What model of a Macbook should I purchase?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dasdasdasdas, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. dasdasdasdas macrumors newbie

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    Jul 20, 2014
    #1
    Hello Everyone,

    Firstly, sorry if this is a very trite question; it's just really important to me. I just got out of college and have been working as an iOS developer for the past 6 months. I need to get a laptop to essentially code on - development might range from making iOS apps, websites to games in Unity3D (though the latter would be rare).

    I have been looking and came up with the following pros / cons list for the different models :

    13 inch Macbook Air i7/128SSD/8GBRam : With the student discount, I can get 3 years of Apple Care and the upgrade for around $1100. I don't care about battery life, but this was my main preference because it was cheaper. However, I understand that the screen is no longer a good one and I don't know if this would be good for my development needs.

    13 inch Macbook Air Retina i5/any memory/8GBRAM : The major pro over the Air here would be the display. But would that justify the price / would this be good enough for development needs?

    15 inch Macbook Air Retina : I pretty much develop on the $2599 model at work and know just how insanely powerful it can be. If I go for even the base version, I will be be easily $500 over my budget. The major pro here would be the power of the machine. When it comes to the base / GPU model, my question is - just how much of a difference would this make? Also, I really DO NOT care about the size of the HDD / SSD at all. Just the speed. Would such a large investment at this time be prudent enough that I won't need to upgrade for the next few years?

    Which one should I choose? Once again, this is probably going to be the BIGGEST and most important investment of my life. Then again, I wish I had more money. Considering these things, what should I go for?
     
  2. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #2
    The biggest investment of your life is a laptop? Are you planning on dying soon?

    I dont know about the program Unity3d, but the other ones should run fine on any of these machines.

    How about a desktop?
    How much storage do you need?
    How important is the retina screen to you?
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #3
    I'd opt for the 15" due to the quad core cpu, Iris Pro GPU, and increased screen real estate.

    As for your biggest investment of your life - you should perhaps have higher goals then a 2k laptop.
     
  4. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

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    Houston, Texas
    #4
    I hope what you meant is, this will be the most important investment for you up to this point in your young life.

    Is portability a huge factor? What is your budget?
     
  5. T5BRICK macrumors G3

    T5BRICK

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    Oregon
    #5
    The 13" MacBook Air or retina MacBook Pro will do everything you want.
     
  6. kittencounter macrumors member

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    Mar 22, 2013
    #6
    15inch retina macbook pro is the right choice. You can get an older version of it to save money. Hell even the 2012 version is more than good enough. Everything smaller ...well you can "live" with it but it will be unsatisfied experience. Just think about web development work, Unity ...etc. where you want to have enough space to view your content beside all the console, toolbars...etc.
     
  7. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 24, 2008
    #7
    If you're doing most of your work without a second larger screen, go for a 15" even if it's an older model (refurb or used), it will be plenty fast.
     
  8. dasdasdasdas thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 20, 2014
    #8
    Fw

    Thanks for your answers everyone. In reply to the questions asked :

    * Portability is a factor, but honestly not a big one.
    * I cannot buy a desktop since I'm usually on the go.
    * My initial budget, when I started was $1000. But now I'm on the fence about it, thinking that if I'm going to, I might as well go ahead and buy something that will last a while.
    * Hard Disk space doesn't matter at all to me. If it fits in my DropBox, it's good enough.

    My chief point, once again is that I don't want to spend a lot on something that might become outdated in a year or so. This would also be the place where I learn, which matters the most to me.
     
  9. T5BRICK macrumors G3

    T5BRICK

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    Oregon
    #9
    All of the computers you picked will no longer be "new" in a year. That being said, they will all function the same in one year as they do now.
     
  10. capathy21, Jul 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014

    capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

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    #10
    If you have to have 8GB of ram you are going to spend considerably more. If you can get away with 4GB of ram, Best Buy has the 4GB/128 Air on sale for 899. If you have a student discount and or movers coupon, you can pick one up for a little over 700.

    If you need 8GB of ram. I'd say the 13 retina MBP. Refurb store has a Late 2013 2.4/i5/8/256 config for 1269. Great deal IMO. An Air configured with 8GB ram is going to be at least 1099.00. For 170 more, you would get double the storage and a retina display which makes a huge difference.
     
  11. dasdasdasdas thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 20, 2014
    #11
    Different Components

    How much of a difference would the i7/i5 available on the rMBP13 or the dual-code/quad-core systems have when it comes to practical use? Also, would adding a graphic card make any really huge difference? I am not going to game on this laptop, since I have a different computer for that.

    I read online that this is currently a bad time to but a Macbook Air... is that true?
     
  12. T5BRICK macrumors G3

    T5BRICK

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    Oregon
    #12
    In the 13" rMBP, the upgrade from 2.4GHz i5 to 2.6GHz i5 probably more noticeable than the upgrade from the 2.6GHz i5 to the 2.8GHz i7. The i7 isn't really worth it in the 13" model.

    The MBA just received an upgrade in April or May. I seriously doubt Apple is planning on upgrading them again soon.
     
  13. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #13
    Ive read about people here getting the base line mba for $700. Thats what i would do.

    Like someone mentioned: A year from now the mba will work as it does now.
     
  14. dasdasdasdas thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 20, 2014
    #14
    Macbook Air

    Oh, that's cool to hear. But will a Macbook Air suffice for my development needs? Or will its screen be great enough to say, design the layout and (low-end) graphics for a website?
     
  15. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    Nov 5, 2013
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    Finland
    #15
    Doing anything where layout matters is never optimal on a 13" or smaller display if you ask me, but if you do it on an external monitor the 13" Air will more than suffice. For your use pretty much everything in Apple's current lineup will suffice as long as you're not working on some really big and heavy projects in Unity3D.

    My personal recommendation would probably be something along the lines of what I'm right now looking for myself, which is a second hand 15" rMBP of the mid 2012 or early 2013 models. Compared to current 15" models the screen is the same, the SSD isn't as fast but it's more than fast enough, the CPU is almost as fast and there's a dedicated GPU (GeForce 650M) as standard.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #16
    I think a 13" display is going to be too small for your needs, it can be done, but it will be a bit frustrating imo
     
  17. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    #17
  18. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Atlanta
    #18
    Normally I would agree to shop the refurb store. But yesterday I saw that Adorama has the top of the line 15" rMBP for $3049 with Apple Care. The refurb price for that model used to be $2799 and the lowest AppleCare price was $249 at B&H. So for basically even money you can get a new one with AppleCare for the same cost as a refurbed one with AppleCare.

    Be sure to always check the AppleInsider price list and Apple refurb site when shopping for Apple hardware. http://prices.appleinsider.com
    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac
     
  19. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #19
    In Germany the refurb store is pointless. Retailers sell MacBooks new for the same price.
     
  20. Hieveryone macrumors 68030

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    Apr 11, 2014
    #20
    I would get the 15" unless you need portability.
     
  21. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Atlanta
    #21
    What has Germany specially got to do with this topic? Did someone say this is about buying in Germany? If so, sorry I missed that part.
     
  22. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #22
    People from all over the world read this.
    In some places the refurb store does not offer good deals.
     
  23. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Atlanta
    #23
    So we should not mention a good approach for shopping in the States because folks outside the States can not do it?

    I doubt anyone knows what does and does not work the best in every part of the world. It is always up the local shopper to investigate and understand what is best in his/her own market.
     
  24. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #24
    thats why i mentioned the situation in germany. ;)
     
  25. dasdasdasdas thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 20, 2014
    #25
    Refurbished Macs...

    I was going through the list of refurbished Macs and saw these two :

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/F...-23ghz-Quad-core-Intel-i7-with-retina-Display

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/F...-24ghz-Quad-core-Intel-i7-with-retina-Display

    Firstly, would the year on the models really matter? What would you guys say about these two? Also, I understand that I cannot add my Employee / Student discount to these Macs. Should I get the AppleCare Package and if so, would I be able to add the discount.

    Thanks a lot for your help. You guys are awesome!
     

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