"Retina Display MacBook, Updated Aperture" - Digital Photography Podcast 329

Apple announces a 1-2 knockout punch for photographers: a redesigned MacBook Pro 15" with Retina Display combined with an updated Aperture (v 3.3) that supports the super high-resolution display.


Other Mac laptops were refreshed also (MB Airs, MBP 13" and MBP 15" without Retina display and with traditional hard drive), but my argument for this week's show is to purchase the 15" Retina MBP that is an all solid state machine. It's virtually the same thickness as the MacBook Air, has a quad processor instead of a duo, plus an impressive NVIDIA GPU that you don't get in the MacBook Airs or in the 13" MacBook Pro.

Add the updated version of Aperture with its improved performance and intriguing new editing tools, and you have a photographer's dream machine. If you don't believe me, tune in and let me make my case.

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Hi Derrick,

I enjoyed your reviews of the new MacBook Pro and Aperture. Aperture with the Retina Display is going to be cool.

Well I to bit the bullet yesterday and ordered the 15" MacBook Pro with the Retina Display.

2.6GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
512GB Flash Storage

I did add the extra ram but stayed with the 2.6GHz instead of the 2.7.
Also went with the 512GB Flash Storage.
Had to cut back on the cost somewhere so I stayed with the 2.6GHz.

May have saved some money if I installed extra ram myself, however I really did not want to mess with it.

Now I need to look at some USB 3.0 external hard drives since Thunderbolt drive are still very costly.

I think I read somewhere that you can get a Thunderbolt to Firewire 800 cable.
Hope that is true as I have a number of firewire 800 drives.

Did receive notice from Apple late yesterday afternoon that I should receive the new system on June 21st. This is going to be a huge upgrade for me since I am coming from a MacBook Pro 15" 2.66 (Late 2008) system. And this Retina Display. WOW!



I did basically the same thing, Stu. The "basic" Retina Display MBP is still a screaming machine, and I think will be the most popular. The NIVIDA graphics plus the solid state system is going to be such a pleasure for our photography work. We'll compare notes at the end of the month.

Hi Derrick

Just listening to the podcast, and I thought it was worth clarifying a point. The 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display is the all new model.

However, if you buy the 15" MacBook Pro (without retina display) then you are getting the older, larger design, with Superdrive and updated processors, just like the 13" model.

Thought it was worth mentioning that there is much more difference between the 15" models than just whether there is a retina display onboard.

Best regards



Just a followup on my last posting. After doing some searching about the New MBP with the Retina Display it is my understanding that the Ram is soldered on to the mother board. If this is the case I am now glade I ordered one with 16GB of Ram as I would have been real disappointed that I could not increase the Ram at a later date.

And yes I would like to compare notes. -:)



Interesting bit: a fully loaded 13" MacBook Air (2.0 GHz i7, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD) is $2,199 - the same price as a base 15" MacBook Pro+Retina (2.3 GHz i7 + NVidia GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD). So at that price point, you can go with more disk space and portability (MBA) for much more processing power and a great screen (MBP+R). Interesting choice to ponder.

As a side note, the regular base 15" MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD costs $200 more than the retina version. Makes the retina version seem more reasonable.


The MacBook Pro with Retina Display arrived today. Set it up and installed all the updates. One problem that I have come across is that the USB 3 portable hard dives I have do not run at the USB 3.0 speed. Only shows 480.MB in the preferences. Some others in the Apple Forum are now starting to report the same issue.

When you receive your system maybe you can give the USB 3.0 drives a try and report back if you have any issues.

Now overall it is a fast system. Boot up was about 12.5 seconds (after all updates). Seems to be no waiting time for programs to open. I had a hard drive with Time Machine so transfer was easy. Just had to do it via USB 2.0 since the 3.0 does not seem to work. It took about 90 minutes to transfer 250 GB of data. Only issue so far besides the USB 3.0 issue was Aperture asked for license. No big deal because I had that handy.

Still doing some testing and will do some Aperture stuff soon. Just want to get this USB issue resolved.



It seems that RAM, SSD and battery are glued on to ensure the thinnest MBP ever. The battery is supposed to go through 1000 recharge cycles before dropping to 80% capacity. A swap through Apple will cost 199 USDs before tax or 199 Euros incl. VAT.

It certainly makes sense to get as much RAM and SSD one needs or can afford. Somehow I feel that this issue is not really stressed enough by Apple as any later swap will just result in unnecessary costs.

I def want to get 16 GB RAM but am not sure whether I can live with a 256 SSD which would save some costs ...