The Non-Upgradeable Paradigm

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Rizzm, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. Rizzm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    #1
    I just wanted to make a thread summarizing the idea that is bringing doubt to everyone about the new RMBP. Clearly there are serious concerns about the product since the negative/skeptical threads are getting A LOT of attention. The main thing is the non-upgradability and price point that goes with such a product.

    A few thoughts/questions to get the discussion going:

    1) The MacBook Air was introduced in 2008 and has been an absolute hit. Many 13" MBP shoppers are shifted to this product instead. Many are forgetting that the MBA has a seemingly identical architecture.

    2) SSD pricing. The RMBP seems to be a great value (currently) as far as Apple products are priced. The main thing that will affect the future value of the RMBP will be SSD pricing. RAM has pretty much bottomed out, but this new flash storage is becoming more and more affordable. When will prices begin to steady? If SSD storage went to $.10/GB tomorrow then the RMBP would instantly fall flat on its face.

    3) Resale value - the future of these products that are manufactured currently. What kind of power will software require in the next 5-10 years? Will these types of products depreciate faster because of future needs?

    I, like many others who are in the market for a 15" MBP, aren't sure which one is the best buy, which is the reason I started this thread. So let's come to a conclusion:

    Is the new Retina MacBook Pro the better one to buy? What are the hurdles we have to jump to make this the no-compromise purchase it should be? Currently there seems to be too much second guessing and buyer's remorse. Hopefully everyone knows the feeling of making a purchase, and then that product exceeds your expectations in every possible way. The new RMBP certainly does not give that feeling.

    All IMO of course.
     
  2. leenak macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #2
    In general, my philosophy with computer buying is to buy and not look back. If I buy today and tomorrow something new comes out or prices drop, it doesn't matter. Which is one reason I've been watching the MBP for nearly a year. I need a new computer but wanted to wait until an update to buy.

    Also, the most limiting factors I've had since I switched to laptops many years ago are the processor and the gpu, neither of which are upgradeable.

    I personally have no buyers remorse with going for a rMBP.
     
  3. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #3
    I would wager that the majority of buyers never upgrade their machines anyway.

    If you need to upgrade your machine significantly before the warranty runs out (at which point, you're essentially on bonus time awaiting hardware failure), you screwed up on your initial purchase, basically.


    Yes, i'd like to be about to buy a 15" MBPR with 8gb RAM and upgrade it myself.
    Yes, I'd like to be able to swap out the SSD for something bigger myself, for less $$.... but i'm not joe average.
     
  4. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #4
    The thing is though that the MBA is a lot cheaper. With the price of a MBP I expect to have a computer I can upgrade in a few years time to hopefully get 4-5 years out of the machine. With the MBA you'd probably want to sell each year and upgrade to the latest.
    SSD pricing isn't the only factor. There are other things like the Retina display.
    If I keep a product for 4-5 years I doubt either model would retain much resale value by then.
    Get the 16GB RAM upgrade. RAM is soldered on the Retina MBP so you can't upgrade it later. Due to this fact one would think in a few years the MBPs with 16GB RAM might have a bit better resale value. If you think you might need the 16GB RAM upgrade then get it. The SSD will likely be replaceable once 3rd party replacement SSDs emerge, but these won't be supported by Apple.

    If you need Retina Display or a light weight machine go with the Retina model.

    If you need a machine that has more user replaceable components, need a built-in ethernet port, optical drive, ability to have HDD + SSD (replace optical) or a drive with more than 768GB capacity, or don't want to jump on the first revision of a new design then go with the heavier MBP.
     
  5. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #5
    ^^ whs


    given the lack of upgradability on the retina model, i'm really curious as to why it is even given the Pro name.

    its basically just a 15" macbook air.


    and surely "Macbook Air 15"" sounds a lot better than "Macbook Pro with Retina Display"....
     
  6. David Menzel macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    #6
    I still believe that they will rename the entire macbook lines to "MacBook" someday. At least when the 13 inch model will be released. That could be the reason why they didn't write a name on it.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    I don't my computers becuase of resale value. True Macs hold their value better and I benefited from that but I purchase them because they are the best to fit my needs. Right now the retina MBP has everything I need regardless of its user upgradeability
     
  8. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #8
    There are already a few threads on this very topic.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1386453
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1387354
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1384337
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1386245

    There are passionate arguments on both sides but it really comes down to whether you believe a.) you'll never need to upgrade because of some great new app or game for the life of your closed system or b.) you are willing to go through the sell and buy new process every year or two to get the additional ram or disk you might need for that great new game or app and c.) you can live with the app glitches you discover while all the app makers work to upgrade to retina displays. If either or all of the above are true for you -- then proceed with your purchase.

    Those are the practical considerations. From a philosophical standpoint many of us just plain don't like Apple's insistence on locking down the systems to the point where there are virtually no upgrade options. Some argue they have to in order to chase thin and stylish to it's dreadful conclusion. I personally believe they could have found another way. Others point out Apple wants it this way to keep out the upgraders and maintain full control of the user experience, eliminating all possibility of third party hardware impacting their perfection. I personally think if true, it's an incredibly short sighted view that will alienate a decent number of their installed base.

    Cheers,
     
  9. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    #9
    Since when does the "Pro" name have to do with what you can do TO the computer? I always thought it was more of an indicator of what you can do WITH the computer. It's still a Pro machine because of its power and the things you can accomplish with it.
     
  10. Rizzm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    #10
    Macs have always held their value really well, but aside from the somewhat recently introduced MBA, they had upgradeable RAM and storage, so it's difficult to compare when we don't know how a $2k+ non-upgradeable machine will do on the second hand market.
     
  11. Poochi macrumors 6502a

    Poochi

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #11
    Macs hold their value the "best" when you buy the BASE model.

    If you want to get the max, you stand to lose a lot when the "upgrades" you paid out of your nose today becomes the "BASE" next refresh.

    That said, I never upgrade my computer, PC or Mac. Max I have held onto a machine is 2 years.

    As long as you buy a base model Mac, we are talking about approximately $300/year discount when you resell on Macbook, Macbook Air, and Macbook Pro.

    But if you buy the upgrades, consider most of that money gone if you want to resell in a year or 2.

    So upgrade only if you need it within the next 2 year time frame, otherwise you are better off selling the old one and buy a new one anyway.
     
  12. Rizzm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    #12
    Well, honestly I really don't know what kind of specs I NEED currently. I recently just posted this in a poll thread but I'll put it here too.

    I'm going into computer science at uni this fall, and I really have a serious interest in electronic music production so I want to make that a real hobby. I don't know how tasking these things are, and so don't know how my uses as far as RAM/storage will change. I'd appreciate any help.

    I'm leaning toward base model with the RAM upgrade, although I wish I didn't have to since $200 ($180 education) is still steep for another 8GB.

    I want the base model to be enough for me, since the price is most attractive at the entry model.

    I'm finally beginning to come to a decision about this myself though. Like a poster said, and made me realize, I need to buy one, use it, and just not look back. My uses are going through a serious change right now but once I have a regular schedule of professional activities, then I can really judge what my needs are.
     
  13. Poochi macrumors 6502a

    Poochi

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #13
    I honestly don't see the need for 16GB yet. 8GB should be good for at least 2 years.

    You might need an external hard drive (1TB 7200RPM for under $100) to hold onto your media file. Other than that, I think base model is fine.

    512GB for $600 more is too much.
    2.3Ghz to 2.6Ghz, like what? 10% improvement in speed? I don't think you would notice most of the time.
    8GB to 16GB, prob 95% of the program out there don't need 16GB.

    YES people say future proofing but I would just take that extra $1000 in upgrade money towards the next computer.

    What's the point of paying so much for something NOW when you won't use it until LATER when you can get a BETTER machine?
     
  14. Rizzm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 5, 2012
    #14
    Very convincing, solid points. :D
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #15
    My point though is that I don't buy a mac because of their resale value but because they're the best tool to solving my problems. Its great that they do have a good resale value but I'm not going to stop buying Macs if suddenly their is less of a resale market for them
     

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