1 2 Previous Next 18 Replies Latest reply: Nov 30, 2012 9:09 PM by loosedrag
mr.soueu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hello!

This is my first post here so excuse me if I'm doing anything wrong!

 

I'm going to buy my first Mac but I can't decide if I should buy a Macbook Pro 15 or a Retina.

I'm in college and I'm going to use it for FinalCut, Photoshop, Logic Pro and some Illustrator probably, but also for some gaming through bootcamp (Dragon Age, FM, Mass Effect, etc).

My actual computer is filled to the top and it's 500GB so that's a cons to Retina unless I chose the 512Gb but it would be even more expensive. Another problem is that if something happens to the Retina the repair is a lot more expensive due to the sofistication of the hardware.

And altough I really like Macbook Pro 15, buying it is like betting in the past.

Is the Retina really worth the extra money or is the Macbook Pro 15 an awesome machine that will be able to do everything that the Retina does?

 

So as you can see I'm a pretty unsure guy, so all your help is needed!

 

Thanks!

  • 1. Re: Can't decide Macbook Pro 15 or Retina
    steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,040 points)

    15 in Retina is a unit where you *can* replace the flash storage (according to some sources), but flash storage is still more expensive than HDD or SSD.  Non-Retina 15 in is a unit where it is easy to access the HD/SSD to replace it.

     

    It sounds like you regularly will exceed the internal storage of the unit, so non-Retina sounds like a better choice.

  • 2. Re: Can't decide Macbook Pro 15 or Retina
    mr.soueu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks!

    That's a pro point to the non-retina, and even more considering that I will have to create a partition for windows. And adding the 512Gb to the Retina is a 500€ extra.

    If i go with the non-retina the specs will be like this:

    • Intel Core i7 Quad-core 2,6 GHz, Turbo Boost 3,6 GHz
    • 8 GB SDRAM DDR3 1600 MHz - 2 x 4 GB (probably upgrading after to 16Gb)
    • 750 GB 7200 rpm
    • Anti-glare screen

    Would it be a machine that would last a couple years? And would it run smoothly Final Cut, After Effects and even games like Skyrim? Oh and the anti-glare screen is a detailed screen?

    Sorry for asking so many questions but it involves a lot of money and I want to make a good choice!

  • 3. Re: Can't decide Macbook Pro 15 or Retina
    steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,040 points)

    Macs, by most accounts from those who game, are not prime gaming systems.  They are designed to be general-use business systems.  But I do not game so what do I know?

     

    Paying Apple to upgrade to 16 GB will cost 3-4 times what you will pay from third-parties after purchase.

     

    Disk size is your call, based on your projected disk usage.

     

    Anti-glare is good, as is "hi-res" option (1680x1050).  I have both in my 2011 15 in MBP.

  • 4. Re: Can't decide Macbook Pro 15 or Retina
    mr.soueu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you once more!

     

    I know that, but since I need to work with the specific software that I listed and I'm also a fan of games I'm trying to mix both worlds!

    I will upgrade after buying it and only if I really feel the need to.

    Theoretically if the Retina runs games like Skyrim (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zaw7bXiLRqg) so would the non-retina I described earlier right? Since the only difference is the flash storage (that I don't think will affect gaming, but I may be wrong) and the Retina screen, but please correct me if I'm wrong!

    The Macbook Pro 15 with the specs I listed would last me for a couple years right?

     

    Thanks!

  • 5. Re: Can't decide Macbook Pro 15 or Retina
    steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,040 points)

    I expect mine to outlast my needs, meaning that it will get too slow for heavy development needs before it will die completely.  But that does not mean it is a failure because it will be too slow at some point, just that development needs will always out-pace "existing in-placehardware".

     

    It should last at least 2 years, I would guess.  Without having full knowledge of your actual use now or in the immediate future.  3 or more is possible.

  • 6. Re: Can't decide Macbook Pro 15 or Retina
    Vestan Pance Level 2 Level 2 (210 points)

    If you're going to use FCP extensively then you should definately go for the biggest drive you can get, especially if you're filming and editing in HD. I personally would use an external drive as a scratch disk.

     

    Also, if you're going to do a lot of editing in FCP or Photoshop then a retina screen would probably be advantageous but to appreciate the benefit you'd need to get retina compatible apps (FCP X & CS6 for example.)

     

    Eventually all Macs will be retina, so that's something to bear in mind.

     

    If you're only looking for a lifespan of two years then a 'standard' MBP that you've spec'd should be sufficient.

     

    However, my first Macbook Pro (2007) lasted me for 5 years until I upgraded recently to a RMBP. I used it primarily for FCP, virtual machines, Photoshop and encoding. It was perfectly adequate and it was only a C2D processor with 4Gb memory and a 160Gb HDD. I stored everything, including backups on external HDDs. I only used the internal HDD for my apps and work in progress.

     

    I fully expect my RMBP to last another 5 years. Hope this helps.

  • 7. Re: Can't decide Macbook Pro 15 or Retina
    OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (25,780 points)

    Good points from both steve359 and Vestan Pance.  In addition I suggest investigating the Apple MBP refurbished section, specifically the 17" models.  Though they may be a year behind, the performance parameters, they will be more than adequate and you can update the the RAM to 16 GB and put in a 1TB HDD (I saw a 1.5 TB HDD the other day) which should give sufficient storage.  The large screen format would be beneficial for your requirements.

     

    I have gone the refurbished route three time with no regrets.

     

    Ciao.

  • 8. Re: Can't decide Macbook Pro 15 or Retina
    steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,040 points)

    Second OGELTHORPE on refurbished.

     

    My MBP is refubished.  But act fast ... 17 in is not manufactured anymore so any appearing can vanish within an hour.

  • 9. Re: Can't decide Macbook Pro 15 or Retina
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    mr.soueu wrote:

     

    Is the Retina really worth the extra money...

     

    In my opinion, no.

     

     

    ...is the Macbook Pro 15 an awesome machine that will be able to do everything that the Retina does?

     

    Yes it will and more actually.

     

    You have the anti-glare option on the 15" non-Retina, I highly suggest you use it.

  • 10. Re: Can't decide Macbook Pro 15 or Retina
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    steve359 wrote:

     

    But act fast ... 17 in is not manufactured anymore so any appearing can vanish within an hour.

     

    A very highly sought after machine, in fact my 17" with 10.6 is two years old and used priced is going for what I paid for it.

     

    Seems not many people like the non-user servicable Retina's, 10.7/10.8, nor the lack of the wonderously large 17" HD screen.

     

    Apple really screwed up royally, likely why there has been heads rolling in Cupertino lately.

  • 11. Re: Can't decide Macbook Pro 15 or Retina
    steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,040 points)

    I have built tower PCs, and moved to laptop *only* for portability.  Lack of ability to change parts as required (in the field, for example) is a critical decision factor for me.

  • 12. Re: Can't decide Macbook Pro 15 or Retina
    noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)

    One more factor you may like to consider - the Retina model does not have Audio In, so that may limit it's usefullness for Logic.

     

    The single audio port is audio out only, with the exception of the Apple microphone headset. The specs for the new iMacs appear to be the same.

  • 13. Re: Can't decide Macbook Pro 15 or Retina
    mr.soueu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well two years for an investment like this is not that many years.

    The problem is that the 256GB of the Retina are really not enough and upgrading is too expensive. The solution had to be an external drive, but even that would not work due to the partition that I will have to create (I’m going to share it with a friend that works with Windows-exclusive software). The question is am I really going to need the resolution that the Retina offers? “Eventually all Macs will be retina, so that's something to bear in mind.” That’s the thing that “****** me off” because I don’t think that paying almost 3000€ is worth it, but buying the non-retina is betting in the past. So Vestan Pance the non-retina with those specs would only last 2 years maybe? Even with the 16Gb ram for now and hypothetically a flash storage?

             I’m from Portugal and the refurbished section is not that popular here! But it would be a nice option!

    So ds store in your opinion how many years would last the non-retina setup? And do you really think it would be equal to the Retina?

    I will have that in mind, noondaywitch. Thanks!

     

    Thanks to all of you and sorry for the long text!

  • 14. Re: Can't decide Macbook Pro 15 or Retina
    mr.soueu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry for double posting, but I don't know how to edit my last reply!

     

    I would really appreciate more inputs, because a shop here in Portugal is doing a sales weekend and if the discounts are good, probably I'll buy it then.

     

    Thanks!

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