Better to buy cheapest one and upgrade yourself?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iamKamil, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. iamKamil macrumors member

    iamKamil

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    #1
    Hi,

    I will be buying a MacBook pro when the new ones come out. This will be my first mac. I would like to know whether it's a good idea to purchase the cheapest 15 inch MBP and upgrade it as it's needed. I will be using it mainly to watch movies, surf Internet, email and occasional movie maker. Is this a good route to take? Is it difficult to change components on a MBP?

    Thanks.
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    You can only upgrade RAM and the HDD/SSD yourself.
    The CPU and GPU (graphics card) is not user replaceable, unless you buy a new logic board (400 to 800€).
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    Only RAM and hard drive can be upgraded later on, other components are soldered into the logic board and are upgradeable. For your usage, any MBP is fine
     
  4. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #4
    For the tasks you described the only thing you might want to upgrade is the HDD/SSD given that there are cheap 500-750Gb drives available and SSD's are becoming more and more mainstram.

    For those that need a lot of processing power buying top of the line is recommended.

    For those that use a lot of Virtual machines maxing out the RAM from a third party vendor is recommended.

    Everyone's computing experience would benefit from a fast SSD. But for some the low capacity is an issue.

    I had a budget for a portable computer that would perform well in databases and a lot of virtualization. So rather than get 2.53 4GB 13" MBP I got the entry level model added 8gb of ram and an 160GB SSD. If feels faster than my colleagues 15" and 17" models and in queries and VM loading times it's much much faster.

    Of course if you can easily afford a more powerful machine and the upgrades you will have a faster computer. But for anything more demanding I have a desktop so it didn't make sense.
     
  5. iamKamil thread starter macrumors member

    iamKamil

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    #5
    Thanks for the quick replies. I have another question if you do not mind. When the new MBP are released, do they go up in price or does the price stay the same except that you get better features? I would love to see the MacBook pro upgraded with a lower price. :)
     
  6. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #6
    It is expected that they stay with their current prices, lower prices are not expected as Apple did lower those last year already and Apple does not really like to lower them on an annual basis.
     
  7. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #7

    Typically, Apple will price the new models at the same price points as the ones they replace. Occasionally, you might see a $100 price drop.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    Usually the prices remain the same but of course, who knows. There was a price cut along with last update so I doubt we'll see one now though.

    Anyway, you will get more for the same money e.g. faster CPU, more RAM, bigger HD etc...
     
  9. iamKamil thread starter macrumors member

    iamKamil

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    #9
    Great. Thanks. I cannot wait to get my first mac - the iPhone is what made me check out other apple products.

    Last one, I promise. So, is the SSD drive pretty much bulletproof as there are no moving parts? Anybody have a good article about these type of drives? Sorry, I'm not as tech savvy as most of you but I am better than most average people when it comes to this.
     
  10. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #10
    Flash memory and controllers are things that can fail in an SSD. IMO mainstream SSD's have not been out long enough to compare their reliability versus HDD's.
    SSD's will be less affected by vibrations (working in the train etc). But still they can fail.

    Take it from me. There is no such a thing as a bulletproof storage medium. So backing up is essential.
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #11
    Yup, you are right. We'll see the real world reliability in couple years when people have used them for few years. E.g. Intel states that their SSDs have MTBF of ~100 years but as you said, that's not very accurate because there was no Intel or even computers 100 years ago so it's just an estimation.
     
  12. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #12
    I, too, run a virtual machine and could not do without it. Thus, I upgraded my MBP from its original 2Gb of RAM to 6Gb. Now I run Fusion 3 in Unity mode, which allows me to keep several Windows 7 apps open on the OS X desktop. This allows me to use the :apple:-tab key combination to switch among any open Windows or OS X app without having to worry about which is which.

    I agree that the best way to add RAM to a new MBP is to buy the model MBP with the least RAM and buy the extra RAM from OWC, Crucial or the like. I got my 6Gb upgrade from OWC. It was reasonably priced and works flawlessly.

    I also agree with you that an SSD upgrade will also add a lot of performance, although I don't have one yet. I am waiting for the prices to fall before I do, although I expect to have one in any upgraded Macbook I buy.
     
  13. Coldmode macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    #13
    I don't think upgrading components is that big of a deal. Check out iFixit to see if you're up to the task. You're probably only really going to be upgrading the hard drive, so if you can do that I think you should be pretty much all set.
     
  14. iamKamil thread starter macrumors member

    iamKamil

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    #14
    Wow, looks to be a snap....no more than a 10 minute job. I hope Apple never starts to solder these components permanently so people cannot upgrade themselves.
     
  15. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #15
    I don't know what "sotter" is, but if Apple would make the parts like HDD and RAM non-user-replaceable they would shoot into their own leg, as they might need to be able to replace it.
    So if Apple would "sotter" (I presume you mean "solder") the HDD and RAM to the logic board, how could they replace it?
     
  16. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #16
    Although Apple does solder in its RAM chips in the Macbook Air, it doesn't do it with any other laptop. So far as I know, hard drives are replaceable in all Macbook computers. That's sensible because a hard drive, at least a conventional one, is prone to failure because it has moving parts.
     
  17. iamKamil thread starter macrumors member

    iamKamil

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    #17
    So yeah, I can't wait until the new MBP comes out so I can buy the cheapest 15 inch. You guys think it's worth getting the extra apple care? I'm sure it "ups" the resale value if I wanted to sell it in a year or so.
     
  18. Robb.Penoyer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    #18
    trust me ... you will not want to sell it. You won't even throw away the box it comes in. 2 years and 4 months from your purchase date, you will buy another one, and stick this one on a shelf with the absolute knowledge that you "will need it soon."
     
  19. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #19
    There is always a lot of discussion about AppleCare around here. Although, my opinion is just that, my opinion, here it is. I have had a policy for many, many, years not to buy extended warranty coverage for any electronic product. Nevertheless, I bought AppleCare for my Powerbook G4 7 years ago and bought it again for my Macbook Pro 2 years ago. There are many expensive parts in Apple laptops that are not user serviceable by the owner. Consequently, it seemed prudent to me to buy AppleCare coverage. There is a bonus if you do so. AppleCare customers receive unlimited telephone support, which I, by the way, have found to be excellent.
     
  20. iamKamil thread starter macrumors member

    iamKamil

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    #20
    Yeah, I think I'm going to get the AppleCare with my MBP purchase. :D
     
  21. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #21
    Just wanted to chime in that YES, SSDs can and do fail. I documented my experience with an intel x-25m that off'd itself out of the blue, titled "my x25-m just failed all over my MacBook pro" or something like that in this very forum.
     

Share This Page