This Is The Retina Display MacBook Pro Model You Should Buy

OK, so you're buying a retina display MacBook Pro. Let's look past the fact that a maxed-out MacBook Air is probably enough for most regular people, or that if you order a new retina display MacBook Pro today you'll have to wait a month until it arrives. Let's figure this thing out!

Now, not to belabour the point, but if you're a regular person who isn't going to be doing much rendering or high-end editing, you can probably get by with a dual-core Ivy Bridge MacBook Air and 8GB of RAM. So what you're looking at here, really, is some more oomph in your Diablo III runs with the discrete Nvidia video card and that beautiful, beautiful retina screen.

In that case, you want the 2.3GHz model with 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD for $2739.

Here's why: SSD storage is precious, and precious is expensive. But these days you don't need heaps of space on your drive, thanks to cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Skydrive. If you're thinking about your massive not-on-Rdio-or-Spotify music collection, or all those torrented movie files that you can't do without, well, you're just as well off sticking them on a USB 3.0 9400RPM external hard drive. Spinning drives are actually faster than SSDs for mass media archives.

And the RAM? Well, it's soldered on there, so you've got to decide now. And $240 for the bump from 8GB to 16 isn't too bad. Memory is one of the things that will give you tangible benefits that you'll be able to see every day.

If you're a professional user who doesn't mind losing out on the optical drive (no big deal) or the ethernet port (kind of a big deal), you may as well max out with the 2.7GHz 16GB RAM 768GB SSD model. While Apple's configuration markups have been pretty egregious in the past, they are pretty much in line with the market now. $600 to jump to 768GB internal SSD storage? That's about right. Maybe shy away from the $260 0.1GHz upgrade to 2.7GHz, which takes you down to $4039.

Of course, all of the retina display MacBook Pro configurations are shipping with 3-4 week delays right now, so you've got some time to think it over.



    Ive read on that these new macbook pros are not well designed internally. Why is it that lately people are all about asthetics and not logic when it comes to decisions?

      How can this be so when iFixit are the only ones to do a complete teardown of it?

    Dropbox requires you to store the files on your HDD as well. How is that saving space just by using "the cloud"?

      I guess you upload to DA CLOUD then delete the data thereby magically creating more space on your HDD. But if you want to play a song or two you now have to stream it from DA CLOUD (placing you at the mercy of your carrier if you're roaming) or delete space from your HDD and download it. It's simply brilliant.

        Kind defeats the purpose of drop box though...

    One thing I've noticed that a lot of reviewers seem to fail to mention is to do with the retina screen. Programs, Apple Apps and other utility's will need to be updated to take advantage of the screen which means more space will be taken up. Just like people have found out with the new iPad, low storage may not cut it for most. When I place my order I will be maxing out the storage to the max based on retina programs taking up more space.

      Icons don't take up that much space you know, but do as you wish.

      retina programs are gonna take up an extra 256 gigabytes? right...

        No, what I said was that they will take up more space. I think people need to factor that in when buying a MBPr. 256GB sounds like a lot, but factor in the retina optimized version of Lion, then add your programs, where most will get retina updates. In the end, by the time you have loaded everything in, the 100GB you reserved for programs may be 140GB after everything has been updated to support the retina screen.

    The difference uin 8Gb to 16GB is not something you'll see tangible benefits everyday. IOnly if you're doing hardcore video editing every day maybe. For 99.9% of workflows, 8GB is plenty, and I predict for anotther few years before you need to upgrade anyway

      But if you plan to still be using your $2500+ Mac with 16GB RAM in a few years, you will need to upgrade now, as the RAM is not upgradeable.

    How on earth are spinning disks faster than the SSD's used in the new MBP-R: do you have some kind of link to benchmarks that back this claim up?

      Agreed, this statement seems dubious.

      Main advantage of SSD is ultra-low seek times. For mass-archived media though, this isn't important, so much of the benefit is negated. SSDs are good for main OS and installed apps.

    $240 for an extra 8GB of RAM? Are you serious... If the ram wasn't soldered in I could go down to my Local MSY and pick up 2x8gb sticks for about $120.

    I was considering buying the new Macbook for the screen alone but the fact parts can't be swapped out...

    I think I'll just wait for PC monitors to catch up

    short answer: dont buy it

    long answer:
    if you need the display (e.g. video/photo editing) then get it
    if you can afford it, then get it
    if you cant justify it or cringe at the price. Dont get it. Its just a gimmick for now

    9400 rpm drives!?

      not sure why but this reminds me about 15-20 years ago when repeating computer specs was kryptonite for the average person.

      q: what kind of computer do you have at home?
      a: its 66 megabytes and its black

    I would suggest to include the Thunderbolt to Gig Ethernet connector as well if you want to do any sort of fast network transfers.

    Another excellently written and edited article. WTF is going on lately Giz?

    what did i just read?

    implying anyone would get a mac to play diablo 3.
    $240 is reasonable for 8gig of ram..
    9400 rpm external drives..
    suggesting people get a laptop for $4k..
    half the article in bold.

    This article was terrible, id expect to read this in womans day or something but for a technology blog is laughable.

    2.6ghz, 16gb ram, 512 gbSSD....for 3200 if ur a student...

    I can't imagine 16GB being a huge benefit to Diablo 3 to be honest.

    Personally I'll wait until the back order lines are shorter, or there is a 10% sale at JB, but I'll probably be stuck going the 512GB version even if it costs a bit more than I'd like. Realistically, if I look at what I can live without on my current system, I'm hovering around 200GB as a base. Not a lot of room for growth over time.

    Does everything before this post appear in bold? Wow, I fixed it, I am awesome.

Join the discussion!