Saturday, July 7, 2012

Retina MacBook Pro Upgrade

I mentioned before that I upgraded to a Retina MacBook Pro earlier than I would have under normal circumstances. However, it’s been a very pleasant upgrade. Subjectively, it feels much faster. And in terms of benchmarks, it takes 4m26s to build on the 2010 MacBook Pro (2.66 GHz dual-core i7, SSD) vs. just 2m2s on the Retina MacBook Pro (2.6 GHz quad-core i7). Backups and restores using a Voyager S3 are between 2 and 4 times faster since the new Mac has USB 3. It also has more internal storage, so I can now put VMware Fusion on the flash drive, which makes a huge difference. So far the only hiccup has been that it wouldn’t recognize the native resolution of my external display until I Option-clicked the “Scaled” radio button in the Displays preference pane. I’m also looking into using an HDMI cable to connect my Dell display, so that I won’t need the flaky, USB-powered Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter.

Update (2012-07-19): The “Dual Link” cable that I got only worked up to 1280×800. I now believe that there are no HDMI-to-DVI cables that work with dual-link resolutions. An active adapter may be required.

Update (2012-09-06): Mark Aldritt:

[This] is the first time I’ve gotten a new Mac laptop that was dramatically faster than my previous machine. The combination of solid-state disk, lots of RAM and a fast CPU make the machine very responsive. Building my Script Debugger 5 product from scratch went from ~4m30s down to ~1m15s.

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