What Macbook pro to get?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sammyvine, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. sammyvine macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    #1
    I am student from the UK and i am thinking of buying a mac after years using windows. My current laptop has just gone painfully slow and i need a new one Asap

    I keep hearing how great the retina macbook is but i am not sure if i should purchase it since it's a lot of money and i am a student.

    I want to use my laptop for some light music production(my brother), doing essays, browsing and watching movies/listening to music.

    Not sure if i should get the 13' macbook pro or get the 15'.
     
  2. kohei macrumors newbie

    kohei

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    #2
    If I were you I may consider the weight between the models.

    Do you carry it all the time?

    I have been a 13" air user over 2 years and I carry it with me all day no problem.

    Recently I got the new 15" rMBP. When I was testing the 15" at the store I thought it wasn't too much heavier to carry but then when I am actually carrying it, 15" without a dvd drive still feels quite a heavy item. Of course, this is just my case and I don't mean this is really negative. It is a great computer indeed.

    As a result, if I were still in college and needed to carry it all the time, I think I will prefer a 13". You may connect to an external display when you need more screen space anyway.
     
  3. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

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    Jul 28, 2011
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    UK
    #3
    Get the 15 retina if you aren't going to regret not having the money for something else, if you like awesome technology, and most importantly as long as you're not buying on credit!
     
  4. sammyvine thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 12, 2012
  5. OnceYouGoMac macrumors 6502

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    Aug 14, 2012
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    In front of my Mac
    #5
    Get the 13". It should be more than capable for what you want it to do. I bought a 13" MBP two years ago (the laptop I'm currently typing this on) and I carry it around with me to university every day. It's my main computer (I have an Air as my backup machine). I even take it travelling. I have no bother carrying it.
     
  6. sammyvine thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 12, 2012
    #6
    What is the screen quality like? Also is there a new macbook pro to be released?
     
  7. Capt T, Aug 17, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012

    Capt T macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 20, 2010
    #7
    What app are you/your brother planning on using for music production? That may help you decide, what specs you need.
     
  8. aircanman macrumors 6502

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    Feb 2, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    The Macbook Pro just had a minor refresh/update with the Ivy Bridge CPUs and Intel 4000 HD graphics plus the addition of USB 3, so I don't think we will be seeing another one soon.

    I am in the same predicament, also from the UK so we have to pay more for these bad boys!! - I am not sure whether to get the MBP 13" with 8GB and i7, or go for the MBA 13" 256GB and speccing the extra 4GB ram taking it to 8GB.

    I have got a 11" MBA which is going back because it is making my carpal tunnel bad!!! Too small.
     
  9. Liquinn Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #9
    I own the 13" and sometimes wished I'd gotten the 15". But you're paying for the 2" inches and a quad core processor at that point. The 13" is more portable though.
     
  10. aircanman macrumors 6502

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    Feb 2, 2011
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    UK
    #10
    I bought the 15" and it is a lot more laptop than the 13, too big for me.
     
  11. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #11
    Get the one you like or the one you can afford. Seriously. Or just as others have pointed out "get the one I like/have"!:D
     
  12. Liquinn Suspended

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    Apr 10, 2011
    #12
    What's too big for you?:p
     
  13. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #13
    The Air has mediocre viewing angles. I don't think anyone should be forced to get a new machine when they're broke. You said yours has gone slow. Can you explain a bit more? Is the drive old/full? Did it start its life on a different OS? There are things that can cause this stuff that are easily fixable. Regarding another macbook pro, we've seen rumors of a "retina" 13" in the fall. I don't personally believe them. I mean that I don't think such a thing will materialize in the current year.
     
  14. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    #14
    get a macbook air. for your usage its more than enough unless you actually need an internal OD drive. getting a RMBP for your minimal usage is a giant waste of money.
     
  15. sammyvine thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 12, 2012
    #15
    I have a dell laptop and its just messed up. Everything takes long to load, it slows down when you open more than 1 web page.

    It's a mess!

    ----------

    I am not doing it, my bro will be using my laptop. It's not that important though so in terms of apps i will probs be using the basic ones.

    ----------

    I dont like air. I want a cd drive and something not that thin!

    ----------

    Are you going to do the ram yourself or from apple?
     
  16. Capt T macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 20, 2010
    #16
    Then based on your usage and if you don't need an internal optical drive, I would look at a MacBook air.

    http://www.apple.com/macbookair/specs.html

    Link is to the US site, but the specs are the same.

    Edit: You added more to your post...since you need the optical drive built in then the 13" pro model would suit your needs
     
  17. aircanman macrumors 6502

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    Feb 2, 2011
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    UK
    #17
    Well clearly when buying a MBA the RAM needs to be specced when buying from Apple.
     
  18. sammyvine thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 12, 2012
    #18
    sorry my bad, thought macbook pro
     
  19. M5RahuL macrumors 68020

    M5RahuL

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    Aug 1, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #19
    You need an optical drive. Check.
    You're on a budget. Check.
    You don't have any intensive music and/or video creating/editing needs. Check.

    First off, forget the Retina MBP. Dollar for Dollar, it's not worth the money unless you have a good amount of disposable income, just want it for the heck of the retina [ also assuming deep pockets ], or other intensive jobs that would justify buying one!

    I would recommend either a 2011 Refurbished 15" MBP or a new [ Mid 2012 ] base 13" MBP based on what you've listed as your needs!

    I personally would get the Mid 2012 13" MBP [ Ivy Bridge ; USB 3 ; stays cooler than the 15" ; much more portable, and the iGPU i.e. the Intel HD4000 is much more solid than the HD3000 from 2011 ]

    Goodluck with whatever your decide though!
     
  20. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #20
    There are things that can cause this. Older Apple notebooks can bog down too, but Apple often removes current OS support for models that are unlikely to run smooth under the current OS revision. Some of the 2008 models and I think one 2009 with integrated graphics won't run mountain lion, along with the others prior to 2008. There are possibilities such as malware, startup drive too full, bloatware, etc, that can slow things down. Full hard drives always do that, and a lot of earlier notebook hard drives are just slow. It sounds like a slow hard drive that is too full or insufficient ram unless you've run into malware.

    I guess it matters when you noticed this, like did you update a bunch of stuff and encounter this behavior? I've worked with both Macs and PCs. Neither is 100% problem free. Just remember that. All computers can cause you some amount of grief.

    If you're considering the 15", the 2011 isn't a bad deal if you look at the refurbished section. In the US they're as cheap as $1359. If an elusive low end 15" early 2011 comes up, they sell for roughly $1200. If you're looking at a 13", compare the student discount with some of the pricing from third party retailers. Personally I'd still try to clean up the Dell if a Mac is difficult from a financial standpoint. A trip into safe mode can often tell you if it's being bogged down by an odd process.
     
  21. jrs22 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 1, 2012
    #21
    A suggestion for the Dell

    I just purchased a 15" MBP, spurred on by the sense that my 5 yr old Dell windows desktop was about to die. I have no regrets about my purchase, but after doing some maintenance to my Dell, which I still need, it's running much better. First i backed up documents, pictures, etc to an external HD. Then I downloaded CCleaner for the PC, which is a free utility. I understand that there are issues using the mac version, but the pc version seems to run well. I cleaned out the temp files, uninstalled some startup programs that I didn't need (which are often a cause of slowdown - its amazing how much nerve software companies have about planting something in your startup process w/o asking or telling), and then ran the registry repair tool. Now the PC starts up each time (before I had to start, shut down at the power strip, and then start up again.

    Just saying if money is tight this is something you can try before replacing your old Dell. And if I were carrying my MBP around all day I would have gone with the 13" but since this is really a desktop replacement I went with the 15".
     
  22. idunn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    #22
    In person

    Look at all these in person, carefully.

    I did exactly that yesterday, with particular interest in the Air, wishing to examine its screen more carefully. You may not care for the Air, although decidedly the lightest of the bunch if continually carrying it as a student. Also consider if really wishing an internal optical drive, as the RMBP does not have one either.

    At first glance the MacBook Air screen looked perfectly fine, and with no other comparison one might be satisfied. But in direct comparison to a 13" MBP it was definitely lacking, appearing somewhat washed out in comparison the MBP with richer color saturation. The Air is often cited as superior, as having a higher resolution than the 13" MBP, if obviously other factors come into play. Either would do, part of this personal preference, but all pale in comparison to what the RMBP offers. I looked closely between it and its cousin of a 15" MBP, exact same images, and the RMBP is clearly richer with visibly crisper detail. If your only criteria in a notebook is the quality of the screen, there is only one choice: the RMBP.

    Something else of interest as well. In comparing a 13" Air and MBP side by side, their respective speeds were clearly evident. The Air was responsive, just doing as asked. But the same motions, opening software, etc. on the MBP came as a surprise. Even though knowing it would not share the same SSD as the Air, it was still surprising how slow it was in comparison.

    As the RMBP has the same flash architecture as the Air, it is as responsive, and even more so in being significantly more powerful. One could certainly live with a traditional HDD, but if the least impatient then it would make a big difference, if opting for a MBP, to update it with a SDD.

    Plan on that in advance, and the price tag begins ratcheting up. A 13" Air (2.0 GHz / 8GB ram / 256GB flash storage) is $1,700. A similarly equipped 13" MBP (with slightly faster processor) is actually $100 more. One could cheap out and save some on having only 4GB of ram (probably not advisable), or be extravagant in upping flash storage to 512GB for $500 more.

    If weight some consideration, then as said the 13" Air decidedly lighter at 2.96 pounds. Tack on about 1.5 pounds more for the 13" MBP, at 4.5 pounds. Surprisingly, the 15" RMBP weighs in slightly less, at 4.46 pounds. So roughly comparable, although obviously the RMBP a bit more bulky. At least in width and length, but appreciably more thin. Do not discount that; it can seem decidedly more svelte than the MBP models (those more like bricks in comparison, even the 13").

    One will have their own opinions. But whatever yours are may shift once having examined these various models side by side.


    • ps. A 13" RMBP is surely on the horizon, as the current 15" RMBP points the direction Apple is headed. It may arrive this autumn; or easily only materialize a year on.

      Moreover, possibly a very questionable purchase if Apple does not seriously upgrade its power to compensate for that drawn by the retina screen. The deficit most significantly with the GPU. To date the 13" models have always been left the poor stepsister in this; being one reason even now one might to consider a 15" MBP or RMBP, if concerned with such a factor.
     
  23. iRobby macrumors 6502a

    iRobby

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    Mar 22, 2011
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    Fort Myers, FL USA
    #23
    I'm just curious after reading your well detailed post. Which one did you choose for yourself?
     
  24. OnceYouGoMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Location:
    In front of my Mac
    #24
    I find the screen quality quite good. It's very sharp and I've no trouble reading it. Or maybe I just have good eyes :D (I don't need to visit Specsavers just yet as there's nothing wrong with them :p) Don't know anything about a new MBP though.
     
  25. EthosX macrumors regular

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    Jul 23, 2012
    #25
    get macbook pro early 2008 it is nice and cheap
     

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