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View Full Version : Decisions decisions about new retina macbook



Golden Spindle
05-27-2013, 11:17 PM
Hey everyone. I'm going to buy a refurb MacBook Pro retina 15 inch. I will be using Vue Espirit, Adobe Suite and Lightwave 9.6 mainly. The one I'm looking at and all of them have 8 gigs but it also has an SSD drive and the RAM is 1600 MHz. I have been using a 2011 iMac with 16GB 1300mhz ram and everything has been running great so I'm wondering with a much faster SSD and ram with a higher MHz, will that 8gig laptop be enough to use my software? I'm in a rock and a hard place since I have to be mobile in less then a month but have deadlines. Once my wife and I are able to get a home, I will get the latest imac but for now as long as I know I can get away with 8gigs of ram for now that would be great. I definitely need the retina because of the small screen and my not so great eyes. Lol. If anyone can let me know as soon as possible. I know LW can handle 8 gigs but vue I'm a bit concerned about. Is there a setting to limit ram with Vue to use? Here's the link to the MacBook Pro I'm looking at. http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC975LL/A/refurbished-macbook-pro-23ghz-quad-core-intel-i7-with-retina-display

BeeVee
05-28-2013, 06:28 AM
Bit hard for us to reply constructively without knowing what your needs are. You should be able to buy the extra 8 GB RAM from somewhere other than Apple if you'd like it less expensive...

B

Phil
05-28-2013, 06:55 AM
Actually, Ben, you can't. The memory is soldered in-place and not upgradable after the fact. I think this is the second thread related to this question. As before, the storage on the machine is upgradable. RAM isn't. I'm also not convinced that the Retina display helps with poor eyesight - you're losing much of the benefit and applications not Retina-ready (including LW) will simply be blurry on-screen. If you need to run Windows on it at all via BootCamp or similar, the desktop scaling there is also highly problematic.

Anyway, you seem to be hard-set on the Retina model, so all I can suggest is benchmarking the scenes you render right now and determine how much margin that will give you. Be aware also that the fact that only 8 GB models seem to appear in refurb might indicate that others bought those models and then ran into the limitations earlier than they expected.

Golden Spindle
05-28-2013, 09:10 AM
So do you think the 2011 model might be better? 15 inch always seemed a bit small to me because of the fuzziness. I always find myself getting real close to the screen. My vue projects wouldn't be very big and that is my main concern. Vue I heard is ram hungry. I'm using these for videos for my books for IPads. I have a music book coming out with 3d examples. Lots of them and lightwave and Vue are my main programs. Then Adobe (mainly Photoshop)

insignet
05-28-2013, 09:35 AM
My Advice... don't buy a refurb Mac. I might of been unlucky in my purchase when the motherboard failed after a year... but there's no way back once it goes wrong after the short warranty runs out. They are still expensive as refurbs and I had a lot of problems... the first refurb never started when it was delivered...sent back... second one run OK for 1 year then nothing, Apple store said its dead. Swore I'd never buy another and haven't. If you're doing 3D work buy a PC ( thats coming from a Mac person :) ) Good luck...

Golden Spindle
05-28-2013, 09:39 AM
I'm looking at a 17 inch 2011 2.2 ghz quad processor where the ram is upgradable to 16Gb. What do you think about that? I it has a 128GB SSD on it. I have 3.5TB of external storage. What do you think?

Phil
05-28-2013, 09:44 AM
So do you think the 2011 model might be better? 15 inch always seemed a bit small to me because of the fuzziness. I always find myself getting real close to the screen. My vue projects wouldn't be very big and that is my main concern. Vue I heard is ram hungry. I'm using these for videos for my books for IPads. I have a music book coming out with 3d examples. Lots of them and lightwave and Vue are my main programs. Then Adobe (mainly Photoshop)

I'm a bit confused by your issue. It sounds like you're struggling to read the text displayed simply because you're finding it too small. Retina doesn't make the screen any larger and actually you're running at an equivalent of 1440x900 with the pitch-doubling of Retina. You can bump up the resolution somewhat by sacrificing the pitch doubling (it doesn't go all the way to 2880x1800, though), but you'll lose the fidelity of their optimum pitch-doubled setting. You will see increased fuzziness of fonts and UI elements on applications that don't support Retina.

The 2011 model as you describe it (although it's seen some upgrades from my 2011 MBP) has an optional 1680x1050 panel (which I'd recommend) and I believe it also provides options for matte as well as glossy. I've always gone for matte - glossy simply doesn't work for me at all, giving me lots of eyestrain as I try to look past the reflections and any surface contamination. You'll gain the advantage of memory flexibility and will also be able to rip out the optical drive and put in additional storage as needed. It's a more more expandable design than the Retina model.

ArsTechnica might be a good reference as well : http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/06/pixelpalooza-ars-reviews-the-15-retina-macbook-pro/

*shrug* I'd actually not mind the panel. I just really don't like the lack of expandability in the Retina MBP. At all.

insignet
05-28-2013, 09:48 AM
IMO a refurb is a risk... it has an inherited problem unless its a x-demo machine... the problem maybe small or even may have been 'tested' to a point where the problem doesn't manifest itself, but you're putting your hard earned cash into a machine that has a greater potential to go bananas on you... and it will happen no doubt just when you're doing something important! Its just MO of course an i'm sure people here have bought refurbs and they've been great.... not me. I love using Macs... i always will, but next machine for 3D work is a PC no question. I'm not much help... but there's my pennies worth.

Golden Spindle
05-28-2013, 09:54 AM
I totally agree. The lack of expansion was a real downer. I was really set on retina but now that you explained it a little better it would make more sense for me to get a bigger screen and expandability options. The 8gb ram was really bothering me.

- - - Updated - - -

Lol. I agree. The good thing is that once my wife and I can finally settle in I'm getting a new Imac with less heat related issues and hopefully a retina Imac. ( : 27 inch

Golden Spindle
05-28-2013, 10:52 AM
I think I've decided to get that 17 inch. I just love the bigger screen and upgrade options. Thanks for the help guys!

wesleycorgi
05-28-2013, 11:40 AM
I had a 2011 17", I loved it — I ripped out the DVD drive and added an SSD, maxed out the RAM, and replaced the original HD with a faster 7200 RPM drive. The problem I had was that I traveled quite a bit and each extra ounce (with all my other travel stuff) got a bit much. Also, it's hard to work on a plane with a 17". With my 15", I can work a lot easier on a plane and it is less cumbersome.

Note: I purchased my 17" as a refurb directly from the online Apple store and with the money I saved I put it into AppleCare (and still saved money).

I did the same thing with an iMac about 7 years ago (I no longer have the iMac) and between the two only had one problem.