Bad Decision?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AppleGoat, Feb 18, 2014.


Should I make the upgrade now?

  1. Do it!

    36 vote(s)
  2. While it is a worthwhile upgrade, I would hold off.

    27 vote(s)
  3. I'm not sure, I just want to see the voting results.

    11 vote(s)
  1. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Anyone who's been following my posts knows that I've been salivating over a Retina MacBook Pro for time immemorial -- the 15" model in particular.

    The past day or two, I've been ever so close to clicking the buy button on the base current generation 15" refurb for $1699. One guy I work with thinks it's a good idea (maybe he just wants me to stop talking about it), while two of my friends disagree.

    The rub (if you call it that) is that I have a snappy three-year old (March 12th is his birthday) 2011 13" MacBook Pro, to which I've added two SSDs over time, and upped the RAM to 8GB -- all I'll probably ever need.

    Nonetheless, the 15" rMBP has a profoundly better processor and display, and weighs slightly less.

    I do some graphic design -- it was my trade for years and I hope to get a job in it again. I know how cramped it is designing on a 13" display -- but one becomes resourceful.

    While I'll be coming into some money the next few months, I'm not exactly affluent and saving never hurts. Yet, I (more than) periodically lust after the Retina display and will eventually upgrade to it.

    Is forking down $1000 (the different between the expected resale value of my 13" and price of 15" refurb) a heedless indulgence? Or is it somewhat pragmatic? Ie: sell the 13" while it is snappy and before it depreciates further in value. & the 13" is out of warranty while the 15" will be covered for at least a year.

    Any advice greatly appreciated,
  2. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    Its easy spending your money:) Do it, bigger retina screen is worth the 1K.
  3. durkkin macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2013
    For almost all design work I would suggest an external display. Plus, unless you're running at a scaled resolution you aren't gaining a terrible amount of real estate going to the 15" retina, only 100px vertically. That's some difference, but not a terrible amount. If your computer is able to handle all that you need it to do and the integrated graphics in it seem to be holding up just fine, maybe consider buying a cheap 1920x1200 display and using that.

    My opinion is only based off this post, but you said your computer is all you need so the upgraded processor seems irrelevant, and the only other thing you mentioned is the better display. Just my 2¢.
  4. AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Thanks for the responses. But, it didn't get me anywhere, drew even.

    You're right. The Retina display is almost the sole impetus for upgrading. I have thought about an external monitor but I a) like to do design on the go b) the monitor won't have the pixel density the Retina has. The 15" Retina also looks great at the 1650 x 1080 and 1920 x 1200 resolutions.

    Still, getting an external monitor is probably the more practical thing to do.
  5. SomeMacGuy macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2007
    Nova Scotia
    I've found the "More Space" option on the rMBP to be really great for design when I'm on the go.


    But it's a tough call. I'm running a TB display and I couldn't go without it. Designing on a 15" screen isn't ideal, especially when you're doing something like a retina iPad UI layout or something. It's just impossible. That said the TB displays are beyond stale and hopefully there will be a refresh soon...
  6. AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Yeah I'd like a TB but it'd cost as much as upgrading to the 15" rMBP
  7. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2011
    Get an external display (there are some relatively cheap 1440p 27" displays out in the market now.

    I feel that if you have a MBP that is already up to the mark and on which you have already invested a good deal of money, spending on a base model rMBP would be a bit of a waste. If you do want the 15" rMBP, at least upgrade to 16GB.

    Nevertheless, if you feel that you really need the display and that you won't regret the 8GB RAM in a few years, go ahead.

    Best of luck.

  8. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    I would hold off just because of the complaints I see with the 15" models currently. :( I see a lot more "my new 15" rMBP sux!!!!" threads around here than for the 13" (Which BTW is an excellent machine for my uses ;))

    You may also benefit from the Broadwell upgrade. From what I can tell, that's probably 8-10 months out.
  9. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2014
    I surely hope you are being sarcastic!

    I would keep your current machine. I bought the rMBP and ended up returning it and buying the cMBP current version slightly used. I didn't think the cost was worth it. I paid $800 for an almost brand new cMBP and upgraded the RAM to 16gb for around $100. $900 total vs the rMBP refurbished for $1825 with the only real performance advantage being the flash storage. It wasn't worth it for me. I actually like the way the cMBP keyboard feels a little better too. I had two retinas and the keyboards felt cheaper to me.

    All things considered; I can probably use this cMBP for a year or two and get my money back out of it. I would have lost a good $600 over 2 years with the rMBP. Not bad, but not great.

    Anyway, buy an external display for your current Macbook.
  10. M5RahuL macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2009
    Get an external display and save some $$$... I agree the retina MBPs are tempting, but if your present setup is meeting your requirement, don't waste your hard earned money!

    Just my 2 cents :)
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd hold off, sounds like you have a setup that meets your needs.
  12. jakespeed macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    DO IT!

    Then in two years, you can complain about how big it is and get a fancy new 13 with a whole set of reasons why thats the BEST computer for you.

    I do the same thing, upgrading and cross grading and downgrading every year in search of the perfect computer. As i look back that just means going from 13->15->13 over and over and each time i find i now have the PERFECT least until i get that itch again.
  13. wingsabr macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2008
    this....although not very practical, I've gone from a top of the line 2010 17in, to a 2011 13in MBA, to a 2013 15in rMBP. I bought my rMBP before I saw thread about the problems here, but I've been fortunate to have a good screen, good keyboard, and no other problems.
  14. willcapellaro macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2011
    We're in the same boat.

    I voted yes. You're in the grey area where you can find multiple arguments for or against. You don't need to upgrade, but at some point you will absolutely need to, and it's best to upgrade before you absolutely need to.

    Resale value of current one will be higher now than in the future.

    Just make sure to get the right one that will be good for a long stretch for when you find yourself in the exact same situation in a few years. For me this is sufficient disk size.
  15. Septembersrain Contributor


    Dec 14, 2013
    If you are second guessing your thoughts on purchasing the laptop, I'd hold off. Usually if you're wary or have some doubts it's because you've subconsciously read or absorbed information that is questionable. That's just what I've learned about myself. Like when I went car searching, I'd found many that fit my needs. Yet I had a nagging feeling in my stomach that held me back. Got a rental when my current was in the shop. Fell in love with that rental and it all became clear. Almost a year later, I still love my car!

    TL;DR Go with what your gut tells you.
  16. AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Thanks everyone for the responses. I've been going back and forth. Conceivably the best thing about purchasing the 15" is that it would put an end to me thinking about purchasing the computer.

    Do you mean in regards the 15"? No, I wholeheartedly want that computer, it's just a matter of whether it's the most financially responsible decision to replace a fine computer. I also have apprehensions that I won't be able to command as much for my 13" as I would like. A few of the keys have this weird "ghosting" flaw. Here's a picture:


    While I've outfitted this machine with two Samsung SSDs, I'm afraid this little cosmetic flaw will hurt the resale value.
  17. repentix macrumors regular

    May 26, 2013
    why don't you get a 2011 mbp 17 inch with a dedicated gpu. It's got a 1920 by 1200 resolution and is upgradable like your old mbp 2011. With a core i7 it's still quite fast and the 17 inch display is just gorgeous for graphic design, the dedicated gpu is still years ahead of iris pro. Heck you can even get an external gpu hooked up to this beast via express card, perhaps even a second one via thunderbolt! In my personal opinion, get the older 2011 17" mbp instead of the new rmbp thats the choice I would make.....
  18. AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    I do like the 17" and it makes me nostalgic but I would never get it. It's a behemoth and does not have a Retina (IPS) display. If I bought the 17" back in 2011, I probably wouldn't be tempted to upgrade so much now -- but the new rMBP appeal to me a lot more.


    I just found out it's relatively easy to replace the keys
  19. jakespeed macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    Seeing this picture, you have to upgrade. That keyboard is like the well worn seat belt in an old shows you USED it well. Time to put it to sleep and get a new one.

  20. AppleGoat, Feb 19, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014

    AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    ...and that I can get less for my machine, thus a reason not to upgrade. But, it doesnt seem too costly and hard to replace the 7 ugly keys.

    I use my computer a lot everyday, therefore it's never a waste of money to make investments towards it.

    I don't mind the used look. It's like the patina of hardware.
  21. jakespeed macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    I hear ya for sure. I'm a software developer and used to have to buy a new Microsoft Natural Keyboard once a year when I wore them out. Amazingly these mac keyboards seem to hold up better for me....but maybe i just type less code now days :)
  22. AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
  23. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    So what did you buy:)
  24. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    We know that Broadwell has been delayed due to issues with the manufacturing process so it's unlikely that we are going to see that upgrade until much later this year....If it were me, I'd upgrade now...there are some pretty sweet deals around too.
  25. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2009
    If you're doing design work, you will definitely benefit from the larger display and the higher resolution. I say go for it.

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