If the processor upgrade is a waste of money, why is everyone buying it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dapork, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. dapork macrumors regular

    dapork

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    #1
    I would really like to know. I've seen a lot of people post that the benefits of upgrading the processor on the new 15" MBP's are marginal at best, but then everyone who's bought one seems to have gone for the upgrade. Am I missing something? Do you all process heavy data or are you preparing for the future??
     
  2. mfram macrumors 65816

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    #2
    It's all a matter of if it is worth it to you. I have not payed for a faster CPU in the last couple of MBPs I have purchased. I don't think it's worth it.

    Another possible reason are the stocked configurations at the Apple Store. I think the "high end" MBP configuration stocked at Apple Stores (with max storage and RAM) includes an upgraded processor. If you buy a custom configuration online you can pick and choose which options you want.
     
  3. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    #3
    I don't know, I couldn't get a BTO (would have to wait a lot longer to get those where I live) and I needed 512Gb and also wanted at least the 455 GPU, so I went for it. I'm guessing I would be just as happy with the 2.6 version.

    Also, some people just buy maxed out versions of everything. And I wouldn't call it a waste of money - for the small price difference, why not get something a bit faster? But I'm sure the 2.6 one is perfectly fine.
     
  4. kepler20b macrumors 6502

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    #4
    People just arent smart.

    that's why

    It's like people who buy 16gb of ram on their MBP, but dont do any kind of rendering/editing.
     
  5. mfram macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Yeah, not counting the disk cache, I rarely use more than 2-3 GB of RAM on my computer. And with these crazy fast SSDs even disk cache is becoming less useful.
     
  6. Jefe's MacAir macrumors 6502

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    Nov 21, 2010
    #6
    It's not that it's "not worth it", it's 1. most people don't need it and 2. it's expensive for small gains.

    If you need those speeds, you'd likely prefer the faster processor but you'll also have to pay for it.
     
  7. gooser macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    it's just the way people are. some overbuy thinking they've got to have "the best".
     
  8. dark_mark Suspended

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    Nov 5, 2016
    #8
    Yep some people are just not smart with money. It's like people who buy a loaded up KIA at the price of entry level BMW.
     
  9. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    #9
    And I love when people say it's to future proof it :)

    Still, as I said, for some people the stock versions are the only ones available - and I certainly don't mind having a faster CPU, if only slightly.
     
  10. richinaus macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 26, 2014
    #10
    I max out the machines as I need the fastest processors for work and ram is always needed. So always 16gb and best processor purely for professional reasons.

    Personal computers don't get the same treatment on the processors however I do increase the ram to 16gb as I do a lot of multi-tasking and have a lot of tabs open - always over 8gb ram usage normally.
     
  11. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

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    #11
    most people are buying the outside of the machine. I honestly don't know how they weigh performance options. for the smaller percentage buying the inside, potential is what matters.

    the higher spec CPUs can return better battery life by getting tasks done faster. and is there something wrong with considering the future? it's definitely coming. at the end of the day, another few hundred dollars on what is ultimately a multi-thousand dollar purchase, is that such a bad investment to make something the best it can be?
     
  12. dark_mark Suspended

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    Nov 5, 2016
    #12
    There are 2 options:

    1. Buy the base version every two years at $2399 and always have fresh battery every 2 years, always have the newest technology, newest processor and shiny new macbook pro
    2. Buy the maxed out version for $4399 and keep it for 4 years, in 2 years you will have a battery which holds 50% capacity, you will have crappy processor, you will have crappy video card. Your laptop will look like it's been through a war zone.
    I don't know about you, but option 1 always sounds more appealing to me.

    Besides whatever extra upgrades you paid for to max out your MacBook pro, will most likely be included for free in 2 years. So it's a win win.
     
  13. fs454 macrumors 65816

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    #13

    NOT the same, sorry.
     
  14. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

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    #14
    the CPU bump is $300. that is what is being debated here. A MacBook Pro battery should be at over 80% after 3 years. buying whatever machine meets your needs now and hopefully 2 to 3 years out sounds pretty appealing to me.
     
  15. fs454 macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Yeah, this isn't right. In 2 years you'll have a battery around 90% capacity. My 3-year-old Late 2013 15" is at 82% health with 900 cycles. I use the battery a lot. More than the average user. I'll take the model with a CPU that's faster than my outgoing model (in this case, the 2.9) and I'll also take the GPU that exceeds the performance of current gaming consoles (in this case, the Pro 460). Couldn't be happier.
     
  16. kschendel macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 9, 2014
    #16
    That might be a good point if things were as you depict, but unfortunately they aren't. I have an almost 4 year old MBP (neither a base nor a maxed out version, I might add), the battery still holds some 80% of new, the processor performance is still more than enough for me (and on the geekbench measures some 3/4 of the very newest top of the line machine), the video performance still does everything I need, and it's pristine even though it's probably seen at least 500,000 miles on the road.

    The key is to buy for what you need in the future, but stay cost effective. Spending $300 on a few percentage points CPU speed bump is not cost effective for most users. Spending whatever on a sufficiently large memory (if non-expandable) or storage may well be very cost effective.
     
  17. RichardC300 macrumors 65816

    RichardC300

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    #17
    Not really a fair comparison, because $1400 of that is coming from the 2 TB SSD upgrade. Some people can't confine all their necessary data to 256 GB.
     
  18. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    #18
    Hey, nothing wrong with maxing out if you really want it - also, 16 over 8Gb is perfectly reasonable for certain cases!

    Though, since you mention it, I must admit, multi-tasking and opening a lot of browser tabs, IMO, would probably work as well on 8Gb. macOS is really good at memory management, as long as the Memory Pressure is in the green in the Activity Monitor, you're fine (and system is designed to "spread out" and use available RAM so if you have 16, of course it will use more than 8 - even if there aren't noticeable performance gains because of it) - so, are you sure you have more than 8Gb usage? How are you measuring it?

    But please, just asking out of curiosity, as I said - perfectly fine to max out the hardware if you can afford it and want to.
     
  19. evec macrumors regular

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    Jun 8, 2016
    #19
    The forum or the Trend blog is not truly for the world.
    Most people buy the base model without upgrade and they don't speak anything.
     
  20. aevan, Dec 26, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016

    aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    #20
    While I too would prefer option 1. - if you take care of your battery, you won't be left with 50% battery after 4 years. More like 80%. The rest I agree, though there is a middle ground you fail to mention - some people don't have a 4k budget for 4 years, but upgrade for around 3k and keep the computer for 4 years.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 26, 2016 ---
    I agree with you and it's a great choice, but I have to spoil it just a teensy bit :)

    While 460 is technically faster than current console GPUs, games are more optimized for specific console hardware, so a console will still be able to play games better. For example, my iMac's GPU is the M290X which is a bit faster than 460 in the MBP - but I still can't play all games as well as I can on the PS4 (the latest Assassin's Creed comes to mind).

    Still, that 460 seems like a really solid upgrade, don't get me wrong, and you can certainly do some nice gaming on it. I have the 455, and it handles the few games I tried with it quite nice.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 26, 2016 ---
    As I said, I went for the mid-tier CPU because I could only get the stock build - but I'd like to know - are there any noticeable gains to 2.6 when using CPU intensive apps like Zbrush? And what about Photoshop?

    Honestly, I don't think so - but I'm curious.
     
  21. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #21
    OP is quoting this "common wisdom" out of context. Yes, CPU update will bring no noticeable difference to a majority of users. There ar still those of us who do a lot of heavy-duty numerical computations, and the faster CPU can save few minutes here and there. I will post real-world benchmarks when I finally receive our units...
     
  22. dapork thread starter macrumors regular

    dapork

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    #22
    I posted a while back about whether the upgrade would come into play for me personally and people generally said no (Logic Pro and some gaming). Then when I saw that so many had gotten the upgrade I asked myself whether so many of the members here were doing numerical computations. Do Ghz make a difference anywhere else? I hadn't considered that people were opting for stock models though. I'm dishing out the $ for the storage, graphics and accessories but leaving the processor at 2.6 cause I haven't seen any reason to get it.
     
  23. fs454 macrumors 65816

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    Dec 7, 2007
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    Los Angeles / Boston
    #23

    I'm not going by hard numbers - my Pro 460 is a screamer when it comes to Battlefield 1 and Overwatch. They easily look as good or better, at 60fps, than the PS4 versions of both games - and they're likely running at a higher resolution to boot. Some games may give it trouble, but I definitely consider it a full-experience gaming machine for everything I've been playing lately. My usual setup involves a 980 Ti running everything at 4K, and I have just as good of a time so far on the MBP while I'm on traveling.
     
  24. TigerWoodsIV macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 3, 2010
    #24
    I started with the highest end "stock" model and then added a 460. I didn't see a reason to spend another $200 on a .2Ghz bump, but $100 for twice the VRAM and almost twice the processing power seemed like a worthwhile upgrade. I'm not really sure I'd see a noticeable difference with the 2.9, at least not one worth $200.
     
  25. Spudlicious macrumors 6502

    Spudlicious

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    Nov 21, 2015
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    #25
    In reply to the original question, I have to say that in my long life I've wasted a bucketful of money on tech kit I didn't really need, and you know what? I've enjoyed every one of those gizmos and I'm always thinking about what next to get. Of course it's true that few people actually need the most muscular processors (or football games, great movies, head-banging rock, etc etc) but it's also true that dead men play with no toys. Splash the cash, folks, get what you fancy before your time runs out.
     

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