Time to buy a new machine for editing. Needing advice please.

Started Jun 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
MikeFromMesa Senior Member • Posts: 2,849
Comparing the Retina and non-Retina MBPs

gdourado wrote:

That would be really helpfull. Thank you!

I have been to the local store where I tested both the Retina and non-Retina MacBook Pros (15" models only) in a limited sort of way. I loaded some photo images and a video and viewed them at several resolutions on the Retina models making sure I paid attention to the quality of the image and the quality of the application controls and print. I then compared the Retina display against the non-Retina display. I don't know how representative my opinions are, but here is what I saw.

Retina Display

I viewed this MBP at three of its resolutions - the native 2880 x 1800 and the scaled 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050.

Quite honestly the workspace display at 2880 x 1800 did not seem very small to me. I have seen posts talking about how the image is too small to be seen, but it did not seem like that to me. The icons were small, but not so small as to be unusable. My eyes are not particularly good as I have been using eye glasses since I was 8 years old and I am now a lot older and still wearing them, although now they are bifocals.

The jpgs I viewed in iPhoto at all resolutions seemed well displayed and sharp enough. I personally did not notice much difference in the quality of the images at the three resolutions although, of course, I had to resize the images for them to display at about the same size on the screen.

Comparing this model to the non-Retina model I have to say that the image was, in fact, noticeably better on the Retina screen. The text was clearer and the image seemed also be be sharper. However, although the image and text were sharper on the Retina display they were not so much sharper that the non-Retina model seemed to display poorly in comparison. In fact, if the two machines were not next to each other I don't know that I would have noticed any difference. I only used the native resolution on the non-Retina model but thought the images were every bit as good at its reduced resolution (1440 x 900) as my PC at 1920 x 1080 (which is it's native resolution). The screen on the non-Retina MBP, of course, displayed less information than the PC since the resolution of the MBP is lower, but the display was as nice.

In fact, I would consider buying the non-Retina model of the MBP except that, when you configure it as I would want (higher speed i7 cpu, more Ram, solid state drive) the price is actually higher than the Retina model.

I then compared the images on the Retina MBP with the 21.5" iMac and here there was enough of a difference to notice. That should not be a surprise since the resolution on the iMac is 1920 x 1080, the same as my PC, but the screen is considerably larger. Here the photo images appeared noticeably less sharp when displayed enlarged in iPhoto. They were still very nice, but not as sharp as on the smaller screen at the higher resolution. No surprise there.

Unfortunately this did not do much to help me decide which machine to buy.

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