Two MacBooks, 7 years apart?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by maryunani, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. maryunani macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    #1
    Hey guys, it's my first post in this forum after two solid years of unregistered lurking.

    So anyway, it's just a classic rMB vs rMBP problem I'm facing here. My current situation is that I currently have a 2011 iMac (the one with the laptop internals, yes) and a late 2008 aluminum Macbook, upgraded to 8 GB of RAM and 500 GB HDD. Sadly though the old MB's screen glass is cracked (though surprisingly the display itself is still fine, no pixels missing at all) and replacing it is expensive and rather time consuming. It also has a piss-poor 2 hours of battery life (it's my second battery). So I decide to buy a new notebook.

    Which one to buy though? I don't do heavy lifting at all with my laptops except some photos hop and a rare 1080p imovie project here and there but that's about it. Mostly for MS Office and browsing and PDF reading. Leaning towards the rMB right now but I am unconvinced it can replace my 08 macbook entirely, though I travel a lot and would really appreciate a laptop that weighs as little as possible.

    And of course the most obvious alternative is to buy a 13-inch rMBP, but the design strikes me as, well, old. I'm not saying it's not beautiful but I do prefer my new laptop to have a different design compared to my 7-year old laptop. It does, though, give me the luxury of retiring the MB and probably even replacing the imac as well.

    Would appreciate any advice that you have for me on this one. And probably some last questions: Regarding battery life, are owners here able to get by without actually carrying the charger for a day's work? Which one of these two has a better chance of not dying on me during the day?

    Appreciate the help.
     
  2. Pandarama macrumors member

    Pandarama

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    Location:
    France
    #2
    Hi,

    Considering battery life, rMBP really has a better one (I went to rMB from rMBP). Probably 3 hours with a normal way to use, it's a lot in whole day.

    But rMB is still ok and will be great with El Capitan, I'm pretty sure.

    The question is about your habits, 1080p editing can be difficult with rMB. Sure the rMBP is a great machine too, but I change for the same reasons : Design, weight, portability, AND because I dont need more performance for my habits.

    Good luck ;) and consider that the rMB is very classy, but still a V1 first rev.

    (I can easily resell and buy an Apple device with reductions that's why I'm not questioning myself a lot to take V1 device)
     
  3. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    #3
    If your 2011 iMac is the quad core 3.4 i7 model, then it's still a pretty relevant workhorse. That model (CTO) was a significant step up from the standard i5 configs and should be fine as your main go-to machine for doing your 1080p editing work with. If however you have one of the slower i5s, it might actually have benchmarks which are in roughly the same ballpark as the rMB, the 1.3 model at least. My point being, if you find 1080p editing is doable on your iMac for your needs, it might not be unusable for you on the rMB because it should perform similarly to a low end 2011 iMac. But if you have the CTO i7 3.4 GHz iMac and you're used to how it handles 1080p editing, you'll definitely notice that the rMB is not at all a desktop-class video editing machine. However, in that case you'll be fine to continue using your iMac for that job.

    Not sure which 2008 MB you actually have.. Unless I'm mistaken, weren't the MacBooks back then plastic? So if yours is aluminum then would that mean it's a core 2 duo MacBook Pro? In any case, from my reading of the benchmarks and from my own real-use experimentation, the new rMB feels either snappier or at least on-par with my old 2010 MacBook Pro i7. So in reality, going to a rMB shouldn't feel like a step backwards at all from what you're used to, at least in terms of a notebook.

    For me it really comes down to assessing how you want your desktop/notebook dual relationship to work. If your iMac is still feeling like it cuts it for your heavy lifting machine (and if it's the 3.4 i7, it should), then I'd say you can pretty comfortably choose to go with the rMB, if extreme portability and minimalist pared-back design is of tangible value to you. But if your iMac is itself a slouch by today's standards, your overall computing life might be improved by getting a zippy MacBook Pro, even a 15 inch. In that case, your notebook will take centre stage as the real performer in the family.

    FWIW, I have made 1080p music videos using a lot of effects on my old 2010 MBP in Final Cut X. I wouldn't say it was a fluid experience, but maybe I have a high threshold for pain because I found it usable. Maybe I put up with it at the time because I didn't know any better, now I wouldn't even think using it for that compared to a current iMac. But if your editing is mostly assembling stuff and doing some light grading work, without using hundreds of cuts and effects all the time then a rMB should be up to the task when you're on the go.

    If I were you, I'd spend some time using the rMB in a store and see how it feels. I'd also research exactly what model your 2008 notebook is (benchmarks and all, even if they aren't the be all end all), because on paper even the base model rMB should outrun it pretty much for everything... especially given how fast and tight the PCI flash storage works.
     
  4. troubleonline macrumors 6502a

    troubleonline

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    #4
    I just upgraded to the rMB from the very same late 2008 aluminium MB - though I think I only upped mine to 4BG only and still had a 256gb.

    I am loving the better battery life on the rMB - only charging every couple of days rather than every 2 hours or as was latterly keeping it more or less permanently connected to a power supply (never replaced it though). Am also loving the look and weight of the new rMB. NB the charger is also smaller so not as bulky to carry but I think you would be fine for a day of MS Office, web browsing and PDF reading. I am doing these tasks for about 3-4 hours per day and only charging every 2 to 3 days.

    My planned usage is exactly as yours - except as I have only had a week I have not yet transferred my photos or tried any movie editing. I had expected to be able to edit my 4K gopro holiday footage without really thinking about it and now realise that is probably too much for it too handle!

    If the iMac handles the photoshop and HD movie processing well for you then I would say keep that (screen size is good for that) and get the rMB for lightness, portability and good looks. *(Am keeping my similar aged iMac and, hopefully selling the old MB for a few quid!)
     
  5. troubleonline macrumors 6502a

    troubleonline

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    Location:
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    #5
    I think they were later rebadged as MacBook Pro's but (my) machine still just says 'MacBook'. When I purchased mine to replace a stolen white macbook it was, am pretty certain, the very first aluminium MacBook.

    So far am not noticing massive differences in speed between the old and new.
     
  6. maryunani thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    #6
    Well it's kind of complicated since I'm graduating from college soon, and me editing video at all is only because I'm known in my circle of friends as "that Mac-savvy guy". I don't even think I'm going to touch iMovie a lot after graduating.

    Really? 3 hours more? Don't Apple advertise them both as having 9 hours?

    My imac is a 2.5 GHz i5 with 4(!!!) GB RAM. So, yeah, slouch.

    My 08 macbook is indeed an aluminum, a late 08 macbook. MB466.

    Benchmarks (via MacTracker) read 2706.
    Yes a 15-inch retina is desirable as well but ultimately out of my price range, at least in this moment.

    Thanks all for the great replies.
     
  7. maryunani thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 9, 2015
    #7
    Yeah I don't think I'm going to touch anything close to 4K just yet too, though.

    Ah, so you have an imac as well? Is it the similarly specced as mine? Wouldn't really call it snappy (especially on Yosemite but that's for another thread), but might just keep it for the screen size.
     
  8. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    #8
    Indeed you're right, a quick google search just informed me that I had totally not even noticed there was an aluminum MacBook back then after the plastic ones. I just remember them disappearing at some point when the Air came out.

    In any case, looks like those machines were Core 2 Duos... so to be honest, between the slower and older CPU, the slower and older RAM and the much slower disc access, I would be pretty surprised if even the base model rMB feels like a step down in performance. In most cases it should feel like a step up, especially given that it will boot in no time compared to a machine from 2008 with a spinning drive. So if the question is just "I want a new laptop that isn't slower than what I already have but is nicer and way smaller", then it's a no brainer.
     
  9. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #9
    Unless you are hung up on the retina screen, the MacBook Air is your obvious choice. However, if you watch movies and listen to music on your laptop, the MacBook's speakers can't be beat.
     
  10. maryunani thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 9, 2015
    #10
    Actually I am. Seen a retina screen in a local reseller, literally clenched my fist in awe because of the beauty of it.
     
  11. darngooddesign macrumors G3

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    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #11
    If you live in the US, Apple has a solid no-questions-asked return policy. Just buy the MacBook and try it out for two weeks.
     
  12. maryunani thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 9, 2015
    #12
    Nuh uh. I live exactly on the opposite side of the US. Should've told you guys that, but sort of figured out my subpar English would have given it away anyway.
     
  13. Queen6, Jun 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #13
    Personally I recommend the 13" rMBP, it will be a significant jump in performance, with little compromise on portability. The 13" Retina has reserves that the 12" retina MacBook can't come close too. I own 12", 13" & 15" Retina`s the new MacBook is very focused, and one needs to appreciate the nature of Core M to get the best out of the system.

    Looking across the MacBook forum it`s clearly polarised regarding the Retina MacBook, some owners highly impressed, others seriously disappointed, neither are wrong. The Retina MacBook is a fantastic engineering achievement by Apple, equally it lives in a "narrow" space, requires careful consideration on choosing applications and planned workflow. Arbitrarily install your favourite applications and the rMB may choke, as can battery life fall off rapidly. Set up the rMP to complement the highly efficient sprinting nature of the Core M, it flies with a strong runtime.

    The 13" rMBP is far more forgiving and exactly what we are used to experiencing with a modern day Mac; fluid, fast, more than capable across the vast majority of the computing spectrum delivering a rich multimedia experience, with a good deal of tolerance to application selection by the user. Coming from a 2008 MacBook both rMB & rMBP will be a big jump in performance, however the rMBP will allow you to explore more of our digital world with greater ease, rolling up your computing to one system. The rMB will have no problem with the described workload/tasks, equally be warned if you stray outside of the Core M`s performance envelope frequently you may well regret the purchase.

    Third option is to wait until Q-1 2016 as it`s likely (in my opinion) that we will see a redesign of rMBP and Gen-2 rMB, equally still no powerhouse as Skylake is about graphics and further efficiency, 15% - 20% computationally at best. If you need now, buy now, rMBP is well developed and Apple`s first generation Mac`s can at time`s bring unwelcome baggage.

    Short Version: 13" Retina MacBook Pro 256Gb or greater, you won't be disappointed.

    Q-6
     
  14. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

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    May 30, 2015
    #14
    Subpar English, lol. I don't know what your first language is, but I think most monolingual English speakers would kill to speak a second language as well as your "subpar" English.... :)
     
  15. maryunani thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    #15
    Well I realise that the rMBP is the "safe" choice. At first, I didn't even consider the rMB. But seeing that some posters actually enjoy and say that it's a snappy machine when comparing it to something from 2012 or 2013, the adventurous (and admittedly irrational) side of me really want to try it out. Plus, I'm going to be the first rMB user in my university so it's sort of a huge plus as well (at least where I live lol).

    So if the rMB can at least bring a noticeable jump in performance when comparing to my MB (or even iMac) it's enough for me to take the stupidly dangerous and expensive leap.

    Ah thanks for that. Though it is only three posts in. It's all fun and praises until the first Oxford comma incident.
     
  16. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #16
    You will definitely see a significant increase in performance, you just need to be aware of the rMB capabilities, personally I am very pleased with my 1.2 rMB, the performance and the overall user experience, equally the rMB is not my sole Mac.

    Really it`s absolutely down to your usage, and expectations, this is exactly why we see the polarisation in the community My rMB is set up as a business tool, with a mind to run any multimedia applications as efficiently as reasonably possible, with apps that are not resource intensive.

    I am also of the same mind, and tend to be adventurous with hardware & applications, equally stability is a must as my Mac`s & OS X are essential for work purpose. It`s also sometimes fun to do much more on seemingly lesser hardware.

    Q-6
     
  17. maryunani thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 9, 2015
    #17
    So seeing that you came from a 2008 aluminium Macbook to the rMB (and the rMBP), do you think that the rMB is enough for me to just never touch my 08 Macbook?
     
  18. Queen6, Jun 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #18
    Well, I am coming from a lot more, however I do still have an Early 2008 15" MBP "kicking around" It`s a very difficult question without knowing your exact usage, workflow applications etc. equally what can be stated is the 12" Retina MacBook is significantly faster computationally than the 2008 machines, RAM is greater & far faster, as is the SSD.

    If your going to run intensive applications, create and or consume multimedia (on battery) consider the rMBP, this path will likely cover the iMac`s usage. If less demanding consider the rMB. Truthfully I would not base hardware decisions on being first or different, unless expendable income is not a concern, if the rMB turns out to not be up to your needs it may prove expensive, or at very least frustrating.

    I use my rMB in an engineering/business environment, generally I have an rMBP with me when I travel and or can remote into a more powerful system, for any engineering challenges. for basic office applications I doubt you will have any issue with the rMB. I have a lot of experience in running Mac portables off the wire, so these days I know what works and what doesn't and how to get the maximum out the battery for my needs. My 2014 13" rMBP can push 10 hours which is impressive, I don't expect more than 7-8 hours for the rMB, equally thanks to USB C power is not such a drama as with other portables.

    I also recommend you try before you buy as the rMB keyboard is completely different to anything else on the market, nor do all who purchase successfully adjust to it.

    From what you have stated, I believe you will be ok with a rMB, equally be honest with yourself as you are the one who will be using it...

    Q-6
     
  19. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    #19
    Definitely second the point about trying one out and seeing if your hands and brain can adapt to the new keyboard without just begrudgingly accepting it. It's a big difference to everything you would be used to as a Mac user, probably the most noticeable change because in all other respects it just feels like a nice Mac.

    I totally agree that some people might never feel right with the keyboard. At first I thought I would land in that category because after a good run playing with one in store it still felt weird. But then after another longer run later, I eventually got to a point where it didn't feel bad odd anymore, just different odd. Full disclosure, I don't own a rMB yet so I can't say if after having one for a while I'd get used to it completely. But in any case, it's such a personal thing you really have to see for yourself. Plenty of people are saying they love the keyboard now after owning one for a while, but if there was ever a case where the term "your mileage may vary" applies, it's here.
     
  20. troubleonline macrumors 6502a

    troubleonline

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    #20
    You should be! The difference is great. After a week I looked at old MB screen and it was horrible. Reminded me of when I looked at in law's old non retina iPhone!!

    You are not asking me but yes I think so.

    I am in the quickly adapted to the keyboard camp. I have relatively small hands (not small for a female but I can see that someone with very large hands might find it a little cramped.

    I would say though that in store it did feel a bit odd to me which was a concern as I will be typing large amounts of text on it but pleased to say after just a couple of days it feels good.
     
  21. kiranmk2, Jun 12, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015

    kiranmk2 macrumors 6502a

    kiranmk2

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    #21
    I'm in the same position - I have a 'collectors' late 2008 aluminium MacBook (a low-end 2.0 GHz one at that). I've tried out a couple of new models in the Apple Store last week using Handbrake and the standard Big Buck Bunny video (480p h264 version). Here are the average fps results for my ancient machine (4 GB and SSD upgrade), a 1.1 GHz rMB and a 1.6 GHz MBA (higher number is better)

    '08 MB (Core2Duo 2.0 GHz) - ~50 fps
    '15 rMB (Broadwell Core M 1.1 GHz) - ~ 120 fps
    '15 MBA (Broadwell Core i5 1.6 GHz) - ~ 145 fps
    '15 MBP (Broadwell Core i5 2.7 GHz) - ~ 180 fps

    What surprises me is that the newer non-pro machines are "only" 2-3 x faster in CPU power but that also that the rMB doesn't seem that far behind the MBA - I'm guessing the 1.3 GHz might might be snapping at the heels of the base MBA. The difference in the benchmarks might be greater, but Handbrake is (for me, anyway) a more accurate real world use.
     
  22. kiranmk2 macrumors 6502a

    kiranmk2

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  23. maryunani, Jun 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015

    maryunani thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 9, 2015
    #23
    So what does that benchmark tell us, kiran? I would guess that because it measures FPS it is a measure of graphics fluidness?

    BTW just googled "Big Buck Bunny" and with some clicks found that the 480p video is actually 24fps. I don't know how this affects your test results, but some explanation from you will be very much appreciated.

    This is the link: http://bbb3d.renderfarming.net/download.html
     
  24. kiranmk2 macrumors 6502a

    kiranmk2

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    Oct 4, 2008
    #24
    It's a measure of the CPU power over a prolonged period. FPS measures the number of frames rendered per second. It's a good test of the rMB as it will push the CPU to the max and keep it maxed for the duration of the test to see if it throttles under load. Obviously HD encodes will be less fps.
     

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