Another "buy now or wait?" thread

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by roeddin, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. roeddin macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2013
    Hello everyone. I'm sure some people are getting annoyed by these threads, but I wanted to throw up a fresh thread and get some opinions about my situation and questions.

    I'm in graphic design school and will eventually need to get used to macs and their operating system. Since so many design firms almost exclusively use macs, I really need the experience and familiarity with them so that I'll have a higher chance for getting hired at any given place. I've been using PCs my whole life and have always been curious about the other side but never committed...

    So, my questions are 1) would I be able to get a full enough experience with a hackintosh? I've done some brief reading and it seems pretty complicated on turning a laptop into one, though. 2) If I had to buy a mbp, would it be worth it to wait or buy now?

    Upgrade-ability is very important to me. I don't want to spend a fortune on a mbp at apple, I'd rather buy aftermarket way cheaper and do it myself. Another problem is the current retina display machines - glued and soldered in is EXTREMELY unappealing to me. Having said that, what are the chances that the new models coming in(ETA June) will ALL be glued and soldered?

    In my opinion, this is a horrible way for Apple to go, but who am I to say this. I just see them as being 100% consumer-based if they keep taking this route with all their products. I really don't like supporting a company that makes these kind of decisions, but the fact that Mac is so common in the design industry, I almost have no choice in the matter. I have to be familiar with their systems.
  2. walkie, Feb 8, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013

    walkie macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2010

    If you want to built a hackintosh PC you need to have compatible hardware and unlock BIOS, check here which PC models/Hardware you need in order to get it work, a little time ago I bought a 15" Sony Vaio S series and failed when trying to install hackintosh since they have a s***ty 3rd party software installed on the BIOS called H2O which blocks/hides the BIOS thus kept me from configure the BIOS options the hackintosh needed, I ended up returning the VAIO and buying a 15" rMBP which is far better machine

    The rMBPs are not glued (only iToys like iPads, iPods, iPhones and similar are glued), they have especial screws and you can take them apart with a special kit you can buy on the internet, they do come with RAM memory soldered so if you need more RAM try to get as much as possible when buying, if you need more storage on your rMBP you can upgrade your SSD

    If you want a more upgradable laptop buy a non-retina MBP which allows RAM/Disc upgrades from cheaper 3rd party makers.
  3. mike5065 macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2013
    i was in a similar situation. I wanted to familiarize myself with OS X, but not neccesarily commit $1-2K, so i tried hackintosh. the tonymacx86 community is strong, and his materials will help, and you can likely do this with hardware you already have. this is not for novice users.

    in my case, this led to buying iPad, 2 TVs, iPhone and MBP 13 (non-retina) because it made sense. i would not have bought those without trying OS X first, along side windows, for at least a few months.

    most people believe the next gen MBP will be exclusively the Retina form factor, so future model MBP upgradeability will limited/more costly.
  4. roeddin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2013
    Thanks guys. So I'm thinking my best option is a 2012 mbp for what I want out of it, so I'm not at risk of shelling out tons of cash for apple-only upgrades and repairs. I'm assuming that when the new models this year roll out, 2012 mbp models will be nigh impossible to acquire new/relatively new? I can get a student discount right now for the current non-retina mbp models, which ends up being about $100 more than a refurb(warranty included).
  5. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    Not necessarily impossible to find new. Perhaps not from Apple, but they'll sell old stock to resellers.

    Heck, a couple weeks ago a local Micro Center had a brand-new iPad 1 in stock on clearance. So you may find one new.

    A lot of people do think that Apple will take just one generation to go full retina, and that might be true, but it's not set in stone. Apple refurbs are very, very good, and I wouldn't hesitate to purchase a refurb.
  6. Ricanlegend macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2009
    Just curious how much was they selling the iPad 1 for ?
  7. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    I don't recall. I can't imagine for very much.
  8. beavisqueef macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2013
    Can you give us as much detail as possible on what you'll be doing with the mac? And what programs you'll be running. Also how long do you plan to keep it. It is often cheaper to buy a budget model and upgrade more frequently than shell out for high end. Depending on what you're doing, a MBA might do the trick and you can always upgrade in a year or two if needed and sell the MBA to recoup some loss.

    If you want to just get your feet wet with OS X in the short term you can run a "hackintosh" on a VM on your PC. I won't post links or info on how to do it but there's a lot of info on google.
  9. roeddin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2013
    I will be using it as a replacement for my current machine(MSI gt725, upgraded processor, RAM). I'll need to be able to work with all of the Adobe suite, especially Premier and extensive InDesign files. I'll also be gaming in my free time. I plan to keep my next purchase for at least 3 years.

    I've been doing some research on PCs and think I may figure out in-depth on how intense it is to mod a PC into a hackintosh. I'd really like to be able to have the new w530 thinkpad as a hackintosh that can dual boot.

    All I primarily need is to become completely familiar with OS X over the next year or so and I think I will be fine in terms of being able to work/navigate on either platform quickly and efficiently.
  10. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Wait forever, dont EVER buy because the next best thing is right around the corner, or a few corners, or a hundred.
  11. A Hebrew macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Jan 7, 2012
    Hackintosh is pretty much the same thing, save the money for the next model since it is likely coming out this Summer. If it isn't out by late July then buy. OS X is simple to understand if you have used Windows 7, XP, or Vista.
  12. nitromac, Feb 11, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013

    nitromac macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2012
    Honestly I can't think of any professional design software that is mac exclusive. In fact I prefer doing "work" on my MBP and doing creative things on my PC. I don't know where the Mac = design link exists nowadays. Yes, 300 years ago Macs were special to Adobe. But there's no difference now.

    I guess if you are a monkey then adjusting to the Mac environment might be difficult but you'll do fine using whatever through college and then taking 5 minutes to adjust to OSX.

    If I were you and didn't want to switch to Apple's all-proprietary system, I would get something with a high quality screen. That usually means shelling out $1300+ but you can afford that if you can afford an MBP. The two laptops that come to mind are HP's EliteBooks (or something like that) and Lenovo W-series. The Lenovo is pretty bulky and heavy, but it's durable, reliable, powerful as hell (up to 64GB of RAM), and has the option of a 1080p IPS display with a color calibration device BUILT IN the laptop. That's going to be important if you are doing ANYTHING design related. You will have a lot of workspace with that resolution on a 15" screen, and that is crucial for any creative application. Also, it has options for two disk drives, so you could have your system on an SSD and all your documents/drafts/whatnot on a large hard drive. No need for external USB drives.

    And I wouldn't bother doing a hackintosh. Updates are a pain in the ass and you have to tinker a LOT and know exactly what you're doing. Otherwise it's going to fall apart at some point.

    But seriously, Adobe's interfaces are EXACTLY the same for both Windows and OSX. You're not going to be lost if you have to switch.

    EDIT: I see you already have some sights set on a W530. Go for it. You can dual boot a hackintosh if you really want to -- but just make sure to backup everything and know that there are a few minor annoyances you will experience when using both systems. Like how you'll constantly need to set Windows's time/date after using OSX.

    I actually had a similar self-debate when choosing a laptop for college. I'm not a design major (comp sci) but as I've stated I do a LOT of creative work. My first choice was a Thinkpad since I'd owned one and loved it, but then I started thinking about an MBP. I have to say it was hard to choose because both systems would basically cost me the same price (Lenovo ~$100 cheaper) and I liked the design of the MBP more. It literally came down to minor details -- like the MBP's trackpad, the Lenovo's 1080p screen, and the weight/bulk of the machines. Also the MBP would have iCloud sync which is amazingly useful with my iPhone. In some ways, I wish I'd gotten the Thinkpad. They're both equally amazing laptops. It comes down to what you need out of it.

    On second thought: If you're going to be doing most of your design work in your dorm then you could get a quality external monitor. Dell's U2410M is highly regarded in this case, costs $400. So you could get a cheap(er) laptop with a decent screen (as a designer you will grow to hate bad displays) that can handle some gaming and work on your external when you need to. Just an option.
  13. roeddin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2013
    Thanks for the input! I think you're right about OS X for the most part. I work with macs every now and then when I'm in my classes(all they have are macs) and it's just unfamiliar territory for me. I'm able to quickly navigate with PCs and multi-task much, much faster but I know it's because I just don't have enough hands on with the OS.

    You're right that Adobe is virtually identical cross-platform, save for the positioning of ALT, CTRL, and the Command key on apple. Force of habit, since I only use hotkeys in the programs I work with cause lots of frustration when going from PC to Mac while working on the go.

    I really like the w530 thinkpad and I'm pretty sure it is the best you can get for what I want right now. It does have a high res screen, but no IPS available for it(I think) and I've read a lot of negative reviews on the color calibration system you can get with it. For me, like you, it comes down to small things as well. I think the touchpad on mbp is fantastic. I like that they're lighter and more portable(currently lugging around a huge 17" 9+ lb. monster). I love the potential of the w530, though, which seems like something Apple is doing away with.

    As much as I'd love to have that beast w530, I think I should make the move, at least for a while to bring my efficiency up with the mac hotkeys and the layout/workflow of OS X.

    Does anyone have experience with price drops of year-old models the moment they release a new one? IE: purchasing a 2012 mbp(classic, upgradable) in June rather than now.

    On the external monitor: This is definitely on my to-do list! I just don't have the space for it right now, and much of my design ends up being at different locations than my home.
  14. nitromac macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2012
    Well if you end up buying a year-old model then you'll probably have to go refurbished/preset and won't be able to choose options. The price drops aren't really that drastic and you would get a decent deal through the student discount anyways. I'm not sure they sell any refurb models with the high-res screen, which is a must-have if you're going with a 15". But I haven't checked so I wouldn't know.

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