Future proofing 2017 MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Vazza, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. Vazza, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017

    Vazza macrumors regular

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    #1
    I previously had a mid 2010 15" MBP, which performed admirably until a year ago when the dGPU failed. Unfortunately due to its age, Apple said they no longer produced/had the necessary parts to repair it so for the last 12 months I've made do with my iPad mini 2 and an old Dell laptop given to me by work.

    Following the release of the refreshed MBP last month, I was fairly set on getting the 13" MBP TB with the standard 3.1Ghz i5 but upgraded 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM for £2001 (including health services store discount). Earlier today my finger was hovering over the buy button in the store when I started having second thoughts.

    For my uses I'm sure the base 13" MBP TB would suffice but I really want to use the machine for at least 5-6 years like my previous MBP.

    I'm now thinking the 2017 15" MBP with upgraded SSD to 512GB and the upgraded Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB for £2462 would be the best way to ensure my purchase is future proofed. I don't need the extra screen real estate nor the dGPU but 5 years from now the faster processor and the dGPU may mean I can run the latest OS and third party software flawlessly like my 2010 MBP did.

    The MBP will essentially be a desktop replacement that I occasionally take out with me. The price difference between getting the 13" MBP TB CTO and the 15" MBP with the upgrades to SSD and graphics card is £461...when I'm already spending £2001 on the 13" MBP should I just go for the 15"?

    Opinions would be appreciated.
     
  2. Frankfurt macrumors regular

    Frankfurt

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    #2
    Let me start by saying that I am not a "Pro" user, but use the Mac for both work (Office) and pleasure.

    I can only tell you what I do whenever I purchase a desktop or laptop: I buy the top of the line in terms of RAM, sufficient storage and CPU. I have the first unibody Late 2008 Macbook and it runs still today with no issues (upgraded RAM and SSD on the fly). Given today's MacBooks can no longer be upgraded aftermarket, I did this time buy the top of the line 2017 tbMBP 15" with upgraded CPU to 3.1 and 1T of SSD storage.

    As with the 2008, I plan to use this for at least 8 years. Time will tell...
     
  3. Vazza, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017

    Vazza thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    This is what I'm thinking on one hand but on the other I'm think the dGPU is currently unnecessary for my usage and the 15" screen is not a must for me either. The current 3.1Ghz i5 in the 13" MBP TB will surely be fine for at least the next 5 years? As for graphics ability, an eGPU would trounce the current dGPUs in the MBP 15" so if down the line this is needed for any software I use, I could go down this route?
     
  4. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

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    #4
    Get the middle model 2.3ghz 13' and just replace earlier, the money you save virtually pays for a 3rd device further down the line... Middle 13" mac is £1829 with 16gb and 512GB. Base 15' is £2529 once you put in the 512GB SSD.

    2x13" macs is £3658
    2x15" macs is £5058

    EPP is just a bonus. Just my 2p
     
  5. Vazza, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017

    Vazza thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Hi thanks for the reply...the difference is "only" £461 with EPP which makes it a harder choice for me. If the difference was nearer the £700 if I bought from the standard store then the 15" wouldn't be a consideration.

    Also where is the middle 13" TB with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD £1829?

    Or do you mean the non touchbar?

    EDIT: Just seen that you mention the 2.3Ghz processor so you obviously mean the nTB, which is not what I really want due to the compromises that version has.
     
  6. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

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    #6
    It's nTB, it's a gimmick as far as I can see.
    The EPP difference should be linear meaning the ratio would/should be similar.

    I always went top of the line historically, but the latest version mac I have with the 3.1ghz is actually slower than the previous one. Going forward I'm always maxing the ram and getting the storage I need only. CPU makes little difference for me.
     
  7. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    You need to sort out your use cases. I don't understand how you can simultaneously consider a 13" TB model and a 15" model with the 560 dGPU.

    Is there any particular reason why the 550 dGPU wouldn't suffice? Especially since you were once considering the iGPU of the 13"
     
  8. Vazza, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017

    Vazza thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    I agree I won't notice a difference in performance between the 2.3Ghz nTB and 3.1Ghz TB processors now but a few years down the line, for the £200 more I'd pay today, I will probably get slightly better resale especially with a TB. Also if I decide to keep it longer it may work a little better with a newer, possibly more resource intensive OS compared to the 2.3Ghz one.

    The maxing RAM is a no brainer as is choosing appropriate storage size for your needs :)
    --- Post Merged, Jul 29, 2017 ---
    As I clearly state above I don't need the dGPU at all currently but if I'm spending £2001 on a 13", then should I just splash out the extra £461 to get a 15" in the hope that doing so will mean I can keep it as long as my 2010 MBP which I specced with an upgraded dGPU, processor etc. and could therefore run recently released software flawlessly (until it died).

    The upgrade from 550 dGPU to 560 dGPU is £80 so if I was going to get a 15" MBP, the upgrade is a no brainer for me.
     
  9. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #9
    Not possible to future proof, far better to opt for a powerful desktop solution and a less expensive portable. Unless money is of no issue, especially with Apple's in house upgrades that are primarily designed to scalp the customer. if you must pick up a base 15" and forget the upgrades...

    Q-6
     
  10. Frankfurt macrumors regular

    Frankfurt

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    #10
    First choice: 13 or 15" (I chose 15" because mine is 70% stationary and I want the larger screen).
    Second, maximize RAM (16GB, available on either size).
    Third, decide on SSD size. (I would not take anything below 512GB, I took 1T just in case).
    Those are the key parameters. I don't think processor matters if not a "pro" user or doing lost of personal photo/movie editing.
    In the above your 13" gets pretty close to a 15" price wise. Hence, besides the desire for the larger screen, it was kind of a no brainer at that point to take the other benefits of the 15".
     
  11. Vazza thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Exactly what I realised hence the thread...when spending 2k on a laptop, for a bit more you get a bigger screen (not a deal breaker for me), an additional processor bump and dGPU. Is it worth the "bit more" though is a difficult question and I guess is an individual thing but wanted other people's opinions.

    This is probably the sensible choice but would you not recommend upgrading the hard disk on the base 15" then? 256GB seems a little paltry...
     
  12. maerz001 macrumors 6502

    maerz001

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    #12
    What should we recommend when u put in zero use case and how can we know how much storage u use? There is everything possible from 128GB to 1TB.

    Usually people asking these kind of questions are even fine with a base MB
     
  13. Vazza, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017

    Vazza thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    No need to be condescending ;)

    Clearly I feel I need 512GB (especially in the future) otherwise the specs I've listed above would have stated otherwise...my response to Queen6 was emphasising this i.e. that 256GB would likely be too small for me. If you read my original post I'm not asking for advice on size of SSD but whether rather than spending £2k on the 13", I should stump up a little extra for a 15", which hopefully would run any new software/OS out in the 5-6 years with reasonable performance whereas perhaps the former wouldn't...I don't expect people to predict the future of course but interested in people's experience of old MBPs they owned. For example, running Snow Leopard on my extremely old polycarbonate MacBook was painful due to the processor and lack of RAM. I didn't explicitly say what my use would be as the point of the thread was whether the 15" would have a longer life expectancy generally due to the specs as ideally I would want to keep the laptop for as long as my 2010 MBP...not whether it would be unnecessary/OTT for my current needs. I did hint that it wouldn't be anything that intensive by stating I did not need a dGPU but it's mainly Photoshop use, video editing (some light 4K) and the usual browsing etc.
     
  14. Jamalogo10 macrumors member

    Jamalogo10

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    #14
    You will not get a better resale value with the base TB 13in version when compared to the nTB. "Things" that are higher priced often lose value quicker than cheaper alternatives. This is the first iteration of the touch bar. It's low res, can't be dimmed, lacks feedback and is more likely to fail than it's function keys counterpart. If you don't need dedicated graphics and don't care about screen size, the 15in MBP doesn't make a lot of sense.

    The nTB is the gem of the group. It has a significantly better battery life than either of the other two MBPs you were talking about and its just as powerful as it's touchbar brother unless you run very intensive computing apps for extended periods of time that aren't optimized for macbooks.
     
  15. ZapNZs, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

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    #15
    In the UK, how big of a price difference is there between the base 2.3 GHz non-touchbar and the touchbar model? I ask because, in the US, the price of the nTB with the base 2.3 Ghz i5, 16 GB RAM, and a 512 SSD is only $100 USD more than a base touchbar with the entry i5, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 SSD. That base 2.3 GHz i5 is an extremely capable CPU - and I cannot say that I feel there is going to be a very big difference in futureproofing capability between the nTB's base i5 and the TB's base i5. Your 2010 is a dual core first generation core-i series, and yet its CPU is still capable enough for many standard-use tasks even today.

    As the 13-inch lacks a dGPU, and the dGPU on Apple laptops has historically been one of the areas where failure was most common, the 13-inch might have a longevity advantage over the 15 (or at least a lower cost of ownership.) It may also have a better resale value relative to what you spend (given the [understandable] apprehension that comes with purchasing used dGPU MBPs.)
     
  16. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #16
    No unless your working data requires, better to invest in a fast external SSD that can be used with multiple systems. This is exactly what I do these days saves on cost and is far more versatile. I really object on principle to Apple's in-house upgrade pricing they are literally screwing us, this is the problem with monopolies and greed...

    Q-6
     
  17. maerz001 macrumors 6502

    maerz001

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    #17
    every Apple computer regardless of the specs looses about 50% resale value in 3 years.
    For the money you spend now on a 15" u can buy two 13". One now and one in three years which will then be new and shiny and speedy.

    So you don't have to invest in future proofing of PCs which is always a bad business. There is one rule: buy what u need now. And an even better to save money: buy in refurbished store :)
     
  18. Vazza, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017

    Vazza thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Thank you for the reply and I see the logic in your argument, however, If I get the 13" nTB base for example and upgrade the RAM and SSD to what I need now then it's around £400 off the base 15"...not enough to buy me another 13" a couple of years down the line unless I'm missing the point? Even without the RAM upgrade it'd still be around £550 difference I think.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 30, 2017 ---
    The difference between base 13" nTB and base 13" TB in the UK is around £500. When the base 13" nTB is specced with max RAM and 512GB SSD it is £100 or so more than the base 13" TB at £1718...a hefty amount when I can get the same spec with a faster processor, quieter noise profile (allegedly), marginally better iGPU and more ports for £282 more. My 2010 15" MBP was maxed out pretty much in terms of processor and RAM and as you said would run most things flawlessly 7 years on, which is why I was debating going the full hog for the 15" tbh.

    I think after everyone's replies that my thinking has gone back towards the 13" MBP though...
     
  19. andy9l macrumors 68000

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    #19
    The 13" will 'officially' become obsolete on exactly the same day as the 15". With that in mind, future proofing is impossible.

    Buy what you need/want today. We're not talking about vast amounts of money here.

    In 3 years time, you're going to want a new machine anyway. Apple will be intentionally increasing the purchase frequency of Macs to improve cash flow. Durability/longevity has become a problem for many tech businesses. One laptop every 5 years is incredibly bad for business when the same customer is buying 5 iPhones in the same time frame (costing a lot more cumulatively).

    Whatever you do, do not buy a Mac in 2017 with 8GB of RAM. Even just for browsing nowadays, that's considered quite low (by Mozilla, nonetheless).

    You won't benefit at all from the dGPU, based on what you've told us. And you'll be skimping on RAM, which you're much, much more likely to benefit from.

    As for nTB vs. TB - yes resale value will be slightly higher, but it's going to be negligible. Buy the TB if you WANT it. If you want to try it, if you want to use Apple Pay. Performance between the two models is largely the same, but slightly better graphics on TB (the main reason I went for it - I use a 4K screen).

    You're buying this laptop for you, not for the next guy.

    I'd recommend the 2.3 / 16 / 512 config. And take your family/partner/friend on a weekend break with what you save.

    My $0.02.
     
  20. Jamalogo10 macrumors member

    Jamalogo10

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    #20
    There is no noticeable speed difference between nTB and the touchbar. It's a marketing ploy by Apple; although it will throttle under very heavy strain. IMO a maxed out nTB is a much better computer than a base-line TB. I've yet to hear the fan on my nTB MBP kick in.

    It seems logical the hotter/harder working TB would run it's fans more regularly than the nTB but I could be wrong... maybe the TB runs its fans at half the speed making them less audible?

    The finger print scanner is the only feature I'm bummed I do not have. Yet, it's a luxury more than anything. Typing in a pass code takes 2 seconds longer.
     
  21. Vazza thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    The nTB has one fan which under load would need to work harder whereas the TB has two to do the work so I believe they are less likely to spin up as much as the lone fan on the nTB.

    I agree an upgraded nTB would be a better option than a base TB but I'm thinking a TB MBP with the exact same 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD for £282 more than the maxed nTB is worth it?
     
  22. T-Bob macrumors 6502

    T-Bob

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    #22
    nTB does make more noise in reviews. (notebookcheck was one I remember).
     
  23. Vazza thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    Thanks for confirming this...I'm sure I saw that article and also read people's experiences of the same on here :)
     
  24. Appleaker macrumors 68000

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    #24
    I know you want it soon, but in terms of future-proofing, it might be worth seeing what they do next year with 15W/28W quad-core and 45W six-core processors. But of course if you can't afford to wait, then the 15" would be more future-proof.
     
  25. Vazza thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25
    In an ideal world I would but another year of my iPad mini 2 crashing when watching a video would probably tip me over the edge. My work Dell laptop is so slow also.
     

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