Buying rMBP for college

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rattler, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. rattler macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    #1
    Hey all,

    I'm currently a rising senior in high school and I have been saving up to purchase a 15" rMBP before leaving for college. I was planning on buying the Broadwell version later this year, but apparently now the chips have been delayed and won't ship until summer of 2015.

    Now, since I'm going to be attending a 4-year university followed by four years of med school, I don't plan on upgrading for a while. I assume the Broadwell will be slightly more future proof, but what mainly draws me in is the promise of much better graphics (I'd be getting the base 15" with an iGPU only) and better battery life. How much of an improvement would the Broadwell chips be in these fields?

    My other concern is that the Broadwell chips won't be available until around June or July of next year. Does this mean that the new rMBPs will be released in time for me to get one by early August, or will Apple need a couple of months to implement the new chips (in which case it probably won't be released in time for me to buy one)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. theineffablebob macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    #2
    If you play games, get the rMBP with dGPU. iGPU won't cut it for games.
     
  3. rattler, Jul 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014

    rattler thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2011
    #3
    The high end rMBP is out of my price range. I was thinking about getting the 2012 rMBP with the 650m but the iGPU (HD4000) isn't as smooth for everyday use and the battery life is worse. And it'll be 2 generations old when the Broadwell comes out so I'd opt for the newer one, if it's released in time. Basically I'm hoping for an rMBP with an iGPU that comes closer to the 650m than the Iris Pro does and for it to be released before the end of the summer. Does that seem likely or should I just go ahead and get the current gen (even though I don't really need one until next fall)?
     
  4. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    Dec 13, 2004
    #4
    If you are really planning on keeping it for 8 years, you would get much better value getting a 13" rmbp now and another in 3-4 years.
     
  5. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    Finland
    #5
    I will have to point out at this point that performance wise the Iris Pro is on par with a dedicated GPU in the lower mid range, so it's far from hopeless and enough to play every game that I know of that is on OSX right now.

    As for the Broadwell machines coming next year, you may have to wait well into next year before they come out, so be prepared to wait for a while if you do that. Also, there's nothing stopping you from buying a mid 2012 or early 2013 machine second hand and then selling it on if the 2014 model isn't as big of a leap forward as you had hoped.
     
  6. yangchewren macrumors regular

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    Dec 1, 2012
    #6
    IIRC, in the last announcement by Intel, Broadwell equipped machines should be available for purchase by the holidays. Assuming apple has a 2-3 month delay, we may see an early 2015 rMBP with Broadwell. In any case, you won't need the laptop till you start college in july/aug 2015, which is plenty of buffer time.
     
  7. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #7
    I don't like to recognize anything as future proof. I can tell you that Apple doesn't officially support machines for 8 years. They have an official vintage policy at the hardware level. Software is stable enough that you could easily see 5 years of support, but expect to change the battery in there at some point. Support cycles make it worth buying the latest generation to hit prior to attending, which is likely to be broadwell. They aren't going to release broadwell chips then usurp them within a few months.
     
  8. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    #8
    If I were you I'd brush up on those reading comprehension skills because the only Broadwell chips will be seeing this year (given that there aren't any further delays) are the really low power ones intended for tablets and other really low power solutions. The silicon Apple uses for the Macbook line won't be going into mass production until next year and it could easily be well into next year because of the problems with really low yields they've been seeing.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #9
    I'd opt for a Haswell rMBP with an Iris Pro, over a 2012 rMBP. I'd say the CPU and GPU improvements are worth the increase in price.

    Look at apple's EDU store and/or refurbs for lower priced items.
     
  10. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #10
    Be sure to compare you Ed discount for a new machine against the referred ones. http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac

    Always check the AppleInsider price list. You can often find a better deal that the standard Ed discount. http://prices.appleinsider.com

    If purchasing locally from an Apple store or other retailer, do so on your state's tax free weekend. In our state that is the weekend that starts with Friday August 1st. In our state the tax free part only counts for the first $1000 on a computer. Other states have no limit on the computer cost.
     
  11. thetechfixer macrumors 6502

    thetechfixer

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    #11
    Pay the extra for a newer model instead of a 2012
     
  12. yangchewren macrumors regular

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    Dec 1, 2012
    #12
    Perhaps I should have withheld my reply having not read through what was actually said. Nonetheless, I won't take you up on your recommendation - there is a whole forum's worth of fact-checking criticism to dole out.
     
  13. rattler thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2011
    #13
    Thanks for all the replies. Currently, I'm running an '06 Pro for personal use, but I occasionally use my dad's 2011 15" Pro for more intensive programs such as Lightroom photo editing.

    I don't plan on keeping my rMBP for the full 8 years, but probably at least 6. I don't really consider myself a gamer, but I do sometimes play some graphics intensive games when I don't have anything else to do, hence my desire for a better iGPU. The current Iris Pro would probably be able to handle it at lower resolutions, but I would hate to spend all my savings on a $2000 computer if a new one that can run the games more smoothly is going to be a released a few weeks later, especially when I don't desperately need to purchase one right away.

    I don't know much about processor architecture, but I know the Broadwell is going to use a new 14nm process. Would this mean a significant upgrade in CPU or iGPU speed? If it is, I might even be willing to hold off my purchase and squeeze a couple more weeks out of my '06 Pro in college, but I wouldn't want to use it for more than a month once school starts. As of now, when are we expecting the Broadwell Macbooks to be released?
     
  14. TheIguana macrumors 6502a

    TheIguana

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    #14
    Broadwell chips for the rMBP aren't expected until next year. Buy based on your needs, not what will be new in 6 months.
     
  15. gbkrip macrumors member

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    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Nebraska
    #15
    I think you should consider going for the 13" model. It is worth evaluating what your computing needs will be. The 13" rMBP is a powerful machine (especially considering what you are coming from). It would last you well into your college life and should you find that you need more computing power, you can sell/upgrade later on. My guess is that after your first year or two, you will have a much better idea of what you need to do and you will also probably have a source of income by then that would allow you to afford an upgrade.
     
  16. SCOLANATOR macrumors 6502a

    SCOLANATOR

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    UK
    #16
    It's difficult to predict with Broadwell as it's been delayed and delayed (thanks to AMD offering zero competition). Intel did state that Broadwell chips would arrive in time for the holidays but this doesn't necessarily mean top end chips for the rMBP.

    I'm like you and I'm at university and use a 2013 Haswell rMBP with the 750M and do a good bit of gaming on it. Absolutely fantastic machine and I highly recommend it but it depends on when you start university. If you can wait till the end of '14/start of '15 then do so. If you need it for starting uni go buy now. You won't be disappointed.

    The 14nm with second gen FinFET transistors will have the same architecture as Haswell, so don't expect a boost to processing power. Energy consumption should drop by 30% (Haswell is already great). As for the iGPU I just can't say yet how much of an improvement we will see. The new dGPU should be a Maxwell chip on TSMC's new 20nm process which should offer a 50% boost to GPU performance.

    For me I want to upgrade each year - but I'm a total tech geek so :p. For me the 50% or so boost to the GPU is what I'm after, the 750M is solid but it's just not quite there. With Maxwell I'll finally have the ideal performance.
     
  17. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 24, 2012
    #17
    So you're talking about needing a machine before next fall? In that case I would definitely say wait for Broadwell. I don't think anyone seriously believes we'll be waiting for more than a year from today for the Broadwell refresh.

    Absolute worst case scenario: If it comes to summer of 2015 and there's still no news there will be plenty of good deals on Haswell machines. Realistically I'd look for a Broadwell refresh in summer 2015 at the latest, or spring if the delays have been exaggerated by the rumor mill.
     
  18. Sifinity, Jul 25, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014

    Sifinity macrumors 6502

    Sifinity

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    Jun 11, 2014
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    Texas
    #18
    completely agree with walrus , especially since your a senior this year , wait till graduation next year and by then broadwell will be out by then ,if your going to start college in this fall then don't wait for broadwell , its relatively far
     
  19. rattler thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    #19
    Thanks for all the replies guys, I really appreciate it. So, the general consensus is that the Broadwell rMBPs will most likely be out by summer '15. Sounds good. I don't know if it's to early to judge, but what kind of iGPU boost are we expecting in the baseline Broadwells? The iGPU is important to me because I won't be getting the top-end with the dGPU (I do some gaming, but not enough to justify the $600 premium). I've been hearing a 40% increase over the Iris Pro. Is that too good to be true?
     
  20. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #20
    What games do you play? As a current Iris Pro owner coming from 650M cMBP, I can say that the Iris Pro is already quite capable in modern games. Even just a 20% boost would be enough for high settings at 1440x900 or 1680x1050 in modern games.
     
  21. Sifinity macrumors 6502

    Sifinity

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    #21
    how well can you run LoL with iris or the 750M ?
     
  22. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #22
    I don't know about summer but definitely 2015 imo.
     
  23. rattler thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 18, 2011
    #23
    A question for all you college or post college kids: do you ever do any school related stuff that would benefit from a faster CPU or GPU, or do you just use it to take notes and view powerpoints and things like that? Aside from that I would use it for Photoshop/Lightroom editing and occasional gaming.

    I'm going to take mostly biology and chemistry courses (taking the pre med route), not computer sciences or engineering so I don't think I would really benefit from a better spec'd rMBP than the baseline, but I don't know if there would be any 3D anatomical/molecular modeling programs or stuff like that would benefit from a faster GPU/CPU? What's your experience?

    Thanks!
     
  24. TheIguana macrumors 6502a

    TheIguana

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    Sep 26, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #24
    Just for undergrad classes, no. For biology and chemistry you will be fine with a baseline rMBP. Most of your work is going to be thinking and memorizing on your end not the computers - ala chirality of molecules, sn1/sn2 reactions, etc.

    However, if you end up on the creative end of some projects for clubs/teams at the University it could potentially benefit you. I got a decent amount of use out of my Mac for auxiliary stuff I was doing at the university (video editing, photoshop, and illustrator work) for a team I was on at the university.

    For grad school, yes. I work with pretty large datasets in my molecular biology and bioinformatics work so it is helpful there (basically less waiting times). Mind you, I have offloaded most of my heavy phylogenic workflows to a dedicated server in the lab.
     
  25. Sifinity macrumors 6502

    Sifinity

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    #25
    look you don't need the power of a 15' or the high end 13'.the only reason i would say get the mid tier 13' is because its a 256 gb sad ,its more space and 128 usually is too little , plus with 8gbs of ram if you ever want to play any games or photoshop it will be much smoother and easier to use
     

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