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Few_Interview_8890

macrumors member
Original poster
May 13, 2024
31
7
(LOOK AT THIS!): I just found a Yesterday's post from MacRumors about when to expect the first Macs with the M4 chip to launch! Definitely look into this. (https://www.macrumors.com/2024/05/13/when-to-expect-the-first-m4-macs/)

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well! I was wondering if you guys can please help me out on giving me buying advice on whether its worth buying the M3 Max Macbook Pro or wait for the M4? I'm currently using the (2019) Macbook Pro with (2.3 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9, Radeon Pro Vega 20 4 GB, 32 GB 2400 MHz DDR4) and pretty lately its starting to show its age where its booting up slow, daily tasks are getting slower, overheating is always there, and mainly my battery lasts two hours. I do want to upgrade soon but I was wondering if its worth waiting for the M4 Max to come out instead of getting the M3 Max? After hearing Apple's announcement on the ipad pro going straight to the M4 chip, I'm guessing we may get the Macbook Pro with the M4 chip sooner then later. But then I read a post from Mac Rumors funny enough that the M4 Pro and M4 Max is rumored to come out between the end of 2024 and early 2025, which that might be a long wait if say the M4 Max Macbook Pro comes out in early 2025 in my opinion if I was willing to buy that. In conclusion, do you think its still worth getting the M3 Max, or is it better off waiting? I would appreciate again for your help and want to thank you for your time reading this post.

Here's the article from Mac Rumor about the rumored M4 Macbook's incase anyone wanted to read it: https://www.macrumors.com/2024/03/11/apple-reportedly-developing-m4-macbook-pro/

Here's the apps I plan to use for the M3 Macbook Max if I end up buying one:
  • Parallels Desktop or Vmware Fusion
  • Microsoft office (Mostly Microsoft Excel)
  • Python & Machine Learning (Not like any serious coding, its more of a hobby. But I do hear that its best to have a good amount of RAM in these cases especially for Machine Learning.)
  • Final Cut Pro/Photoshop (Basic to standard video editing & Photoshop)
Follow Up:

I just want to thank you for your time sharing your thoughts and helping me make my decision. I think I'm going to try and hold it out until Apple's WWDC24 and decide then. But most likely I'll wait until when the M4 gets announced and works things around with my old laptop. If anything, a clean wipe wouldn't hurt. Hope everyone has a great rest of your day.
 
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HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
There's no good answer to this question. There's always a next one coming. By the time you can buy a M4 MB, we'll be talking about the M5 and 5-10 threads will be asking whether they should buy the new M4 or wait for the M5. And those who wait to buy M5 will be reading threads about M6 and wondering if they should buy M5 or wait for M6.

When you NEED a Mac, buy it. If you can stretch the existing one, stretch it. You can never call the absolute right time to buy as the next one is always coming soon... and the "when?" is perpetually unknown.

I'm leaning on an OLDER MBpro, was suffering similar problems as you, was ready to update to the M2 Air on launch day until I updated the configuration and got immediately offended at the robbery pricing relative to market. So instead of buying a new one, I hopped on Amazon, found a battery that fit my old MB, replaced it myself and that $55 got me very long battery life again and seemed to generally help the other issues too. Now I may be waiting for M5... or I may jump to PC over RAM & SSD pricing. TBD.

You don't state the size of your MB, but 13" battery is about $55 and 16" battery is about $70. It's quite the process to change one but there's lots of video online. Take your time and follow the instructions and that old 2019 will likely seem "like new" again after the surgery. If not- if you kill it- then you'll NEED a new MB and that can be the trigger to buy now.
 
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Few_Interview_8890

macrumors member
Original poster
May 13, 2024
31
7
There's no good answer to this question. There's always a next one coming. By the time you can buy a M4 MB, we'll be talking about the M5 and 5-10 threads will be asking whether they should buy the new M4 or wait for the M5.

When you NEED a Mac, buy it. If you can stretch an existing one, stretch it. You can never wait for the right time to buy as the next one is always coming soon.

Yeah that's fair. I was only asking if the M4 chip is going to be any major upgrade. But hearing that the M3 chip wasn't a big upgrade compared to the M2 chip, it probably is going to be the same for the M4 chip. Thank you for your help though.
 
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picpicmac

macrumors 65816
Aug 10, 2023
1,089
1,531
I do want to upgrade soon
You did not describe what you do with your laptop. Your description makes it sound like the battery degradation is what you currently find unsatisfactory with your current laptop.

If I were you and did not need the extra ports, look around for a good deal on an M1 MacBook Air and see if you can use that for a while. Eventually there will not just be an M4 but an M5 and M6 and so on.

The central questions are always what do you need and how much are you willing to spend to get it.

Don't try to "future-proof". If you want to save money buy used and drive the machine into the dust, then buy another used machine to replace.
 

smirking

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,763
3,741
Silicon Valley
I had a similarly spec'd Intel MBP and upgraded to a 16GB M1 Pro MBP.

The difference between any Intel MBP and an M-series MBP is already huge, especially in battery life. If your main motivation is to get the best deal possible while getting a large gain in performance, just buy a refurb of any existing MBP models out now. You won't be disappointed.

If you're hoping to time the market just right to gain access to some breakthrough new abilities, we go back to what @HobeSoundDarryl said. There's no good answer.
 

Few_Interview_8890

macrumors member
Original poster
May 13, 2024
31
7
You did not describe what you do with your laptop. Your description makes it sound like the battery degradation is what you currently find unsatisfactory with your current laptop.

If I were you and did not need the extra ports, look around for a good deal on an M1 MacBook Air and see if you can use that for a while. Eventually there will not just be an M4 but an M5 and M6 and so on.

The central questions are always what do you need and how much are you willing to spend to get it.

Don't try to "future-proof". If you want to save money buy used and drive the machine into the dust, then buy another used machine to replace.
Oh sorry I forgot to mention that.

Here's the apps I plan to use for the M3 Macbook Max if I end up buying one:
  • Parallels Desktop or Vmware Fusion
  • Microsoft office (Mostly Microsoft Excel)
  • Python & Machine Learning (Not like any serious coding, its more of a hobby. But I do hear that its best to have a good amount of RAM in these cases especially for Machine Learning.)
  • Final Cut Pro/Photoshop (Basic to standard video editing & Photoshop)
I do appreciate on the advice on try not to "future proof" I need to work on that.
 

Few_Interview_8890

macrumors member
Original poster
May 13, 2024
31
7
Since M4 is the new one, fans will pour in claiming you can walk on water with it... haters will pour in saying likely no difference at all... and truth won't be known until M4 MB is released and truly objective specs can be gathered and compared.

Yeah that's a good point.
 

Few_Interview_8890

macrumors member
Original poster
May 13, 2024
31
7
If you need the device now. Get it now. If it's not a high priority then wait. Anything else is not super relevant to this decision. If we were only a month away from a new release I would then say absolutely wait and see. But otherwise your need justification will determine the urgency.
That's what I was thinking. Its going to be a long way until Apple announced their Macbook Pro's with M4 chips unless if we were like a month away as you mentioned.
 

Few_Interview_8890

macrumors member
Original poster
May 13, 2024
31
7
I had a similarly spec'd Intel MBP and upgraded to a 16GB M1 Pro MBP.

The difference between any Intel MBP and an M-series MBP is already huge, especially in battery life. If your main motivation is to get the best deal possible while getting a large gain in performance, just buy a refurb of any existing MBP models out now. You won't be disappointed.

If you're hoping to time the market just right to gain access to some breakthrough new abilities, we go back to what @HobeSoundDarryl said. There's no good answer.

For sure, I will keep this in mind. Thanks for your help.
 

glenncashuric

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2019
35
64
If they didn't just drop the M4 into a new iPad, my opinion would be "buy when you need it". But now I'd sit till fall unless your current laptop is a roach. Of course, I'm the cheap MF who bought the M2 MacBook Air 15 at Best Buy last month because I got almost $500 off a 16GB/1TB combo. My principles have a price.
 

TigerNike23

macrumors 6502a
Feb 13, 2017
857
2,061
Fort Myers, FL
Meh, I think you’d be fine with the M3 Max MBP. I don’t see Apple updating M3 products with the M4 before updating products still on the M2 first. Think Mac Mini, Studio and Pro.
 

Populus

macrumors 601
Aug 24, 2012
4,940
7,216
Spain, Europe
Yeah that's fair. I was only asking if the M4 chip is going to be any major upgrade. But hearing that the M3 chip wasn't a big upgrade compared to the M2 chip, it probably is going to be the same for the M4 chip. Thank you for your help though.
The M4 is a major upgrade in my opinion. If you can wait six months, wait.
 
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Few_Interview_8890

macrumors member
Original poster
May 13, 2024
31
7
If they didn't just drop the M4 into a new iPad, my opinion would be "buy when you need it". But now I'd sit till fall unless your current laptop is a roach. Of course, I'm the cheap MF who bought the M2 MacBook Air 15 at Best Buy last month because I got almost $500 off a 16GB/1TB combo. My principles have a price.
I getch ya, I'll see what I can do.
 
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HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
Oh sorry I forgot to mention that.

Here's the apps I plan to use for the M3 Macbook Max if I end up buying one:
  • Parallels Desktop or Vmware Fusion
  • Microsoft office (Mostly Microsoft Excel)
  • Python & Machine Learning (Not like any serious coding, its more of a hobby. But I do hear that its best to have a good amount of RAM in these cases especially for Machine Learning.)
  • Final Cut Pro/Photoshop (Basic to standard video editing & Photoshop)
I do appreciate on the advice on try not to "future proof" I need to work on that.

I'll offer a more radical option, which I'm considering myself due to "company store" RAM & SSD pricing: consider a PC instead. Everything in that list will run well/better on a robust PC except Final Cut Pro.
  • Arm Windows is not Full Windows
  • MS Office is full office on Windows while still suffering from little differences on Macs
  • Python & Machine Learning & presumably AI already exists on PC while is only "coming" in notable ways for Mac
  • Photoshop runs just fine on PCs
So Final Cut Pro is the one thing you reference that needs a Mac or iPad. Consider getting a PC to cover all of the rest and either use the existing MB for Final Cut or perhaps consider a refurb Mac Mini for FCPX.

When I embraced Silicon, I too still needed Windows compatibility. So I paired a Mac Studio with a Mac Mini-like gaming PC for "old fashioned bootcamp." Since I've had it, I've found that its focus on POWER over PPW means it can get things that work on both done FASTER, so I keep giving the PC more to do that would historically be done on my Macs. A true PC vs. emulation will also bring the much larger world of Windows apps including the AAA gaming some of us long for on Mac but will probably never come unless Apple puts a LOT of money towards it like AppleTV+ "buys" them exclusive movies & shows.

While I'd like to replace an old MB with a new MB, I'm satisfied enough with Windows to be very seriously considering a Windows laptop instead of a MB (for the first time in my life), and using my Mac desktop for things- like FCPX- only available on Mac. I don't want to go that way but I don't want to pay relatively ridiculous pricing for RAM & SSD either.

With the demise of Bootcamp, I'd no longer be looking at Macs to mostly run a bunch of PC software in emulation. Instead, get a good PC for the PC stuff and maybe a modest Mac for Mac exclusives. For what you'll spend in the Parallells "subscription" over a few years, you can get a decent little PC. Else, put less than what Apple wants for an 8TB SSD upgrade alone and you can get quite a powerful PC with MORE SSD storage, more RAM, game card, etc.

Just a very "think different" idea that would likely work well against your list.

And before someone tries to reduce the PC market to a few brand names that are trying to emulate Apple with soldered RAM, etc, there's a TON of PC makers in the world... many of which still offer RAM and SSD slots (plural). I got mine from a company called Minisforum (here's a newer model from them- but not a NUC like mine- as an example). There's one from another brand about to hit that is a NUC much like mine built around a Nvidia 4070 graphics card starting at low Mac mini pricing but getting up into low Mac Studio pricing as you configure it up. I bought base and added my own RAM & SSD storage.
 
Last edited:

Skoua

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2011
43
167
Paris
If that helps, I got a refurb Macbook Pro 16" M2 Max about a year ago and I have yet to see it slow down on anything.
Any M serie will be a big upgrade compared to what you have.
 
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Few_Interview_8890

macrumors member
Original poster
May 13, 2024
31
7
I'll offer a more radical option, which I'm considering myself due to "company store" RAM & SSD pricing: consider a PC instead. Everything in that list will run well/better on a robust PC except Final Cut Pro.
  • Arm Windows is not Full Windows
  • MS Office is full office on Windows while still suffering from little differences on Macs
  • Python & Machine Learning & presumably AI already exists on PC while is only "coming" in notable ways for Mac
  • Photoshop runs just fine on PCs
So Final Cut Pro is the one thing you reference that needs a Mac or iPad. Consider getting a PC to cover all of the rest and either use the existing MB for Final Cut or perhaps consider a refurb Mac Mini for FCPX.

When I embraced Silicon, I too still needed Windows compatibility. So I paired a Mac Studio with a Mac Mini-like gaming PC for "old fashioned bootcamp." Since I've had it, I've found that it's focus on POWER over PPW means it can get things that work on both done FASTER, so I keep giving the PC more to do that would historically be done on my Macs. A true PC vs. emulation will also bring the much larger world of Windows apps including the AAA gaming some of us long for on Mac but will probably never come unless Apple puts a LOT of money towards it like AppleTV+ "buys" them exclusive movies & shows.

While I'd like to replace an old MB with a new MB, I'm satisfied enough with Windows to be very seriously considering a Windows laptop instead of a MB, and using my Mac desktop for things- like FCPX- only available on Mac.

With the demise of Bootcamp, I'd no longer by looking at Macs to mostly run a bunch of PC software in emulation. Instead, get a good PC for the PC stuff and maybe a modest Mac for Mac exclusives. Just a "think different" idea that would likely work very well against your list.

I think my PC should indeed be able to handle those tasks. But to be honest, I'm not a big fan of using Windows other then gaming. Also, as for someone who does most of my work at a coffee shop since I work hybrid, having a portable and powerful laptop with me like a Macbook Pro will come in handy, and I really like MacOS a lot more than Windows. I know getting a Windows Laptop is another option, but one of my biggest dislikes for some Windows laptops especially gaming laptops is you need a charger plugged in at all times in order for the laptop to provide its performance for you. Unlike for Macbooks, you don't have to have your charger plugged in. And there can be times where I need to use my laptop some place else other then at a coffee shop like at work if I was ever called in to be there.

My second option incase if I'm still unsure is probably try and go for the 13-inch M3 Macbook Air with 24GB RAM and save more money. Only downside is there's no fan on the Air, so running Python & Machine Learning might be a problem. but since you mentioned that Python & Machine Learning & presumably AI is only "coming" in notable ways for Mac, there's probably not a lot to do at the moment on the M3 Max Macbook Pro, and I can just try to use what's available for me on the M3 Macbook Air.
 

histeachn81

macrumors newbie
Sep 30, 2015
25
28
Point to perhaps consider if buying new with an M4 Max is the possible wait time with delivery. Demand may be high for them so you’ll need to think in terms of both the date of their announcement and then actual availability.
 
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