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OSXphoto

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2013
101
18
There is a possibility that one of the first new ARM Macs will be a 13.3” MBP. My 2 kids (12 y/o) need a laptop for the new school, by September 2020. They will use it for 6 years in school and hopefully it still works a few years on after that.

If such an ARM MBP 13.3” will be announced by September, I may be able to hold off the purchase for the kids for a couple of months.

My dilemma: ARM for longevity vs Intel for stability. We all know that any first release can be buggy and it just happens that some issues are not solved until the 2nd or 3rd iteration. Or possibly the first release gets 5 years of security patches vs 9 for the later models.

Bottom line is I don’t like first releases In general. But I’d hate to burn 4k on two of the last intel models - hoping to buy future proof - only to find that by January the first ARM is doing extremely well and the growing pains are ironed out quickly.

there is no way I can hold off purchase until the second ARM MBP model, so it’s either - or.

I‘d appreciate your thoughts.

Peter
 

velocityg4

macrumors 604
Dec 19, 2004
6,911
4,068
Georgia
As it's for school the base models should be plenty. Macbooks also have exceptional resale value. The base models losing the least in value. So, spend $2600 now on the two of them. Then buy the ARM models in three years. Probably costing about $1,200 after you sell the old ones. Overall you'll spend about the same amount of money and have them on updated models. Potentially always under warranty if you get Applecare.

Also get them hard cases and keyboard skins. That way they keep them in good cosmetic condition. As that can make a difference of a couple hundred dollars.

Heck, you could do as described with Macbook Airs instead. They are plenty powerful for college. Let alone middle/high school. Saving money and perhaps upgrading every two years. Really as long as you are willing to resell laptops locally for cash. Upgrading every two years, three years or six years won't change net costs much. It just adds some hassle. With the benefit of being up to date.

With all that being said. I'd expect any current Intel Mac to get at least six years OS support. Four years of OS upgrades and two more of security patches. But within two or three years your kids will likely really want the ARM models. Due to support of iOS apps.

Just for reference. I've been looking at 2015 13" Macbook Pros on eBay. It's tough to find a base model in good physical condition for less than $600. 2018 models are ridiculously high. So, it may cost more like $600 to $800 if you upgrade two computers in three years time.
 
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dagmar10

macrumors newbie
Sep 8, 2019
18
11
As it's for school the base models should be plenty. Macbooks also have exceptional resale value. The base models losing the least in value. So, spend $2600 now on the two of them. Then buy the ARM models in three years. P

But are we sure that the resale value will stay the same when ARM comes out? I've a feeling it might plummet (if we're looking at history) just like the G5s (or were they G4s?) when the Power PC to Intel switch happened.

I want to pull the trigger on a 2020 MBP, but I don't want to gamble on falling resale values as I too rely on reselling devices to step up to the latest and greatest.
 
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steve123

macrumors 6502
Aug 26, 2007
348
138
But are we sure that the resale value will stay the same when ARM comes out? I've a feeling it might plummet (if we're looking at history) just like the G5s (or were they G4s?) when the Power PC to Intel switch happened.
When Apple made the Intel transition it was seen as removing a major barrier to adoption which unleashed a torrent of interest and sales of the new macs. IMO, the transition to ARM is being driven by security concerns. Intel blew the response to the major side channel vulnerabilities exposed in their architecture. I predicted back then that in a few years Apple would abandon Intel. So, I do not believe this transition is the same as the previous one and so I would not expect the demand for the Intel based versions to crater like the PowerPC did during the previous transition. That could change though if there is another major Intel vulnerability that comes to light or by some miracle Apple's ARM based macs come out 2x faster than the Intel machines.
 

starkana

macrumors demi-god
Aug 3, 2018
86
43
USA
or first gen could be over engineered and more robust, and future iterations will be optimized to cut cost. hardware wise i expect it to be solid. they have tons of experience with arm already. any issues will most likely be software and can be fixed with a software update
 
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OSXphoto

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 23, 2013
101
18
Excellent, thanks for your input. Mixed opinions, I like that. I apologise for coming back late, I had some serious WiFi trouble to solve in my network.

Actually selling after 3 years is a thought that had not occurred to me, so that is interesting. Estimating resale value is a tough game I suppose. And from an ecological point of view I am a big advocate of keeping the devices until they die physically or functionally. We are still using a 2008 Unibody MacBook Core 2 duo.

I believe resale value for the majority of used MacBook buyers is not so much about tech knowledge, it's more about brand status. I think most MacBook Air buyers (new or used) are not consciously aware of the butterfly keyboard issues nor did they care much about the non-retina display. In The Netherlands, legacy stock brand new non-retina 2017 Airs are still offered for 900-1000 Euro's.

What I do think is that as soon as Silicon MacBooks get to play iOS apps (or even feature touch screens), this will interest the common public to an extent that used "legacy" MacBooks could see resale drops. And yes - those functionalities will be enticing and not just for my kids :cool: .

Getting them the 2020 Air is out of the question. We had 4 units, tested, and found them way too noisy due to missing heat pipe. The current $1299 base MBP 13" would do for a while. We tested that one too, but 8GB of RAM is not future proof in 2020. My kids managed to fill all 8GB quickly and were running 2GB swap files within the hour. It would do for a couple of years, but certainly not 6-8 years.

So that leaves only the $1799 MBP 13" with dual fans. We tested that model too and it's fantastic. I used it with 2 ext displays and it got a very modest power usage increase.

Finally, the latest intel processing power - meh. I took the $1799 model for a test drive. It has 2.0 GHz 10th gen processor. I let it render 663 previews in Lightroom. I kinda expected it to be a lot faster than my 2013 retina MBP 15" 2.3 / 16GB RAM. But it wasn't.
2020 13": 16 mins 24 secs.
2013 MBP 15": 18 mins 30 secs.
My gut feeling is that the ARM models will provide more performance for price. So I think I'll wait and see when the announcement comes.

There is just one thing and that is that I want 16GB RAM minimum. Unlike myself, Apple probably considers 8GB to be a good base config. So I probably need to spend at least 250 more to get to 16GB. Maybe if the first ARM is a MacBook Air - and they fixed the heat pipe fiasco - it will do for 6-8 years.

We will see.

Comments are still welcome if you like.
 

thunng8

macrumors 65816
Feb 8, 2006
1,005
388
Excellent, thanks for your input. Mixed opinions, I like that. I apologise for coming back late, I had some serious WiFi trouble to solve in my network.

Actually selling after 3 years is a thought that had not occurred to me, so that is interesting. Estimating resale value is a tough game I suppose. And from an ecological point of view I am a big advocate of keeping the devices until they die physically or functionally. We are still using a 2008 Unibody MacBook Core 2 duo.

I believe resale value for the majority of used MacBook buyers is not so much about tech knowledge, it's more about brand status. I think most MacBook Air buyers (new or used) are not consciously aware of the butterfly keyboard issues nor did they care much about the non-retina display. In The Netherlands, legacy stock brand new non-retina 2017 Airs are still offered for 900-1000 Euro's.

What I do think is that as soon as Silicon MacBooks get to play iOS apps (or even feature touch screens), this will interest the common public to an extent that used "legacy" MacBooks could see resale drops. And yes - those functionalities will be enticing and not just for my kids :cool: .

Getting them the 2020 Air is out of the question. We had 4 units, tested, and found them way too noisy due to missing heat pipe. The current $1299 base MBP 13" would do for a while. We tested that one too, but 8GB of RAM is not future proof in 2020. My kids managed to fill all 8GB quickly and were running 2GB swap files within the hour. It would do for a couple of years, but certainly not 6-8 years.

So that leaves only the $1799 MBP 13" with dual fans. We tested that model too and it's fantastic. I used it with 2 ext displays and it got a very modest power usage increase.

Finally, the latest intel processing power - meh. I took the $1799 model for a test drive. It has 2.0 GHz 10th gen processor. I let it render 663 previews in Lightroom. I kinda expected it to be a lot faster than my 2013 retina MBP 15" 2.3 / 16GB RAM. But it wasn't.
2020 13": 16 mins 24 secs.
2013 MBP 15": 18 mins 30 secs.
My gut feeling is that the ARM models will provide more performance for price. So I think I'll wait and see when the announcement comes.

There is just one thing and that is that I want 16GB RAM minimum. Unlike myself, Apple probably considers 8GB to be a good base config. So I probably need to spend at least 250 more to get to 16GB. Maybe if the first ARM is a MacBook Air - and they fixed the heat pipe fiasco - it will do for 6-8 years.

We will see.

Comments are still welcome if you like.
If you want Lightroom performance you might want to wait for Apple Silicon Macs. My 2018 iPad Pro already outperforms my 2018 13" Macbook Pro by a significant margin. It also outperforms my 2018 Mac mini (6 core 3.0Ghz version). It is faster from previews to exports. Unfortunately, there are still some missing features in the ipad version which hopefully will not be the case with Lightroom on Apple Silicon Macs.
 
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burgerrecords

macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2020
210
104
I would wait as much as you can. This isn’t a new product space, Apple isn’t going to release a computer that doesn’t work for your use case, they would be eviscerated by the media.

I just put a recent Linux distro on a 6 year old dell ultrabook and everything most people would want is on there and it flies. This is pretty mature tech and Apple’s implementation is made with your situations at the forefront.
 
Last edited:

Hexley

Suspended
Jun 10, 2009
1,641
493
There is a possibility that one of the first new ARM Macs will be a 13.3” MBP. My 2 kids (12 y/o) need a laptop for the new school, by September 2020. They will use it for 6 years in school and hopefully it still works a few years on after that.

If such an ARM MBP 13.3” will be announced by September, I may be able to hold off the purchase for the kids for a couple of months.

My dilemma: ARM for longevity vs Intel for stability. We all know that any first release can be buggy and it just happens that some issues are not solved until the 2nd or 3rd iteration. Or possibly the first release gets 5 years of security patches vs 9 for the later models.

Bottom line is I don’t like first releases In general. But I’d hate to burn 4k on two of the last intel models - hoping to buy future proof - only to find that by January the first ARM is doing extremely well and the growing pains are ironed out quickly.

there is no way I can hold off purchase until the second ARM MBP model, so it’s either - or.

I‘d appreciate your thoughts.

Peter
Why not just give your old Macs to your kids. If ever they demolish them it wont hurt as much to replace.

Benchmarks of the M1 Macs have shown that it can perform better even with translation than Intel Macs. M1 will get software updates beyond 2028. Today's Intel Macs would be lucky if they reach 2028.
 
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