MBP buying advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nikkistone, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. nikkistone macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2017
    Hi y'all.

    I currently have a 13" early 2011 MBP and looking to upgrade to a new MBP. I'm having a difficult time deciding what to get and/or whether to wait until 2018. My current MBP runs OK (battery needs to be replaced), so I'm not desperate to make a move now. Although I have some money burning a hole in my pocket...

    I plan on keeping my next MBP another 6 or 7 years.

    I currently use my machine for light spreadsheet work, word docs, email/internet, occasional streaming of video, and light photo editing from my DSLR on Photoshop Elements. It is my only computer.

    I'd obviously like to maximize what I'm getting for my money while trying to take into account what unforeseen needs I may have in the future.

    Looking at:
    • 13" w/ Touch Bar
    • 13" w/ Touch Bar with 16 GB RAM upgrade
    • 13 w/ Touch Bar with 16 GB RAM & i7 processor upgrades
    • 13" w/o Touch Bar
    • 13" w/o Touch Bar with 16 GB RAM upgrade
    Questions I Have
    • Is the TB gimmicky? Or will I actually use it? (this may not be answerable)
    • Is it better to upgrade to the i7 processor or have more RAM? Or both?
    • Should I upgrade to 512 GB storage? (I've filled my current 256 GB SSD up with kids pics and other stuff so I've recently invested in an external SSD)
    • Since my current machine is still kicking, should I wait for better things in 2018? Or better to buy now? (I plan on giving my current machine to our youngest kiddo)

    I fear I'm overthinking this purchase o_O Thanks for any light you can shed on this.
  2. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    For your stated usage - 13" w/o Touch Bar...

    I'd recommend the 512GB SSD, but as you suggest, you can always offload to external drive. 256GB might feel pretty small in a few years. You do have a solid backup system in place, right?

    Go with the 16 GB RAM if you're really serious about 6 - 7 years. If more like 3 - 4 years, then 8 GB should be fine.

    Too early to tell whether the TB will turn out to be gimmicky for most users, but one thing for sure is that there are very few users (yet) who suggest they couldn't live without it. TB models have 4 TB3 ports, but unless you want to hook up more than one external display (or there's a bunch of equipment you haven't mentioned), you don't need more than 2 TB3 ports. I also get the impression you're not particularly interested in the latest and greatest. ;-)

    i7 is complete waste for your needs and won't help with future-proofing. The most likely component to become a bottle neck for performance is the GPU, and there's nothing you can do about that (the TB model has a slightly better GPU, but won't help with future-proofing).

    No reason to wait for 2018.

    Just my 2 cents... future proofing and 6 - 7 year time tables are a fool's errand - I recommend buying for today and the foreseeable future, and when you need more computer, sell (or gift) the one you have and buy a new one. You might find that it lasts 6 years anyway. Spending a bunch of money for what you might need 6 years from now is generally money wasted in my experience.

    Best of luck!
  3. nia820 macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2011
    I would recommend the 13" w/o Touch Bar with 16 GB RAM upgrade. The 16gb ram will extend the life of your MacBook Pro. The additional cost of the touch bar version seems excessive to me as there aren't many uses for the touch bar just yet. Maybe in about 3-4 years there will be more uses for it, but in its current its looks pretty and nothing else.
  4. nikkistone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2017
    Yes, @ixxx69 I use Carbonite for backup (and it covers the external SSD)

    I AM interested in the latest and greatest. Just can't afford it! :( (we're a ministry family)
  5. SteveJUAE macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2015
    Land of Smiles
    I think you should drag the last bit out of your current Mac and look for a good 2nd hand 2017 16GB within your budget early next year with 2 year AC left and cross fingers you get 4/5 years out of it :)
  6. Resist macrumors 68030

    Jan 15, 2008
    I was also interested in buying a new MBP but after seeing the price tags now, I decide to upgrade what I already have. So $435 later, I installed a new battery, SSD and more ram in my Mid 2010 MBR. It's like a new machine and does what I need.

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