MacBook now or Later

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Buc74, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. Buc74 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    #1
    I have recently found out that my 13 inch Dell inspiron (2007 model) is starting to slow down tremendously. I use a 3D modeling software almost daily and use a word processing called LaTeX as well. I am really thinking about buying the 13 inch MacBook pro, but I am hesitant because I am 2 years away from graduating high school and I don't want to have to upgrade in college... So my basic questions are:
    Should I upgrade?
    How long will the Mac last?
    Which is the best MacBook for the money?
    And If I do get one should I wait till early 2012 models?
     
  2. praetorx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    #2
    By the time you'll graduate from hi-school and go to college your mac will be obsolete anyway.
    I'd say buy one now and prepare to upgrade in two years from now.
     
  3. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #3
    Your Dell lasted 4 years, and I'm sure that at least for LaTeX, it's still fine (that stuff runs on 20 years old machines).

    Whatever you buy next, in 3-4 years it will start feeling slow, though it will still be useful for day to day work. Whether you buy now or the next model in 2012, your machine will feel as slow as your Dell feels now half-way through college.

    For the questions:

    Should you upgrade/should you wait for the 2012 models:
    This does not depend so much on what is available, but on how long you think you can live with your Dell. The longer you sit it out with your old machine, the longer the new one will last ;)

    Which is the best for the money:
    Since you do 3D modeling, you probably want a dedicated graphics card. Therefore you want at least the 15'' MBP. I recommend upgrading to a high-res anti-glare display. I'm not sure how much video RAM you need. If you think 512 MB is not enough, then you have to get the high end 15'' MBP, which comes with 1 GB of video RAM. Memory and storage can be upgraded later, so there it's safe to just go with the stock configuration.
     
  4. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    #4
    my hp desktop i bought in 2005 lasted me through high school. it still works fine.
     
  5. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Terra
    #5
    Two years to obsolescence? That's an extremely strict definition of obsolete. If OP buys a MacBook Pro now, it could be stretched all the way through college, though OP would probably want to upgrade about halfway through.
     
  6. Buc74 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    #6
    Thanks for the advice. I am just going to see what happens with my computer over these next couple of weeks and wait for 2012:D
     
  7. praetorx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    #7
    Stretched or not stretched Moore's law still applies. Technology creeps up at a faster pace than our cash.
    Every 6 months or so a new generation of CPUs comes on the market making the previous obsolete not to mention the one released two years ago.
     
  8. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #8
    Intel releases a new CPU generation once a year. Right now that seems the only relevant manufacturer for MacBooks. Two generations (i.e. two years) are quite noticeable in terms of speed, which should double.

    Every new MBP release makes the previous model obsolete, just by definition of the word obsolete. But that's not a good measure for how long the laptop will last, which is what the OP asked. There is no clear answer to that, since it depends on how the laptop is used.

    For me, a laptop lasts 3-4 years. After two years, I start to "want to have" new technology, although I don't really need it. After 3-4 years however, usually the following happens:
    - the battery starts to get bad (about half of the original capacity/duration)
    - memory upgrade would be required to keep up with OS and software updates
    - more than one of the connectors is outdated
    - laptop is missing new technology that has become mainstream
    - new games don't even launch on the hardware

    Besides the obvious memory/battery issues that can be fixed, in my case the old MBP has neither USB 3.0 nor thunderbolt, lacks support for some of the multitouch gestures, and has trouble with "standard" tasks like full HD video playing and scrolling through busy websites.
    A new battery, memory upgrade and a SSD would have given it another year or two, but at that point I usually prefer to invest the money in a new machine.

    For people that care about gaming 2 years is easily the cutoff after which new games don't run very well. Similarly, people who frequently use software that just require full computing power will benefit a lot from a 2 year upgrade.

    Omg, I write too much!
     
  9. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Terra
    #9
    Yes, but "obsolete" is also relative to what OP wants to do. If OP wants to write papers and such, obsolete won't happen for quite a decent amount of time...
     

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