Would like advice about which MPB to buy.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bub, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. bub macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2010
    Hello! I need advice on upgrading.

    The last 15" MacBook Pro I have is from 2005. It's still a good machine, but it's not doing what I need to do now that I'm a full time freelancer, so I'm looking to replace it. I have no idea what the current Macs are like, other than the fact that pretty much almost anything I buy will be better than what I have now. I'm definitely getting a 15" again, I like the size.

    Generally I'd like to spend somewhere in the $2500ish range, maybe more, hopefully less.

    I'm wondering whether I'll need the retina display. It seems more like it's in the "nice to have" category rather than "need to have".

    In the non-retina MBP, is it worth the $250 to upgrade to 2.7GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 from the 2.6GHz?

    I'm typically running Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop at the same time, but more recently I've been running Flash as well. I'm mostly a print designer but I've been doing more and more animation & art for online marketing, games, etc.

    Any and all opinions are appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Rizzm macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2012
    I'd assume the Retina display would help with your work to get really fine details. Not nearly as valuable if you work primarily with an external display. Go to a store and take a look. Pay attention to the differences between the Retina and non Retina model like screen glare (compared to high-res anti-glare config), weight, price, and upgradability (or lack of with Retina).

    IMO definitely NOT worth the $250 upgrade for a 3-4% boost. Only if you have money to blow.
  3. DrJohnZoidberg macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2012
    The 16GB RAM upgrade is essential if you want to keep the rMBP for the same duration you've kept your current MBP. If you don't get it now, you'll never have it, and the idea of being stuck with 8GB RAM in 2018 is laughable.

    If you are to stick to your $2500 budget, and want Retina, you'll have to go for the entry-level 2.3GHz rMBP which (with the 16GB upgrade) comes in at $2400. This model is limited to a 256GB SSD, which should be sufficient for now (especially with cloud and external HDDs). There may be the possibility to upgrade the rMBPs SSD with 3rd-party SSDs at a later date (once they are reverse engineered).

    Alternatively you could go for one of the classic MBPs, the high-end model (with almost mandatory HiRes screen upgrade +$100) will cost you $2300. You can then spend the remaining $200 of your budget on either a 256GB SSD (moving the HDD into the ODD bay if you wish), or a 16GB RAM upgrade.

    Spec-for-spec the new rMBP is a better initial purchase, but the cMBP has more flexibility, allowing you to upgrade as needed.

    The 2.7GHz upgrade is only worth it if you are absolutely hammering the CPU for extended periods, or have money to burn.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Need for the retina display is up in the air with so few apps. I think the industry may be moving in this direction and apple is at the forefront, that being the case many apps are not designed yet for the retina display. If you can live without the optical drive and are content with non user replaceable memory (and possibly SSD storage) then the retina is a good machine. Personally I opted for this myself because I don't need an optical drive, etc, etc.

    I don't think you'll see any appreciable difference going from 2.6GHz to 2.7. Save your money on this particular upgrade

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