Should I keep my new 15" MBP-Retina?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Workin2005, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. Workin2005 macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2012

    This looks like a great community and I'm glad to have found it. I'm new to Mac's...this is my first one. Here's my dilemma...

    I decided to purchase a MacBook Pro 15 inch with Retina display. I thought I would just bite the bullet and get it with the upgraded 16gb Ram and 512 SSD as I want this computer to last me at least 5 years. I don't know exactly what I will be using it for but potentially I will be running a small business with it as well as using it for photos, some videos and all the other things we all use everyday. This brought the total price tag up to about $2900 before tax. Way more than I wanted to spend, but again, I plan on this being my last computer purchase for at least 5 years...and this would be my only computer...not a secondary one but the primary one.

    As I was asking the guy in Best Buy about any sales or discounts, he mentioned a MacBook Pro with retina display that was just retuned to the store by a lady that decided to go with a MacBook Air instead. It had been opened but not used and was in perfect condition. The sales manager said he could sell that one to me for $470 off the normal price. The problem was, it was the base model and only had 8gb Ram and 256gb SSD storage. So, I had the option of buying the computer I wanted...that I know would last me for years and years, for $2,900 OR buy the base model for $1,729. What would you do?

    I decided to buy the base model as it was just to good a deal to pass up. Now, 5 days later, I don't know if I made the right decision. I know that 256gb of memory is not going to last me very long...especially considering how much more space modern software takes up nowadays...and its only getting worse. My solution is to just buy an external hard drive and store everything I don't immediately need on it. But I don't know if I'm being realistic as maybe it will be a major pain to constantly have to carry around an extra storage device. Then again, even if I had the 512 SSD model MacBook, I would still eventually run out of space and need an external drive. Has anyone else relied on an external device for their daily computing needs? Is it a major nuisance or easy to get by with?

    My bigger concern is that it only has 8gb of Ram and can NOT be upgraded in the future. 8gb ram is fine right now, especially with the SSD hard drive and i7 quad core processor, but in a couple years, I'm afraid it won't be enough and that ill be forced to purchase another computer. The sales manager said that because its a Mac and because of the "monster processor" that the 8gb of Ram will be more than enough for years to come. According to him, Macs require less Ram than PC's due to their operating system being much more efficient. (This is my first Mac so I'm a bit unfamiliar)

    So this is my dellima, should I return the base model and buy the one I originally wanted or should I make do with the base model and be thankful for the great deal I was able to get?

    Will the 8gb of Ram be enough in a few years? I realize that depends on what I'm using the computer for but, since I'm not sure what my needs will be in the next year, lets assume I'll be using it to run a small business as well as the typical storage of pictures and home videos, etc.

    Bottom line, will the 8gb of ram be enough to prevent the need to buy another computer for another 5 years or so or do I need to suck it up, return the base model, pay the extra $1,100 and get the 16gb of ram I originally wanted?

    Sorry for the long story, I just need some solid advice as money is tight and I want to make the right decision. I'd rather pay $1,100 extra now and not need to buy a new computer for 5-6 years than save the money now but have to buy a whole new computer in 1-2 years. If however, the 8gb ram will still make for a solid computer in a few years, I will gladly save the money.

    Thanks in advance for your help. :)
  2. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    You say it right there that it depends on the use. The big reasons I can run into for needing more than ~4GB of RAM is video/photo editing in the more professional sense, physics simulations, code development, and using Virtual Machines. 8GB should be fine for someone who is focusing more on running a business and as a home PC. My desktop which I use for these sort of things still sits at 8GB from 2008.
  3. jaqueh macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2012
    $1800 for a RMBP??? That's an amazing deal if you can get applecare on it.
  4. xxcysxx macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    why not just get the classic 15 inch macbook pro with the HD screen. just take out the mechanical hdd that came with it and put in a 512gb 840 pro and a set of 16gb 1866mhz sticks and a 1tb mechanical in the optical bay. this setup will definitely last you another three years or maybe more. just get the model with the 2.7ghz i7, best cpu macbooks has to offer right now, and the gpu isn't any lesser than the one on the retina either. you'll paymore for this set up over the retina, but you'll get a robust system and unparallel performance and reliability to it's thinner brother.

    if you haven't read enough feedback on the 15 inch retina, then let me fill you in on the scoop. the retina screen and it's overall user interface performance are flaky right now. the quality consistency are hit and miss. i got both the thirteen and a fifteen inch retina. the screen wow me for a couple of days, but the lack of smoothness start to catch on and i ended up stuffing them in the drawer and use them less.
  5. Rob.G macrumors 6502


    Jan 17, 2010
    Check with OWC ( and see if they offer a memory upgrade kit... they might. I know they have SSD upgrades, so that's not really an issue.

  6. Tri-stan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    Totally depends on what you intend to use it for. For me 8 gigs of ram won't be enough but that is because working on up to 2gig photoshop files, 3ds max, Rhinoceros, 40 tabs in chrome etc, all at the same time takes a lot of strain on the ram side of things. If you don't use multiple heavy ram dependent professional applications or will not in the next 5 years then 8 gigs will be plenty. From the sound of it you don't have any particular programs in mind. The pro machine is intended as a high spec desktop replacment. You could probably get by on a Mac air for you work and by that it will physically be able to run applications, just not at the super fast pace of the pro. You want to be getting the most out of your machine and there is no point of over specifying just for the sake of redundancy. It just does not make good business sense (again if the computer will be your only business critical component then think about what you really need)
  7. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    Base Model is fine. If you're running a business, you probably want to have some type of NAS setup anyway and have data backup as well. If 8gb isn't enough, your SSD is used as memory through swapping and since it fast enough you shouldn't see lag. 16gb is a nice to have if you want to run Windows in a virtual machine although 8gb will be okay.

    Use that 1k and invest in a good network storage solution so it can be wireless if you're storing documents.
  8. jaqueh macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2012
    I disagree. I owned the first 15" unibody MBP ever, and that had multiple problems leading to its eventual demise, so I had to get a new macbook pro. At first, I couldn't justify the rMBP because of its price premium, but I decided to get one anyways since the regular unibody reminded me so much of my old one. I'll admit: despite its hefty price and how it may look physically the same, it is a much more well made machine. It feels even more like a solid piece of aluminum and I find the reduction in weight to be pretty substantial. The screen is also indomitable by anything else on the market.
  9. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Flying over the rainforest at dawn - Priceless
    The base Retina is more than good enough for the majority of purpose, unless you plan on heavy video editing or running multiple virtual machines, then and only then the 16Gb option makes sense. Don't underestimate the base model as it`s an extremely powerful computer and will easily last several years.

    As for storage the 256 SSD is more than enough for anyones applications, as for data no present SSD is going to have the capacity to deal with large media files, the only realistic solution is network and portable drives, unless you want to go back to a system based on HD and even then ultimately space will become an issue. If any proposed business is not based around media then it`s clearly a non issue, personally i keep all video on external USB 3.0 and have close to 100Gb free on the internal SSD

    As you are unclear of the usage it`s difficult to be concise
  10. Workin2005 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2012
    Wow... I've asked this question on 2 other boards and hardly received any good feedback. The different opinions on this board have been great....Very helpful. Thank you all for your feedback!

    I'm thinking of just keeping the base model because I got such a great deal and because its, most likely...based on all your feedback, plenty of computer for my needs...even with the 8gb ram limitation.

    A friend of mine pointed out that had I gone with the 13' MBP-Retina (which I was considering), and completely maxed it out with all the upgrades Apple offered, I'd be stuck with less of a computer than the base model 15' MBP-Retina (besides more SSD of course). I guess Apple only offers a max of 8gb Ram and a dual core i7 processor with that model. That made me feel better about my purchase and the $1200 I saved will make it easier to justify buying a new MBP in a couple years if needed...although I really hope this one lasts me longer than 2 years.
  11. jaqueh macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2012
    What kind of the deal did you get
  12. Workin2005 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2012
    Base model 15' MBP-Retina originally $2199 I got it for $1729.
  13. jaqueh macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2012
    how did you get that kind of a deal??????
  14. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    And I thought 1850 was a good deal. Im returning mine anyways.
  15. Workin2005 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2012
    I was just in the right place at the right time. A lady had just returned it to Best Buy without even opening it all the way...slight tear in the plastic seal. They considered it an "open box item" and sold it to me for a huge discount.
    Can I ask why your returning yours? It may help me with my decision...
  16. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    If you're asking the question, you should return it - to ask the question at all is to answer it.
  17. SD-B macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009

    Not true in this case. He got a great deal. I wish I had the deal hed been offered :eek:

    Believe he was only asking out of curiosity or perhaps buyers remorse :)
  18. Workin2005 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2012
    Exactly right... Had I already returned it, I'd be wondering if that was a mistake. I'm certainly leaning towards keeping it but want to get everyone's opinion before I decide for certain. I'm especially interested in the thoughts of those that own or have owned the new 15'MBP-Retina. Anyone?
  19. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    buying something just so the 'bigger numbers' in specs makes you feel better is stupid, especially since you apparently have really no idea what you're even going to do with it. why even bother buying it now?

    by the time your business or whatever sprouts up, a newer RMBP would be out and probably way better than the one you just bought that you apparently have no real use for right now.
  20. SpitUK macrumors 6502


    Mar 5, 2010
    East Yorkshire, UK
    Stick with it and put the extra money towards your new business, the computer will be more than you will need.

    Work hard on your business and treat yourself to a new MacBook as a reward 2-3 years from now. Macs keep there value well so you will be able to sell it for $800-1000 in a couple of years and when you put another $1500 to it you will get a new model.

    The extra money will come in handy with a new business, I have been there. As much as you think you have planned something will occur and you will wish you had it.
  21. Workin2005 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2012
    I bought it because my PC died on me so I needed a new computer...wasn't just spending the money on a new Mac for the heck of it. If I could have waited, I would have.

    Good advice and I think your exactly right...I do need to save every penny I can. This Mac is an investment...I just wanted to be sure it wouldn't be outdated in a couple years. Your also spot on with the idea to sell it when the time comes to upgrade. If I can get around $1,000 for it in a couple years and then add the $1,200 I saved on this purchase, I could absolutely afford a new Macbook in 2 years and purchase the latest and greatest then. Thanks for the advice.

    Do you guys use a cover of some sort to protect the outer shell of your Mac? Are they prone to scratches and wear and tear or do they hold up fairly well?
  22. Haifisch macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2012
  23. jaqueh macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2012
    are you kidding with me? You can get a rMBP for 1700 even if you end up not liking it you can sell it on eBay at a premium!
  24. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    Take everything that the sales guy said and completely disregard it. That was a load of malarkey.

    My $.02:

    1. Carrying around an extra external drive because your SSD isn't big enough is just ridiculous. It'll be a hassle, and in the rMBP you'll likely be stuck with whatever you get now or very expensive alternatives. This could be ameliorated somewhat by the SDXC slot, which can theoretically provide an additional 2TB. For now though you're limited to 128 or maybe 256 GB at slow HDD speeds, or 64GB on a micro SSD & a Nifty at slow HDD speeds if you don't want the card sticking out.

    2. 8GB will likely be plenty for what you do for now, unless you're doing very memory intensive stuff like running 2 or more VMs that are both doing real work. Will 8GB be enough two years hence? Probably, but you'll be on the shallow end. Three to four years hence? You may be able to squeak by on it, but maybe not, and the rMBP won't be upgradeable.

    Bottom line, laptop years are like dog years, and 5 years is a long time. If you want to keep a laptop that long it really needs to be upgradeable, which is precisely why Apple is striving to make them less so in their MBA and now MPB as well. So you really have two options:

    A. Actually aim to keep it 5 years or possibly longer, in which case you should take the rMBP back and get the cMBP-15 while you still can. A cMBP-15 will maintain RAM and HDD/Hybrid/SDD upgradeablility well beyond a maxed out rMBP and also cost you a LOT less. In exchange you'll be adding 1lb of weight and getting a slightly less cool screen (though the regular screen is still pretty nice). If you do this, don't buy your upgrades from Apple. DIY upgrades are better and cheaper, so buy a base machine through either Apple refurb or off of CL and then upgrade it to 8Gb or 16GB and with an SSD, hybrid drive, or even a new "Fusion Drive" yourself.

    B. Plan on flipping your computer once or twice over the next 5 years, in which case you should keep the base model rMBP you have. Fortunately, Apple notebooks have a history of holding their value pretty well and you can do fairly regular upgrades without losing too much money, as long as you keep it in good shape with all the original boxes/docs. One caveat is that though it doesn't usually make sense to overpay Apple for upgrades that you later have to sell at market value - the reason you may wish to stick with the base model if you're going to follow this strategy, since the rMBP isn't upgradeable, you'll need to take more care to sell it BEFORE the specs become obsolete. Another caveat is that as tablets become more powerful and increasingly displace laptops, they will erode the traditionally strong Apple laptop resale value. You can already see this happening with lower end Airs.
  25. Snowshiro macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    Few people would want to carry around a hard drive unless they really needed to. You keep the hard drive at home and use it to store the big stuff that you don't need on the move. I have my entire DVD collection on my media server at home. Do I need all 500 movies on my laptop? Of course not. At most I keep 3 or 4 available for when I have a spare hour or two and want to watch something. Almost no one absolutely needs more than 256 Gig of files at all times. You keep the vital stuff (documents, applications etc.) on the laptop and the rest sits on your larger storage. With USB 3.0/thunderbolt transferring stuff takes no time at all.

    For what purpose? He wants to use it for office work and organizing his photos and videos. The base 15" rRMP will be capable of that for 5 years and beyond. Anyone who thinks you need 3 computers in the space of 5 years has more money than sense.

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