6 Replies Latest reply: Feb 9, 2013 7:50 PM by MillionManMosh
kytim Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi everyone,

 

Sorry for yet another "Which MBP should I buy" post but I have read through all the of the discussions I can find on this topic as well as around the web.

 

I am a digital designer who is currently using a PC only because up until now I have never been in the financial position to transition over to Mac.

 

I am currently trying to decide between getting a a 15" Mac Book Pro or 15" Retina Mac Book Pro.

 

15-inch: 2.6GHz

  • 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • 8GB 1600MHz memory
  • 750GB 5400-rpm hard drive1
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
  • High res anti-glare screen

 

versus:

 

15-inch: Retina display

  • 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • 8GB 1600MHz memory
  • 512GB flash storage1
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory

 

 

I will be using Adobe CS6 Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and Dreamweaver sometimes all at the same time. I occasionally have a video project where I will be using Premiere and After Effects. I am also looking into upskilling myself and becoming versed in at least basic 3D modelling. I am looking at a MBP because portability is important.

 

Given my job, going retina seems like a no brainer but I have a few concerns:

 

  • Speed, processing power - which will suit my needs?
  • This is an investment for me, I want it to last at least 3-4 years:
    • Is getting a standard MBP now just too late and bidding in the past?
    • Will resale of a standard MBP suck in 3-4 years?
    • In 3 years time will I need an upgrade, and if so, how will I even do this with a virtually unupgradeable (from what Ive read) Retina MBP?
  • About 80% of the time I plan on hooking up the MBP to a Thunderbolt display - whats the point in a Retina?
  • If I don't get a Retina and I need to start designing Retina graphics, will I be faced with added dificulty because I use standard MBP?
  • Is it realistic to assume Retina graphics won't become mainstream for 3-4 years allowing me to bide my time with a standard MBP, upgrading to a Retina later?

 

At work I use a 2-3 year old iMac and the screen is already magical compared to my PC and it seems to do fine for me. I've been in store and played with both and I am genuinely confused. I just feel like getting a standard MBP is like jumping on a train when it's already reached it's destination.

 

Budget wise I can afford the base level Retina MBP I outlined above but if I can save money, that'd be ideal. Being me I will automatically chose the best possible solution but I need to be rational about my needs. Someone please help, I just want a Mac!

 

Thanks in advance, any help is much appreciated

  • 1. Re: Too early for the retina, too late for the non retina? Which one?
    leroydouglas Level 6 Level 6 (13,840 points)

    kytim wrote:

     

    I need to be rational about my needs.

     

    In general

     

    • Retina cannot upgrade RAM.  Storage can be upgraded, but more $ than upgrading the non-Retina unit.

     

    • Non-Retina unit can upgrade RAM  base-4 GB to 16 GB for about $85 (cf. OWC.)  HD can be replaced with SSD or larger HD.   

     

    • Therefore lack of "upgradability" in Retina

     

    • No optical drive in Retina.

     

    • The non-Retina has  Ethernet and FireWire ports, and a slot for a secure cable- the Retina  none of these ports.
  • 2. Re: Too early for the retina, too late for the non retina? Which one?
    SwankPeRFection Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)

    You could always go for the high res screen on the regular 15".  Honestly, the biggest issue with current retina MacBooks is the fact that some have screen burn in.  Since this issue is due to a particular screen manufacturer and not all of them, it is logical to think that the refurbished units have had these screens replaced with different ones (since Apple knows where the problamatic screens came from).  You could always save some cash and buy a refurb unit... which has the same warranty as a new one.

  • 3. Re: Too early for the retina, too late for the non retina? Which one?
    kytim Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your responses. Do you think the regular Mac Book Pro will be enough for my needs?

  • 4. Re: Too early for the retina, too late for the non retina? Which one?
    leroydouglas Level 6 Level 6 (13,840 points)

    kytim wrote:

     

    Thanks for your responses. Do you think the regular Mac Book Pro will be enough for my needs?

     

    They look to be almost identical, so yes I do. You can always upgrade the components in due time if need be after you have truly vetted it's functionality for your purpose.

  • 5. Re: Too early for the retina, too late for the non retina? Which one?
    steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,040 points)

    FWIW ... I compared hi-res 15 in non-retina and Retina side-by-side in the store.  I needed to zoom in almost to the maximum for the same image on both machines to see a difference.

     

    But that is me.  Others may feel the Retina display *does* really matter.

  • 6. Re: Too early for the retina, too late for the non retina? Which one?
    MillionManMosh Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    There are other differences that might not show up on paper. The cooling design on the Retina model is the best I've seen on a consumer notebook- intake on the sides, exhaust from two rear fans. It's also quite a bit thinner and lighter. I feel as if the more modern design will affect resale value in a few years as much as the "Retina" tag.

     

    Also, the main difference between the Retina display and the standard highres TN panel (for me) was viewing angles, which are near 180 degrees on the Retina's IPS panel.

     

    As far as upgrading, that really depends on your use. The chances of you needing more than 16GB of RAM before you need a more powerful combination than the i7-3720QM and GT650 is fairly low. Max out the Retina and upgradeability becomes less of an issue. It's still a pain to not be able to work on your own computer (for someone like me), but if that's of primary concern there are better choices than a MacBook anyway.