Need a new MacBook for Logos 8

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Bill Moore | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Jul 8 2019 6:50 AM

I ruined my 15” 2012 retina MacBook Pro a few days ago and need to replace it since I’m reduced to working on my 10.5” iPad Pro (thankful that the iPP survived). The iPP is a great little tablet with the Smart Keyboard, but it’s no computer replacement, especially for Logos.

I keep computers for a long time. With that in mind, I’m trying to buy the best for my needs without spending unnecessarily. The budget is fairly flexible—I just need to spend wisely, and running Logos well is my priority consideration.

With these considerations in mind, I have some questions, in no particular order, for Mac users who have later models:

  1. The butterfly keyboard seems to be a considerable frustration on MacRumors forums, though that may be overblown (forums can be that way Wink). Any thoughts?
  2. Some decent sales can be found on new 2018 MBPs (sometimes less expensive than comparable refurbished models on the Apple Store site), though the recently-released 2019 models have reportedly improved keyboards. I think the 2018 models improved the keyboards a good deal over the previous ones, but I’m wondering if the extra cost of a 2019 model is worth the difference. Thoughts?
  3.  Is the 13.3” screen adequate for Logos as far a screen size goes? I realize that larger displays are generally better, but a 15.4” is priced considerably higher. Also, the 13.3” is a nice compact footprint.
  4. How important is a discrete GPU for speed with Logos? Noticeable? 13.3 models have integrated graphics, but the 15.4 have discrete GPU’s.
  5. My 2012 model has a 256GB SSD, and I added a Transcend 128GB JetDrive Lite, but I was usually bumping the storage limitations. Full SSDs run slower, so I was considering upping the SSD storage on the new MBP to 1TB. Still, a 512GB is much less expensive (some $400 difference, if I recall correctly). Thoughts?
  6. Would I notice a difference between 8GB and 16GB RAM? My suspicion is that 16GB will be better in the long run if not immediately.
  7. Just putting this out there: What about the MacBook Air for running Logos?

Any insight into any of the above questions or perhaps something I haven‘t considered is most appreciated.

Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Clinton, SC

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 8 2019 8:24 AM

Sorry about your hardware loss.

1./2. New MacBook Pro and Air models expected later this year won't use the butterfly keyboard design. That Apple will stop using that keyboard is a likely sign that the 2018 keyboard changes hadn't solved its issues. I'd avoid any current models, to avoid potential problems down the road.

3. I wouldn't want to use a 13" screen myself, as 15" screen real estate is limited as is. But if the layouts you were using didn't feel constrained on the 15" and you could sacrifice some width/height, the 13" might be ok for you.

4. I've never been unhappy with Logos and the integrated graphics on my Macbook Pro. A discrete GPU probably wouldn't make a big difference for Logos.

5. 256 Gb is constrained. I have about 50 Gb free, and have to limit what I install (or remove something else to make room).

6. 16 Gb would be better/recommended. You'll most definitely notice the difference during "99%" indexing (which consumes all the RAM and lots of swap space).

7. I don't know, I've never owned a MacBook Air.

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Bill Moore | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 8 2019 8:55 AM

Thanks, PetahChristian. Those are good points. I appreciate your sharing them.

I’ve read that rumors from reliable sources posit that the updated iPad Air to be released later this year is to return to a modified scissors-type keyboard, but that it would be 2020 before new MacBook Pros had them.

I could perhaps wait a couple of months if updated MBPs were returning to a more reliable keyboard (though I don’t really know if the 2019 is not), but it’s hard to wait a year based on rumor. It would be nice if Apple displayed a modicum of transparency, but we know the answer to that.

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 8 2019 10:59 AM

Bill Moore:
How important is a discrete GPU for speed with Logos? Noticeable?

I wouldn't want a 13" unless I also had an external display at my main "work station"/desk... If you (will) have an external display, a 13" might be quite nice, depending on your usage needs.

The dGPU is hardly ever activated. There are a few tools/panels that do activate it (Atlas is one), but not many.

I have a 512GB SSD and wouldn't go with anything less. Still, unless you have a large photo/video library, 512 is probably sufficient (might not be in 5 years...!).

My MBPr is a 2013 model, but was pretty maxed out with 16GB ram, i7 processor, etc, etc.. I've not had any serious problems with running Logos to date. In fact, just last week, I was marveling when I calculated how old my laptop actually is since it feels basically new in many ways. My philosophy is to buy higher end and then make it last (and be viable) for that much longer.

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Levi Durfey | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 8 2019 11:44 AM

I am using a 2018 13.3 inch MacBook Pro. Haven’t had any trouble with the keyboard so far (I did with my 2016). The 2018 keyboards are a bit quieter. The short key travel makes it a bit on the hard side, and I am happy to see that Apple might be giving up on the butterfly mechanism (https://www.macrumors.com/2019/07/04/apple-to-use-scissor-switch-keyboard-macbooks/).

The screen space is going to depend on how you work. I like having what I am reading or writing at the moment to take up the majority of my screen space to minimize distraction. I have Logos in one desktop and Pages in an adjacent desktop, swiping between the two as needed (although I sometimes use my 10.5 inch iPad for a second monitor with Duet). 

My recommendation would be to find a 2018 MacBook Pro (13.3 inch) at the Apple Refurbished Store: https://www.apple.com/shop/refurbished/mac/2018-13-inch-macbook-pro

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Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 8 2019 1:51 PM

There are some threads discussing the MacBook Air and Logos/Verbum 8.  Here are a couple:

https://community.logos.com/forums/p/179207/1035517.aspx#1035517

https://community.logos.com/forums/p/175625/1046049.aspx#1046049

You can search "MacBook Air" on the forums and find others.

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Bill Moore | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 8 2019 2:52 PM

Thank you, Reuben, Levi, and Steve . . . very helpful points.

Like Levi, I don’t like a lot of distraction, so the 13.3” may work well. It’s good to know that discrete graphics are a non-issue. That saves some money.

Is there any advantage to having an i7 processor instead of an i5? My expectation is that there would be little real world difference for Logos. Any thoughts on that?

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Levi Durfey | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 8 2019 3:34 PM

Bill Moore:
Is there any advantage to having an i7 processor instead of an i5? My expectation is that there would be little real-world difference for Logos. Any thoughts on that?

I've had laptops with both processors over the years and you are right, there is little difference for Logos...I dare say that you wouldn't notice any even if they were running side by side. I did notice a bit more heat with the i7, which is one reason why I chose the i5 in my latest MacBook Pro (the other reasons being cost and the fact that you don't notice any real-world difference in speed).

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Bill Moore | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 8 2019 3:49 PM

Levi Durfey:

Bill Moore:
Is there any advantage to having an i7 processor instead of an i5? My expectation is that there would be little real-world difference for Logos. Any thoughts on that?

I've had laptops with both processors over the years and you are right, there is little difference for Logos...I dare say that you wouldn't notice any even if they were running side by side. I did notice a bit more heat with the i7, which is one reason why I chose the i5 in my latest MacBook Pro (the other reasons being cost and the fact that you don't notice any real-world difference in speed).

Thanks, Levi—very helpful.

Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Clinton, SC

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Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 8 2019 4:23 PM

Examples of practical differences notwithstanding, the main difference between the i5 and i7 with 4 or more cores is that the i7 has hyper-threading - meaning each core can handle two things at one time.  Here is the simple explanation from an on-line article talking about it:

"The quick explanation is that all Core i7 CPUs use Hyper-Threading, so an eight-core CPU can handle 16 streams, a four-core can handle eight streams, and a dual-core can handle four streams. Core i5 uses Hyper-Threading to make a dual-core CPU act like a four-core one, but if you have a Core i5 processor with four true cores, it won't have Hyper-Threading."

This information on the Logos wesite clarifies the "recommended" hardware requirements which are different than the "minimum."

https://support.logos.com/hc/en-us/articles/360007554992-Recommended-Hardware-and-Software

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Levi Durfey | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 9 2019 12:20 PM

Hi Bill,

I noticed today that Apple has just cut the prices for SSD upgrades (as much as half). 

https://9to5mac.com/2019/07/09/mac-ssd-prices-lowered/

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Bill Moore | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 9 2019 12:26 PM

Thanks, Levi! I had not seen that. I’ll definitely check it out.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 9 2019 1:55 PM

Actually, they also released new Laptops too. This means either get a newly released model OR an older model at a better price. 

If you have any ties to academia, Back to School began today as well. 

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Bill Moore | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 9 2019 2:16 PM

JT (alabama24):

Actually, they also released new Laptops too. This means either get a newly released model OR an older model at a better price. 

If you have any ties to academia, Back to School began today as well. 

When you say “new,” JT, do you mean that Apple updated their models? If so, I saw that after Levi’s post, and you make a good point.

I can get a 2018 refurbished 13-inch MBP, 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, for $1999 plus sales tax or a new 2019 model with the same specs (and a seemingly insignificantly updated processor) for $2399 plus tax. The butterfly keyboard of the 2019 is reportedly improved, but who knows.

Interestingly, I read this about Apple’s butterfly keyboard repair/replacement program: ”The program covers eligible MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models for 4 years after the first retail sale of the unit.”

Don’t you run Logos on a 13” MBP, JT? What is your impression?

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 9 2019 6:43 PM

I love it. I’m thinking of getting a new one. Smile

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Bill Moore | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 9 2019 7:19 PM

JT (alabama24):

I love it. I’m thinking of getting a new one. Smile

That’s good to hear. I was initially skeptical of the utility of the smaller MBP, but price started to force the issue and the prospect of a smaller footprint is a positive one. Plus, using the 10.5 iPP the past several days has me looking forward to the ”larger” 13.3” screen. 

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Mike Binks | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 10 2019 12:31 AM

Bill Moore:
That’s good to hear. I was initially skeptical of the utility of the smaller MBP, but price started to force the issue and the prospect of a smaller footprint is a positive one. Plus, using the 10.5 iPP the past several days has me looking forward to the ”larger” 13.3” screen. 

Don't miss the point Bill that even with a 13.3 screen on your laptop you can use a massive (and relatively inexpensive) monitor on your desk. For a few years I used a set up like that with no problems.

By making wise use of the 'spaces' feature two screens can be the optimum set up for efficiency.

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Bill Moore | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 10 2019 4:56 AM

Thanks, Mike. I would need to figure out a setup that is not distracting. I tried to use an external monitor years ago as an second display, but perhaps the monitor was too large, the font resolution too poor, or I was coming about it all wrong. Perhaps I need to look into that again. For what it’s worth, that was back when I was using Windows machines, before 2013. 

Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Clinton, SC

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Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 10 2019 10:44 AM

JT (alabama24):

I love it. I’m thinking of getting a new one. Smile

JT,

What year is your current MacBook Pro?  CPU?  Memory?

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Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 10 2019 10:52 AM

I haven't read comments, so forgive if there's redundancy. 

The keyboard is due for an upgrade, on refreshed Macbook Airs later this year, and Pros next year. 
https://9to5mac.com/2019/07/04/kuo-new-keyboard-macbook-air-pro/

You'll get better performance out of a larger SSD than a smaller one; they just add more cells of a certain size (say, 16Gb) to make bigger ones, and the data gets distrubuted like a rough RAID striping bit. So all other things considered, a 1Tb will have faster read/write speeds than the 512, than the 256. Whether they're significant or not for Logos usage, I couldn't say. 

You'll almost certainly notice a difference between 8 and 16 of RAM, and I'll be going with the latter for future-proofing. (My 2010 iMac had 24, and it was great.)

I ran Logos on a 2011 MacBook Air until about 6 months ago, when it was replaced with a 2013 MB Pro. It ran fine for me. 

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

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