2016 MB Pro decision- Need advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by skids929, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. skids929, Nov 12, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016

    skids929 macrumors 6502a

    skids929

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    #1
    Ok so I am in the market for a new MBP, I am at the end of the usable life of my white MB that is 11 years old. The dilemma for me is basically that I want this next MBP to last me as long as humanly possible due to the price of it. So what happens is when I go to configure a 13 inch I always end up at pricing that is close to the baseline 15 inch.

    Now to explain what I am going to be using this for to set some perspective. Basically this will be used for internet use, some music stuff, and kids homework on occasion and just an overall central hub for managing our household data, pictures, video etc. But before you tear me to shreds for considering a 15 inch MBP (or a MBP at all), here is the way I look at this purchase to some extent. My experience with Apple laptops is the more specs you put in it (especially RAM) the more headroom you have, and the longer the machine will last. I don't mean last from a durability perspective, I mean from a longevity perspective. In other words I prefer NOT to be back in the market for a laptop in 5 years.

    To make matters worse as far as a decision goes, I recently got my kids an open box Lenovo Yoga 900 for Christmas, for $650! It's normally $1300 the way this is spec'd. I've been test driving it lately and I really like the machine, and quite honestly it would serve me just fine, but here is the issue. I HATE WINDOWS!!!

    So this brings me back to a Apple and the MBP, and buying a machine that will hopefully work for many years. Most Windows machines I have ever owned I always felt I needed to replace them after 3 years, maybe things have changed now not sure since it's been 11 years. Overall I just feel like I am spending more $$ than I "need" to, but want the MAC OS and longevity which comes at a serious premium.

    Am I looking at this the right way? Let me know what you folks think. Should I just buy as much machine as I can? I can afford it, but that doesn't mean I need to be stupid with my $$. Just trying to make the right decision by getting some additional input.

    Thanks!
     
  2. NickPhamUK macrumors 6502

    NickPhamUK

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    #2
    1. Buy a model with 16GB RAM, quad-core CPU (so pretty much a 15" MBP), graphics card doesn't matter unless you plan to do editing, 3D modeling or gaming. Keep for as long as you can.

    2. Buy any model, in a few years, back up all of your files, sell the machine on eBay, acquire a new machine, install everything back. The whole process takes like a week at most.
     
  3. iizmoo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    #3
    Price wise, you also need to price in any cost of AV software, and how much time it would cost to fix you Windows computer when it get hit by a Trojan or Virus or other Malwares. IBM switched to Mac, it saved them money on the long haul due to less support needs. What's the risk factor if one of the Windows threat vector grab a hold of your financial account password or tax returns with all your info? Those are all periphery human costs that need to be accounted for when one make any Windows vs Mac comparison.

    On the topic of size, you seem to really be keeping things until they go bust. The one issue with the 15" is it has a discrete graphic chip, go search the forum for the history with discrete graphic 15" MBP to decide for yourself. The 13" models have integrated graphic on the Intel CPU, and those run rock solid. It's one less component that can fail, and a component with a significant history of failure, especially when it get old.

    I made the same comparison you're going through. The thought of a 4lbs 15" was very very attractive, and economically, I was even able to justify up to $3500 for the full package, accounting for it to last 5-6 years. In the end, the factor that stopped me was the discrete GPU's history. And from a risk standpoint, I figured buying 2 x $2200 laptop over 7 years was a better risk mitigation than a single very expensive laptop.
     
  4. fokmik macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    if you need it as long as it can last...then by all means go with the current 15" since the usb-c will be the mainstream point from the next 1-2 years
     
  5. skids929 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    skids929

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    #5

    Interesting, I'd never heard of reliability issues with the dedicated graphics. I will say that one of the first symptons of slowdown with my current white MB was the slowdown of graphics related tasks. This started many years back quite honestly. That was one of the additional reasons I chose the 15, figured it would address that for a longer period. At the moment my fan spins so often in this white MB the battery last an hour and half or so. I definitely took this one too far, meant to upgrade 2 years ago, but fell into the same trap every other MBP owner fell into, where I waited for them to upgrade the machines.


    Oh and I agree with everything you said regarding Windows and the costs related to it. I have NEVER once had ANY issues with Mac OS like I have with Windows. This machine runs as smooth (software-wise) as it did 11 years ago. That really says alot about Mac OS, and to me it's THE reason to buy a Mac, not the hardware.
     
  6. Sully macrumors regular

    Sully

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #6
    I have the same question as to whether or not the duo core processor in the 13" will have as much future proofing capability as the more powerful quad core. If it does, the conservative route would be to avoid the dGpu based on historical failures.
     
  7. skids929 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    skids929

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    #7

    I am thinking it won't just based on simple logic. But I also feel it's more about RAM these days than processing power. So assuming the GPU lasts, the dedicated RAM would take load away from the already more robust CPU. Overall the 15 just has to last longer. I really had no idea the GPUs failed in these I need to look into this if this is pervasive.
     
  8. fokmik macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
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    USA
    #8
    since the cpu is not improving like in old days a lot in performance from generations to generations any of them should last at least 4-5 years
     
  9. skids929 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    skids929

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    #9

    do you mean the GPUs or the entire machine? I want more than 4-5. Because seriously &^$^ apple and their pricing.
     
  10. Exile714 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2015
    #10
    So you're saying you only do internet, picture and video management, and basic things like that? And all you care about is longevity? And you've been using an 11-year old MacBook?

    Get the MacBook...

    1) Its processors are low power and fanless, meaning they won't have heat-related wear like the MacBook Pros will.

    2) It fits your current needs and unless you think you'll get into heavy video editing or 3D content creation in the future, a MacBook is probably all you'll need. A MacBook can even edit 4K video, it's just slower and less efficient. If it's not something you're doing now or in the foreseeable future, don't buy a machine which will wear out faster just to hold on to that capability.

    3) Processor and memory improvements over the next decade are going to slow down dramatically. You shouldn't expect computing needs to grow over the next decade at even a quarter the rate it did over the last one.

    4) You got by on a MacBook for 11 YEARS. You'll be fine on the 2016 MacBook.

    So if I were you, I'd grab a MacBook with the best processor and a moderately sized SSD plus a big external drive for your media. You don't need a Formula 1 race car for your daily commute to work and back, why buy an overpowered MacBook Pro when your needs don't support it.
     
  11. username: macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    #11
    Wow. That's insane. Don't take that for granted. No other company is making laptops that good.

    Get a top spec 13"
    --- Post Merged, Nov 12, 2016 ---
    Quantum computing will happen
     
  12. skids929 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    skids929

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    #12

    thanks..All very good, pragmatic advice. The biggest issue I have with the Macbook is the size being 12 inches. Even the 13 inch MBP I used in Best buy (new one) felt small to me. I guess my eyes are getting old, but my current 13 feels ok, so I am sure the 13 could work and I'd probably get used to the 12.

    So you mentioned heat. Does the fan spin up alot in the 15 MBP because of the dedicated graphics? If heat were a degrading issue then this current white mb should be melted down by now, the fan runs constantly for the last 3 years.
     
  13. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    US of A
    #13
    If you are looking for 10 years usage, you pretty much have to go 15" with 16Gigs of RAM and a dGPU. My wife has my old 2008 15" MBP, and as you state, graphics is the ONLY thing holding that machine back from time to time for her(I updated the RAM to 8Gigs and put in an SSD).

    I'll keep my disdain for the new MBPs out of it as much as I can, but you have to think about the storage aspect as well. With all the items you cited, you are probably looking for externally attached storage. "overall central hub for managing our household data, pictures, video etc." with the etc being music, iMovie, GarageBand, video projects, etc.. - then you will need to decide on what you think that storage is going to be, in 5+ years. Are the kids going to be running around taking 4K videos of everything they do in life? At this point, for any potential new MBP I get, I'm personally looking at linking my video, music, projects to external storage, and moving them to the MBP for on the go only work.

    256Gig is a no go, and 512Gigs is pushing it between work and all this extra personally data. MY current solution is a 2012 15" cMBP, with main SSD and big fat storage in the drive bay. Works wonders for me as I get to keep everything with me, with no dongles, external storage - oops, I said I was going to keep my disdain out of this - Sorry.

    Think about the storage, and also research Apple's stance on replacing the battery in your machine in 5,7, 10 years from now. Luckily, I have options with my current setup, you will not.

    Personally, I'd think about a desktop and a smaller portable, but maybe that's just me.

    Good Luck!!!
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    OP wrote:
    "My experience with Apple laptops is the more specs you put in it (especially RAM) the more headroom you have, and the longer the machine will last."

    I disagree.
    From reading postings here at MacRumors over the past several years, it seems that the MBPro's that "die sooner" are the ones with discrete GPU's, vis-a-vis the "baseline" models with integrated graphics.
    The basic models last longer.

    Also consider that the 2015 design remains active in the Apple product line, if not "the latest and greatest".
    Will you be needing the "legacy ports"?
    Especially if the kids need to connect to it, etc.
     
  15. Exile714 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2015
    #15
    The screen size thing is a legitimate issue. It's your call there.

    But the processor wear isn't necessarily about the fans, but the TDP (Thermal Design Power) of the chips. The processors in the 15'' are designed to work with 45Watts of heat dissipation, whereas the Core M in the MacBook only needs to deal with 1/10th the heat (4.5Watts).

    That's not to say the 15'' will die quickly, but the hotter processor and GPU combination certainly is at a life expectancy disadvantage compared to its cooler cousin MacBook.
     
  16. skids929 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    skids929

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    #16

    excellent points and EXACTLY why I came to this forum to figure this out. You are wicked Smaaat! ; )

    I have some serious thinking to do. But every time I've messed with that little 12 inch I can't picture myself liking it long term. But I do love the Lenovo Yoga 900 (form factor only) which is similar just has a 13.3 inch screen. Wish I could figure out a way to put Mac OS on that machine.:0

    So using your logic, a decent compromise might be the off the shelf 2016 MB with the 15 watter instead of the 2016 TB MBP with the 28w chip.
     
  17. Sully macrumors regular

    Sully

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #17
    How much of a performance difference is there between the 550 iGPU and the AMD dGPU on the 15 "? Is the iGPU so crippled that it will compromise longevity?
     
  18. iizmoo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    #18
    Around 2010 ish, CPU improvement slowed to ~10% annually. The last 2 or 3 years, in the 5-8% range. And there are some arguments over Kaby Lake. Intel said it was 12% faster, but they also used a chip that clocked in at 12% more than their predecessor. Kaby bring better power improvements, graphics, and a few other goodies, but processing improvement is still being hotly debated as more chips roll out.

    I use an 8% compounded annual improvement average for my buying decisions. So about 7-8 years before there's a doubling of CPU speed. I used to get at least a doubling every 3 years or so, not so much anymore. Even upgrading to the new 2016 MBP (see signature) from my 2013 MBA, I'm expecting only about a 15% speed increase, maybe 25% max going to a heavier class of CPU. With this purchase, you're not going to feel being outdated as quickly as your last purchase.
     
  19. Altis macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    #19
    The rMB may have a low-power CPU, but it also is fanless. The 15" MBP has two large fans to dissipate heat. Honestly, I very much doubt you'll have a CPU degradation problem in the 15" even in 15+ years of use.

    However, the low processing power of the rMB will become a problem far sooner. It already feels like it's being pushed about as far as it can go with Sierra. I wouldn't expect much from it in 5-6 years. OTOH, the 15" Pro will have enough computing power (and RAM) to last for much longer.

    The only two things you may run into are having to replace the battery (which will be true of any laptop), and the potential for a dGPU failure. These have plagued MacBook Pros in the past (especially AMD), but there's really no telling whether or not the current configuration will have these issues. It's all new stuff inside, so it isn't really fair to assume previous problems on other models will apply to these.

    There's absolutely no contest that a 15" MBP would outlast anything else in the lineup by several years at least, assuming no fatal flaw in the parts such as the GPU.
     
  20. skids929 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    skids929

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    #20

    thanks I went to the apple store tonight to see if in the off chance they were displaying the new 15 inch, no such luck. Manager told he expects them in in a week or so. Anyway, I tooled around on the stock MBP that doesn't have the touchbar. Pretty sweet little laptop, screams compared to what I am using now. Mainly I was happy to test out the keyboard thoroughly. I literally did a side by side with the Macbook 12 inch and the new MBP 13 and there is a difference. It's not huge, but they have different feels. I actually think I can be happy with the new MBP keyboard. One thing you notice right away is the speed, the delivery of the keystroke is noticeably faster since there is less travel. It's a snappy keyboard that I think people will like once they retrain themselves just a small amount.

    Overall, that 2016 MBP thats available now is nice and gave me some general idea on the changes, but I would want to have a smidge more ummph to my machine. And also that gimmicky touchbar, I think I will like that as useless as it may be for a user like me.
     
  21. Sully macrumors regular

    Sully

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #21

    Given the history of dGPU failures, this is a pretty important assumption. I'd be inclined not to take the risk if the Iris 550 graphics were nearly comparable to the dGPU on the 15 " models. I just don't know how robust the 550 is and what it can realistically do.
     
  22. skids929 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    skids929

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    #22
    The Iris is the integrated on the 13 correct? I'd imagine it's not comparable at all given the dedicated graphics is always more robust than integrated no? Im still relatively shocked there have been so many issues with the 15s. I'd NEVER heard it before this post. But I've really only paid close attention to the 13s until the past 8 months or so.
     
  23. iizmoo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    #23
    The dGPU are new, not much concrete numbers yet, but while the iGPU have advanced, they're still pretty far behind NVIDIA and AMD. There's also the matter of 2 or 4GB of dedicated DDR5 RAM for the GPU. That's a very big deal, both in various graphical tasks, as well as effectively adding 4GB of RAM to your MBP for graphical operations. The iGPU are still using 1.5GB shared memory with RAM, the same as several previous generation of Macs. Minimal differences would be around the neighborhood of double, so there is a very significant difference in capabilities.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204349

    Purely conjecture until there are a lot of solid numbers, but the dGPU should be running 200-400% compared to the Iris 550.
     
  24. monkeydax macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    #24
    The Iris 550 would barely come close. The next closest iGPU would be the Iris Pro 580, and that even lags behind any dGPU configuration that the 15"s do.
     
  25. skids929 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    skids929

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    #25
    Thanks..Good info...So for my purposes there shouldn't be much need to go up to 4GB since I am not doing anything graphics intensive. I am thinking a 15 inch baseline with a 512 should be like buying a sports car for my use.
     

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