Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

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samjuno
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Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by samjuno » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:25 pm

My Macbook Pro (mid-2012) running OS 10.11.6 (El Capitan) is beginning to act up. I haven't upgraded my OS because of software issues (YNAB upgrade turns into a yearly fee) & Apple will soon stop issuing security updates for El Capitan.

This has me thinking of upgrading to an iMac & ditching YNAB for another budgeting program- esp. since prices for electronics are expected to inflate soon due to the trade war starting. Since I'm on a tight retiree budget, very security conscious & use my computer daily, the expense of upgrading (>$1100) is not something I take lightly. Would welcome other's views on this & whether I might be overly anxious about falling into the "digital divide" danger.

-sam

runner3081
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by runner3081 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:46 pm

If you want to upgrade, do it when you are ready to. If you want to come up with an excuse to upgrade due to the trade war (it is not a good one). Wait until you need a new one, which seems to be now if it is truly starting to "act up".

VaR
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by VaR » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:53 pm

A few observations:
1. Staying on an old version of MacOS to avoid upgrading YNAB is not the best reason. Your mid-2012 is compatible all the way up to the next version of MacOS, Mojave. I recommend upgrading to at least High Sierra.
2. You're right in thinking about upgrading. I feel like an upgrade goes onto my todo list when my computer starts to feel sluggish or when it becomes ineligible for the latest OS. Remarkably, this often happens at the same time. And no, it's not *due* to the upgrade, obviously. My mid-2011 MacBook Air is starting to feel sluggish and it will not be eligible for Mojave. It's definitely still usable, though.

Why are you going to an iMac instead of just upgrading to another MacBook Pro?

I've always found the best MacBook deals in the fall through Christmas, so I recommend doing your research now through then and keeping your eye out for a good flash deal on the various deal sites. I think the key is to do your research to know what you want as far as which model and what various upgrades (memory, flash storage, etc) are worth to you. That way you can jump on a deal when you see it without having to consult anyone. To get the best deals I think you need to jump within hours.

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WestUniversity
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by WestUniversity » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:12 pm

samjuno wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:25 pm
My Macbook Pro (mid-2012) running OS 10.11.6 (El Capitan) is beginning to act up. I haven't upgraded my OS because of software issues (YNAB upgrade turns into a yearly fee) & Apple will soon stop issuing security updates for El Capitan.

This has me thinking of upgrading to an iMac & ditching YNAB for another budgeting program- esp. since prices for electronics are expected to inflate soon due to the trade war starting. Since I'm on a tight retiree budget, very security conscious & use my computer daily, the expense of upgrading (>$1100) is not something I take lightly. Would welcome other's views on this & whether I might be overly anxious about falling into the "digital divide" danger.

-sam
I upgraded my mid 2012 MacBook recently. Doubled the RAM from 4GB to 8GB. Night and day difference. Supposedly it can be upgraded to 16GB.

I’m about to upgrade to an SSD drive as well. Supposedly that will make the real difference...

samjuno
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by samjuno » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:28 pm

Why are you going to an iMac instead of just upgrading to another MacBook Pro?

-Want a larger screen
-After spending hours hunched over laptop daily, I feel the ability to look up would be an improvement (posture-wise).
-I like the ethernet & other ports on the iMac. The laptops would require more adapters. (I use ethernet all the time & rarely wifi).
-The possibility to get an SSD drive (minor concern- more a "want" than a "need").
-Now that I'm retired, I don't need the portability of a laptop & if I travel I could still use my old Macbook Pro.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:30 pm

Also have that older MacBook Pro, I think the one with the silent, non clicky, keyboard.
The newer MacBook Pro is nice.
Beware issues with the "butterfly" key mechanism. Apple has pushed the warranty out to 3-4 years on that because of problems.
Google it.

j

VaR
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by VaR » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:37 pm

WestUniversity wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:12 pm
I upgraded my mid 2012 MacBook recently. Doubled the RAM from 4GB to 8GB. Night and day difference. Supposedly it can be upgraded to 16GB.

I’m about to upgrade to an SSD drive as well. Supposedly that will make the real difference...
OP, these upgrades are another great option to stretch the life of your computer. I gave my old 2008 MacBook pro several years of extra life by upgrading the RAM to 6GB and upgrading to an SSD. Eventually it became "unusable" because of CPU intensive ads in Chrome on websites that don't work with your ad blocker enabled but I stretched its usable life by 3 years, I'd say.

samjuno
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by samjuno » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:42 pm

I also upgraded my ram to 8 GB over a year ago, but I must be a ram hog since I seem to constantly need to "clean" my memory. Not sure I want to upgrade again since my hands aren't as steady as before. (Nothing like staring at your laptop's guts to cause one to break out into a sweat).

I am considering just ditching YNAB & upgrading my OS since it would be a cheaper option (for now).
Could either get another budgeting program or work on creating an Excel/Libre Office spreadsheet.

Thanks for comments.
-sam

TravelGeek
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:43 pm

I have a 13” MBP of the same generation. I bought it with long term use in mind, so I got 16gb of RAM and 500 GB SSD. Latest OS. Very happy with it and no real reason to replace it.

Bummer that YNAB feels the need to turn customers in a subscription revenue stream, but they are not alone in that. Some think that soon even our cars will be a “subscription” :shock:

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WestUniversity
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by WestUniversity » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:01 pm

VaR wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:37 pm
WestUniversity wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:12 pm
I upgraded my mid 2012 MacBook recently. Doubled the RAM from 4GB to 8GB. Night and day difference. Supposedly it can be upgraded to 16GB.

I’m about to upgrade to an SSD drive as well. Supposedly that will make the real difference...
OP, these upgrades are another great option to stretch the life of your computer. I gave my old 2008 MacBook pro several years of extra life by upgrading the RAM to 6GB and upgrading to an SSD. Eventually it became "unusable" because of CPU intensive ads in Chrome on websites that don't work with your ad blocker enabled but I stretched its usable life by 3 years, I'd say.
It was a cheap upgrade as well. Bought the RAM on Amazon for about $70 if I remember correctly. The SSD I also found on Amazon for about $100 for a 500GB drive. I have not bought the SSD yet but I have it saved in one of my lists.

I have the “I wants” for a new Mac but this will do for the time being...

CurlyDave
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by CurlyDave » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:18 pm

VaR wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:53 pm

...Why are you going to an iMac instead of just upgrading to another MacBook Pro?...
I don't want to speak for the OP, but for this retired geezer my iMac is bigger, faster and more cost-effective.

When I worked I preferred laptops because I could take it with me, but unless one lives in a very confined space, a desktop is far superior for a retiree. I don't have to haul it back & forth to work every day. I use it to manage my rentals, but I do that at home -- don't have a separate office any longer.

I still have an older laptop that I take out whenever I am going to take a trip, usually for two weeks per year or so. Our budget is not too bad, so I may indulge my desire there, but a laptop is inferior in every way except for portability.

stan1
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by stan1 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:31 pm

I keep computers for four-six years. Large parts of Apple's current laptop and iMac lineup hasn't been refreshed since June 2017. Given my preferences to stretch four to six years out of a computer purchase personally I would not buy something that is already a year old. If, however, you'd be OK with buying something at the end of its production cycle and can find it at a good discount now might be good time to buy.

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Pajamas
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by Pajamas » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:32 pm

I think you have valid reasons for getting a new or refurbished computer but I don't think that a trade war is one of them.

Check out refurbished Macs if you want a Mac. They are ideal for someone like you who doesn't demand the top of the line in the latest model.

https://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/mac

Apple also has occasional sales but I don't keep up with the exact schedule. Usually there is one for back to school and another for Black Friday.

22twain
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by 22twain » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:01 am

Also, in my experience, when new models come out, the previous ones are discounted to clear out stock. That's when I've bought most of my Macs, going back 25+ years. My Mac Pro will be ten years old (a record for me) next month, and I haven't been able to upgrade the OS for a few years now, so I'm starting to scope out the current-model landscape for a replacement. It will probably be an iMac, or maybe I'll splurge on an iMac Pro. I've always preferred desktop models for heavy use at work and at home.
My investing princiPLEs do not include absolutely preserving princiPAL.

CyLaw
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by CyLaw » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:20 am

For what it’s worth, I run YNAB 4 with no problems at all on the latest version of macOS High Sierra on my MacBook Pro (couple years old model) and so does my wife on her brand new MacBook Pro (latest model)

terran
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by terran » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:19 am

CyLaw wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:20 am
For what it’s worth, I run YNAB 4 with no problems at all on the latest version of macOS High Sierra on my MacBook Pro (couple years old model) and so does my wife on her brand new MacBook Pro (latest model)
So you were still able to download a copy of YNAB 4 to a new machine despite their switch to the web based version?

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:41 am

Have you considered a less expensive option? A windows laptop instead of something from Apple? My observations have been that you can choose between an equivalent machine for 1/3 the price or by spending the same money as an Apple product, you can get a raging, gaming machine capable of running NASA, the NSA and the US air traffic control system all at once.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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FlyAF
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by FlyAF » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:20 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:41 am
Have you considered a less expensive option? A windows laptop instead of something from Apple? My observations have been that you can choose between an equivalent machine for 1/3 the price or by spending the same money as an Apple product, you can get a raging, gaming machine capable of running NASA, the NSA and the US air traffic control system all at once.
You also get to spend 2 hours updating windows 10 every time you boot it up.

bloom2708
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:26 am

The trade war price is already built in.

The commander in chief was at our little city and had this quote "Trade war? Trade war? We lost that 30 years ago. $500 billion in trade deficits for 20+ years....".

I did not see the speech or am trying to be political. Nor did I fact check any of the information. I just kind of thought it was interesting based on how news is reported and perceived.

I would buy the new (just released or soon to be released) MacBook Pro. If you need a new laptop.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

CyLaw
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by CyLaw » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:58 am

terran wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:19 am
CyLaw wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:20 am
For what it’s worth, I run YNAB 4 with no problems at all on the latest version of macOS High Sierra on my MacBook Pro (couple years old model) and so does my wife on her brand new MacBook Pro (latest model)
So you were still able to download a copy of YNAB 4 to a new machine despite their switch to the web based version?
Yep. They still have up the YNAB 4 installer for download and my old activation code still works. You can’t buy new lincenses for YNAB 4 but pre existing licenses still work, and at least two months ago when I installed it on the new machine, the download link still worked.

terran
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by terran » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:02 am

CyLaw wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:58 am
terran wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:19 am
CyLaw wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:20 am
For what it’s worth, I run YNAB 4 with no problems at all on the latest version of macOS High Sierra on my MacBook Pro (couple years old model) and so does my wife on her brand new MacBook Pro (latest model)
So you were still able to download a copy of YNAB 4 to a new machine despite their switch to the web based version?
Yep. They still have up the YNAB 4 installer for download and my old activation code still works. You can’t buy new lincenses for YNAB 4 but pre existing licenses still work, and at least two months ago when I installed it on the new machine, the download link still worked.
Cool, thanks. Good to know!

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Pajamas
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by Pajamas » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:11 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:41 am
you can get a raging, gaming machine capable of running NASA, the NSA and the US air traffic control system all at once.
I'll keep that in mind for the next time I need to do any of that, not just for all of it at once! :)

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lthenderson
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by lthenderson » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:17 am

samjuno wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:25 pm
I haven't upgraded my OS because of software issues (YNAB upgrade turns into a yearly fee)

the expense of upgrading (>$1100) is not something I take lightly.
I don't know what YNAB charges for a yearly fee but at >1100 for a new computer, I'm guessing you could pay for many years if not decades of that fee by keeping the old computer.

TheOscarGuy
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:24 am

samjuno wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:25 pm
My Macbook Pro (mid-2012) running OS 10.11.6 (El Capitan) is beginning to act up. I haven't upgraded my OS because of software issues (YNAB upgrade turns into a yearly fee) & Apple will soon stop issuing security updates for El Capitan.

This has me thinking of upgrading to an iMac & ditching YNAB for another budgeting program- esp. since prices for electronics are expected to inflate soon due to the trade war starting. Since I'm on a tight retiree budget, very security conscious & use my computer daily, the expense of upgrading (>$1100) is not something I take lightly. Would welcome other's views on this & whether I might be overly anxious about falling into the "digital divide" danger.

-sam
That MacBook pro is quite young. I would keep it in your shoes.

TheOscarGuy
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:26 am

stan1 wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:31 pm
I keep computers for four-six years. Large parts of Apple's current laptop and iMac lineup hasn't been refreshed since June 2017. Given my preferences to stretch four to six years out of a computer purchase personally I would not buy something that is already a year old. If, however, you'd be OK with buying something at the end of its production cycle and can find it at a good discount now might be good time to buy.
Funny you should say that -- check Apple announcement on updates to MBP.

stimulacra
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by stimulacra » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:41 am

Never lived through an actual trade war, I would imagine that in such a scenario, repairing what you have or buying used would be the smarter option.

The impact that a trade war would have on supply chains, the parts sourced that goes into many of our products and services, would to me suggest that those products manufactured during such an era would be inferior at similar price points because of re-sourcing of new suppliers or finding alternate parts and materials that could serve the same function but was not originally as specced.

We're still dealing with the repercussions of the U.S. Chicken Tax in terms of the lack of availability and provenance of certain light trucks in the U.S. market.

stimulacra
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by stimulacra » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:46 am

Two resources for eking out additional life out of your old Mac.

Low End Mac
http://lowendmac.com

Otherworld Computing
https://www.macsales.com

I think with the newer unibody laptops, upgrade paths are pretty limited (RAM is soldered on, no CPU upgrades, etc…) but upgrading to a SSD storage, and archiving photos, videos and music to an external or NAS can add new pep to a sluggish system.

02nz
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by 02nz » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:16 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:26 am
The trade war price is already built in.
I don't know what "trade war price is already built in" means, but trade wars do actually lead to higher prices. Case in point: last year we bought an LG washing machine for $550. The U.S. government then imposed a 20% tariff on washing machines from South Korea (apparently that rate goes up further to 50%, not sure if that has already taken effect). Current price of the same model washing machine at the same retailer: $765. And other models that we crossed-shopped against the LG, most of which are not directly impacted by the tariffs, have also gone up significantly in price.

That said, I still think one should not speculatively make purchases that one would not otherwise make.

TravelGeek
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:06 pm

TheOscarGuy wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:26 am
stan1 wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:31 pm
I keep computers for four-six years. Large parts of Apple's current laptop and iMac lineup hasn't been refreshed since June 2017. Given my preferences to stretch four to six years out of a computer purchase personally I would not buy something that is already a year old. If, however, you'd be OK with buying something at the end of its production cycle and can find it at a good discount now might be good time to buy.
Funny you should say that -- check Apple announcement on updates to MBP.
Yup, just saw this today.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/12/1756 ... -true-tone

VaR
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by VaR » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:58 pm

stimulacra wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:46 am
Two resources for eking out additional life out of your old Mac.

Low End Mac
http://lowendmac.com

Otherworld Computing
https://www.macsales.com

I think with the newer unibody laptops, upgrade paths are pretty limited (RAM is soldered on, no CPU upgrades, etc…) but upgrading to a SSD storage, and archiving photos, videos and music to an external or NAS can add new pep to a sluggish system.
Good tips! My go-to site for actual upgrade instructions is ifixit.com.

The OP's mid-2012 is perhaps the last MacBook Pro with upgradeable RAM.

BTW, no need to archive files anymore when buying an SSD. The latest SSDs have more than enough capacity. You can get 500GB for a bit over $100 and 1 TB for less than $200.

Gray
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by Gray » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:05 pm

Backup your data

Do a format of your hard drive and a scratch install of the latest OS from USB. That can sometimes resolve issues.

After you wipe it, reset the pram and smc before reinstalling the OS.

Install the latest version of your apps.

Update everything

stan1
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by stan1 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:40 pm

TheOscarGuy wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:26 am
stan1 wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:31 pm
I keep computers for four-six years. Large parts of Apple's current laptop and iMac lineup hasn't been refreshed since June 2017. Given my preferences to stretch four to six years out of a computer purchase personally I would not buy something that is already a year old. If, however, you'd be OK with buying something at the end of its production cycle and can find it at a good discount now might be good time to buy.
Funny you should say that -- check Apple announcement on updates to MBP.
Well, surprise! Unfortunately **starting** price on the updated MacBook Pro models ranges from $1799 to $2799 and only for Touch Bar models not escape/function key models.

samjuno
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by samjuno » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:42 pm

Thanks, for info/feedback.
Glad to hear YNAB4 can run on High Sierra. Will take Gray's suggestion & see if after new installation my MBP will improve. The MBP 2012 was also the last one with an internal dvd drive & ethernet.
The new prices for Apple are insane.
If all goes well, I'll look into getting an external ssd drive & maybe upgrading ram.
Since my #1 concern was being able to get the security updates, I guess I can hold off longer if all works well after the new OS.

-sam

AlphaPilot
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by AlphaPilot » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:37 pm

Just wanted to chime in with two thoughts. I will admit I read 3/4 of the replies.

SSD - This is a must. And I'm sorry, but if you insist on having a Mac (Especially if you are not using it for the key features Mac offers) then you can definitely afford the extra $100 or maybe $150 depending on model for a solid state drive. If you do not believe me on this, ask anyone who has gone from HDD to SSD.

Second point - a bit off topic - but since you mentioned iMac the first thing I thought of was "Desktop" though that may not be correct, a true desktop PC setup with Monitor, Mouse, Keyboard, Tower for equal specs in terms of CPU, Ram, Storage, Display will cost you an easy $500 less if you run Windows. I'm not sure what software you use and require, but if it's nothing Mac specific, then you should evaluate the decisions between Mac and Windows. Assuming you have an iPhone and maybe iPad is also not a valid reason anymore since iTunes works just fine on Windows. I'm not going to start a mac vs pc war, but from one boglehead to another -- you can get equal performance for easily $500 cheaper and another $200 cheaper if you decide to build it yourself (Very easy to do in this day and age as hardware has improved significantly).

//Edit: Those saying Windows 10 updates and takes forever every time have likely gone through the last 3 build updates. Build 1709 is stable and build 1803 is running flawless for me on many machines. Yes the original 1500 and 1607 builds were rocky with a lot of updates. I think things have smoothed out a lot in the past 9 months.

If you use your Macbook at a desk more than 75% of the time, I would definitely suggest a iMac or Desktop PC just because it's much easier to use as a tool. Larger screen, better posture, cheaper for performance point, runs cooler, and just doing what it's designed to do...being used at a desk.

As others mention upgrade vs new purchase... Not sure on the 2012 Mac, but if the internal HDD can be swapped with an SSD then you could benefit a lot from this. 4GB of memory for 2018 programs/browsing is not enough. 8GB should be a minimum. Once again not sure if 2012 model is soldered in or actual DIMM sticks that can be swapped.

samjuno
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Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

Post by samjuno » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:23 pm

Actually, it looks like swapping out the HD for an SSD is not as difficult as I feared (as long as my arthritic fingers can deal with the connector). I could also upgrade my ram from 8GB to 16 GB & add the SSD for <$300, but that decision is on the back burner for now until I get the newest OS installed.

Anyway, thanks for info re: newer Windows. The iMac is a one piece setup, which I like, but those Apple prices are a turn off. Might end up driving me away.

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