Macbook Pro - to Retina or not

Which Macbook pro?

  • Macbook Pro High Res Anti-Glare Display

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Macbook Pro High Res Glossy

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
I've been suffering with my dodgy old laptop while waiting for the new Macbook release and whilst getting my fnances ready for the plunge. I am starting a Graphic Design degree (part time through the IDI) from next week, so it's a good time to get one. The time has now come. I am, however, completely at a loss as to which one to choose.

15-inch Hi-Res antiglare
• 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
• Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
• 8GB 1600MHz memory
• 750GB 5400-rpm hard drive1
• Intel HD Graphics 4000
• NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
• Built-in battery (7 hours)2


15-inch Retina display
• 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
• Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
• 8GB 1600MHz memory
• 256GB flash storage1
• Intel HD Graphics 4000
• NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
• Built-in battery (7 hours)2

Clearly the spec on the Retina model is a little lower, but will the flash drive and display be more future-friendly?

Also, any comments on the anti-glare screen would be gratefully received.

Thanks to all who can offer qualified comments, and to anyone else who can lend me the wisdom of their experience/knowledge.


I'm going to the Apple store in half hour - looks like I'm getting the Retina display. Boss Hog will be solely to blame if it turns out to be a bad decision(!)

Sorry, I should have given this more thought and posted earlier this week; my bad!
I have a retina mbp which I bought recently. I was a bit put off by the fact you cant upgrade it so went with 16gb ram and 512ssd.

As a machine its pretty good. A couple of annoying things are:
1. Mountain Lion is hardly bug free and is occasionally a bit glitchy. There were some updates which fixed some weird wake/sleep issues where I needed to do a full restart. The system has crashed on me twice! Even recently in the last week (system fully up to date) I started using the machine after waking it up and the keyboard didnt work..! Needed to restart it! Honestly Windows 7 is more reliable...!

2. The screen is a bit ahead of its time in terms of software being optimised for it. Adobe is slowly catching up but so far only Premier CS6 is optimised for retina. All the other Adobe software looks blurry. Drawing a circle in Illustrator looks all jagged and all text / UI components looks look pretty blurry which is hardly ideal. Office is optimised as well as Chrome, a couple of code editors I use as well as an FTP program I use. The main thing I am waiting for is Adobe. Adobe is apparently not even planning on optimising every piece of its CS6 software. I cant find the press release but I'm sure for instance InDesign CS6 was not included on the list of software being updated for the display..!

Reasons why I purchased was that I needed a new mac (well actually, this was my first mac) so it make sense to buy as a retina mbp despite it being a bit of a bleeding edge technology, it is I feel the future - I will be hopefully using it for the next 3-4 years so thought there might be an initial phase of issues with this new type of screen...
The solid state drives are marvellous. I would much prefer a decent amount of ram and a SSD over a faster CPU. I use a 2010 MacBookPro with a 512GB SSD drive and the difference a SSD makes over a mechanical drive is HUGE. My mac came with a 120 GB SSD and recently I upgraded it to a 512 GB one from

I was thinking of buying a new retina display app buy my laptop is 17" and Apple no longer make 17" ones and I am not sure if I could 'put up with' a 15" screen even if it is retina display.
You can 'scale' the display to be the same resolution as a 17in mbp. (1920x1200). Obviously it will make everything look a little bit smaller as the resolution is squashed into a 15in screen. Its still usable. I tend to have mine scaled to the equivalent high res display of the previous models (1680x1050).

I don't think apple are going to make a 17in macbooks now as apparently they were never that popular compared to the 13in and 15in models.
I should get myself down to an apple store to see a 15" retina MacBookPro for myself. I think it will be fine but would much prefer the bigger physical size at 17" I went from using a at MacPro with a 30" Apple display plus a 23" Apple display as a 2nd monitor at work to my 17" MacBookPro but being able to work from home on the sofa made up for it :)
You'll never go back from a SSD. Using one as your main drive is such an improvement overall, I then use a bank of HDDs for data storage where speed isn't such a big deal.

The main use I've seen for the retina display is to install windows and enjoy some incredibly high res gaming. Perhaps you could consider running a dual boot and enjoying your down time ;)