Which MacBook should I buy?


#21

Oh yes, true! Totally great and desirable as well!
Mine (13" mbp) only has the Thunderbold connector (but the normal one), but it’s still better than not having it. Oh and mine also has an SD card slot, which was really handy, until it failed to work (but that’s another story). When buying a new mpb one should always count in how much USB hubs, adapters, SD card reader etc. will add to the final price. :slight_smile:


#22

Recent Apple laptop computers are a no-go for me, for several reasons already mentionned in this thread.
Personnaly I use two PCs : for general work, I have a 2009 MacBook Pro ; for music only, I use a 2013 MacBook Pro. They both work like a charm, and have been “modified” several times (RAM and hard drive upgrades, new batteries, optic drive replaced with an SSD…).
As much as I’ve been happy with these computers, I’m sure I won’t spend any money on Apple laptop computers built after 2013… unless Apple start making maintainable ones again, without touchbars, with USB ports (one can always dream).


#23

It’s kinda crazy with regards to how many people on this forum use MBP, how many complications and problematics you all seemed to go through in the last 5 years or so with your computers, when I feel the ecosystems of PC laptops greatly improved in the same time span. For 1200€ I litterally could have a killer computer i7 last gen with a great GPU, 256go SSD + 1To, 16go, good cooling system, light and not too ugly. In comparaison what I’m reading here sounds like quite a nightmare, even when you consider the possible benefits of MacOS (I really wouldn’t know I never thought it was either amazing or terrible, just different). It really feels like all the R&D at apple headquarters is directed first and foremost at iPhones and iPads and the laptop line is kind of an obligation more than something they trully care for.

Edit: Full disclosure, and to balance my previous comment, if I had money I’d buy a refurbished MBP would it only be for compatibility issues with other projects and artists, it’s such a hassle sometimes with softwares only available on one or the other side of the informatic pond and the HDD format issues…


#24

I agree!

With the exception of a 2014 MBP that I have at work, my Apple laptops have always been ones I can modify, upgrade (and to a degree fix) myself. It’s great being able to use older machines and keep them from turning into yet more electronic waste.


#25

I currently have a mid-spec 15" 2010 MBP and it’s still going strong, albeit with an SSD where the DVD drive was, upgraded RAM and a new battery. They are certainly beautifully-made and long-lasting machines.

However, despite loving Apple design and OSX as a platform, my next machine is 100% going to be non-Apple. The current range of MBPs are hideously overpriced (particularly here in the UK and to a slightly lesser extent the EU) for underpowered, non-upgradeable machines… you could build a high-spec Hackintosh for the studio, buy a second-hand Octatrack for playing live, get a decent quality laptop for emails & Netflix, go on a romantic weekend getaway, and STILL have cash left over from buying the current mid-level 15" Macbook Pro.

If you’re absolutely set on getting a Mac, then buy the absolute highest-spec machine you can possibly afford and view it as investment to spread over 10 years, with a premium for Apple’s user experience, otherwise it doesn’t even begin to add up.

Unless of course you’re absolutely loaded and can drop three grand on a laptop without worrying about it, in which case go for it.


#26

This is exactly what I’ve done on my mid-spec 15" 2009 MBP.

You’re not alone.

:slightly_smiling_face:


#27

I see some people questioning the use of Apple computers. I agree with comments about recent questionable hardware decisions on Apple’s part, but none of that touches on why I use Apple computers. I need a Unix (so I can use build tools and packages that just work) laptop (so I can be mobile) that also runs a coherent set of UI APIs so that my design tools will work (mainly Sketch from Bohemian Coding, which heavily uses Apple’s Core* APIs and couldn’t be ported to another platform if you tried). If it weren’t for Sketch (and if the X Windows ecosystem wasn’t so batshit crazy) I would be a Linux user. Oh, except I also make music, and for that I want VSTs and AUs. So, between my need for a decent windowing environment, Core* graphics APIs, and use of VSTs and AUs, Apple is the only choice available.

I do have Windows and Linux boxes. They just aren’t my main machines. Windows is great for gaming. Linux is fantastic as a server.


#28

I see some people questioning the use of Apple computers. I agree with comments about recent questionable hardware decisions on Apple’s part, but none of that touches on why I use Apple computers. I need a Unix (so I can use build tools and packages that just work) laptop (so I can be mobile) that also runs a coherent set of UI APIs so that my design tools will work (mainly Sketch from Bohemian Coding, which heavily uses Apple’s Core* APIs and couldn’t be ported to another platform if you tried). If it weren’t for Sketch (and if the X Windows ecosystem wasn’t so batshit crazy) I would be a Linux user. Oh, except I also make music, and for that I want VSTs and AUs. So, between my need for a decent windowing environment, Core* graphics APIs, and use of VSTs and AUs, Apple is the only choice available.

very eloquently put.

To add, the windows laptops that are imo at or around the same usability/quality as a last-generation retina MBP (like the surface book) are the same price or more expensive than an equivalently specced MBP (at least the last time I checked)


#29

Spec sheet wise it’s just not true at all, after that it all depends on what you need to do, and what you like in a computer. Retina displays are great but I like mate screens better and I think it’s not a possibility on MBP? And if you want to go up in prices, for 2000€ you get an incredible PC laptop that can absolutely not be compared to an MBP of the same price range, and is well built (once again, I think this part of the deal improved enormously these last 5 or 7 years). Obviously I can see why the Unix environnement is fundamental to some, but it’s very secondary to most, and with the power you get from a PC laptop you can acheive much more than just gaming.


#30

I haven’t bought a computer based on a spec sheet in a very long time. i7 with 16GB RAM and a large SSD? Fantastic, works for me. You can get that from pretty much any manufacturer.

I’d look at things differently if I was doing anything with 3D. DirectX shines there, so Microsoft won that battle.

I will say that I do audio stuff on both OS X and Windows. I generally find OS X to be slightly less prone to problems (drivers, latency, audio glitches, etc) but both are more or less functional, and I’m willing to accept the possibility that I just don’t have things as dialed in on the Windows side.


#31

I do a lot of video editing and a lot of my music is synced with video so it’s a huge thing for me and if I had to go all the way Mac it would be incredibly more pricey that’s all. I’m honestly struggling financially and that makes Macbooks just a no go for me. For the OS part, they both worked fine for me for years and I really can’t remember the last time I had a huge bug issue either with MacOS or Windows.


#32

Yeah, for heavy video work, I can see the appeal of Windows. Better graphics hardware on the PC side of the world. Macs just aren’t great for price/performance ratio when it comes to heavy-lifting visual work. But they have the finesse for 2D/UI design that I need. It really is a graphics API thing for my use case, much more than a graphics hardware thing.


#33

I completely get that actually, I’ve known a few people who litteraly couldn’t work without that. But for most of us I think the picture changed a bit these last years. I used to long for the day I could buy myself a Macbook Pro, now it’s not even something that would make sense for me professionally, so definitely it’s a very different landscape from say 10 years ago where I would have advised many people to go for an MBP and never look back.


#34

It’s important to know what you’re trying to accomplish when making these decisions.

Or you can do what I did, and try everything. It’s not practical, and it’s not something I would advise. But you sure learn a lot that way!


#35

Yeah I try to eat first and then “everything” is second on my list ^^


#36

When I was young and poor, I thought food and sleep were dumb. Now that I am old and tired, I value them much more highly.


#37

Like @jasonw22, it’s also a work thing for me: I’m a software developer, and work is *nix. I frequently use virtual machines for this… but my problem with non-Apple hardware this days is increasingly not the hardware, it’s the OS. I physically can’t use Windows for much of what I do, and for the rest of it, I’d choose not to.

Everybody is right about the increasing prices though. In an ideal world, I’d have a 2015 mbp, but I’m a bit loathe to buy secondhand laptops… and reconditioned ones are challenging to find.


#38

Funny how these discussions always end up turning into a macOS vs. Windows discussion :slight_smile:
But there is interesting point in this whole discussion, which might be relevant to the OP: is there a future for Apple computers for people who actually want to create something with their computers? I see people disagreeing here, and that’s because indeed Apple has been doing a lot of weird shit since some years. Had you asked people from the design, music or visual arts industry about this 6-7 years ago, you’d have gotten an unanimous “yes” to the question, now people seem to be less sure. Which of course makes me think: do I really want to invest further in the platform, or do I want to start looking for an exit strategy? (and I won’t ask @jasonw22 what he thinks about Adobe XD, because I think we’d definitely derail the thread here! :smiley: )
Just something to think about…


#39

Are Live and Max softwares (and most “serious” audio interfaces) usuable on a Linux system (outside of the VM realm) ?

:cry:

Edit : indeed here I’m only talking about music making.


#40

Live and Max aren’t both viable options on Linux afaik. Puredata runs well and I’m told Bitwig (which seems to beat Live in many aspects) also runs nicely on it. There remains the problems with the availability of VSTs/AUs, but that of course depends on how much one needs those.
And of course the main issue with Linux is that you might run into small issues which might cost you weeks of head scratching. Something much less likely with MacOS, but likely to happen on Windows as well (at least in my personal experience).