Any reason why Apple made the rMBP sealed?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Johnny Steps, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. Johnny Steps macrumors 6502

    Johnny Steps

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    #1
    I'm no tech whiz, but I've got to admit it was nice having the option to upgrade my MacBook Pro early 2011 RAM (too bad it crashed from a GPU failure :|)

    While I'm okay with the new 13" rMBP having 8GB of RAM and the flash drive, it makes me a bit uncomfortable for the future. I'm not a photo editor or video editor, so I suppose I really shouldn't complain.. But eh, I guess it's a comforting thought to know "Hey, at least I can do this if I want to" in regards to upgrading some parts.

    Heck even those new JetDrives that were posted on the front page of MacRumors look really awesome, but they're not compatible with the late 2013 models.

    Why did Apple take this direction? Was it ever explained on their behalf?
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    Because they don't want people opening up the computers.

    The original Macintosh was sealed as well. You needed a special Mac Cracker to open it up. Apple is very controlling and this is but one facet of that philosophy.
     
  3. Johnny Steps thread starter macrumors 6502

    Johnny Steps

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    #3
    Really? Good history lesson for me there. :)

    Fair enough on their part to protect the user from potentially messing up there computer. It definitely makes sense.
     
  4. ecschwarz macrumors 6502a

    ecschwarz

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    #4
    My guess is that there will eventually be replacement drives for those particular machines - the PCIe interface is much different than the SATA one used on prior models, and even when the MacBook Airs started using the "blade"-style SSDs, it took awhile for the aftermarket community to catch up.

    As for it being sealed, I think the other poster is correct - Apple sees the computers as a cohesive unit and wants to discourage "tinkering", especially since a lot of things have plateaued and there are less parts internally to worry about.
     
  5. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    #5
    Another reason is their last few years' "thinner is better" craze. By using things such as soldered in RAM and blade-type SSD's, they are able to make their computer chassis much thinner. The pre-retina models are ¼'' thicker than the retina model due to this and the lack of an ethernet port.
     
  6. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

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  7. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    #7
    I agree, this is the main reason. If you look at how big the RAM banks are in the unibodys, and how thin the rMBPs are, something had to change.

    People like to say that it all happens in order to make machines obsolete faster. I think if you look at the whole market, and not just the small number of enthusiasts on these forums, the fraction of users that every worry about upgrading is rather small. Also most repairs were already very expensive, the soldered RAM will not suddenly make a big difference here.
     
  8. omvs macrumors 6502

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    #8
    My 2012 15" rMBP isn't sealed - you can certainly take the back off. However, only the SSD is easily replaceable, and replacements are too expensive to be worth it. The LCD you could argue is sealed in, but that's less of an 'upgrade' concern.

    The RAM is soldered clearly for size/weight reasons (IMAO). I did fret over whether 8gb was enough when I bought mine, but I do like the weight/build of the machine. The old 17" Pro seems like a behemoth in comparison and even my wife's old 15" lenovo seems dang heavy.

    People who want to upgrade their machines, so I see Apple's reasoning to sacrifice it. Lots of people originally complained about the iphone not having a card slot, or not having a swappable battery, but I would suspect a large majority of users no longer care.

    I personally would rather have more upgradable desktops - there the weight saving is less of an advantage.
     
  9. leman macrumors 604

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    #9
    What do you mean by sealed? It takes just a few wrist rotations to open up that computer. Or do you mean not user-upgradeable? I believe, two reasons. Count Blah already named one of them. The second one is that it enables them to build computers exactly how they want them (because they control the shape/size of components, they can design the board as they see fit).

    It is a shame that replacement SSDs are not available to end users though.
     
  10. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    #10
    Actually the obvious answer is that it allows to save both space and weight. This is why the battery hasn't been officially user replaceable since the 2009 models, when the first unibody machines were shown off they boasted about how much bigger the battery could now be.

    As for the RAM going soldered, it's a bit less justified. Thou it does save space, it's a pretty minimal saving.

    The switch from a standard 2,5" drive to a PCIe SSD does actually make sense because it not only saves a lot of space, it allows for much better performance than what is possible even with the fastest 2,5" drives on the market simply because of the limitations brought on by the SATA-port (there aren't any 2,5" PCIe drives on the market).

    So what it really comes down to is that you can't replace the RAM and the HDD replacement is going to be much more expensive...
     
  11. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

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    #11
    I am "tech support" for all in my family who have switched to Macs. That totals 4 families(some have more than 1 mac), not including those in my house. You are right, they don't think of upgrading their machines themselves. They just want me to do it for them. I have upgraded 3 iMacs, 2 Mac Mini's and 4 cMBPs in all. If I include my own household, that number jumps up much more.

    Now I am advising my family who absolutely need to upgrade now, to simply buy cheap PCs. Its' because it will be much easier to replace every couple of years, than to buy Macs that can no longer be upgraded. The last hope to keep my family with Macs is and upgraded Mac Mini. But I have my doubts.
     
  12. drenline macrumors 6502a

    drenline

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    #12
    so my question to you is....should I get applecare on my late 2013 rMBP 13" in case something needs fixing since I can't replace parts myself anymore?
     
  13. Fondaparinux macrumors member

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    #13
    Because it's to thin. Making it upgradable means having a standard SSD (A lot bigger), a RAM slot, and for removable batteries, you need a slot. If you get rid of all of these and just make them unremovable, you get a lot more space. The slots take up space.

    Apple made it soldered which is why Apple was able to make a powerful computer with extremely thin dimensions.
     
  14. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    I’m trying to follow your logic, I really am, but…it’s just not making sense. Your family members do not want to upgrade their machines. The only reason they ever make upgrades to them is because you do it for them. And now you are recommending they get cheap machines that will definitely break in a few years, solely for the purpose of…what exactly? Giving yourself something to do when they need help?
     
  15. Miloh macrumors newbie

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    #15
    I'm not following it either. He's telling his family to downgrade to a vastly inferior experience just so he can sate his upgrade fix and potentially "save" money replacing broken parts.
     
  16. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

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    #16
    I usually get AppleCare on portables. But buy it from another place, other than apple directly. There are discounts out there.
     
  17. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

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    #17
    Of what exactly? Saving money of course.

    I quoted someone who talked about people upgrading their own machines. When I do this for my family, I offer to do it, so their machines last longer. Otherwise, they would simply complain about the machines getting slow, and would buy a new one. Sure, that makes sense when you spend $500 for a computer, but not for one that costs $1500.

    Now that you can't upgrade Macs, you really are paying 2-3 times more. Macs made the most sense because they WERE often Usable for much longer, as long as you upgraded the memory and storage. You can get a new PC every couple of years, and still be ahead of a Mac that you can no longer upgrade. So instead of dealing with 5-6 year old CPU/GPU as you update the memory/storage, you can now have updated core tech more often with a PC.

    There is no way I am recommending my family buy a non-upgradeable Mac.
     
  18. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #18
    It may be me but I have never experienced a machine just getting slower over time, filling up the HDD yes, having some rogue app etc take cycles giving the illusion of slower until the rogue app or whatever is fixed/removed. But just getting slower for no known or fixable reason?? No, not had that.

    Most machines remain just as capable as they were when new. Of course if you want or "need" to load a more intensive CPU application etc then sure, but equally that is a customer upgrade choice.
     
  19. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

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    #19
    Usually it's a ram issue. We're talking about those who have little clue about how computers work. My mom's iMac came with 2 gigs of ram, the in-laws Mac mini the same. Neither of them really exercise the GPU, but over time, ram was really the bottleneck. Both are sporting 4 gigs of ram, and their machines are still OK for them. If not for me, they probably would have replaced both, a long time ago.

    My mom's iMac has an issue that apple refuses to fix. It can't go past 10.6.3, because apple screwed up the kexts for the graphics card. There are a lot of people in the same boat, and it is completely a software issue. So she is in the need for an upgrade. In telling her to not go with a Mac anymore, because they are not upgradeable. It's cheaper for her to get a simple PC, then upgrade it in a couple years, than to spend $1500+ on something in the hopes it will last as long as she wants it to last. When I get on the computer, I can link the tread about the iMac - remeber folks, just because apple says they support something, doesn't really make it true ;)
     
  20. leman macrumors 604

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    #20
    Count, what you seem to be ignoring here is that the technology and prices change - especially when we talk about RAM. Only few years ago there was a big difference between the default and the maximal RAM configuration. Nowadays, RAM is so cheap that you can put absurd amounts of it it into the machine and just forget about it. I seriously doubt that a current-gen PC will benefit from going from 16GB to 32GB in a few years — to fully reap the benefits of more RAM, you'd also need a new CPU, mainboard etc.

    In this sense, soldered RAM in the Macbook makes a lot of sense. Those laptops will NEVER be able to host more then 16GB of RAM — no matter if you have user-replaceable RAM or not. The only thing you lose with the rMBO is the ability to go from 8GB to 16GB at will — but again, this will probably never be relevant for the majority of users.
     
  21. alex0002 macrumors 6502

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    #21
    mSATA (left) and M.2 (right) are standard SSD formats and are a similar size to the ones used in the rMBP.

    [​IMG]

    Note: there is more than one M.2 form factor available and PCIe interface means similar performance to the latest rMBP SSDs.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a110-m.2-ssd,3594.html

    The mSATA drives have been around for a while and for people with the latest ultrabooks, the M.2 SSDs are available from amazon and other retailers.
    http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-M500-480GB-6Gbps-Internal/dp/B00HBKM6UO
    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-XP941-512GB-PCIe-MZHPU512HCGL/dp/B00JOSM3TK
     
  22. damuse macrumors newbie

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    #22

    I have. My very own 2012 MBP with 4 GB RAM becomes unbearably slow in Mavericks after a while of very basic stuff like web browsing with a few tabs (no Flash installed either), office programs, iTunes, Mail, calendar.... If I want to use iPhoto I often have to quit Safari. The number of beachball pauses lasting 5-10 seconds is unacceptable. This is a machine that's less than 2 years old (and problems started when it was barely 1, under Mountain Lion)!

    I completely reinstalled mavericks last month and for awhile it looked like the problem was mitigated, but the long beachballs have returned, even with over 200GB free HDD space. I will be getting additional RAM maybe even today. I wouldn't have this option if I'd bought a rMBP (I actually do have one, a late-2013 15" paid for by work, you better believe I maxed out the RAM on that one).
     
  23. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #23
    I think it's your HDD that's the limiting factor. With an SSD, the beach balls should disappear even with 4GB of RAM.
     
  24. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Ohh… I see what is going on. You are thinking, “If a $500 PC lasts 3 years, then a $1500 Mac would have to last 9 years to compete, and for most of those years the Mac will be old and slow compared to buying a new PC every 3 years.”

    But that is not it at all. The fact is, a $1500 Mac will sell for about $1000 in 3 years, so it actually only costs $500, the same as the cheap PC. And for those 3 years you have a faster machine and a better experience—especially for people who don’t want to worry about hardware upgrades or antivirus software or any of the other hassles of a Windows machine. Then it costs another $500 for the next 3 years, with a newer, faster, better Mac.

    But you do what you like. It’s not your money or productivity or user experience after all.
     
  25. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    #25
    The RAM might help, but what you really need is a SSD. My 2011 MBP is down to 4 GB now since one of the banks broke, and since I upgraded to Mavericks it runs more smoothly than it did with 8 GB before. I have a Samsung 830 SSD in there.


    This upgradability is a myth. Yes in the non-retinas you could max out the RAM later, not at the time of purchase. But that is all. The rest has always been sealed, the SSD is still removable even in the new rMBPs, although replacements are not (yet) available. So just get a bit more RAM than you think you need right now (or max out), and it will live just as long as a non-retina MBP. Maybe longer since there are less mechanical parts and connectors that can break.
     

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