Personally I need more than 256GB of space for my apps & content on a laptop, since my base install size for OSX is pretty large (once Logic content & Ableton Live content & Komplete & Adobe apps & Final Cut Pro X etc are all installed). So a 256GB would have me starting off on a machine already low on HD space...but that's me.
8GB is enough for *me* in Logic as I don't use dozens of Kontakt instances/romplers/etc (I use Kontakt in a more targeted/sound design/single program fashion for instance). But that's today, and since the retina versions are soldered in terms of RAM (non upgradeable) I'd prob just get the 16GB...so it would be 16GB ram & 512GB SSD for me personally.
However unless you really want the retina display, the 'older' MBP models might make more sense if you're on a budget. Easier to start life with 8GB ram now & upgrade later, maybe not have an SSD etc.
Why post this question if you have made up your mind on a retina, just look at the other threads on that here. Almost looks like marketing to get the retina name into the forums. If money was really an object in your decision like you mention then you would be building a desktop Hackintosh for $1.2k, teaming it up with a $300 40" LCD TV for a moniter, buying $30 of long cables to keep all fans out of the mix position, and ending up with a better computer / larger moniter for almost half the price still running your selected Logic Daw. There are additional savings and performance enhancements going with a Daw that works on both platforms and building a PC running Windows 7 (google Dawbench).
I have had the an iPad retina for 2 weeks now and can not look at my laptop anymore, everything looks fuzzy and blury....the difference is like iPhone 4 iPhone 3....just sold it 17" MacBook pro with anti glare hi res screen.....ok so I may have to swallow the bullet and shoot for the highest specks.....or basic with 16gb ram.....
good news about the Ssd updates in the future, I have an external usb3 drive for all the media for now....it would be nice to have all the samples on Ssd for fast loading , I have 300 gb of samples/not loops already.....
Yes I am an apple fanboy for the past 20 years thank you,because it helps me making better music as a tool,if you have used a retina display for a while you will not want to use anything else, especially if its a laptop screen.... I hope we don't turn this into apple pc childish war, I am just asking which Retina will serve me better, not hackintosh crap......
Again the info you seek is already in the existing retina threads here. My initial reply addressed your cost issue. Unfortunely corporate marketing likes to sneak into forums like these and if that's not the case with you then my apologies. However if that shoe does fit then take that crap elsewhere. It's not like Apple can't afford legit advertising.
Real Pro audio does not use laptop screens (PC or Mac). If they had to use a laptop to mix then they would instead stick it in their machine room along with the HVAC and everything else that makes unwanted noise and use long cables like they do with their desktop computers to avoid the fan and hard drive noise in the control room. They would then use an exterior screen moniter, keyboard, and mouse with the laptop so regardless of how good looking a laptop screen is it just would not be used in that setting. After spending that much on acoustics for a control room they can afford the thirty dollars for long cables.
For the home project studio guys it would still be better to do the same just to avoid the extra noise at the mix position. For those guys, money really would be better spent on a better front end, better monitering, and better acoustics than a good looking small screen. Picking any computer for studio use as the first or second step is just backwards to setting up a good studio and we have plenty of other threads here addressing that too.
Thank you, i am just an average guy trying to make music,I could not find much info on what configuration people are choosing, let's not get into what's pro and what's not, I have mixed and composed "Pro stuff " on little genelec speakers and a MacBook pro at home,not to say its the best setup, but it works for me....i used to have loads of hardware and a big tower, but i am liking the simplicity of a small and powerful setup...I can't have a big studio at home right now, they are tools and we use whatever works, will my mix suck because it was done on a laptop or a small screen, do I need to put a disclaimer with my gear list and hard drive size.........
Budgets are finite so in all but the "win the lotery" options one must look at what those dollars will get you. For home studios money spent on better instruments, better front end, better monitering, and better acoustics are going to get the same individual closer to a "good mix" than money spent on a good computer. There is a logical order in where to apply resources (time and money) to get the best results.
As for your specific situation, if you are hearing noise in the mix position then likely there will be masking of problems in your mix. There is a specific reason studios spend so much money on design/materials/acoustics of a control room. That is to hear the finest of details/imagining/phase/frequencies/balances. Even at home it's important to have as great a room/monitering chain as possible for your budget first. Anything less and you are just putting forth your best guess as a mix. Some will guess right and not have any masked elements in the mix come back and bite them in the rear however many will not. Some try to cheat that reality and use headphones to mix and there are plenty of threads here on that also but those threads have come to the hard reality that it's just not a good practice to get good mix results (again most fail).
The tradeoff with using any laptop at the mix position is guessing with the mix instead of knowing. One day when laptops no longer generate heat and the need for fans to cool them then you can revisit the issue. In the mean time spending $30 on long cables and using an exterior moniter/keyboard/mouse to get less masking is the smarter play (but spend the big bucks on the stuff I listed first!). I can't recall any threads here about someone regreting the time and money spent to improve their front end/room/monitering chain.
I think it's pretty easy to tell if 256GB is enough HD space. How much are you currently using? As far as memory goes, that seems to be a question of how much you use samplers/soft synths. If that's what you do, go big.
For my part, I'm happier with the old style, and 2 internal hard drives. (SSD from OWC) Also, the reports that I've seen seem to indicate that the new display maxes out the video card even in normal usage. I'd rather wait for a more mature product in that sense.
I mostly use my laptop for location recording though, so stability is more important to me than anything else. It freaks me out when meters or timecode are jumpy.
Don't go for the retina....
...the improved display & graphics will occupy your eyes thus taking up more resources from your brain...resources which should be better used for ears.
This is about audio no?