Macbook Pro purchase advice

davygee

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 9, 2015
74
30
Saltcoats, UK
I currently use a Macbook Pro at work and want to create my own setup at home. I'm looking into getting a Macbook Pro, external monitor, external keyboard and mouse. The main problem is that I can't warrante spending £1200 alone for the computer.

CEX in the UK do refurbished Mac's and come with a 24 month warranty.

The main issue is budget....I have around £600-£700 and for this, I can get a late 2013, early 2014 i5 model. Although I am struggling with the decision to go 16Gb RAM or get a larger SSD.

I can't do both as it takes the cost up towards £800-£900.

Anyway, I'm looking for some feedback/advice and whats the best way to go. Normally I prefer brand new, but for half the price, I can get a 3 year old Macbook Pro with 16GB....yes the processor is slower, but will a 3 year old i5 cause more problems further down the line than 8Gb.....and also do I really need a bigger SSD more so than more RAM...as I have loads of external HDD that can be used as backup etc.
 

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,022
172
Go 16gb. You can expand storage later with external hard drives, but the ram is set at purchase. External hard drives are also a lot cheaper down the road than a larger ssd from apple.
 

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,155
The Late 2013 and Early 2014 CPUs are quite solid. Do you plan to put more than a single guest OS on the machine? If so, IMO, it might be worth saving a little bit more so you can get both the 16 GB and a 512+ SSD.

If you wind up putting more than one virtual machine on the SSD, this can occupy a lot of disk space. And, with virtual machines, if you wish to run them off of external devices (and have them remain usable) then you absolutely need an external SSD (which isn't always that much cheaper than getting a larger internal drive.) A 256 GB drive with VMs fills up fast, IMHO.
 

pixelatedscraps

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2017
280
185
Hong Kong
The Late 2013 and Early 2014 CPUs are quite solid. Do you plan to put more than a single guest OS on the machine? If so, IMO, it might be worth saving a little bit more so you can get both the 16 GB and a 512+ SSD.

If you wind up putting more than one virtual machine on the SSD, this can occupy a lot of disk space. And, with virtual machines, if you wish to run them off of external devices (and have them remain usable) then you absolutely need an external SSD (which isn't always that much cheaper than getting a larger internal drive.) A 256 GB drive with VMs fills up fast, IMHO.
Good advice. I would also encourage you to save a little more until you can actually afford a good MacBook Pro rather than one that may present compromises further down the road. They're never cheap machines so I would avoid looking for one...
 
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