Need Help Choosing a New Laptop

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by derpwerp60, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. derpwerp60 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2018
    #1
    Hi guys!

    I am new to this forum. I am looking to upgrade to a new laptop and I have decided to make a switch to Macs because I find their build quality excellent and their software more intuitive to use.

    I am about to go off to college soon and planning to study computer science and computer programming.

    Will the 2015 13 inch MacBook Pro be enough for my programming and computing needs for 4-6 years? I was thinking about getting the latest MacBook Pro, but I am concerned about the reliability of the keybaord and lack of upgrading options.

    Please help and provide your insights. Thanks!
     
  2. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #2
    Hi, and welcome to the forum.
    Only you can really answer this question. Is there any particular software that you know will need to be used for your schooling? Is a baseline notebook what you're looking at?

    Unfortunately, even someone that replies is a computer programmer, nobody here is going to be able to predict your specific usage pattern for the next 4-6 years and inform you on whether or not it's going to hold up, regardless of any of this provided information.
     
  3. derpwerp60 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2018
    #3
    Yes, I am looking at baseline models (13 inches) with the i5 processors and 8 GB of RAM along with 256 GB SSD.

    Well at this point, I am planning to learn object-oriented langauges, maybe web development, and of course do my assignments from college classes.

    I think I should rephrase my question, will the 2015 MacBook Pro become obsolete in 4-6 years?
     
  4. Naimfan Suspended

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #4
    You'll most likely be fine. And if not, you can sell the 2015 and recoup much of its cost if you *need* to get something newer.

    The 16 and 17 models don't offer enough to take the chance.
     
  5. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #5
    It's a difficult question to answer, as obsolete can mean different things. I don't see computer architecture being completely revamped in the next 4-6 years to the point where modern programs and applications will not run on Core i5 Intel processors, but that is obviously being extreme. Currently, Mac notebooks from 8-9 years ago can run the latest version of OS X, so presumably in an average of 5 years, you should be able to run any future OS releases on a 2015 model.

    "Obsolete" is mostly a subjective term in my opinion. On paper, if a computer or computer operating system no longer receives support, it is considered to be obsolete. With that being said, there are lots of members on this very forum that get everything that they need out of PowerPC Macs, as an example.

    I'm honestly not attempting to nitpick here, it truly depends on what you need or want out of a computer. If it helps you at all, however, a 2015 model is certainly not "old" or "outdated technology." It's perfectly capable - you just have to weigh it against what you will be tasking it with in terms of program requirements and the like.
     
  6. jeremiah256 macrumors 65816

    jeremiah256

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #6
    Although there are many on this site that hate the 2016 and beyond MBPs, for several valid reasons, I don't think you should dismiss the future benefits of having USB-C/TB3. It is the ultimate port, with massive bandwidth and compatibility. I'd recommend a refurbished 2016 or 2017 MBP over the 2015 model if you need 4-6 years of coding life from your computer. Those two USB-C ports will give you display, storage, and graphical options that will serve you well for many years.

    That said, the 2015 13" MBP is fine for the coding you'll encounter in your college courses. I think you'll be pushing it, but I also doubt the average college revamps their courses fast enough to give you any major problems, and if they do, that is what the computer lab is for. But, you'll need to learn and accept that you can't be on the bleeding edge with regard to new macOS versions if you want to have your MBP run well up to 2022 and beyond. Let others upgrade and report in before you upgrade the OS. The physical upgrades you can perform on your own (RAM and SSD) will improve your performance, but since you'll be starting out with 8GBs and a good SSD, the impact will not be as dramatic as you may believe. This may come into play if, over the 4-6 year life of this computer, you take a computationally or graphically demanding course or work on your own game or project.

    Bottom line, no, a dual-core i5 MBP from 2015 will not be obsolete for college classes, 2018-2024. But, be prepared. You may have spinning beach ball issues running future versions of programs like the 2020 version of Unity 3D, or the 2022 version of Adobe CC.
     
  7. wbynum macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    #7
    If you are starting college in the fall there is really no reason to buy a MacBook Pro right now. Wait till the summer to see what the refresh will bring. Most assume the 13" model will get the new 4 core Intel CPU's. That will be a huge upgrade in longevity over the 2 core current models. Also, hopefully the keyboard '16/'17 keyboard issues are addressed.

    Heck, even if you are starting college before the fall I'd still wait. Use the computer lab until you get a laptop.
     
  8. derpwerp60 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2018
    #8
    Right now, I do not see myself doing graphically intenstive courses. I also have a desktop that can handle some gaming very well if I were to do graphically intensive courses.

    I have considered getting a refurbished 2017 MacBook Pro, but I am very concerned about the reliability of the keyboard. I have heard stories where specks of dust or dandruff get stuck under the keys and causing havok to users. The repairs that have to be made in order to fix this issue is also very expensive and a time consuming process. I would highly prefer not to deal with the headaches and the time lost that comes with repairing the keyboard.

    Would it be feasible to use the 2015 MacBook Pro for 4-5 years and then trade-in for newer models??
    --- Post Merged, Apr 29, 2018 ---
    I would wait, but I still need a laptop as I do like to work outside of home.
     
  9. jeremiah256 macrumors 65816

    jeremiah256

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #9
    Now see, your having a decent desktop PC is information that changes the equation, so now I'd say why not get a MacBook Air instead? Traditional ports, affordable, durable, highly regarded, and fully capable of fulfilling the role as the secondary workhorse coding machine.

    As for trading in a 2015 MBP in 2022, only Jobs knows what program Apple will have by then. I'd guess though, TB3 speeds will be normal for even moderate level computers by 2020 and see the need/want for great graphic performance to continue to increase. If you are concerned about resale or trade in value, ask yourself: under what circumstances would you purchase a seven year old computer today? And cloud computing is only going to get more ubiquitous and capable over the next few years, so your 7 year old computer will have to compete with brand new cheap, light ChromeBooks.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    OP wrote:
    "Will the 2015 13 inch MacBook Pro be enough for my programming and computing needs for 4-6 years? I was thinking about getting the latest MacBook Pro, but I am concerned about the reliability of the keybaord and lack of upgrading options."

    You are wise to be reticent about the 2017 models, it's a flawed design.

    I predict that a 2015 design MBPro will easily last you the next 4-6 years. Indeed, I also predict that any 2015 MacBook Pro, bought TODAY, has a better chance of making it to 6 years than a 2017 MacBook Pro, also bought today.

    The 2015 is a far more robust and useful design. A "workhorse", instead of a "show horse".

    You have to buy the 2015 MBP 13" through Apple's refurbished page, but that's ok.
    Just keep an eye on what's available, and be ready to "jump on what you want".
    They tend to sell out very quickly.
     
  11. derpwerp60 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2018
    #11
    I found a deal on Amazon for a brand new 2015 Macbook Pro 13 inch for $1400. It has 8 GB and 128 GB. I think it is a little on the high side, but should I wait for the refurbished 2015 MacBooks hit the Apple Store?
     
  12. jerryk macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #12
    128 GB will get filled fast. I would recommend 256 GB or more. Remember that is best to treat any Macbook Pro with a retina display as a sealed non upgradable system. This is not the absolute truth, but Apple did there best to make these system difficult and expensive to upgrade.

    As far as working for 4-6 years of programming, that depends on what you plan on doing. If you doing just standard coursework, you are probably OK.

    If you want to so something in Machine Learning and AI, as long as you have access to remote server like Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services. You should be OK.

    However if you have to train models on your own device you need GPU access, and NVidia GPUs specifically. And Apple has used AMD GPUs since 2015, and then only on their 15" models. Another option would be to stick a Nvidia card in your PC if it does not already have one. I have a couple of GTX 1070s in mine and the speed up training by 8+ times.
     
  13. Fishrrman, May 6, 2018
    Last edited: May 6, 2018

    Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    OP wrote:
    "It has 8 GB and 128 GB. I think it is a little on the high side, but should I wait for the refurbished 2015 MacBooks hit the Apple Store?"

    That price seems high.
    You can do as good (or better) by buying from the Apple refurbished online store.

    So my answer is... yes... wait.
    And I'd also recommend a 256gb SSD instead of 128gb.

    You can use refurbme.com to keep an eye on things.
    I believe it's possible to have an email sent to you to notify you that the configuration you want has come into stock.
    They tend to sell out quickly, so one has to jump on it when the desired configuration is available.
     
  14. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #14

    Only him? No. Not if you don't want to wait a lifetime in 4-6 years
     
  15. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #15
    Not sure what your goal is here, but you honestly believe that anyone other than the person using the computer can answer the question "will it be good for my needs for the next 4-6 years?" Certainly nobody here can. Nobody here knows if this guy is going to want to load up some game or other program that the laptop can't handle in that time span.

    You're genuinely disputing that?
     
  16. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #16
    There is no goal but to tell you that you're wrong. He already stated his use case and the specs on an already oldish computer wouldn't be beneficial unless he's doing it for a hobby and even then I'll spend slightly more for a newer model.
     
  17. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #17
    I guarantee you that I am not.

    Therefore, what you're telling me is, that the OP will be all set as far as their "programming and computing needs" for the next 4-6 years if they "spend slightly more for a newer model" (since that's the only thing you have seemed to contribute btw) than the cost of this questioned 2015 13'' baseline MBP? They are not going to want anything as simple as more screen real estate, more RAM, processing power, a dedicated GPU in that time span?

    Is that what you're saying? If so, please lend me the crystal ball that you use so I can make decisions about my own future. Thanks.
     
  18. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #18
    I also guarantee you're wrong. You're suggesting a computer that's already 3 years old? If you're looking for longevity a 2016 or 2017 non touch bar model would be a better value. If you're buying on eBay and find one under 900 maybe a baseline 13 inch could work.
     
  19. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #19
    No, what you originally quoted me for and disputed had nothing to do with a suggestion. If you'll actually read my posts, you'll see that I never even suggested the 2015 model, as a matter of fact. I just tried informing the OP that nobody can actually answer the question of "is it enough for my computing needs for the next 4-6 years?" except him/herself. You told me that I was wrong about that. I'm still waiting to hear about how I am wrong in regards to that.

    I honestly want to read a defense on how that it is not 100% accurate, so please inform me.
     
  20. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #20
    Lol? You can't read your own post and the OP? He's the one bringing up the 2015 13 inch and you're the one saying only he can tell if it will suffice. That is 100% wrong once again. By year 4 from now it will be slow. Now if it's a hobby sure why not but you're better off buying a newer laptop to last 4-6 years he suggested. Duh
     
  21. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #21
    You're saying a 2015 laptop "will be slow" in 4 years? In terms of WHAT? It won't launch the same application it has been launching for the years prior? Even if someone simply purchases whatever is newest at the time, that still does not mean it's going to handle what any person wants to throw at it in relation to what it is capable of, and nobody has potential of knowing that apart from the person using it. You, 100%, cannot tell someone that a particular laptop will be good for them for the next 4-6 years, especially when they don't know that themselves. Period. Even if someone reports "this is the type of work I will do on it," it's not possible to know if user specific needs will change in such a large span of time.

    I don't think you understand, so what I am going to do is stop it here.
     
  22. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #22
    Time = money and thus if it isn't a hobby it will be slower then a newer 2017 model 4 to 6 years from now. Simple math here. Simple facts you can't fathom to understand apparently. To be honest his best bet is to wait for the rumored 2018 models which will have a Quad core cpu which will be a lot bettet then a 2015 model.
     

Share This Page