Why I returned rMBP after 24 hours (graphic designer)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by c.s., Jun 22, 2012.

  1. c.s. macrumors regular


    Nov 11, 2007
    First, let me say I've purchased a lot of Apple products over the years and have loved every one, starting with the "dome" iMac and original osx. The rMBP is the first time I regretted a purchase.

    The display IS amazing, much like the feeling you get using the new iPad. But that's all you can really say about it - there's little about this computer that adds real value to my work, in 2 important areas.

    The Screen
    As an avid graphic designer, I was excited about all the screen real estate I could use in 1920 x 1200 mode. But being hunched over and squinting while editing documents in InDesign just wasn't the productivity boost I was hoping for. I'd MUCH rather be plugged in to my 27' display, with it's lower resolution and all, being able to lean back and work in a more relaxed state. I suppose the hi res would come in handy if I was sandwiched in a corner at Starbucks all day, but that just sounds miserable. And when I bumped up the size for true retina, the Adobe apps just look terrible. Especially the text rendering in InDesign. I know eventually Adobe will tackle this - probably 2 years from now. Don't get me wrong - it's a great display to look at - it just isn't that important to me personally. If its the only screen you own, and you work on a laptop all the time, then it's great.

    So I own a 2009 MBP, and I added an SSD to it a year and a half ago. It seems to me that the SSD is the great equalizer. I just didn't feel any faster on the new machine than on my crusty Core 2 Duo. I might feel differently if I used heavy processor apps, but I think for most EVERY daily use case, the SSD makes processor speed almost irrelevant. I remember when I put in the SSD I felt like I bought something 10 years ahead of my time. Using the rMBP, it's like I'm trying to talk myself into believing it's a LITTLE faster. And it's 3 years newer!

    Anyway, those are my thoughts. The folks at the Apple Store were shocked when I brought it in, couldn't believe I was returning it. I know it's a hot item, and it really is fun to look at, just overrated in my opinion.

    I remember my first Mac, being amazed that I could edit a family movie... Then my first PowerBook, a legitimate notebook I could take anywhere and do real work... And both the 24' and 27' displays were amazing upgrades for producing graphic design. I just don't see how this one is much of a leap, though I DO appreciate Apple's lead in developing better and better displays. Maybe I just need to wait for the software to catch up.
  2. Icy1007 macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    Adobe is preparing to release updates to their software shortly.

    The speed difference between the new RMBP and your 2009 MBP is astronomical.
  3. Smork macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2011
    He should've exchanged it for the 2012 non-retina macbook.
    Did you do this? Or did you go back to the 2009 mbp?
  4. answer348 macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2004
    So you returned it because it doesn't have a 27" screen, you're unwilling to wait for software to catch up, and your "feel" test did not detect a speed difference. Probably not the worst grounds upon which someone has criticized the new macbook pro, but close.
  5. Icy1007 macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2011
    Cleveland, OH
    The Non-retina MBP and a good external monitor is all I would need for graphic design.


    "Finder windows open 0.0001 seconds faster than my old 200x MBP! It's not that much faster. I'm returning it."
  6. albert1028 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    I think that the thread starter should have waited. It will more than likely take more than return policy days to really have most people make their software compatible and use the advantages of the mbpr to the fullest. I feel that only when that occurs, will it be a good measure against old technology.

    We cannot forget that many of us that have mbpr in our posession or have ordered this are early adopters and there will ALWAYS be growing pains. We can't expect something that is new to be well established and mature when it is introduced.
  7. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    Obviously for "daily general usage" you're not going to see any major difference in performance. Any old computer is fine for word processing/browsing/watching movies/listening to music etc etc which is why I find if bewildering when people buy the RMBP or some other high end laptop to do absolutely nothing on it.

    For graphic design, are you not involved in any projects that demand high res/retina assets? If not now, then soon i would hope. The screen would be perfect for that. And of course an external monitor for "legacy" graphics and apps that aren't retina friendly yet as well as more screen real estate.

    But you're right, regardless of the resolution, 15" is just not enough screen real estate for design.
  8. c.s. thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 11, 2007
    I thought Adobe said Photoshop only - "later this year"
  9. c.s. thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 11, 2007
    Just trying to be honest. I've never really enjoyed working on a notebook screen. I had high hopes that this would be different.
  10. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Graphic design can go all over the place. For a lot of things it hasn't become much more cpu intensive in years. One of the big changes is that things which were previously handled by scratch disks can be handled by ram. That can lend a bit of responsiveness to larger projects.

    We shall see. I wouldn't expect it in a couple weeks or anything, but they'll definitely get to it if they think it will encourage upgrades.

    Usually waiting for software to catch up is something you would do prior to purchase if you're using it for work reasons. This is just a case of someone buying too early.
  11. phpmaven macrumors 68040


    Jun 12, 2009
    San Clemente, CA USA
    Well... I don't know what you were thinking. I have a 27" Cinema Display and a 17" Macbook Pro, and I would never even think about trying to work on my laptop's screen when I'm at home, much less try to work on a 15" screen.

    My son-in-law has a 15" MacBook Pro as his sole computer, but all he does is email and surf the Internet and create a Word doc occasionally. For him it works fine. But I'm a web developer who uses Photoshop and the like quite often. I would go nuts trying to work on a 15" screen. I don't care how good it is.
  12. hkim1983 macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2009
    I find that for most people, watching flash streams or 720p/1080p video qualifies as "every day" use.

    While it wouldn't make a difference with the 720p video, there's a very large difference in performance between a C2D and an i5 in terms of flash streams and 1080p video (although to be fair, this depends more so on bitrate than anything else).

    Even on a 480p stream, not having my fans blare up and my laptop get quite warm is reassuring.

    For everything else, I agree, a C2D would suffice for most regular consumers. I see a night and day difference between my C2D and i5, but I guess I just use more processor intensive apps.
  13. IanGahagan macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2012
    people need to have the patience for their rmbp to show up and the patience for software to be updated.
  14. ThisIsMe macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2012
    Wow! after 24 hours? I completely understand coming from a huge 27 Inch display to 15 Inch Retina Macbook pro could take a little time to get use to. Personally me I video edit in final Cut pro X on a daily basis and the Retina clarity really helps me edit with the cleaner and clear full 1080P Clip. I sill think you should of waited to get a real good feel for it. 24 Hours was not enough time to test it and try it out.
  15. coolguy$$$ macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2012
    In my case, i'm still using a 2008 MBP and its time to upgrade. For anyone who wants to upgrade rMBP is the most logical option. non-retina MBP has no future. It will be obsolete in 2 year when both PC and MAC move towards very High Resolutions.

    I'm happy to purchase a non-retina MBP but it would be bad decision in the long run.
  16. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    I don't see where he ever said he returned it because it doesn't have a 27" screen. Wow way to twist the guy's words. He said he'd rather just use his 27" monitor. If he'd much rather use an external most of the time for work, then maybe the retina display is not necessary for him. Why pay extra for something you realize you don't need? Just because something better is out there doesn't mean it's needed, which is why many people opt for low end 13" or 15" models and are happy.
  17. Sheppard macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2012
    Kent, UK
    Why did you bother in the first place?

    Sounds like you were pretty comfortable with your current setup but having the rMBP instead of your '09 MBP with still the same setup is only a plus isn't it?

    What size graphics do you work with then? No explanation of current uses does not help and support your reason for less than 24 hours return!

    I web design as a hobby and am waiting for an RMBP on order. Simply creating in a larger format then scaling is better for future-proofing than the other way round.

    As a graphic designer, surely your using majority of vectors for design for scalability in the first place??
  18. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Not to sound harsh, but a 15" display will never replace a 27" display. The retina mbp is a great machine, and the retina display is awesome but it doesn't replace other larger displays.

    Buy the tool that best fits your needs.

    I agree that it could be an extended wait for adobe to update their apps as well
  19. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    The OP can certainly repurchase later when the Software has caught up. Why should he bear the expense if he feels its not usable?
  20. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    to return it after less than a day's use (I assume you weren't actually on it 24 hours straight), you must have felt extremely disappointed with the product. I would definitely have given it like a week.
  21. trickness macrumors member

    May 13, 2012
    Thanks for posting this - you called it 100%. I remember laughing my ass off when Tim Cook tried to generate a Steve-esque reality distortion field during the WWDC keynote when he said how much photographers would love working on the new rMBP. I thought, "hey Tim, I haven't edited photos on a 15" screen since the 90's". Nobody I know who does design for a living wants to edit on a 15" screen, retina or no. Not unless they want to get a headache every single day. I could see using it to drive a Thunderbolt display, but then what's the point of having retina?

    Meanwhile, no real Mac Pro, iMac or Mini update at WWDC. Apple's completely lost touch with the Pro community - rMBP is a good techno-poseur machine, but a total joke for design. Fine I'm trolling but that doesn't make it not true.....
  22. Gomff macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2009
    Have to disagree. Budget laptops with standard display resolutions will be selling for much longer than 2 years, and generally speaking software and web page design always caters to the lowest common denominator.

    No way are owners of standard res laptops going to be denied paid for or revenue generating content, it doesn't make business sense. Apple may be driving the retina display gig, but then again they also pioneered Thunderbolt and that hasn't exactly shaken the world's foundations.
  23. whdigital macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2011
    Well, count me as one who only needed about 2.5 minutes to discover all the things I didn't like about that screen. It shouldn't hurt anyone's feelings or sensibilities to embrace the reality that not all of us think it's "all that" just because it is indeed a unique piece of technology!
  24. iamdavekennedy macrumors regular

    May 14, 2012
    London / Belfast
    I went in to buy one when it arrived in store in London, and opted out of it in favour of getting an iMac and 13" for on-the-road work as a plan B. Since then I've not really regretted my purchase, but I've definitely been umming and ahhing about it a bit, should I have gotten it, could I have benefitted from it...

    I feel that the choice I made (for the same money getting an iMac with a larger screen for doing my work on, and the option to dual SSD/HDD and put up to 32GB in it over the years, and a 13 that I can dual SSD/HDD and 16GB seemed too good to refuse - used a friends student discount so it was £1700 for both bits of hardware and £140 to spend in the App Store so effectively £1560) was right for me.

    Your post has just confirmed this, thank you for putting my mind at ease and for clearing up almost everything I was asking myself with regards to using it, as I myself am also a Graphic Designer!

    P.S, can I have a job? thanks :)
  25. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    i think one major component you're missing out on is that adobe software hasn't been updated to actually utilize retina display yet.

    in anandtechs review, they say that apps can actually have resolution independence. so you can view the UI at a set resolution but the image/file/whatever you're working on can be viewed at a different resolution like how the final cut hd and imovie works.

    all explained here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6023/the-nextgen-macbook-pro-with-retina-display-review/6

    this is actually kind of genius and something i didn't think about when i was considering the RMBP for graphic work. it is now definitely swaying me in its favour (whereas before i couldn't see why the retina screen would benefit me at all for design)

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