Which spec for Macbook Pro?

sgadher

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 18, 2012
73
21
Hi All

Long time reader, first time poster here. Apologies in advance if I have posted this in the wrong place, just wanted a quick bit of advice.

I'm from the UK, travelling to LA and Vegas in April and am thinking of purchasing a macbook pro.

Looking at the forum posts, a 15" should be fine, although I am a bit lost on what specs I should look to get.

I use my ipad2 a lot of the time but need a macbook pro for general websurfing, email, downloading and viewing photos, videos and songs. I would think a decent processer would be required for converting mp4s and avi files would be necessary. I understand that the more I pay the more performance I will get but can anyone recommend based on my needs? I wont be travelling around with it, it will stay at home.

Budget is approx £1000 but am flexible if you think its wise to do so.

Thanks in advance

S
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,670
28
located
The base 13" and 15" will be more than enough for your stated needs, maybe you could even look at the Refurb Store to get older models, as any Mac since 2006/2007 can do what you want (Flash video is a bit CPU intensive, thus I exclude PPC Macs).
You don't need 100 or 200 more MHz just to save one or two minutes during a transcoding process of some .avi or .mp4 file, unless you make money with that and need those accumulated minutes.
 
Comment

sgadher

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 18, 2012
73
21
sounds like the OP is saying he is coming to the states to buy it,

1000GBP is 1600USD, he is not as far off the 15" range as some are claiming

Hi All

Apologies for not making myself clear, this is correct, I will be travelling to the states in late April to make the purchase. I know my budget is optimistic so am willing to increase. I guess based on the specs you can recommend will show me how much I will need to spend.

Thanks

S
 
Comment
Nov 28, 2010
22,670
28
located
Hi All

Apologies for not making myself clear, this is correct, I will be travelling to the states in late April to make the purchase. I know my budget is optimistic so am willing to increase. I guess based on the specs you can recommend will show me how much I will need to spend.

Thanks

S
The base Macs will do just fine, for your stated needs, you don't need any extras and RAM can be upgraded afterwards for much less money than Apple wants.
Just know, that the 13" only has two cores, while the 15" has four cores, thus it is faster, but that will only be useful during those transcoding processes you wrote of.
http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks/
 
Comment

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
6,497
9
Hamilton, Ontario
Hi All

Apologies for not making myself clear, this is correct, I will be travelling to the states in late April to make the purchase. I know my budget is optimistic so am willing to increase. I guess based on the specs you can recommend will show me how much I will need to spend.

Thanks

S
well 1600 would lower than the base 15"

when there see if they have refurbished early 2011 you might score one of those for about 1500USD

the one I have is excellent, specs are in my signature

----------

At current exchange rates it's more like $1538, or approximately $260 less than the low-end 15" MBP not including sales tax.
although your correct is it that important to correct someones ballpark exchange rate when they are $62 off?
 
Comment

sgadher

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 18, 2012
73
21
The base Macs will do just fine, for your stated needs, you don't need any extras and RAM can be upgraded afterwards for much less money than Apple wants.
Just know, that the 13" only has two cores, while the 15" has four cores, thus it is faster, but that will only be useful during those transcoding processes you wrote of.
http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks/
Thanks for that, I'm just a bit worried that the base unit will not be strong enough to last the years as I see this as an investment for a number of years (at least 3-4)

Looking at the apple website there are a number of different processers and ram options, I understand that the more ram the better (although it would be cheaper for me to install it myself I am not very tech savvy, in fact this is my first mac purchase!) I'm just a bit confused as to what to get.

Also my wife will intend to use it, but since she and I are both so used to windows os that I am tempted to install a windows os on it, is this worth it?

Thanks

S
 
Comment
Nov 28, 2010
22,670
28
located
Thanks for that, I'm just a bit worried that the base unit will not be strong enough to last the years as I see this as an investment for a number of years (at least 3-4)
My 2007 iMac is still running with its 4 GB RAM and two HDD upgrades and an SSD upgrade.
My 2009 MBP is also running quite good, and if nothing comes in between, I expect it to last two to three more years.

Looking at the apple website there are a number of different processers and ram options, I understand that the more ram the better (although it would be cheaper for me to install it myself I am not very tech savvy, in fact this is my first mac purchase!) I'm just a bit confused as to what to get.
RAM is easy to upgrade:


Also my wife will intend to use it, but since she and I are both so used to windows os that I am tempted to install a windows os on it, is this worth it
?
Depends on the Windows applications you want to run. If they are Windows only, you should look at the following guide.
Booting Windows on the Mac
For switching from Windows to Mac, it is better to leave Windows off of it, as you shouldn't be tempted to boot into Windows, just because some task is not to your liking and you are not used to the steps.
When you use Mac OS X just forget Windows and learn the Mac OS X way, often it is more logical and much easier.
Also have a look here:
 
Comment

rikscha

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2010
689
271
London
you do realise that on your travel back to the UK you have to inform the nice people at the airport that you bought that macbook and you have to pay taxes for it - it will not come cheaper for you buying it in the US. if you decide to just walk through that green door and they find out, be prepared to pay double as much for your MBP.
 
Comment

sgadher

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 18, 2012
73
21
you do realise that on your travel back to the UK you have to inform the nice people at the airport that you bought that macbook and you have to pay taxes for it - it will not come cheaper for you buying it in the US. if you decide to just walk through that green door and they find out, be prepared to pay double as much for your MBP.
i am hoping that no one will say anything! :p
 
Comment

rikscha

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2010
689
271
London
If they do a check on you, they will get you.

they will spot the US mac keyboard and they can always ask for proof of purchase despite the US / UK keyboard thingy.

they are very well trained to spot tax fraudsters - if you think it is worth to commit tax fraud to save £200-300, do it but be aware that on every travel you are doing with that macbook in future, they can and occasionally do checks on you and it doesnt matter when that MBP was bought, at least for the next five years you are not necessarily safe taking that MBP with you on a plane.

Tax fraud is a serious thing - as I said, I wouldnt risk it to save that little money.
 
Comment

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
6,497
9
Hamilton, Ontario
If they do a check on you, they will get you.

they will spot the US mac keyboard and they can always ask for proof of purchase despite the US / UK keyboard thingy.

they are very well trained to spot tax fraudsters - if you think it is worth to commit tax fraud to save £200-300, do it but be aware that on every travel you are doing with that macbook in future, they can and occasionally do checks on you and it doesnt matter when that MBP was bought, at least for the next five years you are not necessarily safe taking that MBP with you on a plane.

Tax fraud is a serious thing - as I said, I wouldnt risk it to save that little money.
really? its that intense that you have to carry reciepts for everything you own for 5 years when your travel or is this just specific to Macs?
 
Comment

rikscha

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2010
689
271
London
of course you dont have to carry have it with you at all times you are travelling, but they will ask you after returning from your travel to present them with proof of purchase. I made the five years up, I believe the authorities can get to you for tax fraud even after 10years. I said five years because you will probably not use it longer than that :)

I was talking specifically about airport travel, just to be clear. There are no such checks outside of airports - it is also not MBP specific, everything you buy outside the European Union needs to be declared at the airport as long as it is not going over a specific tax free value - a MBP purchase is considerably higher than that tax free value (£390 s. link).

Check:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/arriving/arrivingnoneu.htm#1

Edit: when entering the UK you have to pay the VAT for the MBP + a duty fee of at least 2.5%
 
Last edited:
Comment

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
6,497
9
Hamilton, Ontario
of course you dont have to carry have it with you at all times you are travelling, but they will ask you after returning from your travel to present them with proof of purchase. I made the five years up, I believe the authorities can get to you for tax fraud even after 10years. I said five years because you will probably not use it longer than that :)

I was talking specifically about airport travel, just to be clear. There are no such checks outside of airports - it is also not MBP specific, everything you buy outside the European Union needs to be declared at the airport as long as it is not going over a specific tax free value - a MBP purchase is considerably higher than that tax free value (£390 s. link).

Check:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/arriving/arrivingnoneu.htm#1
yikes, not that I have any real reason to committ this kind of fraud but makes me think twice about taking my MBP with me on vacation

on a side note i purchased mine online from the apple store, what is considered my "proof of purchase"
 
Comment

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
they are very well trained to spot tax fraudsters.
I tend to agree with what you have to say, but I had a good giggle at this, since it isn't really true. The average guy working at UK customs wouldn't spot the difference between a UK and a US keyboard or register that even if I hit them over the head with it.

We pay enough tax already as it is to support the unemployed and teenage mothers on benefits.
 
Comment

rikscha

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2010
689
271
London
you already bought it - I dont understand? I thought you are going to the US in April?

Proof of Purchase in the sense that you can show it was purchased within the European Union (which wouldnt be the case if you bought it in the US) - if going through the green door at the airport without declaring you bought a MBP in the US, you commit tax fraud, at this point it doesn't matter if you have proof of purchase or not, they will just want to see the proof of purchase to determine how high your penalty fee will be. Even then it doesn't matter, they will just go to the US Apple website to see how much you paid for your MBP in the US and then determine your penality fee.


Just go the the link I sent you.
 
Comment

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
6,497
9
Hamilton, Ontario
you already bought it - I dont understand? I thought you are going to the US in April?

Proof of Purchase in the sense that you can show it was purchased within the European Union (which wouldnt be the case if you bought it in the US) - if going through the green door at the airport without declaring you bought a MBP in the US, you commit tax fraud, at this point it doesn't matter if you have proof of purchase or not, they will just want to see the proof of purchase to determine how high your penalty fee will be. Even then it doesn't matter, they will just go to the US Apple website to see how much you paid for your MBP in the US and then determine your penality fee.


Just go the the link I sent you.
who are you quoting?

The OP is going to the US to purchase

Im not the OP im curious as to traveling with my MBP i purchased online in Canada from the Canadian Online Apple Store, I am asking you, do i need documents to travel outside of Canada so when i return i dont get taxed on my MBP, and if yes its recomended I bring my proff of purchase where can I find that
 
Comment

rikscha

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2010
689
271
London
who are you quoting?

The OP is going to the US to purchase

Im not the OP im curious as to traveling with my MBP i purchased online in Canada from the Canadian Online Apple Store, I am asking you, do i need documents to travel outside of Canada so when i return i dont get taxed on my MBP, and if yes its recomended I bring my proff of purchase where can I find that
sorry for the confusion.

I was speaking about a UK citizen leaving the European Union and buying stuff abroad such as the US.

Same laws more or less apply in every country around the world.

Just to be clear, you are Canadian citizen, arent you?
 
Comment

rikscha

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2010
689
271
London
I tend to agree with what you have to say, but I had a good giggle at this, since it isn't really true. The average guy working at UK customs wouldn't spot the difference between a UK and a US keyboard or register that even if I hit them over the head with it.

We pay enough tax already as it is to support the unemployed and teenage mothers on benefits.
The more tax fraud there is, the more taxes you have to pay to compensate for it - simple.

It is not that important if they can spot the difference or not, but they know that you are not supposed to bring in goods from outside the EU that have a higher value than £390 - they can any time ask you where you bought that macbook from and ask for proof of purchase. If you cant proof you bought it in the EU, they will assume you bought it outside the EU and will put a price on your macbook (in the US example, they will check apples website and tell you exactly how much penalty you have to pay and how much VAT + duty).
 
Comment

rikscha

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2010
689
271
London
Yes I am Canadian
I would assume laws are the same, theoretically if you were going to Europe with your macbook, they could ask you on your way back where you bought your MBP from (I am talking about the authorities in Canada, just to be clear). In your case you could easily proof you bought it in Canada, therefore you wouldnt have a problem.


I just wanted to stress, that when you have a shiny new MBP in your hand luggage on your travel back from the US to the UK and you go through the green door at the airport (nothing to declare = green) and they do a check on you, it is very likely that they will ask you where you bought that MBP from, because they will assume you bought it in the US. You then have to proof that it was bought in the UK which in the OP case would not be possible. They will then ask you how much you paid for it and depending on that price will determine VAT + duty + penalty fee (for not declaring)

Edit: I would assume you are travelling a lot to the US, arent you? It is probably worth checking if you have to declare goods when entering Canada when travelling back from the US.

Edit2: interesting link for canadians: http://betterdollar.com/duty-tax/goods-to-declare/

It seems that you can buy as many eletronic products as you like - but not more than 24 eggs :)

I think under that link you find everything you need:
http://www.voyage.gc.ca/abroad_a-letranger/return-canada-retour-eng

that is the ultimate guide for canadians: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/pub/bsf5056-eng.pdf

"Hockey helmets and face protectors must meet the requirements of standards published by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA);" make sure not buy any hockey helmets in china when travelling back to Canada :D
 
Last edited:
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.