"Future Proof" Laptops

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sioannou, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. sioannou macrumors member


    Mar 25, 2010
    Nicosia Cyprus
    Lately, I read a lot about comparisons between the i5 and i7 processors in the forum, and I have to admit that I was in the same dilemma too. Additionally a lot of people are in the dilemma to choose between the i5 and SSD or the i7 with a normal hdd. Again I was in the same position.

    I think this is a discussion that is never exhausted and always there will be different views on the subject , however I'd like to post my thoughts on it.

    People usually recommend, "go with the i7, not because you need the extra power but because it makes your laptop more future proof". Or i read comments like "you can always change a hard disk easily however you are stacked with the same processor".

    But really what is the truth? In my opinion, paying an extra amount of money for something I "may" use is a waste. Also, if I really need the speed of an SSD I don't see the reason to wait, "because its easy to swap the hard disk later" . Again, in the sector of technology nothing guaranteed future proof. Even the high end product will fell behind when the next cycle comes out. And this is proven through years.

    So my suggestion is, consider your needs for the present and don't get excited that your laptop life cycle could last more that 3-4 years. (maximum life cycle in my opinion, also depends on the use).

    If anyone could recommend me a laptop that is future proof , and will never fell behind in the future , I even pay $5000 :D
  2. Apple 26.2 macrumors 6502a

    Apple 26.2

    Jan 1, 2011
    What up, 212?!
  3. torbjoern macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2009
    The Black Lodge
    Very good advice!

    "Future proof laptops"... I wish they existed. The term sounds about as oxymoronic and meaningless as "military intelligence", "Homeland Security", "Patriot Act" or "Truth in Government".
  4. mehanika Guest

    Mar 7, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    There is only one thing to post.

    Moore's Law

    "Moore's law describes a long-term trend in the history of computing hardware. The number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.[1] This trend has continued for more than half a century and is expected to continue until 2015 or 2020 or later."

    Thats about what is too be said about this topic!
  5. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    New technology always requires more and more power so buying a high sec laptop now means it doesnt feel slow in a few years time.

    e.g. before i bought my mb last year I had a 4 year old 1.67 ghz core duo with 1 gb ram. this machine struggled when i upgraded to vista and after a while i ditched it because it was so slow.

    If i had paid more i could have bought a 2.0 ghz core duo with 4gb ram. I would have paid more and future proofed my laptop because that would have run vista much better.

    Thats the argument behind future proofing.
  6. Miss Terri macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2010
    US East Coast
    I, too, have kind of wondered about the "future proof" idea. Of course it depends on how long you keep your laptops, how you use them, etc. And there is no *real* future proof - that's pretty clear when it comes to computers.

    What I decided to do for myself was to buy what I need and want for right now, and then any extra money I would have spend simply to "future proof" or to bring "better resale" I instead count towards my "next laptop" fund. That actually seems to work out to be a better value than any "more resale" or "future proofing" I would have bought at the time. Again, providing I was buying the extra purely for that purpose and not because I needed it NOW.

    Laptops especially always get "better," and $300-$500 not spent now seems to buy one a lot of laptop the next time around.

    All personal choice, of course.

    Miss Terri
  7. Charlie Sheen macrumors 6502

    Charlie Sheen

    Mar 9, 2011
    Future-proof. I'm totally fine with my 512 mb of ram on my desktop.
  8. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    Yes, that is true. I think a laptop is most future proof when it has an expesscard slot/Thunderbolt(?), replaceable HDD, battery and RAM. You're kinda stuck with everything else.

    I have a 2.4ghz now, if there's anything that it can't handle, I bet the 2.5 or the 2.66 can't handle either so neither option was future proof if you're looking at it that way.
  9. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Do the math.

    It winds up being a lot more cost-effective to by a cheaper machine and replace it more frequently than to buy an expensive machine and replace it less frequently.

    People that push others to buy the more expensive machines for "future proofing" don't know what they're talking about.
  10. torbjoern macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2009
    The Black Lodge
    How is that, actually? You're probably right, and I have heard many people say the same, but I'm not sure how you and the others got to that result. Is it because the product will be usable just marginally longer no matter how much extra you pay for it, or what?
  11. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    I don't really agree nor disagree with that.

    If you're talking about just outright buying a new computer every X amount of years than I agree.

    However, whether Mac Mini, iBook, MacBook, etc.. I've always sold my previous computers before getting the new. If you sell at the right time and situation you don't lose much if anything, and in most cases I'd be about the same across all models in my experience.
  12. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    The math is impossible to be done as the variables are too vague. Without exact numbers the statement makes no sense. Words like frequency mean different things to different people. Are we talking about buying a $500 laptop every year versus buying a $2000 laptop every 4 years (according to the math, it is essentially the same price, just that the cheaper laptop will have better performance, but even that is debatable as some of the cheaper ones are using i3 vs expensive's i7 and we haven't factored the cost of waste into the factor, as really only Macs have a resale value to change the equation). This is just and example, but the fact is that Apple doesn't build a $500 laptop, so we would be comparing other variable as well, such as Windows vs Mac OS (and this changes the equation).

    Yes there is no future proofing any electronics, but there is the ability the further the useable life. When you are talking about 1/8 of the price to further the usefulness of an already expensive product that math makes sense.

    Most of the people asking the "Should I upgrade" question, either do not need the upgrade or they fall into the other category, which is they are on the border of the capabilities of the machine and don't realize what the technology will and can do for them, as they are running 3-4 year old software and don't realize the needs of the new versions (it is almost a given that if you are content with your currently system when you buy a new machine and are installing programs you will install the latest version and not the older version you are currently using as you see this as the opportunity to upgrade to everything new, unless you specifically need the older version). They don't need the power at the moment, but if they decide or have to upgrade, then they will be at the limits or beyond of their current machine's capabilities, in which case the increase would have been a worthwhile investment.

    Only the buyer can determine if it of value to them or not, not one else.
  13. royalgfx1 macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2007
    I am a journalism student, and really only need a laptop for word processing (although I occasionally record some music, using Ableton Live), and I bought a 15" MBP 2.2 4 GB RAM i7 2011. Realistically, in no way do I NEED a laptop that powerful (benchmarks scores of 10,000) for just some simple word processing and internet use. However, the main reason I spent all that money on such a beast of a laptop, is because I know Lion is coming out this year, and within two years, by 2013, rumors will circulate around Apple's post-Lion OS. And by 2013, I plan to be still using this MBP, in fact, not planning another laptop purchase until 2014-2015.

    Also, I somehow feel that technology will advance so rapidly by 2015, that Apple's new OS, post-Lion, will probably need a faster computer to handle it. Heck, the same policy could Apply with Leopard, by where Leopard had to run Tiger/PowerPC apps in the emulation of Rosetta.

    So, by having such a great computer now, I have somewhat FUTUREPROOFED it, by decreasing the chances of having an outdated computer in the future. It is only finite though.

    However, the entire notion that you can infinitely futureproof a computer is foolish, and even laughable. Believing in any futureproof technology is contradictory to the connotations that technology possesses; primarily progress.

    It's analogous te to being futureproofed to weather: you can only have such a short foresight prediction of what's to come, but beyond that, it becomes difficult.
  14. tdream macrumors 65816

    Jan 15, 2009
    Future Proof was invented by Marketeers to sell extortionate priced products.
  15. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Don't forget "Truth in Advertising".
  16. Tears Apart macrumors 6502a

    Tears Apart

    Jun 10, 2009
    Outside Closer
    I think *any* Apple laptop is future proof if you make it so by keeping it long enough :rolleyes:
  17. Al Coholic macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
    Under the I-470 Freeway
    Everything you have now is future proof. The software you're using won't mysteriously expire as technology progresses.

    And I never here anyone trying to future proof anything... especially mac buyers. The just want the latest model.
  18. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    Nothing is ever future proof as by nature when we get it, the technology is already 2-3 years out of development, so it is already "old" technology. Look at Lightpeak (ThunderBolt), it was developed a while ago and is just now making it into devices.
  19. ozred macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2011
    Well said. I agree, if one wants to save money being cost effective, the best bet is a Windows 7 computer. Hands down, a great experience without paying the obscene Apple Tax.

    I really wish I could suggest an Apple but they're so over priced. Worse, they're not the superior hardware they once were. Running hotter than a PC reduces their service life.

    I use a Mac because I can afford it and can afford to replace it annually. If only Apple would be reasonable, but they prefer really high profits per machine. That's their choice.
  20. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Great post!

    "there is NO such thing as Future Proofing" some of us have said that for a few years on this forum.

    Nice to see people agreeing with that in this thread.
  21. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada

    So untrue.

    YOU do the math

    Don't forget to factor in failed parts, repairs, the stress you get from using fall apart windows machines, and the most costly of all is how much you'll hate using the cheaper machine than a nice MacBook, that in itself is a hell of a price to pay, not in money, but in pain :)
  22. Andrmgic macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2007
    I think that the 15" macbook pro is much more "future proof" than the 13" at this point.

    Nothing is really future proof, but I think that personally I'll get a lot more longevity out of the quad core i7 and the 6750M gpu w/ 1GB of video ram than I would out of the dual core i5 with Intel graphics.

    the 750GB hdd will be sufficient for storage for the foreseeable future, whereas I might have run out of space with the smaller drive.
  23. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    I actually did the math for someone trying to decide between an iMac and Mac Pro (IIRC). I forget the specifics now, but I think it was something like they wanted a computer that would last them 10 years, and had $5000 to spend. So they could either get a well-equipped Mac Pro, and hope it met their needs for 10 years, or they could buy a high-end iMac, keep it for 3 years, and then replace it, and then do the same again in another 3 years.

    It worked out to make a lot more sense financially to buy the iMacs and replace them more often. Yes, as someone else pointed out, the exact specifics depend on how often you'll be replacing your system, how much resale value you get from the old ones, etc. etc. etc. But generally speaking, if you're looking at buying a high-end system because of "future proofing", you're better off putting that extra money in the bank and using it to replace the computer sooner than you would otherwise.

    Obviously, for some needs (e.g., you need a powerful computer right now) this is less feasible, but...

    Resale value obviously works into the equation. The higher the resale value, then the more sense it makes to replace often, since as you point out, it costs very little.

    The case I talked about above was based on someone who didn't have the liquidity to replace their computers as constantly as you do (or couldn't be without a computer even for that period between selling old and buying new).

    If you can make it work the way you describe, then more power to you. :)

    :rolleyes: Nowhere in my post did I suggest anyone buy a cheap Windows PC. I suggested buying a less expensive machine. As in, if you're choosing between the base and high-end MBP, unless you need the performance of the better machine, the smarter choice is the less expensive model.

    Try not to make assumptions.

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