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Should I buy new macbook pro retina or the none retina macbook pro

192240 Views 75 Replies Latest reply: Jan 31, 2014 2:35 PM by n21tive RSS
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Ricky26 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 13, 2012 11:13 AM

So I want to buy one of the new macbook pros but I dont like that you cannot upgrade the ram or hard drive of the new retina display. I can only afford the base model rentina or the high end none retina. Which is the better option?

MacBook Pro
  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,220 points)

    Once you see the retina display in person, you're going to forget about the other limitations. It will be a totally irrational decision that you won't regret.

  • mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (89,490 points)

    It depends of what you are going to use the Mac. The Retina MacBook Pro has got a high hardware (Flash memory, HiDPI resolution, 8 GB of memory), so I recommend it for photography or maybe games, and the normal has got less performance than the Retina, but you won't need it if you don't use the computer to do special work. Maybe, you will use the Retina MacBook for a lot of years more than the normal because its hardware, but you decide

  • frederic1943 Level 6 Level 6 (9,980 points)

    The Retina doesn't have a CD/DVD player so yu'll have to get an external player for it.

  • ccshaw Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    This thread here has a great run-down of the pros and cons of both options.  Check it out.  My recommendation is (if you don't have the ability to upgrade the Retina) that you go ahead and get the regular MBP with the Hi-Res screen and extra RAM.

  • DMH12345 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I just received my new MBP with Retina Display.  It replaces my early 2006 MBP which has been my trusty work horse for more than six years.


    The 2006 had 1 GB of memory and 120 GB of storage.

    The 2012 has 8 GB of memory and 250 GB of storage.


    A time capsule or an external drive takes care of any storage problems.


    My new Mac w/RD just flies.  Reviews have been unanimously impressed with its speed and power. 


    So many people I know just use their computers for web browsing, internet connecting, as a word processor and digital storage system.  Those people should probably wait until Apple figures out how to put a retina display on the MacBook Air because they'll never use the power that is packed into the new MBP w/RD.


    If you really think that you're going to need more memory and storage, then I'd recommend you save up for the high end model, because these machines are just fabulous.

  • King Wombat Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You should get the base MBP retina model and get the 16gb ram selective option. It also has a better screen resolution so you might be more happy with that. Another reason why it is helpful or nice is because it isn' t as pixilated when you need to zoom in on programs. The image is also noticeably sharper.

  • efunc Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    It depends what you use it for, and the choice is entirely down to the amount of storage you need. The retina mbp has only one bay with a tiny ssd drive. The standard mbp has two bays so the optical drive can be removed and replaced with a nice 1TB sata drive to suppliment a ssd boot drive. For someone who does music, video and photography this means they can have their work, samples and media libraries available while on the move. You can't balance an external HD on your lap, can you! Also you don't want your itunes and ihoto stuff on an external if you're playing music all the time. This makes the Retina MBP completely useless to me until 2TB SSDs are a reaity.

  • John Scott1 Level 2 Level 2 (300 points)

    First I would recommend buying as much RAM as you can for future requirements because it is soldered to the motherboard so it won't be possible after you get it. Second gaming as someone said will not be so great at least not at those high resolutions and may look worse. The graphic card is OK but it won't be when you try and play 3D games at high resolutions. I suspect it might not look so hot under lower ones too. A lot of pro photographers are saying its not that great for pictures. But I don't claim to be a pro myself but their comments raise some questions about editing and how you most likely will be forced to use a App that takes advantage of the retina display for editing. My own negatives about it is the battery is glued in, the expense of paying Apple price for upgrades and the fact nothing is upgradable once you buy it. The retina display does not impress me enough to warrent the price. I have a Macbook Pro 13" and am perfectly fine with the hard drive speed, the RAM which I was able to upgrade after purchase and the screen resolution is plenty good for me using a web browser. I think this retina notebook will appeal to those who simply like new technology and don't really understand the pitfalls and advantages and just want it because it looks cool.

  • John Scott1 Level 2 Level 2 (300 points)

    Actually if all you do is mostly web browsing the increased resolution of the retina display will not help those users. Some say the bad web content on some pages just looks worse on the high resolution.

    This new Macbook Pro is obviously geared towards the one percent who have content that can benefit from such a high resolution. Although the limiting factor would be for those people such as videographers would be the requirement of having external storage. I would have to question why a lot of home users or non professionals would need this notebook too.

  • cludinsk Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)

    mende, the regular MBP was updated as well, its specs are as good are the Retina Display, except with a lower res screen of course. plus you get much more storage and can upgrade the RAM in a cheaper package. the regular MBP is more usable, the Retina Display is more of a shiny toy.

  • DSpclst06 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    According to the benchmarks that Macworld ran the MBP Retina is significantly more powerful than the standard MBP. The MBP Retina receives a powerful speed boost due to the use of the SSD drive over the standard hard drive. I'm tempted by the extra power of the MBP Retina but the smaller hard drive and lack of upgradeables are of concern to me. I do have a portable 1TB Drive I always carry around with me so storage might not be an issue (I do a fair amount of video editing and graphics work). w_13_and_15_inch_macbook_pros.html

  • cludinsk Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)

    fyi you can also order a regular MBP with an SSD or put an SSD in afterward as it is upgradable (third party SSDs will be cheaper), and will experience the same speed boost. you can even leave the HD and swap out the optical drive for an SSD, giving you a fast boot and app drive, with more & cheaper storage. the same speed processor in the regular MBP and the Retina Display MBP will be equally powerful with similiar RAM and SSDs.

  • kayjh Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)

    But can't you reduce the resolution while surfing the web or playing a game that doesn't support higher resolutions and then turn it back to max when doing video or photo editing or watching  a 1080p movie? I mean, isn't it the best of both worlds?

  • MacPcConsultant Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I've been trying to make this decision for weeks.  Wish Apple would have put the Retinal Display (RD) on the standard MacBookPro so we have the best of all Worlds.  The Retinal display has slightly whiter whites and slightly sharper images and text, and the Retinal model has better sound, most notably in the mid-range. 


    However, have decided against the Retinal Display model.  It's simply a practical decision.


    Don't want to carry with me these three extra pieces:


    •  Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter

    •  Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter

    •  DVD drive


    Further, I want to be able to change the internal drive whenever needed, whether it's an SSD or platter drive.   Also, my Mac Tech buddies tell me that the Non-retinal MacBookPro will actually support 16 GB of RAM (two 8GB strips).  Apple SSD prices are high.   One can get a top quality SSD 128GB for $110.


    I often use target mode on another computer to connect to my Mac laptop, so if the decision were to get a RD model, that mandates the need for an accessory adapter.  No thank you.  If Apple made Target Mode work through USB, that would be a push toward the RD model. 


    I don't do games nor video editing,


    So, yes, will be sacrificing some image quality and sound quality, but for absolute practical reasons, not purchasing the RD model.

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