I’m writing this from my shiny new laptop, which is remarkably like the last one. My old machine (“Shovel”, as in, “greased shit off a shiny”) was an early 2011 15″ MacBook Pro (8,2) with a quad-core Sandy Bridge i7, dedicated Radeon 6750M card, and 8GB of memory. I had also shuffled around the internals a bit, replacing the main hard disk with a 300GB SSD, and moving the old drive into the optical drive bay. I reckon it was the best and most reliable workhorse computer I’ve owned to date. It was also still a perfectly good machine with loads of useful life left in it — which is one of the reasons I decided to trade it in right now, rather than wait another year when the lack of a retina screen might drag its value down more.
The new machine is a late 2013 15″ MacBook Pro, quad-core 2.3GHz Haswell i7, dedicated GeForce GT 750M graphics, 16GB of memory, and 1TB of PCIe flash disk. It’s not actually significantly more powerful than the old machine. The major benefits for me are that it’s thinner, 20% lighter, and gets twice the battery life because of the power-efficient Haswell CPU. I spent a lot of time travelling last year, and that’s not going to change any time soon. The retina display will be nice when I’m using the machine as an actual laptop and sitting close to the screen. I spend a lot of time working with virtual machines, so having an extra 8GB of RAM and all the on-board storage as flash will be useful, too. I’m strongly considering getting a CalDigit ThunderboltStation for when it’s plugged in on my desk.
It was the sheer weight of improvements across the board that swung me into upgrading right now instead of holding off. It’s an awesome machine, and I expect to be running it for the next 3-4 years.
Now: what to name it? (Also: stickers?)