will the macbook be enough?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by asidexo, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. asidexo macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2013
    My macbook pro is not exactly running as it should and it's time to replace it. I was really opposed to the macbook at first, the screen was too small and I didn't like the keyboard. I was going to wait it out for the new macbook pro but every time i see the macbook i like it more and more. The screen is small but sharp and beautiful and the keyboard would be an adjustment but I'm starting to think I could do it. My question now is whether or not the macbook is powerful enough not only for now but going forward. I'm a Senior psychology major so most of my workflow is pretty standard for a college student. I'm always running itunes, microsoft word, and safari. The thing is, because of the way I work I typically have 30+ tabs open at a time split between multiple windows one of them often streaming video while i do other things. I also do some light photoshop work sometimes with raw files. I'm also hoping going into my upper level classes and hoping to go to grad school in the next few years which will probably mean running data—it's my understanding that the programs the social sciences tend to use don't tend to be the lightest applications.

    Will a Macbook serve me well? Obviously as a college student money is a concern and I don't want to buy a computer and find out a year from now that it isn't enough and need to buy a new one. But I'm also starting to fall for the small form factor of the macbook and that screen is beautiful.
  2. Sheza macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2010
    Cambridge, UK
    It sounds to me as though it might be worth waiting for the new / revolutionary MacBook Pro to be released, for your use case. I don't think the MacBook will have issues doing what you want, but it might be slower at those advanced things (RAW photo editing) etc in a way that might get annoying.
  3. pommie82 macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2011
    If anything you would need in your MacBook Pro would be loads of ram in so it would be able to cope with the work load like Adobe needs loads of ram all the time to run it well with no really major problems at all if you are not going to have loads of ram you are going to start getting some problems with your machine a few years a go I had a problem with my old iMac I was always running out of ram when I got my new machine I had loads of ram in it and it worked like a dream with no problems at all and still is
  4. kis macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2007
    Frankly - if you have to ask yourself the question, you might already know the answer. For far less money you can get something more powerful and versatile from Microsoft with the same screen size (Surface Pro 4). Or wait for the next generation of macbook pros, although those likely wont be cheap.
  5. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    The new MacBook Pro would handle the load better, especially in terms of RAM. It's bigger screen may also be useful for you.

    Having said that, the MacBook would be just fine. A lot of people complain about it's power because they have more powerful setups or do professional work, so don't always know what it's like to use an old computer as your main pc. And it's fine, the MacBook has the power that's a couple of years behind other MacBooks but it can handle much more than what a lot of people expect.

    At this point, it's worth waiting to see if you would want the new MacBook Pros instead.
  6. Michael Goff macrumors G5

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    Weird question, maybe, but what do you consider light photoshop work?
  7. asidexo thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2013
    Alright it sounds like I'm just going to keep waiting for the pro to at least do a comparison.

    and by light photoshop work mostly just color adjustments, noise, sharpening, cloning, cropping etc—basically stuff that could probably be don't equally well with a lighter program but my CS6 license still works perfectly fine so that's what i have.
  8. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    Would definitely wait the six weeks to 3 months it will take for the new pros to at last be announced. I think just from the announcement you can make a decision as performance isn't as much of a mystery these days once you know all of the specs.

    If the new 13" pro is 3.0 pounds, or less, I think Apple has a problem on its hands: 2.9 pounds is so light for a full-featured computer that only a few (sane) people would buy a Macbook 12 because the Macbook 12 isn't cheap and is nearly pro-priced. I think few would pay that much of a premium for an additional fraction of a pound...especially when if you carry an adapter, dongles, etc that would definitely shrink the total weight-in-bag to within .5-.75 pounds of a 13" pro. This is a high price to pay for portability.

    2.9 pounds is also insanely portable and below the threshold for people to care about further weight reductions.

    I doubt Apple will raise the price of the new pro because it's been 4 years and they would have to be really gutsy to overprice a long overdue update. If the Macbook 12 price gets dropped significantly because of the new pro, then it will be a harder decision as to which notebook line to buy.

    But right now is the worst time to buy a macbook.
    My personal opinion is that the macbook is almost fast enough, but it's not going to be fast enough unless you literally: do facebook, microsoft office, netflix, spotify. Guess what? That's a huge majority of people.

    But: if you code, run statistics, or any photo editing....you may think it's fast enough, but over a year's period you will start to grate at the seconds waiting for computations to execute as they add up over the long run. Speed is something that once you taste it, it's very hard to unlike no matter what your computing needs are.
  9. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2014
    What data programs will your advanced studies use? See what their recommended specs are a good place to start. Also get with you professors to see what potentially data sizes you are working with in grad studies.

    If by chance your professors say R likely...it only works off of system RAM. The max data set size you can work with is what will fit in available system memory. It doesn't do page/swap file stuff with a system hdd/sdd. There are designed for technical reasons for this. Its popular in academia why I bring this up.

    If using something else used...see their specs like mentioned.
  10. Sheza macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2010
    Cambridge, UK
    I honestly believe Apple will do two things:
    a) Slightly lower the price of the MacBook
    b) Introduce new Macbook Pros at a VERY high price. I'm talking 13" from $1499, 15" from $2299 unless they consolidate the specs and make the difference only about screen size in which case I suppose the 15" can maintain its $1999 price point. These things will not be cheap. They will be pro performance in a slim chassis with killer new features. If Apple can charge over $100 for a front and back case for the iPad you can bet they will increase the price of the new Macs.

    So is it a bad time to buy a MacBook? Not if you're a student and can get a discount + Beats headphones.
  11. Starshadow macrumors member


    Sep 20, 2012
    I think people underestimate or simply haven't used the machine day to day. I have the m5 2016 (Had the 2015 before it).

    I connect it to a Dell 27" 2560x1440 monitor and typically run xcode, Netbeans and sometimes Visual Studio in a VM at the same time (With background tabs/music/readers etc) with absolutely no issues and very rare slow down. The only noticeable difference between it and my desktop is the compilation times which are roughly twice as long so maybe 2 minutes instead of 1 minute.

    Speed is indeed something you crave when you experience it but for me this happened when SSDs became mainstream - you were looking at an almost 50-100% speed increase, especially with the PCI SSDs. This thing will never feel slow unless you are doing a continuous CPU task lasting more than a couple of minutes and even then the difference is very small, as a machine that compliments a full desktop it is perfect in this regard.

    If you don't mind using Windows I would always say go with the Surface Pro (owned two, great but I can't get past the terrible OS), but if you need a Unix machine for development and move around a lot - it is the best portable I have ever used and I have owned most Macbooks since 2011.
  12. toddzrx macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012
    Sorry, off topic here.

    I actually hope that Apple increases the price of the new Pro, with actual Pro features to go along with it. While the general public obviously doesn't like increased prices for things, they don't mind it when they're getting a good value for what they are paying. So it'd be nice to see Apple release Pro laptops that have discreet graphics, 16GB RAM, and 256GB SSDs as standard equipment, with options moving up from there.

    To fill in the middle ground: discontinue the Airs (nice knowing you!), reduce the price on the current 12" model (as you suggest above), and release a 14" model. The big question mark for such a MacBook would be whether or not it goes fanless and uses the Core M, or go U series and keep it. I would think U series if Apple really wants a solid middle-of-the-road laptop that truly replaces the current 13" Air. And add a USB-C port as well as maybe an SD slot.

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