15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display Review



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I don't get it. A 2.6 mghz Pro configured like a retina (with a 500 gb flash drive) costs about $400 more than a retina. Why would you buy the pro? For the DVD?

So let's say you are clever, and buy the pro with a regular HDD and then pop over to OWC and purchase a 500Gb SSD. Your total savings = $20! Brilliant!

So maybe you are not just clever but a genius so you pop over to OWC and decide to not only purchase the 1/2Tb SSD but also the 16 Gb RAM for the pro....Now you've saved $20 on the drive and $20 on RAM! Genius!



I looked at the new MacBook Pro models and here is what I saw.

Retina is great but with my 50 year old eyes a bit of a waste. I got the regular MacBook Pro with the Hi Res display and even with that at 1680x1050 I find I'm zooming a lot more, setting the fonts on apps bigger so I can read them, and I even had to increase the size of the curser because I kept losing the bloody thing.

My old MacBook had a 500Gb drive and I had ~300Gb of stuff on it. The little SSD on the rMBP just wasn't going to cut it and the cost of upgrading was prohibitively expensive.

I don't live near an Apple Store. If the HDD fails or I need RAM or the battery goes south I can't just pop in and have them fix it. It gets put in a box and I see it again in a week ... or two. Knowing I can change the HDD (or upgrade to an SSD once the price comes down) or replace the battery or add RAM is a nice bit of insurance.

The GeekBench scores of the rMBP and regular MBP are nearly the same.

So as I was not going to benefit from the retina screen as much as someone in their 20s, and I have a need for the larger HDD, and the performance is nearly the same, I'm glad I went with the old MBP. I figure the same unit in the retina version would have cost me nearly $1000 more. It is a heavy SOB though.



love my retina


David W. Martin

Can you direct me to that Firewire 800 Thunderbolt adapter you mention? I don't see it on Apple's website and I'm not sure one really exists - yet.

ref: "No Ethernet? No FireWire? Not exactly, but the two Thunderbolt ports give you flexibility to add in the ports Apple left off. You can use one for the Thunderbolt Cinema Display or any Mini DisplayPort display or adapter, and the other for any host of Thunderbolt accessories--or, with $29 adapters from Apple, FireWire 800 or Gigabit Ethernet."



Its a unfair comparison with the previous generation MacBook Pro. The old MBP with 8 GB ram and 256 GB SSD costs $2,399. For $200 less you get the same specs and the retina display and lose the 500 GB hard disk.

I think thats a excellent trade off. You save a gazillion seconds every time you boot, and you don't even have to shut down to carry it in your back pack (no spinning hard disk).

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