New evidence hints at 13” Retina MacBook Pro

The 15" MacBook Pro with Retina display is undeniably amazing, but it’s also terrifyingly expensive, with prices starting at no less than $2,199. Some of us are holding out for a cheaper, more compact derivative, and it looks like we might soon get our wish. SlashGear reports that a 13" Retina model has made a clandestine appearance in Geekbench’s online results database.

The results page doesn’t betray the system’s display resolution. It only lists the model number ("MacBook Pro10,2"), the processor (a dual-core Core i5-3520M clocked at 2.9GHz), the memory (4GB of DDR3-1600 RAM), some performance data, and a few miscellaneous details. However, SlashGear says the model number is pretty strong evidence all by itself:

This device is being displayed at MacBookPro10,2 in the benchmark. The new non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro (also released in the last few weeks) goes by MacBookPro9,2 while the 15-inch non-Retina model goes by MacBookPro9,1. The Retina model with a 15-inch screen is called MacBookPro10,1 – making this device, of course, a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro.

We could be looking at a fake results page, of course, but that doesn’t mean the system doesn’t exist. Last month, AppleInsider got word from an analyst that Apple plans to ramp production of a 13" Retina MacBook Pro in September, setting the stage for an early October release. The system is expected to cram 2560×1600 pixels into its 13" panel.

Comments closed
    • blerb
    • 7 years ago

    I was in an Apple store a few days ago, and innocently asked one of the employees if there was a 13″ Retina MacBook. The employee started to respond with “Oh, not yet. You can get one of those in–” before cutting himself off and saying “We don’t have one, and I don’t know if there are any plans for one yet.”

    I guess that’s pretty open to interpretation…I don’t know if Apple tells store employees about new products this far ahead of time.

      • aceuk
      • 7 years ago

      Apple Store employees aren’t allowed to comment on future products. There was an article which mentioned this recently, but I can’t find the link atm.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    Apple might well charge MORE for a more portable Retina-screen’ed laptop. Or the same amount. I wouldn’t assume that it’ll be cheaper just because it’s smaller.

      • internetsandman
      • 7 years ago

      Nah, cause neither apple nor anyone else in the industry has ever let price actually scale up with size. That just wouldn’t make sense

      The 13″ retina MBP will have a smaller resolution, will need less material to manufacture and will hold less powerful hardware because of the cooling limitations of a smaller chassis. If apple were stupid enough to price that kind of product higher than the 15 inch, they’d receive a backlash reminiscint of the pricing of the original iPhone when it was first released

        • bhtooefr
        • 7 years ago

        Eh, the Japanese were the masters of the more expensive ultraportable. (Then again, they shoved lots of stuff in impossibly small machines, and charged $2-3k for it. That worked fine until there were $300 netbooks that were the same size, albeit much, much slower.)

        But, I’ll agree that the trend is for Apple to make their machines cheaper and slower as they get smaller.

          • demani
          • 7 years ago

          But that’s the general trend, not just Apple. Overall, on average, a smaller machine is going to be slower than a bigger one. There are always exceptions (particularly in the consumer space, where grandmas want big screens and don’t care about CPUs. But if you look at the top performing laptops across almost every company, the top performing 17″>15″>14″>13″ etc.

          Okay- rereading I see that its the cheaper and slower part. But the slower thing is pretty standard. The cheaper thing is part of their “simplified lineup”.

        • demani
        • 7 years ago

        No they’d have apathy like the G4 Cubeā€¦THAT was the biggest bust Apple had despite being a reasonable machine (hey, everything was upgradeable).

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    I love the 13 ” mac book but the issue being its not cheap and doesn’t pack a graphics solution always killed it for me.

      • gmskking
      • 7 years ago

      Yea u need to compensate for Retina display screens by beefing up graphics.

        • DeadOfKnight
        • 7 years ago

        Probably why it wasn’t launched simultaneously with the 15″, it might have taken longer to come up with a viable solution.

    • glacius555
    • 7 years ago

    As if it is going to be amazingly cheap for its specs..

      • Thresher
      • 7 years ago

      That’s a problem with that display. Retina is just too damn expensive and it needs a lot of horsepower behind it, which just adds to the cost.

        • bhtooefr
        • 7 years ago

        It’s a LOT cheaper than it was before, though.

        A 2048×1536 display was about a $1400 option in 2004, IIRC.

        Now, equal config for equal config… both with 8 GiB RAM, 2.6 GHz CPU (because the 9,1’s 2.3 GHz option only has 512 MiB VRAM), and 512 GiB SSD…

        MacBook Pro 9,1: $3099 (add $100 for 1680×1050)
        MacBook Pro 10,1 with USB SuperDrive and TB to GbE adapter: $2907

        I didn’t even include the overpriced Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter necessary to get the 9,1 as close to port parity as possible, in there, and I gave the 10,1 the expensive Apple optical drive to inflate the cost, and the thing is still about $200 cheaper.

        Granted, if you WANT a lower config, you can definitely get lower configs, but…

    • bhtooefr
    • 7 years ago

    I wonder why Apple hasn’t used the i7-3612QM in a 13″ yet.

    Same TDP as the duals, although it’s a 2.1 GHz quad, for not much more than the i7-3520M.

    The other thing is, though, discrete graphics will be a must to get adequate performance on a retina display. (Until 2 days ago, I was using a discrete solution that was lower performing than the Sandy Bridge IGP, on a display in the same ballpark of pixels to push, but it was really sluggish on a lot of things.) I’m predicting GeForce GT 620M, honestly. It’s a 15 watt TDP, so not horrible, especially if Apple invests in a great cooling system for the 13″. It is a die-shrunk Fermi, not a real Kepler, but it’s better than nothing.

      • guardianl
      • 7 years ago

      The Geforce 640M (Kepler GK107) can run in a 15W TDP as well using DDR3 memory and a low clock speed. If there’s going to be discrete graphics in the 13 inch book (and I’m not sure there will be) it will probably be GK107.

        • bhtooefr
        • 7 years ago

        I saw that there’s an underclocked GT 640M config that can be called the LE, that runs at 20 watts (but LE can also be a Fermi chip running at 32 watts)… you could always underclock it further, though. And I’ve seen some amazingly low clocks still being sold as a given model (ThinkPad GPUs, anyone?), even though it’s lower than the nominal clock rates for the same chip two marketing models down.

        • crsh1976
        • 7 years ago

        The 640M would probably choke when trying to feed a Retina display tho, the 650M is barely adequate as it is in the 15-inch model.

          • bhtooefr
          • 7 years ago

          Hey, it’s better than the HD Graphics 4000…

          And, a 13″ retina would be 2560×1600, so there’s only about 79% of the pixels to push.

          A GT 640M LE Kepler running at the stock clocks is 500 MHz, versus the Retina implementation of the 650M running at 900 MHz (Apple did a little overclocking there), or 55.6% of the speed. Factoring in that there’s less pixels means about 70% of the speed or so.

          And, the goal would probably be to have similar performance to the existing integrated solution, so I think the 640M LE Kepler would be enough. Honestly, the 620M would probably be enough for that, too.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 7 years ago

      This is why the 13″ was always a joke to me its a overprice mac book air with a DVD drive and no other appreciable utility. Apple could make it a much more compelling device than it is simply with a better cpu and discrete GPU.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 7 years ago

      I find it difficult to picture a scenario where the extra cores would be more useful than the extra single thread power in a 13″ formfactor.

        • brucethemoose
        • 7 years ago

        So much this ^^^

        In a laptop, I’ll take a faster dual over a slower, hotter quad any day. Desktops are for video transcoding, and literally nothing else I do uses more than a core or 2.

          • bhtooefr
          • 7 years ago

          Keep in mind that the 2.1 quad in question is the same TDP as the 2.9 dual.

          I’ll see how badly I load down the cores when I get into running heavier stuff on my MBPR with a 2.3 quad, although I do tend to do heavy multitasking, which works well on a quad.

          There are other benefits, even power-related, to the quad – in light load, you can run as little as 1/4 of the cores, whereas a dual only gets to power down half the cores. And, in moderate load, you can get two cores while still only using half the chip. Modern low power processing is based around getting back to idle as quickly as possible – process as fast as you can, then shut down three cores and downclock the fourth. So, if they’re the same TDP…

            • DavidC1
            • 7 years ago

            bhtooefr: That’s how it should work, ideally. But there’s a quote that says: “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.”

            I haven’t seen quad cores benefit power usage so far. Light and moderate applications scale nowhere near the amount of extra cores. Also CPU core isn’t the only thing in the chip that contributes to power. That’s quite a bit of stuff in the “uncore” nowadays.

            [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/102?vs=204[/url<] Increased clocks might be just as effective in such scenarios because multi-cores need to worry about having fast enough internal communication, handling conflicts in an efficient manner, and human programmer limitations.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 7 years ago

    Apple rumors are annoying, but a 2560×1600 screen in a 13″ laptop would be pretty awesome.

      • 5150
      • 7 years ago

      If the cost is a laptop I can’t open, it isn’t worth it.

        • bhtooefr
        • 7 years ago

        You can open it with a pentalobe driver, it’s just that you won’t be able to do much other than replace the motherboard once you’re in there.

        • Voldenuit
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]If the cost is a laptop I can't open, it isn't worth it.[/quote<] If the end result is that it pushes other OEMs to offer better displays in their laptops, then it's *very much* worth it, even if the average consumer doesn't get a MBP.

        • TEAMSWITCHER
        • 7 years ago

        Get used to this idea. The computers that you have used and loved over the years are a thing of the past. The MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro are the prototypes for all future laptops…Period!

        And it makes perfect sense. The biggest point of failure in a memory sub-system are the DIMM sockets – soldering the RAM will be more reliable. Why put a flash drive in a box? It blocks airflow and adds unnecessary weight and complexity. USB 3.0 is fine for the unwashed masses, but Thunderbolt takes it to the next level. Ivy Bridge graphics are nothing to brag about, but OEMs like fat margins more than silly video games. And Intel has big plans to improve graphics with each new generation of chips. I predict discrete graphics will be gone in just two short years.

        Seriously, if Apple is doing it today, every one else will be doing it in 2014.

      • continuum
      • 7 years ago

      Agreed. I might generally refuse to buy Macs, but damn, that would be tempting.

    • blastdoor
    • 7 years ago

    Predicting a new computer is easy. Predicting the timing is hard.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    I’m not saying that the 13″ Mac Pro was made by aliens….

      • chuckula
      • 7 years ago

      … BUT IT WAS ALIENS!

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      i don’t understand this, but i gave you a + anyway, because it’s probably true.

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        It’s a long-standing meme from those stupid History Channel shows where they have this crazy guy who says that the Pyramids etc. were all built by aliens. For some reason the way that the headline was worded made me think of that guy saying that Macs are made by aliens or something crazy like that.

      • brucethemoose
      • 7 years ago

      [url<]http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m2ypqp3sl91qj75ay.png[/url<]

    • Decelerate
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]New evidence hints at 13'' MacBook Pro[/quote<] Stares at a 13" MacBook Pro in the Apple store. [i<]Yep, that's some strong evidence![/i<] I don't use Geekbench; is that score good or bad? Edit: Doh! The title changed, so my joke is now invalid. Nevertheless, thank you Cyril!

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      ‘Good or bad’ doesn’t apply to Macs because those terms have the slightest possibility of being vaguely objective.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        Geekbench is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. Figuring out if it’s “good or bad” is pretty easy.

        [url<]http://www.primatelabs.com/geekbench/[/url<]

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          But realizing a post is a sarcastic joke is pretty hard. :/

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            Yeah, I guess so. But it’s like I said yesterday on the AMD article, there are plenty of people whose minds actually work that way.

          • Decelerate
          • 7 years ago

          Can’t you just provide the 4-1-1 on the shown performance relative to the current 13″ Pro, the 15″ Pro and the 15″ Retina? (Actually I would like it if Cyril displays it directly in the post).

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            They make that stuff searchable on the Geekbench site, and even better EveryMac.com lists Geekbench results for every model. Would it be nice if Cyril had done that legwork? Ya. But anyway, here’s what you’re looking for:

            [url<]http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook_pro/specs/macbook-pro-core-i5-2.3-13-early-2011-unibody-thunderbolt-specs.html[/url<] That vs. the 7806 for the new one indicates that it's considerably faster, which is true for all Ivy Bridge-based notebooks because you can get more performance in the same power/thermal envelope.

            • Decelerate
            • 7 years ago

            That’s for the old model.
            Ideally what I wanted was a simple table-score breakdown, something like (fictional numbers):

            13″ Pro: 9000
            13″ Retina?: 7806 (only real value)
            15″ Pro: 11000
            15″ Retina: 10500

            That way we can eyeball whether the 13″ Retina has distinct graphics or not, and if the gains/losses Pro->Retina are proportional between the 13″ and 15″, which would generate comments like *oh noes, it’s 1.5% off!*.

            Anyhoo, it’s not a biggie, just a “would’ve like to have”.

            • bhtooefr
            • 7 years ago

            There’s also a Mid-2012 MacBook Pro 9,2, which is the 13″ unibody without retina display, with Ivy Bridge.

            [url<]http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=core+i7-3520M[/url<] is a search for the same CPU as the claimed MacBook Pro 10,2 (the rumored 13" retina), which as far as available Macs go is only used in the 9,2 right now.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    omg! a new macbook rumor!

      • DancinJack
      • 7 years ago

      Boo hoo. I for one am very interested in a 13″ MBP with “retina” display. The 15″ is a nice machine, but I’d love a little smaller, cheaper variant.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        sure. other people are interested in new windows machines, but you don’t see them posting HP or Acer rumors. Apple makes nice machines. I don’t see why anyone cares about rumors. Bench it when it’s in, and move on. treat it the same as all the other machines. the special treatment is the annoying part.

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