Why I bought NonRetina 13" MBP at Best Buy for teenagers

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mpbt, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. Mpbt macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2014
    I bought 2 non retina 13" MBP 2.5 ghz/4 gb/500 gb HD for teenagers from BB yesterday on sale for $900.

    Could have had a 11" MBA 1.4/4/128 sad for $780 from BB or a 13" rMBP 2.4/4/128 sad for $999 from mac mall.

    Basically it came down to ability to upgrade RAM and upgrade/repair HD if and when it broke down. I wished more "regular" people that are now consuming the apple products were aware of these constraints esp with windows machines still upgradeable and they assume MacBooks are also.

    The reason I post this is that the BB tech Geek at the store was selling hard the 11"MBA. But, I really believe that in a few years (I run still a 15" MBP 2006, and a 17" MBP 2008 and a MP 2006!- all upgraded in RAM and Diskspace), that with the non upgradeable ram and SSD you are really limiting life of those laptops and its a shame to pay the apple premium and not be future proofed to some extent. I know that since I also own a 11" MBA 1.3/2/64 and its constrained but usable. I am still out if cloud storage will be able to replace local access enough to be truly the way to go (I also run a 2TB airport express with time machine backup and a Drobo NAS). I am as you can tell an apple fanboy writing this on a mac mini, all kids have iPhones and iPad 5.

    I just can't help but feel that if we can't ever upgrade the MBP, MBA or iMacs that I would every buy them again for such a premium. Software will continue to bloat and as these machines becomes the machines for our lives and we take them everywhere, they will breakdown more and more. Id hate to need to pay apple to fix for $$$$ or in some cases make us buy new computers because a sad went bad.
  2. Praesto macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2014
    Did not read the whole thing but now a days you can have a home cloud network. The size can be limitless and added protection of a password if your laptop is stolen. Less people need the space directly on their machine.
  3. maratus, Nov 28, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014

    maratus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    Yah I understand the RAM argument cause all low-end Airs/rMBPs come with 4gb soldered which is a bummer (but I always suggest to max-out RAM in these machines if possible)

    the storage argument however is almost invalid because it's not that hard to buy an OWC (or original) SSD replacement whether it's a PCIe or apple version of mSATA

    But let's face it, having a conventional 500gb HDD is by far the biggest bottleneck one can have in a 2014 laptop (so it requires an immediate upgrade) and, comparing MBP to rMBP, you'll get an inferior TN low-resolution screen and extra 430g of dead weight (damn 2kg for a 13" is a lot)
  4. blooperz macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2013
    You spent 900 dollars on technology that is on it's way out the door, and for many manufacturers is already obsolete. 4gigs will need to be upgraded to 8/16...500g HDD will be replaced with a similar SSD, thats a few hundred bucks for a good SSD...so your looking at ~1300 after upgrading and it will still perform below a baseline rmbp with a cheap external. I just don't see the point...I feel like anyone would be better off just buying the latest rmbp or even a 2013 refurbished for 1100. All you need is 8 gigs of ram for now and for the next 4 years for an average consumer. The only reason to buy a non retina is if u don't want/need a SSD, but I'm sure that anyone that's used a SSD before knows there's no other way to go.

    OWC also sells SSD upgrades for the macbook air's the only thing not upgradeable is the RAM.

    I doubt your teenagers will be using the same machines after 4+ years, let's face it they are teenagers ;).

    If the normal macbook pro's were more fairly priced I would understand...let's be honest they should be in the 400-500 range or less with those specs...they are just way too marked up for what you're getting in my opinion.

    Don't mean to be critical just my 2 cents

    ~refurb store is a great place to look on apple's website to help with the sting of "apple inflation"...basically brand new machines,and the same warranty as if you bought them new.
  5. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    Good news - you have until Jan 15th to return them if you change your mind!
  6. maratus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    Upgradeability in laptops is overrated, especially after we hit 8GB of RAM for base models.

    I would love to be able to upgrade GPU and CPU in iMac, that's for sure. And I absolutely hate where Mac PRO is heading. But that's another (and albeit very sad) story.
  7. Zerka macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2014
    San Jose,CA
    Exactly what I was thinking. You'd be better off having just gone for the rMBP and saving the time/money you'll spend upgrading (+ you get a retina display). If I were you I'd return them for retinas and spend an extra $120 for two external HDs. The laptops you have now are equivalent to rubber spikes on baseball cleats. They get the job done of course, but not necessarily the best. The ability to upgrade is becoming moot, a mid-spec laptop now-a-days will last a good 3-4+ years anyways
  8. Ann P macrumors 68020

    Jun 29, 2009
    Extended holiday policy I'm assuming. Does a restock fee apply?
  9. illusionx macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2014
    Brossard, QC
    In Canada, BB have a deal with Apple to sell the 13" MBA with 8gb of ram for 1100$. And the MBA cpu is faster than the 2012 i5 2.5ghz...
    Not to mention the bottleneck you get for having a slow 5400rpm hdd.

    Honestly, I would hate to have stock 2 years old model today.


    No, products bought between now and x'mas can be returned before jan 15th. No restocking.
  10. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    You must be super rich if you can afford throwing money out for outdated hardware like that. And your upgradeability arguments are moot anyway. For comparison, a 13" rMBP with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD costs $1269 in the Apple refurb store. The price is more or less the same as your old 13" after DIY upgrades, but the rMBP is lighter, faster, has better battery life and a better screen. Especially the later makes it a much more useful machine.
  11. macnerd93 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2009
    United Kingdom
    I went all out yesterday and ended up buying the 15'' retina, its the most expensive computer i've ever bought, but hopefully its worth it.

    The 13'' non-retina MacBook Pro was updated over two years ago now so in my opinion it wouldn't be worth really even the discounted price, but everyone has different needs etc. I loved my 09 13'' mbp, but it was just so slow and couldn't play 2.7k footage at all.
  12. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Neither the gpu, nor cpu in the cmbp are upgradeable.
  13. nobodyjustwalks macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    Have to agree with the posts above, OP. While I commend you for maintaining your older Macs and having the initiative to not sit on the sidelines and maintain/upgrade your own computers, your argument is somewhat moot considering the deals that are available for rMBPs, both on the Apple refurb store and on other tech websites. In my opinion, the difference in price is not worth the hassle of attempting to open the laptop in order to upgrade its components. Also, for less than the cost of the upgrade, youʻd have had a thinner machine, with better battery and supremely better screen.

    But then again these laptops are, as you mention, for teenagers. However, my mind keeps coming back to the fact that you couldʻve gotten them laptops generations ahead of something that quickly kills your battery because it has a 5400 rpm spinning hard drive, with 75-100 MB read/write speeds. The rMBP you couldʻve bought, would have been 500%++ faster. Todayʻs PCIe SSDs have read/write speeds of 400-900 MB/s.
  14. domain macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2007
    I suppose I have a slightly different take on this discussion :p Compared to currently available laptops in general, the $899 model is a terrible deal... but for a Mac laptop, it isn't so bad.

    13" rMBP w/ 8gb memory/256gb SSD is running approximately $1269 refurbished or $1499 new.

    13" MBP ($899) can be modified to 8gb memory/256gb SSD for a total cost of approximately $1050 new (or 16gb for $55 more).

    With the exception of synthetic benchmark scores, there isn't a large performance difference between the Haswell U vs Ivy Bridge M processors... so at that point it comes down to the screen, wireless n vs. ac, and whether or not you have use for any of the features missing on the rMBP (Firewire, GigE port, Optical Drive).

    You can also reduce the need for external storage solutions on the 13" MBP by re-using the optical bay for a second drive.

    So depending on your needs it can fit the bill at a lower cost, and will likely be the last model that is somewhat user-serviceable friendly.
  15. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    SSDs are much sturdier than HD - no moving parts. An air would have been a better choice, but $900 is cheaper than an air.
  16. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    Also keep in mind that as DDR4 becomes mainstream over the next couple of years; prices for DDR3 modules will shoot up and if you are looking to upgrade to 8GB in 2 or 3 years, you maybe looking at a pretty hefty bill.
  17. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    It seems to be a good deal. These laptops with 16GB and SSDs will be in great shape when OSX 10.15 Mount Whitney comes to the market. On the other hand, 4GB MBAs/rMBPs will be madly swapping at 500 GB/s.

    Also, if HD 4000 won't be capable of handling OSX 10.15 graphics, the HD 5000 will probably not too.

    I think I'd get the 2014 base Retina 13" (8GB/128GB/i5). There are good chances that PCIe storage upgrades will be available in the next year.
  18. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    You should've read the whole thing because he said he had a 2TB Airport Express and a Drobo NAS.
  19. Count Blah, Nov 29, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014

    Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    Exactly. This is why I am afraid that my last Mac will be my mid2012 cMBP. Too much $$$ for soldered in planned obsolescence. The premium made sense when we could keep our systems for many years. Now, they are making them to be replaced in a couple years.

    If you want to spend three times the amount of components(ram, storage) elsewhere, or you want to replace your system A LOT more frequently, then the new macs are for you.

    I can understand what you are talking about OP. The issue will be the GPU's inability to keep up over time.
  20. illusionx macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2014
    Brossard, QC

    AFAIK, ram upgrades from Apple is fair price market price.
    Going out to buy 2x4gb quality ram will set you back about the 100$ Apple is asking for.
    Now with onboard ram, you just need to plan ahead and get the extra ram.

    So, Apple has not made any other systems than early Intel Mac obsolete.
  21. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    Apple has set a higher base RAM amount now. The base size now is 16 GB, so you will not need to upgrade the amount of RAM in a long time, if ever. 16 GB will last a long time. Soon 32GB Macs will appear.
  22. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    Yep, the best cost x benefit rMBP is the base 15" one.
  23. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    I think you made a good call.

    No harm for the recipients to see the benefits from upgrades later on. You can (or they can), purchase upgrades as and when a good price is available. If any careless damage, you have less $$ at risk. Both machines can have a 2nd drive added if necessary in lieu of the Optical so the ability to tune RAM and drive space via SSD or SSD and HDD combo is quite significant.

    I'm also sure the kids will appreciate them and enjoy them.
  24. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Agree 100%. With my daughters using my old laptop, I made sure I put in an SSD for that model, just because I didn't want them accidentally crashing the hard drive. While they're careful, to be sure, accidents do happen. I think any computer model that is going to a child/teenager should have an SSD in it.
  25. maratus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    ahahaha the only difference is soldered RAM and none of the cMBPs will drive more than 16GB RAM regardless, so what's the point? I would understand the complaints when compared to, let's say, ThinkPad W540 which has 4 SO-DIMM slots and therefore supports 32GB, but the current MBP layout won't accommodate so many memory modules

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