Buying new MacBook Pro - is now a good time?

After almost 10 years my trustworthy MacBook Pro is seriously running out of breath. So I am thinking about getting a new one - investment is not small, but i am prepared to do it.

One thing which makes me think is that Apple will move to ARM processors, starting in 2020 (that’s next year!). Looking from software developer perspective i am a bit worried and few questions came to my mind …

Will i be able to develop and test ARM applications with this machine? Or i will be forced to buy a new machine just for the ARM development?

Bottom line question is: does investment in Apple hardware (as a software developer) makes any sense at the moment. Or it’s better to wait another year to see what Apple with bring on the table. What about users buying expensive Mac Pro’s at this very moment. And upcoming MacBook Pro coming later this year - everything is still based on Intel.

Maybe i am worried without a reason, but i can’t find any debate on internet, which is related to these questions. What is your opinion on this matter?


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If you want to get into a deep analysis with benchmarks by looking at this from a strict “present” point of view, LinusTechTips covers the MacBook Pro 2019 models mostly fairly I think:

Why wouldn’t you be able to? We can already develop apps for mobile and embedded devices the same. It would just be some more bridging for frameworks, assuming any fundamental changes are happening at the OS API level.

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Not sure about the arm stuff, but rumors as of yesterday suggest they’ll be replacing the keyboards on the next models. I have a 2018 and find the keyboard to be a bit of a chore to work on.


I understand, Apple will provide everything for transition, but I am still not sure if developing & testing of, for example, real-time critical audio application in ARM emulator is the same as if developing on native ARM machine. I understand you can develop iPhone app in a emulator, but i guess it is still good to have iPhone at the end of the development chain. I never did any development for mobile devices, so i have absolutely no experience here. Considering all this, I have a feeling that if i buy Intel MacBook now, its life span will be much shorter comparing to my current MBP. Like it or not, ARM is the future of Apple machines.

I might be completely wrong, though :slight_smile:

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I bought the very latest 2019 (with 8 cores and 32GB) recently after switching from the 2015 version.

Honestly it’s really nice. The keyboard is not the best part of it - I don’t like the Touch Bar and it’s not my favorite kind of keyboard generally, but you get used to it. It’s still a great computer to work on with an incredible screen and really fast build times/general responsiveness.

Also: I know it’s something Apple got criticized for in the past, but I actually like having all USB-C connections as I can charge my computer from two sides, and have a different variety of USB, FireWire or Thunderbolt devices I can connect at he same time which is really helpful when I work outside.

It is rumored that Apple will come out with a new design later this year or in 2020, so I can’t tell you if waiting is good or not. I needed a new computer and this one serves me really well every day.


To answer the question in the topic: I think now is a very bad time to buy a MacBook Pro In fact it almost couldn’t be worse. If at all possible you should wait until the new models come out and then decide what you want to do.

Buying the current model means having to live with its design problems (keyboard, thermal issues). But even if those are no issue for you, you will face quite a loss of value once a new model comes out. Especially if the new model is indeed a new design - which seems likely.

The best moment to buy any apple machine is a few months after a new model has come out and its strengths and weaknesses are clear. Then you can decide whether to go for it or to buy the older model used for less money. There are always enough apple users switching to the newest models to get great deals on used machines after such a transition.


For the last few days it’s been really hot in my office, and I’ve had my MacBook sitting on top of ice-packs which I swap every couple of hours to prevent it grinding to a halt in a thermal panic.

And 3-4 of the keys don’t work properly.
And the touch-bar is just ridiculous.

Otherwise, it’s a great machine!


Auch :slight_smile: But still, could you live without it?

Computers don’t get slower, it’s the OS’s that get more overbearing and intrusive. So we all buy new stuff to keep ‘up to date’. :laughing: With windows it’s ASLO cracked software that is full of spy crap that slows it all down. :slight_smile: (not for me, I hasten to add, I’m all grown up now and actually buy software.)
I bought a 2017 iMac when I heard they weren’t going to update in 2018. I really like the large quiet machine, but I hate the UK keyboard, why is the ‘enter’ key so small? And why isn’t the quote over the 2!! :grinning:


I think @jules was cynical. :slight_smile:

That’s the real question. if it has become critical and this is a workhorse then waiting just to slow down your productivity means you actually got a penalty for waiting.

Here are some cold facts:

  • Apple recently refreshed their touch-bar MBPs. you should check things like the buyers guide.
  • Intel didn’t really update their silicone in a while. it’s still 14nm and the 2018/2019 difference is improve production. so you get the same CPUs but with ~100mhz speed bumps.
  • Intel is expected to get 10nm mobile CPUs on 2020.

For my personal/portable use I’m now with 2018 MBP. for me it was the bump to 4 cores on 13" on Apple’s machines. but again, for people that like or develop for Apple’s eco-system you’re pretty much stuck with their offerings :slight_smile:

This is the least of your concerns. Apple’s is still strong with x86 as their main arch. the new Mac Pro is still Intel based. Mojave dropped anything below 2012 (approx). so you can assume that you’ll have at least 7-8 years to compile with latest and greatest.

It’s always not perfect to buy a device. here are some contradicted examples:

So to sum it again…
If you need a machine now and it’s your main development machine… BUY IT.

one more appleish thing… Apple took great lengths to make their machines non-upgradable.
get enough CPU, Memory & Storage. especially when your only ports are USB-C :slight_smile:


I just bought a new mbp a few weeks ago when my 2013 mbp let me down (I’m looking for a motherboard for it btw if anyone has one…)

the one drawback I had forgotten about is that you can’t start up your Mac with an earlier OS than the one that came with your mac (even from an external drive).
otherwise it does the job.

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