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Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

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Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:25 pm

Thinking of upgrading from my 2012 MBP to a newer one. Definitely want a 13", 8GB+ and at least 500GB-1TB SSD or the option to easily upgrade (so no soldered on SSD). 2015 or newer seems to make sense but otherwise I'm pretty easy, I don't need the touch bar or lots of USB C/TB/etc. sockets. Budget up to £7/800.

I'm more asking if there are any known issues with MBPs in my age/price range that I should steer clear of.

TIA
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Trevor Johnson » Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:55 pm

Sam, I am typing on a MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015), i5 2.7Ghz, 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD.

Bought it new July 2016, my best laptop ever. On Mojave OS, runs Reaper very quickly as well as Photoshop and Lightroom CC, Office 365 and SPSS.

Lovely keyboard and Retina screen. But the RAM is not replaceable, though the SSD maybe, but I haven't investigated. I stick in a Samsung T5 instead for extra storage.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby ore_terra » Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:16 pm

2015, right before they started to take out all ports and stuff...

I’m typing on a 2014 15”, and if it eventually dies I’ll look for a 2015.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby desmond » Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:19 pm

ore_terra wrote:2015, right before they started to take out all ports and stuff...

+1

The problem with picking these up is that, as the RAM is non-user replaceable, there are lots of 8GB machines around that no one wants, and far less 16GB ones (and they are still priced reasonably high because of this).
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:34 pm

I'm happy with 8GB RAM, it's a daily use machine and, TBH, the 2012 does fine with only 4 GB*. However, I'm often away from fast stable internet so cloud storage is not a serious option other than as backup so a biggish SSD is important. I guess I'll look for a 2015 with 8GB and a big SSD then.

Any opinions on the newer ones if I can get something with enough storage (I'm prepared to stretch the budget)?

* My wife's job as a ballet school teacher/principle is returning to face to face teaching but with reduced class sizes so we need an additional zoom rig so the kids can do one week in class and the next working alongside the live class on zoom.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby fatbenelton » Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:03 pm

I know you mentioned 13" but I'm very happy with my mid 2015 MacBook Pro 15"....last one before the touch bar. I got the basic one - quad i7 2.2, 16gb RAM and 256GB SSD. SSD is upgradeable so I switched it for a 500GB (well 480gb!) and very happy with it. I also put a flush fitting 256gb SD card in the side for not much cash. Got my NI library on it!

Not that much bigger than the 13" but noticeably easier to work with.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:45 pm

A 13" is perfect for my needs, I don't use it for serious recording or mixing as I have the 'studio' Mac Pro for that so the screen real estate is not an issue, it's my 'do everything' laptop so the smaller/lighter the better. I'd use a iPad for most of this stuff but, having tried, I find I much prefer a proper keyboard so I've even considered a Macbook Air (still not out of the question).
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby James Perrett » Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:37 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I'd use a iPad for most of this stuff but, having tried, I find I much prefer a proper keyboard so I've even considered a Macbook Air (still not out of the question).

How about a Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad?
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:02 pm

Combined case/stand/keyboard is uber-compact and presumably you'd be putting an iPad in a case anyway.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07F1LJJRL? ... th=1&psc=1
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Stevie Richmond » Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:44 pm

Hi Sam,
I suppose it depends on your reasons for wanting to migrate away from your current setup.

I have a mid-2012 13” 2.9Ghz i7 Dual Core, which I purchased in Jan 2013 and have been using daily ever since.

Having first upgraded the RAM to 16GB, the HD was then upgraded to a 2TB SSD.
Most recently the SuperDrive has been removed and replaced with a second 2TB SSD, both of which run at SATA3 speed.

Whilst performing the latest (2nd) SSD upgrade, I also removed the logic board in order to replace the old thermal paste on the CPU die with some Arctic Silver. It was beginning to run hot; a sign the old paste had lost its efficiency.

A major advantage of these era machines is the ability to user service all of the major components.

I’m very happy overall with this machine and find it performs very well, despite being 8 years old now.

It is only Thunderbolt 1, so external monitors/graphics are limited, but in terms of everyday audio computing it still raises a smile.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:50 pm

you're not allowed to buy late 2011 17" MBP any more.....


coz I want them ALL ..
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Stratman57 » Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:04 am

From what I've read in this thread, you're wanting a sort of general purpose computer, so why not get a Windows laptop? For your RAM spec and drive capacity, for the money you are wanting to spend you'd get a much higher spec machine.

But if you're already in the Apple ecosystem, then maybe not.

Regards, Simon.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Aug 22, 2020 11:20 am

Stratman57 wrote:why not get a Windows laptop?

Burn the heretic :bouncy: :bouncy: :bouncy:

Studio Support Gnome wrote:you're not allowed to buy late 2011 17" MBP any more.....


coz I want them ALL ..

You can have them, I only want 13" :D

Stevie Richmond wrote:I suppose it depends on your reasons for wanting to migrate away from your current setup.

We need another (3rd, I have a 2011 and a 2012 MBP) laptop for zoom duties so I thought I'd upgrade the 2012 and dedicate it to zoom.

A major advantage of these era machines is the ability to user service all of the major components.

Yes, definitely a big consideration though the 2011 has a fault on the mainboard making one of the memory slots unreliable, it runs happily enough with a single memory module installed but if both slots are populated it crashes periodically.

James Perrett wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:I'd use a iPad for most of this stuff but, having tried, I find I much prefer a proper keyboard so I've even considered a Macbook Air (still not out of the question).

How about a Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad?
shufflebeat wrote:Combined case/stand/keyboard is uber-compact and presumably you'd be putting an iPad in a case anyway.

I have a spare 'Mac Magic keyboard' and an iPad mini 4 but the screen is too small (my older iPads are just too old) and iOS is much less flexible than OSX. I have considered an iPad Pro and Magic keyboard/case but it costs nearly as much as a new MBP.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby ManFromGlass » Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:32 pm

I am using an older Apple Bluetooth keyboard with the ipad. It is surprisingly well made.

Great combination.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:54 pm

They are indeed, I have the same on my wife's iMac and my studio and office Mac Pros.

Gradually narrowing down the options (and doubling the budget :blush: )

Option 1, A used MBP, 2015-2017 £400-800 (and would probably need to upgrade the storage for £100-250)

Option 2, Currys new 2019 MBP with 1TB £1400 (2.4/4.1GHz Quad core, 8GB, 4 x USB C)

Option 3, Apple refurb with 256GB (non upgradable) but only £1099 (1.4/3.9 GHz, 8GB, 2 USB C)

Currently favouring Opt 2 as a 2020 version with similar specs is £2k
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