Not looking for a fight, just a genuine question.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CindysD, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. CindysD macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2015
    So this is my situation.

    I'm looking for more portability.
    My Windows 7 desktop from 2011 is BLAZING fast and still great, but it's not portable.

    So I'm looking into laptops, I CANNOT stand Windows tiles/Metro, etc, so that includes 8, 8.1 and now possibly 10 (which is integrated) whatever, it just sucks.

    I was considering an older Macbook Pro because you can repair, fix, upgrade, etc, etc. Not a bad deal.
    I don't care for Retina, I really don't, it's a bit of a gimmick and Apple could have easily have released it ears ago, but there a business right.
    It's not to say I'll rule it out either, since it seems to be the new standard.

    So my concern is, with all these parts that are soldered down, not upgradeable, etc (although Other World Computing is doing something about it - pricey though), what if something happens to the computer after a year, beyond the original manufacturers warranty, how expensive of a fix are these things? I understand it depends on the problem, but say a battery is messed, or RAM needs replacement.

    Also the bigger concern for me is (with the Retina let's say), is the intergrated GPU really that capable of editing videos and pictures?
    Because I think the price is quite high than I'd like, I mean it's just integrated.

    If this comes off as bashing, it truly isn't.
    I'm just being up front about how I feel about spending this much on an entry level MBP or RMBP if it's integrated video.
    I love Unix OS, I love the touchpad and gesture control, I'm not a music guy, don't care for iTunes or apps in general.

    But I just need something portable and Windows 8.1 or 10, no thanks.

    Thanks in advance for any explanation and experiences about the intergrated GPU. It's the one thing holding me back.
  2. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    If you're concerned about this I would recommend you get Applecare, It'll extend the manufacturer warranty to 3 years.
  3. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816


    Apr 12, 2007
    What will you use your Mac for? I do a lot of video editing and for me even the Iris on the 13" is fine. I do gaming on my Ps4 and Steam machine so I don't need high end graphics in my Mac personally.
  4. CindysD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2015
    I'll be using it mainly for home edits of about 10 videos I have, each 45 mins in length.
    No crazy epics filming, just some of my dog that I lost and would like to make something of all the videos now.
    Lots of photo editing of course.

    Applecare will definitely be looked into and I'll have to read the fine print as I've read horror stories by some.

    Of course, the battery is not covered which is a shame.
    What if something happens in the first year, I have to buy another battery because it's a "consumable"? Doesn't seem right nor fair. :(
  5. plastictoy macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2014
    Fewer portable laptops are user-upgradeable now. For one, if you think about sticks of RAM, the physical component takes a lot of space with the clips. Solder the individual chips on the main board instead and the depth is reduced by perhaps two-thirds because gone are the green PCB and backside. I digress.

    For your needs, a Macbook Air can run through iMovie just fine. I do it on my basic 2012 Air with the only upgrade being 8GB memory. Integrated graphics is fine because most of the time, it's simply displaying static images and I doubt you're working with large raw 4K or 5K files. It'll drive the pixels just fine. Photo editing is also not a big concern--I used to run Lightroom on a gigabyte of RAM and single-core and it worked fine. Know what you need because casual JPEGs or RAWs don't need much but a much larger file from a flagship full-frame camera will probably need a lot more processing power to fly through a workflow.

    I personally wouldn't buy the 15" Pro unless it came with a discrete card and under $2000. Mostly a price point issue that I feel does not pay off in performance. But the 13" is a pretty good deal comparatively if you value Apple's industrial design and OSX. The Air is still good but the rMBP gives you more when you push it for longer periods of time encoding and editing.

    Edit: Batteries are consumable because some people abuse them and it'd be expensive for everyone to go in before the year ends for a new pack. If it's defective, they will usually replace it if you are out of warranty or have AppleCare. But if anything, a non-defective one should last a few years and then $1XX to swap out for a fresh pack isn't too bad. Would cost around the same to buy decent third-party yet you have no idea if those will work as claimed.
  6. afhstingray macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2015
    batteries on macs last a lot longer, both runtime and lifespan than windows machines due to the way apple designs them. they're rated for 1,000 cycles (about 3-4 years use) before reaching 80% capacity. I wouldnt worry about it. On the other hand my dell precisions and thinkpad only lasted about 300+ cycles before being practically useless (the thinkpad being better than the dell).

    you wont notice any difference in video editing because of the integrated GPU, which actually is pretty powerful. About the same power as upper mid range dedicated laptop GPU's from 2011.


    my friend did some careful tracking of his macbook battery over 2 years, and it seems to support apple's claim
  7. BoneDaddy, Feb 10, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015

    BoneDaddy Suspended


    Jan 8, 2015
    I'm going to respond to this in paragraphs that will correlate to each paragraph you wrote. First, I'm also not trying to pick a fight, but I'd be surprised if you left the house. All of this speculation and baseless worry is going to have you not wanting to go anywhere, or buy anything.

    Older Macbook Pros aren't bad at all, especially for what you say you want to do. You can put Unix AND Windows on it too. I still have my 2010 pro and it does a lot of what I need to do musically. I've seen really good condition 2012's go for 6/700. My colleague uses a 2011 2.8ghz i7 with an SSD and 16gb RAM. He loves it.

    Don't be so quick to make declarations if you don't fully understand them. Retina isn't a gimmick. One perfect example is Logic Pro X has to be downsized to use on a non retina Macbook. That requires losing some window room, so some options are concealed. It's a Mac native program, but it's not the only one that is better on a retina screen. What year do you think Apple could have released it, and if it's such a gimmick, why does it matter that they didn't?

    Applecare is a great investment. Usually if something dies in less than a year, it's user error and Apple won't cover it anyway. You may get an older Macbook and have less time with it, or pay for a new one with Applecare and have at least 3 years. It could all end up coming out to the same cost in the end. This is why all of the hypothetical stuff makes decision making harder. It's best to figure out your uses, budget, and get whats best for you. You're not going to NOT get a car or house just because you will have to maintain and fix it, right? Some cars have terrible reputations but most are just fine. Every product on the market will always have it's horror stories and you will always hear those the most, because people usually speak on their displeasures than things that they are very happy with. Cost and sales records are very telling. Apple computers aren't up their with some of the higher priced computers for nothing, and their not one of the richest companies in the world just because a majority of the world's population is stupid. The last part is arguable...;)

    The gpu concern is really a relative one. If you don't like what Apple offers at cost, look into something else. The Iris graphics are way more capable than you think. ESPECIALLY for what you'll be doing. Relative to the Mac Pro, it's cute. Relative to older Macbooks, it's sexy. I'm sure you can find a laptop with far better graphics but most of the time you will sacrifice quality, amongst other things. This is why it really depends on what's important to YOU. I don't play games. I make music. Most PCs are child's play in the realm of work, programs, and software integration.

    I understand your being up front but you need to understand that when you seem to not know much about something and go off of what you heard from, a lot of the time, unreliable sources, it comes off as being whiney and negative for no good reason. It looks like you just got off of an "I HATE MAC EVEN THOUGH I NEVER USED ONE AND MY UNCLE'S DOG'S MOM'S COUSIN'S DAD'S PET MOUSE TOLD ME THAT HIS FRIEND'S MOTHER'S CO WORKER HAS A MAC AND HATES IT", thread.

    Good luck in your hunt and I really hope you are satisfied. I'd poop myself if you weren't.
  8. CindysD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2015
    Okay, so if I were to get a Retina based version.

    Would 4G be sufficient or should I as I've read here and other sites "future proof" myself with 8G?

    Then the drive size doesn't seem like much, 256 is okay, 512 is great, but vastly more expensive although I could handle the budget hit.

    BondeDaddy, I don't hate Macs at all, but in reading comments mostly, a lot of nay sayers say it's pricey to pay for a system which is all soldered, you can't upgrade, etc.
    But in my opinion, I love the operating system the fluidity of it, the touchpad/gestures are big for me.
    It's not much about the aesthetics to be honest, it's function for me.

    Like I said, I didn't want to seem like I'm starting a fight, so I hope nobody takes it that way.
  9. afhstingray macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2015
    8GB is really the new minimum standard. For myself, because when we travel the wife uses the computer as well (2 user accounts), i went with 16GB. Especially since on my windows machine i kept running out of memory with 8GB.....depending on how long you're planning to keep the computer....i'd go with 16GB since you cant upgrade the ram later.

    but for your use case, 8gb should be enough.
  10. yjchua95, Feb 10, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015

    yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    4GB can actually do quite a lot with an SSD, but 8GB would be far better for the peace of mind.

    4GB 13" rMBP (late-2013) review:

    Besides, all new rMBPs have at least 8GB of RAM as standard. 15" models have 16GB as standard.
  11. steveyo macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2015
    Have you looked into a business grade laptop like the Lenovo Thinkpad T440s or the Dell Precision M3800?
  12. BoneDaddy Suspended


    Jan 8, 2015
    Yea, I loved that I could buy a Mac and upgrade all my stuff later. It's not only better on the wallet, but is fun to do.

    I'd go for 16gb. If you intend on having it for 4 or less years, 8gb will do. My wife still does photo editing on the 2008 unibody with 4gb RAM. It's time for her to get a new one, but it works.

    But definitely if you can take the financial hit, 16 in my opinion. It's not too much more than a 16gb upgrade later. Ballpark, you get 8gb now and upgrade later (if you could); 170 or so and IF you were to sell the 8gb after replacing with 16 you can make 50 back. The apple upgrade is 200. The now factor is worth the 50-70 dollars in my book.

    One GREAT thing about the drive is that if you do decide to go with 256, companies are coming out with the same in SD memory that fits flush into the SD slot. So you can kinda upgrade that later. I went with 1tb. Music libraries are huge and I need portable but hate to worry about externals. If my wife gets a Macbook Pro, instead of an iMac, 512 is mandatory. For an iMac or Mac Pro, it's going to sit there anyway, so external memory is ok with me.
  13. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Go retina

    The cost of the classic MBP is just not worth it for 3 year old tech.

    The retina screen is no gimmick, it is brilliant for photos and text reads amazing almost like printed text, the anti-glare is also not bad on the retina and the viewing angles are great too. Mainly it is something that creeps up on you. Initially you won't really notice but go back to another panel without it and suddenly it looks terrible.

    I'd go with 8gb if you can but with your use case 4gb is fine and won't give you any problems.

    Drive size can be an issue but if you buy refurbished you can usually get a good size at a decent price. Also how much space do you actually use?? If you currently have 500gb and use 100gb then 256 will be fine I should think.

    Speaking of refurbished they are a good deal with the same warranties and applecare options as new. The only difference you'll find is that the box is plain.

    Lastly graphics cards the integrated graphics in the rMBP are the best that intel have ever made by a long way, fine for movie editing (as long as it's not huge 4K files) photo editing is fine on HD3000 so thats no issue on any modern laptop. I use mine for some casual gaming with no issues at all, it's run the likes of knights of the old republic smoothly and silently.

    All in all in my opinion the rMBP 13 inch is the best all round small light laptop you can buy. It is very portable, the screen is great, the technology is all the highest quality, the battery life is great and the batteries last years (my old 2010 still gets 4 or so hours on the original battery, my retina still gets 8 or so hours after a year), AC Wifi, USB 3, Thunderbolt 2, full HDMI.
  14. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Apple's guideline is 80% after 1000 cycles so to do 1000 cycles in a year that would be over 3 cycles each and every day, thats 3x full discharge and recharge. Unless you don't sleep and have a really strange access pattern to mains you wouldn't do that. If you hit 80% in the typical 250 cycles in a year Apple would replace it under warranty I'm sure.
  15. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Many sellers offer 3-5 years extended warranty for your laptop. And I assume that you'd want to replace your computer after that time anyway. So repairability was never really an issue as far as I am concerned.

    Of course, if you want to keep the computer alive as long as possible and need to operate it in harsh conditions and far away from a service center, Apple is the last brand that I would look at.
  16. afhstingray macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2015
    yeah, thinkpads and dell latitude/precisions with the global next business day onsite are awesome. they also have a premium 4 hour response time warranty but that really breaks the bank $$$$

    its a pity apple dosent have onsite service, but the service centre is near where i live. problem is i have a BTO unit, so usually i need to wait a week for it to get replaced. thats why i still keep a second computer as a backup as i cant be without one even for a work=no pay :(
  17. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    It's certainly not a gimmick. What a strange comment.
  18. CindysD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2015
    Well, it seems only 8Gs are available through their clearance site.
    No 16Gs in site. Is that something I could ask them to upgrade or is that on new products only?
    I think I could live with a 256 SSD, since it'll mostly be storage stuff really.
    Don't plan on installing many programs at all.

    The 2 in question.

    Thank for all your input and help, greatly appreciated.
  19. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    They're both exactly identical to each other (both have the exact same specs of 2.6/8/256 and a price of $1359 Canadian dollars.

    And you don't need 16GB given your needs.
  20. CindysD, Feb 10, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015

    CindysD thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2015
    When would one need 16G then?
    Just to satisfy my hunger for knowing.
    Thank you.

    The other question I initially forgot as well the speeds of the processors themselves.
    You'll have 2.6 top to 3.1bus

    Are they REALLY that different and noticeable?
  21. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Nope, the difference is almost zilch in real world usage.

    16GB of RAM is normally used by people who deal with running 3-4 virtual machines at the same time, or do serious video editing.

    As a full-time software dev and cinematographer, I do both of the above. Even most of the 64GB RAM in my trashcan Mac Pros can somehow be used up by my 4K cinematography segments.
  22. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    Avoid the 2011 15"/17" at all costs, there's widespread issues with the AMD graphics chip in them. The 2012 with the nVidia graphics is fine.
  23. afhstingray macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2015
    honestly a macbook air with 8gb of ram would be enough for your needs. especially since you dont think you'd appreciate the retina display.

    faster processor dosent mean things get done faster. unless you find you're using 80-100% of your processor all the time. the same way a ferrari wont get you to your destination faster than a volkswagen beetle if you're in a city traffic jam.
  24. Merode macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2013
    Warszawa, Poland

    I'm sorry, I haven't read whole thread - I just stopped here. I hope I'm not repeating after somebody.

    I'm editing a lot of videos on my retina MBP from Late 2013 (2,4/8/256) with Intel HD5100 (Iris).

    It's not really GPU issue I guess, but iMovie is terrible at longer projects. I have been working on 2 hours long project recently and it was stuttering soooo much when scrolling timeline while doing nothing (import was finished) and basically any other task. I had to split project into smaller ones (20-30 minutes each) and it worked much better then.

    Why is it not GPU issue? I have tried FCP X trial for one month and it didn't break sweat working on 2 hours long clip. It was so smooth I was really thinking about buying it. Unfortunately it's a bit too high price just for my vacations/holiday edits etc.

    It's too bad iMovie is crippled in that way. Just makes me sad.
  25. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    FWIW, defects in the battery are covered under the first-year warranty (and up to three years, if you have AppleCare).

    Now, if down the road you need to replace your battery simply because it's worn out from normal usage, you have to pay for that. It costs $199, and since the keyboard/battery/fan ducts/microphone are all glued together in one piece, you get a new piece that has all of those components in it. Source

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