Are these priced to upsell? Regardless, I'm buying.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thizisweird, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. thizisweird macrumors member

    thizisweird

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #1
    So I was trying to narrow down exactly what MBP would be the best fit for my startup, and I decided to bust out a pen, paper, and just see what all the numbers came up to. I'm curious if anyone has seen what I have?.... Keep in mind, this only covers the configurations I've been looking at; but I'm curious if anyone else ran into a similar situation when making their MBP purchase. Enjoy :)

    13" MBP - $2,499 as configured:
    • 3.5GHz dual core i7
    • 16GB memory
    • 512GB flash
    • Iris Plus 650 graphics
    15" MBP - $2,599 as configured:
    • 2.8GHz quad core i7
    • 16GB memory
    • 512GB flash
    • Radeon Pro 555 w/2GB memory
    15" MBP - $2,999 as configured:
    • 2.9GHz quad core i7
    • 16GB memory
    • 512GB flash
    • Radeon Pro 560 w/4GB
    Here's the interesting part that applies to my configuration for a work laptop:
    • $400 for 1TB flash across the board
    • 13" MBP (as above) w/1TB flash: $2,899
    • 15" MBP (w/Radeon 555) with 3.1GHz quad core i7: $2,899 ($300 premium)
    • 15" MBP (w/Radeon 560) with 3.1GHz quad core i7: $2,999 ($200 premium)
    • 15" MBP w/1TB flash: $3,299 and $3,399 for my Radeon 555 and 560 configurations respectively... which is $500 more than the 13" MBP with max specs.
    If this is Apple's way of creating a "common sense" upsell, I think they deserve a standing ovation. I'm now having an extremely tough time justifying NOT spending $3,400 on the MBP configuration I want. Do I take off $100 and settle with a lesser GPU? Knock off $500 and settle with integrated graphics and half the cores, but have spare cash?...... Bite the bullet? Damn you, Apple....... and what's worse is I don't know anyone who would bother doing what I did (<5 minutes), so I'm sure plenty of people won't know what the actual best value is for them. I love you Apple, but you're like a gold digging mistress. At least she puts out!

    Am I the only one who's come across this tricky pricing structure while shopping for a new Apple computer? I'm new to the modern Apple cult lol. I did grow up with an Apple IIe, though ;)
     
  2. sahnjuro macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    #2
    Agree. Apple looks for buyers to upsell to higher priced higher margin products. Call it an Apple tax.
     
  3. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #3
    The configurations and pricing are definitely designed to up-sell (but, for that matter, so is the pricing structure used by Dell, Asus, Lenovo, Asus, Toshiba, Acer, HP, etc. - Apple has just perfected a more seamless, fluid shopping experience with extremely well-defined-yet-incremental upgrade options that, unlike most other brands, does NOT require a human to 'sell the system upgrade'.) I'm not sure how much Apple spends on market and marketing research, but it must be a lot and they must employ the best the industries have to offer because they are incredibly good.

    What will you use the computer for?
    Is 16 GB RAM a must-have for your usage?
    Is the i7 a must-have for your usage? (processor updates usually yield small gains for large expenditures)
    Is 512 or 1 TB a must-have, or is the 256 something you would consider?

    I ask these questions because you can find some outstanding deals on the 13-inch touchbar model with the i5/8gb/256SSD, and even this base TB configuration is a very capable computer. Getting $200-300 off the $1,800 base price on one of these models is quite do-able, leaving you with quite a lot of money to upgrade sooner or put towards more flexible storage options (such as a Synology NAS setup.) With the high-spec BTO models, such sales usually only happen when that model year is being replaced by a new one.
     
  4. jerryk macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #4
    I guess I do not see the issue. The 15" comes with not only quad core processors but a 15" screen, bigger batteries, and form factor.

    If you really want a 13" unit, but want a quad core processor, wait until next year when the quad cores are available in the power spec needed by the 13" unit. But know processors regardless of number of cores in the 13" are not the same as the processors in the 15".

    They cannot take the higher performance processors from the 15" and put it in the 13" and expect to have reasonable battery life with the smaller batteries required for the smaller form factor.

    Bottom line, using the 13" as a base is false reasoning.
     
  5. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68030

    PBG4 Dude

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #5
    It’s not as blatant as the “good”, “better”, “best”, “SE” setup from ages ago, but you’re correct. Almost every Apple computing product is priced so that “if you just spend a little bit more you could get...” sales pitch is super enticing and before you know if you’ve walked up the scale from the $999 MacBook Air to the fully loaded 15” MacBook Pro wondering, “why shouldn’t I get his model that’s two thousand more than the model I came to buy?”
     
  6. scotttnz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #6
    I found the same thing. By the time I spec’ed a 13” with the 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD I wanted, the price difference to get a 15” with quad core and discrete GPU was small enough that it didn’t make sense to not get it. I’m really happy that I did, but WOW that’s a lot of money to spend on a computer!
     
  7. sahnjuro macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    #7
    A good friend has an approach to computer purchases which if adopted widely will cause massive layoffs and may be even eventual death of macs at Apple: never spend more than $1500 on a computer.

    Think $1500 is a pretty sensible limit so over time I've gone from buying 15" MBPs during Steve Jobs era to 13" MBPs to MBA during Tim Cook's reign. (My friend has long abandoned Apple and happily using PCs. Historically there is a steady and merciless upsell by Apple.) Because the current MBA is dated, runs on an Intel fossil aka Broadwell, and hasn't been updated for like forever, now I'm finally thinking of going beyond the $1500 barrier for my next MBP. Will be trying out different spec'ed MBP's to see what $1500+ can buy.
     
  8. thizisweird thread starter macrumors member

    thizisweird

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    Broadwell Core M processors came out 3 years ago, and the rest of the mobile chips from Broadwell started coming out in Q1 2015 (acc. to wikipedia). Not really "fossils" but also not performance oriented. The MBA has its niche markets, though.

    Apple does have a relentless pricing strategy, but it is premium pricing..... so you kind of expect something like this. I just didn't expect it to be so blatant when you look past their deceptive ordering structure. They're a premium product company, and I think that's lost on most people. Very much become similar to the Louis Vuitton of computers, and I'd start to consider Windows becoming the Coach of computers (similar style to haute couture/Apple, price point is about half). I will say, though, if I didn't want a laptop for my uses, I'd much rather build a watercooled Hackintosh for the same money. Might be a PITA, but I'd easily surpass the trashcan before I broke the bank as hard. Not to mention, the cMP I'll be using for storage would take about $1k to get modernized, and it's still heavily dated.... it will run like a champ, but that doesn't change the fact it's dated, needs to use PCIe slots for modern connections, and if you want to use more than one GPU with a number of PCI cards you'll quickly run out of room. Also genuinely curious how long those power supplies will be available for a reasonable price?.....

    I'll be using it for mobile video editing, and in a dock when I'm at home. FCPX, Motion, and AE for software. If the 15" w/the Radeon 560 won't throw a fit, I'll try running Resolve to colour correct. Planning on doing mostly 1080p, but 4k is a total overkill buzz-thingy with consumer cameras, and everyone thinks a higher resolution instantly means a better picture...... which is funny, because one of my favourite YouTubers records in 1080p, upscales to 4k, and you can't tell the difference at all lol. It's also visually more appealing when he upscales, and saves him time, so win/win for him haha.

    I also am looking for a 10-bit display, and I think(?) 10-bit colour will be supported in the near future? If not, all the more reason to upgrade the GPU in the cMP for colour grading lol.
     
  9. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #9
    Call me the upseller, but I think the 15 inch with the base CPU, a 512 SSD, and the 560 GPU was made just for you, if for no other reason than it can easily drive dual UltraFine 5ks, which IIRC are 10-bit :p
     
  10. thizisweird thread starter macrumors member

    thizisweird

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #10
    Trust me when I say that 1TB of flash is quickly looking like the bare minimum I should use. I would rather have extra internal space than constantly dumping data onto a Thunderbolt drive... especially when there's a good chance I'll be working with people who want to film with iPhones in 4K resolution because..... "it's better"

    512GB does sound like plenty, but there is a small problem.... I do have plans to snag myself a Blackmagic Micro within a year or two... if/when the funds become available, of course. When I get one, I'll likely be using it a fair bit, too. ProRes 422 HQ is 27.5 MB/s (that's according to their specs), which means about 1.6GB per minute of 30p footage. I'd prefer to shoot at 60p for certain clients, so that's even worse on my storage lol. 1 hour of 30p footage would take up a fifth of the SSD if I kept the 512GB flash.... not including active project files, and the rest of my working data. This is also based on a camera that is likely going to be updated when I'm in the market, and there's a chance it'll support a higher resolution, too. And I have easily used up 500GB this last month working on about 6 projects for portfolio work..... just sayin ;)

    But if the definitely 560 supports 10-bit OOB, I'm definitely going to be hunting down a display asap. I need to start working on proper color correction yesterday >.>
     
  11. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #11
    1TB is even better - I wasn't sure if the budget permitted it or not. I regret not getting 1 TB on my MBP15. I've offset that somewhat with several external SSDs for VMs and multiple large enterprise HDDs for archived projects and backups, but if I was constantly mobile with the 15 this would obviously present me with a huge practicality issue.
     

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10 September 28, 2017