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Macbook pro with or without retina display?

18534 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Apr 6, 2013 1:07 AM by Network 23 RSS
nba123 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Apr 3, 2013 3:04 PM

I am looking to purchase a macbook pro for the next couple of years for my studies, which will be for College and University. However, I am very unsure whether to go for the macbook pro with retina display (15 inch) or the one without. This is due to the fact that the one with retina display has 256 GB flash storage, and I will be storing music, pictures and word/powerpoint documents that will accumulate over the next few years. Is this enough storage? Will I need more? I really like the screen/display on the retina macbook pro, and would love to go with it, however I do not know if 256 GB is enough compared to the 500 GB that the 15 inch non-retina macbook pro offers. Please help! All help would be VERY appreciated.

MacBook Pro with Retina display
  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)
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    Apr 3, 2013 3:11 PM (in response to nba123)

    15" anti-glare, non-Retina is your machine.

     

    You can upgrade it, you have a optical drive (which can be switched out with another drive), add more RAM cheaper and larger capacities than Apple provides.

     

    The anti-glare is perfect for classes and outside where you can't control the light sources and thus can see the screen without glare.

     

    Apple has been screwing up a lot lately in hardware and software, it's being fixed but it's going to take some time, especially the horrible OS X versions of late.

  • Mini-Mac Level 3 Level 3 (780 points)
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    Apr 3, 2013 3:42 PM (in response to ds store)

    ds store wrote:

     

    15" anti-glare, non-Retina is your machine.

     

    You can upgrade it, you have a optical drive (which can be switched out with another drive), add more RAM cheaper and larger capacities than Apple provides.

     

    The anti-glare is perfect for classes and outside where you can't control the light sources and thus can see the screen without glare.

     

    Apple has been screwing up a lot lately in hardware and software, it's being fixed but it's going to take some time, especially the horrible OS X versions of late.

    X2

  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,500 points)
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    Apr 3, 2013 4:37 PM (in response to nba123)

    I would agree on the non-Retina. It comes with a full complement of ports including wired Gigabit Ethernet, and a Kensington lock slot if you need to leave it unattended in an insecure school area. Its storage can be expanded far more than the Retina. In short its upgradeability and ports should give it a longer overall service life than a Retina.

     

    If you come across a bunch of money later on, it's not hard to replace whatever drive you have in the non-Retina with an SSD.

  • Courcoul Level 6 Level 6 (11,180 points)
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    Apr 4, 2013 3:24 AM (in response to nba123)

    Buy the smallest and upgrade later for something much bigger and much cheaper than what Apple sticks you with.  Believe me, in the course of 4-5 years, you will need far more than 256G.

  • Mini-Mac Level 3 Level 3 (780 points)
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    Apr 5, 2013 11:16 AM (in response to Courcoul)

    Not necessarily true.  I have a 256GB M4 SSD and still have a little less than 200 left after a year.  The reason being is I have a Synology Disk Station that has 2TB's of storage.  And that's where all my media is stored which is the bulk of my data.  And as long as I have a Internet connection, or at home a wifi connection I have access to the DS.

  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,500 points)
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    Apr 6, 2013 1:07 AM (in response to nba123)

    nba123 wrote:

     

    whatever I have will be with me for the next 4-5 years...should I go with the non-retina because of this?

    It doesn't directly follow that you should limit yourself to the non-Retina, because it depends on how much storage you need. If the amount you need in the next 5 years is within the Retina storage amounts you can afford, then of course the Retina would work fine. Now, to work out what you would need in the next 5 years...

    nba123 wrote:

     

    Also do you think I will need 256gb or 500gb? which is more likely for me?

    We can't guess that for you, because it depends on your individual storage habits. You said you would need to store "music, pictures and word/powerpoint documents." You would need to start with what you currently store, and then have an idea of how fast you accumulate them. The numbers can vary widely depending on how fast you grow your music and photo collections, and the sizes of the files. For example, a person using a DSLR camera shooting 24-megapixel raw files will have a photo collection that grows in size much faster than someone who only stores JPEG files from a camera phone.

     

    I wouldn't worry about Word or PowerPoint files as those tend to be quite small. What consumes disk space the fastest is digital media: Music, photos, and videos. Especially HD videos. You can store maybe 100 Word files in the space taken up by a single music CD. A single 5-minute HD video can use up the same space as over 1000 Word files.

     

    Also, you will want to leave at least 50GB unused so that the system has enough room to manage temporary files like virtual memory and temp files, some of which can be rather large. If after you run the numbers you will need over 200GB or so, then you should be looking at the 500GB to avoid space issues. For most users, 256GB of total disk space seems to be enough though.

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