phyrexia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2010
    ...I did that in my original post...

    the regular MBP is cheaper in this scenario.
  20. pandamonia, Jul 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012

    pandamonia macrumors 6502a

    Nov 15, 2009
    You can get 16GB RAM + 512GB SSD for $520? Bull Crap.

    Unless your going for a crappy SSD and walmart RAM this isnt possible. Crucial M4 isnt even 50% as fast as the rMPB SSD. Its nearly End Of Life, Performance will degrade even further without trim or Sandforces garbage collection.

    The SSD in a MBP is a Samsung 830 i believe which alone is $630! You need to look at Vertex 4 or another top flight SSD to run a comparison. Heck you may as well run a comparion with a Sandybridge Refurb since we are talking early 2011 Tech here.

    Add $100 for 16GB Ram makes it $730 Like for Like. Which comes out exactly where i originally thought about $250 more expensive for the MBP v the rMBP
  21. phyrexia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2010
    We aready talked about this, earlier in this thread. My first and second posts address what you are talking about.

    The M4 gets between 400 and 500MB/s in every benchmark I can find. I flat out do not believe you when you say the rMBP SSD is twice as fast.

    Since you also think I am lying about prices I will go ahead and link you:


    Most expensive 16GB RAM available on newegg:


    Cheapest 16GB RAM on newegg:


    BTW, the price differential between fancypants RAM and walmart RAM is only $40. I would be comfortable running $110 corsair ram (as i am in my machine now)

    Have you purchased an RMBP?

  22. JohnDoe98 macrumors 68020

    May 1, 2009
    There is more to a SSD than simply its throughput.

    So the best RAM they have is slower than the RAM in the new Apple computers. That isn't a fair comparison, even if you won't notice much of a difference between 1333mhz and 1600mhz.
  23. pandamonia, Jul 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012

    pandamonia macrumors 6502a

    Nov 15, 2009
    The SSD IS twice as fast. Crucial M4 is OLD in SSD terms. in 2011 SSD speeds literally doubled. Check Anandtech.com hes pretty good at SSD reviews and benchmarks. Even though its 512gb vs 256GB where the 512gb suffers vs the 256gb size drives.

    Also no Trim support in OSX for the M4 which means you can literally grind to a halt on the M4

    Why do you think a M4 is almost half the price of a Samsung 830? or a Vertex 4?

    I am ordering my Retina Pro sometime this month
  24. phyrexia, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012

    phyrexia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2010
    Of course not. Do some research. The most expensive RAM available on Newegg != the best, fastest ram on NewEgg. I am showing more expensive products mostly in an effort to prove some sort of point ;)

    1600mhz RAM on newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...0000410&IsNodeId=1&name=DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) (less than my listed $129 ftr.)


    I am relatively well versed in the differences between the two drives, and I am aware there is more to an SSD than transfer speed. I would have no problem believing the M4 is half the speed of an 830, if such a benchmark existed (but I do not believe one could show me such a benchmark). I can't find anything that says anything near that. I do find lots of happy reviewers and relatively high throughput. I am of course open to new information.

    I was under the impression the bigger SSDs gained speed compared to the smaller drives. My 830 reads superfast but is not so fast at write speeds because it is only a 64gb drive.


    Here is the anantech review of the M4: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4253/the-crucial-m4-micron-c400-ssd-review

    User Capacity 59.6GiB 119.2GiB 238.4GiB 476.8GiB
    Random Read Performance 40K IOPS 40K IOPS 40K IOPS 40K IOPS
    Random Write Performance 20K IOPS 35K IOPS 50K IOPS 50K IOPS
    Sequential Read Performance Up to 415MB/s Up to 415MB/s Up to 415MB/s Up to 415MB/s
    Sequential Write Performance Up to 95MB/s Up to 175MB/s Up to 260MB/s Up to 260MB/s

    These speeds are completely respectable and many of the speeds can't be doubled without bottlenecking the SATAIII interface.

    Has anyone benchmarked the RMBP SSD? Does anyone know who the OEM for the drive is? (Is it a relabeled and enclosed 830?)
  25. gokart mozart, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012

    gokart mozart macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    It is not just the screen. If you commute with your mac, you gotta hump it around on the morning commute, so the reduced weight and thickness is a godsend for urban dwellers and the college crowd.

    Having the SSD built in from the get go also leads to some quicker performance if you're loading up large media libraries (for example, I got over 100GB in music). This really shows when loading up the apps that use these libraries, or loading games that have large textures files. This is especially true for the visual multimedia crowd that Apple is pitching this thing at when they trot out Aperture, Photoshop, and iMovie (or was it Final Cut? I can't remember...) during the announcement (and in the subsequent TV commercials).

    Sure you could get an external or pay the upgrade cost on the original MBP, but that kind of defeats the purpose of saving money in the OP. Also, not having to carry around an expensive SSD external is a pretty attractive option for the aforementioned commuters.

    Not to mention, the screen is IPS. Huge deal for viewing angles. The panel's construction also reduces glare over the OG MBP. The fans are also that new "quieter" design.

    Finally: built in HDMI

    Not a big deal on the surface, but it eliminates the need for an additional adapter and frees up those tasty USB3 and TBolt inputs for other uses. Of course, this could be a tradeoff for someone that needs ethernet, but then again this thing wasn't designed for people who are still dependent upon legacy tech.

    There are a lot of other things going on with the retina MBP that don't show up explicitly on the spec sheet comparison. And some of the 3rd party upgrade options that you showed - for what I assume would be a budget conscientious buyer - are not quite up to 2012 snuff.

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