First MacBook

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by grissomrt, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. grissomrt macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2014
    Hey Guys! I value all of your opinions. The feedback you guys gave me helped me pick out my new iPhone. I am trying to decide on my first MacBook. This will be for personal use. I usually just surf the web, write documents, and watch movies and edit pictures I take. I do have an external hard drive to store files, pictures, and videos.

    MacBook Air versus MacBook Pro with Retina display. Does the retina display really matter? I am also trying to decide between the 256 gig and 520 gig hard drive I am looking at buying a refurbished MacBook because I see that they are as reliable as a new one. Do I really need AppleCare?

    I know you guys will have tons of opinions, but please consider my needs in this purchase and use this to help me out and do not put me in your shoes and say what you would get. Help me out by saying what is the best option for my situation.

    Thank you!
  2. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    Retina does make an incredible difference. 256GB should be enough for most users. Be sure to look into getting an education discount if you decide to go with new.
  3. appleminion macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2015
    Go with retina, 8gb ram, 512 ssd for convenience
  4. seadragon Contributor

    Mar 10, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    I just got my first retina equipped MBP (13 inch i7/16/512) and I am blow away with the quality of the display. Definitely noticeable compared to non-retina.
  5. bits macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2015
    You can purchase Apple Care later - before end one year warranty. I recommend this option.

    Maybe go to some store and try it?
    Better go with retina models. Display it's like your new iPhone, you can't see pixels ;)
    If you intend to use it longer, consider a larger capacity disk and ram. You have external disk, so maybe 256 gb and 16 gb ram?
  6. Agent-P macrumors 68030


    Dec 5, 2009
    The Tri-State Area
    Only you'll know if you need the retina display. I'd say check them out at each store and see. But once you go retina then you won't be able to go back to lower resolution screens.
  7. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    If you buy a refurb, make sure you get at least a late-2013 model with a Haswell-generation CPU. They have significantly better battery life than the prior versions.

    Regarding the Retina display, it definitely looks more pleasant (particularly text rendering), but personally I have no problem switching back to my 11" MBA when I need an ultraportable machine. It's not like 135 DPI will look like a Commodore 64. ;) I second the recommendation to go to a store and check it out yourself.
  8. Potatochobit macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2011
    retina display is better but it is by no means a deal breaker if you cannot afford one
    especially since you dont plan to do actual work in the computer
    if all you are going to do is check email and shop amazon you wont need it

    if you plan to use this at home I would suggest you buy a real monitor screen and a USB keyboard and mouse anyway, you wont even use the laptop screen unless you are traveling.
  9. smooth macrumors 6502


    Nov 12, 2007
    Based on the info you gave, I think a MacBook Air would suit you plenty and the 256GB storage would be plenty - if you think you may upgrade within 4 years. If you want to keep it longer, you may want to go with the MacBook Pro with larger storage and more memory (8GB). And if you plan on keeping it longer and you are on the same page as Apple with getting their devices as thin as possible, you may want to consider the new MacBooks.

    Whichever you choose, you won't regret it. The reliability and longevity of Macs are what switched me over to Apple. My first MacBook I bought in 2007 was the highest end 13 inch model and it's still going strong in the hands of my in-laws, albeit it does run a bit sluggish. But if the longevity isn't important to you, they also have a good resale value - so either way it's a win-win for you.
  10. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    I'd keep an eye out for a refurbished October 2013 13" rMBP with 8gb of RAM and the 256gb SSD. That's the machine I use for school as an early childhood education major, and it's awesome! 256gb is plenty with the external drives I have, and 8gb of RAM is more than enough for everyday tasks. The differences between the late-2013 and 2014 models are negligible, so might as well save yourself a little bit of money and get the slightly older model with the same gen processor that's just minutely slower.
  11. Hieveryone macrumors 68030

    Apr 11, 2014
    Retina is a must. If you're set on Mac get the mid range 2.7/8/256

    If you aren't set on Mac, consider Dell. They have an edge to edge stunning display and it's lighter and cheaper. It's the XPS I believe for about 1100.

    EDIT: Oh and consider refurbished! Great computers at great discounts!!!
  12. Psyfuzz macrumors 6502


    Dec 5, 2014
    As a user of a non-retina macbook, the difference between the screens is noticeable.

    The non-retina screens aren't bad by any means and compared to a lot of high end external displays the PPI is still high - the Air's display will still impress at times, but the retina is a step above in every sense.

    I had the choice to go with the retina 15 or the classic 15 at time of purchase in 2012, the internal superdrive and the larger IO options were more of a necessity than a better display for my uses.

    However, in 2015 there's no reason to get anything other than a retina display.
  13. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    Either if fine for your needs.

    Personally, I'd go with the retina display. Viewing text and images on a Retina screen is dramatically better.
  14. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
  15. BriOS macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2014
    Man this is so true. I fired up my dell studio XPS 16 yesterday to get some files off it, and the display was horrible to look at. I can't believe I used it for almost 10 years. This IPS is just sick.
  16. shockedimpy macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2015
    I just purchased my first Macbook Pro yesterday as well. I love it so far. Extremely fast, beautiful screen. I bit to get used to as far as Apples OS. I do own a 6 plus & iPad Air.

    My question...I purchased the 128gb flash drive instead of the 256gb...Why wouldn't everyone else do the same and simply purchase an SD card if extra storage is needed at a FRACTION of the cost.....I bought the mac for school, basic note taking, excel usage. Not a gamer or a photo person....
  17. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    A couple of reasons

    1. the sd slot is shallow so you need a converter like a nifty mini drive with a micro SD card in it.

    2 they are slow compared to the speeds of the SSD's in your macbook and so while fine for holding media not so good for other uses.

    3 they aren't nearly as stable and there are issues with mounting and sleep states and boot ups.

    4 by the time you have bought the converter so it doesn't stick out and a 128gb card it is only about $100 cheaper for less fast less stable storage.
  18. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    You get a better CPU/GPU and more ports on the MBP over the MBA, along with the superior screen. I think the rMBP is a better buy over the MBA.

    As for storage, if you can easily live within the 256GB SSD now and the foreseeable future, get that, if not get the 512GB.
  19. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
  20. grissomrt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2014
    I just wanted to let you all know I made my choice. I am actually typing on it right now. I decided with the 13 inch retina 512 GIG flash 8 gigs of ram macbook pro refurb. It is a total peace working on this computer. Cannot believe I have waited this long to purchase one. Thank you for all the input.
  21. nanogirl21 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2011
    Midwest United States
    Yes, retina does matter. If you are using an iPhone you are used to looking a a retina display. Never downgrade if you can help it. Go with retina.

    If you have an external hard drive to store your large media files on same some money and go with the 256GB SSD.

    Yes, you will want Apple Care. I personally do not buy it right away. I wait till my 1 year warranty is almost over. This is just to spread my money out over time. Things add up rather quickly when buying the computer + laptop bag & sleeve + office for mac (or office 365) + magic mouse (it's needed for what I use my computer for) + a few must needed apps from the Mac Store.

    8 GB of RAM will be perfect for your needs.

    Go with i5 processor. You will not notice a difference between the i5 and the i7.

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