5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 17, 2013 3:32 PM by xtremecarbon
Mitchel_23 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hello everyone!

I need a new laptop and since I'm writing this from a 2006 MBP, I would really like to buy me a new MBP but Im not really sure what to buy exactly.


What I need it for:

- Coding.

- Be able to work for 5 to 8 hours on battery. Again, primarily for coding and web but no photoshop, no videos, no video re-encoding, no games.

- From time to time I'll use it to watch movies, surf the web (facebook, twitter, etc...), and a few lightweight indie games.

- Listening to my music library (63gb)

- Very light and occasional photoshop use. (or similar editing tool)

- It wouldnt be my main computer, I have a desktop for heavy duty needs.


The options I'm considering:



Buying the 1499€ 13" rMBP: 8gb RAM, 256gb SSD.

This was my first option since it covers everything I need and it may be even overkill for my needs, but its within my budget and I like it. My doubts started when I discovered the IR issues, the faulty logic boards, and creaking cases. Im aware that not ALL units actually have said issues, but considering there are a lot more complains about the Retina model than the non retina one I cant avoid having doubts.

I would LOVE to have a retina display, but I would really hate it to have a faulty laptop in say... 7 months. The added battery life that haswell provides is also a really big plus to me, but Im not sure how a non retina MBP would work for my needs.



Buying a refurbished mid june 2012 MBP 13" and upgrade it with more RAM and an SSD, replacing the superdrive with the mechanical drive. I could match the RAM and SSD capacity from the 13" rMBP for a litle under 1499€ and Im also confident that replacing the parts wont be a problem for me. (in other words: not afraid to open it and replace hardware)

But as I mentioned in the option A) I'm not really sure if the battery will cut it, and the lack of a Retina display would also be a bit of a bummer since I would be working with less resolution and less screen real estate.



So, what dou you guys think? does the second option make any sense? What option do you think will be better suited for my needs and why? I know its a lot of text and I'm also expecting a lot of thought from you, but if only a few would share what they think it would really help decide : )

Thanks a lot for all who took the time to read my post, and double thanks for those that take the extra time to reply.

  • 1. Re: Buying new MBP. Help, suggestions and opinions appreciated.
    Melophage Level 5 Level 5 (6,715 points)



    which environment do you use for coding? I use Terminal to run vim to write code, Makefiles, &c., so my 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo 13-inch Mid 2010 MacBook Pro suffices for my coding needs. Battery life wasn’t a priority for me, since I’m almost always plugged in, but my model was (optimistically) rated by Apple as lasting up to ten hours for light duty tasks such as text editing or browsing. (I’ve put a SSD in mine, so that should help further with its battery life.) Your other listed needs sound as though they could be met by just about any Unibody or Retina MacBook Pro.


    Personally, I’m not fond of the Retina models because of their limited upgradeability; their RAM is soldered to the logic board, so you’re stuck with whatever amount of RAM originally came in your Retina model for as long as you own it. Their batteries are glued in rather than screwed in, so they aren’t user-replaceable. The newer Retina models have SSDs with a proprietary form factor, so there aren’t many choices if you decide that you’d like to upgrade your SSD. The Mid 2012 Unibody has RAM sockets, a user-replaceable battery, and a standard 2.5-inch drive form factor. If I had to choose between your two choices, I’d take B — but you’ll have to decide if the Retina display and Haswell battery life trump all of your other considerations.

  • 2. Re: Buying new MBP. Help, suggestions and opinions appreciated.
    xtremecarbon Level 4 Level 4 (2,235 points)

    Why not an Air? I'd love an 11' model provided I had a beefed up desktop; or go for the 13' if you feel the 11' model keyboard is cramped (which it is, slightly).


    Like the above poster, I should ask what kind of environment you're working in. If you use XCode (or something similar)...forget the Air and get the 13' Retina with max RAM and SSD of your choice. Even if it isn't your primary computer there's a big difference in this environment between the two machines.


    If you're torn between types of Macbook, you may want to take a trip to your nearest Apple Store. It may seem mundane but getting to understand the feel of different Macs will pay for itself when you make the correct choice.

  • 3. Re: Buying new MBP. Help, suggestions and opinions appreciated.
    Mitchel_23 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)


    Most of the time I'm coding in eclipse and the rest I'm with the android SDK, my actual MBP works like a charm in the sense that I have enough CPU/RAM for coding but I need to upgrade because the battery dies after 2 hours (30% brightness), it runs extremely hot (79ºC) very fast with medium load and the magsafe connector is broken : / But yes, in reggards with resources what I now have gets the job done and I know an i5 with 8gb or more is going to be overkill but its something I always do with laptops.


    IF the mid 2012 Unibody is capable of providing enough battery life for 5/8 hours of coding in eclipse then I wont mind leaving haswell behind. Retina on the other hand… well, I work at 900p right now so that works, having more with retina would be very nice but it isnt *really* necessary.


    I'll try to find some reviews/benchmarks of the 2012 Unibody with SSD, if the battery life is enough then I'll most probably go with option B).




    The Air could be an option but I didnt consider it since I was of the impression that its build quality (Unbody and keyboard) was a little worse than that of a MBP. Dont know if it is true, but it would bother me quite a lot. And yes, if I go with an Air I would most definitely go with the 13" since I dont want to use a lower resolution and a cramped keyboard.


    Eclipse for java and sometimes the android sdk, so no need to use XCode right now. Could you elaborate why the rMP is better suited for XCode? What is wrong with the Air?


    Maybe that would be the most intelligent thing to do, go to an Apple Store and see if I can play for a while with both a rMBP and an Air.




    Thanks to both of you, now I have some food for thought for my upcoming purchase, I'll post again when I have decided or if I have further questions. Thanks again!

  • 4. Re: Buying new MBP. Help, suggestions and opinions appreciated.
    Melophage Level 5 Level 5 (6,715 points)



    the MacBook Airs also have soldered RAM. I don’t know whether their batteries are user-replaceable or not, or which form factor their SSDs have. (Of course, these issues might not weigh as heavily with you as they would for me.)

  • 5. Re: Buying new MBP. Help, suggestions and opinions appreciated.
    xtremecarbon Level 4 Level 4 (2,235 points)

    rMBP can have more RAM (double) and better processor. This will save you lots of time in XCode and in general. You CAN use a MBAir for XCode, but at its price point (maxed out), why wouldn't you go for the rMBP?