Print 31 comment(s) - last by retrospooty.. on Jul 30 at 7:51 PM

Apple will increase the standard RAM on its base 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display and boost processor speeds

Apple is set to launch a slightly revamped MacBook Pro with Retina Display lineup tomorrow. In light of a dearth of major chip releases from Intel, Apple is only making a few minor adjustments to its popular notebooks.
The 15” MacBook Pro with Retina Display is currently available (in the U.S.) in two pre-configured models. The base system ($1,999) only comes standard with 8GB of memory — moving to 16GB is a $200 option — and a 2GHz Intel Core i7 processor. The high-end model ($2,599) comes standard with 16GB of RAM and a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 processor.
According to leaked signage, all 15” MacBook Pro with Retina Display models will come standard with 16GB memory, which is a nice addition on the base system considering that RAM is soldered onto the motherboard in Apple notebooks and can’t be upgraded.

In addition, all models are getting a 200MHz speed bump. The base system moves to 2.2GHz, the previous high-end model also gets a 200MHz speed boost to 2.5GHz, while a range-topping model (maxed out with all available options) comes to the table with a 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 processor.

Despite the CPU bump and 16GB of standard memory, prices will remain the same for the upgraded 15” MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
A separate report suggests that the 13” MacBook Pro with Retina Display lineup will receive an update tomorrow as well, but there is no information on pricing or what specs will be upgraded on those models.

Updated July 29 @ 9:09am
Apple this morning updated its online store, reflecting the changes we reported on yesterday. The only major change is that the high-end 15" model is actually receiving a $100 price cut to $2,499. 

In addition, the base 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display now has 8GB of RAM standard.

Sources: Apple Insider [1], [2]

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Since when?
By FITCamaro on 7/28/2014 9:13:30 AM , Rating: 2
When did they start soldering memory onto the motherboard in Macbook Pros? My work machine is an April 2011 15" Macbook Pro and we've upgraded them from 8GB to 16GB RAM ourselves (bought from Apple though).

RE: Since when?
By Brandon Hill on 7/28/2014 9:18:02 AM , Rating: 2
Since the Retina models IIRC.

RE: Since when?
RE: Since when?
By dagamer34 on 7/28/2014 9:22:00 AM , Rating: 2
RAM has been soldered in since the Retina MacBook Pro (Mid-2012) because standard DIMM sticks have too much Z-height.

RE: Since when?
By Samus on 7/28/2014 7:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately this is how almost every modern Ultrabook is, too. Thin is in and it has damning limitations on expandability. At least they're still using NGFF M.2 SSD's instead of soldering those in, too.

And while 16GB is pretty ridiculous in a notebook now it'll probably be the norm in the next few years. My only complaint is the time to hibernate and resume is ridiculous when you have that much RAM because it has to dump it to/from disk. Windows 8 and Mac OS are pretty smart about only dumping "allocated memory" though, Windows 7 is a little more crud with wanting to dump all RAM to disk, even if you set the hibernation file to 50% of RAM size.

The problem is these modern OS's will allocate more than they need if you have it available, so hibernation time is still extended as you have more RAM. This is why 4GB is kind of the sweet spot for a light work Windows 7 laptop that you constantly resume from.

RE: Since when?
By robinthakur on 7/29/2014 9:53:16 AM , Rating: 2
And while 16GB is pretty ridiculous in a notebook now

Not for everybody. I need several VMs running to develop for SharePoint and 32GB would be the preferred spec, which annoyingly Apple doesn't even allow you to spec for the top end RMBP. I could buy a large, noisy, ugly Windows laptop with a 4 hour battery life of course, but I'd rather not do that to myself.

RE: Since when?
By quiksilvr on 7/28/2014 9:23:31 AM , Rating: 2
They're "Air"'ing up the entire lineup. No optical drive, no replaceable hardware, and no options to get a cheaper alternative that allows you this functionality. I don't even think the iMacs let you change RAM anymore. In fact, the only two I can think of that do are the Mac Mini's and Mac Pros.

RE: Since when?
By DanNeely on 7/28/2014 9:28:37 AM , Rating: 2
IIRC the top end model still has an access panel for the ram; with the lower end models still using SoDIMMs but requiring you to cut through the seal attaching the screen to open it making reassembly a nightmare.

RE: Since when?
By Brandon Hill on 7/28/2014 9:28:52 AM , Rating: 1
You can easily replace the RAM on iMacs...

RE: Since when?
By quiksilvr on 7/28/2014 9:38:58 AM , Rating: 2
I stand corrected.

RE: Since when?
By Brandon Hill on 7/28/2014 9:41:59 AM , Rating: 2
DanNeely is correct though. It appears that only the 27" model allows quick access to the memory via an access panel.

The 21.5" model requires disassembly of the screen, but you CAN access the memory modules.

RE: Since when?
By Guspaz on 7/28/14, Rating: 0
RE: Since when?
By ritualm on 7/28/2014 4:02:25 PM , Rating: 2
No optical drive

I don't care - even as a PC and Windows user. While I do have an external BR burner, it really only gets used once a month... to rip audio CDs, DVD/BR discs and occasionally to burn a data disc. The rest of the time that thing sits on my desk unused.

I'd rather not have the 200-300g of unnecessary weight and space hog on a laptop, thanks. The amount of space it occupies can be so much better used for 1) more battery, or 2) in the case of Lenovo Y5x0's, second GPU.
no replaceable hardware

Apple isn't the first place I'd go to for user-serviceable laptops; for that stuff I'm hitting the Business section of Dell, Lenovo or HP.
no options to get a cheaper alternative that allows you this functionality

Apple disclosed back in the 2011 or 2012 financial reports that, of the three MBP models, the 17" version sold around 50,000 units. Every other model moved a lot more than 100K. Thus the 17" got axed the same day it introed the rMBP - the former just isn't profitable enough to keep stocked.

Do I like it? Hell no. However, I just don't have the time to spend troubleshooting hardware problems these days. It's not like it's a big deal - most every other laptop have both the CPU and GPU soldered-in anyhow, and batteries started being non-removable.
I don't even think the iMacs let you change RAM anymore.

You can still change the RAM on iMacs - on the 27" you pop a slot open; on the 21" you partially disassemble the unit.

No new dGPU?
By Apoxie on 7/28/2014 11:53:34 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, extremely dissapointed they didn't upgrade the 750M to 850M. The 850M is the new Maxwell part that is 25-40% faster then the 750M and uses 5 watts less, so better battery life. It seems like a win win to do it, but maybe they didn't want to use the time it takes to install and test it. Easier to just bump the CPU insignificantly.

RE: No new dGPU?
By retrospooty on 7/28/2014 12:51:03 PM , Rating: 3
I am not grasping what you do with a Gaming grade card on a Mac anyhow... Mac performance in games is atrocious.

RE: No new dGPU?
By corduroygt on 7/28/2014 2:15:07 PM , Rating: 3
It's quite decent with boot camp, no?

RE: No new dGPU?
By ritualm on 7/28/2014 5:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
Not unless you drop both resolution and graphics quality.

Laptop GPUs are always one generation behind desktop ones. Not many of them can play current titles at full 1080p maxed settings, never mind 1440p and up. It's worse for Apple since only the top-shelf ones are used on iMacs, while all portable Macs are limited to the midrange stuff to keep them from going over 85W.

Net result: while it's possible to break 30fps on rMBP, either the resolution or quality - or worse, both - has to be scaled back to get there. At 60+fps you're generally looking at graphically non-intensive games.

RE: No new dGPU?
By retrospooty on 7/28/2014 8:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, Boot camp... Now you can load Windows to make your $2000 Macbook pro useful. I suppose that would work fine.

RE: No new dGPU?
By TakinYourPoints on 7/29/2014 11:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
You would be so disappointed if you ever visited Google or any other serious web development house. Macs running OS X as far as the eye can see with nary a Windows desktop in sight. You can't even compile Android source in Windows, and developing in anything the open web runs on (Python, Ruby, Java, PHP, etc) is a huge pain in Windows compared to doing it on *nix.

Don't get me wrong, I think Windows is great. My gaming rig is uber but it isn't what I'd call "useful." :)

RE: No new dGPU?
By retrospooty on 7/30/2014 7:51:36 PM , Rating: 2
I would not be disappointed... I just don't care what the dev community uses. It's not relevant to this discussion. My best friend uses a Mac for the same issues you always outline, and the same reasons that Google devs use it. That doesn't make at a gaming rig. it sucks for games.

wow, Apple not overcharging
By MadMan007 on 7/28/14, Rating: 0
RE: wow, Apple not overcharging
By Reclaimer77 on 7/28/2014 11:36:41 AM , Rating: 2
The mark-up on these things is ridiculous, I mean really, it would make your head spin if you knew how little money Apple has in them.

So yeah, trust me, you absolutely ARE being charged for this upgrade. We're talking literally a few dollars here, on something with a profit margin way over 50%.

RE: wow, Apple not overcharging
By Argon18 on 7/28/14, Rating: -1
By themaster08 on 7/28/2014 3:45:10 PM , Rating: 2
So what you're basically saying is that something expensive has a better design and has a better use of materials than something that is cheap.

Well thank you for that insightful post, Captain Obvious.

RE: wow, Apple not overcharging
By ritualm on 7/28/2014 4:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
Funny you even said that. The personal Mac line has far smaller profit margins for Apple than the iStuffs, as long as you don't chip in for more internal storage.

When I bought my rMBP, the CPU upgrade price difference is the same as Intel's bulk pricing, while the RAM is cheap considering they're DDR3L (not regular DDR3). It was the storage (nonstandard SATA3) that cost the most. Then again, my wallet would feel lighter if I do the same custom specs on every other OEM.

RE: wow, Apple not overcharging
By Dug on 7/28/2014 6:05:14 PM , Rating: 2
It would make your head spin if you knew how much money in engineering, employees, insurance, support, software development, qa, shipping, sales, marketing, overhead, warranty, training, etc. it costs to get a laptop out the door. When you divide the total cost to consumer it isn't 50% profit.
50% profit from actual cost of parts? Yes, but not cost of doing business.

By Reclaimer77 on 7/29/2014 12:45:16 PM , Rating: 1
Wow what a bunch of Apple homers. Just when I thought we had this place cleared of you riff-raff...

RE: wow, Apple not overcharging
By hughlle on 7/28/2014 12:52:14 PM , Rating: 1
In a way it is almost a bad thing. It is essentially an outright admittance that they have been completely ripping off prior customers. If I had bought a mbp and paid $200 more for the extra ram, and a short while later everyone can get the same thing without the extra $200, i'd feel pretty damned pissed off and cheated.

RE: wow, Apple not overcharging
By Scannall on 7/29/2014 10:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
I've never understood this attitude. Unless you live in a remote cave someplace you know tech improves all the time, and relative price goes down.

Also, if what you bought is less than 30 days old, you can exchange it for a new one whenever they upgrade their products.

Still no VRAM upgrade?
By Rzp on 7/28/2014 11:30:30 AM , Rating: 4
Razer Blades are on the 3gb vram level already, almost twice of the mbp performance...

Han shot first!
By TheDoc9 on 7/28/2014 10:24:37 AM , Rating: 2
Bring back the 17" macbook pro!

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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