decisions decisions: please help!!!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vasilysmsylov, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. vasilysmsylov macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2014
    Hi guys,

    I'm new here so please bear with me. What are the downsides to buying a 13" "standard" MBP non retina and upgrading to the following specs?

    • 2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7,
    • 4GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM — 2x2GB
    • 256GB Solid State Drive
    • SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    • Backlit Keyboard (English) & User's Guide

    later upgrading to 16 GB RAM bought independently, I do a lot of music production with heavy processing so am fairly certain I'll need it.

    My question is, are there any disadvantages of doing this, in the end with upgrades it amounts to about the same price, only the standard 13" is upgradable, so should the ram cop out or the battery, I am able to replace it myself. My main concerns are being able to upgrade and whether a bump in processor or RAM is better to serve my needs. I know when running various projects simultaneously 16GB suits me but is the bump worth it when running i7 over i5? I'm also concerned about fan noise, when recording obviously this is an issue. What do you guys think?

    The other models I'm considering are:

    the 13-inch: 2.6GHz
with Retina display (upgraded RAM)

    • 2.6GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5,
    • 16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM (upgraded)
    • 512GB PCIe-based Flash Storage
    • Backlit Keyboard (English) & User's Guide


    the 15-inch: 2.0GHz
with Retina display (Stock)
    • 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    • Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
    • 8GB 1600MHz memory
    • 256GB PCIe-based flash storage1
    • Intel Iris Pro Graphics

    Any help would really be appreciated, I'm really unable to choose at this point.
  2. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2011

    Well, the only two things you can really upgrade in a laptop are the HDD/SSD and the RAM. If you are into music production, you'll definitely want at least 8GB RAM and preferably 16GB. As for the SSD, you can always use external storage. So, from my point of view, there is a great limitation to upgrading a cMBP as is. The only major advantage is that one can save money during purchase and spend the amount while upgrading later.

    As for the processor, I'm not sure how demanding music processing is. If it's multi-threaded processing, your best bet would be the base 15" rMBP with 16GB RAM. If, however, you feel that a dual core processor will do just fine, you can go for the 13" rMBP with the 2.6GHz i5 and 16GB RAM. The 2.8GHz i7 won't be that big an upgrade.

    Personally, I would advise against the 13" cMBP - the display isn't worth it.

    Best of luck.


    EDIT: as far as your question regarding battery / RAM replacement is concerned, if you get Apple Care, you won't have to worry about that.
  3. vasilysmsylov thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2014
    Hi Raptor,

    Thanks for the response, I appreciate your time.

    I'd like to have to not rely on apple care is what I'm saying as I'm already forking out so much. Hopefully it will last for at least the duration of the 1st year warranty period and the 3 years of apple care I'll tack on at the end of that period. I just resent having to buy In.

    Anywho, it looks as though the 15" base model with the 16gb RAM upgrade would be my best option, unless anybody has any objections? I can get an external drive later on. I heard the i7 is prone to overheating, is there any truth in that? i.e am I likely to experience and serious degree of fan noise?

    Thanks again.
  4. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2011

    The 15" rMBP will be a wonderful choice. Just make sure to get 16GB RAM. As for heat issues, it won't be any hotter than any other quad core laptop. In fact, the apple thermal design is pretty brilliant as is. However, coming from a plastic body laptop, you may notice that the aluminium chassis gets hotter faster than your previous laptop due to the conductive material.

    All in all, it's a great laptop. You won't regret your purchase.

    Best of luck.


    Edit: the fan idles at 2000 RPM and shoots up to 6k during heavy use. However, the noise isn't very loud. Not an issue at all.
  5. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Music Production or not, don't go with the cMBP, it is an anachronism in the MacBook lineup, moribund/about to be phased out. And, given the hardware, it really shouldn't cost four figures in 2014.

    Don't get me wrong, I have an Early-2011 13" cMBP and I love it. In my estimation, it was the best 13" notebook on the market when I purchased it in February of 2011. But would I get one of its non-Retina descendants if I were looking for a new machine: a resounding 'no.'

    Even if you don't need the high resolution screen, I don't see how it won't enrich everything you do. After all, the screen is what you $&#!-ing look at all the time.

    I outfitted my MacBook with dual-SSDs and upped the RAM. Eventually, I will put 16 gigs in. But, the expandability component is largely overrated. The Retina destroys it in many ways, not the least of them being the Retina represents the direction Apple is going. And it's not really prudent to go salmon against the tide of Apple.

    What I don't understand is that they call the cMBP a "Pro" machine yet, for years, it has had a lesser screen than the Air. In fact, I would get the Air before the cMBP.

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