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  New MacBooks  (Read 884 times)
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Offline Alan_W

JGO Knight

Medals: 8
Projects: 3

Java tames rock!

« Posted 2012-07-01 07:44:29 »

I'm considering replacing my old Powerbook G4, mainly because I can't run any recent version of Java on it, which defeats the object of using it as a test machine to make sure my stuff works on OSX.

The cheapest option might be to get a Mac Mini, but then I'd need to get another set of peripherals to go with it.  A replacement notebook would be generally more useful and take less space. The more expensive version of the mini at least has a Radeon HD 6630M, rather than the Intel 3000 graphics.  No display, superdrive, keyboard or mouse.

Apple have just updated their macBook's.  There is the new 15" Retina MacBook, but the display makes it ludicrously expensive and I doubt I'll be writing anything that uses all that resolution.  Maybe it's the way of the future though and everyone else will follow suit.  But can I really resolve all those pixels on a 15"?  What frame rate could I achieve when pushing all those pixels.  Anyway it's way too expensive.

That leaves the new 13" MacAir and the updated 15" MacBook.  The former is cheaper, but only has Intel 4000 graphics.  Actually that is good enough for most of the stuff I do.  The updated 15" is bigger and heavier but does have a NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M which is nice.  It also has a 2.5" 500GB HD rather than 256 Flash storage. It also has a superdrive and an ethernet port.

It looks like apple are phasing out traditional spinning platter hard disks and optical disks on their notebook range to save space.  The flash memory is faster than a spinning disc, but is more expensive, making large discs expensive (if they are ever made).  I suppose one could use an external superdrive, as I don't use it that frequently.  I guess the updated 15" machine would be better for video editing.  I do this occasionally so is a consideration.  Looking at the iFixit teardown for the new Macbooks, only the updated 15" looks easily repairable/upgradeable.

I'm kind of veering towards the updated 15" MacBook, but feel a bit of a luddite, spurning the latest 'advances'.  This seems a bit silly, considering how long I intend to keep the machine (I don't replace stuff until I have to).  On the other hand repairing the new models doesn't look cost effective and looks suspiciously like throw away and buy another, once out of warranty.

Alternatively, I could forego the portability and get an iMac.  However I'd have to find somewhere to put it.  Anyway no real hurry as I'm both short on programming time and cash these days.

Time flies like a bird. Fruit flies like a banana.
Offline ra4king

JGO Kernel

Medals: 389
Projects: 3
Exp: 5 years

I'm the King!

« Reply #1 - Posted 2012-07-01 08:50:02 »

Let's go one step outward a bit here.....why even get a Mac? Why buy overpriced hardware for a locked-down walled-garden OS?

Just buy (or build Smiley) a normal computer with hardware that YOU want for a fraction of the cost, and install whatever OS you need. If you really, really want Mac OS X, there's always the Hackintosh, which is quite reliably stable.

But seriously, a 15" laptop with a GeForce GT 650M and an guess is this is at least $2000-3000!! My build barely cost me $1300, and I have successfully installed a Hackintosh! Wink

Offline Alan_W

JGO Knight

Medals: 8
Projects: 3

Java tames rock!

« Reply #2 - Posted 2012-07-01 19:11:39 »

Well, the point is to have an OSX test platform.  I agree that apple are overpriced, which is why I've made my 2005 Powerbook G4 last so long.  I haven't looked into the Hackintosh because of the dodgy legality regarding the OSX license (I'll have a quick look at this though).
Regards, Alan

Time flies like a bird. Fruit flies like a banana.
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