uMBP vs rMBP - the Ultimate pro's and con list

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by prfrma, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. prfrma, Jul 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012

    prfrma macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    #1
    So, with so many threads and discussions about which to get and why, I figured it might be time to make a list of pro's and cons that I'll eventually turn into an infographic. I already know which one I'll be getting (rMBP :D ) but I'm sure others are still undecided so....


    ...I'll get the ball rolling:

    uMBP 2012
    Pro's:
    Also comes in 13"
    Lower base price
    Easier to access, upgrade and repair parts which
    - enables you to to have an additional HDD in place of the CD
    - Allows you to buy cheaper aftermarket SSD's and ram upgrades and other parts
    - Cheaper, quicker battery repair
    Has battery status light
    Uses Mag Safe v2 (better IMO because wire fray is significantly reduced)
    Has native Ethernet
    Has native Firewire 800 port
    Has sleep power light
    Has in store option for Matt display
    Refined, tried and tested design that just works.
    Has brighter screen
    Slightly better battery life

    Con's
    Even upgraded, has low maximum screen resolution for a 15" panel in this day and age. (no 1080p)
    A single thunderbolt socket that doubles as DP without any other video out may be limiting.
    (for more cons see below)



    rMBP 2012
    Pro's:
    18% lighter than 15" uMBP
    20% thinner than both uMBP's
    More comfortable to write on, less sharper palm rest.
    Has 2 Thunderbolt ports (+1 more than uMBP)
    Better built I. speaker system.
    Has native HDMI port
    Flash SSD fastest in it's class
    Has slightly better thermal characteristics than uMBP (CPU less lightly to throttle down)
    Mag Safe v3 more easily disconnects
    Has 15" screen with retina display
    - Which has a maximum resolution of 2880 x 1800
    - 178 degree viewing angle
    - Improved contrast
    - 75% reduction in glare vs glossy screened uMBP
    - has "more space" mode which gives you huge amounts of desktop estate
    - Possible to hack screen resolution allowing even more flexibility.
    Comes with overclocked Nvidia 650m GPU with 1gb of video ram (clocked higher and with 512mb more than uMBP)
    - Which means it'll perform better when connected to external display vs uMBP
    Can power up to 3 external displays (before adapters/daisy chaining (as opposed to 1 on the uMBP))
    Cheaper than uMBP when configured with similar specs (when assembled by apple)
    Arguably better build quality (Really stiff/sturdy compared to uMBP, little flex in the screen)
    The best gaming mac ever made.
    Quitier



    Con's
    Software support (particularly Adobe CS) for retina display 1-3 months away.
    No optical drive bay.
    Designed for an OS that won't be released for a few weeks.
    Base price is expensive
    Incompatible with IR apple remote.
    iFixit gives it a 1 out of 10 for repairability meaning any faults or upgrades would mean a trip to an Apple store.
    Thunderbolt hardware right now is limited.
    You have to buy thunderbolt adapters for legacy functionality (Ethernet, Firewire)
    Noticeable UI performance issues at "more space" settings in Lion
    First gen product, not for late adopters.
    Niche product - probably best suited to Audio, Motion Designers and developers
    New mag safe socket incompatible with the last without $10 adapter.
    Limited supply, 3-5 week shipping on some models.


    I hope this is fair. If anyone wants to add pro's and con's, or contest the above, please go ahead
     
  2. kamran9558 macrumors regular

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    Jun 23, 2010
  3. prfrma thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 29, 2010
    #3
    Correct, I listed this as DVI, which I'll amend.
     
  4. golu14 macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2012
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    Delhi, India
    #4
    Retina base is a really great option for not-so-advanced users like me
    While the older design is more suited for people who want the ultimate specs on a budget.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    I disagree, I consider myself an advanced user and opted for the retina MBP. It offers everything that I need.

    I think the biggest advantage the cMBP has, is its expandability. You can replace the optical drive with another drive, you can upgrade the ram, or replace the existing hard drive. You can do none of that with the retina MBP.

    I priced out both retina and non retina and the cost was not that much difference (if you factor in getting an SSD for the cMBP). To me it made too much sense, the rMBP was the way to go.
     
  6. daleski75 macrumors 65816

    daleski75

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    Location:
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    #6
    I priced up both and the uMBP came out more expensive once I factored in getting 16gb, SSD when compared to the standard spec for the rMBP.

    I consider myself an advanced user and the rMBP is perfect for my needs.
     
  7. leenak macrumors 68020

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #7
    Can you actually go above 16Gb in the MBP? I purchased the 16GB so upgradeability of the ram is a moot point.

    I think it really depends on priorities. I would've never replaced the optical drive with another HD because I don't care for carrying that much data around. Other people though for some reason may need a lot of data on their hard drive. I went with 512GB SSD only because I knew I wanted a windows partition but even then, that seems huge.

    I do think it is a perceived advantage that the SSD/HDD can be swapped out but also I think SSDs have less failure rates and those of us who have had a HDD fail in the past know the fear of a dead drive. I'm guessing if the SSD fails, we'll have to work through Apple to replace which would cost more. I'm personally ok with that. Others might not be.
     
  8. r3dm4lcz macrumors member

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    LPL
    #8
    Does anyone know the process of replacing an SSD in a rMBP if it died? Is it something that a 'Genius' would fix in store or ship out? Are there cost implications? I imagine it would be covered under Apple Care.
     
  9. daleski75 macrumors 65816

    daleski75

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    #9
    Judging by the innards I would say it would only be offered as a fix in store under warranty.
     
  10. leenak macrumors 68020

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #10
    I still don't know what the u is supposed to represent in uMBP but doesn't it also have a sharper edge? I remember looking at one a few months ago and didn't think the palm rest was very comfortable. I liked the Air more for that.

    Also the glare in the retina is reduced without having to have a matte screen.
     
  11. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Poole, England
    #11
    Ivy Bridge (and some Sandy Bridge) CPUs do support 32 GB of RAM, but right now that is impossible in the MBP since it only has two slots and we don't have 16 GB modules, yet.
     
  12. prfrma thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 29, 2010
    #12
    Should have made that clear.

    U stands for unibody which seams to be the most common abbreviation for the none retina mbp. Should i change to cMBP?


    although the palm rest is an issue with the uMBP and a little improved in the rMBP, I'm not It's a big enough change for most to notice, especially compared to the air.
     
  13. leenak macrumors 68020

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    #13
    But it is a con/pro though compared to eachother. There are other things in the list that are non-events for some but big deals for others.
     
  14. prfrma thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Alright, added.
     
  15. ssn637 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I would also recommend noting that the base rMBP only comes with 256 GB of storage, which just isn't enough for most of us.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    Its not a moot point because you can buy non apple memory and install yourself. Apple charges a premium for upgrades and its an advantage to get the minimum ram, and then upgrade the ram yourself.

    What happens if a ram module goes south in the rMBP - you need to send the whole computer in for repair and have the logic board replaced. the cMBP - you pull the bad module and replace.
     
  17. VFC macrumors 6502a

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    SE PA.
    #17
    Here are some additional pros/cons.

    rMBP
    Cons:
    -Only 256gb HD storage space in base model
    -Slightly underpowered video card (buyers remorse when 2013 model released)

    cMBP
    Pros:
    -Brighter screen
    -Can upgrade to larger and faster SSDs in the future
    -Cheaper to maintain (user replaceable fans, battery, HD, memory)
    -No need to purchase external CDROM drive
    -1440x900 is the sweet-spot resolution for a 15" laptop screen
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #18
    Its underpowered because it needs to push so many pixels. I think if you're not a gamer, its less of an issue. It does impact how "buttery smooth" the UI is, but for me, I live with it.
     
  19. leenak macrumors 68020

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    #19
    I agree and I guess I've never had RAM go bad (not saying it won't) and have only added RAM to a system twice? in my 20+ years of owning computers.

    I just figured upgradeability really isn't the issue if you have a rMBP with 16GB, it is repairability. Which there is a fine line between both. Being able to repair something yourself is an advantage although there are many people that wouldn't. Last time I opened up a laptop, I said never again but if I had an issue and was out of warranty, I guess I'd try :)
     
  20. Evil Spoonman macrumors 6502

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    #20
  21. prfrma thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    Does anyone else agree that 1440x900 is the sweet spot for a 15" screen?

    I say this posting from a 5" screen with nearly the same resolution
     
  22. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #22
    I used to repair computers and it does happen, not a lot but it does. We see threads here about bad ram as well, though the majority of threads is new ram that is defective.
     
  23. daleski75 macrumors 65816

    daleski75

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    Northampton, UK
    #23
    1440x900 is not good enough imho I had a HP Envy 15" for my sins with a 1920x1080 screen which was perfect.

    1680x1050 is borderline ok for a 15"
     
  24. VFC macrumors 6502a

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    SE PA.
    #24
    Sweet spot in the sense that is what most people set their resolution to; even if they had the option to use a higher resolution. There is another thread that asks the rMBP owners what resolution they use and 1440x900 was the most used by a large margin.
     
  25. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    #25
    Lighter than 13" uMBP

    You might want to remove that one. The 13 is still lighter.

    The actual figures for the 13 UMBP, 4.5lbs to 4.7lbs for the RMBP. Or a difference of 0.2lbs. The 13 is 24mm or 0.95 inch to 18mm or 0.71 inch in thickness or 25%.

    The actual figures for the 15 UMBP are 5.6lbs to 4.7lbs or 0.9lbs less than a pound or around 19%.

    Do you want a better quality display and a laptop that is 25% thinner and %20 lighter.

    Or one with better upgrade ability, slightly heavier and slightly thicker with more ports and less problems right now.

    Each are good but each person will have one which fit's their needs better. What is important to you? Listing the pro's and con's will not have any meaning to someone who needs something one gives over the other.
     

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