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Standard MacBook Pro vs. Retina Display MacBook Pro

Question asked by zm-i in #Debates on Sep 13, 2012
zm-i 路 Sep 13, 2012
Rank D1 - MASTER
Let's say I have USD 3,000 to spend (I wish 😒 ). Which computer is better and why?

1. 15" MacBook Pro: 2.3GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 512MB of GDDR5 memory
MacBook Pro 15-inch Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen Display (1680-by-1050)

2. MacBook Pro Retina Display: 2.3GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory & automatic graphics switching
Retina display; 15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display w/ IPS technology; 2880-by-1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch
w/ support for millions of colors

FYI: The main tasks for this computer are: creating documents (papers and presentations: iWork, posters--cover, etc: perhaps Photosop or Pages, iBooks Author), web design: Sandvox, photo and video editing (personal use, not professional): iLife, modelling (maybe 3D): AutoCAD (any autodesk softwares or similar).

Which computer is good enough to perform these tasks for at least 4-6 years? Posted in: #Debates
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare 路 Sep 13, 2012
Rank A1 - PRO
Since you're choosing between the two models; the MacBook Pro with Retina Display is the obvious choice; considering you aren't worrying about money. Though you want to run AutoCAD, it won't need a more powerful machine and the nVIDIA GPUs are more than capable of handling simpler AutoCAD applications.

Those who've had their eyes-on the Retina display don't want to spend even a buck on any other screen. So I think the MacBook with Retina display would be a great fit and overall a better choice among the two machines that you've listed. But I can definitely go on building a better machine for the budget [ $3000 ] you've mentioned.
zm-i 路 Sep 13, 2012
Rank D1 - MASTER
What about the absence of DVD driver? Still need extra adapters and cables, too for the ethernet and etc.

How much difference does the dedicated memory on the graphic card make (512MB vs 1GB)?
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare 路 Sep 13, 2012
Rank A1 - PRO
DvD ? It's so 2010!

Before deciding on the graphics card, I'd recommend you to check out the system requirements of the latest version of AutoCAD that you're planning to run. Most of the times, we tend to go for a higher capacity memory card and invest more money when in reality we'd use only half of it.

Also note that the GPU complements the CPU - that is, it takes away the graphics computing from CPU to reduce its load. The modern machines are already capable of handling complex graphical computations and GPU only pushes the performance forward.

If the budget isn't a criteria, the Retina Macbook looks like a better option to me.
zm-i 路 Sep 14, 2012
Rank D1 - MASTER
It is....but I'm considered orthodox enough to consider a laptop is not that good if I still have to buy accessories (in this case a driver and ethernet port/adapter) because the company doesn't built them in. What do you think about that, especially if you don't have a wireless internet connection that is better than (or at least as good as) the ethernet?

I have just checked the latest version of AutoCAD for both Mac and Windows and I'm pretty sure I did not find anything that says graphic card.

Do you mind explaining to me what this GPU actually does, The_Big_K? I still don't get it. 馃槓
So if now the budget is a criteria, are you trying to say that the standard macbook can handle current powerful programs as well as the retina mac does?

Do we, engineers, need that much pixels (retina display) to do our job?

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