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  1. #1
    Should I purchase a base model Macbook Pro Retina Display?
    Hi all,

    First of all I'd like to apologize for the seemingly moronic title; I understand that no one here would know better than I if a Retina Display MBP would benefit my lifestyle. Regardless, I'm one of those people who must research a piece of kit such as this until my eyes bleed, before I can consider parting with the cash. Hence I'd really just like to hear your opinions on the matter. Here's a little background info.

    I have always been a dedicated PC user, for no reason other than convenience and familiarity. My experiences with Macs have been sporadic and therefore frequently uncomfortable and foreign, up until the latter half of this year where I began a new job in a photography studio. Now, for the past few months I have been using my girlfriendsí base model Macbook Pro 13" for work and my loyalties are at last beginning to sway.

    Although I have a custom built PC at home that is sufficient for my work needs, it is not portable, and this is an issue that seems to inflate every year. And my 6 year old Acer laptop just wonít cut it anymore.

    Every day of my working life is usually spent between Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, often with both open at the same time for different creative tasks. I also use Manga Studio for my freelance work with a Wacom tablet, which is again regularly open with PS also. Iím relatively sure that 8GB RAM will be more than sufficient, but I could be wrong? Iím never without several sites tabbed, iTunes open, emails, downloads; I recognize all these things add up. Itís important to note that the files I work with can be very large and awkward to move. Though taking into account all the clutter and music I have on my 1TB PC hard drive, it is only just half full.

    I know the base model RD comes with only 256GB (non-upgradable) perhaps nearer 200 with everything installed. But is this really an issue with the increasing number of affordable external HDDs available? What Iím asking is, does the speed of the SSD outweigh the need for larger space, with the aid of USB 3.0 surely dropping groups of large files onto an external is minimal effort? Or am I being naive. Iíd like to make the bump up to 500GB flash storage, but that just a little too out of my budget. If Iím honest I think the SSD takes priority over the actual display at this moment in time, personally atleast.

    Though screen size and quality is key in my career as I often need to cross-reference product photography and match Pantone colors for silkscreen printed clothing. I understand that for printed material matte screens are truer, but how false does that make a gloss RD? Surely the difference cannot be too overt? Having used a gloss 13Ē MBP for some time now, Iím positive I need a 15Ē screen atleast, and if the pixel-density can be improved for a few more $100s, go ahead. Iíve read alot about how the retina display is not yet hugely functional regarding web experience (bar Safari) or even Photoshop for that matter, but wonít everything translate to Retina in time?

    Lastly, and well.. less essentially. I confess I am an avid gamer, though only casual to PC, I would love a portable platform that could fulfill my desire to play the odd half an hour of Battlefield 3 during my commute. It is not a necessity, but for over $2000, I think it should tick every box.

    As a long-time PC user, having probably spent around $2500 (in total) on computer components throughout my life, the price of any Macbook Pro suggests that longevity and dependability is what youíre paying for on top of the hardware. My thoughts are that if Iím already spending so much, then I should target the best version I can afford, so I can procure the value for years to come. This would be a long overdue upgrade; I want to be confident that itís the right upgrade.

    So, with all that in mind. Should I purchase a base model MBP Retina Display?

    Iím aware this is probably a very common topic, I just wanted to ask the community what they thought, regarding my own conditions. I hope thatís okay, apologies for the lengthy first post!

    Looking forward to your advice / warnings.


  2. #2
    Should I purchase a base model Macbook Pro Retina Display?
    Sur3Mac's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 03, 2009
    The Netherlands
    Your Mac's Specs
    Late 2011 MBP 13" i5/16GB RAM,Early 2007 MB white 13", 2x TV 3rd Gen, ᣦ
    Rep Power
    Long post, short answer...well somewhat

    If I understand correctly you want to play Battlefield 3 or some similar game while traveling.
    If your ok with traveling with a notebook cooler and your MacBook Pro, then you'd be fine.
    The MacBookPro tends to get pretty hot while gaming, right up to it hurting on your lap.
    This is why I don't even call them 'laptops', but notebooks.


  3. #3
    Should I purchase a base model Macbook Pro Retina Display?
    wolfpuppies3's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 07, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    Your Mac's Specs
    15" MB Pro, 2.66 i7 ; 11Ē MBA 1.8GZ i7; 13"MBA 2GZ i7 8 GB mem 512GB SSD, 2 iPad3s, 1 iPad Mini
    Rep Power
    Tough one to answer. With a fully loaded MBR touching $4,000, it is a touch pricey. Only you know your checkbook balance. I have been buying computers since 1981 and have only rarely purchased one for less than $3,000, even in 1981. The current crop of MBAs are incredible machines and a loaded 13" is around $2,000 now, a bargain by historical standards.

    The Retina screen is of no value to me as I plug into a 27" Apple monitor at home so I can actually see what I am doing with PS and LR4 (I am a photographer). On the road, I am extremely pleased with my mid 2012 13" MBA, 2 GZ i7, 8 MB RAM, 512 GB SSD.

  4. #4
    Should I purchase a base model Macbook Pro Retina Display?
    Doug b's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 22, 2008
    Forest Hills, NYC
    Your Mac's Specs
    15-inch Early 2008; Processor 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; Memory 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 10.7.5
    Rep Power
    Some good suggested advice from Wolfpuppies there.. The first thing that strikes me about working with an notebook is the size of the screen for editing. I also do similar work, though probably not nearly as much as you right now. I have my MacBook Pro hooked up to a calibrated monitor most of the time. And 15" just isn't enough space to work with. Off site, it's fine but why gimp myself at home?

    You're right about the current state of retina support in that there is a very short list of products that utilize HiDPI. That of course will change, and when it does, will be a huge benefit to us all. Personally speaking, I will not be getting an Retina display until they are made for external monitors in larger sizes. Are they gorgeous? Sure. Necessary for me? No. The printing company's I work with color correct and output what I see on my current LCD, and that is what is important.

    As for spending all of that money, and expecting a long term return for it?
    Hopefully. Never neglect getting AppleCare for such an investment, that is for sure. I don't care if you told me that you have proof of gods existence, and that it made your RD MacBook Pro... its components are made in a factory, where a human being is responsible for quality control testing. It is still the sum of parts made of silicone, diodes and solder etc.. Defects aren't limited to "cheaper" parts alone.

    And the logistics... You can work directly from external drives. I do. Use the internal as the scratch disk and when your projects are complete, move them over to the externals.


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