My 13" Macbook that I do everything on is getting old, but still alive and kicking. It's the late-2008 (first full body aluminum model) upgraded to 4GB of RAM. I've recently started researching about simple upgrades and have ordered a Samsung 840 EVO 500gb SSD drive. Excited to take apart my Macbook and install it to increase its longevity and speed.
So the situation is, I am looking for a stronger workhorse laptop/computer, preferrably Mac, to complement my current 13" Macbook (until it dies).
I don't want this to turn into a PC vs Mac war; I just prefer the interface of OSX and I don't know nearly enough to build my own computer.
1.) I was bent on buying a 21.5" iMac and upgrading the RAM to 16gb and buying a Thunderbolt external HD to store my work. It'll provide me with the biggest screen to work with, but it's not portable. It's the most cost-effective option, I think. Or, I can hold my breath until a Retina version comes out in the 21.5" version.
2.) Then I entertained the idea of buying a new 15.4" Macbook Pro Retina and using Thunderbolt external HDs to store my Lightroom photos and separate the storage/data, and the programs. The thing is, I can't upgrade the individual parts myself, and this is the most costly option.
3.) In the last few days, I came across the idea of buying a used 2011-2012 17" Macbook Pro and upgrading it. It needs to be that year because they have the Thunderbolt port. I can upgrade the hard drive to a 512gb or 1TB Samsung SSD drive and 16GB of RAM (if I update the OS, it'll allow 16gb I heard), and that'll still be cheaper than a new 15.4" MBP. I'm only worried about the parts failing and it's not covered under warranty.
I'd want this computer to work with me for the next few years without problems.
Is there anything I'm not aware of? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.