Future Notebook Computer

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Apples555, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. Apples555 macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2012
    Hi Everyone,

    In early 2010 I bought a 13" MacBook Pro 2.4. It has been an excellent computer, probably the best portable I've ever owned. It has traveled with me across the world, almost every day to university, and here I am typing this post on it. Still runs 100%, though I upgraded to a Samsung 950 Pro SSD, 6GB RAM, replaced the HDD cable countless times, replaced the battery, and replaced the optical drive when the original started burning coasters. The display is still stunning and better than 90% of PC notebooks.

    Clearly the climate has changed. Apple makes, to me, very strange hardware now. They don't seem to have ports and have features that at first glance I find unnecessary (touch bar). This was not the case on my old MBP, which was actually quite price-competitive at the time. They also seem to be lacking on user-accessible expandability? Storage for example. I run a lot of engineering simulations and CAD in Boot Camp, so I need decent power and storage that can change with the times.

    I'd like to know what computer you think I should look into going forward. What I value:

    1) Stability/Reliability
    2) CPU & GPU Power for Longevity (the 2010 13" had the strongest GPU available in that size at the time, at least according to Jobs)
    3) Portability
    4) Expandability
    5) Display

    I don't need touch or any of these new gimmicks.

    I know some of you have the new MacBooks and can compare them to the old ones. My 13" was perfect in almost every way. Size was perfect, ports were perfect, etc. I like my iPhone X. Should I buy Apple again?
  2. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    I have the same 2010 notebook, still works very well, even still holds a pretty decent charge on the original battery. They're great, eh?

    I assume you mean upgradability, in which case, Apple has no care for that. They want you buying your hardware from them, and them only. Without addressing much else in your post, unless you are absolutely willing to toss this point out of the window, I personally would not purchase from Apple again.
  3. Apples555 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2012

    I do. For example, the ability to change the internal storage.

    I also really don’t want to carry a dongle which is apparently a requisite?

    Looks like MagSafe is gone too and USB ports?
  4. duervo, Apr 29, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018

    duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    With CAD and related apps being a lot of what you run (and in Boot Camp,) I suggest one of these:

    - Lenovo Thinkpad P52s,
    - If you can wait a little while longer, a Thinkpad P52.
    - P51 if you can’t wait.

    They are all upgradable, have NVIDIA Quadro GPU, and can be configured with 4K (non-touch) or 1080p (touch and non-touch) displays.

    The non-s models support up to 64GB RAM. S models can go up to 32GB. The s-models generally have longer battery life, but lower limits/options for upgradability.

    There’s also a P71 option if you want a 17” display, and a more powerful GPU (NVIDIA Quadro P5000 16GB.)

    You can also opt for on-site support as well as accidental damage coverage, for up to 5yrs.
  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The 2010 model was an interesting one. Apple deliberately used a slower, older CPU on it to have a better GPU (Nvidia integrated), since Nvidia didn't offer any chipsets for the newer Core i CPUs. Of course, Intel integrated graphics has improved tremendously since then and the GPUs in the current 13" models are better (in relative terms) than 320M was back there.

    The technology has changed significantly since 2010. User-serviceability was always an after-though for Apple, and they always put other concerns first. For example, they abandoned user-serviceable batteries in 2009 in order to increase battery capacity (since user-removable batteries need to have rigid shell for safety purposes which takes away precious space and weight). In the recent years, they moved to using mobile RAM in their laptops to improve power efficiency (and potentially reliability) and while the storage is not replaceable, it is among the fastest storage available for the consumer these days. Of course, this is off-putting to users who want to be able to upgrade their computers. It does give Apple a lot of flexibility in designing their hardware, as evident by the new iMac Pro which uses a rather interesting storage solution with a custom storage controller. This solution offers storage speeds which are rivalling or surpassing enterprise solutions — at a fraction of a cost.

    All things considered they have more ports than your old 13", since the new ports are multi-purpose. But setting it up properly requires additional investment into newer I/O, cables and hubs.

    All in all, I agree with the other posters that given your priorities, there are other laptops on the market that might fulfil your needs better. They are unlikely to match the MBP in portability and energy efficiency, but you could get expandability you desire.
  6. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    It has all changed completely since 2010. The current models are not user serviceable at all, and yes, if you have older peripherals that you are still interested in using, you may have to look into adapters and the like to be able to conform, or just buy new peripherals altogether, depending on what they are of course.
  7. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    They are still stable and reliable computers , with the caveat that the keyboard TDS are highly susceptible to dust ingress and this causes some serious issues for quite a few people.

    They use the best cpus in their class and TDP as always and they use mid range gpus in the 15 inch (as they always did) or the best integrated gpus in the 13 inch although I think this year they will go for quad core gpus with iris graphics over the dual cores with Radeon graphics that have started to become available.

    They are epic on portability almost unbeatable for the performance.

    There is nothing left that is user upgradeable, if that is a must then Apple are no longer for you. Of course they have the fastest I/O of any computer with 4 thunderbolt 3 ports so for the fastest smoothest peripherals they can’t be beat, assuming you have a usb c or tb3 cable to attach it.

    There displays are spot on, they aren’t 4K but at these screen sizes the brightness at 500 nits and the P3 colour gamut is much more important.

    I had the 2010 it’s a great machine and it’s stil my bros daily computer.
    I now have a 2013 it’s a fantastic machine and so good I have no thoughts of getting a new one despite the loveliness of the new machines.
    If I was in the market it would be 13 inch touch bar for me, I don’t use f keys so that added functionality would be a bonus. I know how much space I need and would buy accordingly and the 13 inch is plenty powerful for what I do. I don’t bother tinkering any more so upgradeability means nothing to me either. Reevaluate you computer usage mine has changed in 8 years and the MBP has changed right aLong with me but they aren’t for everyone.
  8. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    If those are really things you value then you are better off moving away from Apple. That said have you actually swapped out the internal storage on your current one? There are a lot of people out there that say they want to be able to do that and then never actually do it. MagSafe is gone, but it’s not much of a loss, the computers had gotten so light that it wasn’t as reliable about actually disconnecting when needed.
  9. afir93 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2018
    That's what I would have said 1 or 2 years ago, but Apple seems to slowly rediscover their liking for expandability at the moment – just not upgradability of internal components, but expandability through external ones. For example, finally having official eGPU-support in High Sierra is a big deal in terms of upgradability; it means that if your internal GPU should ever become insufficient, you can essentially give your Mac as much GPU power as you want through an eGPU setup. Similarly, Thunderbolt 3 provides a lot of capabilities in terms of external display/desktop setups, and the news about a modular Mac Pro (even though we don't know the details) fundamentally sounds promising aswell.

    Therefore I don't think that Apple doesn't care for these things, otherwise they wouldn't have had to make any of them. It might not be that high on their priority list but they haven't forgotten the customers' desire for upgradability either.
  10. Apples555 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2012
    Good point. My needs change with the project I'm assigned to. So I might need to swap in a huge HDD at one point, and an SSD the next. I upgraded the original 250GB HDD to a Hitachi 1TB HDD, then to a Samsung 950 Pro SSD 256GB when I needed speed and battery life. I can also take out the SSD and put it into a new computer with SATA III, thus extending my investment, or put it into an enclosure if something physical happened to the logic board.

    I also increased the RAM when one of the sticks failed and replaced the battery. If none of these operations are possible on the new MBP, I might have to look elsewhere, especially the battery point. That is a shame because I wanted to buy Apple again. I love MacOS and adjusting to working without it will be difficult. I have some applications that only work on Mac/Linux so I'd have to install Linux if I went non-Apple.

    I can definitely wait. I've looked at the Lenovo line and it is very attractive. Not so much the P52 because it is too large (15.6" screen). I connect to a monitor when I need real estate, so I don't need a large screen. The T480 looks very good (14" screen/discrete GPU/8th Generation Intel/USB ports). I might have to just accept it. I also like the dock.

    I only use the ports for external storage, mouse and keyboards, and external monitors. Even a brand new external HDD uses USB 3.

    I guess I'm looking for a more enterprise computer than what Apple is offering.

    Now that's exciting! Maybe I should just wait...
  11. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    I'm honestly not so sure if the two are synonyms or not. Not saying my interpretation is correct, it's just that to me, in terms of computing: "upgradability" refers to being able to perform tasks such as replacing your old RAM modules with new RAM modules. "Expandability" refers to external enhancements like you have just began to discuss.

    Once again, not defining anything here, these are just what I think of when I read the terms. That is why in my initial post I stated "I assume you mean upgradability" since the OP had discussed the replacement of different internal components in their previous notebook.

    In any case, they may in fact be synonymous, or perhaps even I have it backwards. :D I guess it can be stretched any which way - like for example, removing an optical drive to install a hard drive bay could be considered "expanding" as opposed to "upgrading" since its entirely different hardware.

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