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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Pls help me decide on 1st MBP purchase


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blackberrybunny

 
Member Since: Jul 08, 2014
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Hello,
This is my 1st post here. I registered just now so I could be a part of this forum and get some help. I need some GOOD advice, please!

I am about to make my very 1st MacBook Pro purchase. My 1st Apple laptop, ever. I'm kicking MS Windows to the curb, after 17 years. I own an iPod and and iPad and I LOVE them, and now I want a MBP too. Can you help me on which one is the best for me?

I'm ready to spend $2,000 to buy it. I need my laptop to last many many years. So I need help deciding on which is the best processor, RAM, etc, for me.

I like the 13" MBP 2.6 GHz with:

~an upgrade to a 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 dual core (This i7 would be a $200 upgrade from the standard 2.6 GHz i5 that comes with it). This $1,799 MBP just became a $1,999 MBP with this Intel upgrade.
~8 GB 1600MGz SDRAM
~512 GB PCIe Storage
~Intel Iris

AND I like the 15" 2.0 GHz MBP with:

~2.0 GHz quad core Intel i7
~8 GB 1600MHz SDRAM
~256 GB PCIe Storage
~Intel Iris Pro

My questions are:

1. The 13" comes with a 2.6 GHz dual core i5 that I want to upgrade for $200 more to the 2.8 GHz i7. Is this a good upgrade for me to invest in?

2. The 15" has a (slower?) 2.0 GHz quad core i7. Is it slower than the 2.8 GHz dual core? I always thought the lower the number, the slower the processor?

3. The 13" has 512 GB of SDRAM and the 15" has less at 256 GB of SDRAM. Why is this? Shouldn't the bigger more powerful larger laptop have more than the smaller one?

4. What is the difference between Iris and Iris Pro? Is it worth it to invest in the larger 15" @$2,000 to have this?

I have more questions, but I might be able to figure them out if you guys can help me these these four. I used to be very knowledgeable about the specifications of PC's--but the technology has changed so fast, I can't keep up. I need help in deciding which laptop to buy. They would both be the same price, $2,000, with that i5-i7 upgrade. I appreciate any help, very much!!!
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Algus

 
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Member Since: Jan 14, 2014
Location: Arizona
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Mac Specs: 2012 Mac Mini 2.5 ghz i5, 16 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD (5200 RPM)

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1. I do not think the dual core i7 CPU upgrade is worth it. It is a better processor, but when you start getting the 13'' rMBP into the $1800 range, the 15'' rMBP becomes a much better buy. The 2.0 ghz quad-core i7 in the 15'' is a HUGE upgrade over the CPUs available for the 13'' model. On the 13'' your money will be better spent on more RAM.

2. Don't be fooled by clock speed, it is not the only factor in determining if a CPU is good or not. The quad-core CPUs in the 15'' rMBP blow the doors off of the dual-core CPUs in the 13'' rMBPs. Without getting to technical, a quad-core CPU can act as roughly four CPUs vs a dual-core's two CPUs. It is just better everywhere that counts.

3. That's storage space. You can configure the 15'' model with 512 GB of storage if you want. It costs more obviously. Both of these are solid state drives and perform about the same so it just a matter of buying how much internal storage you think you'll need.

4. Iris Pro is better but if you are doing things that you need high-end graphics for, there are better buys out there than a machine with Iris Pro on it. I wouldn't factor Iris Pro into the decision at all. This might get a bit technical but it is a decent explanation of what Iris and Iris Pro are all about.

Unless you really want the 13'' form factor, once you start getting to $1800+ on the 13'' rMBP, I would say the 15'' becomes a more attractive buy as it has a much better CPU and a better graphics chip. What are you planning on using your computer for?

Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt
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pm-r

 
Member Since: Oct 16, 2010
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For the best bang for your $2,000 bucks, don't forget to checkout Apples Refurbished store.

You can get basically a new MBPro with full Apple new Mac warranty and can often save a lot. But they don't usually last long on Apples site.
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blackberrybunny

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Algus View Post
What are you planning on using your computer for?
Algus, thank you SO much for helping me understand and make an informed decision about which one to buy! Your explanations made sense to me and helped me a LOT! Thank you very much.

I am not going to be using my computer for anything special. I'm not into gaming, nor CAD, or anything special. I just want to be able to go online, research, check email, watch Netflix, YouTube, check weather. Boring, right?! LOL

I just want to make sure I buy a quality product that won't be outdated in five years. I don't want to feel like I need more RAM or a better CPU in a few years. I want a laptop that will carry me through a decade without any problems.

Your answers have helped me decide that the 13" is probably the best one for me, and I think my next step is to find a retailer where I can go in, see how big the 13.3" screen vs. the 15 screen really is. I live very rural, no stores for at least 45 minute's drive... I already know I definitely want the retina display.

I found a website yesterday, I'm sure you all know about it, where they talk about rumors, things pertaining to Apple products, etc, and the gossip is that Apple IS going to release some new laptop models sometime in the third quarter of this year. July, Aug, Sept.... I don't know if it is true or not, but I feel I really should wait and see. The website recommends that no one purchase a rMBP right now, because there will be new ones coming out. I hope so! I might have to start my research all over again, but at least now I feel like I'm a little better educated about which one to buy.
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Algus

 
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Member Since: Jan 14, 2014
Location: Arizona
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Ahh, you've been reading Mac Rumors it sounds like. I find them to be fairly reliable and I do like their buying guide but sometimes they will put something at a "not buy" and there won't really be anything as a decent replacement. For instance, the Mac Mini which is quite old now has probably been a "not buy" for over a year now!

If you are looking for a long term investment for casual use, RAM will be the best upgrade you can get. Even CPUs that are ten years old are capable of running basic word processing and web browsers with a minimum of fuss but RAM is super helpful for multi-tasking and contending with bloat as programs are upgraded with new features and take up more space.

You will find even the entry level 2.3 ghz CPU in the 13' rMBP to be adequate. I'd recommend maxing out the RAM at 16 GB and then spending as much on storage as you are comfortable with. One thing that sucks about the new MacBooks is that they are not user upgradeable as the parts are soldered onto the laptop. This means that say 3-4 years down the road if you find you are running out of space on your laptop and need more room, you will not be able to install an upgraded hard drive.

Fortunately, MacBooks sport Thunderbolt connectors. Thunderbolt is a really impressive port technology that transfers data extremely quickly, to the point where a proper Thunderbolt external drive is going to perform identically (or better) than an internal drive. So you don't need to break the bank on the unit itself...you will have options.

Unfortunately, the fact that MacBooks are largely locked down means it will be harder to keep them going over many years. As parts fail, you won't really be able to repair or replace on your own. An extended warranty is probably a good buy for you. Even though you don't live close to an Apple store, you can still get phone technical support and if something does fail during that warranty period, you can get it replaced and hopefully be all set for the life of your machine.

It is not unrealistic to expect your Macbook's components to keep you functional for that long either. It is not uncommon to see people using iMacs as old as 2007 and they still function quite adequately for basic tasks, especially if they've had RAM upgrades.

Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt
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blackberrybunny

 
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Thank you again, Algus! Yes, I have been looking at Mac Rumors.com. I didn't know if I was allowed to post it here though. I just found their site yesterday. I am hoping they are right--I can hardly stand to wait to get my first Apple MBPro, but I will do it! AND I definitely will invest the extra $200 to upgrade to more RAM.

I appreciate you helping me understand which CPU is right for me. Back in the late 90's, I remember when people were just starting to buy their first desktop PC's. The Intel CPUs, I can remember when we had a CPU with 333MHz. And then 400MHz! And people thought THAT was fast! Every year, it seemed like another "100" was added to the CPU. Now we are up in GB's! Super fast! And I'm out of the technology loop on what to buy! But you have helped me a TON!!

This new PCIe is new to me too--but I understand that instead of having an old fashioned hard drive, with moving parts, haha, this new technology is a chip, no moving parts, nothing to break! WOW! We've come a LONG way! I wonder what's next....

And then I see this black cylindrical tube Apple has--that is THEIR version of a desktop! Holy Schnitzel! WHY aren't more people talking about it? Just the appearance of this thing is amazing, so futuristic, so innovative! My God, it's a HOLLOW TUBE and no one is talking about this?!! WTF?!!!!!!! It's amazing!

Okay, I'm all excited now! So ready to make this purchase. I'm using Apple Financing-- if anyone has any warnings or advice on that, I'd like to hear it. I have excellent credit (773) so I know I'll qualify. No problem! BestBuy has the same rMBP's for about $100 less. I thought about buying from them, but I'd rather go through Apple.com. Do it the RIGHT way! What's $100 when I'm spending $2,000??!! I'm already the proud owner of an iPad and three ipods.... I'll be the proud owner of a rMBP soon too!
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