Is it a good idea to buy a new Macbook Pro right now?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DDar, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. DDar macrumors 6502

    DDar

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    #1
    Well, it seems that every time I come on these forums I find some sort of reason to put-off buying a Macbook Pro. =(
    Anyways, my dad was planning to get me a 17'' MBP with a High Def. (Widescreen?) matte display... I kind of need it this year for making my Portoflio for the AP Art Portfolio and I kind of wanted to have it for note taking at school...
    This is the last year I can submit an AP Art portfolio and next year I'm going off to college so I'm almost definitely gonna have this laptop for a LONG time. (Probably all through college)

    So I was wondering, should I buy it now? Or should I wait indefinitely until it comes out as some of you think it will? =(
     
  2. ghall macrumors 68040

    ghall

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  3. Telp macrumors 68040

    Telp

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    Feb 6, 2007
    #3
    Buyers guide says no, and all the rumors say no. Wait, you wont be unhappy. Unless its never updated. Then ill be unhappy :(.
     
  4. DDar thread starter macrumors 6502

    DDar

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    #4
    Yeah, but it doesn't say WHEN the new MBP is coming out. For example, if it takes until Snow Leapord comes out (which will be around Christmastime, no?) then it'll be too late. But if it'll be next week or the week after, then I suppose I could wait for that.

    The thing is I DO kind of need this laptop desperately, but I don't want it to be absolete RIGHT AFTER I BUY IT. =(
     
  5. Telp macrumors 68040

    Telp

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    #5
    I believe I heard some mumblings of a late September release. If you desperatly need it, then buy now. The update isn't going to make the current generation unusable or outrageously behind...
     
  6. DDar thread starter macrumors 6502

    DDar

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    #6
    The problem is mumblings are mumblings, you know? =/
    They may or may not be true. =(

    Really? How much better do you think the new MBPs will run than the current generation? Not over 30% I hope. =(
     
  7. richardhunt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #7
    In technology, everything is obsolete the minute you buy it. Obsolete, nowadays doesn't mean useless. Any Mac you buy today (even the Mini, which hasn't been updated since the Merom Update) will be usefull for at least the next 5 years. If you need the notebook now, you get it now, and don't worry about what's going to come out next. If you lived by that adage, then you would never buy a Mac as they are usually updated frequently. The MBP is at a good point right now. Good mobilie graphics, Backlit keyboard, multitouch pad, and a Penryn based CPU. If you are going to use it for school, then you would qualify for the free ipod touch, which you wouldn't when the new ones come out, so it's like a $300 savings (if you want the Ipod touch, and who doesn't?)
     
  8. kntgsp macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    #8
    Sorry for the Tolstoy, but it's late, and I have nothing better to do before bed.

    That's because this place has become rife with concern trolls ever since Apple really started taking off into the mainstream. Ignore them.

    Cool, you'll like it.

    I hate to nit pick but it won't happen. Every kid says this, very few do it. You'll start out doing it to impress everyone in class and then it'll wane, and you'll stop taking it 3 weeks later. Lugging around a 17" laptop is not conducive to note taking. You don't need to toss around qualifiers like that, damn it. You're an art student, you want a large display, a mobile computer, done. You want to take notes, snag a cheap used 13" MB or one of the old G4 12" Powerbooks. Or you buy an old Fujitsu or some old, used ultraportable with an 9-13" screen All you're going to do on it is type. Or stick to pen and paper.

    First of all, the Back to School sale El Jobso puts out every Aug-Sept is just a way of clearing inventory before they announce the upgrades. And that's not a bad thing. Students don't need state of the art tech. They're students. So luring them into buying models that are on the way out the door production-wise is fine with me.

    To be completely honest, the spec bumps during revisions are usually quite minor, except when there's a major technology transition, such as processor architecture, motherboard architecture, or similar major hardware leaps. Revisions or shrinks are not a reason to mortage your house and buy all new computers.The fanatic fan-bots that unfortunately lurk these forums always hail them ALL as the leap in technology, when in fact they rarely are. Processor architecture jumps, those are big deals. 2.16Ghz to 2.2Ghz bumps are not. DDR2 Ram to DDR3 Ram, somewhat of a big deal, DDR2 667 to DDR2 800, not so much.

    We're swinging into the end of the Core2Duo cycle as Nehalem begins taking over, but you're not going to see the Nehalem mobile variant until the absolute earliest Jan-Feb 2009, and more likely Q3 2009 (which is the official statement).

    Getting down to the laptop,

    • Your current Processor choices are 2.5 or 2.6Ghz. They are already Penryn, there is no die shrink or major speed boost. You might see the clock speed choices rise to 2.6 and 2.8 respectively, but that's likely it.

    • Memory wise, you might see them jump to DDR3 since the prices have come down. Intel started up their validation back in April-May and you can already buy the modules. If they stick with DDR2, I'd bet they stay with 667, as bumping to DDR2-800 would be a complete waste if they're going to jump to DDR3 5-6 months later. The only reason I can see them waiting on the DDR3 is because of the timings.

    • Hard drive choices might keep the 250GB 5400 rpm, drop the 300GB 4200 rpm in favor of a 5400 or 7200rpm 320GB and add an SSD option (with their traditional crazy markup) Translation = Want an SSD? Buy your own and swap.

    • The keyboard layout will stay the same and they'll probably add the larger trackpad from the Air.

    • The NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 512MB will be tossed since those GPUs are falling like flies at the moment, and it's out of date. The 9600GT is a possibility as is the ATI 4850 mobility offering. If they choose the 4850, you'll see much bigger gains than you will if they choose the 9600GT or even a 9800GT mobile variant.

    That's it.



    • Processor wise, it's not worth it to wait, unless you really honestly need that extra 0.2Ghz. 0.2 Ghz will affect resale very little to not at all. Particularly when it's the same chipset. They'll look at hard drive and video card before anything else. And people who base their entire reason for buying or upgrading on a 0.2Ghz speed bump need to be sent to a work camp.

    • Memory wise, it'd be tempting. Since the laptop DDR2 they use is 667, and the DDR3 mobile starts at 1066, you'd notice the difference even with lousy timings.

    • Hard drives is a moot point since you can upgrade yourself down the line if you need one that's larger or faster. And with SSD prices dropping like a rock anyone who buys one from apple with their inflated price is an absolute moron. If the MPB continues to use a standard 2.5" drive slot, any of the new, much cheaper SSDs will work.

    • Trackpad, that's something you have to decide whether you want. As an art student you'll be manipulating a lot of images, and the trackpad, with all its pince/stretch/rotate/etc functionality would server you quite well. But again, it's not confirmed it'll be showing up. (But likely, as many people think)

    • Video card wise, unless you're running heavy 3D apps like modeling, animation, etc. you won't see a huge difference. And gaming. But if you expect to do any serious gaming on a laptop, Apple isn't for you. If it's just photography and Photoshop, the upgraded video card won't help you.



    That being said, the video cards determine a lot when it comes to resale value on them, due to the fact that this is the component that usually gets the biggest bump between revisions. And with the possibility of DDR3 being added, that will add a substantial barrier between resale values of older models

    I'd give it a wait, simply based on the possibility of the trackpad, system memory, and even the video card upgrade. You can go 3-4 weeks into school using an old clunker and get by just fine. Many, many students use old craptops for their entire 4 years, so suck it up nancy and stop with this "gotta have it now" crap. If you absolutely have to have a computer the first 2 weeks of class, buy some POS off craigslist to use and then resell it once you have the MPB.
     
  9. collegedu3 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #9
    Your analysis doesn't include the hardware updates and price reductions that we may see with the new MBP. If we include the value added of the new hardware and the price reductions, the iPod Touch will probably still be free or nearly free. Furthermore, since the iPod Touch will se revision soon and probably a price drop for storage (especially now that the iPhone is now more 'inexpensive' than the Touch), it definitely makes sense to wait. Newer technology at similar value.
     
  10. BigHungry04 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #10
    If you need it now, get it. If you do not need it now, wait until such a time as which you actually need it.
     
  11. cuhater macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #11
    Where are you getting your processor and hdd numbers? Looking at Apple's website I'm seeing 2.4 and 2.5 procs and 200 (5400), 250 (5400), and 200 (7200) options for the hdd. And are the 2.4/2.5 procs penryn already?

    I'm just trying to decide between buying now with the student discount/free ipod, buying a refurbished one, or wait until after the updates to buy the current models at what should be discounted prices. The last option seems questionable though since the refurbished ones sell for 1700 (baseline) and the new ones for 1800 after the student discount.
     
  12. kjs862 macrumors 65816

    kjs862

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    Jan 21, 2004
  13. kntgsp macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 27, 2004
    #14
    The MPB and MB have been Penryn since February.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It depends on how much weight you place on the key areas where the upgrades will be significant. Video Card and (possibly) Ram. And whether or not you see the large multi-touch pad as something of use for you.

    You'll get a student discount either way. If you want the free iPod touch, then get it now, otherwise you'll end up paying more down the line. You can also turn around and sell the iPod touch on eBay and get another $250 back.

    But if the iPod is of no consequence and if you're not paying for the laptop anyway, then I'd wait until the updates.
     
  14. bob2131 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 27, 2008
    #15
    some of you guys are REALLY into your apple/macs...........woah....
     
  15. cuhater macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #16
    Thanks kntgsp for clearing that up. I was confused because I'd only been looking at the lower-end 15" mbp. I think I'll just buy it now. I'm generally not too keen about buying newly updated stuff right away, even if it is just going to be a minor update.
     
  16. DDar thread starter macrumors 6502

    DDar

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    #17
    kntgsp, are you sure those are the ONLY things that'll be upgraded? Because RAM can be purchased and I doubt that I'll be using the video card much unless I eventually get spore or something, which I think the current MBP could handle, right? =/
    Also, this may just be me, but I prefer the MBPs trackpad over the Macbook Air's. I think the "click" button on the MBA is just too small...
    So unless it's updating something else I suppose the update is of little consequence to me, huh? =/
     
  17. AboveTheChaos macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    #18
    Only thing you would want to consider is that NVIDIA has stated there are problems with some of it's GPUs (the 8600s). If you check the Apple support site you'll see some folks experiencing GPU failures and having to deal with the hassle of getting it fixed. So, if you do go for one now, keep that in mind and you'll probably want to get Applecare in case it fails later on. (Search over on Apple's site and you'll see a couple threads.)
     
  18. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #19
    Because no one knows that.

    You're right, no. June. Did you listen to the Keynote?
     
  19. bobbleheadbob macrumors 6502a

    bobbleheadbob

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    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #20
    If someone else is buying it for you, then it's ALWAYS a good time to buy a new MBP! :eek: Geez. That's a no-brainer. :cool:
     
  20. DDar thread starter macrumors 6502

    DDar

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    #21
    Do you see my dilemma then? For all we know the new MBPs could be six months away. By then I'd have NO time AT ALL to do my art portfolio, something which I really need to do but can't on my current setup.

    Wow, that's a real problem isn't it? D=
    ... But then, who's to say it'll affect me or whether the new MBPs won't be faced with a similar issue? =(
    God... I really need an MBP soon... But I don't want it breaking on me. =(

    True... But if I told him to wait a while I doubt he would object... Then again, this is the first time it actually seems like he WILL buy it (he's been promising it to me for over a year now...)... So who knows if I'll even get it if I wait longer...
     
  21. LeahM macrumors 6502a

    LeahM

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    Mar 18, 2008
    #22
    I say just get it. I mean, if you wait longer to start working on your portfolio, you might end up rushing and then things won't turn out quite as well. The current version has what you need. End of story really.
     
  22. DDar thread starter macrumors 6502

    DDar

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    Dec 9, 2007
    #23
    That's what I was thinking, but when spending this amount of money you want to be sure of your purchase, right? =/
     
  23. kanpachi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    #24
    Like some people have said, you should get it if you need it. Even if the new MBPs were to come out next week, I would be very cautious about buying one of those anyways since they would be Rev A models of their new design and you know how Apple is notorious for buggy Rev A products. The current MBP model represents the last batch of this generation of MacBook Pros and therefore should be the most reliable.

     
  24. LeahM macrumors 6502a

    LeahM

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    #25
    Technically speaking, your not spending anything. And if there are problems that arise, make sure you have AppleCare. Plus if you wait too long, you posted yourself that you weren't sure if he would (later on) buy it for you. Get it while the going's good.
     

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