You are here

Looking to buy an older Macbook Pro. Recommendations?

For current or would-be users of Apple Mac computers, with answers to many FAQs.

Looking to buy an older Macbook Pro. Recommendations?

Postby groovelator » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:03 am

Hi. I'm on the search for a music dedicated laptop for live use (with guitar, running various VST's and VSTi's, either in Reaper or Ableton) and up until now I've used a 2009 Macbook Pro 13". It's only a dual core one though, so I figure an i7 quad 15" model would be a big step up, running some of the heavier plugins I use better with lower latency and giving me some more screen real-estate.

Looking at these I gather that the mid-2012 model was the last one which is capable of significant upgrade by users. However, if I can find a suitable spec (with a minimum 8GB RAM, SSD drive and low battery cycle count) might I be better off having a newer model than that? Oddly there doesn't seem to be much of a price difference in the second hand market for something a year or two newer.

Many thanks!
Mark
User avatar
groovelator
Poster
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Bristol, UK
http://www.markjklawrence.com

Re: Looking to buy an older Macbook Pro. Recommendations?

Postby Janneman » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:29 am

Goodmorning Mark,

Watch this video first, please

https://youtu.be/xFIVZYevfGU

Louis Rossman is an expert on Macbook

https://rossmanngroup.com/
Janneman
Regular
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2005 12:00 am
Kind regards,   Jan van Duren

Re: Looking to buy an older Macbook Pro. Recommendations?

Postby groovelator » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:45 am

Janneman wrote:Goodmorning Mark,

Watch this video first, please

https://youtu.be/xFIVZYevfGU

Louis Rossman is an expert on Macbook

https://rossmanngroup.com/

He starts by saying that he would never buy one... Does it get better?!
User avatar
groovelator
Poster
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Bristol, UK
http://www.markjklawrence.com

Re: Looking to buy an older Macbook Pro. Recommendations?

Postby desmond » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:02 am

groovelator wrote:Looking at these I gather that the mid-2012 model was the last one which is capable of significant upgrade by users.

That was the last pre-retina model. From there, they lose the CD drive and expandability, but gain retina screens.

If you want a pre-retina, then the mid 2012 is the best to get - avoid the 2011's as they have massive heat problems.

If you want a retina model, then the last batch of 2015's will give you the most bang for buck and longevity. These were the last models before the newer design change, touchbar models.
User avatar
desmond
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8955
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:00 am
mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio

Re: Looking to buy an older Macbook Pro. Recommendations?

Postby Janneman » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:48 pm

groovelator wrote:
Janneman wrote:Goodmorning Mark,

Watch this video first, please

https://youtu.be/xFIVZYevfGU

Louis Rossman is an expert on Macbook

https://rossmanngroup.com/

He starts by saying that he would never buy one... Does it get better?!

Please, watch the videos. There are lots of reasons not to buy a new macbook.
Janneman
Regular
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2005 12:00 am
Kind regards,   Jan van Duren

Re: Looking to buy an older Macbook Pro. Recommendations?

Postby groovelator » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:58 pm

Hi. Thanks for your input but as I first stated I'm not looking at a new model. I'm specifically asking for info about older versions.

Janneman wrote:
groovelator wrote:
Janneman wrote:Goodmorning Mark,

Watch this video first, please

https://youtu.be/xFIVZYevfGU

Louis Rossman is an expert on Macbook

https://rossmanngroup.com/

He starts by saying that he would never buy one... Does it get better?!

Please, watch the videos. There are lots of reasons not to buy a new macbook.
User avatar
groovelator
Poster
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Bristol, UK
http://www.markjklawrence.com

Re: Looking to buy an older Macbook Pro. Recommendations?

Postby redlester » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:48 pm

I just recently bought a Mid-2012 15" i7 2.3GHz with 8GB RAM, to augment my main setup which is a late-2012 Mac Mini (what was it about 2012?!).

It has some slight cosmetic damage to the plastic on the rear edge but other than that seems to be excellent value for the £410 I paid on eBay.

It came with a 500GB hard drive, which is fine for now although I could of course upgrade to SSD as well as upping the RAM if I need to, but as I only bought it for tinkering on Ableton or Logic while sat in the lounge rather than hidden away in the 'Studio' all the time I think it will be fine for me.

It also might lessen the damage to my marriage potentially caused by "..are you going to be shut in there all night again?" scenarios. ;)
redlester
Regular
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:50 pm
Location: East Midlands, UK

Re: Looking to buy an older Macbook Pro. Recommendations?

Postby ore_terra » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:57 pm

Agree in the 2015 models. That’s what I was looking for when I got mine 2 years ago, but budget just reached a - equally awesome value but not as good - top spec 2014 15”
User avatar
ore_terra
Frequent Poster
Posts: 619
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:56 pm
Location: Seville - Spain

Re: Looking to buy an older Macbook Pro. Recommendations?

Postby Freelance Subversive » Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:28 pm

groovelator wrote:…as I first stated I'm not looking at a new model. I'm specifically asking for info about older versions.

For tinkering, I think the non-retina 2012 will be perfectly servicable. They are more modular in nature, so intially you only need to concern yourself with its CPU speed and video memory, i.e. seek out one with either a 2.6 or 2.7GHz quad-core cpu and 1GB graphics. Don't bother with the 2011 as Desmond says, they were unreliable.

If you come across a well spec'd, attractively priced 2012 or 2013 15" retina model (2.6/2.7GHz [2012] or 2.7/2.8GHz [early-2013]; 16GB ram; 1GB vram), then the retina displays are rather pleasant and it'll offer the option of more screen space, minus upgradeable ram and disc drive (or space for a second hard disk). You will still be able to upgrade the hard drive relatively inexspensively and easily, as up to the early-2013 model, they use mSATA III.

There are plenty of well-established refurbishers around, if eBay proves fruitless. Naturally, you are likely to pay more, but some of them provide reasonably generous support/guarantees, too.

[/quote]
ore_terra wrote:Agree in the 2015 models. That’s what I was looking for when I got mine 2 years ago, but budget just reached a - equally awesome value but not as good - top spec 2014 15”

Other than the 2015 having storage on PCIe 3 and an AMD graphics chip, the 2014 15" models are exactly the same anyway. Do you notice any thermal throttling with a 2.8GHz cpu? I read somewhere just before buying my 2015, that it's quite a common problem?
Freelance Subversive
Poster
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:21 pm

Re: Looking to buy an older Macbook Pro. Recommendations?

Postby ore_terra » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:36 pm

60 ºC with the DAW running. Doesnt seem to bother it too much.
User avatar
ore_terra
Frequent Poster
Posts: 619
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:56 pm
Location: Seville - Spain

Re: Looking to buy an older Macbook Pro. Recommendations?

Postby groovelator » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:36 pm

This is all great advice, much appreciated! Thank you.
User avatar
groovelator
Poster
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Bristol, UK
http://www.markjklawrence.com

9,1 mbp i7qm 1GB video standard screen 2012 Re: Looking to buy an older Macbook Pro. Recommendations?

Postby tea for two » Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:35 pm

Im always late.


Well I went from

12Cores 24Threads Macpro 5,1
to
4C 8T Macpro 3,1
to
imac 27 i5-2500s
to
macmini i7 server 2011
to
2011 i5 macbook 13inch


Which would suit me best right now :

9,1 Macbook Pro 2012 i7-3820qm (proper 4C8T) 15 inch standard screen.
1GB Graphics
https://everymac.com/systems/apple/macb ... specs.html

As i would like to video edit on the go (even though my AMD Ryzen takes care of 4K videos).
USB3 bandwidth on 2012 macbook pros just makes files to external drives a little better.

I would put 16GB Ram probably Hynix 1600Mhz adding 2nd ssd instead dvd drive
tea for two
Frequent Poster
Posts: 795
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2002 1:00 am
Our purpose is unique to us, just as meaning of our life is unique to us. Thus should be obvious there is no universal purpose. There is no universal meaning of life. 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users