Which Macbook is for me?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tbk, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. tbk, Aug 4, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012

    tbk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    #1
    Hey all!

    I'm currently in the market for a new laptop. I've been extremely happy with my late 2008 aluminum 13" Macbook for the past ~4 years, but I'm about to head off to college and it's time for an update. I'm a physics major, so I need something with some computing power as I'll be working on a few computational physics projects. I'll probably have to Bootcamp Windows for some physics software and I'd like to also dualboot Ubuntu. Beyond that, I won't be using it for too much video/photo editing, just the standard Google Docs/email/communication machine. I really like the 13" size and less weight is always nice, because I'll be lugging it around campus. I'd also like the durability of a SSD. This leaves me in a bit of a quandary - the 13" Air just doesn't seem like it would have the power I need, but the 13" MBP seems less desirable when I compare it to the 15" rMBP. I can wait until October to get a new laptop, and if I do, what do you think the odds are that Apple'd release a 13" rMBP? I've heard the rumors going around, but do you think it is worth waiting? It would satisfy my desire for a light, powerful computer, and it will feel new for a few years - I'll probably be keeping whatever I end up getting for four years or so. So should I try my luck waiting, or bite the bullet and just get a 13" MBP with SSD, or suck it up and get a 15" rMBP? I have a scholarship that will pay around $1200 of the cost, so price isn't the biggest issue as long as it's not much more than 2k.

    Thanks so much,
    tbk
     
  2. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #2
    I would pick up a refurbished 15" MBP i7. You'll save a lot of money and have an awesome machine. Max RAM is 16GB and you should have no problem either dual booting or virtualizing.

    You can get a 15" 2.4GHz Quad-core i7 MBP with 4GB RAM and 750GB HDD for $1700. I have the same machine that I paid $2000 for less than 6 months ago. It can run ML(of course) and sue the airplay feature as well.
     
  3. tbk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    #3
    RedCroissant, what I'm really hoping for is a 13" machine - like I said, the only real reason I'd go 15" is to get the rMBP to drop legacy hardware and have a computer that's going to feel new for four years. I'm also looking to go as lightweight as possible.
    So I guess my question is: is it worth waiting for a 13" rMBP? Do you think it will happen this year (e.g., during the September event?)? If not, will the 13" MBA give me the power I need, or should I just go upper-level 13" MBP?
     
  4. Hungry&Foolish Suspended

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    #4
  5. tbk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    #5
    Well I guess right now I'd say that I'm leaning toward the mid-2012 MBA, but my biggest concern is processing power. Will it be able to handle everything that I stated in the first post? Would I be able to do a little bit of gaming? Civilization, WoW, that sort of thing?
    And I don't necessarily plan on going refurbished; like I said, I have a scholarship that will essentially pay full cost of a computer up to about $1400, so I don't have much of a reason not to buy new. I'm going to be stuck with what I get for a long time, probably at least four years, so I want the best that I can currently buy that fits my preferences.

    Thanks so much.
     

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