Non-retina MBP or not for university?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by BertieWooster96, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. BertieWooster96 macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2015
    Hi all, going to university this September and looking to upgrade my current MBP with a failing battery and generally very sluggish.
    • 13" mid-2010 | 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo | 4GB memory | SATA 250GB (not enough)
    With an Apple education discount I can get a non-retina MBP 13" with 2.9GHz i7, 8GB memory and 1TB SATA for £979.20. I'm not fussed about retina display. I am also looking to possibly be able to run Windows on such a machine as well, but not a priority.

    Is such a model worth it, or should I be looking at an MBA for example with an SSD?
    (First time buying my own laptop so a bit of a noob; anything over £1,200 is out of my price range really, and no iMac due to wanting to take it to lectures etc.)
  2. Jazzman 76 macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2016
    --- Post Merged, Jun 5, 2016 ---

    I have the same Macbook Pro. What I did some time ago was to upgrade the ram to 8gb from Crucial and the HDD to the Samsung Evo 850. Whilst my SSD is the same capacity as your current spec; the Samsung Evo 500gb on Amazon UK is at present somewhere between £106 - £123. Those prices have come down a lot over recent months. My Mac is now almost a quick as when I first purchased it back in 2010.

    Hope this helps.
  3. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    Buy what your budget can afford. Retina or not makes no difference to the quality of your education. Even your 2010 MacBook Pro will serve you for a few more years if you replace the hard drive with an SSD and max the memory. Those two things might cost you about $300.
  4. redheeler macrumors 603


    Oct 17, 2014
    Simply put a larger SSD + more RAM in your current 2010 MBP, it should perk up nicely. The non-Retina is overpriced for what it is at this point, and you're still stuck with a slow 5400 RPM HDD.
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Yeah, a SSD is a must have. Huge boost in performance. Hard to say whether a newer MBP processor would speed up tasks you do without knowing more, but the non retina macs in general aren't very good value.
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Yeah up the ram to 8gb and stick an SSD in your current MacBook Pro and it'll be about as good as a 2012 for basic use at a cost of about $250 and feel far faster due to the SSD.
  7. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Don't buy a computer for college until you talk to your department head. They can tell you what type of software you'll be expected to run, what type of computer they recommend for their students (if any), and whether there are any deals on hardware or software available to students. ALWAYS talk to the department before you buy, unless you KNOW for sure what their expectations are.
  8. BertieWooster96, Jun 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016

    BertieWooster96 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2015
    Thanks for the input everyone.
    I am looking at getting the retina 13" with SSD 512GB for around £1,200, or taking my current to a local authorised Apple reseller who would do the work for me with parts and costs coming to about £400 including a new battery (I daren't touch it myself as a n00b).

    They've recommended these:
  9. robo456 macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2008
    New Jersey
    Of course something new and shiny is always nice, but I'm with Jazz...

    I have a 2009 White Macbook that I upgraded the ram (i think mine might have maxed at 4gb, can't remember tbh) and a samsung evo ssd as well. It's been living in my closet since i bought my 2013 iMac, but when I used it for my "main" machine, it performed pretty well. I had Office 2011 for Mac, VMWare Fusion running WindowsXP (yes, that was a bit slow) and Garageband. I also had bootcamp set up with Windows XP to run my Celestron telescope software.

    No matter what you decide, I'd heavily recommend waiting until WWDC. While you might not need/want the latest and greatest, but hopefully you'll see an influx of units on Apple's refurb store. (or if you're adventurous, craigslist or ebay)

  10. BA Baracus macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Good luck at University - my contribution:

    1) The non-retina MBP while competent is vastly over priced for what it is. Internal specs are a number of years old and not what you should spend money on. I see you upgraded the processor, RAM and hard drive - this is all money down the drain which you won't see again and may/will not give you a noticeable performance increase. My concern is that you will look for this machine to last a good number of years and I fear the resale value in the medium term may be cr@p.

    2) How about buying the base retina MBP for £859 from Apple direct - this is educational pricing and includes three year warranty. Miles better than the non-retina one you want to spend hard earned on. SSD, 8GB RAM, better screen, better processor...

    Either way - wait until WWDC for any laptop announcements.

    I would personally avoid the non-retina one at all costs, it is bad value for money - should be priced £300 cheaper than it currently is.
  11. rjmnz macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2016
    I'm typing this on exactly the same machine but I've maxed the ram to 16GB and have a SSD forming a home-brew fusion drive. As computer performance is largely IO bound and ram limited unfortunately (for my new laptop plans) this old machine is as fast as most new laptops with one large exception. The latest machines are much faster on graphics heavy applications and can drive larger external monitors.
  12. Fancuku macrumors 6502a


    Oct 8, 2015
    PA, USA
    There you go, you figured it on your own. That is what I would do too.
    No one should give Apple £1000 for 4 year old hrdware.

Share This Page