Big budget, replacing my 2011 MBP. Advice?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tevion5, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. tevion5, Feb 4, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019

    tevion5 macrumors 68000


    Jul 12, 2011
    So I've had my current 13" MBP since early 2011. It's served me very well through school, college and now work. It's since got an SSD and seen 8 versions of the MacOS. But it's time to upgrade.

    Back then it cost €1,500 for my variant with 8GB Ram.

    I am looking at upgrade options but Apple's prices are so high today it's given me pause. I have a gaming PC for that, so this machine is for audio production, software development, graphic design, other work etc.

    A decade of using Intel HD 3000 graphics means in REALLY want some proper graphics in my next Mac.

    - Primary consideration -
    • € 3,819
    • 2018 MacBook Pro 15"
    • 2.6GHz i7 6-Core
    • 16GB Ram
    • Vega 20
    Aside from this I've given some thought to desktops. The system doesn't leave my desk 95% of the time anyway, especially now that I'm no longer in college.

    - Desktop consideration -
    • € 3,179
    • 2018 iMac 27"
    • 4.2 GHz i7 4-Core
    • 16GB Ram
    • Radeon Pro 580
    - Alternative considerations [2nd hand] -
    • ~€ 2,500 - €3,000
    • 2013 Mac Pro (trashcan) [2nd hand] + 27" Thunderbolt Display [2nd hand]
    • Xeon 6 Core, 32GB Ram, x2 D500
    • ~€ 2,500 - €3,000
    • 2012 Mac Pro [2nd hand] + 27" Thunderbolt Display [2nd hand]
    • Xeon 12 Core, 32GB Ram, GTX 980 (Metal Support)
    Any opinions on where to focus?
    --- Post Merged, Feb 4, 2019 ---
    Any ideas @LightBulbFun?
  2. Nbd1790 macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2017
    New York
    Go with the 2018 MBP or the 2018 iMac. The trash can Mac Pro will probably be unnecessary for what you're doing (I personally use my laptop for the same tasks you do on a daily basis) and IMO, it seems absurd to pay that much for old technology (not to mention the issue of how long it will be supported)

    Choosing between the desktop and laptop is completely up to you, but I prefer to have a laptop (and the option to be portable if I want to) even though I plug into my home studio setup on a regular basis.
  3. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000


    Nov 17, 2013
    London UK
    if the system does not really need to be portable maybe a 2018 Mac Mini with an eGPU would be a good setup for you, you get a Good modern CPU with RAM sockets and the ability to upgrade your GPU over time still :) (id get a Mac Mini with as much CPU and storage as you can afford/need and upgrade the RAM 3rd party)

    (the only caveat with the Mac mini setup is that you cant directly plug in a thunderbolt display into the eGPU)

    it will also still be relatively portable too :)
  4. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    If refurbished Macs are available in your country, get one of those. Do not buy the Trashcan Mac Pro or the 2012 Mac Pro. That graphics card you listed in the 2012 machine is Metal compatible, but it won't work with Mavericks.

    A top-spec Mac Mini with an eGPU is an interesting option, but I'd probably go with a Macbook Pro or an iMac instead. The eGPU stuff still feels like a hack to me at this early stage, and it remains to be seen how supported it will be. It'll probably be fine... but if I was spending all that cash on a new Mac, I don't know that I'd quite trust it.
  5. MandiMac macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2012
    As in graphic design and software development I'd recommend going for an 27-inch iMac just because of the gorgeous display. It's up to you if you want to wait for the probable 2019 refresh (possibly in March, July or October this year), it will be most likely all-SSD, 6-core and maybe better cooled. Heck, who knows, maybe we'll see Face ID too in a desktop this year.

    But if you need it now and you need the most performance right now, you should go with Mac mini because it has the latest 6-core offerings. Then again, there's no dedicated GPU inside. Your call :)
  6. TGM85 macrumors member


    Aug 29, 2005
    I really wouldn't spend that kind of money on technology that's 6-7 years old at this point.

    Since portability is not much of a concern, I would look at an iMac if I were you. They seem a lot less problem prone than the current generation Mac Book Pro.

    Have you considered waiting for the new generation Mac Pro? It's supposed to be released this year.
  7. tevion5 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jul 12, 2011
    Thanks for all the advice so far.

    I've come to my sense about getting one of the old Mac Pro models. You're right, it's too much money for outdated tech.
    The trashcan could lose update support by MacOS 10.16 for all we know.

    The MacMini got a great update recently, but the lack of dedicated GPU is a no from me.
    If I had more cash to spare I'd get one to run as a server in a heartbeat.

    I think I'll just wait another couple of months for Apple to release new Macs this year.

    So, here's the Macs I'll be choosing between, and what I hope to see from them:

    2019 MacBook Pro 15"
    - Vega GPU as standard (RX 560 is ageing, but the 6-core i7 CPU and 16GB+ are already excellent imo)

    2019 iMac 27"
    - 6-core, High end Vega GPU, SSD as standard

    2019 Mac Pro
    - That it will be in any way affordable to someone like me
    - The it's accompanying monitor will be in any way affordable to someone like me
  8. ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    For years I used a laptop as my main Mac, "docking" it to drives and things on my desk when I was at home. It's fine, but I just got tired of plugging and unplugging things and find a permanently-installed iMac much easier to deal with.

    Also, laptops are by definition optimized for weight, compactness and power consumption -- all things that don't matter when it's sitting on a desk. And for whatever price point you have, chances are you're getting more bang for your buck with a desktop.

    My current setup / strategy is to have a nice big 5K iMac for my main design work, and an older MacBook Pro (no butterfly keyboard, thanks) which does the lighter stuff and syncs up via iCloud Drive and Dropbox to the main iMac. I'm quite happy with the setup. Having the iMac really takes the heat (heh) off the laptop, so it doesn't have to be the latest and greatest.
  9. fastasleep macrumors 6502


    May 21, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    My 2011 MBP died its final death right before the Vega 20 Macs shipped. I upgraded to a maxed out 2.9 i9/Vega 20/32GB/2TB and it's the best Mac I've ever owned, albeit a pricey one. I work on it every day, and am getting more into video and motion graphics/3D/compositing/etc, so went for the maxed out model. Depending on what kind of design you're doing, or rather what software, I'm not sure the Vega 20 will be that noticeable for you, but if you can afford it, no harm in going for it. I'd definitely go for the 32GB if you can afford it and tend to use a lot of RAM hungry apps like Adobe CC etc.
  10. Velin macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    Get the 2019 27" iMac with a maxed-out graphics card. One of the best desktop screens you can get, with the added benefit of an all-in-one. Just be sure to go full SSD; Fusion drive sucks and Apple SSDs are excellent.
  11. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    Just for the record, there's no iMac 27" with a Vega GPU, and no BTO option for Vega GPU. The iMac Pro does have Vega 56 GPU as standard and Vega 64 as a BTO option (as well as a faster processor, much more standard RAM, and standard 1TB SSD), but you're looking at spending at least USD5,000.00 for that.
  12. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    It was a look into the future.

    When the 2019 iMacs will arrive, we'll see how the lineup actually looks like.

    There might be so much overlap between iMac, iMacPro and MacPro that Apple feels the need to release and clean-up the portfolio for all these products at the same time.
  13. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    Sure. I guess that's possible, but Vega graphics seems to be a good differentiator between the iMac and the iMac Pro. We'll see!
  14. MandiMac macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2012
    Why not Navi for consumers (regular iMac) and Vega for iMac Pro?
  15. tevion5 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jul 12, 2011
    Really just something up to date and powerful enough. That ageing Radeon Pro 580 isn't bad but it feels wrong to spend money on a "new" Mac with such an old GPU.

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