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[_] Mac Upgrade Woes

Dan Fairs dan.fairs at gmail.com
Tue Feb 5 10:08:45 GMT 2013

>> Interesting - my old black macbook isn't on the list, but it is a Core
>> 2 Duo - the app store refused to let me download mountain lion, saying
>> my hardware was too old, hence the comment about arbitrarily
>> restricting me :(
> 
> Time to upgrade Rick! Maybe you should buy a new retina Macbook Pro.


I got one of these - I needed to replace my C2Duo MacBook Pro. Unfortunately the Airs top out at 8GB RAM, which isn't really enough for me these days. The rMBP is nice enough, I guess. It spends its life hooked up to external screens, so the retina display is basically pointless for me. 

There are also plenty o' bugs when using the rMBP with an external screen. I often see display corruption (unplugging and replugging the screen seems to fix) and lots of weird glitches - if I've got Mail.app open on an external screen and scroll a message up and down, the content jiggles from side to side. The graphics hardware is underpowered for the resolution, too - scrolling up and down is far from the butter-smooth experience OS X usually delivers. Wake from sleep is atrocious - it often takes up to 30seconds for the machine to be usable.

Support in third-party software is also patchy. Older apps like MS Office just flat-out look horrible if used on the Retina display, and Skype often crashes on start when used on a multi-monitor setup if the Skype window is trying to start on the Retina display (non-primary).

If I hadn't needed to replace the laptop, I'd have held out for the Air to support 16GB. If you don't need 16GB, in my opinion, the Air is a much better buy than the rMBP.

When a more powerful Air comes out, I shall certainly be replacing this rMBP.

Cheers,
Dan
--
Dan Fairs | dan.fairs at gmail.com | @danfairs | secondsync.com