Standard 15 inch MBP or base model retina MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kaio789, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. kaio789 macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2009
    I am about to purchase my first MBP for college, and I'm wondering if it would be better to buy the cheapest, base model of the new retina MacBook, or for the same price, the best version of the standard, non retina MacBook pro. I am going to be doing a lot of music recording and video editing, so I'd want the computer that would be best for that. However I also want it to last a long time, and not be too heavy. The retina screen is nice, but I could live without it, and Im not sure how I feel about the lack of an optical drive.
    Thanks for the help!!
  2. Feed Me macrumors 6502a

    Feed Me

    Jan 7, 2012
    Location Location
    If you're going to be paying the same price, definitely go for the RMBP!

    It's faster (assuming you're not using an SSD in the standard MBP), lighter, and the screen is insane. If you ever do need the CD drive you can buy an external one.
  3. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Check them out in store to see about portability. I would almost even recommend one of the new 13" Macbook Airs for a college computer, just because of the size and weight.

    The Retina MBP should have plenty of horsepower for music and video editing, and the SSD should make it faster in day to day use that the non-retina version.

    With any laptop with an SSD, you may want to have an external drive for storing things like large amounts of music or video. All the new models have USB 3 so external drives should be pretty fast.
  4. barredfreak macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2012
    I'd definitely recommend getting the MBPR. It's worth what you'd pay for a maxed out normal MBP. USB SuperDrives can be found for cheap, too. Don't worry about that.
  5. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

    Jul 25, 2011
    As a college student myself, I would either recommend the RMBP or a 13'' air as another user said. Now, if you're a power user and you think you'll use the power of the RMBP, get it. But if you need a powerful laptop that isn't necessarily great for gaming and such get a MBA. Portability is huge in college- bigger than you'd think- and I would say get the lightest possible laptop for what you need.

    However, you said you'll be doing video editing which would probably require a dedicated GPU, so I'd go for the RMBP.

    I can tell you that the 15'' non-retina MBP was too heavy to carry around in college- for my liking anyways. A lot of time I found myself using small desks that the 15'' would barely even fit on. On top of all of that, it's just really heavy and thick. The RMBP solves all of these problems except the footprint, but like I said, get what you think you'll need.

    Definitely wouldn't get the standard 15'' pro as a college student, I recommend the RMBP or the 13'' Air.
  6. paul8 macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2010
    Is 256 SSD enough for bootcamp?

    I have the same dilemma: do I buy the base RMBP, or the 2.6 GHz 15" with 750GB HD (same price)? I'm concerned about two things with the RMBP: 1) the 256GB SSD will not be large enough to run my Mac apps plus have a 30GB partition for bootcamp. I know I will get a terrabite external drive, but 256 may not be enough (I can't afford the 512GB SSD option). 2) the retina display is ahead of it's time. Many apps will just work in the 1440x900 resolution in the RMBP, so there is no real advantage right now, and maybe some disadvantages (speed, blury display). The no upgrade problem with the RMBP bothers me too. I wish Apple offered the base RMBP model with an option for a 512 SSD.
  7. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    It`s the SSD that`s mainly responsible for pushing the pricing, 256 -512 you would likely be looking at $500 at Apples price point, so for another $100 you get the 2.6 i7 included, until SSD`s significantly drop in price the options will remain limited
  8. rays09 macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    very same dillema with me! c'mon anyone help me! go for 15" high end model high ress or base model Rmbp or base model Rmbp with 16gb RAM!
  9. kaio789 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2009
    Thank you for all responses! I do think the cheaper model of the retina would work fine for what I need. The only things I'm really worried about are, as someone else mentioned, the fact that many applications are not yet updated for the retina screen. Does anyone know the extent to which this impedes the performance of the application? I have several programs that I already bought that I'll want to install, such as logic, and some games, and I'm wondering if they will run/look worse than they would on a normal MBP, or just in comparison to the retina, and if so then how big of a difference will it be?
  10. yth macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2012
    I'd get the non-retina. why?

    1. i agree, the portability of the retina is a nice feature. but the 15" mbp is still portable enough for university. seriously, go to the apple store and try it out. the retina is thinner, but it's still bulky, no question.

    2. you're a college student. if anything goes wrong with the retina, you're screwed. why? because to replace any single component of the retina, you need to replace the ENTIRE logic board. this will cost $1000+

    3. the retina screen is nice, but at least for now, nothing is customized for it. web pages will appear blurry, images will be blurry, etc.

    4. if you plan to do audio/video editing, you need lots of storage. there are lots of problems with external drives (portability being a big problem). you could just get the normal mbp with 1 TB hdd

    5. if you get the non-retina mbp, it doesn't cost a fortune to upgrade and repair. want to get a new battery? It's going to cost $199...

    basically, i'd avoid listening to the advice you see on this forum. i can't believe everyone's telling you to get a retina mbp, when it's not suited to your needs. a lot of people are caught up in the hype


    if you use Logic, you will need a lot of *local* storage for samples, VSTs, expansions, and everything else. in 4 years, you will definitely need more than 250 GB (maybe even more than 1 TB). the problem with the retina is that you simply can't get more space.

    and running these from an external HDD will have tons of lag, unfortunately
  11. paul8 macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2010
    Queen6, you're right about the cost of the 256 vs 512 SSD. And, getting the 2.6 processor for only $100 more is a good deal.
  12. rays09 macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    iam freakin agree with you, i dont know why everyone keep pushing with the retina one.. so what do you think go with the hi-res upgrade with non retina it's a must?? or i will satisfied with standard reso??

    and what do you think the best deal get the high end non retina MBP 2199 or the base model one? which more worth ??

    one more question is if you have experience with the 13" model what do you think it's screen? it's still worth to get? considering it's low reso screen and it's only intel hd 4000 that's why iam getting for the 15. thanks for the feedback
  13. kaio789 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2009
    Thank you, these are exactly my concerns. I feel like a lot of the appeal of the retina is hype, as you said, and the latest model of the standard MBP is still a really good computer. And the inability to upgrade parts on the retina is a bit disturbing. I'm thinking the one pound difference will be manageable to me and between buying an external disc drive and hard drive, the standard would be slightly cheaper. I'm worried that the retina is too ahead of its time and there are a lot of issues that might occur as a result of this
  14. TheMacBookPro, Jun 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012

    TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    YMMV I guess but there's a big difference between a 5 pound computer and a 4 pound computer when you're carrying it around every day like students do.

    The point of a warranty is so you don't need to pay $1000 for a faulty logic board. He should to get the extended AppleCare if he's planning on keeping it for a while for either the regular Pro or r-Pro anyways.

    Text appears fine, images are slightly blurry though, yes.

    See, people like to complain about the battery replacement cost but what they don't realize is that charge only applies if the charge level drops below 80% after 2 years and you want a replacement. It's not like the battery will be completely nonfunctional at that point- you'll just get 5.5 hours rather than 7 hours of battery life.
    If the battery connector stops functioning, Apple considers it a manufacturing defect and replaces it. Below 80% after 1 year? Replacement, FOC.
    Basically, it's very unlikely that you'll have to pay $199 for a replacement battery unless you require your battery to operate as new every two years.

    But as for the rest of your post, I do agree. He'll need more than 256GB based on what he needs his computer to do.
    If he could spring for the 512 or 768 model the Retina Pro would be well suited for him.
  15. emailsfh macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2008
    Retina = over-rated. Maxed out MBP 2012 with high res screen and you'll be much happier with room for upgrades when you've got more cash.
  16. espiritujo macrumors member


    Sep 19, 2011
    columbia, sc
    I'm about to order the 15 inch Macbook Pro without the Retina. I just don't see the use for retina right now, at least for me. And since it is the first of its kind I'm going to hold off until they can fix all the bugs and glitches with it. I'll have this next macbook pro for about 4 years, and by then the Retina should be perfect and the SSD sizes will be much more affordable.
  17. yth, Jun 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012

    yth macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2012
    This depends on your needs. Personally, i would go for the high-res 15" MBP with 1 TB HDD, 2.6 Ghz CPU, and 8 GB RAM. however, other users might be satisfied with a smaller laptop, and possibly an external monitor to go with it. It all depends on how you plan to use it.

    you can also buy the standard MBP, then get an external IPS monitor (or retina monitor) once the prices become more reasonable.


    Yep, it depends. i carry a 15" MBP with me at all times. if i wanted something more portable, i'd get a macbook air, not a retina MBP. I've looked at the retina models in the store and honestly, they are not a HUGE leap in portability. they are certainly more convenient, though.

    Yes, but I don't know if AppleCare is in the user's budget. Also, it only lasts 3 years, unfortunately.

    Possibly. I've had to get my current battery replaced (not under warranty). The new battery might last 4+ years, but I wouldn't factor the $199 replacement cost out of the equation.
  18. rays09 macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    thanks for a very good advice. actually i have an highend desktop gaming with dell 2412m e-ips panel..

    i'd fall in love with the 13" but the screen looks terrible! it's not worth for the $1500 that i can get the asus laptop with ips hi res panel.

    and i made up my mind to take the 15" high model with highres. and about the storage i will upgrade it later maybe,750gb it's enough for me.

    and my last question about the glossy and mate one.. i like the matte finish but i dont like the bazel it comes. i think the silver colour bazel it's annoying for watching so movies or browsing, idk if it was just me or what..

    can i have a hi ress glossy first to got the black bazel and is there any third party that sells the anti glare??

    from my experience , in iPad if i using an anti glare, i think the screen brightness was reduce. and it not good as the glossy one. is will impact the macbook too?

    thanks for feedback!
  19. yth macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2012
    I agree. The retina is definitely a good computer, but right now the component prices haven't caught up with the technology. If you were buying a laptop in 1 year, the retina might be a better deal.

    To me, the main problem is you edit video and audio. Both of these take up lots of disk space, and there aren't good alternatives right now. Even if you store data on the cloud, on NAS, or on an external HDD, there is too much lag. I know this from experience, since I've tried all 3 options :)

    you can probably get by in audio editing, if you want to compose from original sounds (including VSTs) and not samples. If you want to have a big sample library, then i would say that 250 GB is too small. And for video editing, i'm not sure if you can get by at all.


    i use a matte screen, but there is definitely a trade-off because the colors are not as good. however, matte is necessary for me, because of the environments i work in. sorry i can't tell you more than that...

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