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ChrisBos

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 14, 2020
111
152
My 2015 13” rMBP is starting to show its age, and I’ve been thinking about upgrading since perma-WFH began. I could also really benefit from sidecar both at home, and when I’m able to work on the move again. But with Apple at such a weird crossroads right now, it’s a tough call to make.

The i5 MBA would be perfect, if not for thermals being an issue for some of my uses. (I’m convinced this device is a class action suit waiting to happen).

I initially wrote off the 8th gen MBP due to “old tech” and had justified a 10th gen MBP as another 5+ year machine...but also played it smart and waited to see what happened with ARM. And that timeline makes the 10th gen seem like a bad move; it’s overkill for what I need right now, and I think its longevity will be cut short.

In a perfect world, I’d wait for ARM devices to drop...but I’m not going anywhere near a first gen device. So I’m realistically 3 years away from one at the least. Even if I push my current machine another year, that that just puts me on a crash course with ARM gen 1.

So this brings me back to the 8th gen MBP 13. Does anyone who wrote this off at release think it may actually be the best stopgap solution in Apple’s lineup for visual prosumer or casual gaming types? Or is there a consensus that it’s just a bad buy?

(For context, I’m looking at the 512 GB model, and as I mentioned before, the i5 MBA would’ve been my go to if it could handle graphics better).
 

dagmar10

macrumors newbie
Sep 8, 2019
18
11
This is the situation I'm at also -- deciding if I should get a 2020 MBP base model. However, I don't want to get it if the resale value is just going to tank in 2 to 3 years time when MB ARMs are ready to go. I need to know that these machines will keep their usual resale value before I even think about pulling the trigger on a brand new laptop.

As of now, I have just resigned to putting the least amount of money on the table and shopping for a cheap MB Air from 2015. That way when the ARM MBs are more stable I can just sell it off and get a brand new machine w/out worrying about losing a chunk of money from the initial purchase.
 
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AceFernalld

macrumors demi-god
Mar 3, 2008
2,777
3,467
Massachusetts
What specifically are you afraid of regarding the upcoming ARM 13.3" MBPs?

Is it macOS on ARM? Well they've presumably been testing it for a while, and subsequent software updates will continually make it more stable. Big Sur Beta 1 is pretty stable on my Intel MBP, and I'm sure they've put even more focus into the ARM variant.

Is it the Apple Silicon? Apple has been making their own processors for a decade. They're going to be adding more cores, shrinking the die size, and likely increasing the clock speed with the greater thermal headroom. In that regard almost every generation of iPhone and iPad is a 'first-gen' product that you should apparently be wary of, since those processors are new every year.

Anyway, if you're dead-set on an Intel 13" MBP and are a 'visual prosumer and casual gamer' I'd recommend opting for the 10th-gen with its significantly upgraded iGPU. IMHO you are avoiding what is going to be a vastly superior product by intentionally opting for Intel.
 
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jgorman

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2019
186
105
My 2015 13” rMBP is starting to show its age, and I’ve been thinking about upgrading since perma-WFH began. I could also really benefit from sidecar both at home, and when I’m able to work on the move again. But with Apple at such a weird crossroads right now, it’s a tough call to make.

The i5 MBA would be perfect, if not for thermals being an issue for some of my uses. (I’m convinced this device is a class action suit waiting to happen).

I initially wrote off the 8th gen MBP due to “old tech” and had justified a 10th gen MBP as another 5+ year machine...but also played it smart and waited to see what happened with ARM. And that timeline makes the 10th gen seem like a bad move; it’s overkill for what I need right now, and I think its longevity will be cut short.

In a perfect world, I’d wait for ARM devices to drop...but I’m not going anywhere near a first gen device. So I’m realistically 3 years away from one at the least. Even if I push my current machine another year, that that just puts me on a crash course with ARM gen 1.

So this brings me back to the 8th gen MBP 13. Does anyone who wrote this off at release think it may actually be the best stopgap solution in Apple’s lineup for visual prosumer or casual gaming types? Or is there a consensus that it’s just a bad buy?

(For context, I’m looking at the 512 GB model, and as I mentioned before, the i5 MBA would’ve been my go to if it could handle graphics better).

You are smart to look at the 8th-gen 2020 MBP 13. I has a great balance of power, good thermals and portability. It actually stays cooler and quieter under load than the other models you mentioned. Normally, I think it is a good buy.

Like you said though, the ARM devices are coming at the end of the year. A rumored first device is a 13-inch MBP. When that releases, the rumor says Apple will discontinue the Intel 13-inch MBP.

It is a tough decision. This is one of the reasons why I think Apple wants to make this transition as fast as humanly possible. If your 2015's battery is degraded, maybe paying Apple $199 to get a new one is an option. If you can keep using your 2015 model, I would wait and see some good reviews of the devices coming at the end of the year. You can always buy the 8th-gen MBP 13 then, maybe at a discount. Any model you buy today will have an unknown amount of support and will be harder to resell as Apple's line-up becomes all ARM devices.
 
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Tankmaze

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2012
1,689
324
I'm suggesting, wait until the end of the year. Rumored there will be 13" MBP with Apple Silicon, I'm guessing it will be available before the holidays so you could read on benchmarks, performance, battery life, etc.

And if you don't want to use 1st gen Apple Silicon device until then, just buy the 8th gen 13" MBP which I assume will drop significantly.
 
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ChrisBos

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 14, 2020
111
152
What specifically are you afraid of regarding the upcoming ARM 13.3" MBPs?

Is it macOS on ARM? Well they've presumably been testing it for a while, and subsequent software updates will continually make it more stable. Big Sur Beta 1 is pretty stable on my Intel MBP, and I'm sure they've put even more focus into the ARM variant.

Is it the Apple Silicon? Apple has been making their own processors for a decade. They're going to be adding more cores, shrinking the die size, and likely increasing the clock speed with the greater thermal headroom. In that regard almost every generation of iPhone and iPad is a 'first-gen' product that you should apparently be wary of, since those processors are new every year.

It’s not that I’m afraid of ARM—I’m actually very excited for it and am looking forward to the benefits for years to come. But as first gen goes, I have the same concerns many do about software comparability, potential bugs, and general growing pains.

And let’s be honest—there’s enough historical backing to support not buying the first gen of an Apple product. I’ve have my own experience with iPhone, iPad and Watch, and would even argue that AirPods Pro are iffy considering how glitchy they are and that Apple has significantly reduced ANC since release. Even first gen features in existing products have a bad track record–iPhone 3g plastic back casing had a major issue with cracking above the charging port that wasn’t as prevalent with 3GS, iPhone 4’s Metal chassis/antenna issues, and of course, the butterfly keyboard are a few examples spanning a long period of time.

I’m sure Apple worked hard on all of these things too, and maybe even got them right in testing. But they also know people will gladly pay a premium to beta test, have hype beast status, and make emotional purchases. They have no problem with the “we’ll fix it in editing” mindset.

And we’re talking brand new hardware + a brand new OS on a different level than the latest mobile device chip + iOS. I think the first wave will be a dice roll, and maybe the skeptics will all be wrong wrong. But an Intel machine as a 3-4 year device makes more sense to me right now. I also don’t think resale will be as bad as some make it out to be.
 
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newbie94114

macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2020
6
3
I tried out the 8th gen vs. 10th gen MBP. Ultimately I opted for the 10th gen MBP because of the thermals on the 8th gen. Fans would constantly come on full blast whenever I was in a Zoom video meeting (even without sharing a screen), and I noticed the SSD temperature sensor on iStat consistently showed 52+ºC when using in clamshell mode attached to an external monitor. (Even when not in clamshell mode, iStat showed SSD temps on the 8th gen MBP in the mid/upper 40s.) So I became worried about longevity for the hard drive.

The fans on the 10th gen MBP rarely kick into high gear for me (even with Zoom and heavy multitasking), and the SSD temperature on iStat consistently shows mid-30s, even in clamshell mode (I think the single fan on the 8th gen MBP must be far from the SSD).

With BBY regularly knocking $200 off the base 10th gen MBP (to $1600 from $1800), including this weekend, the price difference is pretty negligible, esp. once you factor in more and faster RAM on the ready-to-buy retail 10th gen models.

I also worry about obsolescence with the switch to ARM-based Macs, but as someone else said on a different forum on here, the best approach is to buy for your needs today. In my case, with working from home and lots of Zoom meetings, that's the 10th gen MBP.
 
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jerryk

Contributor
Nov 3, 2011
6,743
3,660
SF Bay Area
I tried out the 8th gen vs. 10th gen MBP. Ultimately I opted for the 10th gen MBP because of the thermals on the 8th gen. Fans would constantly come on full blast whenever I was in a Zoom video meeting (even without sharing a screen), and I noticed the SSD temperature sensor on iStat consistently showed 52+ºC when using in clamshell mode attached to an external monitor. (Even when not in clamshell mode, iStat showed SSD temps on the 8th gen MBP in the mid/upper 40s.) So I became worried about longevity for the hard drive.

The fans on the 10th gen MBP rarely kick into high gear for me (even with Zoom and heavy multitasking), and the SSD temperature on iStat consistently shows mid-30s, even in clamshell mode (I think the single fan on the 8th gen MBP must be far from the SSD).

With BBY regularly knocking $200 off the base 10th gen MBP (to $1600 from $1800), including this weekend, the price difference is pretty negligible, esp. once you factor in more and faster RAM on the ready-to-buy retail 10th gen models.

I also worry about obsolescence with the switch to ARM-based Macs, but as someone else said on a different forum on here, the best approach is to buy for your needs today. In my case, with working from home and lots of Zoom meetings, that's the 10th gen MBP.

2 fans in 10th gen and different heat sink and heat transfer plumbing. The heat management system is designed for higher thermal loads.

I also replaced my base 8th gen with the 10th gen via the Best Buy sale.

But still, wondering if I should have waited until the Apple Silicon MBPs ship.
 
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AceFernalld

macrumors demi-god
Mar 3, 2008
2,777
3,467
Massachusetts
It’s not that I’m afraid of ARM—I’m actually very excited for it and am looking forward to the benefits for years to come. But as first gen goes, I have the same concerns many do about software comparability, potential bugs, and general growing pains.

And let’s be honest—there’s enough historical backing to support not buying the first gen of an Apple product. I’ve have my own experience with iPhone, iPad and Watch, and would even argue that AirPods Pro are iffy considering how glitchy they are and that Apple has significantly reduced ANC since release. Even first gen features in existing products have a bad track record–iPhone 3g plastic back casing had a major issue with cracking above the charging port that wasn’t as prevalent with 3GS, iPhone 4’s Metal chassis/antenna issues, and of course, the butterfly keyboard are a few examples spanning a long period of time.

I’m sure Apple worked hard on all of these things too, and maybe even got them right in testing. But they also know people will gladly pay a premium to beta test, have hype beast status, and make emotional purchases. They have no problem with the “we’ll fix it in editing” mindset.

And we’re talking brand new hardware + a brand new OS on a different level than the latest mobile device chip + iOS. I think the first wave will be a dice roll, and maybe the skeptics will all be wrong wrong. But an Intel machine as a 3-4 year device makes more sense to me right now. I also don’t think resale will be as bad as some make it out to be.
Alright, I respect the safe approach! I'll have fun testing it all out for you :)

If I were you, considering a 4 year device, I would just bite the bullet and go for the 10th-gen. I agree that resale won't be bad as they may receive a Holy Grail status as the Last/Best Macs That Can Run x86 Windows, so they may end up being sought after by a select few. Those few might even vastly prefer the 10th-gen processors in what they buy second-hand! Alternatively if you want to run Windows yourself you could keep it around and have a machine that will last a very long time.

I believe the 10th-gen models also get better thermals (with the second fan) and better speakers so yeah personally that's the direction I'd go.

To play Devil's Advocate and counter some stuff, I would argue that these Macs are really going to be somewhere in the middle between the iPhone, iPad, Watch examples you gave (entirely new products for Apple) and the yearly CPU / iOS upgrades. The 13-14" MBP is still going to be very similarly engineered to today's 13" Intel MBP, it'll just have Apple Silicon as its brain and their silicon team is quite experienced at this point. Unless mini-LED comes simultaneously in which case its both first-gen Mac Silicon and first-gen display tech.
 
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Jekalpin

macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2020
9
12
I just went through the exact same thought process. I had a 2013 MacBook Air that I use for MS-Office and browsing that was really showing its age. Performance was sluggish, I kept getting the "spinning rainbow wheel of doom" and I was concerned that I was shut out of future MacOS upgrades. I passed on the MBA because I wanted the slightly brighter screen, the four core processor, better cooling and...I actually like the Touch Bar. I just purchased the base 2020 MBP model and with the combination of Education pricing and the free "Back to School" AirPods (which they let me upgrade to Pro's for $100), I'm pleased with the purchase. My thinking is that I'd rather not buy the first generation of MacBook Pro with the ARM processor. I'll wait for them to solve any issues with the release of the version 2 ARM MacBooks and by that time, most of the software will have been re-written to run natively. In the mean time, the base 2020 MBP isn't a ton of money and I've got something that will remain useful for a while. The other option I considered was going with an iPad Pro with the new Magic Keyboard but I still feel it's a bit of a clunky replacement for a MacBook. I'd rather have a future MacBook that runs iPad Apps vs an iPad that runs some of the MacOS productivity apps. I'm still in the return window but I'm keeping this 2020 MBP.

Jordan
 
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ChrisBos

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 14, 2020
111
152
Alright, I respect the safe approach! I'll have fun testing it all out for you :)

If I were you, considering a 4 year device, I would just bite the bullet and go for the 10th-gen. I agree that resale won't be bad as they may receive a Holy Grail status as the Last/Best Macs That Can Run x86 Windows, so they may end up being sought after by a select few. Those few might even vastly prefer the 10th-gen processors in what they buy second-hand! Alternatively if you want to run Windows yourself you could keep it around and have a machine that will last a very long time.

I believe the 10th-gen models also get better thermals (with the second fan) and better speakers so yeah personally that's the direction I'd go.

To play Devil's Advocate and counter some stuff, I would argue that these Macs are really going to be somewhere in the middle between the iPhone, iPad, Watch examples you gave (entirely new products for Apple) and the yearly CPU / iOS upgrades. The 13-14" MBP is still going to be very similarly engineered to today's 13" Intel MBP, it'll just have Apple Silicon as its brain and their silicon team is quite experienced at this point. Unless mini-LED comes simultaneously in which case its both first-gen Mac Silicon and first-gen display tech.

Very fair points on the 8th/10th argument. I was looking at the 8th as my middle ground option, but the 10th could be worth it. Are the thermals that bad in the 8th though, or is it more that the 2nd fan in the 10th by comparison? I feel like I haven't seen anything negative about thermals on either.

Interestingly, the 8th is suddenly out of stock at Apple Stores across MA and NH.

On ARM, I just think there are so many unknowns that I don't want to gamble, especially being able to make the case for a new machine now. I don't think it'll be a catastrophic launch by any means, but am totally cool with waiting out all the little stuff.
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newbie94114

macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2020
6
3
Very fair points on the 8th/10th argument. I was looking at the 8th as my middle ground option, but the 10th could be worth it. Are the thermals that bad in the 8th though, or is it more that the 2nd fan in the 10th by comparison? I feel like I haven't seen anything negative about thermals on either.

Interestingly, the 8th is suddenly out of stock at Apple Stores across MA and NH.

On ARM, I just think there are so many unknowns that I don't want to gamble, especially being able to make the case for a new machine now. I don't think it'll be a catastrophic launch by any means, but am totally cool with waiting out all the little stuff.
[automerge]1593448155[/automerge]

It was quite noticeable - like night and day - at least under my usage profile (Zoom video; Office apps; lots of Safari tabs; PDF files, etc). The fans would constantly rev into high gear on the 8th gen. Plus I couldn't get over the idea that my SSD hard drive would labor constantly in the mid/upper 50sºC (vs. low/mid 30sºC for the 10th gen) -- after reading some articles online indicating that SSD drives are more likely to fail when operating under higher temperatures. In terms of real world speed, to be honest, I didn't see much of a difference. But that, plus the convenience of 4 Thunderbolt ports located on either side of the laptop, as well as the faster RAM justified going from 8th gen to 10th gen in my view, esp. with the 10th gen on sale.
 
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ChrisBos

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 14, 2020
111
152
I ended up taking the advice to at least get a 10th gen and am picking it up today; thanks everyone who weighed in on that aspect!

I expect to get a solid 3-4 years out of it while the ARM rollout and first set of updates unfold, at which point I’ll either flip it for what I can, or just grab an ARM iMac and keep this as a floater.

To those diving right into Apple Silicon, I salute you!
 
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Yebubbleman

macrumors 601
May 20, 2010
4,084
1,037
Los Angeles, CA
I'm to be in a similar boat. It's not that I'm averse to the ARM switch as much as x86 virtualization and Boot Camp are things that are not only important to me today, but they'll keep my future 2020 13" MacBook Pro in service LONG after Apple has stopped producing software for Intel. I'll eventually get on the ARM train. By then, the 13"/14" Apple Silicon laptops will really be something.
 
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ChrisBos

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 14, 2020
111
152
I'm to be in a similar boat. It's not that I'm averse to the ARM switch as much as x86 virtualization and Boot Camp are things that are not only important to me today, but they'll keep my future 2020 13" MacBook Pro in service LONG after Apple has stopped producing software for Intel. I'll eventually get on the ARM train. By then, the 13"/14" Apple Silicon laptops will really be something.

Sounds like a no-brainer then. I'm loving the 2020 10th gen...even the Touch Bar!
 
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WorldIRC

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2005
425
16
I opted for the 10th Gen and so far I'm loving it too. I'll see how ARM does when it launches, and if it's worth the upgrade, I'll deal with it then.
 
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unoporfavor

macrumors 6502
Apr 19, 2020
286
206
My thoughts; I went with the 8th Gen 2020 MBP.
Significantly cheaper - even with the additional $100 for memory. I don't require huge local storage (even 2TB is too small really so it's just about managing data sprawl earlier).
I also was aware that Arm was on it's way, so figured why spend huge for something that is deprecated soon. In saying that I do use a lot of x86 tools and software packages (in a Linux VM) so I may keep it for longer than 3 years (my usual time before it's depreciated to $0).
I haven't noticed any fan noise - and this was a big concern coming from a 2018 MBP 15" (which this replaced - it was much too bulky) and a 2016 MB 12" (fanless - replaced with an i3 MBA).
I do a lot of video conferencing calls, and photo editing.
If you need the video GPU power then the 10th Gen is much faster and recommended. I haven't seen any review results that show significant multi-core processor gains of the 10th gen over the 8th gen for CPU intensive tasks.

What I will say is the new scissor keyboard is substantially better than the butterfly. I loved the portability of the MB 12" but hated the keyboard. It was serviced twice.
Cheers
 
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ChrisBos

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 14, 2020
111
152
My thoughts; I went with the 8th Gen 2020 MBP.
Significantly cheaper - even with the additional $100 for memory. I don't require huge local storage (even 2TB is too small really so it's just about managing data sprawl earlier).
I also was aware that Arm was on it's way, so figured why spend huge for something that is deprecated soon. In saying that I do use a lot of x86 tools and software packages (in a Linux VM) so I may keep it for longer than 3 years (my usual time before it's depreciated to $0).
I haven't noticed any fan noise - and this was a big concern coming from a 2018 MBP 15" (which this replaced - it was much too bulky) and a 2016 MB 12" (fanless - replaced with an i3 MBA).
I do a lot of video conferencing calls, and photo editing.
If you need the video GPU power then the 10th Gen is much faster and recommended. I haven't seen any review results that show significant multi-core processor gains of the 10th gen over the 8th gen for CPU intensive tasks.

What I will say is the new scissor keyboard is substantially better than the butterfly. I loved the portability of the MB 12" but hated the keyboard. It was serviced twice.
Cheers

Totally makes sense, and I honestly think my original point rings true in terms of the 2020 8th gen being the perfect gap machine for most.

I do enough casual gaming and periodic video work that the 10th gen made sense for me after talking it out. I haven't done any video yet, but gaming has been great. Minimal to no fan noise in hours-long sessions where my 2015 sounded like it was rocketing in to orbit, plus running ~20-30º cooler with way better FPS and graphics settings available. If I didn't do that I probably would've leaned 8th gen.

And the keyboard really is amazing on this. I've been using the Bluetooth Magic Keyboard when working at my desk and it's even better than that.
 
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christcc2

macrumors member
Apr 2, 2020
57
24
It really always comes down to what your individual use case is. This is how I've bought anything Apple since the mid-1990's (jr high school). For me, I purchased a refurb 8th gen base model with the i7/16/512. Gives me the horsepower I need for Adobe CC, and then since I do occasional desktop gaming (Fortnite), and I needed more GPU compute power than an iGPU can give me (8th or 10th Gen) for Adobe Premiere and After Effects and media encoding, I purchased an eGPU setup with an AMD 5600XT. I came from a 2012 11 inch MBA with the upgraded i7. I am so satisfied with my purchase. I know that my keyboard will break, but knowing I get a free replacement (and a free battery) for 4 years is fine with me. In 4-5 years I will replace this, and I will be upgrading my GPU every 1-2 years since I have the freedom to do so with an eGPU.

But that's my use case. Everyone's is different.

I'll you what though that AMD 5600M dGPU is a beast in the 16 inch MBP.

Get what you need now - or else you're hesitating forever.
 
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unoporfavor

macrumors 6502
Apr 19, 2020
286
206
Go with 10th Gen, faster RAM :)
Yes it is but seems to make actual little difference. You're paying a lot for ~10% performance gains for 50% more cost. Caveat: If you need gpu then the 10th gen is significantly faster.
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It really always comes down to what your individual use case is. This is how I've bought anything Apple since the mid-1990's (jr high school). For me, I purchased a refurb 8th gen base model with the i7/16/512. Gives me the horsepower I need for Adobe CC, and then since I do occasional desktop gaming (Fortnite), and I needed more GPU compute power than an iGPU can give me (8th or 10th Gen) for Adobe Premiere and After Effects and media encoding, I purchased an eGPU setup with an AMD 5600XT. I came from a 2012 11 inch MBA with the upgraded i7. I am so satisfied with my purchase. I know that my keyboard will break, but knowing I get a free replacement (and a free battery) for 4 years is fine with me. In 4-5 years I will replace this, and I will be upgrading my GPU every 1-2 years since I have the freedom to do so with an eGPU.

But that's my use case. Everyone's is different.

I'll you what though that AMD 5600M dGPU is a beast in the 16 inch MBP.

Get what you need now - or else you're hesitating forever.
Absolutely agree. Everyone's use-case can appear to be unique (although rarely is - manufacturers aren't going to produce product for unicorns).
eGPU's are definitely a good option! I have little need, and would prefer to harness cloud power for anything requiring rendering. Gaming requirement it is perfect though.

I would say this about the keyboard - it's not practical if you use your device for income. Not having the primary tool for your job for a week every couple of years is not something that is tolerable for many. Great if you just use the laptop for gaming and web browsing but not if you're a business. It once broke on me whilst away on business. Had to get an external keyboard (via a usb-c adapter - real pain), meaning couldn't really do any work whilst travelling.

Pleased your laptop is working out though! 💯 % agree on the not hesitating 👍👌
 
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