MF840 or MD101+upgrade ??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tom.hs, Nov 19, 2015.


MacBook Pro MF840 or MD101+(future)upgrade?

  1. MF840

  2. MD101+(future)upgrade

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  1. tom.hs macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2015

    Sorry in advance for the long text, but could find a way to express my thoughts...

    It is time to renew my old laptop and, fed up with low performance, blue screen, and similar things from Windows, I am planning to mode to Mac.

    The only option I consider is a 13” MacBook Pro, but I cannot decide between an up-to-date tech MacBook Pro retina MF840 (8 Gb RAM, 256 Gb SSD) or the old but upgradable MacBook Pro MD101 (4 Gb, 500 Gb HD).

    I know lot of people would say “just go for the retina”… but I am thinking:
    • RAM cannot be upgraded on MF840 (you could tell “go for 16 Gb one, if not you will regret in a future when new software/OS require more RAM…). But, the MD101 can also get 16 Gb when needed… is this right??
    • Even that, if I would go for the MF840 16 Gb version to cover my back for future requirements, what about upgrading/replacing the SSD? It seems some SSD fail after some time, so… how easy is to replace the SSD in the MF840? It seems it is not as straightforward as in the MD101, so I would have to go through technical service… Also, even if the SSD does not fail, I could change it for one of larger capacity within the next years once prices go down (or even right now, but I would lose the warranty...). The point about this is that as far as I know the performance of the SSDs is lower as it is being filled. 512 Gb SSD would be ideal, but the price for the MF841 is terrible
    I know the MD101 is “only” 4 Gb RAM and it has not SSD, so compared with the MF840 its performance is lower. I use the laptop for some word/excel, web browsing and some other software of with no high requirements, i.e. no games, no video editing, etc. What I want is a laptop for the next 5+ years.

    For me the best option would be the MF840 if the RAM and SSD ware easier to replace. The other option, the MD101, despite being slightly larger and heavier it allows easy upgrading. I could get 16 Gb and a 512 Gd SSD in a future.
    Prices at this moment are around £1,150 for MF840 and £850 for the MD101.
    Is there any special feature in the MF840 I am missing to the extent of overcoming the difference in price and the upgrading limitations?? Wireless technology, trackpad… ??

    I might tend to overthink in excess..., but considering this is not a pair of shoes you can throw at the end of your closet, I would like to get some opinions.

    Thanks everybody in advance!
  2. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    I would go with the MF840. And while more likely than not 8GB will be fine for years from now, I would still encourage trying to go with a 16GB configuration if you're that worried about future proofing it.

    Yes, the RAM and storage are upgradeable on the MB101, you're still working with a less capable CPU and iGPU, which could frustrate you in terms of performance. I'm not so sure you'll get the longevity you think you'll get from it, even if you upgrade later.
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    RAM and hard drives mean nothing if the CPU and GPU are 3 to 4 years out of date once you have 8Gb or more and the fastest PCIe SSD you can buy there is really no need to worry about being able to "upgrade" your RAM or hard drive. By the time you need something new you'll want DDR4 RAM and the better graphics that come with a new laptop anyway.
  4. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    For your usage, a retina MacBook would work. Go with the retina MacBook Pro and enjoy.

    Are refurbs available from Apple in the UK? I typically go that route to save a few bucks.

    The MF840 has a force touch trackpad and 802.11ac.

    The MD101 has a standard trackpad and 802.11n.

    The MF840 also has faster RAM, and the PCIe SSD has read/write speeds that are 2x what you'll be able to achieve on the MD101(it's limited to SATA3). The GPU is better, the CPU is better, the battery life is better.

    I don't suggest the MD101 very often, I'm not going to suggest it here.

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3 November 19, 2015