13" MPB - 6 years?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by justaregularjoe, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. justaregularjoe macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2008
    I anted to get some outside opinions here. I really want to get a Mac for University. I am headed into the Computer Science program at the University of Waterloo (I hope) after finishing up my senior year *starting this fall*. Anyway, I hate my current Dell PC as much as my eyes hate bright lights, and I really want to make the jump to Mac soon.

    So my question is this: If I buy a MacBook Pro now, of the current generation, will it last me for the next ~5.5 years? Or should I wait until just before I leave, get the educational discount and the best Mac hardware on the market then (Fall 2010)? The second option would be relying on it for only ~4.5 years, but that is still a long time, right?
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    6 years is loooooong time in computers. I recommend you to get one now and switch every few years. A lot of people have bought G4 Mac and they are using current gen Mac without paying any extra since they bought their first one.

    Buy base 13" now -> Sell it after 2 years and buy a new one or refurb
  3. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    If you take good care of it and purchase AppleCare, I don't see why it shouldn't last you as long as you need it to.
    Odds are that you will end up upgrading sometime before then instead of having a computer failure.
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    It depends on how much money you're willing to put into it after your original warranty expires. I doubt you'd make it through 6 years without having to replace something major.
  5. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (BB 8900: BlackBerry8900/ Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/301)

    I'd wait; you'll rely heavily on your computer during your undergraduate years for your studies, and with the significant expected changes to future mobile processors coming in the next year... I'd wait. If you NEEDED it now, there is nothing wrong with the current line. But since you want it, and don't necessarily NEED it, if you can wait then I would. It will serve you better to go to college with a new computer than one that is already a year old.
  6. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    6 years seems to be a long time. I just bought a 13 MBP for my daughter who is going to college next month. I'm hoping that it will get her through her undergrad work.
  7. upinflames900 macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2009
    It isn't going to last you 6 years...by that point if it is still working and you haven't had to replace anything major (which you probably will), it will be really slow in comparison to what is new on the market at that time.
  8. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    If you can stand looking at it for 4-6 years, there shouldn't be an issue. My recommendation would be to get the apple care and a padded case to carry it around in.
  9. smooth macrumors 6502


    Nov 12, 2007
    While 6 years may be pushing it, I think making it 4 years and possibly 5 years is definitely do-able. I've never had a computer less than 4 years. I would plan on upgrading the RAM at some point and possibly increasing the hard drive depending on how you utilize it.

    I think part of Apple's pricing is for better quality and therefore better longevity. If you want to replace a computer every 2 years, buy another, cheaper Dell. I got 4 years out of Dells and eMachines so I'm planning on at least 5 for my MacBook. Mine is almost 2 years old and runs like new.
  10. Gumbercules macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2009
    another option would be to buy even cheaper. I have been considering the white macbook and macbook pro recently and ordered the white one yesterday. To my mind, I thought that the savings made on the cheaper white one will allow me to upgrade after 1.5-2 years rather than 2.5-3 years with the macbook (I like to upgrade fairly often!).

    In your case, buying the white one would surely last you the three years, after which you could upgrade.
  11. MacLover4491 macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2009
    Dont expect the mbp to last more than 3 years. They will start to fail after 2 years.
  12. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    How can you possibly come to that conclusion? This is a whole new product, not even 2 years old. There is no way to tell how long it will last, other then the guaranteed 3 years with a warranty.
  13. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Anything in the world can last longer or shorter than average expected utility time. Depends on many factors, such as how you use it.

    Got any sources for your baseless speculation?
  14. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    You may hate the Dell, but it does work, and I'm assuming it's paid for. Use it as long as it will do what you need it to do. When it no longer does, then go out and buy an apple of your choice.
  15. suekitch macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2009
    I wouldn't expect any computer to last a young person 6 years, as a sweeping generalisation. My parents, who only ever browse websites, play solitaire or music? Sure. The most they push a machine is watching realplayer clips on a cricket website!

    But young folk? Much more demanding. Multiple applications or programs running, making video, making music, watching video whilst torrenting a truckload of files, browsing the internet and writing a report, and that's before even considering gaming. Sure, the hardware now can handle software as it is now, but software in six years will move on, and hardware will move to accommodate it.

    All that said, I think of all the computer manufacturers out there, an Apple is most likely to stay the course. They're engineered for the purpose, for the operating system, for the apps that ship with it; the unity of hardware and software cannot be underestimated, nor can the lack of viruses and such are capable of harming the OS X platform.

    Plus, of course, the educational discount that students get makes it all the more attractive.

    The only thing is that as a computer science student you might need access to some Windows only things, it being the mainstream, so make sure you do Bootcamp or run Parallels etc for those occasions, and you'll need a copy of your Windows of choice too :)
  16. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    I have an Atari 800 that is 25 years old. It does now exactly what it did in 1983. A macbook will still do everything it does now in 6 years, so it won't do less than it does now. It may not do much more than it does now either.
  17. smooth macrumors 6502


    Nov 12, 2007
    This must mean there is not a single iBook that is currently functioning....anywhere.
  18. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    To my right as I type this sits my first PowerBook. A PowerBook G3 that has a creation date of Jan. 13th, 2000. It's not as fast as the current models, but it still works and is running right now. I've been using it this morning to look for some old files.

    My 2001 Ti-Book is still running as well.

    The PowerBook G4 I'm using to type this was created in June of 2003 and is running the latest OS. It has some speed drawbacks, a bad battery and is out of hard drive space, but I use it every day. That's 6 years of steady use.

    I'm hoping to make an upgrade to the new 13" soon, but in the mean time I'll use what I have.

    (My oldest Mac was a PowerMac 6100 that lasted 10 years.)
  19. MacLover4491 macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2009
    Apple doesnt have very good quality. YOu can see from past white macbook, macbook pros, imacs, mba, etc. They all had some major problems. I wouldnt expect more than 3 years out of a Mac Laptop. If you want 6 years, you need to get IBM. Quality is much better than MAcs
  20. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    Quit while your ahead (or not ahead in your case). There are tons of long lasting apple portables out there (iBooks, TiBooks, PowerBooks, MacBooks, etc). There is 1 really bad line of MacBook Pros with 8600GT graphics cards, but Apple is replacing them. There is 0 basis to your claims and it appears you are just trolling now.
  21. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
    Probably in 2-3 years from now, you can upgrade to 8GB of RAM and a large SSD (320GB-1TB). But in 6 years, 8GB of RAM and that large SSD will probably be slow compared to computers in the future which will probably have 16-32GB of RAM and 3TB SSDs.
  22. MacLover4491 macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2009

    Macbooks problems are/were logicboard, palmrest, keyboard, touchpad, screen, overheating, etc.

    Mba: hinges, screens lines, overheating, kernel panic, etc..

    mbp: overheating, crack glass trackpad, graphic problems, case shell bent problems, etc

    I do accept that the ibooks were really good but other lines arent good
  23. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    Im still using an iMac over 10 years old. I would upgrade in 3-4 years however if you just stay basic 6 years can easily work.
  24. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    A Mac from 2003 is still a perfectly good machine today. Not only do they still look amazing, they can still run Leopard. Take the 17" PowerBook that was introduced in January 2003. A 1ghz G4 with 512mb of RAM, 60gb HDD and a Geforce 440 with 64mb of VRAM. This can run Leopard, stock, without a single upgrade (although 1gb of RAM is advisable). This is a testament to the Macs longevity.

    So will a MacBook Pro still be a viable machine in 6 years time based on the above trend? Nobody really knows since there are a lot of modern variables that have recently shaped and changed Apple and a lot of variables that will change Apple in the future. A lot has changed in the Mac between now and 6 years ago, prices have dropped (the above PowerBook cost $3299 at time of intro, the 13" MacBook Pro costs $1199- $1499) and Macs have become arguably more consumer orientated, build quality has dropped a little but is still excellent.

    The general rule with computers is that if they don't break in the first couple of weeks, they will probably never break if you are careful with them. So not accounting for any unlikely hardware failure, the machine should still be fast enough to keep up with most basic tasks, assuming todays basic tasks are the same in 6 years. But it probably wont be able to run the latest and greatest OS.
  25. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    It depends on what you do. Web browsing, music playback, and office applications haven't made much significant gains in hardware usage or requirements.

    If you're making money off your work on your computer or time is literally money when it comes to getting work done as fast as possible then you're going to need to plan out more frequent upgrades.

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