Wait for New 13inch MBPs or Buy Now?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by darknightnf, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. darknightnf macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2009
    Hi Everyone,

    I am thinking about buying my first Mac (a MBP, 13 inch) for work / travel / school etc. What I am wondering is whether I should buy a 13inch MBP now (Sept.30,2010) or wait until the line is revamped.

    The thing is, I have no idea when the line will be revamped, or how much they usually get revamped in the fall. The buyers guide on Mac Rumors says that the average is roughly around 200 days, and this is approaching at the end of Oct. However, how likely are the following changes to the 13inch MBPs (these are things that would make me wait to purchase):

    1) Better processor, such as an i3 or i5 core*
    2) Better screen resolution or option to upgrade screen res***
    3) Standard 500gb hdd**
    4) Better video card (although really, this isn't that big of a deal since it will be a work computer).

    Stars by options indicates the most important features to me.

    Thanks in advance. I am new to this stuff so your opinions really matter. Any help is appreciated.
  2. dpru macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2010
    My guess is that the line will be updated in January. Of course, this is a complete guess. My logic behind the guess: the last update took about 10 months to come around. If it's true that they want to update less regularly, and continue on a 10-month update cycle now, then we can expect a January update. This would work great for them of course, because they'd be able to completely empty out their current stock during the Christmas season, and then start anew after the New Year.

    So that's my guess.

    As per what they will update: probably nothing significant. They updated nothing significant in their last update, and they will probably do so again, hence why I have not bought a MBP yet. Until they can meet those exact demands which you listed (because those are the things I want too), I won't be getting a MBP. (Especially the 500 GB hd standard)
  3. AdamRock macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2010
    if you dont NEED it, wait.

    the i7 models will proabbly get a tad bit faster, not by much though, possible usb 3.0 too.
  4. mr.steevo macrumors 65816


    Jul 21, 2004
    I'd wait if you can.

    I'm waiting for updated connections like USB 3 and Light Peak. I can wait.
  5. nwbusa macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2010
    BC, Canada
    Just an observation... it's really easy to swap out the HDD to a larger/faster/whatever you need, and sometimes more cost effective to do it yourself as well. Something to keep in mind since you gave that criteria two stars.
  6. Blues003 macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2010
    The Core 2 Duo chips are getting discontinued, so Apple can't use them. iX has a lousy IGP, and was the reason they kept a C2D as the processor in the 13'' (they could have put iX, but the graphics power would be SO bad). Due to this, some people (like me) believe the next update will have Sandy Bridge.

    Sandy Bridge would provide iX cores (not sure which, maybe i3 for base and i5 for upgraded 13'' models), an IGP which appears to be at least as good as the current NVIDIA 320m, and according to Fudzilla, USB 3.0. It'd also increase (even more) the battery life.

    Lightpeak will only be seen around 2012.

    Regarding high-resolution and 500 GB standard -> I highly doubt those. You can always buy a 500 GB HDD and install it, for a very reasonable price. I don't see them giving Hi-Res on such a tiny screen. It wouldn't be comfortable at all. The best solution is what they have: Hi-Res option for an external display (so you can use more than 1200*800 if you connect the MBP 13'' to an external monitor).

    If you can wait, wait. If not, buy it.
  7. three-jeeps macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2009
    Having been burned by being in this predicament, I'd say wait. I bought a MB for my son Oct 1, 2007. I learned mid Oct that a new release was planned mid November. It had one major update - used a real video card as opposed to the intel GMA. When I inquired about an update at the apple store, the 'Genius' said 'oh, it will just be a cpu speed bump'...all things considered, the speed bump was minor, the video was major.
    With some new technologies well into early adoption, notably the i3/i5/i7 cores and usb3, and *assuming* a new release in Nov, I would definitely wait. Chances are all or a subset of what i mentioned will be there. If you get to November and no release, Jan is only another two months (as one poster speculated), and if not pressed, I'd still wait. For the 13" I see an i3 or i5, usb3, and matte screen. The HD is not that big a deal...an external USB drive will give ya 2 TB for $140.

    One 'nice'(?) thing about apple...you can usually count on prices of a model to be the same, no matter where it is in the lifecycle. Not like your are gonna find one at 20% off because it is EOL. The prices of the new model will be the price of the old model, or maybe $100 more. If you got the $s to buy a mac, then the price bump will probably not stop you.
    And since there is no competition, there will be no competitive pricing.
    I'd wait.
  8. darknightnf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2009
    Thanks everyone! These are really helpful (and fast!) comments. Waiting seems to be a consensus on here, so I think that is what I will do. As some of you mention, USB 3.0 should be coming soon, which would be an important upgrade. And I think you are right regarding the change in video card coming due to the removal of the Core 2 duo chipset, as there was an article on here a while ago stating that Apple couldn't put iX core chips alongside the Nvidia gpu due to licencing agreement issues.

    Also, thanks for the heads up about installing a new hdd in the MBP - I figured it would be very difficult now that they have a unibody design (well it is what I heard anyway). I know the change is easy to make in a windows computer (in general), but I didn't think so for a MBP.
  9. nwbusa macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2010
    BC, Canada
    Yep... it's literally a 15 minute job. Well, the actual HDD replacement anyway. Transferring the data will take longer, but that's a topic for another thread.
  10. No1nfoProvided macrumors 6502

    Dec 1, 2009
    Are there rumors of a hi-res coming to the 13"? I think a processor bump with a upgraded graphics card is highly likely on the 13", but a hi-res option for the 13" is something I highly doubt.
  11. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010
    A true believer.

    Apple will use recycled mobile Pentium 4 chips from E-bay before they use Intel graphics.

    No matter how good Intel graphics become Apple will always insist that it's not good enough. There's a very good reason for Apple to do so.

    Can you think of what that reason is?

    You think different right?

    So think about this.

    Why will Apple always refuse to use Intel graphics no matter how good Intel graphics become?

    Come on, you can come up with the answer.

    Spin the propeller on your cap.

    I'll give you a clue.

    It's a one word answer.


    It begins with an "H".

    Got it?



    I'll end the suspense.


    The biggest impediment to creating a laptop hackintosh is the graphics installed on the machine. If Apple uses Intel graphics then OSX must be written to install on Intel graphics enabled machines, which makes every $500 laptop a potential hackintosh. Within five years there would be more hackintosh laptops than Apple laptops.
  12. Blues003 macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2010

    So let's review this:
    - C2Ds can't be used because they are getting discontinued.
    - iXs can't be used because they'd leave no space for a dedicated graphics, and also a lot more "hackintoshable".
    - Sandy Bridge can't be used because they'd be "hackintoshable".
    - Llano is likely not to be used since Intel's processors are far superior.
    - The ODD is likely not to be taken, since OS X is still restributed via DVD and nothing points to it changing now.

    What do you suggest? No MBP 13'' next refresh?

    "Come on, you can come up with the answer."
  13. mr.steevo macrumors 65816


    Jul 21, 2004
    I can wait.
  14. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    Actually Apple could switch to a USB distribution, include an external ODD or use target disc mode and thus we have enough room for a dedicated GPU
  15. Blues003 macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2010
    Yes, it could. Still, my point stays: nothing is pointing to change. I doubt Apple would risk the surprise-factor on non-Macrumors non-powerusers Mac users of suddenly not having the ODD integrated into their laptop. Specially when the Sandy Bridge is so promising with native USB 3.0, a better GPU, a noticeable better CPU, and also a very interesting price, according to Anandtech.com.
  16. darknightnf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2009
    This logic makes a heck of a lot of sense, although wouldn't this problem be avoided if Apple had Intel make a very specific GPU which was only licensed to them? Then wouldn't other companies not be able to exploit the Intel compatibility? I could be totally wrong here because I do not understand the mechanics of hardware coding...

    So what do you think? We know they will refresh the 13" MBP because it is cheaper to produce than the others due to the fact that it is similar in size to their original MB (okay, I am guessing that is the case but I don't know if the numbers supports this claim).

    They can't be expected to use an obsolete chip like the C2D for much longer... they got away with it last refresh (and still received a lot of flak over it), but I can't imagine they could get away with it a second time without a huge backlash from power users who want portability.

    Any guesses?
  17. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    agree, good chance for an update Q1 2011.
  18. AdamRock macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2010
    hopefully its Q1 or even better right before Christmas, but that;ll never happen :(
  19. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010
    Sure, but Intel isn't going to do that for free. This would essentially be an iApple processor, and it would have to be done up in different speed configurations too. Expensive.

    Apple seems not to care about such criticism, which I only recall from forums, not from the big media which continues to fawn over Apple. Look how long it took for corporate media to criticize Apple over the iPhone antenna issue. The user outcry over that was far bigger and worse than a C2D chip in the 13" MBP.

    What could Apple do? Order up a load of external DVD drives in white with the Apple logo for $15 a piece and include it in the box with the laptop. Then they have room for a bigger battery as well as a GPU and more jacks.

    I think I've used a DVD drive twice in the last six weeks.

    Apple should also slim down the 13" unibody, put low wattage processors inside, and turn out a MBP laptop with 14 hour battery life and sell it for $799-. The market for these is substantial and Apple could cannibalize it entirely with this configuration; and at least three out of four buyers would be new to Apple, increasing their market share.
  20. Blues003 macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2010

    They can't use the C2D even if they wanted. They can't because they're getting discontinued.
  21. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    If they have alot in stock, they can certaintly keep selling them. ;)

    Dell, Apple and other companies buy components atleast 1000 units at a time for a bulk price cheaply.
  22. (marc) macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2010
    the woods
    Well, if you don't need it, you should always wait. If you need it, buy it. The changes between two generations aren't that substantial. If you don't play games or do video editing, you most likely won't notice any differences.
  23. darknightnf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2009
    I don't do any video editing and wasn't really planning on using this laptop for games (maybe some crappy online ones or something but that doesn't take a good GPU). Starcraft 2 would be nice to be able to run on it, but like I said, it is not a big deal if it doesn't run.

    What I worry about with the Mac having only a C2D is slow load times and/or poor multitasking performance. I know Macs are way faster than equivalent Windows laptops, but I don't really know how well they multitask, especially with a two-core chipset compared to the newer iX chips.

    Does anyone know of a chart or website that compares the multitasking / processing performance differences between the Mac C2D and the new iX chips?

    Also, the only thing that is also something to think about to wait for is for the new USB 3.0. The speeds are phenomenal, and since the MBP does not have an eSATA port, they could come in quite handy for large backups.
  24. rikmac macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2010
    If you always wait till the next thing comes out then you will never have a new computer
  25. antster94 macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2010
    London, UK
    My 13" is plenty fast, I run about 5 apps at once and get nowhere near the max CPU performace, it really is very very quick. 20 seconds boot, Chrome takes less than a second to load. Can easily run programs like Spotify and Safari in the background without any problems at all. I love mine, go for it!

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