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The Retina notebooks were introduced in June and lightly refreshed in February of this year. Externally, the new, late inch MacBook Pros with Retina display are identical to their predecessors. They boast the same slim, lightweight design, same range of connectivity ports and above all, the same gorgeous Retina screen.
It's a So what's changed? The two new inch Retina Pros in the late range have, of course, switched to the new Haswell processors. They both have quad-core Intel Core i7s, which can Turbo Boost to redistribute underused resources and temporarily raise their performance above their stated clock speed. Hyper Threading allows them to run two threads on each core, giving a total of eight virtual cores. The Retina MacBook Pros have won multiple awards, and naturally, they've been extensively copied.
If you don't want Mac OS, there's plenty of light, thin Windows notebooks to choose from. The Sony Vaio Duo 13 has Haswell processors, and a form factor that lets you turn it into a tablet as well as use it as a standard laptop. If you're happy with the limited but cheap and functional Chrome operating system, there's the HP Chromebook The inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is ideal for professionals who need the extra screen space afforded by a inch notebook, especially if they're likely to carry it around a lot.
Side-by-side, the same text is noticeably more pixelated for non-Safari browsers. Thankfully, Google Docs looks great — but again, only in Safari. We expect these issue to be fixed in future app updates more on that later.
What concerns us more, however, is the web itself. Just like with the third-generation iPad, if you're surfing the web with the new MacBook Pro, you may notice just how low-quality a lot of the images are. The exception is Apple. Same goes for iPhoto and Preview.
The Retina-optimized Final Cut Pro X also benefits by being able to show a full p video while still leaving room for all controls. As with the new iPad, we suspect app developers will be fairly quick to upgrade their apps to support the new Retina standard.
Some of the notable pain points for now include Kindle, Nook, and the entire Microsoft Office Suite — all the text looks jagged and pixelated in a very grating way. Sparrow has a very intriguing mix of good and bad text — the body text of each email is using Retina-optimized text, while the column view of email subject lines and all iconography is still pixelated.
Again, like the new iPad, this is something we expect will be fixed over time as developers update to the new environment — and text-based apps like iA Writer already look gorgeous. Apple has streamlined the Display settings menu in system preference. Gone is a numerical list of resolutions.
Instead we have two radio buttons — "Best for Retina display," which is default and provides no further tweaking, and "Scaled. You can opt for larger text that "looks like x " but screencaps at x i. Of course, pushing more pixels on a screen requires more processing power. For this review, we have a two machines: a higher-end 2. Both are very impressive in their own right. Comparatively, Geekbench notes that the best previous-generation MacBook score was around 10, for the inch model with a 2.
As for the flash storage, start time is fast, within a second of the fastest ultrabooks we've seen — 17 seconds on average, from off to login screen. Like we said, that processing power needs to drive a screen much bigger than anything else out there, so when pushed to the task, how does it fare? We ran two tests: one with Diablo 3 at max resolution but nominal detail settings, and one where we pushed the game's eye candy to the max. At full resolution and maxed out settings shadows, physics, etc.
If you want to keep all the settings on max, jumping down to x same as standard MacBook Pro gave us a consistent 30FPS and is still very playable. As for the more slow-paced Civilization V, if you can read the small-but-very-legible text, playing max resolution is great. You can hit 60FPS by either dropping settings to "low" keeping full resolution or by dropping resolution to x keeping "extreme" settings.
Despite the larger battery, Apple estimates 7 hours of wireless web use — same as all other MacBooks, except for the inch Air — and 30 days standby time. Using our own battery test, which visits a series of web sites and loads images with brightness set at 65 percent, the 2.
As for the heat and fan volume, per a suggestion from Marco Arment Instapaper creator and friend of The Verge , we ran CPUTest for 12 minutes to see just how loud and hot we could get the machine. It's hard to touch for more than a few seconds.
So in terms of specs alone, what it really comes down to is your desire to go solid-state over the cheaper HDD option. The more high-resolution screens on the market, the more websites and applications that will be optimized for it. But back to this particular machine: should you buy the new MacBook Pro with Retina display over the standard Pro?
Like we said above, it really comes down to whether or not you value solid-state storage over traditional HDD or the value of a higher-resolution display. The company has historically had no romantic inclination towards what it views are legacy components. The MacBook Pro with Retina display is already a decent value in its first generation — for an Apple computer, anyhow — and as with the MacBook Air, we expect later generations will become more compelling in price.
We will check the effect on the battery runtimes later in this review. Now we compare and analyze the benchmark results. The Cinebench benchmarks show that there is no appreciable performance difference between Windows and Mac OS. The small differences are a result of the variance of these benchmarks.
The MacBook does not have an advantage over its rivals, but it is on the same level. We could not determine any throttling under Mac OS , despite our continuous stress test with a Terminal process, a Cinebench loop and the Unigine benchmark.
The Turbo Boost is immediately activated again as soon as the CPU cooled down after a period at the nominal clock. The throttling behavior changes dramatically under Windows. The CPU performance is not affected on battery power according to the Multi-Core test of Cinebench R15 and the results do not differ from mains power.
Subjectively, the system performance and the reaction times in particular are very fast. This is also confirmed by the PCMark 7 score under Windows. With 5, points , the MacBook is pretty much on the same level with the Dell XPS 15 and the first Retina from is also pretty close with 5, points. The MacBook Pro Retina 15 has a clear advantage over its smaller inch sibling.
The differences are even bigger compared to the MacBook Air. Another interesting aspect is the comparison with the Dell S , which ran this test suite under Ubuntu. One reason for the high system performance of the MacBook is the integrated storage solution.
We know this problem since the change to the PCIe interface. The Nvidia GPU is familiar since it is used for many multimedia notebooks. Apple will probably use the new Nvidia chips in the upcoming MacBook-series. This means the GPU of our review unit uses the maximum amount of memory , so the GPU should have an advantage over other versions of this chip in the benchmarks.
We can see a dynamic switching of the two graphics cards under Mac OS X Mavericks depending on the application. This also means that the power consumption under Windows will be much higher because the switchable graphics does not work, and that the battery runtimes are shorter compared to Mac OS. The variety of games under Mac OS was improved significantly over the last couple of years, thanks to services like Steam and Origin. Still, most games are just ports that usually result in lower performance.
We managed around 60 fps with Tomb Raider on the lowest settings, which is roughly half of the frame rate that we measured under Windows. As a result, we focus on Windows in terms of gaming and test some interesting titles. The most current games can be played smoothly with medium or even high details.
For instance, Titanfall that was released this year runs with 43 fps and high settings. Wolfenstein was no problem either with 60 fps and medium details. Compared to its rivals, the MacBook is usually on the same level or even a bit faster. Only the Dell XPS 15 manages a few more frames per second in almost every title. The comparison with the new series is interesting and, as we already assumed, it offers significantly more performance.
The very complex game Company of Heroes 2 can be played with The MacBook Pro Retina is quiet, very quiet. We can hardly hear anything during idle and with light workloads like office tasks. This impression is confirmed by our measurements.
As soon as you stress the Apple device, the fans slowly start to increase their rpm levels. The resulting noise is, however, always pleasant and does not include any annoying frequencies. The notebook stays very quiet under Mac OS thanks to the activated switchable graphics and the sophisticated fan control. We can see that the rpm level of the fans always slowly increases to the maximum level under Windows , even with light workloads. In this load scenario or with the maximum rpm level of the fans, respectively, we can measure The following picture shows the noise characteristics of the MacBook Pro 15 Retina in our review configuration.
Both fans are spinning at rpm while idling. Aluminum has the advantage of a stylish design and the distribution of local hot spots. The problem is that this material warms up somewhat quickly and, because of the thin construction of the device, it can result in unpleasant temperatures. Especially striking is that the hot spot of the heat development is on top of the keyboard. Dell's hot spot of Still, the heat development is subjectively always fine in practice.
As we mentioned in the Processor section, we can see a drop below the nominal clock under Windows, but not under Mac OS. A 3DMark 06 run after the stress test did not show any restrictions and resulted in 16, points. The stereo speakers convince with their sound diversity during music playback and the whole sound spectrum is available.
Bass could be stronger, but it is okay for a notebook without a subwoofer. Compared to a inch Retina MacBook we can hear a significantly richer sound. The power adaptors from Apple are rather small for the application and get noticeably warm as a result, so you should not cover them with blankets or put them on sofas. The minimum consumption when idle under Mac OS is 7. Another interesting aspect is the maximum power consumption, because it surpasses the nominal power output of the PSU.
The power adaptor has to deliver The Apple notebook shuts down after hours in our idle test , which is two hours shorter than the Dell XPS. We determine a more realistic runtime with our WLAN test that simulates web browsing via a script with websites and YouTube videos a new website every 40 seconds. The Acer Aspire RG cannot keep up with its rivals in this scenario and shuts down after hours. The load test with Battery Eater Classic Test changes the situation once again and the Dell XPS 15 wins the battle by 30 minutes with hours instead of hours.
Acer and Samsung clearly fall behind in this scenario. Overall, the MacBook manages great battery runtimes despite its thin construction and has no problems managing a normal business day. We want to summarize the key aspects of this review. The MacBook Pro 15 Retina can convince us with an almost impeccable build quality and the convenient haptics as well as design. The input devices leave nothing to be desired in terms of quality and the trackpad in particular is still one of the best mouse replacements.
The keyboard could be improved with some special keys so you would not have to use Fn combinations. In terms of hardware, you get high-performance components that surpass or keep up with most rivals in the benchmarks. One drawback is still the enormous heat development and the poor maintainability of the MacBook. Apple provides excellent battery runtimes and the new inch MacBook Pro Retina is no exception with great results.
Last but not least, we want to mention the most important component when we look at the designation — the display. Apple integrates a high-quality IPS panel with excellent measurement results and the Retina resolution of x pixels. Apple unfortunately does not offer a matte version of the panel.
Even though the display is anti-reflective, it is hardly suited for outdoor environments. Overall, we get a sophisticated notebook , which combines high-quality components in all areas. There are certainly less expensive alternatives for customers that can waive certain usage scenarios. The new MacBook Pro Retina does not show any innovations , but it is still an excellent notebook. The MacBook not only looks very nice, it is also a very capable device. It can compete and convince in all areas.
Some innovations, a better webcam and more ports or cheaper Thunderbolt adaptors, respectively. Apple introduced its reworked inch MacBook Pro Retina last autumn. Apple Laptop Haswell. Only coated aluminum is used for the case. The Apple notebook is simple yet elegant. Accessories Apple does not only save money on the box, but also in terms of accessories.
Maintenance We already mentioned the bad maintainability of the Retina-series because of non-removable components in the Case section. Warranty As usual for Apple devices, you just get a one-year manufacturer's warranty with all support features after the purchase. Input Devices.
Similar trackpad and keyboard for the 13 and inch models. Keyboard The black chiclet keyboard with a stage background illumination can convince us in every respect with precise pressure points and convenient feedback. Touchpad Apple is essentially the pioneer concerning the trackpad when you are looking for a mouse replacement and multi-touch.
Familiar work environment with a high quality: Keyboard. You can only see individual pixels in a close-up. Apple APPA Grayscale Mac OS X pre calibration. Grayscale Mac OS X calibrated. Grayscale Windows pre-calibration. Saturation Sweeps Windows pre-calibration. ColorChecker Windows pre-calibration. Working under direct sunlight is hardly possible.
Comparison: Openbenchmarking. Cinebench R10 under Mac OS. Cinebench R Cinebench R15 under Mac OS. Cinebench R10 under Windows. Cinebench R15 under Windows. Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit. System Performance. NovaBench in Mac OS. PCMark 7 Score. Storage Devices. Blackmagic test under Mac OS. CrystalDiskMark 3. AS SSD. Access Time Read: 0. Access Time Write: 0. Score Read: Points. Score Write: Points.
Score Total: Points. Gaming Performance. Noise characteristics MacBook Pro black: idle, dark green rpm, blue: rpm, red: rpm, purple: rpm, gray: rpm, brown: rpm, green: rpm. Noise Level Idle. Stress test under Mac OS. Stress test under Windows. Frequency analysis White noise. Frequency analysis Pink noise. Energy Management. As we are wont to say, read on to find out. Screen notwithstanding, the most impressive feat is how small and light the MacBook Pro with Retina is.
Compared to the traditional inch MacBook Pro, the Retina model is about 25 percent lighter 4. While most of that is due to the thickness, all dimensions have shrunk a hair — and that smaller bezel also means we lose "MacBook Pro" branding on the front both of which we like.
All the familiar MacBook Pro elements are here, including a full backlit chiclet keyboard, large multitouch trackpad, p FaceTime HD camera, and speaker grilles to the left and right. Apple boasts that this has the best speakers, and compared with our last-generation MacBook Pro, the sound is markedly fuller and more clear, especially the bass.
Otherwise both the keyboard and trackpad feel the same as the old Pro — which is a good thing, as those are still some of the best in the laptop industry. Both very clicky and responsive. One last thing about the front, and this may seem weird: the front indentation you use for getting your finger under the lid to open the case is much less rough than past versions.
As someone who often rests a thumb in that groove, this really does matter. Besides the keyboard layout not size , another design choice thankfully brought over from the Air is ports on both side of the machine. Whereas the traditional Pro crowds pretty much everything on the left edge, the Retina model splits up the USB 3. Also along the left we have two Thunderbolt ports so much daisy chaining , a headphone jack, and the new MagSafe 2 adapter.
By default, we were mirroring our own display which subsequently letterboxed the laptop screen into a aspect ratio , but it can also work as an independent second display with its own color profile. Getting the new generation MBP down to a. Oh, and before we forget, the one-button battery indicator on the front left edge of Pro models? Sad for those that liked using it to check the charge mid-game or while the laptop was in a bag, inconsequential to everyone else.
The new MacBook Pro with Retina display boasts a Its 5. Pixel density for the Retina display is around ppi. Stay foolish, squinter. The other number worth mentioning here is the touted degree viewing angle, which which means you can see the screen from basically anywhere unless you're staring at the edge.
As of this writing, Safari is the only one of the big four browsers the others being Chrome, Firefox, and Opera to support Retina text — and the difference is striking. Side-by-side, the same text is noticeably more pixelated for non-Safari browsers. Thankfully, Google Docs looks great — but again, only in Safari.
We expect these issue to be fixed in future app updates more on that later. What concerns us more, however, is the web itself. Just like with the third-generation iPad, if you're surfing the web with the new MacBook Pro, you may notice just how low-quality a lot of the images are. The exception is Apple.
Same goes for iPhoto and Preview. The Retina-optimized Final Cut Pro X also benefits by being able to show a full p video while still leaving room for all controls. As with the new iPad, we suspect app developers will be fairly quick to upgrade their apps to support the new Retina standard. Some of the notable pain points for now include Kindle, Nook, and the entire Microsoft Office Suite — all the text looks jagged and pixelated in a very grating way.
Sparrow has a very intriguing mix of good and bad text — the body text of each email is using Retina-optimized text, while the column view of email subject lines and all iconography is still pixelated. Again, like the new iPad, this is something we expect will be fixed over time as developers update to the new environment — and text-based apps like iA Writer already look gorgeous. Apple has streamlined the Display settings menu in system preference.
Gone is a numerical list of resolutions. Instead we have two radio buttons — "Best for Retina display," which is default and provides no further tweaking, and "Scaled. You can opt for larger text that "looks like x " but screencaps at x i. Of course, pushing more pixels on a screen requires more processing power.
For this review, we have a two machines: a higher-end 2. Both are very impressive in their own right.
It costs less than £, which is a bargain. The inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is ideal for professionals who need the extra screen. Overall then there is no question about it: the MacBook Pro 15 inch with Retina Display sports by far the best screen we've ever seen on a. The latest inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display isn't a huge leap forward; just a processor speed bump and a price drop. But this model, the entry-level.