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Am I doing the right thing of selecting MBP instead of rMBP?

748 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Dec 7, 2012 10:15 AM by TheFacelessNinja RSS
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TheFacelessNinja Calculating status...
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Aug 25, 2012 9:13 AM

Hi,

 

I'm a game developer and am getting my first Mac computer just to jump into iOS game development. I currently have a Core-i3 17" laptop and it's doing what I want but can't make iOS files. I'm not sure what to do with my current machine when I get the Mac, maybe I keep it for our game development team, maybe not.

 

I spent 3 weeks reading reviews and forum boards regarding MBP and rMBP and finally chose MBP but as I've read more MBP reviews, reviewers despite saying that MBP is a good machine, say that it's the last iteration of Apple in the design and "a thing from the past".

 

Let me tell you about my thought process and hopefully people can help me:

 

Display:

rMBP's best thing against MBP is it's display, which I don't think I have any use for. I usually work with text editors to write code and almost never watch movies with my laptop's screen and always connect it to my TV via HDMI and no game engine is Retina-enabled as of now and I don't have images that fit that display nor I do film editing or intensive photography/Photoshop. So if I get the Retina display, I'll mostly switch it to 1440x900 in order to "work" with most softwares and as I'll be still using Windows alot, the 2880x1800 has no usage there as none of the softwares that I work there updated themselves. But it's IPS/LPS technology will be lovely for me and I don't forget first time I saw one of those 27" Apple monitors that blew me away.

 

rMBP wins here but I'm afraid it will hurt me more than being useful to me.

 

HDD:

I'll surely install Windows there so a 256Gb SSD will fill up way easily. I'll keep a lot of stuff on my machine and getting a better external drive helps but if I get rMBP I'll have to buy one, which adds another $100 or $200.

 

Also give that if you fill up an SDD, you'll lose performance gradually, I'll probably have to invest around $200 to get an external HDD if I end up with rMBP.

Also I want to install games on Windows to use it's GPU and with 256Gb, that will suffer if you use more than it's %85, it will be a waste. I know I can install games on external drive but that's not cool.

 

Yes SSD is fast, and my helps my work and loading games but I think here the size matters more than speed.

 

So MBP wins here. (I can later change MBP's optical drive to an SSD and put my OS'es there)

 

Upgradibility:

Since I'll probably leave for a teaching job and there are not apple stores there, if I want to repair my machine, I'll have to use unauthorized repairs so fixing MBP's are hard already, give the glued battery and soldered RAM, makes it almost impossible.

 

And also if I get rMBP, I'll have to panic and upgrade RAM at least, even though even games do not need that amount of RAM and when they do, my GPU will be the bottle neck years before that.

 

(Very nice article regarding thsii: http://ifixit.org/2763/the-new-macbook-pro-unfixable-unhackable-untenable/)

 

MBP clearly wins here.

 

Weight & Size:

Yes I, like most people, prefer a lighter machine but since I'm to a 17" HP and an old Core Due Toshiba, I think the 15" MBP will be light enough and that extra lightness is not mandatory for me.

 

rMBP wins but goes to some extra points that MBP aldready has.

 

Optical Drive:

I almost do not use it, so I can live without one. But I like the fact that I, apparently, can remove MBP's super drive and put an SSD there, maybe I'll do this like in about a year or so that I'll upgrade it's RAM, give that I take MBP.

 

MBP wins, because I can remove the optical drive and put whatever I want instead.

 

Resale value:

rMBP wins, clearly. Because most people's brains are in their eyes.

 

Possible error:

rMBP is first generation and new batch of a new electronic product and we've already heard and read about defected machines and me living overseas will make it even worse if anything shows up.

 

One of the things that I don't like about MBP is that I feel like I'm buying a last-generation thing because clearly Apple's aim is towards Retina and SSD but I'm going against it. Maybe I'm all wrong and should trust Apple.

 

So what do you think on this? Please be specific as you like, I hate general sentences without proof. And if you compare things, please show some website or proof for it so it will be easier to talk on a solid base/accusation.

 

Thanks in advance. It will be my first Mac that I'm buying with a looot of savings, that's why I'm scared a bit.

 

  • wjosten Level 10 Level 10 (91,360 points)

    Opinions are like a***h****, everyone has one. You can get all the recommendations you want, but at the end of the day, it's your computer & you're the one that's gonna be using it. Having said that, I wouldn't recommend anyone purchase a retina right now...you asked, that's my opinion. Too new, & too state of the art for my tastes. No doubt this is the future, but I'll wait. The current non-retina machines are still great computers.

  • Courcoul Level 6 Level 6 (11,160 points)

    I concur with wjosten. The Retinas smack like an Apple fishing expedition to see if enough buyers bite and enable them to go this much more profitable route. Only thing special about them is the ultra-hi-res screen, while the rest is just a fancy Air. For now, a regular MBP is the safest bet.

     

    Of the two models remaining, the high-speed 15" represents the best bang for the buck IMHO, with the antiglare screen option. Gives you the most HDD, RAM and VRAM for the price. Just don't order the SSD; hideously expensive and can be upgraded afterwards for about 1/4 the price.

  • mr.soueu Calculating status...

    I'm in a similar position and I wanted to know what was your choice if you don't mind!

    Did you go with the non-retina?

    I still don't know but I think the non-retina will be my last choice!

    Thanks!

  • Mini-Mac Level 3 Level 3 (780 points)

    Ordered 7/16/2012 the 2012 15.4" Macbook Pro (NON retina)

     

    With:

     

    2.6GHz i7 CPU

    1GB GPU

    HR Antiglare Screen

    750GB 7200 RPM HDD  (soon to be replaced with Crucial M4 SSD with a fresh install of Mountian Lion)

     

    I really wanted the rMBP but just could not see the real value of the Retina display when the (HR) 1680 X1050 is really ideal for me.  I also have the late 2011 Macbook Air that has 1440 X 900 resolution, it's not antiglare and not glossy either.  I also have a 2006 Black Macbook with 1280 X 800 and it's not antiglare and not glossy.  If the rMBP offered a antiglare display I'd probably still be deciding (took 3 weeks already).

     

    The thoughts that keep me on the fence between the 15" rMBP and 15" MBP was "I need to buy the future and not invest in the past".

     

    And since I made the decision Im glad I did (15" MBP Antiglare).

     

    my Pros/Cons list

     

                             rMBP          MBP

     

    Speed                   X                X     (tie, if add SSD)

    Expansion                               X

    Weight                  X             

    Generation                              X     (decided long ago to NOT buy 1st generation anything, if possible)

    Repairability                            X

    Resale                  X                       (not sure here but makes since, new beats old)

    Antiglare                                 X

    Cost                     X

    Ports                                       X     (FW800, Gigabit Ethernet, DVD/CD drive)

    Value                                       X

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    I feel like I'm buying a last-generation thing because clearly Apple's aim is towards Retina and SSD but I'm going against it.

     

    Maybe I'm all wrong and should trust Apple.

     

    When the SSD prices come down then you can add one.

     

    Even Apple is putting a hybrid drive in the new iMac's, it's a SSD + a large hard drive combined into one volume and data managed by OS X. Because the SSD prices are not coming down fast enough.

     

    Retina is glossy overkill, the antiglare is going to do right by you for your entire 5 year lifespan of the machine.

     

     

    I'm a game developer and am getting my first Mac computer just to jump into iOS game development.

     

    then you will will want to read this

     

    http://www.streamingcolour.com/blog/2011/09/28/results-ios-game-revenue-survey/

  • happyfunballs Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thats an interesting article showing how some developers fail to make much money on iOS, but you need to look at the alternative; Android.  Android app revenue is so bad, nobody would even bother with that kind of analysis.

     

    Speaking from experience, you will make much more money (like by a factor of 10) from iOS compared to Android for app development ! For whatever demographic reason, the green robot fans just won't fork out cash for software.  Other dev's I've talked to say the same thing, people port to Android as an experiment, not to make money.

     

    But that doesn't make iOS app writing lucrative so don't expect to get rich!

     

    Of course your YMMV.

  • ProudAppleFanBoi Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    You said you watch movies by connecting your notebook to a TV via HDMI. Only the Retina MacBook Pros have a built-in HDMI port, so that seems like one favorable aspect.

     

    You aslo said that you would switch the resolution to 1440x900, but the rMBP basically does that anyway. When you are in "Best for Retina" display mode, everything is scaled up to look like 1440x900, otherwise the icons, text, etc. would be WAY too small. You get the BEAUTIFULLY crisp details of 2880x1800, but at the size of 1440x900. As far as using windows, either through BootCamp or Parallels, they do support 2880x1800. Plus, you don't need to be a photographer/designer to appreciate the stellar quality of the display. Come to think of it, just like you can view 1080p video, pixel for pixel, with enough room leftover for toolbars and magnetic timelines, you can be coding iPad Retina apps while viewing them and their graphics pixel for pixel.

     

    Regarding HDD vs Flash Storage: Yes, size is very important because no matter how fast your storage is, when you're out of room, you're out of room. If you cannot afford to upgrade to the rMBP with 512GB flash (or 768GB), and you do not like the idea of external storage (keep in mind Thunderbolt storage is pretty darn fast, and USB3 is totally acceptable for reading files, movies, etc) then you really have to go with the non Retina MBP. Keep in mind, though, that the flash storage isn't soldered to the motherboard like the RAM, so iFixIt thinks third party providers/installers of flash storage will likely have reasonably priced, albeit still more expensive than HDDs, upgrade options a little down the road.

     

    However, I have the rMBP, and as someone who isn't very patient I LOVE how quickly the all flash architecture handles EVERYTHING! My computer starts up in 11 seconds; and I don't mean that after 11 seconds I see the desktop, but still have to wait until I can use the computer. 11 seconds after pushing the power button I am clicking or typing or surfing away. I could never go back to the slow as molasses (at least in comparison) HDDs.

     

    Finally, like you said, the rMBP makes the non Retina MBP look and feel tired and out of date. That's because they basically are. In the not too distant future, all MacBooks will be Retina. I'm guessing the reason they are still selling the non Retina versions isn't because of price, but rather legacy components that some people just can't yet live without (I never use CDs or DVDs, so it wasn't an issue for me. Should I ever need to connect via ethernet, the idea of an adapter doesn't bother me). But make no mistake, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display is the future of MBPs. So if I were you and I had saved to buy my first Mac, wanted to make sure I was making a choice that would grow with me for the next few years, and could find a way to make 256GBs of storage work (or had the money for the larger storage options), I would get the rMBP. It is the latest and greatest of all the Macs, and is far and away the best and fastest computer I have ever used. Like I said on a review I posted of my computer: The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display is the computer that every other computer before it wanted to be but couldn't.

     

    I hope this helps!

  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (26,735 points)

    I think that you made a good choice with good reasoning. I know that I wouldn't buy a Retina dispaly right now (in the future, I may, but not now).

     

    Clinton

  • MarkRHolbrook Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)

    Well late to this thread but here is my take:

     

    I too write code pretty much all day.  It wasn't until AFTER I got a retina that I realized how much I LOVE looking at the code on that display and when I have to look at my older MBP that I handed to my wife, well... I don't really like it.

     

    I also decided on the retina for the size and weight.  It is thinner and weighs less.  I now find myself carrying it all over the place when I used to pretty much leave my heavier thicker MBP on the table.

     

    I decided to load mine up and went with the 2.66, 16gb and 768 SSD.  I still have 250g free on the SSD after loading just about everything in the world including Logic Studio, MS Office, VMWare Fusion and 3 large VMs.  I went ahead and purchased two USB 3.0 externals.  I was not aware how much faster USB3 is.  On these small externals (1TB each) reading and writing files while not as quick as the SSD was pretty fast.  I even ran a VM from the external and it seemed as fast as I remember it from my older MBP.

     

    So I'm happy I did the retina.  Lot of money but the eyes love it.  I love the thin and light feel.  On a performance note, running pretty much the same load as my older 2010 MBP 2.66 this new retina stays amazingly cool.  I mean I have a tough time getting the processor heated up.  Where on my 2010 the fans were blazing this machine is quiet and cool.

  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,500 points)

    It sounds like you thought about it carefully and made a decision based on your actual needs. That's a lot smarter than going "omg superthin Retina" and falling for the latest trend.

     

    If I was buying a MacBook Pro today it would not be the Retina, for a lot of the same reasons you stated. I don't like the lack of accessibility and I do need the Gigabit Ethernet and FireWire ports.

     

    I don't agree that there is doubt about the future of the Retina. I think computers are headed in that direction, but that's not what I want. The Retina is not the first test case. The MacBook Air has been a success for four years and I think that is what set Apple on the course to superthin closed systems.

  • MarkRHolbrook Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)

    I spent almost 9 months looking and thinking about my needs, reading about the issues here in this forum and trying to think about how I work.  

     

    I'm wireless 99.9% of the time.  But I do own and plan to carry the thunderbolt net adapter.  I also do own and plan to carry the CD however I'll pack that in my main luggage which these days I check most of the time simply because there are so many people doing carry on. 

     

    750g seems to be enough... for now... I'm sure it will seem small in a few years but the SSD is replacable in this Mac so perhaps someday I'll upgrade it to the 2TB SSE for $49.95 ( LOL ).

     

    I have to travel for my job so having thin, light, but FULLY FUNCTIONAL when it comes to VMs,  My briefcase is one of those small Thule semi-hard cases.  The entire thing with MBP, charger, external battery (if needed), ipad is 3.5 inches thick and a little bigger than my MBP.

     

    Above all it's working beautifully.  I'm keeping it clean and unlittered of extensions.  I'm doing superduper backups about once a week so I feel pretty good should something happen.  I also do a superduper prior to any major install or system upgrade.

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