Buying: Older (Higher Spec) or Newer (Lower Spec)?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iphoneappdate, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. iphoneappdate macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    #1
    Im just looking into getting a MacBook Pro to replace my windows laptop in order to start iphone development.

    I will have roughly £700-£900 to spend (perhaps more if needed).

    Im unsure if it is worth buying an older macbook pro but one which was "top spec" when new, or buy a brand new macbook pro with lower specs.

    As well as developing id hope to use it for other more labour intensive programs such as photoshop etc.

    My current laptop has the i3 processor, so it seems daft to get anything less, but perhaps not.

    Any help would be great, thanks.
     
  2. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    #2
    How about some details, like the specs for the machines in question and the prices?
     
  3. Ant.honey macrumors regular

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    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #3
    Buy new. Tech and processors have produced a far greater laptop in the last year.
     
  4. iphoneappdate thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    #4
    Well, if i were to buy new, id be limited to the 13" Macbook pro i5. (id love the i7 if possible).

    Or an older macbook pro:

    Intel Core 2 Duo, with some upgraded RAM.

    Whats the deal with graphics cards?

    Are the new Intel HD graphics better than the nVidia graphics of the older models?
     
  5. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #5
    Does older mean early 2011. In that case the 2720QM is a better CPU for virtualization than the 2675QM and the Turbo is higher.
    Battery is probably older and will die sooner.

    In any case for programming a faster CPU is always nice but no game changer. GPUs don't matter an SSD can help a lot.
     
  6. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #6
    To be honest, Core 2 Duo is now old.
    Go with the i5 which is A LOT better than C2D.

    I do prefer the i7 but if you are limited on cash, go with the new MBP.
    Definitely worth it and faster and more efficient than the Core 2.
     
  7. iphoneappdate thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    #7
    After a lot of reading on the specs, im beginning to realise its definitely worth getting the i5. Im open to buying off ebay or equivalent, so the i7 may not be totally out of the question.

    Although would it be best to save money and buy a RAM upgrade and an SSD instead?
     
  8. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    #8
    A C2D MB/MBP 13" may become IMO more attractive than a new Core i5 MBP 13" if the price if the C2D is extremely low, like $300.

    If you can afford it, get a MBP with the Core i5.
     
  9. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030

    yusukeaoki

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #9
    If you are using programs that eats a lot of CPU power, get the money and go with i7.

    If not save some cash, get 8GB RAM and some SSD.

    But remember.
    You can change the RAM and SSD but not the CPU.
    Just remember that.
     
  10. VMMan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    #10
    Instead of getting something as old as a C2D, what about an only slightly older MBP from early 2011? You could probably get a small discount on a new old model or refurbished one.
     
  11. iphoneappdate thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    #11
    Yeah im gunna bite the bullet and get a new MBP, at the moment Apple are offering 0% for 10 months, so will allow me to stretch the budget easier, and get a decent MBP.

    Gunna get the base model 13", but then retro fit 8GB ram and an SSD at somepoint. That should leave me with a nice system :D
     
  12. iphoneappdate thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    #12
    UPDATE:

    Well ive got a 13" macbook pro now :D, jsut the standard base model for now. ut hopefully an 8gb RAM upgrade plus maybe an SSD when the prices become more reasonable.
     
  13. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #13
    I would get the 8 gb of Ram ASAP as you can get it under 35$

    Congrats and enjoy
     
  14. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #14
    Since money appears to be tight I suggest seeing how it runs with the stock 4GB RAM before upgrading; you will probably find it to be just fine.

    An SSD? It's an unnecessary expense, but there are plenty of folks on this forum who will try to convince you to buy one. Of course, it's not their money/credit that is going to be spent on the drive... I consider SSDs to be the latest Mac fad that was sparked by the new MacBook Air. Now everyone needs an SSD, whether they really need it or not.

    This is nothing new: consumers have been beguiled by speed and felt compelled to BUYBUYBUY the Latest and Greatest since the beginning of personal computers. Now that processors are so fast and maximum RAM capacities are more than enough for most people, the obvious next area to focus on to attract customers are SSDs.

    And the lemmings are more than happy to follow the vocal SSD advocates over the financial cliff... :rolleyes:

    I also own the early 2011 base-model 13" MBP. I use it with a 24" external display and relatively demanding pro software. It is very fast and capable right out of the box. Don't spend money you don't have and when you do have the funds, don't upgrade unless there is a compelling reason to do so. ;)

    If I was in your shoes having just purchased a new MBP I would avoid forums like this one and simply enjoy your MBP. :D
     
  15. AeroSatan macrumors member

    AeroSatan

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #15
    Great post.

    Couldn't agree more.


     
  16. squeakr macrumors 68000

    squeakr

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #16
    Why so negative and biased. If the OP wants a SSD then let the OP get one, no need to insult and call names. Lemmings..really?? By insulting and using a negative tone, you are just as bad as those touting the benefits of an SSD.

    The SSDs are not just a new fad since the air, they are now taking off, as the prices and reliability are finally becoming competitive and this is the first real point in history where Laptops have become true desktop replacements and many are buying them as such (hence wanting the most performance for their dollar). In the past laptops were mainly for road warriors and as a traveling companion for the desktop (which everyone had and very few had laptops). Now days, companies are supplying laptops just as often (if not more) than desktops.
     
  17. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #17
    I'm sorry that you took my comment as being "negative." I was simply trying to make a point when I used the term "lemmings" and it was not intended as an insult. And I am not "biased" because I do not happen to agree with you.

    People are obviously free to spend their money as they wish; it's just that seemingly every other post on this forum has someone touting the advantages of SSDs even when it isn't applicable to the topic at hand. Try searching for the term "SSD" and see how many hits are returned...

    The OP has a limited budget. He is presently in no position to purchase an SSD, as it would take between 1/3 and 1/2 of his stated funds for a decent size drive. And even though his loan has 0% interest, he still borrowed money to make the purchase. I am generally against going into debt to acquire consumer goods unless the item is absolutely vital or it is going to make money for you. There aren't many things that meet those requirements. Hopefully he will pay-off the loan before it begins accruing interest.

    An SSD is a luxury for most people on this forum. It is simply the latest wrinkle in the quest for more computer speed and this new "need" is fostered by people egging on other people to get with the program.

    There are relatively few people who come anywhere close to maxing-out the capability of their stock Macs. Increasing the RAM can be a wise purchase if you find that the amount that came with a Mac is insufficient because it can be relatively inexpensive if you buy it online. It is the most cost-effective upgrade a person can do to a Mac. Arguably the only people who need an SSD are those who make a living with their Macs where time really does equal money. For all the rest it is an optional purchase because their Macs will work just fine with the stock drive.

    The MBP that the OP purchased is a very capable computer that should provide him years of good service. I bought the same model last summer and it is a significant upgrade to my 15" Core2Duo MBP and iMac. I paired it with a high-end NEC display that I snagged for a bargain price ($549 vs. the MSRP $899.) and I couldn't be happier.

    If the OP discovers that the stock 4GB of RAM is a bottleneck at some point he can upgrade to 8GB for the cost of an evening or two at the pub if he finds a good deal (and good deals on 8GB RAM seem to be common these days). Of course, he will have to avoid the temptation to get 16GB RAM, which has recently become the latest Must Have Upgrade on the Macrumors forum. At current prices that much RAM is an expensive upgrade.

    Before he spends money on an SSD or more than 8GB RAM, I would suggest he carefully consider getting an external drive for backing-up his data if he doesn't have one already. That really is an essential purchase if he values the data on his MBP. I have had brand new internal drives die within two hours of booting-up for the first time; three years is the average lifetime for a drive in a portable computer that gets a lot of use. In my over 17 years of using and working on Macs I have found that only the optical drive is more prone to premature failure in a portable computer.

    Extended AppleCare is a tougher judgment-call. Its value depends on how much you use your Mac. 75% of my desktop and portable Macs have needed repairs within the first three years; two iBooks required multiple repairs. My 24" iMac had its display replaced, albeit within the first year. But because I had extended AppleCare I was able to wait until it was convenient for me to have it done. (It would have cost $1100 without AppleCare.) Since I purchase AppleCare at a decent discount off the MSRP, I always get it for my portable Macs. If I wind up getting a Mac Mini instead of another MBP to replace my iMac I'll have to give it some thought before I get AppleCare for it.

    So IMO an SSD should only be considered after truly essential upgrades have been done and only if you have a real need for it or if money is not an issue. Otherwise the money can be saved for the inevitable computer purchase 3-5 years down the road.

    If you are a careful shopper you can get a new or refurb Mac at a significant discount and that money can be a good chunk of the cost of a new Mac. I haven't paid full price for a new Mac since I bought a new G3 iMac for my wife. I got my 24" iMac for 50% less than the MSRP and the 13" MBP for 32% off. And they were brand new Macs, not refurbs. When I sell a Mac I generally get at least 50% and usually more of the cost of its replacement after at least three years of use. I bought my 15" MBP at a 25% discount; when I sold it I had enough money to buy the 13" MBP without having to dip into my wallet.

    Money=Time. Unless you are fortunate enough to not have to earn a living, you have to give up some of your freedom in order to buy things. If you must use credit then you have to give up more of your time than if you saved and paid cash. Spending wisely has tangible benefits, like not having to stay at a crappy job or being able to do other things such as travel, which can have substantial benefits beyond the amount of time-off from work.

    Your life (time) is finite. Spend it wisely and you will more likely have a better life. In the end it's your call; over time $300 spent here and there on unnecessary things really adds up. Waste your money (time) and you can wind up cursing your life.
     
  18. squeakr macrumors 68000

    squeakr

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #18
    I see your point and understand where you are coming from and your point of view, but when everything is slanted towards one side and negative language and persuasion is used, it is biasing, so yes you were biased in your opinion. It has nothing to do with whomever's point of view you agree with. I really have no agenda other than to help the OP by providing neutral information they ask for. I try to keep it logically focused and not slanted towards one side or the other, unless they are asking for supporting reasons why one side may be better than the other, and then I try to do it in such a way as to not criticize or slander the other side, that is the biasing I am talking about.

    I enjoy my SSD, but I am the end user that requires for my work (that you have alluded to). I agree that the average user would see better benefits from a hybrid, if they must upgrade, just don't feel it is such a negative thing to have as you originally portrayed it.

    It is all good and I hope I didn't ruffle your feathers much, but your last post was more balanced and less insulting to people opposite your viewpoint. It is your opinion and not everyone values the same things as you, that is why it is best not to use terms that most would find degrading or insulting. Some would rather have material things and believe they add more to their life than travel and memories. To each his own.
     
  19. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #19
    Unimpressed...

    I find it ironic that in your last post you use language that is insulting both my logic and point of view in the guise of being thoughtful and reasonable. I am not interested in arguing for the sake of arguing. Continuing this discussion on these terms will be a monumental waste of my time.

    I have clearly stated the reasoning behind my opinions. It's up to the OP and others facing similar situations to decide which course of action will best meet their unique computing requirements.
     
  20. squeakr macrumors 68000

    squeakr

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #20
    Sorry you took it that way, I wasn't trying to debate your points just trying to explain what biasing is and how you demonstrated it in your posts. You seem to think from your comments that biased opinions are only those that are opposite of the opinion being stated and that is not true, as one can support a point of views and be biased as well.
     
  21. NZed macrumors 65816

    NZed

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Canada, Eh?
    #21
    old but not out-dated(yet) ;) I still fly with it :D
     
  22. Maschil macrumors 6502a

    Maschil

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    Mississippi
    #22
    im with ya... went from i5 13 inch mbp to c2d 13 inch with ssd... im happy enough.. and thats without 8gb of ram
     
  23. NZed macrumors 65816

    NZed

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Location:
    Canada, Eh?
    #23
    why the downgrade? too much?
     
  24. Maschil macrumors 6502a

    Maschil

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    Mississippi
    #24
    didn't see the need for i5 after discovering ssds...

    plus im waiting to see what design they come out with for the new macbook pro's for me it was a 500 dollars different...

    someone bought my macbook pro for 1k (got it for 900 from amazon) and I bought a "banged up" 2009 13 inch mbp lOL. for 560.... and i am happy with it for now... and it has apple care until june... so i could sale it for what i paid in march if i want to upgrade...
     
  25. Nielsenius macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #25
    Core 2 Duos don't have Hyperthreading (virtual cores) or TurboBoost (temporary, automated over clocking). Core i5s and i7s have both of these features. While Core 2 Duos may not be "outdated" in the sense that they still work decently well, they aren't much compared to i5s and i7s in terms of performance. If you're going to buy something older and higher-speced you don't want to go lower than an i5. Honestly, when buying a computer newer is almost always better. It's not like cars where an old car can still be fast. Old computers are just slow.
     

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