MacBook Pro 13" or MacBook Pro with Retina Display 13"

I am a student and I have always been a PC user, until I started working on iMac while on my internship and I fell in love with it.

So I am starting a new semester soon and I realised my PC laptop has been giving me some mother board problems - certain keys on my keyboard seems to be problematic sometimes, it's working fine one day and other days I just can't enter that particular key. It frustrates me! And I really can't afford with my PC laptop giving me problems typing when I start schooling. So instead of spending a sum on getting whatever the issue may be solved, I think I might as well purchase a new laptop.


So I am considering between a MacBook Pro 13" or MacBook Pro with Retina Display 13".

My main usage would be:

For School (I need to run it on Windows though):
- mostly Adobe softwares (photoshop, illustrator, indesign, dreamweaver, etc)
- presentation
- online research
- microsoft office (word, powerpoint, excel)

For Personal:
- surfing the web (social media sites)
- watch movies
- download songs

I don't know much about the hardware specifications, so I don't know what's the minimum I need for processor/hard drive, etc in order to be sufficient for my usage. And also which of the MacBook would be more suitable for my needs?

Thank you so much for your time and your input! :)

2 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    I had the same questions when I purchased my Mac. I ended up with the Macbook Pro retina and I just absolutely love it. The only advantage to the MacBook Pro non retina is that you can upgrade the ram and hard drive where the MacBook Pro retina you cannot at the moment, I think there is third party that has begun that process on the MacBook Pro retina but it is more complicated. One thing that stuck out to me for you is you said you wanted to download songs. I don't know how big of library you have or will continue to have but please make sure when you do purchase your MacBook Pro, make sure you get the 256GB storage or more on the MacBook Pro retina when purchasing it or the Macbook Pro non retina has 500GB hard drive, which is more storage for you library. My main advice to you is to get the MacBook Pro, retina or non retina, with enough ram and storage. The Macbook Pro retina has solid state drive that is very fast and so quiet. The Macbook Pro has a hard drive which has moving parts that can break easier but lets face it up until recently we all had hard drives. I think it comes down to personal choice because both or great machines. Some will say get the Macbook Pro non retina because it is easier to upgrade and things like that, but I decided I wanted the Macbook Pro retina that has the 8GB of ram, which is plenty with the 256GB. My main advice to you is get the one that you want after you understand more of what you are getting. I love my Mac and to be honest, you can't go wrong with either one, they are both great machines. I went with the retina model, the screen is amazing, and the SSD is sweet so thats my opinion, get the one that you feel meets your needs. I hope this helps you a little bit..I am still learning myself..Once you go Mac, you won't go back.........They truly are great machines......

    • Answered by Rhonda S from Little Rock
    • 14-Feb-2014
  • If you use Photoshop for photos, you should buy a Retina.
    But, if you don't edit big, high quality photos (or any real photos), you'd better buy a simple Pro. It is cheaper.

    Of course if 300$ aren't a problem, buy a Retina. Yet, I don't know if the difference will be blazing (can I say that?).

    And, why do you have to run windows? All the software you've listed exists under Mac OS X. It is your choice of course, but it seems a strange idea to me.

    • Answered by Andre K
    • 23-Jul-2013