Selling my MBP17". Should I get a Mac Pro or rMBP 15"?

odedia

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 24, 2005
1,020
112
The price between the new Mac Pro and the Macbook Pro with Retina highest end is not so crazy.

I already have an apple cinema LED display.

I used my macbook pro 17 inch 95% of the time as a desktop replacement, meaning: on a desk, connected to the biggest 27" screen.

So I wonder. Would I find any benefit with the MBP 15" retina?

I use it for too many different applications to name a main one. Web, work, video editing with final cut pro (but as an amateur) , lightroom, photoshop etc.

It's actually quite portable when you think about it... if I'll ever need to.
 
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Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
The price between the new Mac Pro and the Macbook Pro with Retina highest end is not so crazy.

I already have an apple cinema LED display.

I used my macbook pro 17 inch 95% of the time as a desktop replacement, meaning: on a desk, connected to the biggest 27" screen.

So I wonder. Would I find any benefit with the MBP 15" retina?

I use it for too many different applications to name a main one. Web, work, video editing with final cut pro (but as an amateur) , lightroom, photoshop etc.

It's actually quite portable when you think about it... if I'll ever need to.
The nice part of the Retina Display is that you can scale it to give relatively equivalent screen real estate as your current 17" model and still retain great quality. The rMBP is a great and powerful machine, and can drive up to three display simultaneously in addition to the built in. I always tell people to buy what they can afford, and if you can afford a Mac Pro then obviously that is the better option. Also keep in mind if it ever will leave your desk.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,674
1,766
The applications aren't all that important. You survived with the performance of an older notebook. You would probably be fine with anything down to the $800 Mini with maxed ram unless you can target a specific place where you're currently hitting a wall on performance and your 17" is a 2011 or newer. In that case go with an upgraded mac pro because the rmbp won't provide an enormous boost. Otherwise you're in mac mini territory. The other exception would be if you cannot accommodate a specific storage setup on the mini. People on here often drastically misinterpret their requirements, and it's almost always the case when debating between mac pro and a notebook. The graphics on the macbook pro aren't in the same performance stratosphere as the mac pro, so I have to assume that's not your concern. The only place they might even improve performance is the video editing depending on application anyway.
 

mad3inch1na

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2013
662
6
It depends on the work you are doing. The Mac Pro is for professionals, and day to day use it is decent, but not great. It is a precise powerhouse, not a very fast one. The rMBP is portable. Unless you are doing some serious professional work, get the rMBP.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,674
1,766
The Mac Pro is for professionals, and day to day use it is decent, but not great. It is a precise powerhouse, not a very fast one.
Precise doesn't really mean anything. It's at least as fast in any given task as any other mac available today. It's just not that much faster in some things. I would say that the rmbp is a waste of money if it's going to be stationary, but so is the MP.
 

mad3inch1na

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2013
662
6
The d300's are pretty bad for graphics processing, which was what I was referring to. The PCIE flash and the ECC RAM are great. But the GPU/CPU will only shine during professional tasks, especially in the hex-core and up. The highest end d700s are comprable to radeon 7970's, and since crossfire isn't enabled, a gtx 680mx in the iMac from last year would perform better in games.
 
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thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,674
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This was just the most convenient, but there are many tests out there that show the D700s outperform most Mac options in games. D300s not so much, and the D500s are roughly similar in performance to the D300s. I'm not trying to be nitpicky. It's just the details are worth mentioning. I wouldn't tell anyone to buy a mac pro for gaming. Those benchmarks are probably more interesting for people who own them anyway. The reason for the performance was that they apparently got crossfire working under bootcamp using Windows 8. Considering the limited number of games that ship for OSX, I have to guess that at least some people game under bootcamp.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,152
2,858
So I wonder. Would I find any benefit with the MBP 15" retina?
I'm also feeling the upgrade itch with my 2011 17" MBP, However, last year I upped the RAM and stuck in a Samsung 840 Pro SSD as the system disc, giving it a new lease of life, the only two rational reasons for changing would be:


  • That new computer smell
  • Improved portability (but I rarely use it 'on the go' - it just commutes between desks)
  • I'd quite like to run *two* external displays. However, I've also got an old MP 1.1 which I use to provided an extra screen for browsing documentation etc. (using either Synergy or ScreenRecycler). There are also potential thunderbolt solutions (expensive, because you need 2 devices, but less than a new Mac!)

I normally have the MBP on an elevator stand and use an external kb/mouse - the 17" screen fonts can be a bit small at that distance. I do wonder if the 15" rMBP in 'retina' mode, with its larger fonts, would be more usable in that mode, with the higher-density 'scaled' mode available for when you were actually using it as a laptop.

My impression of the Mac Pro is that if you're running software that makes use of OpenCL and twin 'workstation' graphics cards its a bargain, otherwise its cute, but a waste of cash. I'm tempted to wait and see what the next Mac Mini has to offer.

Also, I'm reluctant to give up the portability - even though I don't use it in 'laptop mode' much, shuttling it to work has been very useful and when you *do* need it on the road it is convenient to grab & go. (However, I've got several development/demo copies of database-driven websites with custom apache configs and lots of symbolic links on my machine, which makes it a bit non-trivial to just sync a desktop and laptop or use an iPad on the road).
 

mad3inch1na

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2013
662
6
Oh..

This was just the most convenient, but there are many tests out there that show the D700s outperform most Mac options in games. D300s not so much, and the D500s are roughly similar in performance to the D300s. I'm not trying to be nitpicky. It's just the details are worth mentioning. I wouldn't tell anyone to buy a mac pro for gaming. Those benchmarks are probably more interesting for people who own them anyway. The reason for the performance was that they apparently got crossfire working under bootcamp using Windows 8. Considering the limited number of games that ship for OSX, I have to guess that at least some people game under bootcamp.
Ok thanks. Shows how little I actually know about the Mac Pro. Those are some impressive numbers for the d700. I haven't kept up with the Mac Pro since it was first released, so I guess most of my information was based on what haters had to say before real numbers came out :p. Thanks for the information!

I would still recommend the rMBP just for the portability because it is still a really powerful computer, unless you know you can manage without it on the go.