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Which MacBook should I get


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Timely thread - W10 is soooo bloody annoying lately I am seriously considering jumping to a macbook for all music work and just setting the PC for internet and games only! So great info here and my thanks.

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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I have a late-2013 model and it has plenty of juice to do what I need - multitrack audio and live gigging with a 128 buffer and multiple VIs. Not bad for an almost 7-year-old computer. I think there's an urge to believe you need the latest & greatest (perhaps fueled by a few folk right here!). I also think there's some psychology at play when just knowing there are newer & more powerful computers gives one an "inferiority complex" that keeps them from considering an older - and perfectly workable â alternative.

 

The advantage to a newer model is that it may last you longer, given that software updates can sometimes obsolete a computer before its time. I think Apple has been pretty good in that regard though. MacBook Pros from 2012 can run the lastest MacOS â Catalina, a system I'm likely to hold off on updating to for a while since 32-bit software is no longer supported there.

 

Bottom line is to decide on your budget first, then look around to see what that can buy you. As long as it's any MacBook Pro in the last 5 years you should be completely fine, given your description of "not a power user" and "not needing a Ferrari." Keep in mind that newer Macs can not upgrade ram - and the latest ones can't upgrade the hard drive either. I don't know what kinds of apps you'll be running or how involved your projects will be but I would probably try for something beyond the base config, at least for hard drives (if the MBP you look at doesn't have a user-replaceable one). I've done OK with my 8GB of ram.

 

Same here...mine is a 2013 MB pro with 8MB ram.The only time it becomes problematic is using some of the more intensive Waves plugins. I've just taken delivery of a brand new macbook pro, 16GB ram etc., but I'm in no rush to change out the older 2013 computer, because it handles almost everything I can throw at it (I will be using the new computer for my studio, and the old one will stay as a live rig if we ever get back to live playing in the UK!)

 

Should say that I noticed a massive difference between Logic and Reaper. Reaper seems to be far smoother when using multiple plugins...Logic falls over much quicker!

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My 2016 MBP 13" Retina has been holding up nicely. They were the first models that can't be upgraded so you planned for as much RAM and SSD as you needed when you bought it. If you're looking for a used one to expand the memory, look for models older than 2016.
I have a 2016 MacBook Pro 15" with the crappy keyboard, which Apple then went and replaced for free last fall (I sent it to them when I right before I went on vacation). It came back like a brand new machine.

 

But a side question for you all- I need to run legacy software that was last supported by Mac OS 10.12.6 (Sierra). What is the newest MacBook I can run this OS on? I am assuming something from 2016-17, and I will be looking for a refurbished machine.

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Your first post says "not a power user", now you tell us you're getting the most powerful laptop Apple's ever made! (I'm just busting on you a little!). :)

 

You probably know that it will 1) be unable to run a pre-Catalina MacOS, which might have implications for any older software you need that hasn't been updated to 64-bit, and

 

2) Everything is USB3 and Thunderbolt so all older peripherals will probably need adapters or adapting cables.

 

Actually I'm not positive about #1 but in my experience a Mac cannot run an OS version earlier than what it ships with. Maybe I'm wrong. Good luck and enjoy this, don't we all deserve the latest and greatest? Who needs all this old crap anyway? :laugh:

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I think the lack of connectivity on the Air model is something that would sway me in the direction of MBP. And to avoid the scissor keyboard, I'd have to go back to 2015, which is a long way in computer years.

No problem with the busting...

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Your first post says "not a power user", now you tell us you're getting the most powerful laptop Apple's ever made! (I'm just busting on you a little!). :)

 

You probably know that it will 1) be unable to run a pre-Catalina MacOS, which might have implications for any older software you need that hasn't been updated to 64-bit, and

 

2) Everything is USB3 and Thunderbolt so all older peripherals will probably need adapters or adapting cables.

 

Actually I'm not positive about #1 but in my experience a Mac cannot run an OS version earlier than what it ships with. Maybe I'm wrong. Good luck and enjoy this, don't we all deserve the latest and greatest? Who needs all this old crap anyway? :laugh:

 

I'm not sure on point 1 and but yes point 2 is accurate - I have a 2017 MBP and it's all USB-C, so I bought a couple of adapters. Now I have USB-C to USB A or B cables for the majority of things including audio interfaces etc :thu:

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I think if you don"t mind the larger overall size (I think most people would prefer the larger screen size) and can pay the few hundred dollars more over the higher-tier 13' MBP"s, the 16' MBP is a great choice, probably the best Mac laptop ever for audio.

 

https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/05/10/how-to-choose-between-the-new-13-inch-macbook-pro-versus-the-16-inch-macbook-pro

 

Be sure to shop around online for discounts on the 16' MBP. That article links to a few.

 

Mac Minis and iMacs are great for audio uses if you don"t need portability. I still love using my 27' iMac every day.

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Lots of good points being made in this thread.

 

Last fall I wanted to get a more powerful laptop and I ended up buying a used 2015 Mac Book Pro Retina 15" off eBay for a thousand bucks. Many people consider this the high-water mark for MacBooks and I have to agree. No butterfly keyboard, still has Magsafe, still has SDHC slot, two Thunderbolt connectors, two USB3 connectors, and an HDMI jack. Almost immediately after purchase I was made aware of a battery recall, it qualified, so I sent it in and got the battery replaced. In the meantime I ordered a 2 TB SSD. In the end I think my total expenditure was about $1600 for a machine with a 2.5 GHz i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, and 2 TB of SSD. Probably will last me a decade of solid use. Heck my 2008 MBP13 is still puttin' along. I put a 1TB SSD in it several years ago. I think that machine only has 8 GB of RAM tho. I keep it in the rehearsal space and it'll run at least a dozen tracks in Logic Pro X just fine.

 

In general Macs age very gracefully.

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I have a MacBook Pro and a MacBook that I like HOWEVER I will not buy another Mac until they put touch/stylus on the screen and get up to date.. I do things with a Windows 10 computer with touchscreen I really don't have time to fuss with trackpads/mouse for general computer use. Touchscreen computers are much faster to navigate/do work no matter what you are doing and when you get use to it (mixing the touch with trackpad features, etc) when you are on a non-touch computer one still presses the screen by habit I do this on the Macs all the time when I use them. Lack of touchscreen is another lack-of-feature like the right-click lack of button that Apple likes to hold on to like it makes sense.

 

WH

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Heck my 2008 MBP13 is still puttin' along. I put a 1TB SSD in it several years ago. I think that machine only has 8 GB of RAM tho. I keep it in the rehearsal space and it'll run at least a dozen tracks in Logic Pro X just fine.

 

In general Macs age very gracefully.

 

Not to mention: Not all programs are improved with later versions of OSX. Preview in Lion is far superior than later Previews in newer OSX operating systems, imo. I use a Lion Preview to do PDFs for a side thing I do. This involves working with PDFs. I annotate them with text, arrows, lines, circles, boxes, narratives etc. Later Previews you have to make a box. Slide the box. Click on the box etc, etc. Its a chore to do one thing (and the early Preview is WAY faster than Acrobat, imo) Lions Preview *one click* - put text and annotations anywhere with one click takes half the tine. No dragging. No making boxes. I recently rebuilt an older MacBook just for this with an SSD, new LCD etc. Early Mac laptops like 2008 are still great computers with an SSD. Apple had to nuke them by denying an updated operating system so you had to buy an newer computer, imo. Then the browsers, other apps had to follow - etc -

 

WH

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I guess I'm not sure what the Preview feature you're referring to is. As for right-click, I assume you're using the Apple mouse? Right click works on trackpad just as you'd expect it to. I use an Apple magic trackpad with my iMac too, and I find the gestures to be quite handy. And it's a lot easier going between iMac and MacBook since trackpad works the same both places.

 

I also have a generic Logitech mouse attached to my iMac. For one, Adobe Illustrator works better with a mouse. But also, I run Windows 7 and Windows 10 inside VMWare Fusion, and for some Windows stuff I find the mouse just works better than the trackpad. Have never used the touch screen interface in Win10. I'm curious what apps you find it handy for. I doubt it would work that well for Quickbooks or my software development tools that require the use of Windows. Reaching for a mouse is a lot easier than reaching for a screen, at least on a multi-display desktop setup.

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I would go with the MacBook Air. Lightweight perfectly capable.

Add memory and SDD options $1500.

You can manage the any lack of connectivity externally.

 

It is a delight! Had one delivered this week.

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