If you could get roughly the same performance from either computer, would rather spend about $3,500 on a new Retina MacBook Pro or the same amount on Mac Pro? Oh, and I lied a little — though $3,500 will get you an Apple pro tower that’s just as fast, you will need to speed more to get a monitor and the cheapest one of those that Cupertino sells goes for $999. Now which Mac would you rather have?

When it comes being über geeky and loving the Mac, it is fair bet that no one tops Bare Feats’ Rob Art Morgan. He has benchmarked pretty much every Mac made, as well as innumerable permutations thereof, since 1995.

That said, if you need a high-performance Mac and have been wondering whether you should pay a lot more for a Mac Pro or go with Apple’s stunning new Retina MacBook Pro, here is your answer.

“If apps like Aperture and Motion are your ‘bread and butter,’ you can conclude from this test session that the 2012 MacBook Pro (Retina and ‘normal’) performs on par with the best Mac Pro with the best graphics cards,” writes Bare Feats’ “Mad Scientist.”

Apple's new retina macbook pro easily holds its own against a Mac Pro in Bare Feats' benchmark testing
The MacBook Pro with Retina display offers exceptional performance that is more affordable than a Mac Pro, according to Bare Feats benchmarks.
For all but the neediest Mac professionals, the Retina MacBook Pro offers more than enough performance.

As you can see from Morgan’s results, the Retina MacBook Pro didn’t wipe the floor with the Mac Pro, but it is somewhat remarkable that Apple’s newest pro portables can go head-to-head with a well-configured tower and more than hold their own.

Retina MacBook Pro über alles?

Of course, for some users, there is just no substitute for the Mac Pro and its bevy of empty drive bays and open PCIx expansion slots. However, with more and more new Thunderbolt peripherals shipping every month, it is clear that the Mac Pro’s days of dominance are all but over.

And, in case you missed the first mention, here goes again — Apple’s other new (i.e. non-Retina) MacBook Pro models will perform just as well for a lot less money.

So, what Mac are you going to buy?

  1. one fact that made me choose the retina MBP is the ability to max out the ram at 16 Mb… all other models of apple portables can only accommodate 8 Mb. For video editing, ram is key…

  2. Were these tests performed on “stock” machines? If so, then the Mac Pro likely had spinning disk drives whereas the Mac Book Pro models had solid state drives. If this is the case, then it’s not a true comparison. An SSD is tremendously faster than a spinning disk drive.

  3. yes but the prob is that after you buy the 8 gig
    then there is no way that you can update yourself to 16 gig
    either you get it like that or you’re screwed .
    i am from Recife in Brazil south america.

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