Some advice on a mac book pro and external ssd for lower price

sskenth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 4, 2019
5
0
Hi,

I currently have a mid 2012 13inch mac book pro, 2.5ghx core i5, 16gb (upgraded from 8gb) and 750GB hard drive internal. When I bought this it was around £1300, many years ago.

Id like to buy a new laptop, I mainly do game development so I need something with some punch but I'm so out of touch specs, I looked at the apple site and was really blown away by prices especially by the SSD

I did some research and apparently I cant upgrade the SSD myself since apple have locked that off.

I was hoping someone could advise me. Could I just by a mac book pro 15 or 13inch with the highest specs for Ram and processing and just select the lowest SD (128gb or 256GB) which comes to around $1999. (my price limit)
Then buy an external 1tb SSD for around $200 and use that instead of paying $800 for an internal SSD?

It would save me alot of money that way, I'm just concerned about issues that might cause, slow down, will I be able to install applications directly on there without issues... is there a nice way to clip it to the outside of my laptop or will it be hanging there and accidentally detach and lose everything? -_-

If so do you recommend any external SSD, that would work the best?

Thank you
 

Khaleal

macrumors regular
Aug 24, 2013
171
67
If your budget is limited I’d buy used. You can find used Macbook Pros (even 2018) on eBay in really good condition for a good price. It would be much better value than ordering the smallest SSD and regretting it later when you have to move files to/from the Macbook all the time due to the small storage.
Also check out Apple refurbished store
 
  • Like
Reactions: sskenth

yashabot

macrumors newbie
Mar 3, 2019
5
3
What's your budget? I was looking for a new macbook and decided to go the used route. I found a 2017 MBP 15" 512gb SSD / 16gb RAM / Radeon 555 with 2 years left on AppleCare for 1650. I'm sure you could probably do better!
 
  • Like
Reactions: sskenth

pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
1,397
928
New Hampshire
Yes, you can do that but it will be annoying having to plug something in unless you get one of those really small devices but the performance of those isn't necessarily that good. You might see if you could get by with a 2015 MBP with 1 TB SSD, 2.8 Ghz CPU, AMD Radeon. I saw one for sale for $1,300 in Manhattan a few days ago.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sskenth

sskenth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 4, 2019
5
0
Thanks everyone, this has been really useful to hear.

So in regards to budget $2000 is my limit.
I'm really cautious about buying used or refurbished I've done that in the past with phones and always had some issues, but it is reassuring to hear some of you have had no problems with yours.

I dont mind if it gets annoying plugging it and taking it out, I'll mainly be using it as a desktop really, but taking it every so often to events.

My main concern was is it possible to just use a external ssd (based on your feedback it seems it is) and can if I go that route which SSD to buy, would love to know if anyones tried this and which one they used....

I from London, so Im not sure if theres access to as many refurbished mac here either. But I haven't done the research on that to be fair.

Thank you guys so much for the information :)
 

yashabot

macrumors newbie
Mar 3, 2019
5
3
If you're worried about used issues then make sure that your Mac is still under Applecare, or is eligible for you to purchase AppleCare+, and that you inspect the listing images closely for dents, scratches, or any other types of physical damage. Even if your device has problems, you should be able to get them repaired for free or for a reduced rate.

FWIW, I basically only buy used computer hardware and have never really had an issue. I've built dozens of desktops and used many laptops over the years, most of which have been secondhand. The majority of people sell their electronics far before they've reached a breaking point, so unless there are features you really want in the 2018 lineup it doesn't make sense to buy new when on a budget.

In the US, I use reddit and eBay to find used hardware.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sskenth

sskenth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 4, 2019
5
0
That actually worth quite alot..

Really appreciate the feedback, I dont really need any of the features from 2018... so Maybe I should just go refurbished or second hand and makes sure they have applecare.

Ill start taking a look at ebay and reddit
 

yashabot

macrumors newbie
Mar 3, 2019
5
3
Glad to be of help. Just be very critical of listings and scrutinize the pictures closely. If it looks like it's been dropped or treated badly, stay away - it's always worth spending a little more to buy a like-new computer that's been treated well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sskenth

Ifti

macrumors 68020
Dec 14, 2010
2,228
412
UK
I use mainly external ThunderBolt 3 SSDs with my MacBook - I don't think I've ever been over 100GB on my MacBook to be honest! Only used to store applications and programs etc. and everything else is on my external drives, which are just as fast as my internal!!

Do you actually need a MacBook though, or would a higher spec desktop suffice??

I'm actually toying with the idea of selling my MacBook and picking up an iMac (once updated) instead, as the laptop never leaves my desk anyways!
 
  • Like
Reactions: sskenth

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,702
1,972
You could also consider NAS.

Then you don't need to mess around with having something connected to the notebook.

The downside is that even with the fastest wifi setup, it's slower than an SSD. Even worse if you need to access information on the NAS remotely (over VPN for example). If you're then talking about buying a NAS, buying drives, and upgrading your home wifi, that adds up pretty quickly; but it's still far cheaper than upgrading the internal storage.

I keep data I'm actively using locally to get the speed benefits of SSD, and then move data off to the NAS when I'm done with it. I don't need to mess around with external drives, and for me the performance is perfectly adequate. I rarely need to access my stuff over VPN but can do so at a push.

The nTB 13" has slower wifi than the rest, so if you are thinking about taking the NAS route at some point I would not get that model. The 13" with TB and the 15" have faster wifi.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sskenth

sskenth

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 4, 2019
5
0
Ah great that looks really good! (external ThunderBolt 3 SSD) At least its a possibility to install software onto there.

I definitely need 1 TB or more. I work with 3D models and sounds files with game dev.

Laptop is key since I need the occasional portability, sometimes I have to do freelancing on site so I need to be able to just pick up and go. I would prefer a desktop though, looks like you get more bang for your buck.

I dont think I could go NAS, thanks for the suggestion though, but I really want speed and my wifi has been playing up lately, and I need to work in random locations occasionally, also too many family members draining it at home to relay on it XD
 

Stygma

macrumors member
Jan 24, 2018
34
65
just got a used 2013 Macbook Pro off of QualityMacs on Ebay and the condition is immaculate. They also offer a 1, 2 and 3 year warranty on their devices. On mine, they listed it as a 9.75 out of 10 and listed what was wrong with it, all cosmetic, but actually the laptop was even better than they described.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sskenth