MacBook Pro 13" buying advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Limey77, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Limey77 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #1
    I'm currently on holiday in Florida from England and am looking at buying a 13" MacBook Pro.

    I've seen the refurbished 13" 2.9 MHz with 750gb hdd and 8gb of RAM for $1269 and am planning on getting it and ordering a 256gb Samsung 840 Pro to replace the hard drive and have a couple of questions.

    1) I'll mainly be using it for photoshop, indesign, illustrator as well as website management, blogging, and minor video editing as well as the usual Internet and email. Will this set up be suitable? I plan on keeping it for 4-5 years so aim to future proof as much as possible.

    2) I'll be in Orlando when I get everything and will have neither the tools nor experience to swap the hdd for the ssd. Does anyone know a good place in Orlando that could do the swap for me at a reasonable cost?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. T5BRICK macrumors G3

    T5BRICK

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    #2
    Personally, I'd go with the i5 model and upgrade the SSD and RAM. It's usually around $1000 for the refurbished model.
     
  3. LeeM macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 1, 2012
    #3
    dont forget tax, i dont know what states charge what but its something us brits usually forget
     
  4. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    #4
    Tax? Haha! Just put it in your backpack... it's yours, no tax paid.
     
  5. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #5
    Sales tax when you buy it, it's not included in the price.
     
  6. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

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    #6
    Ahh, I initially understood something completely different. My bad...
    In that case, true, don't forget about the sales tax that might not be included in the displayed price.
     
  7. LeeM macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Yeah in most countries the price advertised is the price you pay. In America each state adds a different amount at point of sale in tax.
     
  8. DollaTwentyFive macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    The Florida sales tax rate is 6%.

    If you have an address in Florida to ship to, check out some of the online retailers. If they don't have a physical presence in Florida, you can avoid paying the sales tax.
     
  9. gngan macrumors 68000

    gngan

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    MacWorld
    #9
    1) There's no future proof to computer. Just get what you need now. Even if you upgrade to 16gb RAM, your CPU/GPU isn't future proof.

    2) Why won't you do the swapping yourself when you are back home? It's not like it won't work without SSD.
     
  10. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #10
    If you're going to be doing video editing I'd recommend getting a 15" with a dedicated GPU. Just my 2 cents.
     
  11. Limey77 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #11
    So is the general consensus that the 2.9 i7 isn't worth the upgrade over the 2.5 i5? I always figured it would be worthwhile.

    After getting a couple of quotes I've decided to do the hdd swap myself, is there anything else other than the tools, ssd and an external enclosure so I can format the new drive and copy the other one to?
     
  12. T5BRICK macrumors G3

    T5BRICK

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    #12
    If the 2.9GHz i7 was quad core, it'd be worth it. But you're talking about a $300 increase in price for 400MHz. You do get extra RAM and a larger HDD, but a lot of people swap both of those out, so I wouldn't really consider the price difference worth it. Of course, this is just my opinion.

    You don't even need an external enclosure to install the OS. You can use internet recovery and just download a brand new OS.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718

    If you're planning on using the HDD you removed as an external drive anyway, an enclosure now is a good idea. You could use it to setup your Time Machine backup.
     
  13. Limey77 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #13
    Thanks for the responses and the help!

    So you think I'd be better off getting the i5 and upgrading it?
    From my research I can get:

    13" i5 for $1019
    16gb ram $85
    840pro $250

    For a grand total of $1449 inc tax

    Or:

    i7 for $1269
    840pro $250

    For $1625 inc tax.

    So it seems the i5 is the way to go but what are your thoughts?
     
  14. T5BRICK macrumors G3

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
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    Oregon
    #14
    That's the route I'd go.

    Remember you'll also have to pick up the correct tools to swap out the HDD and RAM. I actually bought a couple of 8 in 1 tools from Home Depot for about $6 each. Ifixit has guides for the installs and even lists the tools needed, so that's a good resource.
     
  15. Limey77 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #15
    That's what I thought but thanks for he confirmation. I've already got the ifixit page bookmarked and plan to buy the tools tomorrow. Fingers crossed the installation goes well.
     
  16. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

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    Apr 6, 2007
    #16
    Me too, with the i5. It would be difficult to perceive much difference between it and the i7, unless you were encoding video all day long.
     
  17. thekb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    #17

    How funny! When I read your first post, I understood something completely different too ... I thought you were advocating shoplifting! ;-)

    Two more points, although I am not an expert on computer specs, it seems like the spec bump might be worth it if one of your goals is future proofing as much as possible. Acknowledging that it impossible to completely future proof, the I7 would still have a better chance of standing up for 4 or 5 years than I5. And the price difference you quoted isn't $300, it's actually less than $200, right? Or is my math off?

    And finally, the state of Florida sales tax is 6%, but counties and cities can impose their own additive to the amount. I don't know exactly where you will be going, but here are the actual tax rates in several counties around Orlando SOURCE:

    Orlando Area Tax Rates:

    Lake County 7.00%
    Orange County 6.50%
    Polk County 7.00%
    Osceola County 7.00%
    Seminole County 6.00% (reduced in 2011)

    Orlando proper is in Orange county, so the tax would be 6.5% there. If you are in a surrounding county, it may be a little bit more than 6%.
     
  18. Limey77 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #18
    So I've bitten the bullet and ordered the i5, 16gb of corsair vengeance RAM, and the Samsung 840 Pro. Everything should be arriving on Saturday so I hope to do the work over the weekend and have couple of questions.

    I'm planning to just format the ssd and put it in the main bay and do the command+r to download a new copy of ML. Will I need to update the ssd firmware first? If so, what's the best way of doing that, I understand I'll have to use a pc which is ok.

    When I take the old drive out and put it in the external enclosure can I keep it as a bootable drive and use it for a Timemachine backup? Or should I reformat it and wipe ML from it? I believe I can't partition it without deleting ML.

    Thanks for any advice.
     

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