Switching from MacBook Pro to MacBook Advice?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by radlo, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. radlo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #1
    Ok... So I was hoping for some opinions from people. I currently have a 15' Mid 2012 MacBook Pro Retina 2.6 Ghz with 16GB of RAM. I now have a few problems with my computer (need new charger, battery, a few pixels are out, cosmetics, etc...), certainly fixable with a cost around $300 for charger and battery but was thinking of making a switch for multiple other reasons too, but am worried about how much performance I might lose.

    So... I think I may have bought my current computer for, well, no real reason, and spent a ton of cash on it since it was the first of its generation. I primarily use my MacBook pro to browse the internet, watch videos, check email, use transmission for "sharing" with family and friends my "personal" documents, use Office, and maybe a bit of photo stuff with iPhoto. That's pretty much it, I think I've edited two videos in the past 4 years.

    I'm thinking of switching to a brand new 1.3 Ghz MacBook with 8GB of RAM. I know, a huge change, but I'd love to save the money in comparison to buying a new MacBook pro. I know many people will say just pay the $300 and fix your pro, but I wouldn't mind the extra portability of a 12' with my current job and the screen quality should be just as good, and wouldn't mind having a fresh new computer covered by AppleCare. I also could probably get around $450 - $500 for a online trade in for my current MacBook pro.

    I guess my biggest concern is how much will my day to day use of my Mac change? Will there be a dramatic difference in anything I do? Anyone else have experience making this type of change? I appreciate the help as I am really on the fence. If anyone really knows what they are talking about, feel free to go into specifics on the exactly technical ramifications of the change. Thanks!
     
  2. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #2
    The design center for the current MB seems to be "portability." It's small and light, and if that matters to you then it's appealing. But a few compromises: one port for everything, including charging; minimal key travel, reduced processing power. These may also matter to you. It should be capable of doing everything you list, albeit more slowly for those things that require CPU power, such as video. I look a careful look at this for my daughter (student) but ultimately decided that the 1-port thing was problematic (example, can't charge MB and phone simultaneously without a dongle). The are some expectations that the MB will be refreshed in the coming months.
     
  3. bryan.cfii macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    #3
    Looking your model up at https://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks might help you see if you will really see much of a difference processor wise. I think a lot of people assume a big performance hit, but sometimes depending on what you hare coming from it can actually be a gain in some areas.

    For the stuff you do, I doubt much of it will be processor intense for very long intervals. I'm in engineering school and honestly, program compiling and light CAD work have been fine on the Macbook I've used. most of what I use is Excel and Word.

    I don't push the limits by any means but I get my school work done just fine and the 1.3GHz M7 is a slight step up from my late 2011 MBP 2.4GHz i5.

    The MBP I had was 4.5lbs vs. the 2 lbs of the Macbook and to me that's massively more important at this stage for myself as a student. My body can use all the help I can give it.
     
  4. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #4
    If there's any chance of getting to an Apple store, play with the MacBook a bit and see how it feels browsing some of the sites you use.

    If you have to do this sight unseen, I still would expect it to be a good idea to switch. The 1.3 Ghz Skylake processor can turbo boost to 3.1 Ghz for short bursts, and the SSD in the new MacBook ought to be considerably faster than the one in your existing MBP. If you would be OK with the smaller screen size, the MacBook sounds like a good fit.
     
  5. radlo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #5
    thanks for all the advice, I am going to apple this weekend and will check out the entire MacBook lines.
     
  6. mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    #6
    I use my 2015 Macbook (high end processor) in much the same way as you, except that I haven't used Transmission. I came from a 2013 13" Macbook pro and while the Macbook is slightly slower in some areas, overall it's basically a wash. I was concerned that I would be giving up speed moving down to the Macbook, but what I discovered is that I was not using anywhere near the potential of my Macbook pro. The slowdowns I notice are mainly in opening apps, if I have a lot open (primarily iMessage for some reason). In actually using the apps, I don't really notice much difference. If I watch full screen videos with the Macbook on the bed, then sometimes I will see some stuttering, but if I pick it up, it is very hot, so I attribute that to the lack of fans causing the processor to slow down. If I pick it up, or put it on something so it can 'vent' it goes back to normal. All in all, the Macbook has been great for me. I was worried about the loss of speed, as well as the keyboard, but neither has been an issue for me. Definitely check it out when you go the apple store, but I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how well it works for your needs.
     
  7. radlo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #7
    Great input, thank you. However the video shuttering is concerning to me. Does this happen for anyone else?
     
  8. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #8
    If you don't let it overheat then it should be fine. I don't think the Macbook has any internal fans, so it's dependent on ambient airflow and conduction to remove heat. Bed linens usually aren't good heat conductors, on purpose.
     
  9. mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    #9
    This is what I was trying to say in my post, but I wrote it quickly and probably didn't clarify things enough. It only happens (for me at least) if I am watching videos with the computer resting on my bed. If I watch them while I am at a desk, or on my lap or resting it on my stomach, it' fine. I think it has to do with the mattress not allowing the computer to vent heat, so it builds up & the processor gets throttled. If I pick up the computer it is pretty warm. If I place it on another surface, it goes back to normal. It's certainly not a deal killer for me & this is still my favorite laptop ever.
     
  10. Zazoh macrumors 6502a

    Zazoh

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    #10
    I had an early 2011 MBP 15" (No retina or SSD)

    I went to 12 rMB -- this machine is much snappier. I create a few 15 min long videos a year, Develop in Xcode an do everything I did on the MBP.

    Because of the portability and battery life, I take it more and get more done. I've owned Apple products for years and this is my favorite.

    One port has been no hinderance. I usually sync or backup via WiFi anyway. Cords are so 2015 ;-)
     
  11. iAVERY macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    #11
    I say get the entry level non-touch bar MacBook pro. It solves all your problems with having more processing power and an extra port. And probably the better value for the money too.
     
  12. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #12
    If portability is king, the MacBook is the better buy, as it's smaller and significantly lighter than even the 13 inch MBP. I'd expect the two to be reasonably equal in burst performance. The MBP should do better, perhaps quite a bit better, at sustained compute jobs. From what the OP describes I'd still lean towards the MacBook even though the small MBP is priced similarly. ("Value" always depends on the metric you're using!)
     
  13. Penn Jennings macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Michigan
    #13
    When I went from a MBP 13 to a MBP 15, I didn't notice very much at all in terms of portability except in very tight spots. Airlines are one place where the 13 was clearly easier to use. The other times, I really preferred the 15 inch screen. So I'm guessing you WILL notice less screen going from a 15 to 12 and once you throw it in a bag with the same power supply, mouse, etc, the weight difference is almost nothing. Thats my experience anyway.

    Having said all that, if you really just want a new system, do it :)
     
  14. danpass macrumors 68020

    danpass

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Miami, FL

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