low end Macbook Pro 13"TB + iPad PRO 10.5 vs high-end Macbook Pro 15" TB only

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by KensaiMage, May 26, 2017.

  1. KensaiMage, May 26, 2017
    Last edited: May 26, 2017

    KensaiMage macrumors regular


    May 25, 2017
    Hello everyone,

    After WWDC I am going to buy something from apple :)

    Here is what I will use my upcoming macbook pro for:
    1. I am a teacher so I will carry it with myself.
    2. I will use photoshop to do some very ligh graphic design for websites, business cards etc.
    3. I will want to develop my first iOS app so I will code in Swift 3 and xcode (my plan is to learn both).
    4. I am writing a book when I have some free time so I will continue doing so.
    5. I will take care of my forum and my blog with updates/changes etc.
    6. I will play old-school games like Heroes 3, Baldur's Gate I&II EE, Diablo 2 (including a possible upcoming remastered version).
    7. I will want to use the macbook I buy for 6 to 8 years and then sell it for still quite some amount of money - I am looking for the best resale value.
    8. I do not have other computer at the moment, I just sold my 8-year old vaio - so the macbook I am going to buy will be my one and only computer for a very, very long time.

    13" seems to be a little bit too small to me, but I can afford buying iPad pro to it - it seems it would be great for teaching. Another minus is that it only has a dual-core processor.

    15 inch seems perfect but it's very very expensive but also very future proof (choosing 32gb of ram if possible after wwdc).

    What would you do? - Should I go for high end specs 15" (512SSD) or low end 13" + iPad Pro?

    Another option is buying low end 13 inch with touch bar (I believe apple will make it awesome someday) and buying 27 iMac after 3 years. I would not buy an iPad then.

    In perfect world I would go for 15" without dedicated GPU (macbooks without dGPU live longer :) ) + ipad pro. But there is no such macbook and probably there won't be.
  2. sunapple macrumors 68000


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    First of all I wouldn't bet on new MacBook Pros at WWDC (software conference), although they could arrive soon (but who knows). The first gen, which is what they currently sell, would probably not have the ideal resale value you're looking for (point 7) since it's a first generation product with some minor flaws as well as a high retail price.

    But who cares about all of this, if you need it then buy it and just see how it goes. They're really great machines! Don't overthink it too much.

    You're mentioning 13" and 15" MacBook Pros, an iPad Pro and an even iMac, but I'd say you only need the MacBook based on your usage. With a 2500-3000$ budget I'd buy the 15" which is the best one power-wise and has a great big screen. The 13" will do fine otherwise, also has all the power you need (you could even get the job done with a 12" MacBook). Have you tried any of them in a store?

    And btw you can get the 2015 15" without dGPU, it's still a great machine if you can find a discount on it somewhere.
  3. KensaiMage, May 26, 2017
    Last edited: May 26, 2017

    KensaiMage thread starter macrumors regular


    May 25, 2017
    Thank you for your reply.

    Honestly, I don't want to buy an old machine, both 2015 and 2016 macbooks have old processors that's why I will wait till apple releases updated/new versions of macbooks pro with the newest processors. I can wait even till the end of this year. But I do not want to buy a machine which is outdated at start. I also like the idea of touch bar and I think it will be really "something" in next macOS.

    I saw 13" 12" and 15" at store. 12 is a big NONO - it is way too small as for the only one computer I would be using. 13" seems a little bit too small for comfty work, 15" is great and expensive.
  4. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Resale value is only something to consider if you're planning to upgrade to a new model every couple of years. Resale value after 8 years - if it lives that long - is going to be a fraction of the purchase price - and, even if you're a careful person, if you're carrying it back and forth to school every day for 8 years, it ain't gonna be in showroom condition. I certainly wouldn't spend money on expensive upgrades that you don't need for the sake of long-term resale value.

    Its a computer with built-in obsolescence, not real-estate. If, in 2025, you sell it for 5000 roubledollars and can buy a goat and half a gallon of gasoline then lucky you.

    I've got a 2011 17" MBP and I'm slightly amazed at seeing people asking £600+ for them on eBay (but that doesn't mean they get that much for them) - however, (a) the 17" is fairly sought-after because Apple don't make that size any more and (b) those machines had significant internal expansion potential - easily upgradeable RAM, HD, and the possibility to replace the optical drive with a second HD. Mine had a major mid-life upgrade. The new MBPs have zero internal upgradeability, so if in 6-8 years time people are used to ultra-fast 10TB optane SSDs, your 256GB flash isn't going to cut it.

    What might be more use is to think about cost-per-year: say you spend $1500 and it meets your needs for 5 years - that's $300/year. If you think spending $200 more will make it last 2 more years for you, that sounds like a good deal.

    For your usage 8GB will probably be fine, and 16GB more than adequate future-proofing, and even if a 32GB option does appear (unlikely at WWDC) it will probably cost a small fortune. Some people need 32GB+ (pro graphics/video/audio production) and I somewhat doubt that they'll be shopping for second hand 32GB MBPs in 8 years time. RAM requirements for general use have been pretty stable for the last 6+ years. Its hard to predict the future but I think a larger SSD would be a better long-term investment.

    Have you also considered buying a well-specced 13" plus external 4k display, wireless keyboard and mouse/trackpad? That way you've got a compact 13" to carry around and a decent-sized display and keyboard at home.
  5. sunapple macrumors 68000


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    If you can wait then definitely do, you're in a very luxurious position having so many options and that much time. :)

    I agree with @theluggage that these machines are not very dependable investments. You could say "Apple devices" retains an overall better resale value after x years, but 8 years is a long time. For the best resale value I'd buy the second-best option 15" MBP. People don't like small SSD's when buying second hand but are also not willing to pay that much more for those expensive custom to order options in my experience.
  6. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2015
    San Jose, CA
    Considering you're replacing an old Vaio, either model will be far more powerful than what you were using. I honestly wouldn't worry too much about processor age, most of my computers use Skylake CPUs (with my Broadwell-based rMB being an exception) and they're powerful enough to last many years.

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5 May 26, 2017