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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MBP Retina or MBP for long term value?


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TheBear

 
Member Since: Jun 30, 2012
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I'm looking to upgrade from my current MBP to a higher performing one. I bought my current mid-2011 13" for basic use, word processing, internet, etc. I now work at an internet marketing and design agency though and it's not performing well enough for my needs.

I run a fair number of programs (evernote, skype, ical, excel, word, itunes, firefox, and chrome with a bunch of tabs open at once) at the same time and my RAM (currently 4gb) is always maxed out right now. My current computer also won't handle photoshop, which I need to be able to use (not all day, everyday, but I do need to be able to use it). I'd like to be able to run Boot Camp or Parallels as well.

I spent a few hours today researching and got it down to roughly 2 options. My main issue between the two is long term value, which one will work the longest/be worth the most in 3-4 years when I want to upgrade.

Option 1. Buy a 15" MBP 2.6ghz Retina with 16GM Ram upgrade. I know this is more than enough for my needs, I would mainly be buying this with the hope it would last a long time and so be worth it. My main problem with the Retina is the inability to upgrade so I feel like I have to make sure I get everything on the front end. (Cost $3k)

Option 2. Buy a standard 15" MBP knowing that I could upgrade to a SSD and add more RAM when I need it. My thinking is that RAM and SSDs are only going to get cheaper (and are already cheaper at places lake newegg than at aple) so why not just hold out for if/when I need it.

So which option do you think I should choose? If I go with option 2, is it worth it to upgrade to the 2.6ghz processor? I would get the 8gb RAM either way so it would effectively be a $300 upgrade.

Thanks for your replies.
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chscag

 
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That's a tough one. If you have deep pockets, go for the Retina. Later on there almost will certainly be a user installable upgrade for the flash hard drive. The folks at Other World Computing were right on top of things when the MacBook Air models were first sold by Apple.

The MacBook Pro you mentioned is also a good choice although I don't know if I would go for the faster processor. Like I said, it's a tough choice to make. Both are great machines but the Retina is light years ahead of anything else on the market.
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Lightcraftsman

 
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I wrote a reply suggesting you buy the least expensive 15-inch MBP and add a Seagate 750GB XT hybrid drive, but then I remembered looking at and playing with a Retina MBP at the Apple Store a couple of weeks ago. If you have the money, and especially if you can depreciate it as a business expense, get the Retina MBP. You won't regret it.

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Stretch

 
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At this point in time, the non retina would be my choice. The retina model seems to be having some graphics issues from what I've seen on my twitter feed and online. I'd wait until the 2nd generation retina devices are out before picking one up.

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CanuckBoater

 
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Good point re: waiting for 2nd generation Retina screen.
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chscag

 
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You may be waiting quite a while for a second generation Retina MBP. Likely won't see another upgrade for the MBP or the Retina MBP for another 8 to 12 months. I would hang on until Apple works out whatever kinks there are in the current line. May take a couple of firmware fixes but they'll get it right.
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swinler

 
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Go for retina.

I have it and honestly think the graphics issues have been overstated, at least if you are a Joe Average user like me.
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Scott_

 
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I purchased the mbp 15 non retina with ag customized with 2.6ghz and the 1gm dedicated card.

2 days later I returned it and got a mbp 2.3ghz base model with retina display. I'm very happy with it!

It's unbelievable lighter. 1lb makes huge diff. I haven't missed the cd drive or Ethernet yet.

The one I purchased took 50-60 seconds to boot. My retina takes under 14 seconds. It's crazy how fast it is.

You won't be disappointed. This will last for years for me.
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DaiseyMoonshine

 
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The graphics problems (ghosting issues) were associated with earlier MBPr models with an LG display, but later models now have the desirable Samsung display screens.

I'll quote my Mac specialist by saying, "No one want's an LG!" lol

The only way to tell is to go through your utilities and type a specific code into your terminal to verify which hardware display you have. I found it on the macrumors site.
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