Two month mini-review of my MacBook Pro

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Back in December, a few weeks before Christmas, I bought myself a previous generation 15" MacBook Pro. This MacBook pro is outfitted with the 4th Gen Intel Core i7-4770HQ processor clocked @ 2.2GHz, 16GB of DDR3 1600 memory and a wicked fast 250GB PCIe SSD. I really didn't want a new MBP with the touch bar as they (Apple): - got rid of MagSafe (why??!?!?!?! I LOVE the concept of MagSafe) - only USB C ports, no conventional USB ports - no SD card slot - USB C charger/AC Adapter (uhhh) I came to the conclusion that I wanted a Mac after the following thoughts: - I support, administer and implement Windows environments for a living - Using a different OS would be a "refreshing" and enjoyable experience when coming home - Continuity between iOS devices would be enjoyable - Wanted to begin some Illustrator and Photoshop work for some light web design - Become a better macOS user My Dell Latitude E6410, while a good machine, was starting to show its age even with a relatively fresh SanDisk X400 256GB SSD, 8GB of DDR3 memory and a fresh installation of Windows 10 - the first generation Intel Core i5 520M was really working hard. With wanting a new machine, and having those thoughts, I came to the decision of "yep it's time to buy a Mac". I was at one point really convinced that I wanted to build another gaming desktop, but truth be told -- I am getting to the point where I'd rather spend my time with my family, friends, working on my project car, looking for houses, etc. Hardware: While initially being concerned that I was buying old hardware (which I essentially am) that would perform with some mediocrity, I came to realize how well macOS runs on this platform. I do not notice any worse performance than brand new Intel Skylake or Kaby Lake HP EliteBooks I am rolling out at work. The 4770HQ has plenty of horsepower to cut through a multitude of tasks that I throw at it. The Intel Iris Pro graphics does excellent with Illustrator and HD multimedia. When Bootcamping into Windows 10, I am able to play a lot of my favorite video games. Team Fortress 2 plays at an excellent 60fps, GTA V gets a respectable (for an onboard GPU) 35fps. This isn't no full blown gaming rig, but for what it is, it'll satisfy my gaming needs every few months for an hour or so. Aesthetically, the device is very pleasing. Excellent keyboard - backlit is nice. Screen, quite possibly the best display panel I've ever looked at. Light years ahead of my 27" ASUS IPS, and I though that screen was excellent. The trackpad is great, no physical "click", but a simulated audible "click" noise and there is taptic vibration feedback. It is tough to tell the difference between that and a regular trackpad. Software: I am absolutely in love with being able to send and receive iMessages and SMS messages from the Messages app on my Mac. This is something I do not know if I'll be able to go without. There are so many times where I am looking up parts, working on projects, etc. and trying to have a conversation with some friends. This really keeps your focus on the computer. The scrolling direction vs. a Windows/Linux PC is reversed. After using macOS's direction for a while, you'll feel almost lost when trying to use a PC. It is as if the scrolling direction being reversed makes more sense. I still use Chrome on the Mac, not a huge Safai fan. I have just about every one of my applications on macOS. Spotify, Quicken, Office 2016, Photoshop, Illustrator, UltraEdit, VMware Fusion. Anything else, I can load up a VM of Windows for - I actually used the VMware P2V (physical to virtual) converter and made a complete VM of my Latitude and load that whenever I need Windows. It's really great... its as if the Latitude lives on forever. It is super handy when you've worked with a machine for a couple of years and just have so many little applications or documents that you may need at some point. I strongly think the Dell/SonicWall Mobile Connect app for macOS is way better than the SonicWall NetExtender for PC. That, and Microsoft RDP work great. Peripherals: I bought an Apple USB keyboard with number pad and a Mighty Mouse 2. The keyboard is good, the mouse is excellent. Just works flawlessly, is responsive and does everything as promised. I also bought a Henge Docks vertical dock. My MacBook Pro normally sits in this dock and I use my 20" ASUS IPS as a display panel over HDMI. My USB Canon color inkjet and Samsung M2070 laser printers work well. My new QNAP NAS performs well over SMB (have yet to enable AFP and setup TIme Machine). To sum this up, I am really enjoying this machine. You of course to pay a considerable amount more than a spec-for-spec Windows PC. There is a premium paid. However, with how well the OS integrates with the iPhone and different apps work -- I think the cost is justified. I have no doubts that I'll eventually purchase another one when this one has many hours and years under it's belt.
 
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I have been using my wife's mac book pro 13" i5 2015 ($1000 few weeks ago) and they are pleasurable machines to work with and look at screen. even typing feels nice vs my thinkpad w530 tank. I would not hesitate to buy one once my Thinkpad dies. I use her machine for work (cloud application architect) when we travel as 3ish lbs is pleasurable to carry vs my nearly 7lb machine with 2lb power supply.
 

JHZR2

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Nice review. I have a similarly specified machine (15" retina, i7, 16GB, 250GB SSD), but in a 2013 flavor. Of course right now Im typing this on a 2010 macbook air, which runs like new... which is really what I like about mac, and which aligns to your comment:
Quote:
I came to realize how well macOS runs on this platform. I do not notice any worse performance than brand new Intel Skylake or Kaby Lake HP EliteBooks I am rolling out at work.
Spot on. Ive installed OSX 10.12.2 on that core2duo macbook air that Im running, and it is still highly efficient wth resources and runs great. The MBA has only 4GB of ram (but does have an SSD) The only comment Id have is to consider the use of Chrome. Im typing on it right now, but I tried it because firefox is a known memory hog. Chrome is worse. Safari is much more efficient it seems... Good luck! Youll be getting great use out of that machine for a long time to come!
 
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Nice review! Please, lng-term, try to keep it "clean". Too many deletes/install/uninstall/updates... seems to kill the performance of the cople machines i serviced over the years... But probably you are more carefull then my low-IQ users.. :-P P.S. morning grammar police: it is Safari not Safai :-P (now try to find my mistakes) P.S.2: I can see you are more happy with/since the new place of employment. Glad you made the move.
 

redhat

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Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Spot on. Ive installed OSX 10.12.2 on that core2duo macbook air that Im running, and it is still highly efficient wth resources and runs great. The MBA has only 4GB of ram (but does have an SSD) The only comment Id have is to consider the use of Chrome. Im typing on it right now, but I tried it because firefox is a known memory hog. Chrome is worse. Safari is much more efficient it seems... Good luck! Youll be getting great use out of that machine for a long time to come!
It is great to hear that a C2D MBA is still performing well for you. That really keeps up the momentum that a well aged Mac takes a while (quite a while) before it is taken out of service. Chrome seems to run decent on Windows (maybe because anything is better than IE, Firefox memory is just as bad on Windows, and Edge.... well, we will get into that at a later date), but I do agree that it seems crummy on macOS. I have been using it as it has been a familiarity since migrating from Windows. I will have to put Safari into the daily grind and become one with it. Also, I am probably missing some continuity features between it and my iPhone by using Chrome.
 

redhat

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Originally Posted By: pandus13
Nice review! Please, lng-term, try to keep it "clean". Too many deletes/install/uninstall/updates... seems to kill the performance of the cople machines i serviced over the years... But probably you are more carefull then my low-IQ users.. :-P P.S. morning grammar police: it is Safari not Safai :-P (now try to find my mistakes) P.S.2: I can see you are more happy with/since the new place of employment. Glad you made the move.
I re-read that this morning and the grammar and spelling was horrible... but we'll run with it. I hope to keep this machine pretty clean. I appreciate how a lot of devices work with very little "add-on" software. This thing's boot time is still mind blowing. And thank you, I've been a lot happier since finding this new job. I would have no problem being here long term, while of course still furthering myself and potentially moving up. With that said, at the present time, I am taking a step back and trying to see how well some creative design/web design/hosting goes. I am working on some logos and other digital media for a friend.
 
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On Chrome it's terrible in terms of crashing and leaks on Mac. Our web developers complain a lot about it even though it's the superior web development tool. Chrome is near flawless on windows.
 
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I'm not a fan of laptop because, in my limited experience, they do not age well, however our 2011 MacBook air has aged surprisingly well. It is a more powerful tablet with a permanently attached keyboard though and its main duty is web browsing and some light work. I believe that hardware has as much to do with aging as the software. My 2008 HP pavilion quad core is still not too shabby and can play some of the recent games on medium and 1920c1200 res. with no problems. It can definitely handle everything an average home user can throw at it. I'm thinking that if I bump the RAM to 8GB (max for the MB) and install an SSD and maybe get win10 on it, this thing will be good for another 5 years or so, provided there is no hardware failure. The raw processing power in computers has reached a celling for now, so it makes sense to invest a little bit more in a good, multicore processor, RAM, a good graphics card and some fast storage. This combo, while a bit more expensive initially, will not feel outdated after only few years. Plus, these machines are much easier to upgrade to the new OS.
 
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We've had a Macbook Air for a few months now and I'm still trying to get used to OS X quirks. I'm quite surprised how limited and unusable it is -- for example, if you close the lid, the laptop will go to sleep and there is no way to define the behavior in the settings. Or that you cannot close the program by closing all the windows. But the hardware is excellent and is very well designed.
 
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I hope you enjoy your MBP in the long run. I've lingered for one of these because of its build quality, upgradeability and serviceability although newer Macbooks seem to be going away with that now. Instead I got a Mid 2010 Macbook with the C2D P8600 2.4GHz and Nvidia 320M graphics and it's still kicking after 7 years. It's struggling with Youtube videos since the GPU does not support VP9/H.265 decoding (newer GPUS within the last couple years now do VP9 decoding.) Using a Chrome extension to force VP8/H.264 decoding it plays 1080P60 videos well.
 

JHZR2

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Originally Posted By: redhat
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Spot on. Ive installed OSX 10.12.2 on that core2duo macbook air that Im running, and it is still highly efficient wth resources and runs great. The MBA has only 4GB of ram (but does have an SSD) The only comment Id have is to consider the use of Chrome. Im typing on it right now, but I tried it because firefox is a known memory hog. Chrome is worse. Safari is much more efficient it seems... Good luck! Youll be getting great use out of that machine for a long time to come!
It is great to hear that a C2D MBA is still performing well for you. That really keeps up the momentum that a well aged Mac takes a while (quite a while) before it is taken out of service. Chrome seems to run decent on Windows (maybe because anything is better than IE, Firefox memory is just as bad on Windows, and Edge.... well, we will get into that at a later date), but I do agree that it seems crummy on macOS. I have been using it as it has been a familiarity since migrating from Windows. I will have to put Safari into the daily grind and become one with it. Also, I am probably missing some continuity features between it and my iPhone by using Chrome.
Well then ill add that I have a 15" 2008 c2d mbp that runs great and also runs windows 7 perfect. The only reason I upgraded in 2013 was that of all things it couldnt handle my 36MP digital photos well. It was just sluggish, even with its 4gb of ram. My mb air that i mentioned above doesnt have the issue. That said, the 2008 mbp runs detailed atomic structure simulations with no issue...
 
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Originally Posted By: redhat
This really keeps your focus on the computer. The scrolling direction vs. a Windows/Linux PC is reversed. A or documents that you may need at some point.
You can fix that in the trackpad settings. Turn off natural scrolling and its bI ack to the way God intended. 😁
Quote:
To sum this up, I am really enjoying this machine. You of course to pay a considerable amount more than a spec-for-spec Windows PC. There is a premium paid. However, with how well the OS integrates with the iPhone and different apps work -- I think the cost is justified. I have no doubts that I'll eventually purchase another one when this one has many hours and years under it's belt.
The old ones were good values. The new ones not so much. I just went the other way, from 15 years of Macs to a Spectre x360. For 1/2 the price of tbe Macbook Pro, I got a better machine on the hardware side. Win 10 isnt as good as OSX but it works and the convertible type screen is AWESOME.
 
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Originally Posted By: Alfred_B
We've had a Macbook Air for a few months now and I'm still trying to get used to OS X quirks. I'm quite surprised how limited and unusable it is -- for example, if you close the lid, the laptop will go to sleep and there is no way to define the behavior in the settings. Or that you cannot close the program by closing all the windows. But the hardware is excellent and is very well designed.
Ypu want to enable clamshell mode. Only works woth an external display though.
 
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I've got an early 2015 13" Macbook Pro. I'm in Linux 99.95% of the time. Windows in a VM and the very occassional boot into OSX to dump music on my iPad with iTunes. I bought a Mac Mini in 2006 as a Linux desktop and fell in love with the hardware. In 2011 I upgraded to a 27" iMac, so when my Vaio finally [censored] out (set fire to it with 240V up the USB port) a Macbook Pro was a nautral move. My old man saw mine and he bought the late 2015 Model to run Windows. I actually retired the 2006 Mini just before Christmas, so I got 10 good solid 24/7 years out of it with nothing but a hard drive upgrade in 2011. For me, Apple just makes great hardware that ticks all *my* boxes.. I've even thought about moving to OSX, but Linux does what I need it to do with no fuss so I've never really bothered. I have played with it a bit though, and my wife runs it on her 21" iMac and loves it. I do understand I'll need to do the battery in the Macbook in the next couple of years as I hammer the living daylights out of it, and it's a bit more awkward that just swapping a battery on a Vaio but that's a price I'm comfortable with.
 
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I have a Late-2011 MBP 13" that I've owned since new. In the long-term, my opinion has lessened rather greatly. In terms of the Operating System, Mac OS X went to the pots after Mountain Lion, in terms of UI and basic functionality. I used Mavericks for about 6 months in 2013/2014 before reverting to Mountain Lion, then switching to Snow Leopard, which I continue to use to this day. Mavericks was ridiculously slow and memory-hungry... I believe their "App Cache" setup was the main cause of blame. To anyone who says "free memory is wasted memory," I kindly ask you to stick your opinion where the sun don't shine(!). Even after upgrading to 8GB of memory, and going as far as cleaning-installing OS X, I got endless beachballs from the lack of free memory, the system spent several minutes at each boot Indexing the boot drive, and so on. Snow Leopard & Mountain Lion are not without their foibles, but at least using Spacebar to preview a .txt document doesn't grind my system to a halt. Last year, at the 4.5yr mark, I noted battery life was nowhere near what it once was. Not long thereafter, the "Service Battery" prompt appeared under Mac OS. This means the battery no longer holds 80% of its original charge. Apple's claim-to-fame with these was the battery would hold 80% of its original charge after 5 years or 1000 cycles. As it stands today, my battery is at about 600-700 cycles. The battery has begun to bulge such that the bottom left of the trackpad is now flush with the case, instead of having a "lip." The trackpad, whilst improperly functioning now due to a bulging battery, has had a "stiff click" since about 2013. Overall, while I like the durability of the machine's case, I feel Mac OS in 2017 is a huge letdown compared to the past. At one point, I'd have happily bought any Apple product presented to me. I now feel they are overly restricted, over-priced and not really worth the time. This was my first Apple computer, and it is my last. That reminds me... Clamshell mode (or using an external display) on this MBP NEVER worked quite right. Whether using a wired or wireless connection, it will show up as "connected," but something causes the connection simply not to work. Ping times go from say around 100ms to 1000+ms, making any internet usage impossible. OP; I hope your machine serves you well. Mine has been a "road warrior," and despite OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.8) being less and less supported by applicationd developers, I still mange to enjoy using it.
 

Y_K

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How much was it, please? Just bought a Latitude with a 3rd Gen chip with no HDD for $130 shipped to test a few scripts for my business needs. Runs Windows, Linux, FreeBSD. Haven't tried Hackintosh yet, I have neither desire nor time anymore, quit real Macs about 15 years ago. Went through, Motorola - PowerPC - Intel transition, and had to quit when nearly all vendors dropped their support. When our accounting software was no more supported, we saw it as the last straw.. BeOS had a soul, and I could burn a CD, test shell scripts and listen to audio streams eons ahead of any consumer oriented OS. And it was a true pleasure to use. After Mr Ruskin's demise, Apple has never been able to get UI up to his level of ease and elegance. Enjoy you Mac!
 
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Originally Posted By: Y_K
BeOS had a soul, and I could burn a CD, test shell scripts and listen to audio streams eons ahead of any consumer oriented OS. And it was a true pleasure to use. After Mr Ruskin's demise, Apple has never been able to get UI up to his level of ease and elegance. Enjoy you Mac!
Oh the memories! Do you still have a copy? I know I do somewhere around here.
 
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To paraphrase the late Charleton Heston, you can pry my 2012 15" MBP(anti-glare screen) from my cold, dead hands. I've been a Mac user for over 5 years now, and I can't imagine going back even though I'm not wild about current Mac hardware. I've had/have several 2008(non-Unibody) MBPs and they are still useable and relevant today. I've given a few away, too, and their new owners are as pleased as they can be with them. As for scrolling-my first Mac immersive Mac experience was on a borrowed 2008 Macbook running Snow Leopard(immersive meaning I lived with the computer as my primary device for a few weeks, as opposed to just using one for for a little while), where "down" was "down" and "up" was "up." I bought a late 2011 13" MBP new and it came with OS X Lion. One of the first things I ran into with it was that the scrolling direction was not what I was used to. Within about 5 minutes of setting the computer up, I found the "scroll direction-natural" check box in system preferences, unchecked it, and all was right in the world smile . I actually now throw off most Mac users when they use one of my computers since scrolling is reversed from the out of the box default on new computers. BTW, the Mac OS, from the System .95 days, has always been heavily based on a GUI and using a mouse. It was one of the Macintosh signatures in 1984. I always prided myself in how well I could navigate Windows with a keyboard. A mouse is essential to interaction in any version of the Mac OS, but there are both more keyboard shortcuts in Windows and I find them significantly more intuitive. Want to insert a special character? You usually don't need to pull up character map or use an ALT code-the most common ones are accesible by holding Alt/Option and pressing what is usually a logical character on the keyboard. If you want say its 80º outside, hit opt+0. If you're telling someone they need a 10Ω resistor, option+Z. If you're writing to a friend named René, hit option+e and then type the e again. I can say that something is 85¢(opt+4) or £5(opt+3) on a US format keyboard. Since I do a lot of scientific writing in my day job, I have added a drop-down menu to my menu bar that lets me convert my keyboard to Greek for the characters not covered with the option key-just pick the Greek flag, type the symbol I need, then click back to the US flag to revert to normal(for me). Spotlight is an incredibly powerful and fast tool, and I'm amazed at how many folks DON'T use it. The only thing that throws me off is the keyboard shortcuts that changed between the classic OS(System .95-OS 9.2.2) and OS X. For example, if one wants to make an alias, it was command+M in the old days, whereas now that just minimizes the current window. Making a new folder use to be command+N, whereas now that opens a new finder window(what the heck?) and a new folder is command+shift+N. Aside from that, like I said a lot of these do make sense.
 
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@bunnspecial, do you know how to make the red/yellow/green circles for minimizing/closing windows bigger and how to move them where they truly belong at the right hand side instead of the left hand side? I finally semi fixed my issue with the closed lid with an external app.
 
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