Will a MacBook last me 4-5 years?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Warbrain, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    Chicago, IL
    #1
    Generally speaking, I've grown used to getting 4-5 years out of my Apple computers. Sometimes it's a bit less but usually right in that sweet spot.

    I'm seriously considering a MacBook as a replacement for my work-provided laptop (standard ultrabook specs) and regular usage over my 2011 MBP, which will remain around for use by my partner and myself. I'd still like to get that 4-5 year lifespan out of my computer but I'm beginning to doubt that a MacBook is going to perform well that far down the road. Now I've had doubts about my choice and considering a 13" rMBP. I'm not the biggest fan of trying to sell computers online but I know that it's an option.


    Would you expect a MacBook to have a useable lifespan over that time?
     
  2. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

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    #2
    No one knows what the reality will be in 5 years, but it's something you can review and if you feel its not working for you at a point in time you can sell it and cut your losses.
     
  3. Warbrain thread starter macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    #3
    Everyone expects some amount of decreased performance that far down the road. But is that even a fair expectation of the Core M used in the MacBook?
     
  4. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

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    #4
    What i would say is if you don't upgrade or change the OS you should end with the same amount of relative performance as you start with. The Core M is not as bad as many on here make out. It certainly out performs MBAs from 4 years ago.
    So i would "guess" you'll be fine - assuming all remains equal. But no guarantees in life.
     
  5. Warbrain thread starter macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    #5
    Let's frame it this way:

    I know I'd be taking a step back from current computers and basically be making a lateral move to it from my 2011 MBP with a slight bump in graphics. But will it still be a worthwhile machine to use for work and personal in 4-5 years? That might be a better way of framing my question.

    My work is almost entirely web-based. A lot of cloud applications and work in the browser. I don't expect the MacBook to be a slouch in most of those regards. Anything more intense would be developing SOA applications but that's a once-in-a-year occurrence at this point. Otherwise I'm in text editors, SoapUI, a browser, and an email client most of the day.

    Answer still stands?
     
  6. Warbrain thread starter macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    #6
    I should mention that I'm planning on taking advantage of the current return policy with Apple to give this a shot with my work and personal expectations. There's no better time for me to try it out for approximately one month and see if it'll stand up to my current tasks.
     
  7. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    #7
    I'm still using a late 2008 Aluminum Macbook and it's fine. Over 7 years old and I still use it for work.
     
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #8
    i use a 2008 mbp as my daily computer with no issues
     
  9. Nychot macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 15, 2011
    #9
    I suggest you get a $250 chrome book, one each year as they get updated and in five years you will have spent less than a single current base rmb, and each year have the most current chrome book tech. and from what you say your use case is it seems a chrome book will fit your bill.
     
  10. Warbrain thread starter macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    #10
    Ha, not even close. Can't run anything I use for work.
     
  11. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #11
    I presume the 4-5 year decision is based on financial reasons primarily therefore

    1) rMB is not the best bang for your buck and so could be considered more likely over others to decline in performance relative to new specs in years to come
    2) rMB is 1st gen so latent issues are still a greater possibility (eg KB issues)
    3) rMBP and MBA have a proven track record and are easier to repair
    4) I would of thought actual sweet spot is 2years 11 months with AppleCare, you can always find somewhere that takes trade-ins opposed to selling privately
    5) Battery life can be increased if you only charge your batteries to 80%, this would have a lesser impact on rMBP and MBA that have 10+ hours daily life ie less inconvenient to get the gains
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #12
    Its a gen 1 product that uses different technology and being as such, there's no track record. Its hard to say whether this will last that long. I'm sure it will but at this point its only a guess.
     
  13. MacRazySwe macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 7, 2007
    #13
    Seriously, I don't get the financial reasoning of using a computer for 4-5 years.

    A 5 year old computer is worth close to nothing on the used market. I could hardly get $400 for my five year old MBP back in 2012, a computer which retailed for $2000 (I didn't pay that..). Basically, after 5 years you're left with an outdated computer that nobody wants, which you're better off just keeping. So, you'll be paying the full price of the new laptop when upgrading.

    A 2 year old Mac on the other hand is still very much current (especially if it was a brand new model when bought new). My personal experience is that I've been able to recoup 80 % of my initial outlay when selling on Craigslist after two years, so my cost of upgrading is actually not that significant. Moreover, you're always using the newest tech, you're less likely to run into issues and you also get to treat yourself once in a while. However, this only makes financial sense when you buy base models. If you're buying specced out machines you're out of luck, people don't pay much more for loaded machines on the used market.

    Also, this may not be just as effective with the rMB as the second or third revision will probably be reduced to 1099. Anyway, I'd just hold out for a deal on the rMB if I were you. Or, use education discount if you know someone, or maybe even shop around Craigslist. There are deals to be made out there. Then use it for 2 years or so and then sell and upgrade. Macs have great residual values, try to use it to your advantage.

    Oh, and if you insist on using it for five years, the rMB is not for you. Get the rMBP and be done with it.
     
  14. east85 macrumors 65816

    east85

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #14
    I share your concern, but mainly because the battery will not be easily serviced, or impossible to service, without paying a large sum of money I'm assuming.
     
  15. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 28, 2008
    #15
    From what I can see then none of that needs performance on the box you are sat in front of. The power is on the Servers you are accessing. text editing and email even for real email pro's isn't resource intensive on the machine.

    As such no real reason assuming that will still have supported browser/osx releases for the rMB that shouldn't do you.
     
  16. gooser macrumors 6502

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    Jul 4, 2013
    #16
    it's impossible to say. if you look at the similar threads underneath this you will find the same question asked about a macbook in 2007. a 2007 macbook would have probably reached the end of its usefulness in just a few years but a 2009 macbook could probably be useful for 10 years. my 2003 imacs are still very useful to me. we never know how well these things will age.
     
  17. Dwayne82, Dec 12, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015

    Dwayne82 macrumors member

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    #17
    Im my opinion the rMB should be just fine in 4-5 years from now. I for myself want to use this as my main device for this time span and as far as i can tell from the last half year of usage, all systems are go. When i see, how well el capitan works on my wife's white Macbook late 2009, there is almost no doubt the rMB's behavior is the same in 5 years from now. I also don't think this is a classic 1st-gen device form Apple, because some of the issues would have been shown recently (Design-failures like overheating / system instability like crashes, major lags or incompatibilities / WiFi or Bluetooth issues / ...).

    Doubts left:
    - The newly crafted battery could be a weak-point. I have no issues yet, but it could degrade faster than other batteries (as mentioned in this forum). In the worst case, i have to pay $150 for a replacement in 2-3 years.
    - The newest updates of OS-X in the year 2020 could be incompatible with this machine. But first, this is an issue i don't see coming (except there is a big step coming like 128bit- or quantum-architecture, but this would affect all current computers anyway). So in 2020, the rMB would be good enough with its latest compatible OS X.
    - Mechanical weakness could appear later, like the metallic hinge or the butterfly keyboard.
     
  18. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #18
    If I could answer this question, then I would be winning the lottery and laughing at my profits on the stock market.
     
  19. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    #19
    No.
     
  20. ghanwani macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 8, 2008
    #20
    My guess is that 3 years would be comfortable. Beyond that, it will feel like an iPhone 5 feels today. It works but it's laggy. My machine is 5+ years old and I can definitely see lagginess, but it had near top-of-line performance when I got it back in 2010.
     
  21. azentropy macrumors 68000

    azentropy

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    #21
    Depends on how you use it and how you expect to use it. While the Macbook is super portable it already is a bit underpowered for "my" use. Also it is a concern that it isn't internally upgradable or even serviceable. With only one port it also will be more difficult and expensive to upgrade storage externally later if needed. The Macbook's battery also isn't a strong as others, so any hit there will be noticed more.

    I'm not saying the Macbook is a bad machine but if you are valuing longevity over portability than the 13" rMBP is a better option IMO.
     
  22. birnando macrumors regular

    birnando

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    #22
    It might, but it all depends on how you use it and what tasks you perform on it.
    Before buying a new rMBP this summer, I did all my work on a 2010 mbp.
    Worked a charm, but the new one was a big step up in speed...
     
  23. Warbrain thread starter macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    Jun 28, 2004
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    Chicago, IL
    #23
    I ultimately decided on a 13-inch rMBP. Finances allow for it now and the Best Buy deal is pretty good for new and picking up today. I figure I'll run it through the paces, which it will pass all tests, and see if I feel like I still want it at the end of the holiday return period.
     
  24. SteveJUAE, Dec 13, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #24
    With such a tight budget etc if you like the rMBP you should shop around for a refurb/open box one with applecare and save a few $100 more
     
  25. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #25
    I would think that unless you absolutely need something new right now, this particular moment is a poor one to buy a new Apple laptop. The rMB is at the best point of the development curve, but even it is likely to be updated by late winter or spring. The Macbook Pro line, on the other hand, while a solid product, is on the verge of what is likely to be its biggest revision in years, adding a lot of technology that is currently cutting edge, but will come to be considered standard in the next few years. This years' Macbook Pros are missing out on a lot of that, and while they are very solid devices, they will feel 'old' sooner than their time.
     

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