A Condor With $2,000 Does What?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by aCondor, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. aCondor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    #1
    A Condor has $2,000 and wants to buy the best Apple laptop for the money. Tell me your thoughts.

    This bird is thinking of buying refurbished, but can be persuaded otherwise. This bird also is looking for a device that will last for years and years. Reliability is key. This bird is currently using a Windows laptop that is 4+ years old. Will the Mac last longer?

    This bird does not NEED the laptop now. It will NEED the laptop within 3-4 months.
     
  2. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #2
    What features does this bird usually utilize? (ex: Internet, video, graphic editing, etc)
     
  3. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a

    Btrthnezr3

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Does this bird need a lighted keyboard? I mean does it have to "hunt and peck" for the correct keys? ;)
     
  4. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #4
    Best Apple laptop for the money: 15" MacBook Pro i5 2.4+some sort of sandforce SSD+optibay.
     
  5. aCondor thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 20, 2010
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    United States
    #5
    This bird will mostly be using light programs. Internet and limited photo/video editing capabilities. However, this is a curious bird who wants to keep its options open. This bird takes good care of it's possessions and wants an Apple that will take as good care of it as it of it. That last sentence makes sense to this bird but may not translate to people-talk.

    This bird does not need a back-lit keyboard. This bird has excellent night-vision and can type quite well in the dark.


    This bird says "Thank-Kaw" to people who respond to it, even though it is just a bird.
     
  6. darknite38 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #6
    The bird shall perch in it's nest and wait for the nest release of the macbook. If the baby bird must depart within 4 months and the new macbook has not released, purchase a macbook to bring the chick back.
     
  7. aCondor thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    #7
    This bird wonders if the coming MBP is worth the premium price. This bird thinks to itself, "Kaw, surely an i5 2.4 upgraded with SSD as mentioned (Refurbished... or New if < $2,000) of the previous generation will be more powerful and economical than the stock next-Gen. MBP?"

    This bird is most interested in value and performance. This bird has worked very hard to repatriate $2,000 from unsuspecting humans and knows it will be many years before another buying opportunity arises.
     
  8. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #8
    Longevity

    Macs are actually much more future-proof than most other computers. I bought the bleeding-edge titanium PowerBook in January of 2001 and used that quite happily until 2006, running everything from OS 9 through Panther (except Kodiak), finishing law school, starting a web site, writing a book and generally impressing the non-Mac community until that poor thing's screen backlight was like Bob Cratchit's candle.

    As a rule of thumb, I've found the best balance of power to price seems to be the one-notch processor upgrade and an after-market max-out of RAM. Currently, this would be the 2.53Ghz 15" which really maxes out your price cap. If you really wanted to buy now, I would try to swing that one and then add RAM later.

    The tip-top processor is usually a poor $/performance trade off (like the current 2.8Ghz i7) as is the entry level (although less so). However, in defense of buying the top end, I don't ever think anyone has, after a year, sat down in front of his/her computer and thought, "Gee whiz! I really wish I had bought the slower processor!" With your use horizon >4 years (congrats on a sound mind!) the $200 top-end premium is actually not that great and while a +5% bump in processor speed won't make a huge difference in future-proofing, it may add a bit to resale value if that route becomes desirable/necessary.

    Of course, since you can wait, I would stand by for the new batch and look at that same entry point. Remember, if you're willing to go the refurbished route, the current MBPs will likely be available through that channel after the release of new models, so you should be able to do a better comparison then.

    Cheers!
     
  9. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #9
    I agree - heck, I (and apparently a few others) used early G4 Towers and G4 PowerBooks with Final Cut Pro v1 for the best part of a decade before upgrading. I think getting even the next-gen-low-end would last the bird at least 4 years, possibly as many as 8 before an upgrade is required... so long as the bird doesnt decide to learn Final Cut or Logic ;)
     
  10. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #10
    It's worth at least checking out the MacBook Air. For long flights, its reduced weight will be well appreciated.

    Future wise, with the cheap costs of RAM and declining costs of SSDs, you have multiple options to upgrade both now and down the road to increase the longevity of your system.
     
  11. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #11
    Hard to say, at this point. When I was using a Windows-based laptop, it felt somewhat archaic right away and - while it still runs - can barely be used for modern tasks. My Macbook Pro is now 3-4 years old and still feels fresh, even for some more demanding tasks.

    While it's tempting to chalk the difference up to Windows/PC vs. Mac, it could just be that the rate of advancement is slowing (if not in terms of hardware power, then in terms of being able to and/or needing to utilize it). Macbook Pros still have a better build quality, overall, which is reassuring in thinking that they'll last forever...

    It's also worth noting that batteries are integrated these days. I've twice had to swap out the battery on a Macbook Pro before, right around the two year marks on each of them (Apple actually replaced them for free). On my current Macbook Pro I'm getting the "service battery" message, too. Apple changes the battery for you on the systems where it's built-in, so it's not like you need to trash the entire system... and the newer batteries supposedly last 3-4 times longer than the type that I'm using. However, it's the part that's most likely to fail and need replacing, and it's not user-serviceable anymore.

    I'd only suggest a Macbook Air to people who really need (and I mean really need) the portability. You're exchanging power for a thinner form factor and lighter weight. I've also heard of overheating issues with the Airs for people who try to use it for heavy tasks. Maybe the newer ones have fixed those problems, but... choose the right tool for the right job.

    It's not like Macbook Pros are that heavy, either! Why, I remember when desktop replacement systems used to weigh closer to 10 pounds - Macbook Pros are nearly half that! And so thin by comparison! Sigh, I'm becoming an old person...
     
  12. Blu101 macrumors 6502a

    Blu101

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    #12
    The best overall bang for the buck model out right now is the 2.4 i5 15".

    What screen size does bird want? This can be a range, i.e.13-15, 15-17, etc. This will help us make suggestions to bird. Does bird care about screen resolution/anti-glare? This also helps.

    I recommend that bird works on its choices to arrive at the right model mac first, then worry about price shopping (MSRP, edu discount, 3rd party reseller, refurbished, etc.).
     
  13. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #13
    We all are. It beats the alternative. :D

    Excellent suggestion. First determine what you need to accomplish and your specific preferences, then that should dictate which model and configuration best meets those needs. Only then worry about how to get the best price on that system.
     
  14. aCondor thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 20, 2010
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    United States
    #14
    This bird is looking seriously at the 15" MBP with hi-res and matte screen. This bird thinks that is the best option, as an i5 will future-proof while a 15" screen improves portability.

    This bird is certainly impressed with the MBA. However, it has C2D processors and limited SSD space, which would limit lifespan. This bird is more interested in performance than mobility, and would have trouble typing while flying, anyways. This bird needs to use both wings to stay aloft.

    This bird really likes this idea. This bird doesn't need full specifications immediately and can wait for max'ed out RAM and HDD.

    This bird notices that the 15" MBP i5 2.53 with Hi-Res Anti-Glare is $1,984.
    ........................and the 15" MBP i7 2.66 with Hi-Res Anti-Glare is $2,134.

    The i7 2.66 is not too far over this bird's budget. This bird is leaning towards the i7 now, as $150 is not expensive, especially when carried over 4+ years. This bird will be doing some research on how the i7 > i5, but if you have any experience this bird would love your input.
     
  15. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    Dec 11, 2010
    #15
    There are currently numerous MBAs residing at my parent's house. One with the original 64GB SSD, one with the 128GB SSD, one with a hard disk drive, and one with the new 256 built in flash memory. None have ever had overheating issues and they have all held up just as good as the MBP and the computer's C2D is more than capable for 'most' users. Thus far, they have held up just as well as the MBP although the line is only 2 years old so we cant say about 5 or 10 year durability, but I would bet it would follow the trend set by the MBP to be a mobile tank.

    The mobility aspect is a little different IMO. Initially when laptops were 8 pounds, when 6 pounds one came out, everyone said who cares. When 3 and 4 pounds came out, same thing. With that said, once people have the chance to experience and utilize the extreme mobility, they rarely want to go back to a larger computer unless power is a major issue. Once you experience the MBA, you will probably buy another. I love my MBP and it better suits what I do, but if I didn't have my MBP, I would have a MBA. They are the only 2 laptops which I would be interesting in buying (even if the MBP currently lacks some 'standard' features).
     
  16. idea_hamster, Jan 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011

    idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #16
    I would love to help, but I bought a 2.0 GHz C2D white MacBook in 2006, which (while beaten to within a micron of its life, having gone through 3 drives, 3 RAM configs, and been to 6 nations on three continents) still works surprisingly well, failing backlight, caps lock key, optical drive and hinge notwithstanding.

    Consequently, I've never used an iX processor -- although I have stashed just over $2k in Apple gift cards for when the next MBP comes out. I'm in the same boat, but really, no matter what specs I get, just the move from 3GB 533MHz DDR2 to 8GB 1066MHz DDR3 is going to be just a beautiful thing -- especially when trying to render something in After Effects. (Who in their right mind would use a C2D MB for that job?!?)

    Maybe the hamster and the bird will happen to bump into each other in line....

    EDIT: By the bye, I almost bought that 15" 2.66GHz i7 a few times, but my little white MB just keeps on ticking -- just wouldn't give me an excuse to pull the trigger.
     
  17. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    #17
    I know...I'm late to the game, but just some random thoughts. Personally, I'd definitely recommend the 15" MBP. The 13" is nice and light, but the smaller screen will kill your eyes. The 17" has a really great screen, but...try finding a backpack (or whatever) that really can accomodate a 17" laptop.

    There's not much difference in speed (in a real world sense) between the i5 2.4 and i5 2.53 processors. The i7 2.66 would be a good choice if you're doing any heavy video editing (even on iMovie) or 3D work in Photoshop or Strata.

    If you can spare the extra $200 for the i7 model, that'd be a good choice.

    That said, keep in mind that the MBP's are due for a refresh, and should be getting the updated "Sandy Bridge" processors (which, from what I can tell) are almost twice as fast as the current iX processors (which are no slouches to begin with).

    Me - when Photoshop CS5 was announced back in April, I knew the MBP was due for a refresh. I got the "base" model - 2.4GHz processor. The only change I've made is to upgrade the HD to 500gigs (from the original 320gig).

    One more thing - this was my first Mac, and I'm sold. Windows is used at work only.
     
  18. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a

    AppleMacFinder

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    Dec 7, 2009
  19. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    5045 feet above sea level
  20. aCondor thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 20, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    #21
    This bird thinks that if a gorilla can learn how to use a computer there is still hope for this bird's feathered flock.

    Thank you all for your input and replies. This bird is seriously considering the i7 MBP. Now this bird has the same problem as humans: Buy now or wait? This bird thinks we are not too different after all... KA-KaW!
     
  21. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #22
    If this bird has a computer that will function for the next couple of months, then this bird shall wait.
     

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