What's The Best Value & Longevity

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by me43, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. me43 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    #1
    I am looking to buy a mac notebook for college this year.(I'm going to be an engineering major) Unfortunately the new rMBP is not going to be released soon enough as I need a computer by the latest the middle of next month. I want to make sure this computer will last for at least 4 years of college and hopefully a little longer than that and still be very useable.

    I want to be sure to get good value. I have attached a picture below of the pricing breakdown and the models I am considering. Which would you recommend based on how long it would last and value? Would you recommend refurbished?(Are they of the same quality as a new one?)

    Also I'm leaning towards the 15" rMBP and I know I want a solid state drive probably the 256GB size would be enough but I'm questioning whether I should upgrade the RAM to 16Gb to help with future tasks. (like running Parallels or other taxing software)

    Finally is Applecare really worth the price; am I likely to have problems with my computer within the first 3 years?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. macNwindow macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    #2
    I'm in college too - Computer Engineering. I have the mid 2012 rMBP base model 15" and it has done everything I have needed it to do. I chose the 15" for a larger screen to program, and the dedicated GPU for when I run parallels. I think the HD4000 is sufficient, but isn't smooth sometimes from what I see on my girlfriend's 13" base model rMBP; she sometimes runs virtual machines to use our school's softwares.

    So far my 8gb of RAM is more than enough. Having google chrome & Running parallels 7 and playing DOTA2, i use up maybe around 3.5 gb of RAM. So I personally don't think you need 16gb unless you have a professional career in photo/video editing. 8gb of ram will last you for another 4 years for sure.

    I got applecare because of the student discount they offer and how the rMBP is an expensive device to repair w/o applecare. "it is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it"

    Just go with the 15" base model. If you want to save money then go with a refurbished, but if you want to be the only owner of your rMBP then buy it new like I did. ps. a refurbished one is just as new as a brand new rMBP.
     
  3. me43 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    #3
    One major reason that I want the 15" is because of the dGPU I feel that the iGPU may not be sufficient for running even some basic video editing software in a couple years which is something I do just as a hobby.

    Also is most of the software you are running for computer engineering only available on windows or is it mixed?
     
  4. macNwindow, Jul 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013

    macNwindow macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    #4
    There are some programs that are Mac compatible, but i run parallels - windows 7 because there are more software that just works best in windows. Plus, all my work will be graded by TAs who uses windows so i dont want risk any computability issues when i submit my work.

    I use mac os x for daily stuff and reading my ebooks, but when it comes to programming assignments I use virtual machines and XQuartz (on mac os x).

    To answer you question, more of the software that we use are on windows
     
  5. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #5
    Check with the university you're attending to see if they offer and packages for students. Some that I'm familiar with offer a 4 year warranty with accidental damage coverage. Some engineering programs also have very specific computer requirements.
     
  6. me43 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    #6
    Unfortunately my school does not offer any discounts or packages on a computer or software at least not anything I have heard of before(I'm sure they're for specific classes) I also checked the engineering requirements for computers you must have a pc or a mac running windows in some way.
     
  7. Phan0121 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #7
    I see that you have the cMBP as part of your comparison. With that said, how comfortable are you with DIY upgrades?

    If you're comfortable doing it yourself, then I would consider a 2.6ghz 4gig Ram 500gig HD with Anti Glare Hi Res Screen. With the education price, you're looking at $1909. Adding 16gigs of ram and a 256gig SSD will run you another $400 but you also have the option of looking out for some deals. Final price ends up being $2309.

    The only thing left to consider is whether or not the option to do your own upgrades/fixes in the future worth the $320 that you save between a rMBP and a cMBP.

    I'm currently debating between the two and the cMBP is winning very slightly because I'm always skeptical of 1st/2nd Gen. Too bad you can't wait for the Haswell rMBP.
     
  8. me43 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    #8
    I'm not real comfortable installing the SSD by myself but if I got that model i would upgrade the ram by myself which should save me some money. I was really just trying to get a comparison between the retina and non retina models.
     
  9. Phan0121 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #9
    http://www.ifixit.com/Device/MacBook_Pro_15"_Unibody_Mid_2012

    I would not get a cMBP if you're not comfortable upgrading the SSD yourself as well.
     

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