Review: Apple's late-2013 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

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  • Reply 21 of 126
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    drblank wrote: »
    So, just because you can find 4GB RAM on eBay or some schlock memory supplier doesn't mean Apple pays the same amount or will pass the same tests.

    To add to that, Apple would surely have to be much more certain of the RAM that is soldered to a board than with standard modules because their cost for having to replace an entire board with can include a CPU and GPU that, alone, is many hundreds of dollars can be quite damning.
  • Reply 22 of 126

    I'm a bit perplexed by this machine. I feel like it's a bit awkwardly squished between the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro 15".

     

    The Pro 15" seems like the best laptop money can buy. I can't think of a critique of it, other than wishing that it was cheaper (not that it should be cheaper, but I find it's hard to justify spending $3000 on a laptop these days).

     

    The MacBook Air is a revolutionary machine - endless battery life, great hardware, great keyboard - but a terrible screen, both in terms of Apple products and now in terms of non-Apple laptops as well (see Lenovo, Asus and Sony's latest offerings). The Pro 13" however has a fantastic screen, but not much else on the Air. It's a bit faster, sure, but not much, and has more ports, but otherwise doesn't seem so compelling. The lack of a dedicated GPU in the 13" model is particularly perplexing. Given a choice between an Air with a Retina display and a 13" Pro, what reason would anyone have for choosing the Pro?

     

    I'm in the market for a new laptop, but I'm not sure what to do. Ideally I'd pick up the Air, but I know that a Retina display has to be just around the corner. And the Pro is no doubt a nice computer, but it could be so much better I think.

  • Reply 23 of 126
    [U][/U]A lot of you here seem obsessed with Cash097's (throwaway) '$15' comment.

    In the process, you're missing the larger point of his post: whether 128GB is sufficient anymore even for an entry level.
  • Reply 24 of 126
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,190member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    A lot of you here seem obsessed with Cash097's (throwaway) '$15' comment.



    In the process, you're missing the larger point of his post: whether 128GB is sufficient anymore even for an entry level.

     

    Yes, for a very large percentage of people, it's more than significant. What do most people do on a laptop these days? Web browsing, facebook, store some documents/photos, stream video from netflix, etc. If I didn't use my laptop for all my work (I'm a designer) 128GB would be more than enough for me. As it stands, I get by with 256, but my usage case (have thousands of large files) is not the norm. 

     

    Oh, and I get by perfectly on 4GB of RAM also. I don't get all this "8GB is the minimum for OSX these days" bullshit. Especially for people that don't even use their computers for anything taxing or worthwhile. Everyone is so damned spoiled these days and feel like they somehow require the highest specs. 

  • Reply 25 of 126
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

    Everyone is so damned spoiled these days and feel like they somehow require the highest specs. 


     

    Or that a good OS even needs them to run. Maybe they’re still scarred by Windows, which can’t run well on even the best of hardware…

  • Reply 26 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post



    Maybe… it’s because we’re all a little sick of the anti-Apple morons who come here to lie.

     

    iSuppli (now IHS) broke down the BOM for the 2013 MBA back in July, and the cost of the chips required for 4GB of DRAM? About 15 bucks, just like I said. 15.86 if I recall correctly. According to the iFixit teardown, the late 2013 rMBP uses the exact same chips, not surprisingly. No, I don't factor in the R&D etc costs into that, because those are already part of the calculations for the base model. Anything beyond that is strictly materials, as the only difference between the two are what additional bits are soldered on.

     

    Anti-Apple? That's funny, seeing how I own an iMac, a rMBP, a 5S, and woke up an hour early yesterday just to secure a new iPad Air on launch day. If I'm anti-Apple, I sure as heck suck at it, Skil. What I AM, however, is not someone that doesn't know a margin-padding ripoff when he sees one.

  • Reply 27 of 126
    If the DIY PC crowd doesn't like what Apple is [I]supposedly[/I] charging for the MacBook Pro Retina's built-in RAM, they can go build their own MacBook Pro Retina.
  • Reply 28 of 126
    Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

    As opposed to the contrarian short tempered little fanboys who don't know how to argue a valid point without employing ignorant, vitriolic snark?


     

    Ooh, right through the heart with your rapier wit. Quite the jape, old chum.

     

    That's funny, seeing how I own an iMac, a rMBP, a 5S, and woke up an hour early yesterday just to secure a new iPad Air on launch day. 


  • Reply 29 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    A lot of you here seem obsessed with Cash097's (throwaway) '$15' comment.



    In the process, you're missing the larger point of his post: whether 128GB is sufficient anymore even for an entry level.

    I bought the 128GB model with an 8GB RAM upgrade, I plan to use it for plenty of work based applications using 128GB SDXC cards for project storage. Its a Macbook pro not an Ipad with a finite amount of storage. I don't think anyone missed a larger point, it just wasn't a valid one with the millions of storage options open to the Macbook pro.

     

    The only thing that actually hurts the 128GB model is the basically halved write speeds, but honestly 350mb's a second write is just fine by me.

  • Reply 30 of 126
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    doumeki wrote: »
    I bought the 128GB model with an 8GB RAM upgrade, I plan to use it for plenty of work based applications using 128GB SDXC cards for project storage. Its a Macbook pro not an Ipad with a finite amount of storage. I don't think anyone missed a larger point, it just wasn't a valid one with the millions of storage options open to the Macbook pro.

    The only thing that actually hurts the 128GB model is the basically halved write speeds, but honestly 350mb's a second write is just fine by me.

    I would have loved to save a couple hundred getting a 128GB of storage. Unfortunately the options I wanted on my 15" MBP forced me to go for 512GB. I really have absolutely no need for all that. But that's how Apple designed their system. If I don't like it I can go elsewhere but I'm sure Apple is aware that those that want the dGPU with a faster CPU will spend the most for the additional storage or be more likely to want the higher capacity. Whether you do with option 1, which is cynical, or option 2 it's still their choice on how to market the machines and my choice on what I want to buy.
  • Reply 31 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    A lot of you here seem obsessed with Cash097's (throwaway) '$15' comment.



    In the process, you're missing the larger point of his post: whether 128GB is sufficient anymore even for an entry level.

     

    EXACTLY! The main point of my post, which was apparently lost to easily bruised egos, is that 256GB fills up fast if you create and consume a lot of media like I do. What do I do with a gorgeous retina display? I edit photos and video, A LOT of photos and video. Besides, if all you're doing is surfing the web and watching youtube, what in God's name are YOU doing with a retina display when a MBA would probably work just fine if not better for you considering it's longer battery life and lighter/thinner frame?



    Yes, Mavericks is great, and a very stable OS that handles low storage space a lot better than Windows. It's not perfect, however, and anytime my available space drops below 20GB, I notice a significant drop in performance with any app that requires heavy caching. Given the above statement, guess which two apps I use the most on this thing? Yup, Aperture and FCP, both of which *say it with me* do a lot of caching. So, if you are like me, and plan on using your new rMBP in a similar fashion, it is worth every penny to go with the 512GB model instead of the 256GB model. Can you get by with the latter of the two, by employing an external drive and constantly playing the game of "what files do I *really* need"? Yes, you can, but as I have recently concluded, it is worth the extra money to *not* have to.

  • Reply 32 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

     

     

    EXACTLY! The main point of my post, which was apparently lost to easily bruised egos, is that 256GB fills up fast if you create and consume a lot of media like I do. What do I do with a gorgeous retina display? I edit photos and video, A LOT of photos and video. Besides, if all you're doing is surfing the web and watching youtube, what in God's name are YOU doing with a retina display when a MBA would probably work just fine if not better for you considering it's longer battery life and lighter/thinner frame?

     


     

    Great so as long as everyone uses their laptops like you and according to your standards there shouldn't be any problems right?

     

    But honestly 128GB of storage is fine for plenty of people, and honestly the 2560x1600 display won't be wasted on me but thanks for your concern, I guess you haven't heard of this wonderful invention called a flash drive...

  • Reply 33 of 126
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    cash907 wrote: »
    EXACTLY! The main point of my post, which was apparently lost to easily bruised egos, is that 256GB fills up fast if you create and consume a lot of media like I do. What do I do with a gorgeous retina display? I edit photos and video, A LOT of photos and video.

    That's fine for you and it sounds like you need the highest capacity available, but why should 512GB be the minimum when your needs are clearly not the norm?
    Besides, if all you're doing is surfing the web and watching youtube, what in God's name are YOU doing with a retina display when a MBA would probably work just fine if not better for you considering it's longer battery life and lighter/thinner frame?

    Have you actually used one? There is a world of difference between text on the Retina and non-Retina displays. So much so that Apple has even gone so far as to create and alter fonts to make them even better on the Retina display.
    Yes, Mavericks is great, and a very stable OS that handles low storage space a lot better than Windows.

    You said something positive about Apple. I knew you would do it eventually.
    It's not perfect, however, and anytime my available space drops below 20GB, I notice a significant drop in performance with any app that requires heavy caching. Given the above statement, guess which two apps I use the most on this thing? Yup, Aperture and FCP, both of which *say it with me* do a lot of caching.

    Even with a 128GB I've barely ever used more than half the available capacity so I wouldn't know about that but I was under the impression that virtual memory/paging was compressed with Mavericks so are your 20GB comments about Mavericks or prior to Mavericks? Are you considering the amount of RAM when you state these minimum storage remaining scenarios? It just doesn't read as being very scientific.
    So, if you are like me, and plan on using your new rMBP in a similar fashion, it is worth every penny to go with the 512GB model instead of the 256GB model.

    That's a decent statement because you say "if you're like me" but most aren't.
  • Reply 34 of 126
    Well, the late 2013 Retinabooks are using 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM. Let's see how much that costs on the consumer market. The 4 GB model is using two 2 GB modules. How much do packs of 2 x 2 GB modules cost?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007609 600006178 600000410 600000403&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=20

    $50 bucks, for the cheap no-name G.Skill brand (since the decent brands don't seem to sell 2 GB modules, at least not on Newegg).

    Now, let's see how much I'd pay for a pack of two 4 GB modules, for a total of 8 GB:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007609 600006178 600000410 600000401&IsNodeId=1&name=4GB (2 x 2GB)&Order=PRICE&Pagesize=20

    Oh, look at this, I can get Crucial (a good brand!) for $68, a difference of $18.

    If you consider the fact that Apple can get much better deals in the huge bulk quantities they order than the consumer price, and the fact that Apple's probably using the same brand instead of upgrading to something better for the higher capacity model, I'd say that $15 is a generous estimate.

    P.S. You could have found a less rude way to make your "point", couldn't you? I'm frankly surprised that you haven't been banned from this board, given your consistently belligerent behavior.

    The reason this guy hasn't been banned should be obvious: he is the largest consumer of ad impressions on appleinsider.
  • Reply 35 of 126
    drealoth wrote: »
    I'm a bit perplexed by this machine. I feel like it's a bit awkwardly squished between the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro 15".

    My wife just bought the 13" MBPr 512gb and this is the nicest computer I've ever used. Incredibly fast - never seen anything like it.

    I had a 2012 MBA 13"/128gb but the 13" rPro is easily 3x faster. Plus it has enough ports.

    I understand that the 256/512gb ssds are much faster than the 128gb.

    This is a machine that will disappoint nobody. Well worth the price. If I buy one I'm going 16gb/1tb.
  • Reply 36 of 126
    Wow, everyone in this post needs to chill. It's a commonly held notion for years that apple's desktops and laptops are sold under-ramed. People have always complained about this and the ram apple sells is way too expensive. This view is not anti apple...chill guys, no need to panic. Apple does this because they can and people will still buy their computers. I have a 27 inch imac with 12 gigs of ram. Did I buy the ram from apple? No, that would have cost hundreds of dollars, I bought it locally for $50 bucks or so. Is that anti apple? No, it's my choice. I love the imac, had one for years but I'm not going to pay apple's price for ram. No need to hate me, it's a free country. The new Mac book pros are nice but they're no longer pro computers for me because of the soldered ram. A pro computer should have user upgradable ram. Soldered ram simply lets apple manufacture the computer cheaper because access to ram doesn't have to be built in. Then they tell us the ram is more securely attached to the board. Really? When has ram ever fallen out of a computer? It's usually so tightly fastened in you almost break it removing it. If you like soldered permanent ram that's fine go for it. I don't use laptops so it doesn't really effect me. I would probably never buy a soldered ram computer so I guess I'll stay with the 27 inch imac or Mac Pro. Don't think I'm anti apple, I love apple, have since 1980, wouldn't use a windowz computer if you gave me 100 of them, but not every product apple makes is perfect for everyone. Don't worry, the sun will still come up tomorrow.
  • Reply 37 of 126
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    vaporland wrote: »
    My wife just bought the 13" MBPr 512gb and this is the nicest computer I've ever used. Incredibly fast - never seen anything like it.

    I had a 2012 MBA 13"/128gb but the 13" rPro is easily 3x faster. Plus it has enough ports.

    I understand that the 256/512gb ssds are much faster than the 128gb.

    This is a machine that will disappoint nobody. Well worth the price. If I buy one I'm going 16gb/1tb.

    I think the main difference in performance between those machines is moving way from SATA to PCIe. I think those MBAs used a PCIe-like connector but it was still SATA III for the bus.
  • Reply 38 of 126
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by darthW View Post



    This view is not anti apple...chill guys, no need to panic. Apple does this because they can and people will still buy their computers. I have a 27 inch imac with 12 gigs of ram. Did I buy the ram from apple? No, that would have cost hundreds of dollars, I bought it locally for $50 bucks or so. Is that anti apple? No, it's my choice. I love the imac, had one for years but I'm not going to pay apple's price for ram. No need to hate me, it's a free country.



    As you point out below this situation your describing above has no relevance to the current situation what so ever. Also why would someone hate you for not being an idiot and being smart with your money? You seem to think this argument is about defending Apple, I don't actually own my Macbook 13" yet its coming on Monday and it will be the first Apple computer I have ever owned. I have zero brand loyalty to Apple, am a PC guy have been for 15 years and will continue that way. 

     

    Am also a university student in the UK who gets a massive cut from apple products, it cost me £1014 for laptop with my discount and the upgrade I put on the machine. I couldn't actually buy a Windows laptop for that price that was small and light like the 13" pro that offered even close to the performance I got from the so called "overpriced" Apple machine. Granted I did get a 16 percent discount, and without that I would of most likely went elsewhere.

    Quote:

    The new Mac book pros are nice but they're no longer pro computers for me because of the soldered ram. A pro computer should have user upgradable ram. Soldered ram simply lets apple manufacture the computer cheaper because access to ram doesn't have to be built in.


     

    Let me remind you, this is a review of a 13" laptop, not a 15" one. It's also less than an Inch thick what sort of upgrade path are you expecting, because I can tell you its not a very realistic one. Why I don't disagree that soldering the RAM could cut costs, but unlike you and the posters earlier talking how much the RAM actually costs Apple. I refuse to make blanket statements with zero evidence and figures to back it up. 

     

    Quote:
     Then they tell us the ram is more securely attached to the board. Really? When has ram ever fallen out of a computer? It's usually so tightly fastened in you almost break it removing it. 

     

    Am willing to go out on a limb here and just assume your simply making this up, I very much doubt a hardware company like Apple would state the reason they are using soldered RAM is so that it "doesn't fall out".

     


    Quote:

    If you like soldered permanent ram that's fine go for it. I don't use laptops so it doesn't really effect me. I would probably never buy a soldered ram computer so I guess I'll stay with the 27 inch imac or Mac Pro. 


     

    I really don't think your getting it, I willing to bet not a single person here likes "soldered RAM" the problem is, it isnt actually an optional extra, if you want a retina Macbook pro its mandatory....

     

    Quote:

     Don't think I'm anti apple, I love apple, have since 1980, wouldn't use a windowz computer if you gave me 100 of them, but not every product apple makes is perfect for everyone. Don't worry, the sun will still come up tomorrow.


     

    Congrats its 2013 for me and I still prefer PC's It doesn't mean I won't question blanket statements made by people who seem to be totally missing the point.

  • Reply 39 of 126
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,393member
    akqies wrote: »
    Right, it is to make money for Apple but all of Apple's moves are to make money for Apple. How the hell did you get the impression they were a charity?

    Don't be an idiot about his comment about Apple testing RAM. He neither said nor implied that RAM chips are shipped to Cupertino so they have be tested by Apple employees just as the iPhone isn't hand made by Apple employees in Cupertino. His implication is clear. Apple pays for additional testing to ensure a lower fail rate. These are guaranteed with contracts that will result in huge penalties if Apple loses money either from costly replacement boards as well as from less absolute costs from potential from a damage brand and lost customers. This is standard practice and you're foolish if you think Apple will take any cheap RAM without due diligence when soldering it to a motherboard containing hundreds of dollars in other components.

    Straight in with the insults, can make someone forget they are at AI can you??

    He implied that Apples costs were higher as they had to get them RAM tested on million dollar machines. Which is false, these tests are paid for by the manufacturer, and are shared across everyone that purchases RAM from that manufacturer, so why don't you stop being an idiot and trying to agree with people who are making stupid claims.

    I've had RAM replaced by Apple under warranty, I imagine it cost me more to get the machine to the repair place than it cost Apple to replace it. Hey, but that was in the days when they used standard RAM, not this proprietary stuff they like to use nowdays
  • Reply 40 of 126
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    jfanning wrote: »
    Straight in with the insults, can make someone forget they are at AI can you??

    He implied that Apples costs were higher as they had to get them RAM tested on million dollar machines. Which is false, these tests are paid for by the manufacturer, and are shared across everyone that purchases RAM from that manufacturer, so why don't you stop being an idiot and trying to agree with people who are making stupid claims.

    You've been since 2006 and never read any of the articles where Apple has invested in and paid for machinery that they didn't run just so they could get the technology they wanted?
    I've had RAM replaced by Apple under warranty, I imagine it cost me more to get the machine to the repair place than it cost Apple to replace it. Hey, but that was in the days when they used standard RAM, not this proprietary stuff they like to use nowdays

    How much does a quad-core Core i7 cost in a 15" MBP? How much does that ATI GPU COST? How much do all those other parts plus the manufacturing of that board cost? If you really think Apple accepts the same level of testing for a stick of RAM on Newegg that it does for RAM it's soldering to its motherboards you're gravely mistaken.
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