Upgrade to rMBP: Too much for a software dev?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by grrtt, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. grrtt, Nov 14, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013

    grrtt macrumors newbie


    Nov 14, 2013
    Beautiful mountains of North Carolina
    Hello! I've had my Late-2008 Aluminum MacBook since it was launched and I have loved this machine dearly. Unfortunately, it's age is starting to show. The battery is now at 50% health and dropping, I've been getting weird reboot loops and occasional kernel panics for no apparent reason. I adore this MacBook for the single reason that I was able to remove the optical and add in a second drive. I upgraded it to SSD which kicked the speed up and pushed it to 8GB of RAM. While it keeps up with most of my applications, it seems to lag in what I do most often: VMs. I'm a computer science student and find myself having to switch between Mac, Linux, and Windows frequently throughout the day.

    TL;DR: Old MacBook: upgraded it to the max, dying battery, crashy, kinda pokey.

    I've been eyeing over the new 15in Retina MacBook Pro (not BTO, but the second tier 15inch model). It seems ideal with the quad core and RAM size for virtualization.

    I'm just wondering if it's a bit overkill for my uses:
    - VMs for classes
    - Web development for my job
    - Some light graphics work in CS6
    - Guild Wars 2 and Source Engine games
    - Software development
    - iPhoto and iMovie

    The most applications in multitasking I am able to do are iTunes, Safari, Mail, and one of those tasks above without the machine going down to a crawl. I would like do more than that if I could. It seems like the rMBP is geared towards professionals (hence the name) but would it be suitable for a "professional" software developer after I graduate from university?

    Money isn't that much of an issue although I am also paying my way through school so my budget isn't quite good enough for something like a Mac Pro hehe. But if there is a more reasonable option for my use cases then I would much rather not waste my money on a system with resources that I will never use.


    Sorry if this sort of thread has popped up before.
  2. Game64 macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2011
    Las Vegas, NV
    Take it from a freelance developer. You won't be wasting money; this is likely a machine you can use for the next few years. Specially if you're a freelance or full time developer.
  3. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    If you want to play Guild Wars 2, get a refurbished 2012 retina MBP. The GPU difference is quite noticeable, and even with the dGPU you will see some lag in WvWvW.
  4. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    The second tier 15'' rMBP comes with dGPU... and I assume the 750m is at least marginally faster?

    For your uses, the machine seems appropriate. Of course there are always cheaper options, but I don't think it is overkill.
  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Yes, but its not that much faster and the last-year model but significantly cheaper.
  6. grrtt thread starter macrumors newbie


    Nov 14, 2013
    Beautiful mountains of North Carolina
    I might be mistaken, but isn't the battery life better and the SSD speed faster on the late 2013 model? Gaming isn't a huge priority for me. I usually don't mind turning down the graphics settings on it. I might consider this option though if when I go to purchase my new laptop next month and money becomes more strapped.

    I should also mention that I would be taking advantage of the fact that I am a student and would be getting a discount on the laptop which I don't believe I can get a refurbished model discounted any further which brings the new model a smidgen closer to the price of the refurbished (still not as much of a bargain though).

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/F...-23ghz-quad-core-intel-i7-with-retina-display This one seems to be similar enough in specs except the video RAM is 1GB vs 2GB which might make a difference if I connected a second high-res monitor and might make a difference in playing a game.

    Thank you for the suggestion! I'll definitely keep it in mind.

    Thank you for your input! I'm glad someone from the same field could offer their two cents on the matter!

    Thanks! You're right, the one I am looking at buying does have the 750m. Though I think that the difference between the 750m and the 650m are incredibly minor (just a rebrand of the same core with a jump in clock speed and video RAM I think).
  7. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    I went from a 2008 Aluminum Macbook to a Refurbished February 2013 2.4ghz/8gb/256gb 15" retina ($1659) a few weeks ago and couldn't be happier. I'm a software engineering student and my uses are very similar to yours.

    I often run a Windows 8 VM for Visual Studio and haven't run into any issues at all with the 8gb of RAM, Mavericks seems to be a lot better about memory usage in general.

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