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November 20th 2013 10:16 pm

Macbook Pro 13" regular vs. Retina display

Hello everyone, so here's the dilemma. I want to buy a Macbook Pro for school (I know, I told myself I never would, but here we are). I wanted to ask the best of the best, is it better to get the regular Macbook Pro, or the retina keeping in mind that the regular is 999 canadian with an i5 4gb ram, and 500gb ram. The retina model is 1400 with an i5 8gb ram, and 256 gb hard drive. What do you guys think?

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13 replies

Have you considered going the Air route? You can find them in Apple's refurbished store for around $900 and those things fly. They may not have the display of a rMBP, but then again neither does the MacBook Pro line.
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I have the 2010 13" MacBook Pro, www.engadget.com­/products­/apple­/macbook­-pro­/13­-inc..., and love it.

The 2012 MBP, "regular", can have it's memory upgraded: support.apple.com­/kb­/HT1270. So you could purchase it with 4GB, wait a year or two, then sell your 4GB and upgrade to 8GB.

The memory for the retina MBP is not upgradable.

I'd also suggest upgrading the hard disk to a solid state drive now or in a couple years.
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I'm considering a Macbook Pro as well (still not sure about Mac vs. PC for my needs..), and if I decide to go with a Mac I will be getting this one: www.macmall.com­/p­/Apple­-MacBook­-Pro­/product­~dpno­~9...
That's the older Retina Macbook, from earlier in 2013 I believe. 128GB of storage isn't a whole lot, but they do have a version with double that for $200 more.
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If its the model still using the 3rd generation i5 I would really suggest checking out the newer model 1st.

The 4th generation i5 (Haswell i think) does offer some battery improvements and better graphics than the older model. Also take into account they made the new model smaller and lighter then the one form early 2013. They also upgraded it to use Thunderbolt 2.

I think, but i am not sure but they may have also upgraded the SSD and the RAM like they did in the airs. But to be honest i am not 100% sure on that one.

The non sales price on the MACMALL one was 1499 and apple sells a similar model (8gb Ram, 128 SSD, and a 2.4i5) for 1399. The 329 saving on the previous model is nice and its still a damn good machine but i would really give it a second thought before buying it.

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If I recall correctly, the advantages of the Haswell chip would give me another hour or so of battery life (not a huge deal to me) and the graphics improvements are small enough to also not matter much. The size and weight difference is small enough that it (again) doesn't matter much to me, and I don't think I'll be using Thunderbolt a lot either.

Where's the one that you mentioned Apple is selling currently? The only one I see is 1299 with 4gb of RAM (I would prefer 8, especially since you can't add more in these newer MBPs), and the next one up is 1499, which I can't afford...
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on the apple store configure the base model and add the 8gb of graphics and that brings it up to 1399.

One of the reasons i buy Macs over PCs is the resell value. i get a better price on them then i do on most PCs based laptops i have owned.

you also mentioned the Mac vs PC needs. Thats a tough one. myself i still have a windows 8PC as well as my main machine at home which is a mac mini. On it i have Parallels with a win 7 VM because some of the software i need for work just won't run on a Mac or on windows 8.
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Hmm...That looks like a pretty good configuration, although that's still another $230. Any idea if there'll be any black friday deals on MBPs? Haven't seen any good leaked ones yet...
Normally, I would get a PC because of the cost alone. (Spend half as much, get twice as good specs.) However, I need MIDI software, and so far I haven't seen any for PC that I like. If I do go with a Mac, I'm definitely going to get Windows 7 or 8 for it along with OS X, because there's so much software out there that's Windows only.
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i have not seen any black friday deals yet from Apple. But even then their sales are not normally as drastic as other retailers.

Also check out retailers like Best Buy and see what they offer up. Also look at the open box section of their sites or even a local store. They usually knock off around 5% to 10% if its returned. And you still get the full apple warranty when you register the device.

And lastly check out Apple's own refurbished section. some times you can find some good deals here from them directly. store.apple.com­/us­/browse­/home­/specialdeals­/mac­/ma...
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I've been watching the other retailers, but my main reason for wanting to go with MacMall (or similar) is not having to pay sales tax...9.8% is gonna be over $100 if I buy local.

I've thought about going refurb, but I want a new one. There's just something about having a brand new laptop. :)
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Well I see 4 important words there, "best of the best". Let me make this crystal clear for you:

Best of the best:
Cpu: retina - new haswell processor
IGpu: retina - new iris 5100
Hard drive: retina - ultra fast new ssd! Yes, the capacity may be smaller but it is ssooooooo much faster than the traditional hdd
Wireless card: retina - new ac wifi card
Battery life: retina - apple approximates 9 hours. I get around 6-10 depending on what I am doing
Weight: retina - 3.5 lbs
Disk drive: cmbp - since it has one
I/o ports: retina - only difference is retina has Thunderbolt 2 while cmbp doesn't but otherwise the same.
Repairability/upgradability: cmbp - you can change out a lot more parts in the classic model and the bottom is easy to open with standard screwdriver.
Last but not least.....
SCREEN - RETINA!!!! again I say... Retina screen is beyond beautiful. Only people who haven't used a retina screen Mac can say that they don't care for more pixels.

Long story short. Best Value, best of the best, and just for awesome computerness ( know not a word) the retina wins in all the categories that matter most!!!! At least to the majority of the consumer population.
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I would go with the 2013 13" Retina Macbook. The display is better, it has the newest Intel CPU/GPU so it doesn't stutter with all those pixels, longer battery life, and a super fast SSD.

Well worth the extra $400 canadian imo.
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If you can afford it go with the 2013 Retina.
Its a gorgeous, powerful and sleek machine.

My self, i tend to keep my laptops for about 2 years and then i sell them. I believe you are going to get a better resell value on the 13" retina then you will on the non retina models.

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Go fro the retina model, that way you will be future proof with all that extra pixel resolution :)
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