Weighing the Options: Retina MacBook 2015 – No Suprises.

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by nouveau-apple, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. nouveau-apple, Aug 9, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015

    nouveau-apple macrumors 6502a

    Sep 29, 2014
    I'm excited to get the retina MacBook since it has the two things I always wanted the most. It's thin, and it has the retina display.

    I mean that's pretty much it. But of course we knew there would be several drawbacks to the retina MacBook.

    So 1, what are the drawbacks to the retina MacBook and 2, how would the MacBook Air 2015 be better than the drawbacks to the retina MacBook?

    Mind you I'm coming from a MacBook Air 2013. The things I hated about it was that the battery pooped out on me, and the screen was terrible.

    One of the amazing things that an apple genius was telling me at the Apple Store is that the performance, graphics and otherwise, in the retina MacBook is actually worse than the MacBook Air 2013 was.

    This I don't understand. How did the performance capability of a 2015 product GO BACK a couple of years. Same thing with the camera. The camera REVERTED back to before 2013.

    When you think about it like that, the new MacBook isn't really new at all.
  2. Soundburst macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2006
    I got one yesterday and it's much faster and more snappy than my 13 MacBook Pro with its 2.4Ghz processor.

    I am in love with this computer.
  3. nouveau-apple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 29, 2014
    How is it faster than a MacBook Pro?
  4. Ludatyk macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2012
    I'm guessing he got the model back in 2010 or so. I don't see how the new rMB is faster than a MacBook Pro.

    Don't get me wrong... I'm considering getting the rMB too, but I remain skeptical of the performance.
  5. nouveau-apple, Aug 9, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015

    nouveau-apple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 29, 2014
    Seeing as I need to purchase this within the next month or so, I'll get down to it and start weighing the options.

    It was hard to find any articles online about it.

    Retina MacBook
    So the device is $1,300 and you get:
    12 inch retina display
    256gb flash storage
    1.1 ghz core m
    Intel hd 5300
    8gb memory
    It's quiet, has force touch, all day battery, thinner, single port, new keyboard design

    Versus the new MacBook Air

    ok so the air is going to be just $1000 for the base model

    Well as far as the battery life goes, it lasts just as long as the MacBook Air. About 9 hours for both devices.

    Now here's where we start getting down to the differences.

    The air starts at a 1.6ghz processor! While the MacBook is only 1.1ghz! That's kind of a big difference. Seeing as I use my laptop for photoshop and sometimes games, I used to have problems.

    Basically if I get the MacBook I will have to cut out any possibility of playing any games. Which is a downgrade because I enjoyed the games I had on it but, I think it's doable.

    I'd also have to cut down video and photo editing to a minimum.

    But let me think about how the air improved over the past version.

    Well the air that I had was 1.3 ghz and the new air improved those speeds. So I'm having trouble trying to envision how I could possibly accept a slower computer than from 2013.


    Okay I've decided on the MacBook Pro. Originally I was not considering the MacBook Pro because I felt that with options like the MacBook Air that it would be too heavy.

    But I'm willing to care less about the weight because it offers a huge boost of power that I need to accomplish what I set out to do on the devices. It's got everything. It's got the multiple ports, HDMI, the longest battery life, the slickest screen... the fastest processors.

    And guess what? It's the same price as the retina MacBook. Now why would I want to pay that price to get a retina MacBook when it will be slower than the MacBook Air was in 2013? And on top of that why pay that price when I'm only getting a 12 inch retina screen, when the same money will buy you the best notebook that Apple makes?

    Ultimately the trade offs for the retina MacBook were insufficient for me to be happy with the device, coming from a MacBook Air 2013 and being unhappy with the longetivity of that device.

    The MacBook Air improved itself over the 2013 version, but not enough for everything i need.

    If I get a MacBook Pro I'll be completely happy. Apple couldn't offer a thinner alternative that was still powerful enough.

    I wouldn't bother with the retina MacBook.
  6. tejota1911 macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2006
    The rMB is an awesome laptop, but it isn't for everybody. If your usage requires CPU intensive tasks and you're tired of the crappy display in the MBA, just get the 13" MBP, and call it a day.

    Have you seen the rMB in person? It's about as thin and light as a laptop can possibly be and has no active cooling. Yet, in normal tasks, it's actually quite fast. It has an amazing display and excellent speakers. I've been pleasantly surprised with what it can do and how enjoyable it is to use.
  7. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    The most recent 13" MacBook Pro that came with a 2.4GHz processor was the 8,1 model that was released in 2011and it still scores about 500 points higher than the 12" MacBook with a 1.1GHz processor using Geekbench.

    I agree with you that I don't see how the new 12" MacBook 8,1 with a 1.1GHz processor is any faster than the 13" MacBook Pro 8,1 with the 2.4GHz.
  8. wchigo macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2015
    Well, in terms of performance it might not be considered new, but in terms of a feat of engineering it certainly is.

    The drawbacks can be plentiful. It certainly has less battery life than the 13" 2015 MBA, fewer ports, a slower processor and for some people it has a worse keyboard. Its strengths are in its beautiful retina screen, higher resolution and more screen real estate compared to the 11" MBA (1440x900 at a 16x10 aspect ratio for rMB vs 1366x768 at a 16x9 aspect ratio for MBA), better backlight for the keyboard, a better trackpad and markedly better speakers. It also has a smaller and (in my opinion) less intrusive bezel than the MBA. Those are all aside from the physical differences of screen size, footprint, weight and all that which generally favours the rMB aside from physical screen size compared to the 13".

    Undeniably, the performance and graphics are apparently somewhere between that of the 2011 and 2012 MBA, so by no means is this a powerhouse computer. But it was never meant to be a powerhouse computer; that's what the Pro line is for. Based on current technology, there was realistically no way that the rMB can outperform the current MBA due to its physical limitations like its thinness and lack of a fan. If you were to try and stick an i3 or i5 in the current fanless chassis, you're going to run into a lot of issues.

    I saw in your latest post that you decided to go with the rMBP in the end and I believe that is the best decision you could make based on your needs. In fact, I am surprised the rMB even crossed your mind for a second considering that you said you wanted to do photo/video editing AND play games on it; the rMB probably won't reach a point where it can be decent for that kind of use case until several revisions later.

    It's perfect for someone like me where I don't do any photo/video editing and have a PC desktop at home for games. I only need this for web browsing, Word, Excel, emails and watching videos and to be honest the 13" late 2013 rMBP was way too much power for what I needed but at the time I didn't have a choice if I wanted a decent screen. Anyways, glad you ultimately found what was best for you and I'm sure you will be very happy with the rMBP.:)
  9. Eric8199 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2009
    I know you said you've decided on the MBP, which is probably the better choice for you. I have a rMBP already, and the rMB is a supplement to it. That being said, I RARELY open the rMBP anymore.

    I edit 1080p YouTube videos on my rMB no problem. It's only stuttered a couple of times ever, and I edit 10-20 minute videos at least a couple times a week. I also edit photos in Lightroom almost daily. Photoshop works very well for the most part, for basic editing. Anything complex will start to slow it down.

    TBH, I've been very impressed with the performance of this machine. I was very skeptical in the beginning, but after playing with it at the Apple Store, I thought it might be able to do what I need. I was right. I much prefer the portability of this thing, and the USB-C port isn't an issue because most of what I do is wireless anyway.

    Don't discount the power of this computer. You can't compare spec to spec necessarily because it's got a totally different type of processor. That being said, the rMBP is most certainly a better machine, but I say this very much outweighs either MBA just due to the retina display. And next year's rMB will probably be even better.

    I bought this as a secondary machine, and it has totally become my primary machine.
  10. nouveau-apple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 29, 2014
    Yeah, weighing the options has definitely been difficult this time around. I was always quite a heavy user, using very intensive applications, but I just slipped through the cracks with the Air.

    The MacBook Pro was the device that fits my needs.

    If I was to get a retina MacBook, I would have to change my habits, and that I can't do.
  11. Soundburst macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2006
    It's faster than my 2010 macbook pro 2.4ghz i5.

    It's so snappy.

    Saying that I'm not doing anything massively intensive but even opening Mail on my macbook pro was a disgusting experience of slow clunky mess.

    Perhaps it's the ssd, or the extra ram.
  12. ghanwani macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    If you didn't have SSD on the old MBP, then that is definitely it. I have a 2010 MBP with SSD and it does not feel slow except when using Chrome on ad-intensive websites.

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