Buy for now or the future?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by linkgx1, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. linkgx1 macrumors 68000

    Oct 12, 2011
    Hi I'm still in the process of researching now for a Mac laptop right now. I'm a college student that will be graduating soon, and kind of need a laptop. More than likely next semester I'll be making a few web pages and programming. For my needs now (and granted, this will be my First Mac:D) I'm thinking about getting a top of the line 2013 13'' rMBP with my education discount. For right now I think it's best (a little more than enough).

    However, I'm wondering if t's good to get what's best for now and always upgrade later if I have too (selling the laptop and buying a different one)? I've been getting really big into photography (Currently got a Nikon D3200) and may use Aperture from time to time. Basically a lot of creative stuff (novice level I might add).

    Basically, I don't want to get too much power for what I do but then don't want to hit that line too fast and have to upgrade shortly.

    If anybody with similar experiences could help, it would be much appreciated. Thanks.:D
  2. mpantone macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    Since you claim you have the resources to buy a maxed-out rMBP, why not go for it and enjoy it during your ownership period? At least you will know that you did not settle for second best and every shortcoming of the device is a result of Apple's ineptitude instead of your purchase decision.

    You will never have to second guess yourself for as long as you own the device, and that should result in many restful nights of sleep.
  3. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2005
    Leamington Spa, England
    If your budget allows I would be tempted by the lower end 15" myself, maybe even a 2012 / early 2013 refurb, especially if you are into photography and programming, the screen real estate will come in handy.
  4. Black.Infinity macrumors 6502


    Apr 17, 2010
    Apple tree-Toronto
    consider upgrading the ram at the time of purchase.
  5. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    Buy what you need now, by the time it slows down for what your uses are there will be something newer/faster that will temp your wants...
  6. Obi Wan Kenobi macrumors 6502

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    Mar 9, 2011
    London, UK
    Buy for now

    My advice is to buy for now.

    If you can afford it get some extra RAM, as Mac laptops are very hard, if not impossible to upgrade later (depending on the model you decide on).

    If you can't afford it, don't worry. Apple laptops work very well for years. I have a Macbook from 2008, that's still going strong.

    There will always be faster and more powerful machines on the (perhaps distant) horizon, whenever you buy. Get what you want now. Then you can get the most out of it.
  7. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    I use Aperture on a whole lot less than a 2013 rMBP (20" early 2008 iMac 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, 5 GB of 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM...). My only advantage over your configuration, as far as I'm concerned, is having the larger monitor (for sheer size, obviously not for resolution). But then again, my eyes are a whole lot older than yours.

    If you get deeper into photography I can see getting a larger monitor to go along with that rMBP (at a resolution comparable to the rMBP, of course). I don't see a near-term need, based on what you foresee, for a computer with greater power.

    Buying for the future always has its limits. It's hard enough when you're a pro buying for specific needs (will this configuration work for me long enough to recover the investment?), but when you're a student, with a wide range of possible futures? A really good, portable general-purpose computer (which is what the rMPB is) will take you most, if not all, of the places you're likely to go while you're an undergrad.

    You don't yet know just how deeply you'll delve into photography. Believe me, if you do get in deep, you'll want to replace your Nikon camera body and/or add additional lenses far sooner than you'll need to replace that rMBP.
  8. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    How long are you planning on using the Mac before you replace it? 1 Year? Get what you need now. 2 or 3 years? Get a bit more. 4 or 5 years? Get a lot more.
  9. linkgx1, Jan 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014

    linkgx1 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Oct 12, 2011
    Thanks guys. I'm getting a better grasp from what I can see here.

    I guess I'm a maximizer trying to transition into a satisficer.

    So right now, I configured a 13'' Macbook Pro w/Retina~ 2.6GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    256GB PCIe-based Flash Storage

    I'm thinking this should last quiet a while and can handle some pretty demanding tasks.

    I also plan on keeping it for 2-3 years. I'm at a point in school right now where I'm doing internships so I'm pretty sure my tastes will change (and income) when I'm hopefully offered a job.
  10. s2mikey macrumors 68020


    Sep 23, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    Well, that config will certainly be powerful enough for what you're gonna do. 16GB of ram is a crapload! The only catch is the screen size. From what I've read, development on a MacBook really benefits from the screen size being as big as possible. Maybe you go with just 8Gb of ram and instead get the 15" screen rMBP?
  11. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    If you are going to be making web pages and programming wouldn't you be more productive on a desktop with a large screen. Better yet multiple screens.

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