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Steve_D
24th October 2012, 12:24 PM
Well i stayed up to watch the stream.

Really looked forward to the new 13" Retina Macbook Pro. Was blown away by the new iMac, and the iPad Mini i have absolutely no use for but i know many others that will have, so it still interested me.

Then this morning i got around to checking the Apple store and the specs available for the 13" Retina Macbook Pro.

I have to say that even though i am going to be upgrading to one of the new models, i am a little disappointed by the upgrade features.

CPU
More specifically the 2.5GHz Dual Core chip, Sure you can upgrade from 2.5 -> 2.9GHz.
But where is the option for Quad core?
I would be happy with the GHz speeds to drop down to 2.3GHz if it was an i7 Quad core.

Base model having a 128GB SSD.
I can see they are expecting people to use Thunderbolt drives and the likes, but once you put Aperture, Logic Pro (with its upgraded Jam Packs) and Final Cut X (Motion and Compressor too) and the usual bits and pieces like say Office and Photoshop, that doesn't really leave a lot of room on that 128GB drive for much else.
256GB would have made more sense for "PRO" users.

8GB of RAM AND its soldered onboard.
This is the one that I'm most confused about, dont get me wrong i have no issues with the soldered onboard part.
The part gets me is where is the BTO option to upgrade the RAM?.
If the 15" model can have a BTO upgrade to 16GB then why couldn't the 13"?
I highly doubt that it is a heat issue.

GFX and other bits
I don't care that the 13" still only runs onboard intel GPU and not the nVidia 650M. To me I'm not using this machine for intensive gaming, just the occasional game of Portal 2 or Half Life when the mood takes me. The old 9400M with all its faults could play them fine so I'm pretty sure the 4 year newer intel 4000 can handle it just fine.

There are also a lot of things i do like about the new models.
The weight reduction, Size, Dual Thunderbolt ports carried over from the 15" and the HDMI port to free up when plugging in my external display, Battery life etc.

All in all a mixed bag of emotions.

Yes the machine will cost more, i was expecting that.
The thing that kills this for me is that they have limited the BTO RAM and the CPU options.

I like to hook my 13" up to a 27" display and use it to churn its way through Final Cut.
More cores and more RAM would make this little work horse the ideal machine.

Opinions??

TheKeddi
24th October 2012, 12:40 PM
I would love one! the 15" is just that too big for my liking and I have the 13" air now, I just can't afford one at the moment, but one day maybe! I am definitely getting the little iPad mini though, right up my alley!

tcn33
24th October 2012, 12:41 PM
I vaguely recall that the BTO options for the 15" RMBP were expanded a few months later. Makes sense, when you consider that this will be a very in-demand machine - Apple can concentrate production on two models to fulfil demand, then expand to BTO once things settle down.

chip
24th October 2012, 12:50 PM
Is there any info on if the SSD is replaceable, like the Air?

leon
24th October 2012, 01:23 PM
Lack of BTO RAM is probably down to the lack of space. The 15" has more room to place components. It's likely that they couldn't get higher density chips and a reasonable price to take it to 16GB RAM.

Arkhum_Eramak
24th October 2012, 02:15 PM
The GPU is the biggest issue IMHO. The current Retina MBP has been demonstrated to struggle simply viewing web pages, so can we expect that the 13" will perform much better lacking the discreet GPU? You mention you'll be running FCPX - that software is pretty GPU dependant (in my experience using it daily) so it's more than likely going to perform worse on this 13" MBP versus the old chunky 13".

iryan
24th October 2012, 02:27 PM
The GPU is the biggest issue IMHO. The current Retina MBP has been demonstrated to struggle simply viewing web pages, so can we expect that the 13" will perform much better lacking the discreet GPU? You mention you'll be running FCPX - that software is pretty GPU dependant (in my experience using it daily) so it's more than likely going to perform worse on this 13" MBP versus the old chunky 13".

The 15" Retina model struggles/struggled (many people report that their lag and stutter issues were fixed with 10.8.2) due to inefficiency in the HiDPI software in OS X. The integrated HD4000 should be able to handle everything daily use of OS X can throw at it. Also, FCPX should actually perform better on the new Retina model because all 13" models use integrated graphics but the Retina model has the advantage of an SSD. I'm seriously considering purchasing the 13" rMBP.

Steve_D
24th October 2012, 02:45 PM
The GPU is the biggest issue IMHO. The current Retina MBP has been demonstrated to struggle simply viewing web pages, so can we expect that the 13" will perform much better lacking the discreet GPU?

This is the question. Is the slightly smaller resolution of the 13 compared to the 15 going to make that much difference?
I recall the same things happening with the old 13 and 15" unibodies when they came out. The original models struggled at first also. A few firmware and system updates later they were usable, but it took time.

I was never expecting the machine to have an nVidia chip in there.


You mention you'll be running FCPX - that software is pretty GPU dependant (in my experience using it daily) so it's more than likely going to perform worse on this 13" MBP versus the old chunky 13".

I have been running FCPX on both my 13" 2008 unibody macbook , 9400M, dual core (No HT), SSD, and 2011 Macbook Pro 15", Quad i7, GT650M, 5400HD. Since version 10.0.1 (or a version there after in the case of the newer 15").

I wouldn't say that its just GPU intensive, i would say that the more cores you can throw at it the better it likes it. But if the GPU was a limitation in this case, having those extra cores would actually improve performance, unlike say FCP7 which could never really handle multiple cores properly.

My 13" is my machine i take out onto shoots or take into the uni when i'm teaching there. Its used for fast edits and rushes. The real work happens when i get back. But for the convenience of being able to do that work while out on set or in a class, if we were able to get over the gripes mentioned in the original post it would help massively.

rav3n
24th October 2012, 03:17 PM
CPU
More specifically the 2.5GHz Dual Core chip, Sure you can upgrade from 2.5 -> 2.9GHz.
But where is the option for Quad core?
I would be happy with the GHz speeds to drop down to 2.3GHz if it was an i7 Quad core.

Thermal requirements. Put a quad core in there and you'll melt the thing.



Base model having a 128GB SSD.
I can see they are expecting people to use Thunderbolt drives and the likes, but once you put Aperture, Logic Pro (with its upgraded Jam Packs) and Final Cut X (Motion and Compressor too) and the usual bits and pieces like say Office and Photoshop, that doesn't really leave a lot of room on that 128GB drive for much else.
256GB would have made more sense for "PRO" users.

Cost. Whilst it is a "pro" notebook, its also apples best selling and marketed to the average user more then the pro.



8GB of RAM AND its soldered onboard.
This is the one that I'm most confused about, dont get me wrong i have no issues with the soldered onboard part.
The part gets me is where is the BTO option to upgrade the RAM?.
If the 15" model can have a BTO upgrade to 16GB then why couldn't the 13"?
I highly doubt that it is a heat issue.
Space. If you watched the keynote you would have noticed the 13" mbp is very tight on space. I seriously doubt they could fit anymore in. Besides for most people 8gb will be fine.



GFX and other bits
I don't care that the 13" still only runs onboard intel GPU and not the nVidia 650M. To me I'm not using this machine for intensive gaming, just the occasional game of Portal 2 or Half Life when the mood takes me. The old 9400M with all its faults could play them fine so I'm pretty sure the 4 year newer intel 4000 can handle it just fine.
The 13" pro never really has been strong on the graphics front. I know the hd4000 is supposed to support ultra hi res displays, but I would think that any sort of app that makes use of the gpu is going to run absolutely shithouse because of the retina display. And god help you if you want to use an external display with it.

Steve_D
24th October 2012, 07:01 PM
Space. If you watched the keynote you would have noticed the 13" mbp is very tight on space. I seriously doubt they could fit anymore in. Besides for most people 8gb will be fine.

Using that logic you would only be able to put either 4 or 8GB in something like a Mac Mini, except the fact that the ram modules for the 4, 8, 16GB modules are all the same DDR3. The same thing would be true for the 8GB or changing that to a BTO of 16GB or even 32GB.

http://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/screen-shot-2012-10-23-at-1-27-01-pm.png?w=704&h=379

My point with this is there is not going to be a space premium, the ram chips do not suddenly grow by adding the extra storage.
If that was the case the same problem would be true when upgrading the SSD from 128GB to 768GB.

http://cultofmac.cultofmaccom.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Screen-Shot-2012-10-23-at-1.22.16-PM.jpg

It just doesn't make sense.

And before people complain, I'm not suggesting that all the models should have XYZ from the start. But having a BTO option (even if it had a 6-8 week delay on it) would make sense.

Also if a 9400M can run a 27" display why all of a sudden wouldn't a newer chip? even if it had to run a higher res retina display as well.
Most GFX chips can handle a lot more than people realise.

At the end of the day i guess I just don't want to fork out the cash for a new 13" Macbook Pro and then get bitten on the ass, similar to what happened with the Unibodies and the lack of Firewire 800 and the display issues.

rav3n
24th October 2012, 07:51 PM
Also if a 9400M can run a 27" display why all of a sudden wouldn't a newer chip? even if it had to run a higher res retina display as well.
Most GFX chips can handle a lot more than people realise.

Newer doesnt mean its better. The 9400m was a dedicated gpu, whereas the hd4000 is a half arsed gpu intel have integrated with the cpu die. Try plugging in a cinema display to say a macbook air with the hd4000, and then use something like final cut pro. It lags. Alot. Throw in a retina display, and things are only going to go down hill.

Oldmacs
24th October 2012, 08:08 PM
I am still very glad that i bought a 2012 'Classic' 13 inch Pro instead of waiting for this. Yes the retina display is fantastic however I really don't need it- I choose an iPad 2 over the 3rd generation and I use a 3GS. Plus not having a retina display will mean that the graphics will work better. Also I need a bigger Hard drive- Later on I will get a hybrid one but for now I am happy. I can also upgrade the RAM myself to 16GB! . The price is also far too expensive, I need an Optical drive, Ethernet and Firewire.

I am not saying this is a bad machine- Just happy I bought when I did rather than waiting for this!

javab0y
24th October 2012, 08:24 PM
I wanted to upgrade my early 2011 13 inch MBP and waited since June for this release as I knew it was coming... must say I too am a bit lost as to what to do. 128GB is too small for me, but don't want to pay $300 for an extra 128GB. Also for few hundred extra I can get the 15 inch. with higher res. and also better graphics and quad core. But 15 inch is too big for my liking and I know I will regret it.

In the end I might have to get an MBA but again no good for me as I need 8GB for the stuff I have open. I do like the resolution cf. to me current MBP.

Can't bring myself to buy another 13 inch MBP (even though this is my second one recently) due to the resolution.

So basically I seem to be falling in all the wrong cracks between models!

Any suggestions/advice for me?

At this rate I will probably just end up sticking with my current MBP with SSD upgrade and 8GB RAM...by default... even though I am ready to upgrade and give Apple my money :-)

Might have to go into the Apple store and have a play.

Oldmacs
24th October 2012, 08:31 PM
I would again highly recommend the normal Macbook pro 13 inch and upgrade it....
Screen resolution is fine for me :P

Joey1983
24th October 2012, 08:49 PM
Very tempted to buy the 13" retina MBP, love my 11" MBA too much though. Using an iMac as my main machine so the main thing I need from a laptop is portability. The second the MBAs go retina though I'll be at the Apple store on day one throwing my credit card at the first blue shirt I see. :)

chip
24th October 2012, 10:06 PM
Newer doesnt mean its better. The 9400m was a dedicated gpu, whereas the hd4000 is a half arsed gpu intel have integrated with the cpu die. Try plugging in a cinema display to say a macbook air with the hd4000, and then use something like final cut pro. It lags. Alot. Throw in a retina display, and things are only going to go down hill.In this case, newer does mean (slightly) better. Intel's integrated graphics aren't garbage like they used to be, and the 9400m is very long in the tooth. The HD 4000 has a faster memory bus and can push more pixels than the 9400m, but I wouldn't want to be using either for serious video work @ >2560 resolutions.

rav3n
24th October 2012, 10:20 PM
I wanted to upgrade my early 2011 13 inch MBP and waited since June for this release as I knew it was coming... must say I too am a bit lost as to what to do. 128GB is too small for me, but don't want to pay $300 for an extra 128GB. Also for few hundred extra I can get the 15 inch. with higher res. and also better graphics and quad core. But 15 inch is too big for my liking and I know I will regret it.

In the end I might have to get an MBA but again no good for me as I need 8GB for the stuff I have open. I do like the resolution cf. to me current MBP.

Can't bring myself to buy another 13 inch MBP (even though this is my second one recently) due to the resolution.

So basically I seem to be falling in all the wrong cracks between models!

Any suggestions/advice for me?

At this rate I will probably just end up sticking with my current MBP with SSD upgrade and 8GB RAM...by default... even though I am ready to upgrade and give Apple my money :-)

Might have to go into the Apple store and have a play.

The MBA does support 8gb ram. Both 11" and 13". Add in a usb3 external drive and you should be sorted?


In this case, newer does mean (slightly) better. Intel's integrated graphics aren't garbage like they used to be, and the 9400m is very long in the tooth. The HD 4000 has a faster memory bus and can push more pixels than the 9400m, but I wouldn't want to be using either for serious video work @ >2560 resolutions.

I know. Intels graphics have come along way. But they still cant compete with a dedicated chip. The point I was making is, actually I forget what my point was :confused:

nibbles
25th October 2012, 06:47 AM
I would again highly recommend the normal Macbook pro 13 inch and upgrade it....
Screen resolution is fine for me :P

Try opening Xcode in assistant editor mode, it's basically impossible. 1280x800 is far too low, they could have at least upped the base MBP to a 1440x900 display.

javab0y
25th October 2012, 07:07 AM
Try opening Xcode in assistant editor mode, it's basically impossible. 1280x800 is far too low, they could have at least upped the base MBP to a 1440x900 display.
Agreed, this is exactly the sort of issue I have with the resolution too (but not with Xcode in particular/just general as well as Eclipse)... Hey Apple: the 90's called... and wants its resolution back :-)

Also I wonder why the price premium on the extra 128GB of storage .. $300 extra? Couple of hundred may be would have been I guess OK or $300 including some other bump (like CPU) would have been OK too... but just straight up $300 for 128GB I cannot seem to justify in my head and go for which is annoying! Plus it pushes it over the psychological $2K mark for me.

javab0y
25th October 2012, 07:18 AM
The MBA does support 8gb ram. Both 11" and 13". Add in a usb3 external drive and you should be sorted?
Good point, for some reason I forgot that I could BTO the RAM....
In any case, by the time I up that and up the storage on a 13 inch MBA, I am encroaching on RMBP 13 inch territory anyway.
I am not that keen on a USB storage option for some reason, even though it would only be for photos/music which will free up about 55GB for me - just would rather not have to muck around with USB etc. Also I do cart my current MBP to work and home every week day. If there was some wireless way of seamlessly doing this, it would be a lot me palatable for me.

~Coxy
25th October 2012, 04:15 PM
Newer doesnt mean its better. The 9400m was a dedicated gpu, whereas the hd4000 is a half arsed gpu intel have integrated with the cpu die. Try plugging in a cinema display to say a macbook air with the hd4000, and then use something like final cut pro. It lags. Alot. Throw in a retina display, and things are only going to go down hill.

9400 was an integrated GPU, and is less powerful than the Intel anyway.

JimWOz
25th October 2012, 04:56 PM
I think we are at half time in the middle of an Apple Engineering & Marketing science project.
They are running a lot more product lines right now than Jobs would ever have wanted, - and thats just the bloody laptops !
We have 2 MBA's 2 MBP's and now 2 RMBP's, before you consider BTO options like the high res screen for the MBP 15, that almost make it another model.

My own needs are for a machine than can plug into ethernet and connect an external monitor at work, +plug in an external drive for backups.
Big HD for plenty of referenced files. - So I am an old school MBP man. 13 or 15 not so much an issue with external monitor for me, but I got a 15 last upgrade because of the i7 quad core horsepower. Being able to crack the case and increase RAM and HD and swap out the optical for an SSD+HDD set up is also a plus.

So, I think Apple are watching the sales figures to work out what the market wants. Remember, the Steve Jobs," I know what's good for them" ticker isn't there anymore. The marketing focus group was obviously horribly confused and divided. Steve would be unimpressed with so many variants out in the wild, that overlap quite a bit.

They will only cull the MBP if or when the market tells them it's a small seller. Who knows, the next model MBPR could be an MBP box with no optical and a Fusion Drive set up.

Goodbye
25th October 2012, 05:22 PM
These products would have all been well in development before Steve passed away. He only died a year ago, and these sorts of products aren't born overnight.

Deanodriver
25th October 2012, 09:46 PM
I'm toying with the idea of an upgrade, and I'm torn between the 13" RMBP and the 13" Air.

I could probably make do with 128GB nowadays, but there's a $400 price difference between the base RMBP and the 13" Air with 8GB RAM. I'm still unsure on Intel graphics driving a screen like that in the RMBP, and it is heavier than the Air.

For now I'll probably just stay with my trusty old 15" MBP and see what the future holds :)

JimWOz
26th October 2012, 08:03 AM
These products would have all been well in development before Steve passed away. He only died a year ago, and these sorts of products aren't born overnight.

It's true that the R&D and prototype phases take time. But a commitment to put that new body product prototype into the market takes much less than 12 months. I believe that Jobs would have trimmed out a few of the species before they made it into the wild. However, what they are doing now is testing the market, the laptop product line must slim down, or else their profitability in this sector will start to fall. The candidates for redundancy will identify themselves over the next 12 months. Apple doesn't need to move fast on this, but too many variants is not good economics.

If I had to guess, - and WTF would I know, I'd lose the 13" MBA and the 13"MBP, and keep the new 13"MBPR. The pricing of the Retina screen will fall. In the 15" area the MBPR needs a single connector Thunderbolt hub (ie a dock) that can adapt connections to an external monitor, wired ethernet, USB3 and Firewire to be a serviceable pro desktop unit for most office environments. The RAM and SSD capacities are also significant issues for Pro users. So maybe the MBP style box has to stay to hold a Fusion Drive combo, and upgradeable RAM slots, but gain the Retina screen. - When it's a 15" product, surely a little bit of extra thickness and weight is not a deal breaker for potential customers. But the same could be done with the 13" MBP, which I think brings us to the essence of their dilemma.....

chip
26th October 2012, 09:43 AM
Is there any info on if the SSD is replaceable, like the Air?

There's a teardown here: MacBook Pro 13" Retina Display Late 2012 Teardown - iFixit (http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Retina+Display+Late+2012+Teardown/11225/1)

So you're not locked into paying a hilarious $895 for 512GB of SSD.

decryption
26th October 2012, 10:34 AM
Where do you buy compatible SSDs for this thing?

rav3n
26th October 2012, 11:54 AM
There's a teardown here: MacBook Pro 13" Retina Display Late 2012 Teardown - iFixit (http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Retina+Display+Late+2012+Teardown/11225/1)

So you're not locked into paying a hilarious $895 for 512GB of SSD.

Apples prices aren't really that bad actually, considering an owc 480Gb ssd for a retina mbp is $799.


Where do you buy compatible SSDs for this thing?

macfixit are selling ssds compatible with retina mbp. They dont specify which one or if there compatible with both though.

decryption
26th October 2012, 12:48 PM
I've done a bit of number crunching on the 13" RMBP and figured, it kinda sucks...

Pricing on each machine is pretty close:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/decryptiondump/gjouk.png

https://s3.amazonaws.com/decryptiondump/7hqT7.png

Because the MacBook Air is a BTO, there's almost no discounts on it, but the 13" RMBP is a stock model and places like Good Guys or JB Hi-Fi will give you at least 10% off just by asking, so the real price for the RMBP is $1999 vs. the MBA for $1924.

Specs wise, they're very similar - let's see what's the same on both machines:


8GB RAM
256GB SSD
Intel 4000 Graphics
13" screen
2x USB 3.0 ports
7hr battery
SDXC card reader
Bluetooth 4.0 + dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n (the RMBP is slightly faster, but it's so minor)
Dual core CPU


What's different, and potentially, making one a better buy than the other?

The CPU in the MBA is the Intel i7-3667U and in the RMBP is it-3210M. On the surface, the i5-3210M looks better, but in reality, are probably the same in real world performance. The i7-3667U has 1MB more L3 cache (4MB on the i7 vs. 3MB on the i5). L3 cache makes a difference, so that's a win for the MBA. The stock clock speed on the i5 is higher (2.5GHz vs 2.0Ghz), but, when it comes to Turbo Boost, the i7 in the MBA can clock up to 3.2GHz, where as the i5 only goes up to 3.1GHz. So in reality, the MacBook Air's CPU is going to be *slightly* faster than the Retina MacBook Pro. Crazy, considering the thermal implications of each chassis, but that's the truth.

The screen, of course, is anoter big area of difference. The resolution on the MBA is 1440x900, which at 13" is very nice. The RMBP is 2560x1600, but, in "Retina" mode is the equivalent of 1280x800, which sucks. You can scale up the display to operate at a non-native resolution, but based on my expereinces with the 15" RMBP, it's not a long term solution and not suitable for daily use. Sure, the Retina display at native res looks super nice, but at 1280x800 equivalent, you get *less* screen real estate on the Retina vs. the Air.

After those two differences, all that's left is the fact the RMBP a HDMI port (saves you carrying a MiniDP to HDMI dongle) and has 2x Thunderbolt ports, instead of just one on the MacBook Air, which could be important to you, depending on what you're doing with the Mac.

So all up, considering the 13" MacBook Air is cheaper than the Retina MacBook Pro, slightly faster and significantly more portable, I'd skip the 13" Retina MacBook Pro and grab a MacBook Air instead. Oh, and another variable to throw into the mix - the 15" Retina MBP can be had for only $300 more and has a much faster CPU and *way* faster graphics card. Who said buying a Mac was easy?

Steve_D
26th October 2012, 01:26 PM
Who knows, the next model MBPR could be an MBP box with no optical and a Fusion Drive set up.

If they actually had done that with the current bulky 13", it would probably have been a better seller than the new thinner Retina model.

chip
26th October 2012, 03:54 PM
Apples prices aren't really that bad actually, considering an owc 480Gb ssd for a retina mbp is $799.

Weird, I just had a look at OWC and they were US$579.99

Steve_D
26th October 2012, 04:13 PM
Weird, I just had a look at OWC and they were US$579.99

They were $679.99 but have been dropped to $579.99. Im guessing that he was either reffering to the price once paypal do their marked up conversions or it was an old version of the price.

But still they are a hell of a lot more expensive than their air drives.

Its one of them things that you, kind of want others to buy it first, even if you are suffering.
Just so you can benefit from the price drop once supply increases.

Oldmacs
26th October 2012, 04:35 PM
I used one today at the Apple Store- I noticed that they were strangely running 10.8.1 and that several animations were jerky! Switching between the About this Mac Tabs was quite jerky in fact!

It is also not as thin as the 15 inch one- Very disappointing computer they should have kept it the same thinness as the classic 13 inch and worked out how to put a dedicated graphics card or more battery life!