To buy or not to buy...?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mnbvcxz1792, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. mnbvcxz1792 macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2016
    Hi everyone! Hoping some of you kind-hearted folks might be willing to help me out here....

    I know that MacRumours officially says Don't Buy when it comes to the MacBookPro, but I'm kind of on a deadline here!

    So I'm a student about to start an art-y type course which requires me to buy a (high-powered) mac. My inner 16yo is crying with tech-joy, but my current 24yo self is crying over my bank balance. I've been researching over the past few months, and decided that the best bet for me is to buy the non-Retina 13" MacBookPro, configured to some higher standards, and with an educational discount it's just over my £1k budget, plus I get free headphones! Yay!

    BUT. With all the rumours flying around about the new MBP with its fancy possible OLED touchpad coming soon(?), I'm not sure whether to buy now or wait until the last moment before I buy.

    My concern is that the new MBP line is released, it all looks great, but is still too expensive for me. I then go to buy the original non-Retina MBP, and of course they've finally killed it off, leaving me no option but to blow my budget (sobs)

    Alternatively, I don't want to buy the old MBP now and then watch as the new line is released and it's great but not affordable, and the current Retina MBP comes down into my price-range, leaving me with an out of date laptop I didn't 'have' to buy.

    So, do I wait or do I buy? By configuring the old MBP I can easily get more RAM, and i7, for cheaper than the Retina, so I figure even if it looks old, it'll still last me longer. And of course, OS Sierra will be out soonish as well, but I assume that I'll be able to upgrade to that easily! Can some of you validate my choice please?! :)
  2. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2010
    Honestly I would get the MBP with retina display ... The non retina is pretty old...
  3. flavr macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2011
    The problem is the Mac you are looking at is not a "high-powered Mac". Even if you were able to configure it up to an acceptable hard drive, Ram and other specs you are getting into higher priced better models you can buy. Worse yet, when the new ones come out which will be any month now your computer will be extremely outdated. I'm a designer and would not even think to run software on anything less than 16GB RAM and at LEAST an Iris Pro Video Chip.

    I understand your plan but it is not a good decision.
  4. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I sure would not buy a brand new non-retina Macbook Pro 13". That is a design that has not been updated since 2012.

    If you want to go with the non-retina Macbook, find a used 2011 or 2012 13" MacBook Pro for $500 USD or so. swap the drive for an SSD for $100, and replace the memory with 16 GB for $55. Takes about 20 minutes to upgrade. You will end with a system that performs much better than the new non-retina Macbook Pro 13" Apple will sell you.
  5. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2010

    Any month now? That's been being said for months.....
  6. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I think at least 10 months now.
  7. mnbvcxz1792 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2016
    Hmm, ok. I'll be using it to run Qlab (which only runs on mac), and accounts from former students, teachers, and the Qlab tech specs all recommend at least 4GM RAM, dual core i7, and an SSD. The only mac (as far as I can make out) with an SDD is the old MBP, which is why I was first looking at it!

    So I'll be mainly running Qlab on it, along with emails etc and other light usage. I might also be using PS, but I already run it on my main (much better) laptop so perhaps I could avoid that if it was too demanding. I'm not fussed about graphics either, so the Retina seemed a bit OTT for me. So I thought an older MBP with 8GB, i7, and a SSD would be alright, what do you think?

    This sounds like the best scenario, but while I'm good with the software tech, I'm not so good with the hardware! Are there common reliable services I could count on to do this for me? I'm in the UK as well!

    Thanks for replying all!
  8. jerryk, Jul 18, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016

    jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    You can have a local shop make the upgrades cheaply. But the upgrades are easy to do and the instructions are online.



    BTW, the battery disconnect step is not required and it is probably best to leave the cable attached so parameters are not lost.

    One of the great things about the non-Retina macbooks is that are so easy to work on.
  9. mnbvcxz1792 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2016
    Thanks so much for your help! I'm going to try and do some more research into it but looks like I'll go with this route. If I brick it while upgrading it I'm coming after you for reparations ;)

    Can I ask why the battery disconnect step isn't required? All the guides say to do it! Do you know what the danger is if I don't do it? Sorry for all the questions, I really appreciate your help!
  10. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    No problem. Lots of people have done this, so lots of people here can help you.

    The reason I don't disconnected the battery is because that can de-energizer certain circuits that potentially hold parameter information. I don't think there is much harm in unplugging the battery, so go ahead and do it if you want. At least you won't have to worry about something shorting out if you drop a screw in the wrong place (but, don't do this!). Just work slow and steady and makes sure you keep the track of the parts.
  11. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    I have to agree with jerryk.
  12. MadDane macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2015
    The only portable Mac that does not come standard with an SSD is the old 2012 non retina MacBook Pro. So it is the other way around :)

    If I were you I would either buy a used retina MBP or buy the cheapest version you can find of a new retina version. Just make sure it has at least 8GB ram. That will make the whole experience much better.
  13. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    All retina macbooks have an SSD, they also have pretty good integrated graphics in the models from 2013 onwards but as you say the new ones will be even better (with a 64mb eDRAM cache that should give a 30 % graphics performance boost over the current one) but unlikely to be out before sept/October.

    The big problem with the 2012 is the lack of graphical processing power for the apps you want to use. Also there is no need for an i7 in the retina machines as the i5's have hyperthreading and are pretty much the same performance wise (5% difference).

    You are doing arty graphic design stuff don't miss out on the retina screen it will give you far better detail for your studying, the option of increased real estate and better colour. Add in faster ports and significantly thinner and lighter for lugging around college and you'd be mad to pay for a new 2012.

    I'd go with an apple refurbished retina machine with 8gb ram and a 512gb SSD for your usage. Do remember if you buy new and have a college or university email address you can sign up for apples education discount and get a fair amount of money off. Unfortunately no 16gb models on the refurb store at the moment but this is a much better deal than a 2012 machine.
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I personally, think spending over a thousand dollars on a non-retina machine that hasn't been updated in 3+ years is not the best use of my money. Its your decision, but you need to determine if a given computer provides value, and for me, the non-retina model doesn't. just my $.02
  15. Rhinoevans macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2012
    Las Vegas, NV
    Buy it. Awesome computer even with its aged I5 chip. Mine is upgraded to 16 G Ram and a 500G SSD. Retina screens so over rated! BTW, would be an excellent school computer. I have had mine for 2 years and expect it to last for atleast another 3-4. I saw all the naysayers when I bought mine, and have not regretted it one bit. And saved some money!
  16. Schranke macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2010
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    The thing is that yours want THAT old at the time of purchase.
    Apple should not sell the MBP for the price they are currently selling it.
    As others have said, look into a refurbished model or buy one used

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