I did it, I purchased a new Macbook Pro with Retina display. The “best Mac” Apple have ever made, yeah, we’ll see about that.
I was worried that when I forked out the stupid amount of cash Apple wanted for a laptop that it would be a huge anti-climax but the reviews made it sound like something special and life changing for someone like me who spends about 10 hours a day in front of the thing but I’m a gadget head, ching ching sold.
I needed a new laptop, I was running a 2010 Macbook Pro and its was feeling very slow for video and heavy graphics work, it was hurting my back when I carried it around and my hard drive was almost maxed out. This machine was just over 2 years old but a valuable lesson had been learned, I didn’t buy the best. I was a tight ass. I cut back and purchased something good but not the fastest, I didn’t get enough RAM or hard drive space and only 2 cores – my bleedin’ iPad has that! Purchasing the best will buy you longevity. It always has when it comes to computers. If I had forked out a few hundred quid extra I could have bought myself a year or two before having to upgrade.
Lesson learned, this time I maxed the sucker out – 16 Gigs of RAM, 500 GB SSD hard drive. Quad Core Intel i7. Power, Mwwahh ha ha ha ha!
My old Macbook sometimes took 5 mins to startup and settle down, especially when I had shut down the night before with loads of apps open. Beach balls were common. My morning process was start it up, click the apps I need for the day in the dock and go make coffee. I was expecting big improvements.
The laptop arrived and I got my improvements, I also got what I can only describe as a completely accelerated computing experience across the board. This is a new beginning, this is more than fast, this is a new way of working. 17 seconds from pressing the power button to seeing the desktop, 17 SECONDS! Photoshop opens so quickly the logo screen only flashes at you, you barely have time to see it. Everything closes fast too, even the Adobe apps which are notorious for hanging during shutdown, cmd-Q = gone! This is how a computer was supposed to be. My working life has become a hell of a lot more productive and thus less stressful. I’m not sure how much time I would have wasted waiting for stuff to happen before, its hard to quantify but I reckon it would have been touching on hours a week, thats a few days a year!
Thunderbolt is amazing, I was new to this too. I now have an external display with camera, ethernet, keyboard, external hard drive, mic and headphones all going through one Thunderbolt port on my laptop and there is room for lots more. I just have to plug a single cable out of the machine to take the laptop away with me. You don’t need a CD drive, come on its 2012, you don’t need ethernet either, Thunderbolt can take ethernet if you have a hub to thunderbolt display which acts as a hub.
I’m not saying that everyone should buy a Macbook Pro Retina, far from it but I do think that if you spend more then a few hours a day working at a PC, buy a fast one if you can. If you do graphics work, buy a faster one. If you do video work buy a Macbook Pro Retina. Speed is worth paying for and at the very least using a SSD drive is a great start, its not all about the processors, an SSD upgrade will give even older systems a significant speed boost. Its breathtaking.
….and I haven’t even mentioned the Retina screen.