Another long "should I get a Macbook" thread

DanGoh

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 6, 2014
348
451
So the display on the 2009 unibody Macbook my sister handed down to me broke down last week, which is fine because I've been saving for a new MacBook Pro. I'm new to the forum and not as tech savvy as some of the people here, so I'm looking for recommendations from people that have MacBooks or know a lot about them. I'm in school now (one more quarter and I'll be done with the first of four years) and not going into anything that will demand too much of my new Mac (will probably never have to install any program for a class).

I'm undecided in terms of size, although I'm leaning towards the base 15-inch because I will be giving my Windows 8 desktop to my younger sister. So this will be my main computer.

I also really want it to last at least 4 years. In fact, if it broke down exactly four years from the day I opened it, I'd be a ok :) and give it a good funeral. Will the base 2.0 GHz quad core 15 inch have a lower chance of developing problems than a mid or high tier 13 inch model? Is it true that the display brightness is low compared to previous models, I've been to the Apple Store and they all looked good, but all the the Macs on were on full brightness. I also don't plan on buying AppleCare initially (maybe after 6 months).

Programs/Uses I see myself using/doing over four years:

• iWork
• MS Office for Mac 2014 (when it comes out)
• iTunes (currently have 31 GB library)
• Xcode
• Programming (I know some C, maybe learn Java, Objective C)
• Web browsing
• iPhoto
• GarageBand
• LogicPro
• Google Music
• Torrent Downloading

Do you think I should wait until the 2014 refresh comes out later in October? I think I could hold out if they redesigned aesthetically, boosted battery by an hour, or improved the display. But if it's only a minimal upgrade I think I'd like to just get it now. I hope to decide by Wednesday and maybe get it this Thursday!

Sorry this was so long but you were kind of warned :(
 

InquisitiveAmI

macrumors member
Jul 16, 2012
80
0
Sort of same situation as me .Aside from my thread (about two posts down ;) )
Other info from other forums I've got is the mid tier model for rmbp 13 should be enough for all of our stated uses and yours aside from Logic Pro which people seem uncertain on
 

Barney63

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2014
799
1
Bolton, UK.
The processor upgrade that is likely to give better efficiency is possibly going to be Q1 2015.
There maybe a slight cpu speed bump in summer (June) but nothing worth waiting for.
I believe there is no difference in the reliability of any of the models.

Barney
 

DanGoh

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 6, 2014
348
451
Another LONG "should I get a Macbook" thread

I believe there is no difference in the reliability of any of the models.



Barney

Not even between quad core i7 and dual core i5?

This Macbook will have my life on it. (Music, photos, documents, PDF textbooks).
 

blooperz

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2013
287
1
Theres no correlation between computing power and reliability ;). The only reason I can think of for the base model being more reliable is not having a dGPU that could potentially fail down the road (not uncommon in macs).
 

Qaanol

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2010
569
11
Get the base CPU with 8 GB RAM and either 256 or 512 GB SSD. Decide between 13″ and 15″ based on which physical size you prefer.
 

MrT-Man

macrumors regular
Jan 22, 2008
115
6
I would wait till the fall if you can hold out that long. Between IGZO display technology and Broadwell, we could see a dramatic improvement in battery life and/or weight.

There have been rumors of Broadwell being delayed, but they're only rumors at this point. We should get a better answer in a couple of weeks when Intel reports its quarterly results.
 

Merode

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
528
332
Warszawa, Poland
I wouldn't buy one with dGPU as they tend to die rather fast and cost much.

Iris and Iris Pro is enough to do most stuff. I can play Diablo 3 on Iris (high settings) at 30FPS.
 

tmoerel

macrumors 6502
Jan 24, 2008
394
79
I wouldn't buy one with dGPU as they tend to die rather fast and cost much.

Iris and Iris Pro is enough to do most stuff. I can play Diablo 3 on Iris (high settings) at 30FPS.
And what is your information about dGPU's not lasting long based on? Yes there is a problem in older MacBooks with Radeon GPU's.....but there is no complaint with any of the Nvidia ones.
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,985
7
Switzerland
I recommend a minimum of 8GB RAM and 256 GB storage.

I would base the 13 vs 15 decision purely based on the screen size and mobility requirements. Don't bother with upgrading the 13'' to an i7 CPU, it is a waste of money, and won't bring you significantly closer to the 15'' in terms of performance, because quad core!

If your "life" will be on the Mac, then make backups! Nobody can guarantee you that the Mac won't randomly break down, no matter which configuration you buy.


@tmoerel
Remember that 8600M GPU that Nvidia sold?
 

Merode

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
528
332
Warszawa, Poland
And what is your information about dGPU's not lasting long based on? Yes there is a problem in older MacBooks with Radeon GPU's.....but there is no complaint with any of the Nvidia ones.
My friend's Late 2007 MBP's nVidia GPU has died twice up until now. For the first time after two years.

This is what I base my opinion on. On the other hand - have you ever heard of CPU or iGPU dying? OP clearly pointed out that he would like his notebook to live for at least 4 years and iGPU is 100% certain to do that.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
64,192
30,770
Boston
Its impossible to say when Apple will release the updated MBPs. Given your stated useage, I don't think you'd see a huge improvement in performance with an update.

If you gave your older computer away, and you're now computer-less. Buying one now is not a bad decision. The old adage still applies, if you can wait then do so. If you need a computer now, then buy it now :)
 

tmoerel

macrumors 6502
Jan 24, 2008
394
79
My friend's Late 2007 MBP's nVidia GPU has died twice up until now. For the first time after two years.

This is what I base my opinion on. On the other hand - have you ever heard of CPU or iGPU dying? OP clearly pointed out that he would like his notebook to live for at least 4 years and iGPU is 100% certain to do that.
Wow 100% certain.....that is quite a big statement. I have seen at least 20 failed CPU's in my line of work so please be careful with your statements!
 

Merode

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
528
332
Warszawa, Poland
Wow 100% certain.....that is quite a big statement. I have seen at least 20 failed CPU's in my line of work so please be careful with your statements!
The statement is not only from my experience. For me, my relatives and my friends a CPU has never failed (both on Macs and PCs), so I have yet to meet my first ever CPU failure. Although, I've always had Intel CPUs. I can't say anything for AMD CPUs because I never had any.

If you look at the forums there's also a lot of threads about issues, failures etc. although I haven't seen yet any about CPU failure. :) Of course, if you search the forum you might find a few old ones.

EDIT: Let's say - you're 99.9% safe with iGPU.
 

borgqueens

macrumors member
Aug 10, 2013
84
0
Denmark
Theres no correlation between computing power and reliability ;). The only reason I can think of for the base model being more reliable is not having a dGPU that could potentially fail down the road (not uncommon in macs).
Not uncommon in notebooks also including "PC" notebooks.

Anyways I have a question regarding when the dGPU fail in the rMBP never own on yet. Do the rMBP stop working all together or will it just use the IGPU for all the tasks making it an working but not "good for gaming" ?
 

MrT-Man

macrumors regular
Jan 22, 2008
115
6
Its impossible to say when Apple will release the updated MBPs. Given your stated useage, I don't think you'd see a huge improvement in performance with an update.
No, but there could be a huge improvement in portability and/or battery life... I got a Retina MBP 13 recently and it's awesome, but I do wish it was like a half pound lighter!