new non-retina MBP vs refurbished retina MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by takosan, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. takosan macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2009

    I've gotten as much as I can out of my circa 2006 poly-carbonate white MB. Parts (hardware) are dying so I need to bite the bullet soon.

    Due to my work I need lots of RAM & disk space but not necessarily the retina display (although I admit I like it). This is mainly for virtualization (have Fusion) and native OSX; virtualization for lab work.

    Although it is 3rd (?) gen i7 dual core, I was wondering if buying the non-retina i7 MBP, adding an OWC SSD, & also adding 16GB RAM (I read unofficially it supports 16GB) will net about the same performance at a slightly lower price than a 4th gen i7?

    Also how much longer will Apple support OSX upgrades on Macbook9,2 as it looks like these systems became available mid-2012.

    I use Windoze more often but see that I'm using OSX increasingly and using physically using Windoze, MB & Mac Mini in my home lab. If I can fit this home lab into a virtualized platform it'll be awesome & convenient.

    Thanx for any tips, thoughts, etc. Obviously budget is a reason but if I can wring out at least 3 years after purchase then I'll be happy before I may need to upgrade again.

  2. Natzoo macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Not sure where i am
    I rather you get the retina mbp because it seems like apple will discontinue the non retina mac. If budget is an issue you can go on macmall or other websites. But the non retina is good too, just make sure you don't overpay for a mac.
  3. cherishzm macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2011
    I strongly recommend getting a refurb or used retina MBP 15. And if your budget allows, get 16GB RAM and 512MB or higher GB flash storage. I used to "upgrade" every six months or so before I bought my 2012 rMBP 2.5 years ago and I'm still perfectly happy with it. No desire to upgrade so far.

    By the way, I bought mine through Craigslist as a used one and I got a great deal.
  4. Natzoo macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Not sure where i am
    Nice Bro!
  5. takosan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2009
    Natzoo & Cherishzm, thank you.

    Question: what does it mean when some stock in the Apple refurbished store has, under the price, "save $xxx.xx xx% off"? Off of the regular refurbished store price? If so how do they determine certain refurbished stock get further(?) discounts? Just curious because while on the fence I've been checking regularly and have seen some good stuff come & go ...

    Decisions, decisions, decisions ... yes, the possibility of macbook9,2 not supporting new OSX before the 3 year benchmark (for me) was one reason I am on the fence. That end the fact that RAM is soldered & storage may be a pain to upgrade (comparative to the older MBP).
  6. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    I'm sure the MacBook Pro 9,2 will still be supported by the latest OS X release past the three-year mark. However, I would recommend a 15" late 2013 rMBP refurb as well, since it seems like that would be ideal for your needs.
  7. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2010
    Well if you need/want to maximize your storage options the MBP 9,2 is attractive because you can swap the optical drive out for an SSD/HDD.

    Consider you can get 2 aftermarket 512GB SSDs for about $500 and 16GB of RAM for $200 and you will have a pretty stacked mobile lab for much less than you could get a refurbished rMBP with 1TB of storage that is easy to upgrade.

    On the flip side, the i7 in the 13" is only a dual core, not a quad like in the 15" models. So a 15" is going to have considerably more processing power. And if anyone gets around to finally cracking the PCI storage interface in the mid 2013 and newer Macs, upgrading storage may not be much of a hassle.
  8. takosan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2009
    I'm going to sleep on it over the weekend to see if I can swing the refurb'd rMBP.

    Thank you all for sharing your thoughts - appreciate them!

  9. arcite macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2009
    Cairo, trapped in a pyramid with my iphone
    Spare parts and upgrades are quite easy to find for the non-retina these days. No need to splurge on the retina, especially if you don't require the high resolution.
  10. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    If your priorities are storage and ram, the cmbp is the way to go.
    Still a strong computer!
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    If you're going to run VMs all the time, consider nothing less than a 15", because of the quad core and Iris Pro.

    The quad core i7 really helps in virtualization.

    PS use Parallels instead of VMware. Better graphics support and more raw computational power.
  12. blooperz macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2013
    It's worth paying more just for the screen're going to be looking at it everyday trust me you will notice the difference. Unless you're not into that sort of thing =p...also the SSD in the rmbp >>> anything you're going to get with the cMBP so factor in that cost if you plan on upgrading to an SSD yourself.
  13. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2013
    I really wouldn't buy the non-retina Pro if I were you. The main reason for this is that those machines are just a hang-around from 2012. It's literally, part-for-part, the same machine they've been selling since June 2012 (so it's 2,5 years old) and they're only keeping to silence the people who would complain if they stopped selling machines with optical drives completely.

    With the 13" rMBP you're getting a faster CPU, GPU and an SSD which is miles ahead of any mechanical drive, not to mention the screen. Just the jump in CPU, GPU and inclusion of an SSD is in my opinion more than enough reason to buy an rMBP over a non-retina MBP.
  14. meson macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2014
    The non-retina machine is still quite nice. If you aren't shopping for specs, it's still a great buy. Keep in mind that the i7 in these machines is still a dual core processor, so it is up to you whether the extra price is worth a few percent performance boost. To me it wasn't, but if it is to you, I would be digging around for good prices on older 15" machines.

    As far as Apple continuing to support the non-retina machine, I don't see it becoming unsupported for quite a while. It has the current generation of Bluetooth and USB3. Things you are giving up with the non-retina machine are Thunderbolt 2 (but other than dongles most TB accessories are out of my price range) and ac wireless, though I don't see n wireless that the non-retina is equipped with becoming a hardware limitation any time soon.

    On a tight budget, I went with a base non-retina, and swapped the hdd for an ssd and added a bit of ram as the budget allowed. It is everything I wanted at a price that was within reason.

    In regard to the refurb discount listing, the price difference is compared to retail.
  15. AroundTheFur922 macrumors member


    Jan 30, 2013
    I found myself in a similar dilemma recently and opted for a used early 2013 15" rMPB. If you scour around a bit on Amazon you can find a pretty nicely spec'd model for around $1500 (quad - core i7, GT 650m, 16GB RAM).

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14 January 21, 2015