RMBP a good bargain . . . before AppleCare

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mageus, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. mageus macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2012
    Compare a base 15" MBP and 15" RMBP with edu discount:

    15" MBP $1800
    hi-res screen $100
    8GB RAM (aftermarket) $50
    DP->DVI/HDMI adapter $10 (Monoprice is your friend)
    edu $-100
    = $1860

    15" RMBP $2200
    USB DVD (aftermarket) $30
    edu $-200
    = $2030

    So, for <$200 you get
    - Retina screen
    - SSD
    - small form factor
    - HDMI out

    Not a bad deal . . . BUT . . .

    I wouldn't think of getting AppleCare for a unibody Mac. AC is a must for the RMBP. So, now the difference is $410, a less tenable option.

    What do people think of this argument?
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I bolded the problem in your argument. It's based, in part, on flawed logic.
  3. Laco macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2008
    I think Apple Care is a necessity for unibody Mac's as well. Yes you can replace the hard drive and RAM if either fails. But a logic board / GPU failure will be a very expensive repair.
  4. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    There have been other threads about this:

    1) Certain credit cards double the warranty so your 1 year warranty turns into 2. In general, if a component is going to fail, it is going to fail in the first year.

    2) For many, there are certain discounts for Applecare. I think it is $239 in the US with the educational discount.

    3) Many people 'recycle' their Macs by selling prior to warranty end. After seeing selling prices of eBay/Paypal, that seems like a lot of overhead to me. Maybe they are selling on Craigslist or similar.
  5. negatv1 macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2005
    My strategy is to buy Applecare for machines that are approaching the 1 year warranty expiration deadline.

    I never purchase prior to this because the only thing I buy the extended Applecare support for is solely to cover hardware failure. (Can't say I've ever used phone support)

    If it looks like you are going to keep a machine longer than a year - it's really a no-brainer to go with Applecare. Even if you resell it afterwards, it adds real value to a used machine. I wouldn't think about paying any substantial amount for any Apple portable (or desktop for the matter) without Applecare.

    As with all insurances, it's only expensive until you need to use it.
  6. pHeNom macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2009
    Houston TX!
    When I first bought my Mac I was hesitant in buying it. But after I needed repair on my MBP after my apple care already expired 200+ days in they repaired my computer free of charge. It would've cost me $600 for the repair but apple did it for free.
  7. skywalkerr69 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 21, 2011
    New York
    Applecare is a great idea for the RMBP. Since it's pretty much unfixable by your average person.
  8. Trepanator macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2008
    You can buy AppleCare online for about $30% less than the price at the Apple Store. I know for my last two (or three) laptops I have waited until first year was almost up to buy, just to kind of pace out the expense.

    I usually buy from the LA computer company, but I'm sure there are probably others. They don't have AppleCare yet for the RMBP, but then again, they probably don't even have any in stock yet. If you can get it cheaper through an educational discount I would do that, I've been out of school for a long time...

  9. jterp7 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2011
    not mac related, but my gigabyte mobo in my desktop failed just after 3 years -_-.
  10. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    I think it's a bad idea to ever not buy applecare. It's been very helpful for me over the past 2 years. I've had a lot of service done, and even got a brand new updated computer for free


    Same thing just happened with my Asus. Bought a replacement from gigabyte, but it was old because they don't make many socket 1366 boards anymore, and the one I got was broken too.

    I'm thinking about just going Ivy Bridge, since a new i7 + new mobo ends up only being $100 more than the gigabyte board I bought was
  11. Mr MM, Jun 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012

    Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
    fixable or not fixable is a spurious concept.

    While I can safely say that I could have swapped the mobo in mbp 13, albeit a difficult task, you can do it. you are going to face a few problems

    1) finding a mobo
    2) paying for the said mobo if you could purchase it, since in it is the cpu and depending on the model, gpu, those things dont come cheap
    3) installing the thing, yes you have ifixit, looking at pics and doing it yourself without damaging any cable is another matter.

    I cracked my screen scenario

    1) finding a replacement screen, no easy task
    2) if you find a screen assembly, much better for you, it would avoid you to get some dust between the panel and the screen, or if you are a matte user, its easier, at least.
    3) installing the screen, much easier than replace the mobo.

    Still a expensive repair

    Those 2 are the most common replaces that I see for notebooks in general and mbps.

    Chassis swapps due to bumps and etc are rarer and usuall not worth the cost. This would set you back in some serious money for the RMBP, albeit expensive the MBP should fare much better in this.

    Sincerely extended warranties aint a scam if you are looking to keep your laptop for sometime.

    I do think that 3 years of warranty is still too few. 5 is a good number.

    so yes, if you are willing to keep the pc for more than year or 2, its worth to get the extended warranty.
  12. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    I sell anything expensive on CL instead of EB. It's cheaper, faster and far easier. No one wants to pay 10%+ on a $1000+ sale.
  13. sweetbrat macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Redford, MI
    For non-students, B&H usually has just about the lowest prices for Applecare. I'm sure they'll have it for the retina MBP before too long.

  14. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    I've owned dozens of Apple computers -- desktop and laptops over the years. Currently I have a 15 MBP (soon out the door), a 13 MBP, and shiny new RMBP. I've never bought AC once. Never been tempted.

    - If a computer is going to go bad, statistically, it's going to happen in the first year
    - If something goes wrong second year my CC has ext. coverage. I used it once in twenty years to replace a bum optical drive.
    - I'm not keeping a laptop over two years, and when I can I dump before the one year warranty ends. It's easy to get close to Apple refurb prices on eBay.
    - AC doesn't cover accidental damage, only actual defects, which again, typically manifest within a year of first operation.
  15. kaydot macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2011
  16. sweetbrat macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Redford, MI
  17. yth macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2012
    Sure, I'd feel safer with a 15" MBP than a 15" retina MBP, if neither has AppleCare. But is it a "good bargain"? It certainly is, if the retina is a better laptop. Unfortunately,

    1. retina is not upgradable
    2. retina will not retain its resale value as well (because it's not upgradable)
    3. retina is incredibly expensive to fix

    If you throw these onto your list, you can decide whether the trade-offs are worth it. If everything goes perfect with your retina, it might be a "good bargain." If things are less than perfect, you might be happier with a standard MBP.
  18. mageus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2012
    Well, although this was not what I was asking, I didn't mean on starting a holy war! Should have known better.

    That being said, I'll jump into the fray.

    - My calculation assumes the edu AC price - $239.
    - As someone pointed out, CC extends warranty to 2 years. (Whether that's a PITA to deal with may or may not be relevant to the discussion)
    - As someone else posted, the MB tends not to fail after the 1st year. Whether you want to insure against this happening in the 3rd year is one's own risk/benefit assessment.
    - I'm not aware that a cracked screen is covered under AC. Hard to prove that it wasn't from trauma.
    - I thought it was clear from my post, but I did suggest getting AC for the RMBP.
    - I personally have never had computer hardware fail in years 2-3. But that's my own experience.

    I can understand people have strong opinions about AC, on both sides of the fence. I can't understand why one gets chastised like the devil for suggesting not to get it. It's everyone's personal decision.

    That being said, I think my original point still stands - the base RMBP is a decent bargain compared to the unibody 15".
  19. yth macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2012
    You are forgetting that the SSD in the standard MBP is _not_ a good deal. Get a 1 TB HDD instead, and redo your calculations. The standard MBP is better for many reasons, unless you _really_ like the retina display, in which case I'd go with the retina.
  20. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I think you were the guy who was talking a few years ago about how you get a new machine every year and sell your old one. The difference wasn't much more than AC and you always had a new machine. I was amazed and I followed your advice and have been enjoying a new machine each year. It's true, especially if you sell on CL. The price difference is usually small, especially if you get a well spec'd machine that will sell for a premium. I just consider it a yearly operating cost and always have a new, fast machine with a warranty. Can't beat it!

    THANK YOU FOR THE ADVICE...if it was you, lol. :D

    I highly recommend this plan.
  21. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
  22. mageus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2012
    Is that so (about the SSD)? From reading the forums, it sounded like the SSD was a good quality one. Even at $1/gb, a 256GB SSD is $250. Credit $100 for a 500GB 2.5" drive (and that's being generous), and that accounts for almost all the price differential right there.

    Even without the edu discount the price difference is $270. If it were for me, I'd get the unibody, but it's for the Boss, and I'm not sure what she'll want. Aside from personal preference, you're telling me that's not a good deal for someone who is looking for the small form factor and hi-res screen?
  23. TickleMeElmo macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2012
    Applecare is not a must on any machine; not only Applecare but also extended warranties.

    On a $2200 machine the RRP for Applecare is $350. That is 16% of the purchase price of the machine for an extra two years of coverage.

    I would say most build defects are discovered within the first year of ownership. So you are saying in the next two years you have a greater than 16% chance of your machine crapping out on you and costing more to repair than the total cost of the original machine?

    Framed in a different context are you saying that you are definitely sure that within those two years you are positive that your laptop will incur at least $350 worth of damage covered under warranty?

    If one want to be more rigorous and project the 1-2 year value of a $2200 machine at $1700, and $1200 in the 3-4 year you are looking at 20%+ failure rates to make a purchase like Applecare viable.

    Now your personal utility may be different and Applecare may be worth it for you; but it is foolish to say that Applecare is REQUIRED on any item.
  24. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    I pulled out my receipt from my Powerbook G4 which I purchased with the Educ. discount. It cost more than the RMBP. Remember awhile back Apple lowered their prices on MBP. Now when I factor in the RMBP with an external disc drive and 1 adapter, I still come out cheaper than my PB G4. Grant it my Powerbook with Tiger has some cool Apps on it, like having the ability to SMS text from Address book, and with that whole Sherlock thing. But Lion has something similar.

    Then I'm not sure if Apple has corrected the problems they had with the LCD screen. So, spending $239 for AppleCAre on a gadget that you will take outside the home, throw it in a bag, is really nothing. Really??? It's about spending $0.30 a day = AppleCare for 2years. That's really nothing considering you have full coverage. oH and total cost is cheaper than what MacBooks cost 7yrs ago. btw AppleCare use to cost $250 with the educ. discount, so you are saving an additional $30.
  25. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    It happens but most failures occur in the first year (or many, many years after).

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