Thinking of returning my maxed out rMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iFanboy, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. iFanboy Guest

    Upgraded from

    I upgraded from a late 2008 15.4" MBP Unibody, 2.53Ghz Core 2 Duo, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Some 512mb nVidia GPU.

    Day 2 Day Use

    Web Browsing, very casual gaming (Civ 5), lots of time working in Office for Mac 2011 (I need to create and share .doc and .xls files with Windows users on a daily basis).

    Why I'm thinking of returning

    I spent over £3,000 on a maxed out rMBP with the maximum specs possible. The aim was to get the latest and greatest that would last me to 2015/2016 if possible like my last MacBook did.

    Unfortunately I am experiencing problems which give me concern. Fortunately I can honestly say that they are nothing major, they are just major annoyances effectively.

    I am experiencing lag when the Intel 4000 integrated graphics chip is used. The more I read, the more concerned I am that the graphics technology isn't quite "there" yet, and that the retina is ahead of it's time. I have no lag or any other issues when the kepler nVidia GPU is in use, but unfortunately that saps battery.

    Generally speaking, third party apps also aren't ready yet and it seems to be a question of "months" until they are sorted. Until then, like Office for Mac 2011 for example they are as irritating as **** to work with. Google Docs looks incredible, but I can't use that for work.

    I dislike Safari, so I'm using a Chrome alpha build (Chrome Canary) as a main browser. Alpha build, main browser, this is not good. Firefox looks awful (as well as we can probably wait to Firefox 16/17 for retina support) so does regular chrome until the retina enhancements make their way to the stable build.

    The GPU setup does concern me however. I feel like they are at best "suitable" for today, but 12 months from now won't be good enough to give any usable performance to the latest and greatest games of tomorrow, even for a VERY casual gamer like me.

    Overall Thoughts

    Overall, I keep going back to price. I spent £3,000 on a laptop that lags, that apps aren't ready for (and actually look worse on than my 2008 MBP), so I can use an alpha browser as my main, and where the graphics setup appears to have no longevity.

    The Problem with Returns


    I have looked extensively today, and found NOTHING.

    For comparable slim and light build quality your options are limited to "ultrabook" unless you are happy with the arguable boat anchors that high powered PC laptops are designed with.

    The closest slim and light build quality I found is the Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook - 15" 1.7Ghz i5 Ivy Bridge, 1600x900 matt screen, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Integrated Intel 4000 graphics only. (Price: £1,300)

    So if I return my rMBP, the best I can hope to get is a saving of £1800, for a laptop with a weaker processor, poor poorly reviewed screen, half the RAM, and a tiny SSD with barely functioning integrated graphics?

    Since when was the PC Laptop market this bad?

    Question for the Forum

    Based on what I've said, and your own experience with rMBP, should I return it and go for a PC laptop instead? If so, which one do you think is closest to mac in terms of slim, light and powerful build quality?

    I have already discounted buying a non-retina Mac btw, because I find I really don't want to :eek:

    Thoughts appreciated :)
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think going to a pc is a step down, if you are dissatisfied with the lagging problems, then get a classic MBP which does not have this issue (which is a result of the GPU dealing with a lot more pixels).
  3. Enjoi03 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    This doesn't make sense to me. Based on your concerns and wants, the non-retina MBP seems perfect. Could you explain why you don't want to buy the non-retina MBP? and as the previous response said, a pc would be a a complete step down in most aspects that concern you.
  4. BB.King, Jul 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012

    BB.King macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2012
    London UK
    Sony Vaio Z, cost less than half the price for 2.1Ghz quad core i7; 4Gb ram; 128gb ssd; 1080p screen, weight less than 13" mba.

    Review here inc comparison with rMBP.

    P.S. Get down-voted for suggesting an alternative to answer OP's question, I guess this reflect the maturity of some members reading this thread.
  5. Electa macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Get the latest cMBP. It's not like it's heavy. Same processing power without the lag.
  6. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    Recount buying a non retina, or stick with the retina.

    Windows is a nasty, nasty OS which I was reminded of earlier when I just wanted to use boot camp for some gaming. There are always horrible delays and holdups and anti virus updates to deal with. The fact that it is an absolute necessity to install a third party anti virus on windows does enough to show that Microsoft really need to radically change their OS.

    Anyway, sorry for that, I was just reminded of how disgusting windows is and how sub par it is to osx. So yeah, stick with mac.
  7. MacBird macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
    I had exactly the same 2008 uMBP with the same configuration and also ordered the Retina MBP. I use mainly Adobe CS5 and MS Office 2011 and after seeing a rMBP in the store I canceled my order and got a 13.3'' MBA with i7, 8 GB and 256 GB SSD instead. This little laptop is surprisingly fast, much faster, runs cooler and quieter than the MBP I had and it works really well with my external 24'' monitor. I am actually a bit surprised how well it works but am quite happy. :)

    If the screen size and resolution of the MBA would work for you, it might be worth looking into this option.
  8. Aodhan macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    I had a lot of concerns with the MBP Retina as well. I ordered one, and after a week (I had plenty of time to think about it) I decided to cancel the order. I bought a non-Retina MBP instead. 2.6GHz, 750GB, 8GB ram, 1GB 650M, I paid the same price as I would have for the Retina, but I have an upgradeable machine without the worries of the retina display.

    I don't blame you for your concerns with the MBPR. I still have reservations about the 650M driving a 2880x1800 display. I didn't like how locked up the machine is, and I didn't want to bother with beta testing life with that display.

    For me, the MBP was the perfect compromise.
  9. BlazednSleepy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2012
  10. Aodhan macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    You're asking the OP to put a lot of faith in a theory that software will entirely fix the MBPR's problems. A considerable amount of money is at stake as well.
  11. BlazednSleepy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2012
    It's already been proven how much mountain lion improves things.
  12. Aodhan, Jul 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012

    Aodhan macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    Well if it's been proven...
  13. jonfarr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2012
    Exactly. Pretty sure the "lag" will be fixed in ML.
  14. Enjoi03 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    Just based on the dev builds....yes it fixes most of these issues such as lag.
  15. BlazednSleepy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2012
    There's no point in going there because again, ML fixes most of lag problems. And the software updates will only improve things.
  16. iFanboy thread starter Guest

    Thanks for the help! :)

    The reason I have discounted a standard MBP is that I wanted longevity. Price wise, it seems the retina is actually cheaper at some configurations, and I have no doubt that in a year or two the whole industry, PC Laptops included will be moving to high res displays.

    To spend so much on a non-retina MBP now seems counterproductive.

    It seems I may get better longevity from a PC laptop?

    My feeling now is that if you're going to get a mac to last you a few years you need to get retina, but IMHO it may be just a little bit ahead of its time?
  17. M5RahuL macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2009
    I don't get the negativity towards Windows OS :rolleyes: Ever since XP, and more so with Win 7, I have had zero issues with Windows! And, it's not like OS X doesn't have problems!

    The build quality of PCs is another issue.. Sure, they aren't as refined as a Mac, but that shouldn't take away from the Win OS!

    Anyway, to the OP, I would recommend the non-retina MBP with Hi-Resolution display! Gorgeous screen, and great price compared to the rMBP.
  18. surjavarman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 24, 2007
    Since you are thinking about the price tag all the time, I would just go for the 2.3/256/8 base model.

    You don't need more than 8gb of ram for doing the tasks that you do right now and in the future either. The difference between the 2.3ghz and the high end cpu are negligible. Most will agree that it ain't worth the money. The same argument can actually also be used for the 768gb. It is in my opinion not worth spending $1100 for 512gb of extra storage. And what kind of difference is 512gb really going to make. It's still not enough to store your whole collection of music, movies, games and pictures on it.

    I am going to get flamed for this but I think anything more than 2.3/256/8 is just a waste of money. Getting 512gb SSD for $600 or 16gb RAM for $200 is debatable but external storage is cheap and it is unlikely you'll ever max out 8gb of RAM. And even if you do I highly doubt you will notice the page outs.
  19. BlazednSleepy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2012
    Well then.. your going to be pretty much stuck with lower spec PC's. Your not going to find anything comparable to what you want, other than the regular macbook pro. The nice things about mac's is the resale value.
  20. iFanboy thread starter Guest

    You're absolutely right that money is a lot of my thinking here.

    When I ordered, I spent just over £3,000 on this machine with the intention that it would be my main computer until early 2016 really.

    I have serious doubts that it will last that long right now. Not that the hardware will break or anything, just that I will feel the need to upgrade this machine far sooner than 2016, and as such I should probably be buying a cheaper laptop now and actually planning to upgrade in 18 months or so?
  21. Enjoi03 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    But if you're getting a PC without the same resolution as the retina MBP, aren't you running into the same problem? As in, it won't have any more longevity than the non retina MBP (same screen resolution); and considering, like you said, the build quality is usually worse. So in return, the longevity would be much shorter.

    edit: Another point: If technology truly is going towards retina displays, then wouldn't getting a device now (pc or mac) without the retina display be counterproductive towards your goal of longevity? Maybe the retina is ahead of its time, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It sounds like to me, your best option would be to wait for future generations of laptops that may suit your needs better and have more consistent performance.
  22. BlazednSleepy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2012
    You do realize you could just SELL the rMBP in two years so you can upgrade to an even better one. Like I said, Mac's have a great resale value.
  23. iFanboy thread starter Guest

    My immediate family uses Windows 7 PC's, and although they aren't BSOD happy like windows was known for, you're absolutely right that they are filled with annoyances of their own.

    I have to use a Windows XP PC at work still, but I actually find that later versions of windows actually contain MORE prompts, popups, and general annoyances? *shrugs*


    Absolutely, which is why I'm wondering whether it's better to spend less money now, and actually PLAN to upgrade in about 18 months, rather than pursuing my policy of buying the best now, and upgrading in 2016 after 4 years like my 2008 MBP lasted.
  24. Greg M macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2008
    Resale value isn't anything near what it use to be. Percentage wise they drop like a rock!
  25. Aodhan macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    Previous posters seem convinced that Mountain Lion will resolve most of the issues with the MBPR. I sincerely hope they are right and I am wrong. Either way, a Rev B MBPR will no doubt be coming down the pipeline in the near future, perhaps a year or eighteen months. Rev B is likely to be a noteworthy refinement over the current Retina. Something to keep in mind.

    Your concerns about the GPU are similar to my own. I have the 650M in my MBP, and I run World of Warcraft and Diablo 3 at 1920x1080 on an external monitor. With HIGH settings, I get 60FPS most of the time, but it can drop to 30 at times. I see reports from MBPR users touting twice that frame rate, and I honestly don't know how that is possible when the same video card, though faster clocked, is driving four times the amount of pixels. They may have vertical sync off, I can get 160FPS that way, but it is not as smooth. With the built in display I can get 60FPS consistently, but it's still below some of the claims from MBPR owners, so perhaps your fears about the Retina's GPU are unfounded.

    It is a tough decision you face. I went back and forth as well, but I believe I made the right decision for me. Spend time reading through the different threads about the Retina, they will help you make your decision.

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