new MacBook Pro

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new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:19 pm

So my replacement for my old (2010) 13" MacBook Pro has finally arrived:

Image

After unpacking it and playing with it for a bit here is what I gathered:

Good things:
- The high-res display, while not crucial, is certainly appreciated
- The better performance from better CPU, SSD and GPU is also noticeable and appreciated
- Same goes for increased battery life
- The fan is more quiet and it doesn't spin up as fast as the old one due to decreased power consumption
- The speaker's sound quality is also noticeably improved

Bad things:
- While the slimmed down profile is somewhat appreciated, the resulting loss of network jack is definitely not. Not only it makes "Migration Assist" usage more annoying, it also prevents me from connecting to wired routers (especially for diagnostic purposes). Sure, I can waste more money on optional dongles but this is not the way I prefer.
- The keyboard feels more "flimsy", with less key "resistance"
- The stupid "Mag Safe 2" power connector is now unnecessarily large and seems to disconnect more often (probably because it protrudes so far from the laptop's body).
- You cannot upgrade RAM and even though SSD is technically removable it doesn't seem that it can be easily upgraded:
http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+ ... 5/3#s53264
- The laptop already "froze" on me once (well, not exactly - I could not use keyboard, touchpad or attached mouse, only "power" button still worked). Not sure what will happen next...

All in all, it's a nice improvement over the older model, and I believe it's worth its price, even considering the several drawbacks. Just make sure you configure it with plenty of storage and RAM when purchasing.
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:36 pm

Which Model did you purchase? I picked up the 8GB/256GB one yesterday (to replace my work issued 2012 13" rMBP that I lose when I change jobs in two weeks) and so far I'm pretty impressed with it as it fixed the two issues I had with the 2012 model.
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:55 pm

Same model - 8GB/256GB
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:15 pm

I'm really hating that Apple are insisting on "thin" for their Pro models. Damnit I want more hard drive space, more ports and more battery.
At least aftermarket matte-effect screen film is easy to apply to a Mac Pro. Having a gloss screen for pissed me off a decade ago and it still pisses me off now.
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:29 pm

The display is not matte but it is not very reflective so I can't complain... I do agree that I'd rather see even better battery life or more performance or both (Iris Pro would be nice) instead of thinner profile. People who NEED an extremely thin laptop will most likely be going for Mac Air anyway.
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:33 pm

The non-upgradeable RAM is what really annoys me most about those. I'm sure the next revision of the Mac Mini will be the same. The 21.5" iMac is non-upgradeable as well. All that you can really upgrade is the big 27" iMac and the Mac Pro. I love the look of Apple's hardware but it's just a tradeoff I'm not willing to make. It makes sense in the MacBook Air, but not at all in the MacBook Pro.
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:53 pm

Yea, well, Apple has never been about giving customers a choice, and they are getting worse as the time goes by :wink:
To be honest I never needed RAM upgrade in my previous MacBook (it had 4GB) and other companies aren't much better (some Asus Zenbook models also have soldered RAM chips and these gumstick SSD's).
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:55 pm

The old joke goes:

Q: What's the best way to accelerate a Mac?

A: At 9.8 m/s²

To Apple's way of thinking, their PC is a magical appliance with no user-serviceable parts inside. By the time that it needs an upgrade, you're going to have purchased their newer model because it's more stylish.

My year-and-a-half old Asus Zenbook UX32VD has 2 GiB of PC3-12800 memory soldered to the motherboard and an 8 GiB SODIMM in its one memory slot. It does use a standard 2.5" wide 9.5mm tall drive for storage. There's a 32 GiB micro SSD attached to the motherboard to cache the hard-drive. Asus hasn't yet made their ultrabooks as sleek or as difficult to service as Apple has, but they're headed in that direction.
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:15 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote: Asus hasn't yet made their ultrabooks as sleek or as difficult to service as Apple has, but they're headed in that direction.

Not "headed". They are already there:
http://www.ski-epic.com/2012_asus_zenbo ... _teardown/



Here is another amusing photo (it is clickable):

Image
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:56 pm

I'd really like one of the 15"ers, but even if I could afford one, I don't think I could spec it out properly at the same time. 16GB is just enough RAM; can't see myself grabbing another workstation without 32GB. My desktop is going to need that upgrade soon...
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:12 pm

Any GPU benchmarks? It seems to be short of the 90% faster Apple claimed, most sites are showing 50% over the HD4000.

I still wish they would offer one of the quads in this form factor, they DO exist in the right TDP. That would also open the door to Iris Pro 5200.
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:38 pm

tipoo wrote:Any GPU benchmarks? It seems to be short of the 90% faster Apple claimed, most sites are showing 50% over the HD4000.

I still wish they would offer one of the quads in this form factor, they DO exist in the right TDP. That would also open the door to Iris Pro 5200.


But it would close the door on having an obvious upgrade for next year's model.
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:26 pm

Congrats on the new toy.
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:33 pm

I am planning on getting the 15" model with maxed out CPU, memory, and SSD; maybe around the holidays. Hope the 15" still has a physical ethernet port.
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:38 pm

BIF wrote:I am planning on getting the 15" model with maxed out CPU, memory, and SSD; maybe around the holidays. Hope the 15" still has a physical ethernet port.


Nope. http://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/specs-retina/

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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:28 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:The non-upgradeable RAM is what really annoys me most about those.


Considering both MacBook Pros can be purchased with as much RAM as most laptops top out at (16GB), how much does this actually matter?
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:34 pm

tipoo wrote:Any GPU benchmarks? It seems to be short of the 90% faster Apple claimed, most sites are showing 50% over the HD4000.

I still wish they would offer one of the quads in this form factor, they DO exist in the right TDP. That would also open the door to Iris Pro 5200.


I agree - I knew Apple wouldn't put the low-power quad along with Iris Pro into the 13", but man I'd have been much happier (and paid $300+ more) if they did.

Anecdotally, the Iris 5100 GPU seems about 50% faster than the HD4000 in games (I have a 2012 13" rMBP to compare it to). Since the HD4000 is pretty damn slow, a 50% increase is pretty huge, but it's still slow. It runs everything I play on a Mac (WoW, Civ 5, Borderlands 2, Diablo 3) just fine for my needs however. If you have a specific free benchmark you'd like me to run, I'd be happy to.

Edit: I'd guess that Apple's 90% number came from some benchmark that's entirely limited by the throughput of the EUs, since those doubled between the HD4000 and the Iris 5100 while memory bandwidth remained pretty much crap severely limiting gaming performance. Plus ~50% seems a lot more realistic to me.
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Re: new MacBook Pro

Postposted on Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:42 pm

Beelzebubba9 wrote:Considering both MacBook Pros can be purchased with as much RAM as most laptops top out at (16GB), how much does this actually matter?

It 'actually matters' $170 because that's how much Apple gouges you for beyond the retail price of that 16GB (plus the amount you could sell the 4GB for, I guess).
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