Getting new MacBook Pro Retina vs. some other random laptop

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macguin, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. macguin macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2009
    So I'm a pretty diehard apple fanboy, ya know, iPhone, MacBook Pro, and stuff. My MacBook Pro is pretty old and I have the funds to get a new MacBook Pro Retina and I'm a bit weary.

    I'm fairly versed in computer hardware and programming as well as UNIX. So when I saw a picture of the insides of the new MacBook and I saw that the RAM as well as the SSD was soldered to the motherboard, it upset me a bit. I'm a programmer so I'll constantly be compiling files and deleting files to test my programs and I'm worried that the SSD would fail fairly quickly and when it does my only choice is to buy a whole new MacBook.

    So I was thinking about taking the money I was going to use for the new MacBook (> $3,000 + tax) and buying an ASUS laptop or an Alienware, something with really nice internals and a good HDD setup, maybe RAID or something because that would be a lot cheaper and a lot more configurable than the MacBook. I wouldn't run windows on the laptop, most likely Ubuntu. What do you guys think, should I give up configurability and fixability to maintain my Apple fandom, or should I get a most likely better and cheaper laptop and run Ubuntu on it

    Attached Files:

  2. leenak, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012

    leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    Well the SSD isn't soldered and there is no way in your lifetime that you will out use the SSD. With larger ones, this just isn't an issue.

    If you were going to look for alternative systems, I'd look at Asus, MSI and Sager.

    And I forgot to add, but you could just by the regular MBP. Still a solid machine.
  3. Apple... macrumors 68020


    May 6, 2010
    The United States
    I would get a MBP, non-Retina. Apple is pushing the graphics cards to the limit in the RMBP, so I would wait until next year's revision if you really want it. The SSD/RAM/etc. isn't user replaceable, but if a problem occurs, bring it to the Apple Store and they'll take care of it.
  4. dlimes13 macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2011
    Perrysburg, OH
    I agree with this. I bought the non-retina since the retina isn't ready for primetime and the lack of upgradability. Mine is just as powerful in anyway and in most ways better (except for the screen, but I have AG).
  5. iFanboy Guest

    Yikes, I better tell my rMBP to stop working awesomely with graphics intensive apps :(

    My graphics card isn't even close to being "pushed to the limit". The phrase suggests it's close to full power during use, which it isn't even close.

    Please stop spreading FUD.
  6. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
    Agreed. I have the MBP non-retina and it's awesome. I have the hi-res anti-glare and I can use this thing in the sun with no clouds.

    I also agree with any new technology you should wait until the next iteration or two to work out any bugs.

  7. macjolt macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2012
    Philadelphia, PA
    Also, if you consider yourself versed in computer hardware, please don't buy an Alienware. They are ridiculously overpriced; there are plenty of other options out there for a machine that's just as powerful for cheaper.
  8. katmeef macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2010
    Whatever helps you sleep at night... :)
  9. Enjoi03 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
  10. unibility macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2012

    How do you know if one would not exceed the lifetime of the flash storage? There are two types of flash storage available:

    1. MLC Flash: 10,000 read/write per sector

    2. SLC Flash: 100,000 read/write per sector

    It is possible that the user could exceed these numbers.
  11. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    From what I've read, the way they have optimized it, it generally won't happen and the bigger the drive, the less chance.

    This mentions that if you had 10GB written onto the drive every day, it would have a 64 year lifespan for a 256GB Samsung SSD:
  12. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    Please stop. This post along with your horrible "review" of the RMBP make you sound extremely desperate to justify your purchase.
  13. macguin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2009
    Sorry, I'm not very experienced buying computers from other companies. So what would be your top 3 suggestions for a company that offers good quality, made-to-order latops
  14. Apple..., Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012

    Apple... macrumors 68020


    May 6, 2010
    The United States

    And this post below didn't get 127 "ups" for nothing:
  15. wundram macrumors member

    Nov 21, 2009
    The limitation of flash is the number of times you can erase "flash" a cell and rewrite it. Also the 10,000 number is basically the guarentee given by the flash chip manufacture. Meaning that you can start expecting some failed cells at 10,000, but it is not like a wall where they all fail at 10,000. Most of the cells will last much longer, like for millions of cycles.

    Next, the wear leveling on the controller tries to improve the life of the drive by spreading them out. Also SSDs keep a reserve of cells (like 5 or 10%) so that it can replace cells that are no longer writeable.

    Finally, the TRIM support on the OS helps, so that the OS can tell the drive which pages one the disk are no longer needed (e.g. a deleted file), so that the controller can use them in its wear leveling.

    The numbers I have seen indicate that you could write 500GB a day for at least several years before the drive would show any problems. This might be better endurance than you would get from a physical drive. Certainly doing a bunch of compiles every day shouldn't be a problem.
  16. TickleMeElmo macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2012
    10k cycles was for older larger transistors. Estimates for 2x nm toggle RAM range from 3k to 6k cycles.

    Most drives have some degree of write amplification too. Nevertheless you could probably get away with rewriting your drive once a day for three or four years before you run out of writable blocks.

    That said, one has to remember that once you run out of erase cycles you can still read the data and it isn't like your data is destroyed.
  17. Sahee macrumors regular


    Jun 22, 2012
  18. leman, Jul 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012

    leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    What's with that 'SSD will fail if I write to it' myth? My old Vertex 2 has been alive and kicking for over 2 years and I write tons of crap to it every day. The SSD won't fail you any quicker than a HDD will, and even if it does - that's what your warranty for. BTW, if you are a software developer, why aren't you already using SSDs?

    The only problem: the new MBP is the cheapest laptop in its class. There is no other laptop which combines mobility, performance and quality like the MBP does. You can get a comparable (performance-wise) laptop, but it will be less mobile. Or a laptop with less performance (like the Zenbook). If you don't care for mobility - go for it.

    P.S. Laptop-internal RAID??? I though you were a programmer :rolleyes:
  19. DrJohnZoidberg macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2012
    Yeh, because a sample-size of one person who has performed the highly-scientific test of writing "tons of crap to it every day" is to be believed over all the statistics and analysis of the people who design and manufacture these fiendishly-complex devices. :rolleyes:

    Ouch, you burned him good girlfriend! Except, you know, it's perfectly possible to have RAID in a notebook (even a MBP). Which makes you, well-now what's the word I'm looking for... wrong.
  20. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Funny, as most the "statistics and analysis of the people who design and manufacture these fiendishly-complex devices" tell you that life expectancy of SSD in consumer machines under more-then-average rewrite usage scenarios is not inferior to that of a HDD. But go figures...

    I know that its possible. I was pointing out that its pointless. OP and you are both funny people. You claim that SSDs are not reliable and then you speak of RAID0 HDD setup as a better alternative. I do hope though that you mean RAID0 and not RAID1, as what would be just too much.
  21. DrJohnZoidberg macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2012
    You said program-erase cycle induced NAND failure was a "myth". Good of you to admit you were wrong (strange way of doing so though).

    You did no such thing, and unless you go back and edit your post, everyone can see that. How embarrassing for you. :(

    ...and try to understand, just because you find something pointless, doesn't mean everyone does.
  22. macjolt macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2012
    Philadelphia, PA
    Depends on what you want to do with it. You can get an extremely powerful Sager laptop for about the price of a rMBP if you are looking for a desktop replacement/gaming machine.

    If you are looking into the thinner Ultrabook models, I hear good things about the Zenbook and Envy series models.

    I'd stay away from the Alienware/Falcon Northwest/iBuyPower machines - you are paying for a name (isn't that partly what we do with Apple) for identical hardware you can get in better machines.
  23. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    No, I said that 'SSDs fail quickly if you write to them' was a myth. The limited rewrite-ability of NAND-cells is a fact. Fortunately, its not a big factor with the performance of modern SSDs because the manufacturers have learned to deal with it.

    Oh, come on. If you can't interpret simple irony you should probably refrain from posting angry rebuttals.

    Its not my personal opinion. RAID0 does not provide any meaningful performance benefits for coding (as the average seek time is hardly improved), but it decreases reliability significantly. Modern SSDs made HDD RAID0 setups obsolete.

    P.S. Its 2012, not 2007. Back then, I would agree with you. Technology does move ahead quickly.

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