Retina MacBook Pro screen lag
December 18, 2014 11:20 AM   Subscribe

I'm suddenly in the market for a new MacBook Pro. I'm trying to decide between the Retina and non-Retina options. I remember hearing a while back is that the Retina display would lag or stutter sometimes, especially when switching between Spaces. Is that still true? I use the heck out of spaces and usually have an external monitor as well. If you have a recent rMBP, any testimonials would be much appreciated. Thanks!
posted by dondiego87 to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have a very new retina MBP, and I've never noticed any stuttering of any kind. I don't use an external monitor, though.
posted by Itaxpica at 11:29 AM on December 18, 2014

Just don't buy the non-Retina Macbook Pro. It's not been updated since mid-2012, so you're buying over two-year old hardware. The only alternative to the Retina Macbook Pro is the Macbook Air.
posted by smackfu at 11:33 AM on December 18, 2014 [4 favorites]

I have a 2012, 2013 and 2014 MBP retina (one is for work, but I might have a spending problem). I've used all with external displays (Dell 30" somethings and Apple 27" Thunderbolt display) and I have had no issues of that nature. The 2012 does have image retention issues, but that doesn't apply if you're buying new.
posted by disaster77 at 11:38 AM on December 18, 2014

I have the July 2014 (current) rMBP and I use it all day, every day, with its own display and two 1920x1080 external monitors connected. I've never noticed any lag or stutter when switching spaces or otherwise.
posted by pocams at 11:39 AM on December 18, 2014

Mid-2014 Retina MBP-user here. No stutter or display artifacts to report. I'm running 10.10.2.

I used to have a Mid-2011 MacBook Air. The speed bump was expected but the jump up in display quality is shocking. Not just in resolution, though that was pretty stunning, but in color range, as well.

I can't imagine buying a non-Retina display Mac today, unless cost was a priority. I would wait for a Retina display before buying an Air — it's really that good.

Note that the Apple Store has a 14-day return policy with no restocking fee, so you can try one out with little risk, other than lost time getting to and from a nearby store.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:21 PM on December 18, 2014

I had a late-2012 13-inch MBP Retina (so basically the bottom-of-the-barrel first-generation unit, FWIW) and I loved everything about it except that the display would seem to lag and stutter when I used my 1920x1080 TV as a second display. Surprised me, especially since my much older notebook PC didn't have any trouble driving a secondary HD display, so I figured it had to be the sheer number of pixels on the retina display slowing it down.

I used Spaces quite a bit and never detected any problems there.
posted by Mothlight at 12:49 PM on December 18, 2014

MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012) here. Never experienced any sort of stutter or anything bad to say about the display. I used to lug a mini along when I travel for months at a time, but the MBP saved me from all that. I bounce from Coda 2, PhotoShop and browser all day. Spending a lot of time in Coda 2 doesn't get tiring at all.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:52 PM on December 18, 2014

I am dealing with new MB Pro Retina's on a almost daily basis. No problems at all. I LOVE these machines! The 13" MB Pro Retina with i7 Processor and 16Gb of memory is my most favorite laptop.
posted by Mac-Expert at 1:46 PM on December 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I've got a newish 13" MBPr hooked up to a 27" display. No video problems. It is a very good computer.
posted by adamrice at 3:12 PM on December 18, 2014

Response by poster: Fantastic. Thanks all!
posted by dondiego87 at 3:29 PM on December 18, 2014

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned any problems - I do see a reasonable amount of lag / stutter with my (weeks old) 13" rmbp. Today I even got a momentary screen corruption. That said, it's one of those things that you are unlikely to notice unless you are using spaces a lot, and unless you are remarkably uptight about such things, it isn't going to bother you. Otherwise, it's a fine piece of hardware.

If you're in the US, and you don't need it right away, you might try watching Best Buy's prices. They had a couple of one day sales around $250 off on the base 13" and 15" models right around Thanksgiving, and I wouldn't be surprised if something like that happened again by the new year.
posted by wotsac at 4:20 PM on December 18, 2014

Response by poster: Ah, okay, thanks. Unfortunately I can't wait — my current laptop is officially busted and I've got to get back to work after Christmas. I will be getting the Apple Education discount though.
posted by dondiego87 at 5:17 PM on December 18, 2014

You might compare the EDU discount against Appleinsider's price guides. I bought mine via educational discount, but I could have saved another hundred bucks had I waited a week and gone with a different vendor.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:40 PM on December 18, 2014

I have a mid 2012 Retina. Yes, there's definitely some lag/stutter, especially when using multiple displays. Skipped frames in UI animations are not dealbreakers for me, though. I assume that you probably won't be getting such an old model, though, so you'll be probably be okay.
posted by destructive cactus at 10:48 AM on December 19, 2014

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