What does Apple have against upgrading? Do you even care?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Evev12, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Evev12 macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2008
    It seems like Apple is going in a pretty obvious direction. Whether it be strictly for aesthetic/form or to force us to purchase replacements more frequently....it seems like they are quickly abandoning any sort of upgradability in their next gen systems and I think it's only natural to expect that this will be their new norm (hopefully mac pros aside!?). How important is it to all of you? How often do you upgrade your laptops (MPBs)? Desktops (iMacs)? How often do you keep your computers on average? Is it even worth it to upgrade? It would also be helpful to know if you have any other computers in the house and how you use it (photographer vs student vs stay at home mom).
  2. MaxPower72, Oct 23, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012

    MaxPower72 macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2012
    Chicago, Illinois, Crooks County
    I use every computer I own and I upgrade them as soon as needed that's why I got the BTO CMBP instead of the Retina MBP.

    To me is a big deal. Apple realized that by leaving room for updating in the hands of the consumers it was delaying the acquisition of newer model compared to Windows based PCs which seem to have a much shorter life span compared to Macs. By adopting the sealed box philosophy they would hopefully speed up the cycle by shortening it of at least 2 years. While before the average mac user kept his Mac for at least 4-5 years we'll be forced in a close future to keep our computers 2-3 years Introducing almost "disposable" machines and cutting off entire generations by not supporting them with newer versions of the OS. All this is wrapped in a "Apple vision" of our future without optical media and so on. The design thing is just a bait in my opinion if we look closely do the Classic MBP and the Retina MBP differ so much? Yet people talk like Apple took a completely different approach in design from the Classic line because Apple stated "the Retina is most beautiful Laptop they ever made" or something like that, while we are just looking at a thinness difference of 0.24" and 1.14 pounds and the look and feel of the machine is almost the same
  3. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
    I'm not thrilled with it to be honest...

    I really do want to upgrade to a lighter computer than what I have right now. That is very important to me at some point in the future.

    But I just upgraded to a 256gb ssd in my 13inch MBP and it was really nice to have the option rather than having to get a completely new machine just to see what the hype was about SSDs.

    I'm kind of sad that the retina MBPs are basically not upgradable. Back when the rumors first started about thinner MBPs I was really interested because I thought I could get a better more portable 13inch computer without having to make the sacrifices of soldiered ram and really limited storage space that you have to make with the MBA...

    But it seems that I will have to make those sacrifices (and retina is NOT worth it for me personally). Weight is important though so I'd rather at least have the lightest computer I can if I have to sacrifice upgradability. That means MBA for me.

    For what it is worth I actually think that these machines will last pretty much just as long as the old ones for most people. The issue is you can no longer buy the base machine (because few people need the mildly upgraded processors) and do third party upgrades to get the machine you want. Hence why Apple even dares to sell a 13inch rMBP with 256gb of storage as the $2000 option...
  4. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    I don't know for sure but I believe this unusual 6-month cycle is a response to the popularity of the Kindle, and somewhat to the Nexus. Users shouldn't take it personally.

    Frankly, YOU let yourself be sold into this upgrade-itis. Am the in school of why upgrade if my old machine does everything I need it to do? I run my stuff to the ground. My last laptop purchase was 2001 (yes ONE).
  5. trsblader macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2011
    It's nice to be able to upgrade, but isn't make or break to me. I still have, and use quite often, my 2008 2.4ghz core 2 duo 2gb ram macbook. It was the absolute bottom of the line model in August 2008. It still works just fine for casual use, light photo editing, programming, etc. Even the battery is still going strong after a little over 900 cycles.

    Only upgrade I did to my iMac was 16gb ram, everything else is the standard 21.5" non base model (1tb hdd, no ssd, 2.7 i7 quad core, 512mb graphics).

    I think it mostly depends on what you use it for. I can see upgrading being a lot more important to some.

    I'm also not someone that needs the top of the line or newest of anything. While it's nice, just isn't a big priority for me.

    I fully intend to be able to keep my current iMac and rMBP until they won't turn on anymore, and only replace "because I can" more than "because I have to".
  6. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Upgrade every 3 years.....at the end of Apple Care.
  7. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    I think it's getting less and less relevant. I've had 16Gb in the last four computers and around 500-1000Gb as a main drive (plus others, but mostly they're NAS or in a server somewhere). I got the rMBP because it could be specified like that. I expect the computer that I replace it with will have similar RAM and storage, but faster processor and graphics.

    Always dodgy saying you'll not need more, but really I think 16Gb is going to be plenty for a good while, and if you're not running lots of big apps, video, virtual machines etc then 8Gb is plenty.
  8. RealEyes macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2012
    I don't care. The aesthetic appeal is amazing and much of the design is what caused me to switch to Mac; The UI and the Form Factors.

    I buy a new system every 4 years?

    Buy it the way you want it, leave it be.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    If you want to tinker, learn how to take these apart and solder or stick with PC.
  9. Evev12 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2008
    I don't think it's fair to say upgraditis....Everyone has diff uses for their computers. I do a lot of editing and with the files getting bigger and bigger in size...AND MORE IMPORTANTLY....Apple and the developers restricting software updates to higher specs, I think it's very easy to get a case of the upgrade-itis, especially when you can't update software. I used to be a fairly big PC gamer, so muc so that I would upgrade my PC (or at least parts) every 8 or 9 months...which for anyone who has built or upgraded a PC knows....it's actually an amazingly fun experience. Maybe it's just me, but I'd love to have that same feeling with Apple. I wouldn't even mind if they put a slight premium on their own branded parts. In some way they deserve it, but at least let us upgrade our own desktops. It does rub me the wrong way (counter-clockwise).
  10. vpro macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2012
    poetry slam moment

    :apple: doesn't give a rat's t u r d
    :apple: only cares about :apple:

    save your money
    build your own perfect machines
    show them what you can do with your cash
    that doesn't let them have it

    upgrade the f out of the 2011s
    :apple: is only really interested in targeting the fat spoiled kids
    who want thinner and thinner things to prevent them from mental breakdowns

    :apple:'s lost it!!

    all this awesome innovation and immagination going in all the WRONG

    damn it:confused:
  11. MrKing macrumors newbie


    Nov 30, 2009
    The new MBP 13" is an insult and a joke to the customer base and especially those who have just bought a 13". Don't even get me started on the iPad's.

    Bringing out new versions when the previous ones are released within a half year ago is a big FU to the customers. By doing so they devaluate our purchases (in my opinion).

    Even so they chose to do so. Back on topic, the new rMBP being not upgradable is the second joke. They might as well rebrand the pro series into macbook meh, because that's what it is a mainstream machine no longer geared towards the needs of the professionals.
  12. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    To me, the whole "unserviceable parts" thing is a big deal for two reasons:

    1. Apple's pricing for hard disks, especially SSDs, is ridiculous. Whenever I buy a new notebook, I'm always trying to max out the processor first and foremost, since I'm an audio professional and having as much processing power for DSP is crucial to me. So usually what I try to do is pay the 400 or so premium for the top of the line proc (which is what I did with the 2012 15" cMBP I just purchased a couple of weeks ago), and then wait some odd months to do a hard drive swap and maybe throw some more RAM in.

    In this way, buying a computer is really a two-step process. Buy what is permanent with the computer now (proc, GPU), and then wait until extra funds come in for storage and RAM needs. The Retina MBPs totally break this and force the decision right then and there.

    2. The RAM chips being soldered in is really stupid. Granted this isn't common, but what if a RAM chip dies/overheats/melts/something else? Yes there's always AppleCare and I'm sure they will make you happy with a new logic board or a brand new machine, but this is a premium computer, sometimes ranging between 2500-3000 depending on options. I would intend to have a machine like that for the next 5-7 years. AC runs out in 3.

    And that's not to mention all of the other issues plaguing the rMBP right now. In general, I just don't think the Retina's are ready for mass consumption.
  13. ordo1980 macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Upgrading is huge, but I suspect is a cause for lower consumption for Apple. Power users, of course, buy new computers every 2-3 years, so Apple likes them just fine.

    But for customers like me, I'm not at all a power user. I run Office, Chrome, Mail and the like. No picture/video editing software like a lot of pros on here are doing. So for me, I have a mid-2009 13" mbp, C2D... so for me, why would I buy a new mbp? Believe me, I'd like to, and I have an Apple giftcard that will easily pay for a new mbp... but if I'm not a fan of the current lineup (which I'm not), why would I spend it right now? I could upgrade my RAM to 8gb (which even then is probably unnecessary) and throw in a Samsung 128 SSD, swap my HDD to the ODD bay, get a Super Drive, and probably be good for at least another 2 years maybe, right? Good for me, sure, I don't need to spend $1200+ on a new Apple machine. After all the slowest component in my computer right now is probably the HD (stock 160gb), so an SSD would be sweet.

    So it's great for me that I can upgrade this machine over 3 years in and make it last another 2 years probably... but I think it's rather obvious that Apple isn't a fan of this... I suspect they prefer that customers rebuy ASAP and not half a decade later.

    I'm guessing this is what is behind Apple's move toward non upgradeable computers... the bottom line and making it even better. I don't buy for a second it's just aesthetics... if anyone thinks a mbp is a fatty laptop, they need to get a grip. I think my laptop is plenty thin, and I think it's form factor is excellent and still better than most laptops on the market.

    Aesthetics, however, is a great cover for rendering laptops non upgradeable, thereby reaping higher profits due to higher turnover. I pass no judgment on the tactic, but business is business, and wouldn't ya know it... companies like and continually want to make more money. :p JMHO.

    Edited to add - And I think a lot of mac users are just like me... students or recent graduates who bought with AppleCare, warranty up so why not upgrade, aren't power users, have an xbox for games, etc., etc., I think you all get my point.
  14. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003
    I consider myself an extreme power user. I upgrade, push, and modify many of my electronic devices and computers.

    At first, I was pretty unhappy with Apple killing off the upgrade options on the MBPr and was pretty vocal about it.

    However, it occurred to me that notebooks only have two options really: HDD/SDD and memory. So I maxed out what I thought I would need and have not looked back.

    The MBPr is probably the best notebook/workstation I have ever used. For what I do, I have to be in all three worlds: Mac, Linux and Windows. I am OS agnostic: I wish I could pair the best of the three into a Super OS to be honest.

    It is how I make my -very good- living.

    Now, for a desktop system, I would not consider a Mac at all. Apple's desktop hardware is terrible.

    I build three types of machines for my clients: Basic Desktops (Word, Outlook, Excel), Workstations (AutoCad, Blender, SurfCAM, etc..), and then the Gaming Machine for those that need it.

    I source my parts, put the hardware together, and install Windows. I can build a machine in all three categories that is cheaper than what Apple offers (Mini, iMac, Mac Pro), has more power, and the warranty is longer.

    If anybody tells you that it is impossible, they are either stupid or incompetent.

    These businesses are looking at cost, performance, and warranty. Aesthetics of the case are the last item they are concerned about. I can understand that.

    Upgradeability in a notebook isn't that big of a deal. Upgradeability of a desktop is extremely important in my opinion.

  15. vpro macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2012

    More of this passion is needed in this forum - thank you!

    I LOVE it!! The 13 and 15 inch 'MehBook', so??

    :apple: is definitely playing head games with us, putting us on a roller-coaster ride of our lives. In my mind I keep the faith that they will bring back the mighty 17" MBP with Haswell in 2013.
  16. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Is a vicious cycle. A new software version typically wants more resource from your hardware. I like to joke the hardware and software vendors are in a conspiracy to keep each other in business.

    So don't update the software if u don't have to. Of course it depends what you do. If u depends on your machine to make a living, well, that's business expense. But if you are home user, do you really need the latest blah-blah app?

    It was fun for a me for a little while then I am thinking, to play this $50 dollar game, I have to put another $600 in hardware. Something's wrong with that math. A game console seems more sensible.

    So you WANT to give Apple money, fine. Ya, not a lot of DIY opportunity with Apple, they do like to sell u closed systems.
  17. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2012
    the only thing i dislike about "upgrade path" etc, assuming one maxes out ssd/ram/video from the get-go (whether though apple or otherwise) - is the new game of port denial.

    i grabbed a 2012 cmbp, the only thing stopping me from getting the R was the lack of ports.

    yes, form-factor is nice and all, but no native FW port or ethernet - if you're going to do that, bundle it with (what is currently) a ridiculously priced, and thus-far non-existant hub.

    "pro" indeed.
  18. tshrimp macrumors 6502


    Mar 30, 2012
    I like the ability to upgrade. Sometimes we change our minds, or don't account for a memory hungry program that a year after we bought the Macbook we had so start using. We couldn't predict the future, so we can now add more memory. That HDD ending up being too small or too slow....no problem we can upgrade. This all helps our computers useable for a longer period of time.

    We all know Apple charges a premium, and to make them "throw away" devices negates much of the benefits of owning a Mac in the 1st place.

    Do do I car? Heck yes, and will leave them if this becomes the norm. I understand for something like the Air where they are thin and light it might be needed. But for any other system I would be upset, and actually become a Windows PC owner.

    I know many have accepted the lack of even battery changes in the iPad and iPhone, but this will not carry over into the pc market without Apple feeling a financial impact IMO.
  19. KPOM, Jan 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013

    KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Remember, Mac is only about 15% of Apple's revenue and profits now. iPhone is about 50%, and iPad is another 20-25%.

    I think Apple is sensing that the life cycle of computers is slowing. People don't upgrade as often as they used to, and they don't buy new as often as they used to partly because they don't need to. A 6 year old PC or Mac can still access the net or do basic tasks. The people who upgrade are also likely the same people who buy new computers more often.

    Also, notebooks never really were as upgradable as desktops. While it is sometimes possible to upgrade CPUs on the Windows side, in reality the most common upgrades were RAM and HDDs, and I'd guess that most users didn't do even that much. With the current model, people are more likely to buy up (e.g. get the 8GB MacBook Air or step up to 256GB), which enables Apple to maintain higher margins. It isn't consumer friendly, of course, but it does seem to make good business sense for what is a mature and stable, if not slowly declining market.
  20. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    This is biased. My mother has a MacBook 13" uMBP. She still has a stock drive. She has 4GB RAM because i had some leftover sticks. She had one for 4 years. She doesn't care about upgrades. And it's not a throw-away, her will last her more than mine will last me.

    Also SSD is upgradeable so stop putting that forth as an argument.

    They used the fixed RAM into their advantage - the memory bandwidth is optimized to the point of being ridiculous - 99.9%, 10% more than on equally spec'd cMBP.

    I'm not defending apples moves, I'm just trying to show another perspective. I am not too happy about soldered RAM either - proprietary SSD isn't as bothersome as long as there will be at least one company offering off the shelves upgrades.
  21. Poisonivy326 macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2012
    It's weird that we are talking about this while the users in the iMac forum seem to be having a ball tearing apart their new 2012 iMacs ...
  22. F1 Fan macrumors regular

    F1 Fan

    Apr 18, 2012
    My mate's 2008 Macbook can't run Mountain Lion so can't run iTunes 11 so can't sync his new iPhone 5. (He's taking the phone back btw).

    If the machines are being written off as obsolete by 5 years old then what's the point in upgrading them? Surely you don't need to think about upgrading until 4 years old (maybe 3 if you're using high powered modern software)? By then, is it really worth the money?

    My plan is to get by a machine to last until I'll want to upgrade to an iPhone which it won't support and then replace the two together. No upgrade required.
  23. smallnshort247 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2010
    I also try maxing out the processor at the time of purchase. Then upgrade the RAM and HDD to 7200rpm or SSD. It really helps with resale value down the line. I'll be getting my first rMBP probably after a refresh this year.
  24. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    There is no difference between the RAM speeds. Both are limited by the memory controller.


    Pretty much the same though the cmbp is about 100 pts higher than the retina for every version (2.3, 2.6 and 2.7 Ghz).
  25. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008

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