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Buy a cMBP now or wait for October refresh?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi folks,

 

Need to replace my 2008 MBP, and am close to pulling the trigger on a 13' MBP.  While I am not a power user (mostly WP, internet, pictures and movies), I don't think the Air will meet my needs due to lack of storage capacity, and portability is not a huge draw for me.That said, I do not feel the need to spend the extra $ on a retina MBP, as I do not feel I need it.

 

My conundrum is whether to jump on purchasing the cMBP now, with some discounts already available, or to wait until the introduction of the new OS and Haswell (I understand it offers greatly improved battery life). My fear with regards to waiting is that Apple will discontinue the cMBP, and that the 13' cMBP I am currently looking at will no longer be available. 

 

I am looking for your thoughts/opinions on the following:

 

Is Apple likely to discontinue the cMBP?  If so, how long are older models typically available through Apple?

 

If not, is it likely to be updated with Haswell, and is that worth waiting for?  

post #2 of 15
Originally Posted by X-Men View Post

My conundrum is whether to jump on purchasing the cMBP now, with some discounts already available, or to wait until the introduction of the new OS and Haswell (I understand it offers greatly improved battery life). 

 

I'd say wait for the update either way. If the line is discontinued, you'll get an even larger discount on the remaining new stock of those laptops (this revision). If it's kept around, you'll get Haswell+Iris Pro.


Is Apple likely to discontinue the cMBP?

 

Oh, of course. Absolutely. Whether it's this time around is up for debate, though, as they'd have to drop the rMBP prices to uMBP levels. I'd say within the next three. 

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Men View Post

Is Apple likely to discontinue the cMBP?  If so, how long are older models typically available through Apple?

If not, is it likely to be updated with Haswell, and is that worth waiting for?

As soon as they discontinue it, it will only be available in the refurbished store or at resellers. The refurb store has decent discounts:

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac

The current base 13" MBP is in there for $999 and you can add Applecare to those for 3 year total warranty up to a year after buying. At the last Macbook Air update, they doubled SSD storage. I think they'll maintain the storage in the rMBP and drop the price. They still have to drop $300 to displace the old models but they would get away with $1299 as this is what they did with the iMacs. I think with at least the entry 15" they'll go with Intel's integrated graphics to drop $400.

If you need the storage, I'd say get the refurb just now because I think they'll have a 128GB rMBP at $1299 at the next refresh that can't be upgraded internally. There's no RAM upgrades either but the cMBP takes 16GB. If you need to upgrade in 2-3 years, they should have 256GB-512GB SSDs nearer the entry level and will offer 16GB with DDR4. If you got the $999 cMBP, you could get a 500GB SSD for $320:

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Electronics-SATAIII-2-5-Inch-MZ-7TD500BW/dp/B009NHAF3I

16GB RAM is $132: http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=3D32ED07A5CA7304
post #4 of 15

Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
As soon as they discontinue it, it will only be available in the refurbished store or at resellers.

 

I want to remember the new overstock of a discontinued Apple product still being offered under Clearance on the online store, at least until it runs out… 

 

'Course I can't remember anything, anyway. But don't they do that, at least? You're right about what you said (frantically had to scramble to get my iPad Keyboard Dock when that happened), but one more venue would be helpful. Really, all he has to do is check the store on update day to be sure to get one if they do do that.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #5 of 15
^what TS said, first reply^
Or Marvins advice, very sound. Can't compare Apples with Apples until they release the new ones.

Wait if you can - I couldn't and pulled the trigger on a MacBook Air 1 week ago. Looked long and hard at the old cMBP - had to make a call.
13" 1.7, 8 Gb Ram cto for my wife who needs it for work while travelling in two weeks.
Should arrive tomorrow.

If I could have waited for the refresh to rMBP I would have. 1rolleyes.gif
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your advice folks! I am still on the fence, as I qualify for education pricing, which is 999 for the base 13 and 1299 for the upgraded base 13
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Men View Post

Hi folks,

Need to replace my 2008 MBP, and am close to pulling the trigger on a 13' MBP.  While I am not a power user (mostly WP, internet, pictures and movies), I don't think the Air will meet my needs due to lack of storage capacity, and portability is not a huge draw for me.That said, I do not feel the need to spend the extra $ on a retina MBP, as I do not feel I need it.
I'm in a similar boat though not in a rush, my 2008 MBP is beat up pretty bad. As for the AIR have you looked at current options, they have a 512 GB SSD available as an option that isn't priced too bad. As for retina the decision is yours but I find it strange that you have made a determination that you don't needed it when one of your uses is pictures.
Quote:
My conundrum is whether to jump on purchasing the cMBP now, with some discounts already available, or to wait until the introduction of the new OS and Haswell (I understand it offers greatly improved battery life). My fear with regards to waiting is that Apple will discontinue the cMBP, and that the 13' cMBP I am currently looking at will no longer be available. 
Haswell is extremely valuable as such I wouldn't buy any of the current MBPs. That being said they could axe the 13" MBP.
Quote:
I am looking for your thoughts/opinions on the following:

Is Apple likely to discontinue the cMBP?  If so, how long are older models typically available through Apple?
Very possible. I would expect them to have something to replace it though. Maybe a 14" sized machine. Apple will be careful here though as the 13" machines (non retina) are good sellers.
Quote:
If not, is it likely to be updated with Haswell, and is that worth waiting for?  

Haswell is the only good reason to wait. Further September isn't that far off, considering updates might be less than a month away it would be silly to rush out and buy something you don't have a pressing need for.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Men View Post

Thanks for your advice folks! I am still on the fence, as I qualify for education pricing, which is 999 for the base 13 and 1299 for the upgraded base 13

So if they kept the entry cMBP for another year then you'd get the Haswell one for $999 and benefit from the battery life and still have the extra storage. That would be a better deal than buying now. Although refurbs and resellers are limited in stocks, the laptops are Apple's best selling machines so if they did have a 128GB Retina MBP at the entry point when it gets updated, you'll probably still be able to pick up a cMBP somewhere. I think they will try and ditch the old ones this time round.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


So if they kept the entry cMBP for another year then you'd get the Haswell one for $999 and benefit from the battery life and still have the extra storage. That would be a better deal than buying now. Although refurbs and resellers are limited in stocks, the laptops are Apple's best selling machines so if they did have a 128GB Retina MBP at the entry point when it gets updated, you'll probably still be able to pick up a cMBP somewhere. I think they will try and ditch the old ones this time round.

My hope is expressed exactly by your first sentence: 

"So if they kept the entry cMBP for another year then you'd get the Haswell one for $999 and benefit from the battery life and still have the extra storage".

 

My fear is of your last: 

"I think they will try and ditch the old ones this time round."

 

If the cMBP does get ditched, I wonder if I can still pick one up refurbished for the same prices.  If so, I am better off to wait to make sure I am not missing out on the possibility of a cMBP with Haswell and Maverick.

 

I certainly appreciate all of the input, especially since I don't have the experience that many of you folks seem to have with Apple release cycles and patterns over the years.    

post #10 of 15
Dont want to send you off-site but I use this a bit for reference.
Plots release cycles etc for different Apple products - if you couple those with the rumours and news here then you're pretty well in the ballpark for most things.
http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/

edit: woohoo !
MacBook Air just arrived. Typing on it now. Cool !
AC wifi - just friggn great !
That IS worth waiting for and one reason alone why you'd pass on the existing models. Way better - no shit.
Edited by RobM - 8/12/13 at 6:17pm
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Sept 1 and still have not made a decision, although I am close enough to the projected release date that I am likely going to wait and weigh my options. While I will miss out on the $100 iTunes card, I figure that Haswell alone will be worth way more than that, so can live with that loss. The one question I do have is whether the educational store discount of $200 usually still Applies to newly released products like the Haswell mac pros should be shortly. If it typically does not, my thinking may change.
I am also not sure as to the importance/value of Flash technology (in retina) vs the traditional storage in the cMBP. My guess is that in going to the retina you sacrifice volume for speed. Is this correct?
I do not travel la great deal with my laptop, making portability a nice feature but a non essential factor. While I am sure the retina is beautiful, I am not sure it is worth the premium price to me, especially considering its limitations with upgradeability and relative lack of storage, not to mention the issues with reliability I have recently read about. With all of that, i will still use an optical drive on occasion, so the cMBP seems like the best fit for me.
I really hope that the new release sees a cMBP with Haswell and most of its "legacy" features.
If it is phased out, I guess I will have to hit the refurb store.
Thoughts?
post #12 of 15
Hold off if you can. The refresh might even come sooner than October.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Men View Post

Sept 1 and still have not made a decision, although I am close enough to the projected release date that I am likely going to wait and weigh my options.
At this point the sensible thing to do is wait. You are replacing a 5 year old machine a month or two, even a half year doesn't make a huge difference. Especially considering just how well Haswell does in notebooks.
Quote:
While I will miss out on the $100 iTunes card, I figure that Haswell alone will be worth way more than that, so can live with that loss. The one question I do have is whether the educational store discount of $200 usually still Applies to newly released products like the Haswell mac pros should be shortly. If it typically does not, my thinking may change.
I'm far removed from educational buying but I believe the discount will apply.
Quote:
I am also not sure as to the importance/value of Flash technology (in retina) vs the traditional storage in the cMBP. My guess is that in going to the retina you sacrifice volume for speed. Is this correct?
For the most part yes. However the speed difference is very significant.
Quote:
I do not travel la great deal with my laptop, making portability a nice feature but a non essential factor. While I am sure the retina is beautiful, I am not sure it is worth the premium price to me, especially considering its limitations with upgradeability and relative lack of storage, not to mention the issues with reliability I have recently read about. With all of that, i will still use an optical drive on occasion, so the cMBP seems like the best fit for me.
I know of nothing about retina reliability issues, if there was a real problem we would hear more. There are issues with the screens but that isn't really a reliability problem.

As for the optical drive don't be surprised if that goes away. Note that the cMBP will only be around until the prices of the retinas are lowered. So it isn't a given that the cMBP will even be updated.
Quote:
I really hope that the new release sees a cMBP with Haswell and most of its "legacy" features.
If it is phased out, I guess I will have to hit the refurb store.
Thoughts?
You got it!
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Given that one of the big advantages of the retina over the cMBP is the retina's SSD flash drive, is it possible (or practical) to replace the optical drive in a 2012 cMBP with an SSD drive? And if so, is the only option to do so through Apple, or are there less expensive alternatives?
If this is a realistic option for down the road upgrading, it makes the cMBP even more attractive vs the Retina, which seems not to have any upgrading flexibility.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Men View Post

Given that one of the big advantages of the retina over the cMBP is the retina's SSD flash drive,
I don't see that as a big advantage in the current machines. SSDs are readily available for use in all Aple laptops.
Quote:
is it possible (or practical) to replace the optical drive in a 2012 cMBP with an SSD drive?
Third parties support this.
Quote:
And if so, is the only option to do so through Apple, or are there less expensive alternatives?
Apple doesn't support this.
Quote:
If this is a realistic option for down the road upgrading,
It isn't a realistic option in my estimation. The Problem is SATA is dying fast, anybody with any sense would go with PCI Express in new machine builds. That for performance and to eventually eliminate SATA support from chip sets.
Quote:
it makes the cMBP even more attractive vs the Retina, which seems not to have any upgrading flexibility.

That is an issue with the retina machine. I'm not sure if poor sales for that model has taught Apple anything. By the way I wouldn't expect support for legacy secondary storage expansion. Rather I would expect to see another of Apples PCI Express based expansion slots in the machine to allow for two or more blade devices.

In any event you need to evaluate realistically what your storage needs are. If you think 200 GB is enough, double it and see what Apple offers. By the way, experience with my old 2008 MBP tells me that 200 GB isn't enough for most users. It certainly isn't enough if you intend to run virtual machines.

Personally I think focusing on upgradability these days is the wrong way to look at computer purchasing. The problem is the rapid improvement to the hardware means that you are throwing away good money on anoint hardware. It is far better to make a purchase with the intent of keeping it as is for several years. Where several years revolves around 5. That means buying a machine with enough RAM and secondary storage up front and working with that until new hardware becomes compelling. A wise move here is to make sure those sizes are fat to keep you in good order for all of those years. As mentioned above that means buying more RAM or secondary store than you think you need right now.

In any event I'd think long and hard about the value of "upgrading" in today's technology markets. It isn't like you will be doubling performance every six months anymore. In fact I honestly believe part of the problem with the massive slow down in the PC market is that people don't see the value anymore in quick upgrades. A computer that is 20% faster does nothing for reading E-Mail, surfing the net or the other things commonly done with PCs. When the time does come to upgrade it might be six years down the road. At that time technology will have changed so much that it is far wiser to buy a new machine. By the way six years isn't all that long anymore, just look at all of the machines still running XP. It really is a different world these days.
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