MacBook Pro - Good time to buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by deerwolf, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. deerwolf macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    #1
    So I know it is really up to me, and that something better will come along soon (something always does), but still I feel it is worth asking the community what they think.

    I currently have a MacBook Pro Intel Core Duo 2.16ghz with 2GB RAM and an upgraded 7200rpm 200GB drive in it. I live and die by this thing, I work as a photo retoucher and graphic designer and I also produce music with my laptop (Logic, Ableton Live, Reason) and even perform with it on stage. I've had this laptop for 3 years in August (a good run all things considered) and have to say that it has served me very well. Still I hit the CPU ceiling everyday and generally the machine just feels slow, it's at the end of its life cycle for me, and since I make most of my money and art with the thing, I like to have something nice.

    My main reservation is Apple's supposed move to the new Nehalem chips or generally quadcore chips in their laptops and that I will find myself in a situation as soon as Q3 2009 wishing I hadn't bought one of these machines yet. Yes, I know, something faster is always around the bend, and this I can deal with, but the new chipset is rumored to be a signifigant improvement and so I wonder if I should wait. The laptop I have continues to serve me well, however being so steeped in digital media I am inclined to buy a new one (and sell this one off while it still has some value) by the end of this year for sure.

    Any thoughts are much appreciated!
     
  2. xc runner macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    #2
    If you need a new computer just get it. That's what I'm going to do soon. I was going to wait for the quadcore, but it will take a while for them to perfect it; so you'll be fine if you decide to upgrade now.
     
  3. CashGap macrumors 6502

    CashGap

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Location:
    Music City, USA
    #3
    Had the same laptop MBP 2.16gb until yesterday, but with 3GB RAM and 300GB 7200 rpm drive. 25 months of fantastic service but, to quote you, I hit the CPU ceiling every day.

    Bought the 15" MB985LL/A 2.66/4GB/320 today. Couldn't be happier. And with the resale on the 2.16, I'm sure I can get out of this one OK next spring if I simply must have quadcore. The battery life alone will make any depreciation worthwhile in the meantime, not even considering the speed improvements.

    My $.02.
     
  4. deerwolf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    #4
    yeah the resale of my current laptop is a big consideration, right now I reckon I can get about $700-800 for it, probably going to lose value quickly. Also, my applecare runs out in August
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    It's now or never! Laptops were updated few weeks ago so buy one now. Next update won't be before November.
     
  6. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Location:
    Thule GL @ the TOW
  7. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #7
    Put in 4 gigs and see if that can get you by for just a little longer. Yes, I know it only uses 3 gigs and change, but ddr is dirt cheap, and you may get as much of a dual channel ram boost that you can manage.
     
  8. deerwolf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    #8
    My laptop is the earlier gen of the 2.16ghz Intel Core Duo and cannot take more than 2GB of RAM according to apple.

    Hmmm... November really isn't that far off, its more a question of whether the next line will have a new paradigm of chips (nehalem, multicore, quadcore). I have heard that even in the case that they do they will be slower chips, e.g. it will be a 2ghz quadcore... that makes me skeptical of the initial move to multicore chips.
     
  9. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #9
    The entire notebook line was completely updated. There is also no guarantee that November will bring updates, it would just seem logical...
     
  10. TRAG macrumors 6502

    TRAG

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    #10
    As others have said, they just got updated. It is highly unlikely and for Apple to do so agian so soon.
     
  11. Shiner macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #11
    To be honest you will not see that much of a speed bump. The new macbook pro looks nice but really isn't that much better than what you have. Apple will update their computers in about a year according to the intel road map. Apple usually waits a good 5 months after everyone else is using the chip they want. Makes it cheaper for them and increases profit margin. There is no chip for apple to upgrade the MBP to in November. Apple will always chose power consumption over speed.

    Additionally, I have that exact model with a 500GB WD blue. I also have a new 13" MBP for most applications I can't tell the difference. Plus the matte screen on the old laptop is still my preferred laptop screen. I would reinstall leopard clean up the hard drive and see if snow leopard helps you out. Hell members on this forum say the macbook air actually feels fast in snow leopard.
     
  12. hypertc13 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #12
    I too am in the same boat as you. I have a 2.33 ghz with 2 gb of ram and a 120 gb hard drive. My battery is shot and my hard drive is full. buying a new battery and hard drive would probably run me 300 bucks. I figure i can get around 900 for mine. And with the education discount and the free ipod(which i would sell because i dont need it) makes it really appealing to me. But i keep hearing about the nehalem and arrandale processors that might go in them in about 6 months. So everyday i have been back and forth on whether or not to just go ahead and buy a new one or hold off a little longer
     
  13. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #13
    Oh, you've got the core duo, not core 2 duo. My mistake. It's not like you haven't gotten your money's worth out of the machine. If your current rig is holding you back, go ahead and update.
     
  14. hypertc13 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #14
    I have read that as well. There is suppose to be 3 quad core processors with the fastest one being 2 Ghz, however i hear that snow leopard is suppose to utilize it differently so if you only need two of the cores it will only use those cores but bump the speed up to around 3.2 Ghz for those cores
     
  15. Shiner macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #15
    32bit vs 64bit= very little difference for what he is doing. He will be amazed at how little a difference he will see.
     
  16. deerwolf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    #16
    32 v. 64 - I do heavy graphics and audio - if I don't notice this who would ? I am mostly concerned with the nehalem/arrandale
    multicore prospect coming sooner than some might think, that is by the end of the year, although knowing that the new chips will be multicore but spec at lower speeds in ghz makes me skeptical of them, probably will take some time before all apps utilize the new hardware architecture anyways such as the adobe suite so now is looking like a good time to buy...
     
  17. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #17
    Right now is probably the best time to buy, the new models have been out long enough for people to check the boards to see if there are any glaring issues or shortcomings, and soon enough that you'll have a few quality months with it before apple comes out with another update.
     
  18. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #18
    I had the generation MBP right before yours and was recently forced to "upgrade" to the new 2.53 GHz MBP. I wasn't expecting anything great, but it really is a significantly faster machine. Like... more than I expected. The next chip upgrade is going to be Arrandale, probably in early 2010.
     
  19. deerwolf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    #19
    Thanks everyone for your input... I think it probably is a good time to buy. Mainly because the new multicore chips are probably not going to be out until early 2010 and that in addition to this, it will be the first generation of multicore/arrandale laptops and this will likely cause some delays and incompatibilities with major software suites. The other factor is that each core will clock at a lower speed (I have hear the top is about 2ghz) so any software that does not fully utilize the multiple cores may appear to be as fast or slower than a current model.
     
  20. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #20
    If you can, wait until snow leopard is released, and see if that changes the ball game or not.
     
  21. AdamLikesMusic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    #21
    You can always put it off a few more months... And eventually you die, without a MacBook Pro.
     
  22. jamesgregory24 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    #22
    LOL! Who needs it anyway, right?

    Well, I do! LOLOLOL.
     
  23. MacAndy74 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
  24. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #24
    Here is the thing:

    1) We know Macs have a good resale market
    2) Being MR readers we have a better sense than most when Apple is going to update, and even when we are caught by surprise we still know the very moment the update happens. It takes most people days or even weeks to realize new models are out.

    So buy today if you need and then sell when the Nehalems come out. I could see Apple doing a bump in Sept w/ 10.6 (and also the expiration of the Mac to School promo) but I could also see them wait until Feb. too. In any event The C2D is keeping a little crusty for a pro machine so change is coming w/i 8-9 months.
     
  25. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #25
    And then you'll never get into iHeaven.
     

Share This Page