New MacBook future proof?

Samtb

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 6, 2013
1,406
19
How many future OSXs will it ru smoothly? We all know the latest OS is optimised for the most recent tech.
 

BrettApple

macrumors 65816
Apr 3, 2010
1,099
378
Heart of the midwest
At least five years, hopefully more.

As an example, I've got a Mid 2007 iMac at home. It is the base model 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo, ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT (128MB) and it came with 2GB of RAM and a 250GB HDD. I've since upped it to 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. This iMac shipped with OS X 10.4 Tiger, and it has been upgraded through every release of OS X since and is currently running Yosemite.

Could it be smoother? Yes, the GPU is on the older side of things but as far as running daily applications like Chrome, Safari, iTunes, Aperture, Mail, Office, and even some iMovie it works just fine! This computer is coming up on 8 years old come August and it's still meeting my parents needs just fine.

So I'd give it at least 5 years. The 2007 MBP and (late) 2008 MacBook are also still supported and getting updates so if that's any indication this new guy should last quite a while.

As far as smoothly goes, that's highly subjective. Some people have frame drops with their 2015 rMBPs and they're new and shipping. From what I can tell with our iMac it was perfectly smooth up until Yosemite, and that's only because of the use of translucency all over the OS. Our similarly equipped 2008 model does just fine with a slightly better GPU.
 
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ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,129
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United States
How many future OSXs will it ru smoothly? We all know the latest OS is optimised for the most recent tech.
I doubt it will work smoothly for nearly as long as some more mature Mac models. First-gen Apple products are like a lot of first-gen products. Technically speaking though, it will almost certainly work with the next five or so annual releases of OS X (though it may be too sluggish to be practical in a few years). But these are all guesses - no one can say with certainty.
 

ProwlingTiger

macrumors 65816
Jan 15, 2008
1,329
218
My early-2008 Macbook received a grand total of 2 OS upgrades before it was held back at Mountain Lion. YMMV depending on machine. This one, I'd say it's good for 3-4 OS upgrades but who knows for certain?
 

doitdada

Suspended
Oct 14, 2013
946
556
My wife is still using the Macbook Air late 2010 (1.4Ghz) with 2GBs of RAM. Yosemite with transparency turned off. Its good enough for her use. Email, shopping and browsing Imgur. It was the first generation, and still manages to serve her needs well.

The only reason for her to upgrade is that warranty expires in a few months, and repairs would no longer make sense economical. In Norway we have five years of free service and repair on Apple products thanks to consumer laws. They changed her battery after four years a couple of months back. No issues outside of that single event.
 

tillsbury

macrumors 65816
Dec 24, 2007
1,434
388
Like most machines, it'll be perfect for three years, fine for five for most purposes, and still viable for some light use after that. Nothing changes.
 
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henry72

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2009
1,192
228
New Zealand
My wife is still using the Macbook Air late 2010 (1.4Ghz) with 2GBs of RAM. Yosemite with transparency turned off. Its good enough for her use. Email, shopping and browsing Imgur. It was the first generation, and still manages to serve her needs well.

The only reason for her to upgrade is that warranty expires in a few months, and repairs would no longer make sense economical. In Norway we have five years of free service and repair on Apple products thanks to consumer laws. They changed her battery after four years a couple of months back. No issues outside of that single event.
Thanks for sharing! That is just awesome and it's better than Apple Care :cool:;)
You can't get better than that :)
 

tillsbury

macrumors 65816
Dec 24, 2007
1,434
388
Thanks for sharing! That is just awesome and it's better than Apple Care :cool:;)
You can't get better than that :)
You can. And you're in the country where you do. New Zealand consumer law guarantees the product for "its expected lifetime". This has been tested to five years with a normal laptop, but might be shorter for a cheap one. With an expensive top-end laptop it might easily be considered longer. You should expect at least five years' CGA cover with a mac bought from apple.co.nz (and of course don't bother with Applecare).
 

TommyBoy5

macrumors regular
Dec 6, 2010
117
87
My February 2008 MBP was my main computer up until last month when I purchased this rMB. It was running Yosemite with zero issues.

I retired it because it was heavy, had a 200Gb hard drive, the fourth battery was dying, and it didn't have a retina screen. Oxford comma apologies.

I could have put a 300Gb SSD into it for $150, bought another battery for $60 and fixed the fan for $10 but I'd still have a heavy boat anchor with a pretty lousy screen. I bit the bullet and spent $1500 on this little beast and couldn't be happier.

I expect to get 5 years out of this rMB. I could be happy with Yosemite for the next five years. This is a writing, surfing, email, iTunes machine with very light spreadsheet use. I don't need much more improvement.
 

Nee412

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2010
281
8
Sunny England!
For the vast majority of consumers the rMB will perfectly fine for at least 3 years, and will work fine with OSX updates for at least 5 years. Those only using a rMB for very light usage can probably reasonably expect to keep their machine for 5 years.

Beyond 5 years I should expect that the rMB will feel somewhat out of date with whatever the current hardware specifications are in 2020. The latest OSX (or whatever the Mac OS of the time is) probably won't run as smooth, but it will most likely still work.

Fact is you could probably use the rMB well into 6 or 7 years if you really wanted. Maybe even longer, but I would recommend updating after 2-3 years if you like to keep reasonably up to date with the latest hardware and software features. If you're not too bothered about all that and you just want it to work it think about upgrading in maybe 5 years time.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,538
2,042
New Jersey Pine Barrens
My February 2008 MBP was my main computer up until last month when I purchased this rMB.
I had a 2008 15" MBP core2 Duo 4gb/160gb. I thought it was respectable in terms of performance until I started ripping DVDs in Handbrake. The speed difference with my 2013 MBA i7/8gb/512gb is quite dramatic. I can rip a DVD on the 2013 MBA in 15 minutes. Same DVD takes about 75 minutes on the 2008 MBP.

Back in 2008, I never seriously considered ripping my large DVD library. In 2013 I decided it was a good idea. With about 600 Movies and 600 TV shows, this makes a huge difference.

My point is really that you don't know what you might want to do with your computer in the year 2020. There may be a "must have" application that doesn't even exist yet. So it can be hard to predict a "useful" lifespan.

FWIW, the battery went completely dead on the 2008 MBP in 2014. That effectively ended its useful life for me. Just wouldn't be worth the cost of replacing the battery on such an old, slow machine.
 

Dayv

macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2009
380
95
My early-2008 Macbook received a grand total of 2 OS upgrades before it was held back at Mountain Lion. YMMV depending on machine. This one, I'd say it's good for 3-4 OS upgrades but who knows for certain?
You got caught on the wrong side of the 32-bit to 64-bit processor transition. This is probably the worst longevity you can get in OS X's history.

There's no similar major architectural shift anticipated in the near future, so I think anyone buying a Macbook today can expect at least 4 years of OS upgrades, and quite possibly more.
 

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,503
911
The is a beta testing device.

Lifespan is 1 year .

At that time it will be revealed that the new OS "Laurentian", named for an Abyss, is too much for the device.

Everyone will dump them for v2.

rMB and Newtons are featured at swap meets. Many are thrown into the Laurentian Abyss.

:eek:
 

speedbumpnv

macrumors 6502
Jul 2, 2007
253
66
I'm still using my 11" MBA Core2 and it runs fine even in its old age. It is being replaced with a new MacBook once it gets here (custom built with 1.3)...

I expect the new MacBooks to be supported for many years. When the 2nd generation MBAs were first released, they were using already outdated parts. The new MacBook has got pretty new stuff inside, albeit a little on the slower side.
 

squirrrl

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2013
855
270
San Diego, CA
I won't forgive you for not using the Oxford comma in a subsequent sentences. Consistency my friend, consistency.


I could have put a 300Gb SSD into it for $150, bought another battery for $60 and fixed the fan for $10 but I'd still have a heavy boat anchor with a pretty lousy screen.
 

ProwlingTiger

macrumors 65816
Jan 15, 2008
1,329
218
You got caught on the wrong side of the 32-bit to 64-bit processor transition. This is probably the worst longevity you can get in OS X's history.

There's no similar major architectural shift anticipated in the near future, so I think anyone buying a Macbook today can expect at least 4 years of OS upgrades, and quite possibly more.
Ah that explains it then. Thanks!

Edit: My new understanding is that it is due to the graphics requirement of Mountain Lion.
 
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laudern

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2011
863
551
I've been thinking of buying a new Mac but just can't seem to justify getting rid of my 2009 macbook. Has 4gb ram and a 500gb hdd. I am sitting on mavericks as I felt Yosemite was too taxing. But really, Yosemite offers nothing new to a 09 macbook anyway.

I actually turned down buying a 2015 27" imac for $600. Although I'm still regretting that decision.
 

Mcdevidr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 27, 2013
607
145
$600 was it stolen or being basically given as a gift? In any case you should have gotten the iMac and then sold both machines and bought a new MacBook.
 

Wahlstrm

macrumors 6502a
Dec 4, 2013
681
551
How many future OSXs will it ru smoothly? We all know the latest OS is optimised for the most recent tech.
My 2007 MBP is on it´s 6th OS X.
Delivered with 10.5 and run Yosemite now..

But that was a high end machine when it was new.
The rMB is already 4-5 years behind the current high end..

If you apply that to my MBP and say I got it in 2012 then it would be running it´s 3rd? OS X and I'm quite sure it will be dropped or at least be useless with the next version..

So, expect 2 more and everything above is a bonus :)

Just to be fair so do Apple support old hardware too long in most cases so it might just as well be supported for another 5-6-7 years..
It might even run iOS11 by then ;)
 
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maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,699
33,587
Boston
Of all the Macs, I am concerned about how this (and to a less extent the MBAs) can hold their value. I don't mean value in terms of dollars but hold their value in being useful as apple rolls out each new version of OS X, and software demands faster processors and more storage.

This is probably why I typically over provision my computers - just in case something I will run needs more CPU/Storage etc. With the rMB and to an extent the MBP we're more or less locked in. Does that mean the computer will be less functional in the near future, no, it just means we're unable to upgrade it.

From the benchmarks i've seen lately, the performance of the rMB is good enough to satisfy many typical users. Its not meant to be used to compute the mass and size of the universe or unlock the genome of dinosaurs. With that in mind, I think the rMB can last several years.
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,976
424
My early-2008 Macbook received a grand total of 2 OS upgrades before it was held back at Mountain Lion. YMMV depending on machine. This one, I'd say it's good for 3-4 OS upgrades but who knows for certain?
Any machine capable of running Mountain Lion can run Yosemite. Every MacBook Pro from mid-2007 onwards can run Yosemite.
 

Axeros

macrumors member
Mar 11, 2014
44
13
How many future OSXs will it ru smoothly? We all know the latest OS is optimised for the most recent tech.
The base model rMB may struggle with future releases - it's not exactly high powered.

Another concern is the USB-C port - it's a single point of failure - and it's going to get a lot of use being both combined power and data. On top of that, there is no MagSafe connector, and in the real world, people trip up on and yank their power cords. They do. That's why MagSafe was invented. How tough the USB-C port will be , time will tell.
 
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