Which MacBook to be?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Der Kommandant, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. Der Kommandant macrumors member

    Der Kommandant

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #1
    Hi all,

    I want to buy a MacBook, but I am not sure which one will be the right choice for me. I already own an iMac Mid 2011, so I've got some years of experience with OS X.

    The MacBook I am looking for should last at least 4 years which is the duration of my bachelor study. Personally I don't want to spent any more money then is necessary, but I need to be sure that the MacBook is fast and reliable.

    The MacBook will be mostly used for typing documents altough it might be possible that I need to run a virtual machine in the future.

    My maximum budget is 1000 dollars. I only want to spend my full budget if it is really necessary. Buying a second hand MacBook is something I already looked at, the MacBook 2011 models which might be a good option. The only downside is that they miss a USB 3.0 ports and the GPU might be lacking in the future.

    What would you recommend to buy?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. s0nicpr0s macrumors regular

    s0nicpr0s

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Location:
    Illinois
    #2
    If you want to seriously consider a 2011 MBP, be careful of any that have a dedicated GPU. It might not happen to every single person, but it is very likely that you will have issues with the Radeon GPUs at some point. You've already taken note of that it seems. If you do get hit with a dying GPU your computer will be useless until you can get it fixed, which has all been temporary from what I've seen. The 2012 models haven't had any widespread issues with the dGPU that I've heard of. If you can find an '11 with only the Intel integrated graphics, you might be alright though.

    What would the virtual machine be used for? Is there a certain size screen you're looking for?
     
  3. Der Kommandant thread starter macrumors member

    Der Kommandant

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #3
    Thanks a lot for replying.

    I guess avoiding the 2011 models might be the best to do, but a used 2010 model seems too old and a used 2012 model too expensive (for being second hand). I will be using a virtual machine to host virtual servers and enterprise modelling software which might be Windows only.

    Regarding screen size I think that both 13 inch and 15 inch will be fine, so no preference.

    Do you think it's worth it to increase my budget to buy a new 13 inch retina base model, or would you recommend something else? In my opinion the downsides would be the limited storage space (128GB) , unexpandable ram and lack of a dedicated gpu.
     
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
  5. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #5
    In case it helps, I have a mind-2009 13" MBP that I frequently run Windows Server 2003 as a virtual machine using Virtualbox & that's fine, power-wise. The virtual disk is 50GB and has SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, apache tomcat, and a heap of other things running on it. So you can do this without a lot of grunt.

    You can go look up geek bench scores to see how that (roughly) compares with what you're looking at.

    For me, the main criteria in laptops are size, weight & screen resolution. My wife has a 13" MacBook Air and the size & weight of that are just fantastic; if you're going to be carrying it around a lot (between lectures etc) then that may be a big factor.

    I'd love a retina display & when there is a MacBook Air with a retina display, I'l be at the front of the queue (although not sleeping out in a little tent outside an apple store ;-)
     
  6. Der Kommandant thread starter macrumors member

    Der Kommandant

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #6
    Thanks for replying everyone.

    I decided to wait until Apple releases their new MacBook's in 2015 and maybe pick up a 2014 model after the pricedrop.
     

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