So it's been a few months. What exactly are all the downsides for rMBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Bobby Corwen, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Bobby Corwen macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    I'm doing research to buy a new laptop and I'm big into Logic and hundreds of gigs of plugins.

    I will have a 512 SSD that I will get for the main drive from a 3rd party but that is not enough space so I really need a uMBP so I can still optibay it.

    But if I were to potentially sacrifice a dual drive setup and go with a TBOLT external HD, what other downsides am I facing?

    I hear lag, what's the MR verdict on that?

    Ergonomics? Is it really that better that its incrementally skinnier?

    Retina, is it really that better compared to a hi-res uMBP 15? I use an external HD projector a lot anyway for video watching or dual screen stuff.

    Upgrades, can I buy a HD setup for regular price and at least upgrade the SSD myself?

    What else do I need to worry about?

    And I worry a lot.

    Am I missing anything??
  2. markus843 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2012
    North america
    Not sure if you want a 13" or 15", but I heard that if you have an LG screen on the 15", there is ghosting/image retention.
  3. Bobby Corwen thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    Ok that's quite worrisome. What else should I worry about?
  4. shootingrubber macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2009
    Nothing. If you want one, go buy one. If you find something you don't like: return it.
  5. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    There are existing threads. Read them. Given how many times the topic has been rehashed, no one is going to add anything new to it. As for the screen, it looks completely different.
  6. Bobby Corwen thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    I'm looking for bottom line summaries and verdicts.

    I don't know what the problems are to search for them because I haven't been keeping up with this section these months. Also some things are significant and some are myth so I don't know what is real and what is what; what has since been debunked...

    I am leaning towards uMBP 15 mostly because I don't want to have to carry an external drive but I am holding out in case an argument can be made that its worth the rMBP 15 for the screen and that all the worryful things are mostly exagerated or user/software errors or rare ailments that probably won't effect me.

    There's no way to search for that.

    I'm just trying to get a pulse on the situation and the word around town on the current state of things in a cohesive way based on my specific worries and needs.
  7. mohsy90 macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2011
    New York
    You're asking some very basic questions that have been answered and debated over and over in this forum. Read the threads. There really are no downsides if you know what you're buying. Obviously the individuals who have problems with how it preforms with what they do will report it here, which is what makes it seem like a bad buy. In reality, these problems only affect a small percentage of the overall consumers that bought them.
  8. Bobby Corwen thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    So you're saying most of the complaints are isolated incidents and chances are I would have a perfectly running retina machine ready for production like I would expect from Apple?

    I already know what SSD and HDD I would get, that's the easy part. It's deciding one path or the other that is hard. If the rMBP is expected to be perfect and I can gauge the reality of what to expect it could be a close hard choice. But if I see a lot of significant things to worry about, I might just play it safe and go uMBP.

    How often are these complaint threads popping up? Daily? Weekly? Are the people in them crazy/anomalies or are there a lot of legit problems? I havent been here since before the rMBP release so I don't really have a good feel for what has been going on.
  9. VacTacks11 macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2009
    Bought the 15" rMBP when it came out. I love it. I literally have none of the issues some people have had.

    I bought AppleCare just in case though. The only couple things I've noticed is that the fan sometimes spins up and doesn't spin down, even after the card switches from discrete to integrated. I've had to reset the vnram or whatever it's called a few times to fix that. I'm sure a firmware update will take care of it.

    Also there aren't any Windows 8 Boot Camp drivers (that I know of), so if you boot into Boot Camp the resolution is going to look a bit odd.

    Otherwise, I absolutely love this machine! And you will as well. Wish I had got the 16 GB version (since I run W8 in Fusion), but whatever.

    Anyway, just go buy it, and really if you don't like it, take it back. I can't see why you wouldn't though...
  10. Bobby Corwen thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    Hmm I do plan to run Boot Camp for FL Studio and certain games...
  11. mohsy90 macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2011
    New York
    What things are you specifically worried about? I've read countless threads about ghosting and image retention, and yes these are valid concerns. In reality there are probably thousands more that have the issue but are not rigorously looking for the flaw by putting a checkerboard screen on for 15 minutes. Neither is anybody mentioning whether it fades away or not. Yes, this "could" cause problems down the road so its best to play it safe and get it replaced, but for most it likely wont have any affect on their use over the life of the computer. And as always, protect yourself by getting AppleCare.

    Aside from that, there are issues with retina support for various programs and UI. These are the only notebooks out with such a high PPI, so it will take sometime for companies to catch up as well as resolve all UI and lag issues. You may or may not see these issues.

    Read some reviews from sites like anandtech and then search around for issues you think you may have, like support for windows 8, an issue that i know has been discussed.

    And lastly, just buy one and test it out. If it doesn't meet your needs then just return it.
  12. Bobby Corwen thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    The main things I'm worried about are lag. What are the programs that if you install them the processor worst be able to keep up with?

    What if I plug in my external projector and it lags when I do inertial scrolling?

    What if I find that Logic has less processing power? Are the graphic cards worse?

    I dunno it's not looking good man.

    But then I see people say stuff like once you go retina you'll never go back.

    Or the 768 SSD just might be enough to hold everything I need to dump on it.

    But hyper expensive.

    I dunno it could be that I just need to figure out what is real and what isn't. The screen fading is fine but the lag is what I'm worried about.

    Maybe if I get a maxed out rmbp 15 with 768 and 16RAM it will be powerful to not worry. But if I get a umbp 15 I get it for so much less and its more sloppy and work.

    If I can feel certain I can get the expected user experience I can bite but I can't stop worrying about paying so much and then seeing lag or problems down the line after 30 days. Or having win8 not work right (or at all??)
  13. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    These are nonsense questions. No one can give you a perfect answer as none of us have real statistics on the frequency of problems or a compiled list. You can sometimes find a much wider range of detail going through threads. You could always buy one directly from Apple and take advantage of their return policy if anything is wrong. I typically wait out first generation products, but that's just me.
  14. rworne macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2002
    I bought a 15" 8GB/512GB model from the local Apple store and could not be happier. Aside from the high price, I have not found any downsides to the machine which is now happily filling in as my 2010 i7 iMac is in the shop for the HD recall.

    Said iMac is a beast of a machine, but this rMBP runs circles around it - both in raw computational power and in IO bandwidth.

    My only concern was the lack of a ready-to-buy 16GB RAM option without going for the top-end freakishly expensive model. I was "forced" to buy the 8GB version due to a sudden upcoming trip where the MBP would be very useful, but delivery of a BTO model would arrive too late.

    For my use though (Xcode development) it works perfectly fine. Mine also has a Samsung display, which also was a big plus. Turns out the 8GB is not so much of a handicap and I am very pleased with the computer so far.
  15. Bobby Corwen thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010

    Are you kidding me right now?

    But I gotta have it...
  16. austinguy23 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2008
    It still lags despite all the updates. That's the main irritant that won't go away in the present models.
  17. Bobby Corwen thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    Describe it to me? (Frequency/severity/consistency?) And do you have experience with an external monitor?

    I could always just get a refurb or used 2011 15 (or even 17) and slap a $300 512SSD in there plus optibay for like 1500$ total and call it a day. But that setup seems so ghetto all of a sudden...
  18. reRESERVEDMD macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Apple came out with an update today that seriously bumped things up! I run mine in HD mode (1920x1200 or whatever) and there is no more scroll lag etc!

    Before that, I've noticed that the lag goes away when you turn on discrete GPU only. This leads me to believe that the integrated card doesn't have enough power to haul this many pixels, especially when you scale the resolution.

    OP - check if your display is an LG, stay away from those (unless they started delivering displays without issues). Also check if your case creaks. It is OK for it to make some noise, but not creaks, squeaks, etc.
  19. rworne macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2002
    The added 256GB SDD space, 8GB RAM and 0.2GHz of CPU cannot quite add up to the nearly $800 extra cost over the midrange model (for me, that is). I thought I made that clear in my post.

    The model I settled on was the mid model $2799+tax. The top-end model will top out over $4000 after tax in my state.
  20. Bobby Corwen thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    I said mine was gonna cost that much:

    Maxed 2.7CPU/16RAM/768SSD rMBP 15

    $3775.22 after tax

    Why settle for less? It's already gonna be over 3K no matter what if i get a absolutely mandatory 768SSD which I have no option of replacing ever. Might as well go nuts and go all out for a few hundred more.
  21. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Basically, the only drawback to me is price. I have seen them both in person, and toyed around with them. The screen is gorgeous (it's like I just came out of eye surgery, comparing it side by side with the air) and the 13" rMBP isn't that much heavier or bulkier compared to the 13" air.

    While I am contemplating picking up a mac laptop, I just can't justify splashing the premium for the screen alone.
  22. xxcysxx macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    user interface is still choppy here and there, occationally hickups a bit in certain places. it doesn't feel smooth everywhere. user interface is not fluid at all like the earlier generation macbook pro, or any earlier macs for that matter. video rendering are not very well optimize right now. even video games occationally stutter on the discrete video chip.
    15 inch models screen may have uneven light distribution, its like some LEDs on the bottom of the screen have a slightly different hue than the rest of the others, making one area of screen look a bit dimmer than other or slightly yellower.
    discrete video card are not on all the time, therefore the integrated video card on the cpu do most of the desktop user interface rendering most of the time on casual use. which makes you wonder if you're really putting your money to use by paying extra for the discrete video card. oh, and it doesn't play games very well by the way. like it renders smooth for few seconds then it stutter and smooth again for a little bit and stutter. basically it's not smooth all the time. like my dual gtx680 superclocked SLI, it's smooth all the time!:D

    if you're getting it for the eye candy retina display, you're in for a surprise.
  23. SpitUK macrumors 6502


    Mar 5, 2010
    East Yorkshire, UK
    Bobby, I was in your situation and scared of buying the rMBP. I took the plunge and opted for the 2.7/16/512. It has been amazing, I sold a 5GHz, 16Gb, 7970, 3 screen beast to be more mobile. I love the laptop more :)

    The lag that everyone speaks about are on a few websites such as facebook, the verge, polygon etc. The lag just means a slight framerate change but not a responsiveness change. Anandtech, sky news are all super smooth so it could just be bad programming to be honest in the other sites.

    The lag that I occasionally come across is 90% based in the browser and not in programs. I use Office 2011, Pages, iTunes, pixelmator, Warcraft, Mail, Tweetdeck, Parallels with Windows 8 and they are all smooth. Often they are all open at once.

    If you are looking for super smooth 100% of the time then you will not get this with the current rMBP but if you are happy with 95% then go for it.

    100% will not be here for another year or 2 on current software requirements.

    **UPDATE** Just had a play on the verge, polygon, facebook websites and any framerate drop is hardly noticeable since the latest software update. They just look so gorgeous on this screen :)
  24. Rhinoevans macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2012
    Las Vegas, NV
    Nothing is perfect.

    The rMBP is AWesome, even though I bought the cMBP (Upgrade reasons only!)

    I just purchased a new $65,000 X5 BMW, and guess what, its not perfect either!

    Its just a machine, and 2-3 years from now, you will be looking for something new anyway.

    To many people making such a big deal out of this, Life is short, buy one or move on.

    It is really that simple.
  25. 0x000000 macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2011
    Get an external SSD then. If it doesnt work for you, the rMBP just isnt made for you.

    A reduced portability because you carry around one additional device.

    Seems to depend on the software. Swiping spaces e.g. has slightly lower FPS than usual, though the speed is the same and doesn't reduce productivity. Scrolling certain very large websites like can happen with slightly slower FPS than usual, most of the web is fine, though. I've heard activating the dGPU eliminates those problems, though that obviously means reduced battery time when not plugged in. Doesn't work on the 13", obviously.

    Ergonomics doesn't depend on the thickness.

    External displays work the same. FPS reductions aren't visible on them, even if the retina screen is running at the same time. No idea why, but it's like that.

    And the retina screen IS better. It's like comparing the iPad 3 to the iPad 2 or the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 3g. Once you go retina, you'll never want to go back. It's a game changer.

    You can, but it's not exactly user servicable.

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