I can't do it -- Spend $2000+ on a laptop that can never be upgraded

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by panzer06, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. panzer06, Jun 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012

    panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    I rarely create threads but this is very frustrating. I was all ready to sell one of my iMacs and buy one of these beautiful rMBP laptops. The specs are impressive and everything I've read says the screen is phenomenal. Apple has pushed display tech to unthought of heights in just a few short years. They create new markets for products once thought too costly to ever be mass produced. Apple takes risks and pushes the boundaries of what most could only imagine is possible with product form and targeted functionality for the masses.

    It took me awhile to accept my 11" MBA's RAM could never be upgraded but at least I could buy an insanely expensive 3rd party SSD stick upgrade if I chose to do so. And let's face it the 11" MBA is insanely compact and trade offs must be made.

    After reviewing the iFixit teardown of the "New" rMBP I was very surprised to see there is absolutely NO ability to upgrade anything.

    I want to consider this machine but NO upgrades at ALL? Really? Spending $800 on a small specialty unit like the MBA or "NEW" iPad is one thing but dropping more than $2000 with no ability to easily replace a broken / dead drive or add an additional drive is just too much for me to accept.

    I'd be fine if I believed this was just another option for those who desire such an advanced piece of technology from a premiere design studio but I fear this is just the beginning of the end of upgradability for Apple computers. Not even a RAM upgrade is possible.

    I thought the end of the Jobs era might have meant the rise of a new openness where choice for Mac fans was embraced. I now know such thoughts were naive and foolish dreams replaced by the harsh rigid control mocked in the famous 1984 ad. Dressed up in spectacular glass and metal accoutrements the NEW rMBP is as rigid and unyielding as any piece of hardware I've ever worked with.

    I suppose the consumerisation of Apple computers is now complete because certainly the current upgradable 13/15 models are probably the last relatively open Apple laptops we'll see.

    Surely I can't be alone in thinking this...

  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It's not that much different than a MacBook Air, and it looks like there will be some SSD alternatives soon. If you order the configuration you need to begin with, there's no need to mess with upgrades. If that doesn't suit you, buy something else.
  3. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Ives and Co. did what they had to do to get the performance they wanted in a form factor they could live with which means removing user upgradability but not having to worry about replacement mechanisms and off the shelf components. Feel free to get a non retina Macbook Pro.
  4. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Upgrade it by selling it and buying whatever floats your boat in a couple of years. Macs hold their resale value very well.
  5. sweetbrat macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Redford, MI
    I've read that OWC is already working on compatible SSDs, so I wouldn't worry about that. The truth is that when you try to cram so much stuff into such a small space, you have to make some sacrifices. In this case, you get the amazing screen and a nice compact form factor. But you give up the ability to upgrade it yourself. If that's not a compromise you can live with, get the non-retina MBP. I'm sure it will happily last you 4-5 years, and you can see where things stand at that point.
  6. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Then don't.
  7. GaiaAero macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2010
  8. jon.blake macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2012
  9. LEARN2MAKE macrumors member


    Jun 30, 2011
    That is why I ordered the $3799 model that I won't need to upgrade :)

    Seriously though I do feel your pain. I think the main issue for people is the price for more SSD space. Trust me if you haven't used and SSD before it is worth it. They fly. I put one in my 17" 2010 MBP a few months ago and it has been a different computer- very very fast! I wait for no app now!
  10. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003
    You're not, but the masses here drink the Kool-Aid so let me point out your flaw: You were 'thinking' and that's is considered poor taste.

    I posted a thread and replied to many others with the same thoughts as you but was drowned out by the howling of the fanboys.

    I think Apple is a greedy, selfish company with the RMBP:

    -Your RMBP cannot grow with you as a user. If you want more memory or a larger SSD later you are just out of luck.

    -Putting memory on the LogicBoard was strictly a dick move by them. It serves no 'design' or 'engineering' purpose. They would fit perfectly in the current design.

    -"WAIT! Apple redesigned the SSD to bring harmony to the planet!" Well, Apple DID redesign the SSD interface so they could lock others out of it. Way to go Apple!

    -"WAIT! You can't fit SO-DIMMs and a normal SSD in the RMBP!!" - See my thread where I give you dimensions of each. They would fit.

    -1440 x 900 may look great but it is still 1440 x 900. I'm barely happy with 1680 x 1050. "WAIT!! You can scale it out of 1440 x 900!" Yep, with a performance hit.

    Sorry, I still think this is a bad upgrade deal from Apple...

  11. dws90 macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    I was initially a bit concerned about this myself, then i stopped and thought for a moment. Out of all the laptops that I've owned - Mac and otherwise - how many have I ever upgraded? Zero. I could have upgraded any of them, but I didn't - when they started feeling out of date, I was ready to buy another machine (or they broke so completely that upgrading would be pointless).

    Thus, non-upgradable internals don't bother me. Other people (you, apparently) have different needs, and so you're welcome to not buy it. Just realize that many (most?) users would never upgrade even if they could, and so don't mind the loss.
  12. Apple... macrumors 68020


    May 6, 2010
    The United States
    Just do it. Thank me later.

    And don't forget AppleCare.
  13. trollbert macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2012
    I dont really see a problem with this except for the fact that you can't get the base model with a bigger SSD. Otherwise just max out the ram (or not, 8 gigs is still a ton) and sell it in a few years if you feel the need to upgrade. I don't see the resale value falling much in 2-3 years.
  14. Marrakas macrumors 6502


    May 23, 2012
    Haven't they always been?
    I mean, not to complain since I have a RMBP on order, and can't wait to get it, but I kinda always knew what I went to when going for an Apple computer.
  15. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
    While I do dislike the inability to upgrade anything in there, it appears that its a trend from what I can see.

    I do think that the mbp would still be here with us next year, since the RMBP is a niche product with its non upgradeable path. Being what is going to be the future nonetheless.

    Im not even going to argue with so many computer engineers out there, they can clearly out do whatever people design.
  16. DHagan4755 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    Devil's advocate here for a second!

    You have an iPhone, right? You have an iPad, right? The RAM & storage is not upgradeable in them. Yet millions are sold.

    I remember the same fuss about upgradeability after the batteries in the MacBook Pros were built-in.

    Just sayin'....

    Now with respect to the pricing. Yeah, $2,199 is a lot to spend! But I did some playing around with the numbers.

    Let's say you buy the baseline 15" MacBook Pro (non retina). You're getting a notebook with 4GB of RAM that is upgradeable to 8GB (or 16GB through third party) & a spinning platter 5,400 RPM hard disk (that is also upgradeable) for $1,799. To match it up to the new entry retina model, add a 240 GB SSD from Other World Computing (macsales.com) for at least $250. Double the RAM from 4GB to 8GB & that's another $60. So we're now up to $2,109 to match specs. You still have the lower resolution 1440x900 glossy screen & old design.

    Obviously what you get with the $1,799 MacBook Pro is an optical drive, Ethernet, Firewire800, slower storage, and less RAM. Is that worth the tradeoff to be on the bleeding edge? Remember the retina screen will take some time to come into its own since app developers have to include retina-quality artwork.

    So it all pretty much comes down to the iDevice-ification of the Mac line — you get what you get on day 1, you use it, and the only upgrades will be OS X & OS X apps.
  17. IllmasterMath macrumors regular

    May 16, 2012

    While I agree platform forums in general lack cogency, we must also concede that there are- indeed- different strokes for different folks. I've upgraded my MacBook once... 1GB of RAM to 2GB so I could run Lion. It's nice to have as an option, but not necessary for everyone. That being said, it would be nice for a $2200+ computer to accommodate even the most modest upgrades.
  18. FastEddiebags macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2012
    then don't buy it, its pretty simple. I'm rarely ever willing to spend 2k on a laptop but I doubt apple is targeting my demographic.
  19. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    I upgraded my Mac mini a couple of times but in the end I doubt I'll be upgrading much in the future.

    My goal is to buy what I can grow into and when it no longer meets my needs it's time to replace the computer.

    I no longer expect computers to last 5 years. To me the lost productivity that may occur after year 3 isn't worth it.
  20. panzer06 thread starter macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    I agree with you both to a point, however, as I muse in my 5th paragraph... I'm afraid after this revision there won't be an upgradable option offered. Now I'll be pleasantly surprised if I'm wrong. :)

    Indeed I own an iPad but my phone is an Android. I prefer the freedom to add memory and access files directly just by accessing the SDcard as a drive mounted on my Mac or PC. I had a Motorola Xoom after owning an iPad 1 before I replaced it with the "NEW" iPad. I'm willing to forgo some flexibility for stability and performance if that's what it takes. However, a powerful computer is not an iPad or phone.

    You made some interesting points regarding the real cost of the machine, however, since I already have a 256GB SSD and a bunch of 8GB ram modules upgrading a new machine to my taste wouldn't cost me anything.

    All I'm saying is I prefer more choice and I fear post Jobs Apple might actually usher in a new era of closed systems in the name of conformity and usability with the only creativity and flexibility reserved for the software.

    Alas this may be the way of the future but I don't have to like it. ...and I bet there are more folks out there that agree than Apple realizes.

  21. remingtonjd macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2012
    As we learned with the irreplaceable batteries in the 2009 unibody MacBook Pros, there are tradeoffs when increasing performance and reliability.
  22. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    I disagree respectfully.

    The underlying issue is that not many people are bothered with upgrading their computers in the first place. So Apple was faced with a decision - do they allow the MBP to retain its upgradeability for the small fraction of people who *might* at the expense of size and weight, or remove this option and use the new-found space savings to introduce new features which they know every MBP user would appreciate, such as smaller footprint and longer battery life?

    And they chose the latter. Yes, some will win, some will lose, but I believe that in general, people will gain more than they give up. :)
  23. SyncSpin macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2011
    I agree with you. Thats why today I walked into the apple store and bought a MBP 15 non retina. Then ordered a 512 SSD, and 16g ram from crucial.

    After playing with the retina MBP in store today, I can honestly say I was not as impressed as I was supposed to be. And it was shaky in its working. Kind of sluggish in video movements, etc.

    Oh well, we are the minority around here which is fine by me. I got to walk in and buy my new MBP with no weeks delay just because everyone is ordering the retina thinking its awesome. :)
  24. mohsy90 macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2011
    New York
    Honestly, I plan on keeping the laptop for only 1-2 years, selling it and upgrading again. They hold their value so well that you really only loose out on a $200-300 a year. Just sold my 13" MBP after a 1.5 yrs for $1025 on eBay, bought it for $1100. Ended up with $900 after eBay fees and paypal fees (ridiculous). Anybody else upgrade yearly, they are very easy to sell, just keep it in excellent condition and you can get top dollar. It's the best way to keep your product updated yearly. I just think of it as renting a laptop for $200-300 yearly.
  25. panzer06 thread starter macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    If this rMBP "upgrade" means we will eventually have NO upgradable Apple laptops to choose from -- at some near future date then I agree -- this upgrade is not good for many of us.


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