Should I Buy A New Computer?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Steve Jobless, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Steve Jobless macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2006
    It's been a while since I've posted but I'm contemplating getting a new computer.

    Originally I was hesitant to buy another Apple laptop/notebook or whatever the hell they're called. I have an original MBP (1.83 GHz, 80 GB, 1GB ram, 10.6) that has been nothing but problems over the course of four years of ownership. The last straw was having a faulty battery die on me, keep in mind this faulty battery replaced the original faulty batter which at least lasted two years, the replacement battery didn't even last a year and Apple wouldn't do anything because my AppleCare ran out about a month before it finally crapped out.

    I'm still in school and do things expected of most students. My MBP is my main machine. I considered going back to PC but after being underwhelmed by the offerings and seeing that an Envy 15 cost just as much if not more than an MBP brought me back to looking at another mac.

    My basic problem is that my computer is just slow, I can't multitask efficiently or effectively and have to use force quit more often than I believe necessary. I get beach balls ALL the time, I can barely play .mkv files, Chrome, Firefox, Word are all sluggish. I use Word a lot, I also run Java apps frequently and write Java code in eclipse (which is also slow but I think thats a software problem).

    My typical usage is along the lines of having Mail open, Adium open, Firefox and Chrome open, and Word open. I do a lot of research and need flexibility between the two browsers I use Chrome as the primary and Firefox as the secondary. I also watch videos and listen to music a lot which add to the slow down. *I just got a beach ball typing this paragraph* The movies are both .avi's as well as .mkv's all viewed in Quicktime (VLC is an utter fail) with the help of Perian.

    My MBP also runs unexplainably hot all the time, so much so that I gave up relying on a variable fan control and leave it running at 6000 rpm all the time. After hearing the cliff's notes version of my tale of woe my mother offered to upgrade me to 2GB of ram (but nothing ever came of that offer). I also travel a lot during the semester (policy debate team, I rely on my laptop heavily). If it matters I reformatted my drive when I installed Snow Leopard, I didn't do an upgrade.

    I've been considering getting an i7 iMac or an i7 MBP. I feel that lugging my MBP around everywhere all the time helped lead me to this precarious position and somehow lead to its "demise". The problem with the MBP is that I HATE HATE HATE everything about it. NOTHING about it says "Pro" it's ugly as sin, its only redeeming quality is the battery (which apparently doesn't even live up to the advertised battery life). I don't like that I have to pay $150 or whatever the student price is to have a matte screen. I hate the black bezel, I hate the keyboard. I want my body style in an upgraded flavor. Currently my school's store has the i5 MBP with Office, AppleCare and a HP all in one for 1899, I'd have to ask about the cost to upgrade to the i7 and the matte screen. I have no idea about the price of the iMac (it's not advertised) but I like the idea of having a steady computer to work on when I'm home and leave the MBP for when I'm out.

    If it matters I have already have a Samsung PX2370. Sorry for the long read I'm really unsure of which way to go.
  2. newbiemacguy128 macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2009
    For school i'd get the laptop, the convenience of a mobile workspace was the deciding factor for me. MBP i5 is a more preferable choice since the performance gains are negligible.

    As for the bad experience with your previous seems like its just luck of the draw. You can get a bad computer from any company, so buying another brand isn't gonna exactly reduce your chances of getting a problem free computer.

    Asthetics wise, there aren't many computers out there that i think look as good as a MBP. At the end of the day though, its just a tool to get what you need done. It shouldn't be a deciding factor. I'd be more worried about specs, heat, and battery life.

    I'm not sure what else you hate about the MBP though. Its graphics card is the only complaint i have, as its pretty sub par when compared to the competition. Unless you do some heavy gaming, the graphics card really shouldn't effect your decision.
  3. aljlin macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2006
    Wow, sounds like you had a bad experience. Too bad you don't like the looks of the current generation mbp, I thought so at first nut it grew on me... I can say my batteries didn't do so well over the years. Over the 4 years that I had my mbp (2nd rev mbp c2d), I went through about 5 batteries myself, including one that expanded so much that it was coming apart at the seams.

    Between the two it depends on what you are doing... I think for the work you do and the amount of processing that you do, you might get a better benefit with the larger screen and performance that you may get with the iMac but at the same time it depends on whether you need to do any traveling with your computer. If you do any traveling or need mobility to somewhere else, the macbook pro obviously would be the choice.. Reading your post again it looks like the macbook pro would be the only option as you use your laptop to travel and do your work..

    A good thing about the new computers are that they have a good amount of ram that you can use, and you can expand it after you buy it. With the number of programs that you open a a time you would definitely benefit from the greater ram in the system. That would help with the spinning rainbow ball a little bit. That along with the much better processors you can expect the machines to have a little better time with multitasking.

    Ultimately you need to feel comfortable with the machine that you will get as you will be using the machine for a couple years and this is a big investment. Go to the store and play with a i7 machine and see how you like the speed... Open up programs and see how the computer reacts.

    My overall recommendation would be a mbp 15/17 i7 with a good size hard drive or a ssd drive and upgrade the ram after you purchase the machine ( as you can find much cheaper ram options at other 3rd party sites )

    I wish you the best in finding a right machine for you and that your next computer choice is a much better experience for you.
  4. Steve Jobless thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2006
    Thanks for the constructive replies. Is there any reason to go i7 instead of i5? I agree with those of you saying that the MBP is the better option.
  5. RT2020 macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2010
    Sounds like your current computer is an absolute ****box. I would definitely get a new computer.

    In terms of looks, I still think the Macbook Pro is the most beautiful laptop ever made. Have a look at non-apple laptops as well, try using Windows 7 as well. You might find it pretty decent, and the value is so much better on the PC side.

    Based on what you use your computer for, an i5 will be far more power then you will need in a CPU. The i7 would be overkill for you, and it just makes more heat, costs more money, etc.
  6. dacapo macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2010
    Sounds like you're definitely leaning toward a new computer. But if money is really an issue, I'd invest in more ram. I think that extra $20-40 will be noticeable. But if you have $2000 to spend, yes by all means go for a new mbp! :D
  7. gimmi80 macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2010
    My one year old Sony vaio has a battery that lasts 8-10 minutes.
    It has always beenbad but the max I've ever got was 1.30 minutes.

    You do a lot of stuff with your machine you definitely need to update it. I don't have experience with the i5 or i7 but my new mbp 13 is very fast ( not As fast as my MBA was) and battery life is amazing.

    I go to school at 8 I come back at 6 and I don't evenbring the MagSafe with me.
  8. Steve Jobless thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2006
    I checked out crucial and ram for my MBP costs about 56 is there any recommendations for ram?

    Also upon second review I realized the bundle offered is the 2.4 i5 which is a little disappointing, but at the same time it's an amazing deal that would be impossible to match elsewhere. I read the MacWorld benchmarks and see that the difference between the 2 i5s is nearly negligible witht he difference being a few seconds. Is there any real difference in speed or would the 2.4 be good enough.

    Also I saw a picture of the matte screen with the silver bezzel and it looks really good! If only the keyboard was silver too :p
  9. chris2k5 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2010
    You're still a student so a new MBP sounds good. You don't have to go with the 15". Sure the performance is nice but do you really need the bigger screen and performance?

    13" is big enough and is easy to carry around. The C2D isn't slow by any means. It is fast.
  10. Sanderr macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2007
    I don't know why people on this forum are recommending i7 macbook pro's to people that REALLY don't need it. For your use a 13" macbook pro is more than enough and is more portable and cheaper. I am going to upgrade to one now because I don't have as much power as I want on the road, but the macbook (specs in sig) I have now handles it without problems when I have open: Thunderbird, iTunes, MSN messenger, Skype, Firefox (20 tabs, 2 windows), small instance of ableton live (always like to make beats :) ), and word and excel. The only thing I need to upgrade for is when I need to run big projects in Ableton or other DAW's like Logic and I don't want to go to my studio for serious cpu power. For everything else it is still fine. So with a faster CPU and 4gb of RAM you'll be okay.
  11. Steve Jobless thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2006
    Thanks for the suggestions but the 13 inch is not an option. There's a reason why I got an MBP in the first place. I tend to use all of the screen real estate possible.

    No suggestions for RAM? Hopefully that's a stop gap issue until I pick up my new computer.
  12. kny3twalker macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2009
    Your problem with your old laptop besides the battery is that you only have 1gb of ram. That's not enough. Either close some programs or buy more memory. Personally other than the battery again, it does not sound like there is anything wrong with your current notebook. If you understood what happen when you run out of unallocated memory, you would have already went to and bought some more memory.
    If you want a new computer you do not need approval, just get it. Otherwise buy memory.
  13. foshizzle macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2007
    1GB of RAM isn't hardly enough. Get 4 and you'll notice a huge improvement in menial tasks like coding, word processing, surfing, etc. and the only thing holding you back from there is the 1.8 GHz processor. Go to newegg after searching crucial for the type of RAM you need. You're looking at about $100 for 2 x 2GB sticks.

    With the new machine, i5 will be good enough. 4GB ram is a must. Just be glad you aren't running windows - it's a huge memory hog. But wish you were on linux, because it has great memory management.

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