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