Which MacBook should I buy?

My older Mac laptop just died and now I’m trying to decide what to get next. What’s really baking my noodle is: as a musician I should get whatever will be the most stable, but as a software and hardware maker I should get whatever is most problematic, to make sure all my software and hardware works on it.

I guess I will take the plunge and get one of the 2018 touch bar machines (I don’t want a touch bar) and make sure it works with the Soundplane.

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Same here. It’s a beast. More or less no problem in 4 years

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Thank you so much!

Just saw this today, made a Genius Bar appointment, and have just got back from dropping off my 2015 13" MBP (which is only 6 days away from the 4 year cut off).


Just as an aside, every interaction I’ve had with our local Apple Store has always been really friendly, I’ve just had a rather wonderful conversation about the joys of fatherhood while waiting for the diagnostics on my laptop to run.

So while I still think my 2015 MBP was the last ‘good’ laptop they made, and I am generally trying to run Linux as much as possible, on this particular day I’m finding it hard to be too grumpy with them.

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I have a 2011 maxed out MacBook Pro 15" and it’s still going strong. Music production, sound editing, Photoshop, video editing, animation, it all works as well as when I got it. I stopped upgrading the OS at some point and now there’s software I can’t upgrade, but nothing that really hampers work.

My 2018 MBP had both 1) the audio issue (using a MOTU UIltralite 4, even in class compliant mode which I had to resort to due to issue#2) and 2) the T2/BridgeOS constant restarts issue. Since the update - no restarts (at its worst it was several times a day, even restarting while the MBP was SLEEPING) and audio is behaving perfectly. But this is still in class compliant mode. A little leery of re-installing the MOTU drivers, which greatly increased the restarts (2-3x an hour!) but all signs point to this update at least solving some of the issues so far.

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admin notice:

despite repeated calls from staff and community members to stay on-topic, this thread kept getting derailed with specific vendor/interface issues, non-macbook systems, desktops, hackintoshes, general negativity directed toward apple, mac vs windows, and so on.

please keep this “which macbook should i buy?” thread on-topic. though it was originally posted in 2017, the question still applies across all current macbook options.

ongoing issues with apple/mac hardware, firmware, interfaces, and the like, for both mobile & desktop systems, can be found in this new thread:

Apple/Mac issues: hardware, firmware, interfaces, etc.

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aggggghh looks like the rumored 16"/2019 MBP refresh just got pushed back. I’m desperately in need of a new computer, and my Windows MSI has been pretty depressing.

Just want to buy another OSx laptop, but Apple seems to be actively making things worse! Was hoping to hold out for a refresh, but now I have no idea what the next move is. It’s insane that a computer from 2015 still looks more appealing than the current offerings tbh.

Looks like they resolved the usb 2 interface and audio drop out issues? Most of that talk got moved to the other thread about Mac issues.

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I recently bit the bullet and got a 15" MacBook Pro. Horrendous price tag, but it’s absolutely excellent so far. Coming from a 2012 13" MacBook Air, the screen is just amazing, the computer is not much bigger physically, the integrated speakers somehow good, and the boost in computing power is enormous. I haven’t even had the time to try out my audio interfaces yet, but I assume it would work fine with one of these sleek hubs.

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I doesn’t look like a Thunderbolt 3 hub. This is a Thunderbolt 3 hub : http://www.caldigit.com/thunderbolt-3/mini-dock-HDMI-DisplayPort/index-eu.asp

That being said, it could work just fine. Just to specify that the CalDigit TB3 mini dock was tested with USB2 RME Audio Device and does fix the dropouts issue on High Sierra 10.3.6 and Mojave 10.4.3 and up

It actually has a thunderbolt 3 port listed in the “ports” section, and also claims 40Gb/s, which only thunderbolt 3 can reach.

I own a slightly different model from the same brand. I’ll confirm wether this works or not as soon as I’ve tried it out.

yeah I’ve read that as well. I wouldn’t trust this specifications though.

The only way to know if it’s a legit TB3 hub is to plug your Audio Device in it and check in macOS System Report if uses the PCIe bus of Thunderbolt and derives USB with its own USB chip.

Then I can try it right now!

quoting MC from RME for reference:

[Talking about the CalDigit TB3 mini ] This device uses the PCIe bus of Thunderbolt and derives USB with its own USB chip, so is totally decoupled from the broken USB 2 in the Mac Mini 2018. Which is why it also doesn’t show the infamous USB disconnect problem (USB hangs until reboot).

A word of advice: there are a zilllion cheap docks with USB, HDMI etc available, that often have ‘Thunderbolt 3’ in their name or description. These are NOT Thunderbolt 3 devices! To recognize real TB3 is quite easy:

  • Thunderbolt 3 is mentioned on the package
  • the USB-C connector has the Thunderbolt flash symbol on it
  • the product description clearly mentions TB3 and 40 GB/s
  • the display ports support 60 Hz, not only 30 Hz
  • the price is above 100$

I just confirmed on my machine that this variant of the dock is just a usb 3 to usb 2 hub, not a thunderbolt 3 to usb 2 hub. :frowning: Hopefully Apple has those glitches worked out by now…

I’m sure you’ll be fine! But good to know and to be careful not to trust the manufacturer specs.

ps: sorry to the admin, must have posted in the other thread :frowning:

This thread has now lost the information that was moved over to the Apple issues one.

Mojave 10.14.4 included an update to fix the USB 2 audio dropout issues. RME said over on their forum that they don’t need the hub anymore.

https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=27964&p=5

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I’ve read that it was a mistranslation after all. 16" MBP could come this year but the one with micro led panels are due in 2020/2021.

Anyway we have to wait till WWCD to know. I’m using my late 2011 right now, but the GPU failed a few weeks ago. I managed to get my laptop working using this tutorial: https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/267581/gpu-problem-boot-hangs-on-grey-screen/295805#295805

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oof truu - thanks gang.

Sorry, not adding too much, just venting. My 2010 MBP was by far the best computer I’ve ever owned, but very much on it’s last leg. I’m on windows now and want to make the switch back, but man the options out now are rough!

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I was checking this topic frequently before reading people experience with new MBP but finally decided to go for new MBP 13" (2018 model) and I haven’t got any issues with the keyboard or audio driver. I changed it for my old MacBook Air 11" and I couldn’t be happier. Keyboard action was strange at the beginning but now I definitely prefer it over MacBook Air keyboard. It’s really fast and Touch Bar is quite fun… if not for music making then at least for emoticons and Affinity Designer :slight_smile:

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