Advice on buying a new MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by calfan, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. calfan macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2010
    Hi Guys,

    I'm new to the forum, but I've been browsing and reading posts for a while.

    Anyway, this week my school has a sale on MBPs for a little more than just the student discount and it is also a "tax free" sale.

    My question is, would it be better to wait for the new MBP (which I was about to do, but this sale recently came up), or buy a new one. If I get it this week, I plan to get the highest end MBP. If I bought it after the update, I'd get the middle end MBP. Another question I'd have would be whether the highest end MBP now would (most likely) be better or worse than the middle end refreshed MBP - obviously in your opinion, since we have no idea what's going to come out precisely.

    It is not urgent that I get a new computer, but I do plan on buying a new MBP within the next few months. I've been waiting either a great deal on the current generation (such as from the refurbished store) or waiting for the refresh. What do you guys suggest?


    EDIT: I will be waiting at least past tomorrow to buy it, because of a possible refresh.

    As for what I would do: I'm currently a student doing research and that involves a lot of coding - and I also have to do a bunch of coding for other classes. I understand that I probably won't need the "top of the line" MBP, but I cannot anticipate what I would need to do in the next 2-3 years (which is what I'm guessing the lifetime of the laptop should be about).

    EDIT 2: The sale has both the student discount AND has no tax. So I'd think that's about 20% off.

    EDIT 3: Because of the recent Steam announcement, I may start gaming on the OS X platform. I will also probably need to dual boot because of some of the software needed for school (such as LabVIEW)

    EDIT 4: I'm talking about the 15 inch MBP. I forgot to mention that.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    You have given us zero information that is helpful as far as to what spec would be better or whether an update will actually help you or not. Please do so.
  3. oliverb macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Depends on what you use it for... as has been stated often in the various Arrandale threads, if your needs are relatively mid-range (browsing, email, word processing etc) with perhaps some iPhoto, iMovie etc then the current high end are plenty powerful. If you need to do alot of processor intensive things (large RAW image files, high end video editing and such) or if you want to do lots of gaming, then the new processors, and video chips, might very well be worth waiting for.

    Also depends on what kind of a sale they are having. 10% off - meh. 30% off - go for it! Compare these to educational store prices online, and also look at non sales tax options like Amazon...
  4. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    Since you are playing games, you might as well wait.
    Also the student discount + free ipod is about the same deal as being offered here if you can hold out until June/July.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    It all boils down to if you can wait then do so. If you need one now then buy one now.
  6. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Obviously, nobody knows about the updates... when they are coming or what they will include/not include, so any recommendations will be purely personal preferences

    The practical minded will tell you to buy now and enjoy your MBP while others are waiting and waiting, and will likely be disappointed with the specs

    Those who have a need to have the latest and greatest will tell you to hold out and wait, or you will fall hopelessly behind and you will not be getting value for your money if you buy now

    The basic rule of thumb is always...
    If you have to have it and need it now, buy it now and don't look back
    If you just want it, and can afford to wait without it causing issues, then wait and start your cycle with newer technology

    The bottom line is, always make the best decision you can with the information you have at the time, and don't second guess it when more information becomes available later

    Edit: Personally, I don't think the updates are imminent
  7. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    If you can wait, then wait. Tuesday is the most likely 'day of the week' for an update butI doubt today is that Tuesday(or next Tuesday)

    See my blog post from last Tuesday

    Should you need to break down and get one keep in mind that Apple will let you replace it for a new one or get some credit should a new model come out within 2 weeks. I got this straight from Apple by talking to a rep.
  8. bcrguy macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2009
    Burlington Ontario Canada
    since you are in no urgent need wait till the updates..

    the only reason i couldnt wait to get mine is i needed if for school in january and my older mbp wasnt cutting it.. (for school that is.. i needed a min of 3 gigs of ram and i was maxed at 2.. and i couldnt get another semester)
  9. itommyboy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2009
    Titletown USA
    Do you need a laptop now...I mean do you really need it? Within the answer to that question lies the answer to yours.

    Oh it's on sale you say? It should be it's very dated tech. If you can wait, wait.
  10. ready2switch macrumors 6502


    Apr 7, 2006
    Personally I don't see updates coming for the MBP until the end of April. While an update to the MBP wouldn't "cannibalize" iPad sales, I just don't think Apple wants to draw attention away from their newest product quite yet. With the iPad shipping April 3rd, mid-to-late April would be the soonest I would expect updates to anything else.

    So the question then becomes do you want to wait 6+ weeks or do you want to take advantage of the sale and buy an excellent laptop now? Depending on how good of a sale it is, you may not want to wait. I do expect the updates to be better than the current offerings (that's the point, right?), but if you factor in the savings you might get, it could be well worth it to buy now. The updates to the MBPs shouldn't be significant enough to completely eclipse the current MBPs.

    That being said, the possibilities are quite exciting. Based on Intel's current offerings, Apple has a few choices for the next MBP processor. The Core i5, Intel's mid-level processor, is built on 32nm architecture. This means it will produce less heat and be more energy efficient, offering longer battery life. I can see this being used in the 13" MBP, and maybe the low-end 15". The Core i7 offers one dual-core option and 2 quad-core options (excluding the low- and ultra-low-voltage offerings). While I am hoping that the higher-end 15" and 17" are given the quad-core option, I could see the low- and mid-range 15" staying as a dual-core. Finally, Intel has a Core i7 Extreme, which is a quad-core with an even higher base frequency than the other i7s offer. This one is wishful thinking in my opinion, but may possibly be included as a BTO option on the high end.

    As always, the choice is yours, and nobody knows when the new MBPs or what they will be. I, myself, am waiting for the updates, but I have no tax-free or student sale to consider. Plus I still have a very nice MBP from 2007 that will last for a long time.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.

    P.S. Info on Intel's newest mobile processors can be found at
  11. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Microcenter: $800 MacBooks & $1000 MacBook Pros
  12. calfan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2010
    I have decided to wait for the update, and possibly wait for the additional iPod deal, and then sell that iPod.

    I have a white macbook from 2007 and so far, it's been sufficient for my purposes. I will simply get a new computer later.

    Does anyone know if I get a student discount on both hardware and the warranty at any apple store (not student stores)?
  13. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Edu discount at any Apple store -- although many college bookstores offer even better deals.

    FYI, when the "back to school" deal comes ebay and CL are usually *flooded* with those iPods.
  14. dreary macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2009
    i would wait till the next revision, which will probably be in time for the back to school sale. so wait a little longer! ;)

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