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Retina Display MacBook Pro FAQ @ EveryMac.com

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EveryMac.com's "Retina Display" MacBook Pro Q&A answers questions about the 2012, 2013, and 2014 MacBook Pro models that are crafted from a single piece of aluminum and have a 13-Inch or 15-Inch "Retina Display."

These notebooks do not have a name on the display bezel (they only have "MacBook Pro" text on the bottom of the notebook). They also lack an optical drive, so collective identification is possible by these two points alone. However, they additionally can be spotted by model numbers A1398, A1425 and A1502.

Questions range from "How do you upgrade or replace the storage in the Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Is it even possible?" to "Is there a 'hack' to switch between graphics processors on the Retina Display MacBook Pro models manually?" and include everything in between.

Please note that the "Mid-2014" Retina Display MacBook Pro models are shipping currently whereas earlier Retina Display MacBook Pro models have been discontinued.

The previous "Unibody" MacBook and MacBook Pro systems have "MacBook" or "MacBook Pro" text on the bottom display bezel and have internal optical drives.

These 13-Inch, 15-Inch, and 17-Inch notebooks are model numbers A1278, A1286, and A1297, respectively.

EveryMac.com offers separate "Unibody" MacBook Q&A and "Unibody" MacBook Pro Q&A that cover these earlier models.

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Most Frequently Asked Retina Display MacBook Pro Q&As:

What are all the differences between the 13-Inch and 15-Inch "Mid-2014" Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Which is ideal for my needs?

How do you upgrade or replace the storage in the 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Is it even possible?

How can you "force" or "hack" the Retina Display MacBook Pro models to run at the native resolution or otherwise fit more on screen than by default?

How fast are the 13-Inch and 15-Inch "Mid-2014" MacBook Pro models compared to one another? How fast are they compared to the models replaced? How fast are they compared to the MacBook Air?

How do you upgrade or replace the storage in the 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Is it the same storage and process as the 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? Is it possible?

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2014" Retina Display MacBook Pro models and the "Late 2013" models replaced?

What are the major differences between the 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro, the "regular" 13-Inch MacBook Pro, and the 13-Inch MacBook Air? Which is best for me?

Is there a "hack" to switch between graphics processors on the Retina Display MacBook Pro models manually?

What custom processor options are available for the Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Do they have a processor that can be upgraded?

What is the "real-world" battery life of the "Mid-2014" 13-Inch and 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? How does the battery life compare to earlier models?

Software Compatibility Q&As:

What version of OS X is pre-installed on the Retina Display MacBook Pro models?

Can the Retina Display MacBook Pro run Mac OS X software written for the PowerPC processor?

How do you install software on the Retina Display MacBook Pro without an optical drive?

How do you restore the operating system on the Retina Display MacBook Pro models?

Can the Retina Display MacBook Pro run iPad apps?

Can the Retina Display MacBook Pro run Windows or Linux?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (13" & 15" Mid-2014, Current):

What are all the differences between the 13-Inch and 15-Inch "Mid-2014" Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Which is ideal for my needs?

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2014" Retina Display MacBook Pro models and the "Late 2013" models replaced?

What are the major differences between the 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro, the "regular" 13-Inch MacBook Pro, and the 13-Inch MacBook Air? Which is best for me?

How fast are the 13-Inch and 15-Inch "Mid-2014" MacBook Pro models compared to one another? How fast are they compared to the models replaced? How fast are they compared to the MacBook Air?

What is the "real-world" battery life of the "Mid-2014" 13-Inch and 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? How does the battery life compare to earlier models?

What are the "pros and cons" of the 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? Is it for me?

What are the "pros and cons" of the 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Is one right for me?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (13" & 15" Late 2013, Disc.):

What are all the differences between the 13-Inch and 15-Inch "Late 2013" Retina Display MacBook Pro models?

What are all the differences between the "Late 2013" Retina Display MacBook Pro models and the "Early 2013" models replaced?

What are the major differences between the 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro, the "regular" 13-Inch MacBook Pro, and the 13-Inch MacBook Air? Which is best for me?

How fast are the 13-Inch and 15-Inch "Late 2013" MacBook Pro models compared to one another? How fast are they compared to the models replaced? How fast are they compared to the 13-Inch MacBook Air?

What is the "real-world" battery life of the "Late 2013" 13-Inch and 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? How does the battery life compare to earlier models?

What are the "pros and cons" of the 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? Is it for me?

What are the "pros and cons" of the 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Is one right for me?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (13" & 15" Early 2013, Disc.):

What are all the differences between the 13-Inch and 15-Inch "Early 2013" Retina Display MacBook Pro models?

What are all the differences between the 13-Inch "Early 2013" Retina Display MacBook Pro models and the "Late 2012" models replaced?

What are all the differences between the 15-Inch "Early 2013" Retina Display MacBook Pro models and the "Mid-2012" models replaced?

What are the major differences between the 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro, the "regular" 13-Inch MacBook Pro, and the 13-Inch MacBook Air? Which is best for me?

How fast are the 13-Inch and 15-Inch "Early 2013" MacBook Pro models compared to one another? How fast are they compared to the models replaced? How fast are they compared to the 13-Inch MacBook Air?

What is the "real-world" battery life of the "Early 2013" 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? How does the battery life compare to the 15-Inch Retina Display and 13-Inch "Mid-2012" non-Retina Display MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models?

What are the "pros and cons" of the 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? Is it for me?

What are the "pros and cons" of the 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Is one right for me?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (13" Late 2012, Discontinued):

What are all the differences between the 13-Inch "Late 2012" Retina Display MacBook Pro models?

What are the major differences between the 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro, the "regular" 13-Inch MacBook Pro, and the 13-Inch MacBook Air? Which is best for me?

What are all the differences between the 13-Inch "Late 2012" Retina Display MacBook Pro and the 15-Inch "Mid-2012" Retina Display MacBook Pro?

How fast are the 13-Inch Retina Display "Late 2012" MacBook Pro models compared to one another? How fast are they compared to the 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro, 13-Inch non-Retina Display MacBook Pro, and 13-Inch MacBook Air "Mid-2012" models?

What is the "real-world" battery life of the "Late 2012" 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? How does the battery life compare to the 15-Inch Retina Display and 13-Inch "Mid-2012" non-Retina Display MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models?

What are the "pros and cons" of the 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? Is it for me?

Comparison & Performance Q&As (15" Mid-2012, Discontinued):

What are all the differences between the 15-Inch Retina Display "Mid-2012" MacBook Pro models?

What are all the differences between the "Mid-2012" regular MacBook Pro and 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro?

How fast are the "Mid-2012" 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro models compared to one another? How fast are they compared to the "regular" Mid-2012 MacBook Pro and the models replaced?

How fast is the graphics performance of the "Mid-2012" 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro models compared to the models replaced?

What is the "real-world" battery life of the "Mid-2012" 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? How does the battery life compare to the "regular" Mid-2012 MacBook Pro and the models replaced?

What are the "pros and cons" of the 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Is one right for me?

Upgrades & Expansion Q&As:

What custom processor options are available for the Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Do they have a processor that can be upgraded?

How do you upgrade the RAM in the Retina Display MacBook Pro models? What type of RAM do they use? How much RAM do they actually support? Is it even possible to upgrade the RAM?

How do you upgrade or replace the storage in the 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Is it even possible?

How do you upgrade or replace the storage in the 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Is it the same storage and process as the 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? Is it possible?

Is it possible to add a second SSD or hard drive to a Retina Display MacBook Pro?

What kind of expansion slots are provided by the Retina Display MacBook Pro models?

Display & Video Q&As:

How can you "force" or "hack" the Retina Display MacBook Pro models to run at the native resolution or otherwise fit more on screen than by default?

What type of video processor is provided by the Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Is it "dedicated" or "integrated" memory? Is it upgradable?

Is there a "hack" to switch between graphics processors on the Retina Display MacBook Pro models manually?

How many external displays can the Retina Display MacBook Pro models support? What is the maximum supported resolution of each? Are adapters required?

What is "Thunderbolt"? Is it an industry standard? What advantages does it offer? Are there any disadvantages?

Battery, Power & Connectivity Q&As:

What is the "real-world" battery life of the "Late 2013" and "Mid-2014" 13-Inch and 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? How does the battery life compare to earlier models?

What is the "real-world" battery life of the "Mid-2012" and "Early 2013" 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? How does the battery life compare to the "regular" Mid-2012 MacBook Pro and the models replaced?

What is the "real-world" battery life of the "Late 2012" and "Early 2013" 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? How does the battery life compare to the 15-Inch Retina Display and 13-Inch "Mid-2012" non-Retina Display MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models?

How do you replace the battery in the 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? Is it even possible?

How do you replace the battery in the 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro? Is it more or less difficult than the 15-Inch Retina Display models? Is it possible?

What is the difference between the "MagSafe 2" power connector on the Retina Display MacBook Pro and the "MagSafe" power connector on earlier MacBook Pro models? Are they interchangeable?

How is it possible to physically secure the Retina Display MacBook Pro without a security port?

What is "Thunderbolt"? Is it an industry standard? What advantages does it offer? Are there any disadvantages?

What is HDMI?

What is 802.11n? How is it different from 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11a?

What is 802.11ac? How is it different from 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11c, 802.11g, and 802.11n?

Design, Configuration, & Purchasing Q&As:

Who designed the Retina Display MacBook Pro?

Where can I buy a Retina Display MacBook Pro?

What are the custom configuration options for the Retina Display MacBook Pro models?

What are the "pros and cons" of the 13-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Is one for me?

What are the "pros and cons" of the 15-Inch Retina Display MacBook Pro models? Is one right for me?




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