Worth the extra for the retina?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MBP*, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. MBP* macrumors member

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    Jun 12, 2014
    #1
    I'm a new Mac user. I've used it in the past and still learning my way around the OS.

    I'm looking into a new MBP 13" - using the 15" which I think is a little too big for portability.

    I can see that I can get a fairly powerful 13" which is around the 2012 model, with i7 and 8GB significantly cheaper than the same on the retina model.

    Of course, i know that the key difference here is the screen, but from experience, is worth getting the retina model, for the extra couple of hundred, or going for the cheaper option?

    I'll be keeping the machine at least for 3 years or more, so want something more 'futureproof', that doesn't require me to upgrade too soon, particularly if Apple decide to release new technologies that aren't compatible with previous laptops
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    You're not only getting a retina screen but the Haswell chipset and a good iGPU so I think if you're concern about future proofing the computer, you'll want to get the best chipset out there. Why spend nearly the same amount of $$ on an old chipset.
     
  3. MBP* thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 12, 2014
    #3
    Its a £200+ or $450 difference in price. I could probably pick it up cheaper second hand too.
     
  4. Agent-P macrumors 68030

    Agent-P

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    #4
    Worth the extra for the retina?

    I agree with maflynn that getting the rMBP will suit you better in the long run if only for that newer Intel hardware. And personally I used to own the 13" rMBP (upgraded to a 15" model for the screen size) and it's a fantastic laptop. Should easily last you 3-4 years. Check out Apple's refurbished section and you can get a good deal on the newest model.
     
  5. MBP* thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Also, is the flash storage something worth paying extra for?
     
  6. leman macrumors G3

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #6
    Looking at official pricing:

    non-retina model configured for 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD - £999 + £93(Samsung SSD on Amazon) + £30 (RAM on Amazon) = £ 1122

    retina model - 1,249.00, £130 more which gives you better performance, better screen, more mobile computer, faster storage and also a bigger battery

    Or, if you look at the refurb store — the 13" retina model is £1,059.00. Should be quite difficult to beat that.
     
  7. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #7
    Listen to maflynn! Get the retina. Its a total nobrainer!
     
  8. Agent-P macrumors 68030

    Agent-P

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    #8
    Worth the extra for the retina?


    How do you normally use your laptops? That would make the answer vary a bit.

    EDIT: were you referring to upgrading the older one with flash storage or increasing the flash storage of the retina model? For the former I would always say it's worth the upgrade. For the latter, my previous response still stands.
     
  9. leman macrumors G3

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #9
    Let me put it like this — it makes your computer feel 10x faster because of the instantaneous response to your actions. The flash storage is probably the most significant technical advancement the personal computers have experienced over the last few years (the other one, of course, being massive increase of performance per watt).
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    If only my wife would do that :p

    you mean the SSD - of course, you're getting a faster system, better GPU, SSD storage that increases the overall performance of the machine.
     
  11. meson macrumors regular

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    Apr 29, 2014
    #11
    It really depends.

    I found the non-retina suited my personal needs better. I still use ethernet in the office when I need a better connection, regularly use FW800 external drives, make use of the IR sensor when giving lectures/talks and on occasion the Super Drive. So, for me, with an education discount, it made more sense to go with the base non-retina and add RAM and an SSD in the future.

    I would love to have the retina and the Haswell chips, but with all of the extra dongles and such, I would need a docking station if I wanted to maintain portability.

    The machine is still awaiting its upgrades, but with the Crucial MX100 SSD bringing the performance, space, and price I want in a single package, I may be pulling the trigger on my upgrades in the next month or two.

    All in all, I'll have the power/speed I need in a machine that will easily last several years for a total price that comes in $400 or more cheaper (been a while since I calculate) than a comparably equipped retina machine.

    If the compromises are worth it to you, the non-retina machine is still a very well equipped machine. Just look at the threads on the page about how well people are still faring with their 2008-2011 machines.
     
  12. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

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    #12
    The retina is definitely worth it. I just went through a similar situation and ended up getting the retina. I started with the mid 2012 cmbp because it was cheaper but after using retina on my 5s and ipad air, I couldn't unsee the pixels on the non retina pro.

    It is a great machine and for some, the display may be okay for their needs. I ended up exchanging and paying the difference for retina. Videos, photos and other media related things look great on the retina but what is even more important than that is reading text without having eye strain. That's where the money for the retina makes it worth it, and as others have mentioned, you are also getting newer hardware.

    Make sure you check out the Apple refurbs or even sales/open boxes at Best Buy. Mine was "open box" but had never been turned on. The box had a hole in the corner from transport so they had to sell it as open box even though it was new. I saved 250 dollars by buying open box.
     
  13. MBP* thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 12, 2014
    #13
    Thank for the replies. Looks like a lot of people suggesting the retina model.

    Just a few points to mention also.

    Because of the small screen (I'm used to x2 21" monitors) I will be attaching a 21" monitor when I use it at home. Currently I use a 15" MBP which is a 2009 model, dead slow - can't even handle HD youtube videos. A 15" is reasonable to work on without a larger external monitor, but I haven't experience a 13" long-term. Do you think with this in mind, the retina is still worth it? With the extra money, perhaps I could add more RAM to my non-retina model, or even bump up to an i7.

    Ultimately, the laptop will be docked at my desk. I'm sure the models out now with the i5 and 8GB RAM will be powerful enough to handle multiple tabs and multiple browsers.

    You've also given me something to think about with the SSD too, I guess I might as well go all out if I'm going with the retina model. But damn, over 1K.

    What docking solutions are there, and what do you do when you have 5 external harddrives you need access to?

    *I also have access to educational pricing.
     
  14. carjakester macrumors 68020

    carjakester

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    #14
    The retina version is also much thinner if portability is an issue.
     
  15. Yakibomb macrumors 6502

    Yakibomb

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    #15
    The flash is definitely worth it, makes your machine feel so much faster! I'd say go for the rMBP it's slightly more future proof and thinner so it's more portable
     
  16. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #16
    Currently there isn't much reason to buy a cMBP or a 2012 Mac Mini, unless Apple applies a big discount on their prices.
     
  17. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #17
    I don't think that retina is anything to write home about, personally. I know plenty of people on this forum will disagree, but there you have it.

    On the flip side, I would never buy the 13" Macbook Pro (non-retina) because it's just too old... however, the MBP is upgradable, while the retina ones aren't...
     
  18. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #18
    ... Nothing is upgradeable. Except for ram and storage.
    And storage on the retina is upgradeable, too. Hypotheticaly speaking...

    Nevertheless, the cmbp 2012 isnt bad at all if you get it on a discount.
    But for the same price the rmbp is a no brainer for most.
     
  19. pullman macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #19
    Worth the extra for the retina?

    I was surprised how much crisper the text is on my 13" late 2013 when compared to my wife's 11" Air or my ACD 23". And the colours are very accurate too.

    For my use - a lot of writing and reading on the screen plus Photoshop editing - the 13" is perfect. It's very light and feels small due to how thin it is. The SSD is very responsive.

    I went with 16 RAM to futureproof it since I only rarely buy new computers (last time 6 years ago). 256 SSD should be enough for my needs so I opted for that and haven't regretted it. I thought of going for 8GB because of the pretty steep addition for 16; time will tell if that was smart or not.

    I recently travelled for work and ended up in a hotel with rubbish wifi and then missed not having a network port. So I bought the 29€ thunderbolt adapter which works really well. The price to pay for a very slim design.

    Edit: to answer your question if retina was worth it -- definitely yes for me. I thought of the 13" Air due to the insane battery life but decided in favour of the MBPr because of the smaller footprint and because the screen is simply amazing. Plus the battery is great. I get 8-10hrs which I am very happy with.
     
  20. takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #20
    Worth is always subjective. You need to decide based on your priorities. If you're going to mostly connect to external monitors then retina may not be worth it but you really have to compare the screens for yourself to be certain. As for SSD, SSD's are much faster but not everyone's budget can justify the cost. You have to determine where you draw the line on these matters and where you're willing to make compromises versus just polling others. List out your priorities and order them in terms of importance. Is future proofing most important? Is saving some money more important? Does your budget have a hard limit?
     
  21. Traverse macrumors 604

    Traverse

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    #21
    Yes. I put a Samsung evo SSD in an old cMBP and it got 500 MB read speeds, the Retina Macs get 700 MB. The integrated SSD makes a HUGE difference.
     
  22. 53kyle macrumors 65816

    53kyle

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    #22
    Answers in red ^^^ and sorry, but I don't know how to handle 5 external hard drives on any laptop. Maybe a USB hub or thunderbolt dock? Hey, that's a docking solution if that is what you mean. I guess it will be the same on both cMBP and rMBP.
     
  23. pullman macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #23
    I have found that the 1440x900 scaled retina resolution is a good middleway between readability and screen "real estate". I have a 23" ACD for my Mac Pro but the MBPr at 1440x900 is more pleasant to use with just slightly smaller resolution so I prefer it. The difference in sharpness is quite extraordinary.
     

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