MacBook buying advice

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by macintoshguy, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. macintoshguy macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013
    I don't know if this is the right place for posting this, so anyways.
    I am in a kind of a fix here.
    I need to buy a MacBook, and I dont know which one to buy.
    My budget is strictly $1499, or the price of a 13 inch i7 MacBook Pro.
    I use applications like Photoshop, Audition, and After Effects, and play games, but none is hardcore.
    In theory, I do download a lot of stuff, and my internet usage per month is roughly 60 GB, but most of it would be files which I can transfer to an external hard disk.
    Earlier, I was keen on buying the $1499 MacBook Pro, but after going to the Apple store, I am in a fix. I am not sure anymore. And seeing that I have more knowledge about Macs than any of the guys at the Apple store, it wouldn't really be smart asking them for advice.
    I do install a lot of applications, but most of them are one-time things, like when you go on a shopping spree, I download them once, use them, and they are never opened again.
    Also, I will be getting a 3-4 TB external HDD.
    It just isn't coming to me now what I use my computer for. But most of my time is spent on Chrome I would say.
    I do some programming and stuff every once in a while, and sometimes I run VM's, but come to think of it, I dont really do anything that requires a whole lot of power, apart from running BOINC, which I can keep running on my hackintosh back at home.
    I am not really good at this.
    What do you think I should buy? Please ask me questions first, as I don't really know what information I should give beforehand, or anything else. I'd rather say ignore all of whatever I wrote above and do it from 0.
  2. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    Hmm... not sure what to suggest to buy, but with VMs RAM is important.

    I can however recommend a place. The apple refurb store has some great savings! And as it gets closer to October, more and more macs should be going on sale. The new models are expected to be announced sometime then.


    As for questions:

    1) Is battery life a concern of yours? Do you charge every night?
    2) What kind of games do you play?
    3) What kind of storage do you want on the device itself? (SSD or HDD and around what size?)
    4) How often do you use a CD/DVD on your computer?
    5) Does that budget of yours include tax? the price of the external HDD? Or is that just the maximum for a "list price" of the macbook?
  3. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    If that's your very strict budget, then I would say think also about the taxes involved and that will most likely further limit what you can buy. Apple refurbs are great deals and there's one available now:

    13" MacBook Pro 2.9GHz i7
    128GB SSD
    8GB RAM

    Total $1,359
    $1,498 after taxes.

    This way you get the great upgrades that you might want initially for less. the 8GB RAM will help with VMs whenever you use those again, gaming, and pretty much everything else. The SSD is also a bonus so consider the refurbished store and maybe you'll have more options.

    The prices for refurb 15" MBPs are also pretty reasonable and you might be able to get one of those. Good luck!
  4. macintoshguy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013
    1) Considering that even the base model MB's have 7 hour battery life, no, not really.
    2) Counter Strike, GTA. Yeah, that's pretty much it.
    3) I am not sure on this one. I am getting really confused. I really like how fast everything works on the SSD MBP Retina, but 128 GB storage, I dont know if that'll do. Like, my current laptop with 320 GB does it for me with external drives pretty well.
    4) Never
    5) No, it doesn't include taxes. I am just considering the website price, because the prices for the 13 inch top MBP matches the base MBP retina and so on.


    Taxes aren't included. I want the latest and the greatest, so refurbs don't work for me. All of them are either old or have been used, and this would be my first Mac, so I just wouldn't want that.
  5. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    So I will cut out the Air as an option. What kind of fps are you looking for in those games? To be honest, Im not sure any of the 13" macbooks will get you above 30 fps on a 20 person server.

    And actually refurbs are the better option, the newest models (2012) are in the refurb store, unless you are talking about the refreshes that are coming in October-ish. All the refurbs are inspected by apple more closely than new models. My first mac was new, my second one was refurb, my third was used, they all were in the same condition in my opinion.

    Because of your gaming needs, I would suggest one of the 15" with a dedicated graphics card. The issue is that you cant afford it new. But there is a refurb 15" cMBP for $1449. Its quad core, so you will get much better performance than any 13" (those all have dual cores). It has the NVIDIA GT 650M, 500GB HDD and 4GB RAM, but the beauty is that with the cMBP, you can upgrade the internals. The downside of it is that its the heaviest model Macbooks apple currently is selling. If you went to the Apple store and looked at the 15" cMBP, it would be the exact same model as this one:
  6. macintoshguy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013
    I am not going to be running the server. I can get refurbs from eBay as well, what about those? Are those good? Because eBay has more choice.
  7. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    Refurbs from eBay will not be to the standards of Apple. And if they are advertised as Apple certified refurbished models, then I would recommend getting confirmation of that before bidding/buying from there.

    Another tier to the refurbished standards is buying one from an Apple authorized reseller.

    Other than that, I wouldn't trust other sources for refurbished models.

    I got my AppleTV2, early 2009 iMac, and late 2009 iMac(my wife's) refurbished and they were all excellent and basically new. I sold the the early 2009 iMac in still excellent condition(except for the ODD, but I provided and external usb dvd writer in the sale). The AppleTV2 was still fully functional when I sold it in the MacRumors Marketplace forum, and my wife's iMac is still working perfectly after owning it for more than 2 years.
  8. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    Like RedCroissant said. The reason apple refurbs are recommended is just because they provide the best quality control. Usually with the apple refurbs, you have no signs of cosmetic wear. Also, the Apple refurbs come with Apple's 1 year warranty (unsure if ebay does); so even if there is a problem with your refurb model, you can bring it back and they would most likely exchange it.

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