I can't decide best option

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rosiel122, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. rosiel122, Jun 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015

    rosiel122 macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2014
    So my current MacBook Pro is a 2008 15" model and it is getting long in the tooth. I've been waiting for Broadwell for ages, but now I am not sure what I want to do.

    Since I have been working on my masters, I have been using my laptop quite a bit and it is noticeable of the slowdown. However, I will be done with my degree in a year and then will likely not use my laptop much anymore (like from 2010 - 2014). In fact I use my iPad 2 almost daily, but that too is quite outdated.

    Since the newest models are not upgradeable I've only had my eyes set on the high end model. But I am having difficulty justifying that since the only pro feature I would need it for is Handbrake encoding and gaming (mostly things like Skyrim and Civilization, and my wife plays Sims 4). I have a dedicated SLI configured PC that does most games on high settings, but that isn't mobile... And I refuse to use non apple mobile devices.

    So now I am leaning towards getting a lesser laptop (13" or refurbished base 15") and a new iPad (an Air 2 or the next one in the Fall).

    I was wondering if anyone has experience with gaming on retina MacBook pro 13" or the older base model 15".

    I am looking at possibly purchasing this fall after the next line of upgrades.

    Any recommendations?

  2. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    How much do you want to spend?
    What apps do you run, other than the ones mentioned?
    What is important to you in a macbook?

    And out of curiosity: Why do you plan on using handbrake? What are you encoding?
  3. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    I agree with the post above that more information is needed, but if you have a specific GPU (or any hardware really) inquiry, NotebookCheck is a great website that provides benchmarks, statistics, and application/game title testing for virtually all mobile chips/hardware.
  4. rosiel122, Jun 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015

    rosiel122 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2014
    Since the higher end model is $2500 that is my limit.

    Other than gaming and handbrake I use programs such as iWork, MATLAB and Solidworks (bootcamp).

    To be honest, the important factor is where I am struggling. I have always wanted the top of the line, but it isn't necessarily what I need, especially now. I've replaced my hard drive, upgraded to max ram, and swapped out the battery on my current laptop to extend its life... but it is crashing more, getting hotter, a few dead pixels pop up randomly, and the battery lasts for under 2 hours. When it finally dies, I need to have a plan.

    I guess I am just looking for something that can do occasional gaming, but be primarily for productivity. I am worried that when I finish my degree I will get something too powerful that will just sit on a desk and go unused as I use the iPad 2 (which is crashing and sluggish due to iOS 8 update that I regret doing) in the kitchen, on the couch, while traveling, etc...

    This is where I got the idea in my head to get a new iPad and a $1400 - $1600 laptop. I just don't know if a 13" Pro can do gaming or handbrake well enough to not make me regret getting a higher end model.

    The reason I use handbrake is to digitize my blu-ray collection to watch on Apple TV, which was very tedious initially since each one takes 10 - 16 hours on my laptop, about 8 hours on my desktop, and only 2-4 hours on a friends 2013 Retina MacBook 15" ($1999 model). However, that need has largely gone away since I tested his computer. I have gotten through a majority of the library and I am working on pretty much just new purchases at this point.
  5. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    I've given up on handbrake, it just takes too long - I'm using another program now and i can do a BR in about 40mins at the same quality level.

    That said, you don't really need anything huge to to it, but the performance will impact the duration.
    MBP13 with 8GB and 256GB sounds like the ticket.

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