The "What Should I Buy?" Question

manofbread

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2008
7
0
My 2008 iMac has performed admirably for many years but now I find myself longing for the portability and performance of a laptop.

Uses:
I do a some photoshop and illustrator, as well as some light coding. I look forward to doing a bit of family video editing with the newer version of iMovie. I take a fair number of photos and iTunes could play for nearly a week without repeating. My plan is to purchase a display to plug into for home use and heavier bouts of photoshop (mostly design work; not tons of extremely heavy photo editing). All amazingly interesting stuff, I'm sure.

Priorities:
So, my main priorities are processing speed and storage space (128G of SSD is almost laughable and I really will NOT be dragging an external drive around with me--That's just not going to happen.).

My candidates thus far:

13in. rMBP 2.6 i5/8/512G for $1799

13in. non-retina MBP 2.9 i7/8/1T for $1549

I really prefer the price point of the nrMBP (as that facilitates purchasing the external display) but am not as knowledgeable about the differences between Ivy Bridge vs Haswell nor i5 vs i7 as I'd like to be.

Yes, I understand that retina is "amazeballs", but looking at the screens I don't know that the resolution alone justifies the higher price point for me. Similarly, SSD is substantially faster but I can see swapping out the optical in the nrMBP for an SSD in a year or so when SSD prices have dropped.

A late new candidate:
Refurb. (2/13) rMBP 3.0 i7/8/512 for $1659

I really appreciate any advice, knowledge or experience you might be able to provide. Thanks!
 

qtx43

macrumors 6502a
Aug 4, 2007
659
16
There is no optical drive, and if there were, swapping it out would probably be next to impossible.
 

nealh

macrumors 6502
Jul 20, 2010
471
29
Once you use a retina display laptop, there is no going back even to my desktop.

I have a 13in but really regret not having a larger screen of the 15in, portability for me is not an issue

With that said, if you do not need or want the retina display, then get the non-retina as the price is great.

Haswell laptops are supposed to run cooler and have better battery life. I am not sure on the noun-retina model but they have an upgrade wifi 802.11 ac, which is faster protocol and the newer thunderbolt2 ports

Ivybridge is the previous cpu tech, shorter battery life and "runs" warmer. I do not believe the cooler running chip is an issue from my 6mo on a refurb 13in 2.9 i7/8/512 early 2012
The Battery life is not important as I rarely get below 50% and leave it plugged in at night

The refurb is an awesome deal and will look as new as a boxed one if experience is an example.

I also would buy applecare as repairs are very pricey.
 
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manofbread

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2008
7
0
Once you use a retina display laptop, there is no going back even to my desktop.
...
The refurb is an awesome deal and will look as new as a boxed one if experience is an example.
Question: other than the ivy bridge v. haswell, is there any other big difference between the early 2013 and the late 2013 rMBP?
 

qtx43

macrumors 6502a
Aug 4, 2007
659
16
The Superdrive on the nrMBP. Was I using the wrong terminology?

Like so:
http://osxdaily.com/2010/05/19/install-an-ssd-into-the-optical-drive-slot-on-a-macbook-pro/
Yes, the MBP in 2010 had optical drives. If you want a relatively new one then no built-in optical drive. Also, don't count on upgrading anything at all in the new ones. They're great laptops, but not upgradeable. If you want x amount of RAM, get it when you buy it.

My opinion, a refurbished February 2013 is a much better deal than a new one. The new ones are slightly better in just about every respect, for an extra $1000.
 

manofbread

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 2, 2008
7
0
Yes, the MBP in 2010 had optical drives. If you want a relatively new one then no built-in optical drive. Also, don't count on upgrading anything at all in the new ones. They're great laptops, but not upgradeable. If you want x amount of RAM, get it when you buy it.

My opinion, a refurbished February 2013 is a much better deal than a new one. The new ones are slightly better in just about every respect, for an extra $1000.
So, the non-retina MBP that is for sale right now, with a superdrive, can't be upgraded? I'm glad I asked about that/it was brought up.

Thanks for the advice on the refurb. I'm leaning heavily that way. It seems like people have generally had good experiences with refurbished machines.

Is 8GB of RAM enough on that 2/13 rMBP?
 

qtx43

macrumors 6502a
Aug 4, 2007
659
16
So, the non-retina MBP that is for sale right now, with a superdrive, can't be upgraded? I'm glad I asked about that/it was brought up.

Thanks for the advice on the refurb. I'm leaning heavily that way. It seems like people have generally had good experiences with refurbished machines.

Is 8GB of RAM enough on that 2/13 rMBP?
Oh, I see some of the June 2012 had a built in optical drive, I thought they ditched them the year before. I don't know if can swap that out, probably not easily.

8GB enough, it all depends on what you're using it for. Probably is enough for what you say, and most people.
 
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jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
801
41,171
Criminal Mexi Midget
Oh, I see some of the June 2012 had a built in optical drive, I thought they ditched them the year before. I don't know if can swap that out, probably not easily.

8GB enough, it all depends on what you're using it for. Probably is enough for what you say, and most people.
IIRC the only ones with the optical drive are the non retina models:apple:
 
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