Should a man even consider new machines or aim for a choice older refurb model these days?

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I'll make this short, I have a 10 year old machine and I love it but let's face it, soon it won't be fast enough for intense computing, or maybe just too weak. It does ok while always reaching cooking temperatures for an hour or 2 or more. Would a later model 2023 M2 MBP be a good idea for up to date constant work, or is there a really good target model that has tech value for a long time the same way mine has held up for a decade?
I'm also wondering if maybe just a 13" maxed out MB is ok these days, and even weirder an iPad Pro with a pencil and keyboard? I like that Apple is adding keyboards to touch screens instead of making notebooks with touchscreens like other companies, but is the radical idea of replacing a notebook with an iPad Pro just too radical?
Yeah the price of a maxed iPad is preposterous, compared to a MB that you expect to be that price. Just polling for thoughts in the current environment.
 
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Any Macintosh that you get is likely to last a very long time. Macs have always been very reliable hardware-wise. The limiting factor as far as hardware used to be a Mac's rotating disk internal hard drive. On average they would become unacceptably likely to fail after 4 years of use. However, if you kept a backup, you could always just replace a failed hard drive. Otherwise just about any Mac would and still will last for well over a decade. Most long-time Mac users, if you ask, will tell you that they have a closet full of retired Macs, none of which failed, the users simply decided it "was time" to replace them with something new.

The overall limiting factor for how long a Mac is good for is technology. After about 7 years of life, an old Mac will be limited to an old version of the Mac OS, and the applications that can run on that older version of the Mac OS. As the technology in newer Macs continues to move forward you are likely to find that you can't surf the Web reliably anymore with your older Mac, some of your apps may be discontinued or very much updated so that the file formats that you are using become antiquated and abandoned, and you are being left behind technologically.

So I usually recommend that home users consider upgrading to a new Mac every 7 years or so, and that business users upgrade every 5 years or so.

Old Macs don't usually get retired because they are slow. A well maintained Mac should continue to be as fast as it was when you bought it. If you were happy with your Mac's speed when it was new, you will likely be happy with it's speed a decade later. Speed actually hasn't been a limiting factor for the overwhelming majority of users for a couple of decades now. Only extreme power users really need faster and faster Macs these days.

Only you can decide if you would prefer a tablet computer to a laptop or desktop computer. All three are plenty powerful these days. Just be sure that the apps that you need for your work exist for the platform that you want before you decide to purchase.

Macs don't need to have their RAM "maxed out" anymore. For the overwhelming number of users the minimum spec of RAM is plenty, and new Mac OS's haven't trended towards needing more and more RAM for over a decade. You should, however, consider purchasing more internal hard drive space than you think that you ever might need during your Mac's lifespan, to prolong the life of your SSD.
 

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Would a later model 2023 M2 MBP be a good idea for up to date constant work, or is there a really good target model that has tech value for a long time the same way mine has held up for a decade?
There are no 2023 MacBook Pro's yet (the year currently is 2022).

If you're looking for a new computer...but want to save a little money...purchase an Apple refurbished computer. You'll save about 15% versus new...these computers are just like a new computer...they also come with the exact same Applecare as new computers.

Nick
 
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There are no 2023 MacBook Pro's yet (the year currently is 2022).

If you're looking for a new computer...but want to save a little money...purchase an Apple refurbished computer. You'll save about 15% versus new...these computers are just like a new computer...they also come with the exact same Applecare as new computers.

Nick
Wait, you don't have a time machine? But seriously, what I mean is that M2 MBP are expected no earlier than spring 2023, so I'd hold out buying one until while I still run this great 10 year old MBP. I've done the refurb thing for friends and it always works out great; I ran a business where we needed very stable fully featured laptops for multiple rented systems and refurb was the way to go. My future choice would just to be able to do current online capable processing with the newest specs to last another decade, but the future is not guaranteed.
 
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Any Macintosh that you get is likely to last a very long time. Macs have always been very reliable hardware-wise. The limiting factor as far as hardware used to be a Mac's rotating disk internal hard drive. On average they would become unacceptably likely to fail after 4 years of use. However, if you kept a backup, you could always just replace a failed hard drive. Otherwise just about any Mac would and still will last for well over a decade. Most long-time Mac users, if you ask, will tell you that they have a closet full of retired Macs, none of which failed, the users simply decided it "was time" to replace them with something new.

The overall limiting factor for how long a Mac is good for is technology. After about 7 years of life, an old Mac will be limited to an old version of the Mac OS, and the applications that can run on that older version of the Mac OS. As the technology in newer Macs continues to move forward you are likely to find that you can't surf the Web reliably anymore with your older Mac, some of your apps may be discontinued or very much updated so that the file formats that you are using become antiquated and abandoned, and you are being left behind technologically.

So I usually recommend that home users consider upgrading to a new Mac every 7 years or so, and that business users upgrade every 5 years or so.

Old Macs don't usually get retired because they are slow. A well maintained Mac should continue to be as fast as it was when you bought it. If you were happy with your Mac's speed when it was new, you will likely be happy with it's speed a decade later. Speed actually hasn't been a limiting factor for the overwhelming majority of users for a couple of decades now. Only extreme power users really need faster and faster Macs these days.

Only you can decide if you would prefer a tablet computer to a laptop or desktop computer. All three are plenty powerful these days. Just be sure that the apps that you need for your work exist for the platform that you want before you decide to purchase.

Macs don't need to have their RAM "maxed out" anymore. For the overwhelming number of users the minimum spec of RAM is plenty, and new Mac OS's haven't trended towards needing more and more RAM for over a decade. You should, however, consider purchasing more internal hard drive space than you think that you ever might need during your Mac's lifespan, to prolong the life of your SSD.
I agree completely. The only thing that sucked about this MBP was that it came with 256GB only for storage. A few years ago I upgraded to 2TB for like $900, and had it already had enough storage I never would have changed a thing.
 

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...what I mean is that M2 MBP are expected no earlier than spring 2023, so I'd hold out buying one until while I still run this great 10 year old MBP.
I hope you're right...and M2 MacBook Pro's show up Spring 2023.

I've been waiting over 12 months now for a new Mac-Mini model (probably M2). These have been rumored to show up multiple times over the last 12 months...and still nothing.

Expected/rumored doesn't always work out.:confused4

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I agree completely. The only thing that sucked about this MBP was that it came with 256GB only for storage. A few years ago I upgraded to 2TB for like $900, and had it already had enough storage I never would have changed a thing.

Adequately large internal SSD's are still over-priced from Apple. One way around this is to get a middling-sized SSD (512GB) and then purchase a reasonably priced external SSD to offload all of the stuff that you don't use constantly. This will keep a lot of free space on your internal SSD for long life and best performance.

Just yesterday I posted a how-to put together your own fast, reliable 1TB external SSD for only about $140. For about $50 more you can make it a 2TB SSD.
 
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Adequately large internal SSD's are still over-priced from Apple. One way around this is to get a middling-sized SSD (512GB) and then purchase a reasonably priced external SSD to offload all of the stuff that you don't use constantly. This will keep a lot of free space on your internal SSD for long life and best performance.

Just yesterday I posted a how-to put together your own fast, reliable 1TB external SSD for only about $140. For about $50 more you can make it a 2TB SSD.
Cool! Just for fun I looked up the OWC upgrade for my MBP and it's now only $300, or for $29 more I could get the external enclosure for it if I want to keep a nice 1:1 backup of my computer on an external, or just use it for more storage. When I put the original 256 in their enclosure it works perfectly. I even booted an old iMac with it that had its internal drive wrecked just to see if the computer works, which indeed it does. Can you link your how-to in this thread or say exactly where it is?
 
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Well I just spoke to friend who has one of last year's M1 MBP computers and he says the power of these things is unbelievable, and that the M2 specs don't make that much of a difference to care. He explained to me that the M1 tech works in a fully custom integrated chip unlike other computer designers that are still optimizing separate components, so the old Apple way of tailoring components and design for performance has reached an evolution paradigm that was only imagined a decade ago. All that said, the one thing that still hinders my desire to even consider getting one is the preposterous price increase for storage capacity that should be considered the norm today. If it is true that the M1 and M2 chips include the storage itself, it looks like Apple found yet another way to make sure you pay extra for storage space and definitely won't be able to upgrade to more internal storage without considering replacing the whole chip, which will be impossible.
 
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If it is true that the M1 and M2 chips include the storage itself, it looks like Apple found yet another way to make sure you pay extra for storage space and definitely won't be able to upgrade to more internal storage without considering replacing the whole chip, which will be impossible.
It is true. But eternal drives on the TB4 interface can be very, very fast and can be used for storage very handily. I have the MBP in my profile, with 1TB of storage, but I also have 10 external drives for various things that are connected through the TB4 ports.

The fact that Mx Macs cannot be upgraded on internal storage is not really new, nor unique to the Mx systems. Apple had other MBPs with soldered in storage and proprietary blade drives for years.
 
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All that said, the one thing that still hinders my desire to even consider getting one is the preposterous price increase for storage capacity that should be considered the norm today. If it is true that the M1 and M2 chips include the storage itself, it looks like Apple found yet another way to make sure you pay extra for storage space and definitely won't be able to upgrade to more internal storage without considering replacing the whole chip, which will be impossible.

Well, first, your conspiracy theory that Apple has integrated everything onto one chip so as to screw you is both false and juvenile. Apple makes plenty of money, they don't have to screw their customers to make more.

Rather, the reason that Apple has integrated everything into one chip is to eliminate the bottlenecks that existed due to different components on a motherboard communicating with each other. Everything being integrated is part of the reason that the Apple Silicon processors are so fast.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/202...ewing-apple-about-its-mac-silicon-revolution/

In fact, this integration has allowed users to spec their new Mac's with the minimum amount of RAM offered, instead of having to "max out" their RAM for fear that some new application would need more RAM than one has. I notice that no one has given Apple credit for this money saving advance.

Opinion: Is the base MacBook Air M1/8GB powerful enough for you?
https://9to5mac.com/2020/11/18/opinion-is-the-base-macbook-air-m1-8gb-powerful-enough-for-you/

8GB vs 16GB M1 MacBook Pro - How much RAM do you NEED?!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP1_4wek4nI

Second, there is no reason why you can't add more storage externally. The Thunderbolt 3/4 ports in recent Macs are extremely high performance interfaces. I just posted the other day how to put together your own external SSD that will take advantage of much of that speed.

https://www.mac-forums.com/threads/external-hard-drive-recommendation.375182/
 
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Then I'm definitely a juvenile conspiracy theorist, maybe even a technology denier. Maybe since Apple already makes so much money, they won't need any more of mine. $600 for 2TB, and $1200 for 4TB, that's not excessive at all. 512GB is good enough.
 
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It is true. But eternal drives on the TB4 interface can be very, very fast and can be used for storage very handily. I have the MBP in my profile, with 1TB of storage, but I also have 10 external drives for various things that are connected through the TB4 ports.

The fact that Mx Macs cannot be upgraded on internal storage is not really new, nor unique to the Mx systems. Apple had other MBPs with soldered in storage and proprietary blade drives for years.
My friend who told me about the M1 laptops said he has a 1TB internal and uses a 4TB external. That's nice and all, I have lots of externals already and use TB connections, none of this is new. The latest drive I got is 8TB, and if running around with a laptop with a collection of external drives that resemble dongles is the way to go unless you want to spend $1200 just to have 4TB internal storage, I can peddle that ideology. My current 10 year old computer has a 2TB SSD, it would be pretty humiliating to have to permanently settle on 1TB because I'm just going to live with external TB connections from now on.
 
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I guess it's a philosophical difference. I don't like large drives. In one big drive, if you load it up you have all of your eggs in one basket. If you partition it down, you still have all the eggs in one basket, even if in different compartments of the basket. I prefer smaller drives, dedicated to a purpose, with backups for what is really important to me. Hence, the ten currently attached drives, of which the largest is 4TB, my one experiment with large storage. It is a RAID array, so I don't think the risk of the size is horrible. The rest of the drives are between 1 and 2 TB, and are, as I said, dedicated to a purpose. Two hold my photo files, backing each other up as well as the third copy on the RAID array. Two hold my music/video files, backing each other up. Two are dedicated backup drives, one TM and one CCC. I also have another acting as a partial backup using Chronosync to backup just some of the internal. The rest are just handy storage. When I travel I take the backups. Each is about the size of a deck of cards, powered by the USB-c/TB port, so they are easy to travel with.

I have had the bad experience of having an internal drive fail on the same day my backup drive failed. Ended up losing 8000 pictures I cannot replace. Now I have four copies of every image between the internal, backups and NAS storage. Yep, paranoid.

So, I don't want a huge internal storage area either. My current MBP has 1TB, and is about 40% used. If it gets over 50%, I look for what I can remove to get it below 50%. That is good for the storage and lengthens the life expectancy of the whole system.

It's what suits me best. Your needs may well be totally different, and that's ok. There is no single solution.
 
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For the level of performance of the storage, the price is probably fine. If I look at getting a 14" MBP with no CPU upgrade, 32GB RAM, and 4TB internal storage, it's $3899. The base price is $2499, and I could still make this laptop over $5k if I wanted 8TB storage and a M1 Max chip, so I guess this is reasonable.
When I look at comparable external drives, a high quality T4 SSD is almost $800, so it's really ok if I can keep it in the machine and not drag loose cables and devices around. Lastly, if one is to make such a purchase, these machines last a long time so it makes sense to add extras in areas that are rational.
 
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Why do you need 32 GB of memory storage? That's huge, given the efficiency of the memory management in the Apple Silicon Macs and Ventura. Even 16GB is a lot for most uses.

And again, I don't like large drives, so having 4TB internal is just too much.

But, it's your money, so do what you think you need to do.
 
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Why do you need 32 GB of memory storage? That's huge, given the efficiency of the memory management in the Apple Silicon Macs and Ventura. Even 16GB is a lot for most uses.

And again, I don't like large drives, so having 4TB internal is just too much.

But, it's your money, so do what you think you need to do.
It's not huge at all. My 10 year old machine has 16GB RAM, and it's not upgradeable. 10 years later 32GB RAM is fine, some options are available for more. As far as internal storage, I upgraded to 2 TB about 5 years ago on this machine, and I am constantly filling up the internal drive to the point where I have to archive data to my 8TB backup drive every 2-3 months. I use my Macs for for digital audio and video processing and push the system to its limits every time. My phone has 512GB storage, and that is always getting filled until no storage is available, which also ends up being on my internal computer drive, which means that just to back up the phone you need about 400GB available. The idea that we don't require large amounts of internal storage only applies to people like email and facebook surfers.
I could probably get away with only 16GB RAM, but for how long? Is there a case to be made for being frugal with RAM because it really is an unnecessary spec? I doubt it, and when I am buying USB thumb drives for $20 with 256GB capacity, we are living in a world where the MB gave way to the GB and the GB gave way to the TB and it's just a natural progression.
 
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The difference between your ten year old machine and a new Mx machine is significant. The way Apple has engineered the storage and memory management now means that you don't really need the massive RAM that used to be required. And given that there is no speed difference now between RAM and SSD (both are part of the same integrated storage in the Mx machines) means that even if there is occasional swap being used, it will be at RAM speeds because it's all the same integrated storage. Ditto for video storage. All in the single integrated storage pool. So, before you blow the budget, you might want to do some analysis of your actual usage now, using Activity Monitor, or any other analytical tool you might want to, and size the new machine accordingly. Apple Silicon ain't your papa's Intel machine...

And that backup of your phone can be pointed to an external drive, instead of taking up the internal storage. You can search for what to do to make that work. I've done that and now my iPhone backups are on an external drive working quite nicely.
 
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Let's just say upgrading from 16GB RAM to 32GB won't break my budget, but going from 1TB to 8TB internal storage is the price of another laptop. Since I always use my Macs to the limits of their processing capabilities, 32GB still sounds like a good idea for RAM, but like I said if it truly wasn't necessary that would mean that it wouldn't be offered or I could make the juvenile conspiracy theory that it is an overpriced scam. I understand the logic that more RAM may not be necessary under the current architecture, but if that were true 100%, Apple would no longer offer RAM as a separate option since it would be irrelevant.

I remember wanting to make the iPhone backup to point to an external drive, but I didn't see any options for doing that. Does it require advanced computing knowledge beyond using the GUI? As a matter of fact if you search for how to, all the instructions require you to back up the phone to your computer first, then locate the backup and transfer it, so unless I hear otherwise I doubt it's even possible.
 
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