rMBP 2016 15" Primary Computer

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by aloshka, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. aloshka macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I've been a PC desktop user forever. I'm an iOS and MS .NET developer, so I've always had a PC and a MacBook. I do all iOS coding on the MacBook and all .NET development on the PC (if I need to be remote, I'll use RDP to remote into the desktop).

    All that is fine and dandy, but I am really thinking of upgrading but this year, wondering if I should just go all in and get the maxed out 15" w/external 5k monitor and run windows stuff in Parallels. I've been working around the house a lot and have really enjoyed it! RDP isn't exactly the best protocol and running Parallels native with retina in windows is definitely a welcomed change. Working outside the office, even on the couch is what triggered this "switch".

    So the question...

    For those of you that made the switch to only-laptop, any gotcha's to look for or consider? How is the heat? Fan noise? Do you ever miss having something that is always on? Do you miss your dual monitors (I'll still have a 5k at the desk I can plug the laptop into, so maybe not a big deal).

    Just wanted your opinions. Other people have asked similar questions, but a lot has changed.
     
  2. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #2
    Just an update, I'm running a MacBook Pro 2012 i7 16gb right now and the fans are constantly starting to spin up, for just about anything that happens. Launching visual studio in parallels causes them to spin up, downloading very large files (while charging) causes them to spin up. Is that a 2012 issue and will not exist in 2016, or it will?
     
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #3
    I've used a laptop as my main or only computer for years with no issues. It helps to have a workstation you can "dock" with (external monitor, keyboard, mouse/pointer) for a desktop-ish feel when you want or need it.
     
  4. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

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  5. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #5
    No heat issues. It gets warm, but that's kinda the nature of electronics.
     
  6. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Reason I ask is I'm on a 2012 rMBP 15" i7 and the fans run like crazy over small things
     
  7. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #7
    That's their job. You could end up with a problem if they DON'T run, however.

    I'm on a 2013 rMBP 13" and heat/fans are a non-issue, whether I'm using it open or in clamshell mode. I rarely notice the fans. Most of the heavy lifting I do with it is music and video editing.
     
  8. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #8
    I've got my 2015 15" rMBP on a stand and use external peripherals (BT keyboard, trackpad and mouse) with it and this has been just great -- I love the flexibility, being able to easily grab my rMBP and cart it off somewhere else if need be. At the time I bought this machine and was setting things up I had every intention of buying an external monitor, too, but so far that has not happened since I haven't really yet felt the need. To me, using an rMBP as a desktop substitute really works well and offers so much more flexibility than buying an iMac, Mac Mini or Mac Pro......

    Fan noise hasn't been a problem for me. This particular setup just works out really well for me but of course for others their needs may be different.
     
  9. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #9
    I used a laptop as my main computer for a few years, but switched back this year. There were several reasons:

    1) To get a laptop that was powerful enough to use as a main computer meant portability was compromised (by comparison, with my iMac as a main computer, a retina MacBook is all I need to carry with me most of the time)
    2) About 80% of my computer use is sat at my desk, so it seemed a bit strange to have a portable computer as my main machine and then spend most of the time with it stuck on my desk plugged in to an external monitor
    3) A laptop takes a lot of space up on your desk if you have it open, and running it in clamshell mode all the time concerned me a bit because of heat issues, etc
     
  10. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #10
    I think the new MBP is fine for most programming purposes. Regarding heat, pretty sure the notebook is fine on its own but you can always hook it up to those underneath fan thing to aid the notebook in cooling even better. If you have the money, I'll say go for it! Since you're developing for both platforms, Mac is the way to go.
     
  11. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

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    #11
    Try vacuuming your fans, it could be a build up of dust over the years that make the fans spin so hard
     
  12. smirking macrumors 65816

    smirking

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    #12
    I made the switch to laptop only about five years ago and I mostly love it. As Clix Pix said, it's hard to beat the convenience of just being able to grab your full development environment and go wherever you want. I used to have a desktop environment paired with an under powered laptop for the occasional need to work remotely and the only reason I gave that up is because of the time involved in having the files I needed on my laptop or the laptop's dev environment would be lagging behind what I had on the desktop and it would create problems.

    I also do a lot of photography which adds one additional set of complications for file storage and retrieval when you have two systems.

    The only thing I miss is ease of cheap expandable storage and paranoia over my laptop going missing if I'm away from home for an extended period of time and I don't have any recent backups to fall back on. Because of this, I now have all sorts of ways of carrying my laptop and a security cable for locking it up in hotel rooms and a Paksafe wire security mesh when I have to leave it in the car.

    On the other hand, having my full machine with me at all times means I don't have to worry about something happening back home that would destroy my filesystem. I'd have my backup system at home and my current system with me.
     
  13. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #13
    smirking, what's your opinion about Google Drive backup? Looks quite bang for the buck?
     
  14. smirking macrumors 65816

    smirking

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    #14
    I can't really give you an honest opinion because I use little by way of cloud backup services. My files are simply too many and too massive for a cloud backup solution to work well. I resort to storing backup disks in a fireproof safe, having a set of data stored at a friend's house, and a constant Time Machine backup.

    That said, I'm a Web Developer and so naturally by extension a lot of the stuff I want to protect is being stored on various servers, AWS S3 Storage, and Github repos. I could get by with just keeping photos in the cloud, but I shoot with a DSLR and it's not hard to generate 100GB of photos in a week of regular shooting so that's why I have problems with remote backup solutions.

    If your photo files are more managable, Amazon does have a really good backup plan for photographers if you sign up for Amazon Prime. Your entire photo library is covered under your Prime membership.
     
  15. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Didn't even think of that. Thanks, I'll try that. 4 years is plenty of time to get lots of dust in there.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 16, 2016 ---
    Thanks all for your replies. Because I seem to do about 50/50 desk or couch/outside/coffee shop, etc, a laptop is the way to go. Running something locally in parallels, while compile times are slower, the UI is much faster than the latency I experience with Remote Desktop even with a good connection. Heat will suck if it's bad, but I'm thinking no way in hell the new laptops will be worse than my 2012 and anything better is already very good.

    Thanks all for chiming in. Sounds like I won't miss a desktop at all!!

    Now to wait until the new dec 28th ship date for a maxed out rMBP 15
     
  16. fourthtunz macrumors 6502a

    fourthtunz

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    #16
    I have the same machine you do and I rarely hear the fans come on, but I upgraded to an SSD, wonder if that would help?
    It boots in like 25 seconds! Anyway I guess if you have the cash the new one is nice other than the dongles but it is a bit lighter,,,good luck!
     
  17. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #17
    I'm on an SSD. I narrowed it down to what causes the CPU spikes. It's ... sigh.. windows 10 updates. It decides to just randomly start them, and sometimes takes 30 minutes to install them while you "work". Even though it says it only does it on idle.

    I've disabled the update service a few times and it works great, no fans, no heat. But it automatically turns itself on like a virus, so it's not a permanent solution. I'm trying out a new thing with parallels that actually blocks windows updates, hopefully it works. If not, I might just go back to windows 7.
     
  18. Kognito macrumors regular

    Kognito

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    #18
    My maxed 15" rMBP struggles running Windows 10 in VmWare Fusion. It's not that the machine is underpowered or anything, it's just virtualising windows is awful, especially windows 10. Windows 7 was a passable experience but god knows what MS have done with Windows 10. I've had to edit the registry to stop Win10 from force downloading updates because it maxes out both my internet connection and the uses 100% of the vCPU which throttles the fans up.

    I'd recommend going with a bootcamp install if you really want to get any Windows-based work done.
     
  19. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

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    #19
    That generation tended to heat up easier than the rMBP after it. But having said that, I still hear my rMBP fans kick up on some tasks. Spotlight indexing when you start loading it up when you get it but that goes away when it is caught up. The last two generations of MacBook Air was much better with being quiet compared to any MBP I ever owned.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 16, 2016 ---
    Try adjusting the memory. Mine is fine with Windows 10. And I am not doing simple Microsoft Office stuff. I do a lot of techie stuff.

    Edit: If you use Time Machine, exclude your VMs and back them up manually.
     
  20. aloshka thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Not an option for me. Every client I have has their own virtual machine. Lots of proprietary software and mostly cannot share info between them. A lot of them are monitored too and the isolation is a must.

    Share the reg key to disable win 10 updates.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 16, 2016 ---
    Well, that's reassuring. Good to know. Thanks. don't expect it to stay quiet all the time. What annoys me is working in a text editor and the fans spinning up because windows 10 is idiotic. But I may have figured out how to fix that.
     

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