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Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: sekker
Date: March 21, 2021 02:15PM
With Speedy's post from an Apple Intel Mac firesale, it reinforced to me that I am not going to be buying any new Intel Mac iron. It's Apple Silicon for the foreseeable future. So it's time to play - name your favorite Intel Mac!

I've owned them from the beginning, with a first gen MacBook Pro to a work-purchased 16" laptop. Some with ports, some without. One I loved after I put in an SSD - a Santa Rosa model - that worked so well except when it had its 3 motherboard failures. One that I purchased reluctantly - the 2012 Retina model I still own, but I hated that it was terrible to repair (and the 'Service battery' light has demoted it to a portable desktop). From all of these, do I have a favorite? I am going to list my 16" laptop, the audio (microphone and speakers) are really amazing. One of my least favorite is the machine I replaced with the 16" - a 2016 13" 'no port' model that always seemed to be a compromise. The worst was an early Intel iMac that Apple never fixed properly, despite me dragging it into the Apple Store at least 4 times and showing the recurring failures when run under load.

Post your favorite (and most infamous!) Intel Macs here!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/2021 02:15PM by sekker.
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: pdq
Date: March 21, 2021 02:27PM
I think those thin MacBooks (that could nevertheless drive a great big monitor in a desktop setting) set a design standard in terms of portability, usability, and sexiness that still reigns today.

I personally love the 11” models since they were so tiny and portable when on the move.
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: March 21, 2021 02:29PM
Favorite: 2012 Mac Pro.

Runner-up favorite: 2008 MacBook Pro 15-inch Core 2 Duo with ExpressCard slot.



Least favorite: Retina MacBook.*

Runner-up least-favorite: It's a tie between the 2006 Mac Pro and the 2006 iMac.



*If you're going to make a laptop that's totally reliant upon a single USB port, you could at least make it a fast USB 3.1 Gen 2 port. Going with Gen 1 is insulting. And WTF is the point of making a laptop with a fragile keyboard that breaks as soon as you try to type on it or let it get a little dusty??



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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: btfc
Date: March 21, 2021 02:31PM
Love the Mid 2012 MBP.
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: AllGold
Date: March 21, 2021 02:35PM
Probably my mid-2012 (non-retina) MacBook Pro. This model also happens to be the hi-res matte screen version.

Since getting an M1 Air, I no longer use it, but it's still a great machine. Fast enough to do anything I need and easily upgradeable, both RAM and hard drive (SSD). I suspect if I'd ever gotten around to getting a 2015 15" MBP then that might be my favorite.

I also like my 2012 Mac Pro, but I recognize it's already well past its sweet spot in terms of usefulness.



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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: March 21, 2021 02:36PM
Quote
btfc
Love the Mid 2012 MBP.

This times five, the last great Mac.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: March 21, 2021 02:55PM
I have had only a limited number of Intel Macs, a 2007 white MacBook, two 2009 white MacBooks, a late 2008 15" MBP, and a 2017 15" MBP (retina, touch bar). Only the last two were purchased the year of release; the MacBooks were purchased in 2018 for $30 each for a buy-fix-sell plan that never panned out (got too distracted by life to put them up on eBay).

Although the 2017 15" MBP is by far the best machine of the lot on paper, I preferred using my dearly departed 2008 MBP. The presence of physical F-keys, all the ports I needed, an ExpressCard34 slot for an SD card reader, and the ability to carry extra batteries for long trips all made it an immensely versatile machine.
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: Golfer
Date: March 21, 2021 03:17PM
2010 17" Macbook Pro
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: rz
Date: March 21, 2021 03:32PM
I (or someone in my family) have owned the following:

2006 Macbook (white, and black)
2010 Macbook Pro
2009 Mac Mini
2014 Mac Mini
2010 iMac
2008 Mac Pro
2012 Mac Pro

Of those, I'd have to say the 2012 Mac Pro is my favorite. But I really liked the 2008 Mac Pro too. Coming in 3rd for me would be either of the 2006 Macbooks, but mainly for nostalgic reasons.
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: MindMeld
Date: March 21, 2021 03:36PM
Quote
Ombligo
Quote
btfc
Love the Mid 2012 MBP.

This times five, the last great Mac.

This.
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: March 21, 2021 03:50PM
Quote
MindMeld
Quote
Ombligo
Quote
btfc
Love the Mid 2012 MBP.

This times five, the last great Mac.

This.

agree smiley
Currently my primary computer; bought one used a few years ago when a friend mentioned to me that it was pretty much the last Mac with user-replaceable components (RAM, battery, HDD).
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: March 21, 2021 04:24PM
Hard to pick. Some make sense and some just feel right. IMO the best Intel Mac is not an Intel Mac. Instead it's an Apple technology: the Unibody.

I have a number of 12 year old Mac laptops which work, feel, and look like brand new machines because the Unibody case is an overkill but welcome case design. If you haven't dropped the thing. As these also take SATA SSDs and were the first with an 8GB RAM capacity, they also work more like newer machines even today. Yes, slower then new ones but still fast enough for many uses. PCs from the same time don't nearly hold up as well. Of course those also cost less when new, so there is a distinct tradeoff.

Honorable mentions:

The 2006 Intel MacBook was great as it replaced a slow square screen G4 iBook with a genuinely fast dual core widescreen Intel laptop. I had both of those and the difference was immediately apparent.

The quad core 2011 15" MBPros also added a big performance boost over previous models but these were eventually tempered by USB2 and screen failures. Mine died a few months ago. The Late 2013 15" MBPros are an improvement in every way, except you can't upgrade the memory. Luckily many came maxed out at 16GB anyway but as mentioned before, that comes at a high entry price.

In a similar vein, the 2009 Quad Core iMac did the same on the desktop: 2x cores, 4x threads, first 1440p 27" screen. I was not a fan of these machines as I've never owned an iMac. But their power made the iMac a powerful machine instead of a convenience machine. The 2011 21.5" iMac did the same for performance at the lower end of the range but the display upgrade had already happened in 2009.
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: hal
Date: March 21, 2021 06:30PM
My current mac is always my favorite - a 2017 imac
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: March 21, 2021 06:30PM
Cheese Grater 5,1; dual hex Xeons of course.

edit:
Quote
btfc
Love the Mid 2012 MBP.

That's my second fav although it doesn't get a fraction of the use compared to my cMP 5,1 dually!



39°36'17"N 75°44'43"W

DuckDuckGo
The search engine that doesn't track you.





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/2021 05:35PM by MrNoBody.
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: p8712
Date: March 21, 2021 08:11PM
24 inch '06 iMac Still a pleasure to use on 10.8 (with SSD).
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: March 21, 2021 09:31PM
The 2009 Mac Pro, hands down no comparison. Rock solid engineering and build quality. Very upgradable. That sucker is a real trooper after being upgraded to newer firmware and to 12 cores and a modern GPU. 12 years old and was only made obsolete by the M1 macs. It still ran circles around the latest Intel models.



C(-)ris
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Throwback Thursday Signature:
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: jonny
Date: March 21, 2021 11:57PM
Mid 2007 iMac. Kep mine (with an eventual SSD upgrade) for 10 years.
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: March 22, 2021 06:29AM
My 2010 (manufactured late 2011) Mac Pro is my favorite. Still my main machine.



My life goes smoothly and in regular intervals
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: Robert M
Date: March 22, 2021 09:26AM
Hi everyone,

I differ from Sekker. I've no interest in moving to an Apple Silicon machine right now for several reasons.

OS compatibility is the first and most compelling. I still require a flavor of the Mac OS that supports 32 bit apps. This will change once I have a virtual machine running Mojave. Until then, though, I'm sticking with machines capable of running Mojave. That means Intel.

The other issue is bugginess and flakiness. that Apple is still on its first generation Apple Silicon based machines and I know people who have moved to them and told me about flakiness and compatibility issues. I don't have the time and/or patience to deal with that. My Intel configurations are rock solid, run well and do everything I need them to do with ease.

So, for me, I'll be running an Intel machine for while. How long, it's difficult to say. When the time comes, it will be planned, step-by-step transition.

That said, my favorite Intel machines are as follows:

Desktop: 2009 Mac Pro. Although I like the Intel iMacs I'm running these days, I still firmly believe in the design of the 2009 Mac Pro. As C(-)ris said, powerful, rock solid engineering and build quality, immensely upgradeable internally and externally. By far one of my favorite machines.

Laptop: Aluminum Unibody Macbook Pro models. They are the last Apple laptops designed out of the box with RAM and storage that is easy to upgrade using off-the-shelf components while still retaining solid overall hardware and ports. Even replacing the battery is a quick and easy procedure. Still have an '09 Macbook Pro 13" in place as a tertiary machine. Even now, that machine has ample power, speed, RAM and storage to do nearly everything I need to do on a regular basis with minimal hiccups. Think of it as a last resort computer to use if all of my other machines suddenly just crap out.

Robert



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/2021 10:35AM by Robert M.
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: JoeM
Date: March 22, 2021 10:29AM
My 2019 12 core Mac Pro. Everything I always wanted my Mac to be except cheap.



JoeM
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: sekker
Date: March 22, 2021 02:21PM
Addendum: I expect Intel Macs to have a long legacy still. Some of the hardware was top-notch, even if not a listed favorite. I have an original i3 iMac that I expect I will keep until the Mobo fails. It's a great machine, just not a fav.

My note is tied to 'new' iron - I might purchase a used Intel Mac down the road - when the pandemic-induced prices drop down to reality, and after another round or 3 of Apple Silicon get released. Some of what I do does not NEED super-fast chips, just reliability.

For those that went beyond 32bit apps via Catalina, the transition to Big Sur is not such a big deal. I do have two Macs that are going to stick to Mojave for this very reason.

As for whether Big Sur is buggy - not clear to me it's any worse than Catalina and this Intel Mac. Or Mojave on a 2018 Intel laptop that I had to sort out all sorts of software conflicts just this weekend.
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: sekker
Date: March 22, 2021 02:22PM
Quote
JoeM
My 2019 12 core Mac Pro. Everything I always wanted my Mac to be except cheap.

Yes, you might be 'driving' the finest computer with an Intel chip ever released.
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: JoeM
Date: March 22, 2021 02:37PM
Quote
sekker
Quote
JoeM
My 2019 12 core Mac Pro. Everything I always wanted my Mac to be except cheap.

Yes, you might be 'driving' the finest computer with an Intel chip ever released.

I’m so looking forward to the new MP in 2022, just for comparison’s sake. The 2019 MP is so close to perfect, IMHO, that I can’t wait to see how Apple tops it. While I’ve liked all my Macs over the years and was pretty impressed with my 2009 MP cheesegrater ( which is still running fine) the 2019 MP is really a thing of beauty in design and performance. I had become an Apple skeptic over the last number of years but Apple has impressed me once again. They miss the mark, price-wise, for small single seat design shops and photographers looking for a desktop, IMO but I think the low end 2022 MP will finally bring that in line.



JoeM
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Re: Post your favorite Intel Mac here!
Posted by: AllGold
Date: March 22, 2021 09:52PM
Quote
sekker
Quote
JoeM
My 2019 12 core Mac Pro. Everything I always wanted my Mac to be except cheap.

Yes, you might be 'driving' the finest computer with an Intel chip ever released.

Yep, I don't think you can buy a better Intel Mac.



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