Total Newbie - advice please

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MACfemme, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. MACfemme macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    #1
    Hi all,

    So I bought an Air back in 2010, but during delivery my school decided that we all had to purchase laptops from them. So I ended up returning it.

    So now I'm ready for my first 13". I realize people have already asked this question, but the terms are a little too technical for me to understand.

    I'm deciding between the 128GB MBA, 256GB MBA, OR the 128GB rMBP. Money isn't abundant, but I keep hearing ppl say 128GB isn't enough.

    I mainly surf the net, watch movies, play a few games here and there, and study. I'd love to start editing some personal pics too. I can use the edu pricing so that'll help a little.

    Thanks and please help
     
  2. Rizzm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    #2
    Unless you NEED/LOVE the retina screen then go with the Air. There's hardly a difference otherwise. Storage needs are up to you. I'd say 256GB is a good standard for a single computer setup.
     
  3. MACfemme thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 24, 2010
    #3
    Thanks Rizzin,

    Yes it will be my only computer, and I really dont need the retina display. I'm not a techie, but am sick of my PC crashing. So the $300 to the 256 is generally worth it is its my sole computer?

    :)
     
  4. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
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    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #4
    Go look at the cMBP 13" and decide if you can live with the "old" screen, size and weight. If you can live with the bigger but slower HDD, great! If not, you can put in a 2.5 SSD (which are constantly coming down in price) and use the included HDD as external storage. Or, you can pull out the optical drive (and put it in an external enclosure) and use an optibay solution to simultaneously put your OS and apps on an SSD and file storage on the HDD.

    $1999 for a 256 gb 13" rMBP with a dual core processor and no discrete graphics card is somewhere between highway robbery and outright rape. You'd be better off getting a 15" retina for not too much more money. Maybe keep constantly checking the refurb page to snatch up a 15" rMBP refurb when they occasionally show up.
     
  5. MACfemme thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 24, 2010
    #5
    Hahaha...thanks for that response, but you were totally speaking a foreign language, I dont know any of those technical terms :(

    So I woudn't buy the 256GB rMBP, only the base, but im leaning towards the MBA. So Im wondering if I should get the 128 or 256 GB if its my sole computer.

    If I do get the 128, I could sneak in an ipad mini for the price diff...hehe.
     
  6. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #6
    Of the two choices, rMBP or MBA, I'd get the 256 gb upgrade on the Air. OR find a good deal on a used 2011 or 2012 model with that SSD on CL or the apple refurbished store.

    A 2011 or 2012 classic MBP can use conventional 2.5" SSD's, which are dropping in price and are easily installed. With some careful shopping on newegg or amazon, you can find a 256gb SSD (Crucial m4 or Samsung 830) for $200 or less, less money than what Apple charges for its upgrade. You can also cheaply and easily upgrade the RAM later on if you need it, the MBA and the rMBP's ram is soldered on; if you need more of it later on, you'll have to buy a new machine.
     
  7. MACfemme thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 24, 2010
    #7
    Thanks again.

    So the RAM can or can't be upgraded later?

    If I had to pick between upping either the storage to 256GB or the RAM to 8 now, which would you recommend.

    I'm sorry I sound so clueless, but I dont know too much about computers. For the last 8 years, I've had comps that had everything chosen, including specs, by my academic institutions.

    I appreciate your patience :)
     
  8. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #8
    The RAM on either the MBA or retina MBP can NOT be upgraded, period. Ever. The SSD can, though Apple uses a blade type that no one else does, so it can be upgraded (but will be hella expensive).

    As for which one to choose, it's a judgment call. Can you determine how much ram is on your current system, and how many page outs (the number of times the computer uses part of your hard drive to stand in for RAM) you have? For that matter, how much storage are you using on your current rig?

    If you're doing ordinary consumer stuff, you can probably get by with 4 gigs of RAM. But if you need more later on, TFB!:eek:

    Or, you can (yea, as I say onto you, for the third time now) get a classic MBP where you can cheaply and easily upgrade either the RAM or the storage space as you need it.
     
  9. Lukewarmwinner macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #9
    I'm also deciding between the MBA 13" configurations. But I'm going with 128gb and 8gb RAM (so the base 13" with upgraded RAM). I have a lot of Dropbox space, which I use and really don't want to pay Apples premium prices for their SSD. Also you could always get a SD card for extra storage.

    My current MBA 13 has 256gb and never used it..
     
  10. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #10
    Good points I neglected to mention, even though I use both.:eek:

    So, you're not going for the 13" rMBP?:rolleyes:
     
  11. Lukewarmwinner, Oct 24, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012

    Lukewarmwinner macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #11
    I was planning on, but when I saw the specs my hands went down. I'm a student and money is tight, so can't really justify paying 400$ more for pretty much just a retina display. I do a lot of CS5, but never had any display worries with any of my Airs (have had almost all gen.).

    The base Air 13" offers great value, and since my budget is limited I'm really leaning that way. I could go with just 4gb RAM as my current, but I'd like it to be more futureproof (no such thing, but still...).

    So naaahh.. The retina-thing is nice, no question 'bout it, but simply can't afford it, and with almost the same specs as Air, it makes no sense for me :)

    I think people worries to much about storage. It's all gonna be cloud-based anyway, and with Dropbox, iTunes Match, Box and so on, my internal storage-need is really not much. Just programs actually
     
  12. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #12
    When you said the base 13" offers great value, did you mean the retina or the classic?
     
  13. Lukewarmwinner macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #13
    Oh, my bad - actually I mean the 13" base Air :p
     
  14. MACfemme thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 24, 2010
    #14
    Wow good to know that you haven't used it up.

    Clyde, I dont want a regular MPB, because the low weight is a huge deal for me, I prefer a more portable computer.

    Sooo in answer to your q, I checked my hard drive and it says, 233GB free of 297...which means in using this piece of crap for the last 3.5 yrs, I've only racked up 64GB....sa-weet! And by upgrading the RAM, I'm still $200 under what I thought I'd spend.

    Lol, totally copying your configuration Luke :D
     
  15. Lukewarmwinner macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #15
    Original I had Windows on my Mac 'cause the need of some programs, but after deleting it, I was no way near the storage limit. Also had a ton of music, but using iTunes Match and Dropbox instead.

    The 'only' downside about 128gb is that you have to think about what you're using on storage. For me that is really not a big thing cause I use the same programs over and over again; office and cs, which takes up about 15gigs or so.

    Haha, nice you could use my advice into your configuration. I haven't even ordered mine yet :D. But yeah, fahgettabbout the rMBP and go with the base Air with 8gb - you could get along with 4 though. Not really sure how many I'm using, but it varies. I'm getting 8gb since it's non-upgradeable. And it's till 400$ cheaper than the base rMBP!
     
  16. MACfemme thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 24, 2010
    #16
    It comes to $1239 with our edu pricing.

    So if I only have 65 GB used on this computer I should probably be fine right?
     
  17. Lukewarmwinner macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #17
    Yeah, I'm also getting a edu-discount but paying premium for living in a non-us country so I'm paying 1600 $ for the same specs (bummer...)

    It really depends on what you've used it on. If it's documents and so on, you could easily tranfer it to Dropbox, and music for Match. Programs however takes up your internal storage, so make sure you don't use fancy programs using a lot of space. OSX takes about 4-6gigs (if I remember correctly), so you're getting around 120gb when both iLife and OSX installed from factory.

    Videos and so on could you storage on a NAS, SD card, or even dropbox if you got the space.
     
  18. Rizzm macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    If it were my cash, no, an extra 128GB of SSD space is not worth $300. If you need/want that form factor, then that's the price you must pay though. If you don't mind a lesser screen resolution and a little extra bulk then go for a base 13" MBP and add your own RAM/SSD.

    Apple really screwed us on having any easy options to take. The best value products right now are the classic MBPs and the 15" rMBP.
     

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