Earlier this morning Apple announced a combination of price cuts and spec updates to its MacBook Pro with Retina Display lineup. The price cuts impact the 13-inch rMBP, while the spec bumps extend across almost all models.

The good news is the price of the base and upgraded 13-inch rMBPs have dropped to $1499 and $1699, respectively. The 15-inch model remains untouched. The upgraded 13-inch rMBP configuration has a slightly faster Core i5 CPU (2.6GHz base clock instead of 2.5GHz, I believe this is a Core i5-3230M). The faster CPUs are nice to see, especially since that's really the only way to improve UI performance at this point until Apple brings some more software tweaks to OS X.

On the 15-inch side, both configurations get a 100MHz faster base clock (i7-3635QM and i7-3740QM most likely). The upgraded 15-inch model now comes with 16GB of DDR3L-1600 by default.

MacBook Pro with Retina Display Pricing
Model 13-inch (base) 13-inch (upgraded) 15-inch (base) 15-inch (upgraded)
Old Price $1699 $1999 $2199 $2799
New Price $1499 $1699 $2199 $2799
Old CPU 2.5GHz Core i5 2.5GHz Core i5 2.3GHz Core i7 2.6GHz Core i7
New CPU 2.5GHz Core i5 2.6GHz Core i5 2.4GHz Core i7 2.7GHz Core i7
Old Memory 8GB DDR3L 8GB DDR3L 8GB DDR3L 8GB DDR3L
New Memory 8GB DDR3L 8GB DDR3L 8GB DDR3L 16GB DDR3L
Old SSD 128GB 256GB 256GB 512GB
New SSD 128GB 256GB 256GB 512GB

While default storage configurations don't change, SSD upgrade pricing does. The 512GB and 768GB SSD upgrades drop in price a bit depending on what configuration you're looking at. For the upgraded 15-inch model, moving to a 768GB SSD is now a $400 upgrade. That's not a lot for a 768GB drive, but it doesn't take into account the cost of the base 512GB SSD you are paying for but don't get to keep.

MacBook Pro with Retina Display Storage Pricing
Model 13-inch (base) 13-inch (upgraded) 15-inch (base) 15-inch (upgraded)
128GB SSD - - - -
256GB SSD +$200 - - -
512GB SSD +$500 +$300 +$300 -
768GB SSD +$900 +$700 +$700 +$400

Overall these are welcome changes to pricing and specs. It was clear from the start that the MacBook Pro with Retina Display would eventually fall down to more reasonable prices, and this is likely the beginning of that curve. As high DPI displays become more commonplace, we'll see continued decline in the pricing department. These price cuts do come several months before the introduction of Haswell based rMBPs. Haswell's impact on the rMBP should be greatest on the 13-inch model, where the improved GPU performance will be able to make up for the fact that there's no discrete GPU (assuming Apple integrates Haswell GT3e silicon). You'll also see modest gains in idle power consumption, but the big platform battery life gains really come with Haswell ULx chips which we won't see until closer to the end of the year and will be used in tablets/convertibles.

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  • phillyry - Sunday, February 24, 2013 - link

    I've refuted it as being a marketing gimmick later on in the forums but your argument that it's a waste of resources could be valid.

    It definitely takes more hardware to drive higher res displays, which in turn uses more resources (in terms of electricity).

    The constant increasing of technology and whether it is done at the expense of the environment as an entire other debate.
    Reply
  • EnzoFX - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    No, enough is never enough. That's the whole basis of technology. Furthermore, there are other aspects to Apple's retina displays that make it better than most of what's out there, like how the screen is closer to the glass, or how it's wide-gamut or calibrated. If you can't tell the difference between them and other offerings, good for you. It means you don't need it, it however does not mean other people don't, or worse yet, that it shouldn't be a limit to be pushed. Reply
  • nerd1 - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - link

    High resolution display is good, but you will have diminishing returns after some point. Your eye is the limiting factor here, and you must either have a extraordinary eyesight (like some native tribes) or put your eye VERY close to the screen. Yes, you can see the resolution difference if you really try to (I did) but that's more like the top speed of cars - It won't matter weather your car has 180mph or 250mph top speed, if you cannot speed more than 60mph anyway.

    Also everyone EXCEPT APPLE has been making laptops with quality display. Sony have been using wide gamut (~100% adobe color space), high resolution (13.3" FHD) LCD for their Z series laptop for years.
    Dell has been using RGB LED lcd (>100% gamut) on their laptops for years too. Samsung put PLS lcd on their series 9 laptops for quite a while. Lenovo has made laptops with IPS display for a very long time.
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    Then you seriously need to get your eyes checked. Reply
  • piiman - Saturday, February 16, 2013 - link

    And you need to look into why you buy marketing hype so easily. Reply
  • phillyry - Sunday, February 24, 2013 - link

    It's not just marketing.

    When I go back to using my iPhone 3GS after having gotten used to an iPhone 5 and iPad 3 it pains me to look at the thing - I notice pixels every single time.

    I even notice them on my MacBook Air now, at 1440 x 900. Not everybody keeps their laptop and 26 inches away from. By the way that is the median, not the range.
    Reply
  • KPOM - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    It also looks like the dual-core 3.0GHz i7 upgrade option for the 13" is a new chip:

    http://ark.intel.com/products/71255/Intel-Core-i7-...
    Reply
  • 00DC2TW - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    Is the 2.6 new? Reply
  • KPOM - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    I don't think so. Intel has offered a 2.6GHz i5 from the beginning. They also offer a 2.8GHz version that's in the Windows PC I use at the office. I'm guessing Apple just decided to do a spec bump to make it more attractive. I'm a bit surprised they didn't just do that with the $1499 model, too. Reply
  • 00DC2TW - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - link

    I think it is new... I think its this one https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rl... Reply

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