Potential Mac Convert

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Wolf39us, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. Wolf39us macrumors newbie

    Wolf39us

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    #1
    So I'm here to get some buying advice from you guys.

    Background: I've always been a techie Windows user... My knowledge extends as far back as win 3.1 all the way up to today. I've built tons of computers both professionally and as a hobby. I also really love messing with Linux.

    On the other hand of the spectrum, I love my iPhone and iPad. For years I've always concluded that there's nothing in Mac OS for me and I have no need for an all in one computer (I build). I've attempted setting up a hackintosh... And while I did get it working, it just doesn't work all that well... Weird things happen.

    What I do need at this point however is a laptop.

    The Mac laptops are uber sexy and I figured this would be a good chance for me to expand my knowledge to Mac OS.

    I do not plan on gaming, but I do plan on video production (some YouTube stuff) and possibly some photo editing. I know that 4GB just won't cut it, 8gb might... But I'm just not sure how memory efficient a MacBook is compared to Windows. I've always just jammed as much memory into my machines as needed.

    Right now I'm looking at the MacBook Pro as my first machine... I plan on either VMing Windows or dual booting... So I'll need a 256gb minimum (I assume)

    What recommendations do you all have for my first MAC PC?
    --- Post Merged, Mar 10, 2016 ---
    I forgot to mention that I also plan on hooking up the device to my Dell Ultrasharp 34" part of the time. I want to make sure that it can support the 21:9 1440p resolution via TB.
     
  2. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #2
    The MacBookPro (I assume the 13" variant) is probably a good choice.
    As with (almost) all UltraBooks (regardless of vendor), it cannot be upgraded. Everything is soldered.
    So, if you have the funds, go for the 16GB version.
    Even the MacMini (which is now I think two GPU generations behind) can run 2x3440x1440.
    So, external displays are really the least of your worries IMO.
     
  3. Wolf39us thread starter macrumors newbie

    Wolf39us

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    #3
    I assume that the MacBook Pro will display that resolution at a full 60Hz?
     
  4. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #4
    For video and the external monitor you're going to want the 15" with the dGPU. I think you will find the 256gb drive to be small if you capture a lot of video files. I recently got a GoPro and was amazed at the amount of disk space the videos took. Running Windows on a VM or Bootcamp will also take up a good amount of space depending on what you run under Windows. My minimal Windows VMs run about 40gb each (XP and 7).
     
  5. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #5

    Yes.
    Even the 13" can power a 4K display.
    MacTracker says: "Up to 3840 by 2160 pixels on up to two external displays"
    I'm not sure if you can still have the internal display at full resolution then.

    I'm not sure if you really need a dGPU. Admittedly, I don't do video. From what I've read, for 4k video you probably need it, and if you apply a lot of effects.
    Should probably ask that over at the MBP forum.
    That said, the 15" (with and without dGPU) is an absolutely great laptop.
    The good thing is that even the "basic" version comes with 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD.

    As for storage...
    All storage fills up over time. Of course, if you've got the money, splurge on that 1TB SSD.
    But ask yourself: how large is my essential, "hot" working data set.
    The stuff you really always want (like mail, photos, documents). That plus what the OS uses.

    I just did a count and I've used 50G for stuff that isn't my files. That may be a bit excessive - you should be able to pair that down.

    Keep in mind that you can stick any SATA3 SSD (or HD) in an external case and attach it to one of the Thunderbolt ports (unless you use two displays). I would suggest moving almost all downloads etc. on such a medium.
     
  6. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #6
    To address the RAM question... Apple started using RAM compression in OS X, starting with OS X 10.9.x - in general, you will get more "bang" from your RAM in OS X than Windows. I've been running an iMac with 16 GB RAM for several years now (Adobe InDesign + Safari with 30+ tabs + multiple Numbers spreadsheets + multiple Pages documents + Photos + Aperture...). Based on what I see in Activity Monitor, 90% of the time I'd probably be fine with 8 GB - the thing never breaks a sweat, nearly never swaps to disk (when it does, it's after a month or more of up time).
     
  7. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #7
    Exactly my experience. Only time I need my 16gb is when running Windows in Parallels. With just Mac apps I would be fine with 8. However, if I was buying a new MBP I would opt for 16 just to be sure I was covered for future needs since I tend to keep computers for some time.
     
  8. Wolf39us thread starter macrumors newbie

    Wolf39us

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    #8
    Indeed, and thank you for your response.
    Just got approved for a line increase on my Best Buy card and I've got a 10% off coupon sitting in my email ready to go. I'm not a huge fan of these premium prices... and my BIGGEST gripe is the insane increase in cost when going from 8 to 16gb or 256gb SSD to 512gb.

    These cost increases aren't even close to the reality on sites like Newegg or Tiger... Like, not even close.
     
  9. Wolf39us thread starter macrumors newbie

    Wolf39us

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    #9
    I'm thinking though... I don't NEED a laptop right this second. Wouldn't it be best for me to wait for the Skylake laptops?
     
  10. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #10
    Delaying may get you a superior experience (to today's model), but it delays the start of your superior experience (using OS X as part of the ecosystem).

    Speaking as someone whose experience goes back prior to Win 3.1... There's no right answer. Sometimes I've delayed, sometimes I need something right now. However, once I buy, I do my best to never look back. There will always be a new model with better specs. Under most circumstances, waiting six months for the next processor has not delivered the kind of change that would extend the expected lifespan of the equipment - if the current model would become outmoded in four years, it's likely the next model would become outmoded in four years as well - often the processor changes, but little else does. (It's been different in iOS, where evolutionary change comes at a more rapid pace.)
     
  11. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #11
    Waiting for Skylake chipsets gets you....Skylake chipsets.
    Performance gains will be minimal and barely noticeable (if at all) during daily use.
    You could end-up with a longer overall on-battery running time.
    On the integrated GPU side, I think the next generation Iris GPU should be able to drive an external 5K display.
    But if you can wait longer, just wait.
    There are no negative health effects from not owning a certain Apple product six months sooner ;-)
     
  12. Wolf39us thread starter macrumors newbie

    Wolf39us

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    #12

    Is there any reason to believe that, by waiting, I would get for instance... More storage for than the previous model, or more memory for the equivalent price?

    Maybe the 256gb will be the base model instead?
     
  13. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #13
    Maybe - maybe not. Personally, I would give that a probability of less than 1%.
    You're not losing anything by waiting. But you're also gaining less than you may think.
     
  14. blwest78 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
    #14
    Best advice anyone will ever give you: Don't buy on credit - especially when you said you don't NEED a laptop now. If you insist on buying a mac on credit, at least wait until the announcements on the 21st to make a poor financial decision slightly less poor.
     
  15. Wolf39us thread starter macrumors newbie

    Wolf39us

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    #15
    12 month financing at 0%

    I live at Best Buy :)

    Anyways, I got the Mac Pro. I like it... But I'm still thinking that I really don't need it. For the $1,300 I paid for this thing, I could definitely buy plenty of other things that I will find more useful for me.

    Virtually everything that I want to do with this, I can achieve on my iPad (with the exception of some apps of course).

    Not a big deal, just wanted to share.

    I'll most likely be bringing this computer back.

    On a positive note, I did manage to create a USB for PC installation that actually worked. There's a few quirks with this method, but it will run apps just fine!
     
  16. blwest78 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
    #16
    Still on credit. You must not use a computer for much if the MacBook Pro does little more than an iPad. Save your money and buy something cool like a motorcycle that will let you get out and see the world!
     
  17. Wolf39us thread starter macrumors newbie

    Wolf39us

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    #17
    Credit backed with plenty in the bank account... thanks for your financial advice but I can buy this thing about 10 times over with cash at this moment, I use credit as a means to keep my score up (which has gone up over 200 points in the last 5 years).

    I use my computer(s) for plenty of things. I just have no need for a mobile device that does the things that I achieve perfectly fine on my main desktop. Everything I do mobile requires little more than an iPad, for everything else, there's my desktop.

    My file server achieves file management
    My HTPC gives me my media front end
    Desktop 1 achieves video production and gaming
    Desktop 2 is just there cause I can :)
    And then I have my iPad and iPhone and Apple TV.

    PS: I also have a motorcycle.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 13, 2016 ---
    All of that being said, the Mac Pro was definitely a nice laptop. If I ever need a laptop in the future, I would definitely consider one.
     

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