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Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

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

Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:56 pm

For your RAM spec and drive capacity, for the money you are wanting to spend you'd get a much higher spec machine.

Not necessarily, the Dell XPS 13" is probably the nearest equivalent to an MBPro, and new starts from £1400. A look at refurbished on the Dell Outlet, an XPS 13 - 9300 Laptop for £1,160.

In 2016, when researching for a new laptop, I looked at the Dell XPS, which is a nice machine, but I feel that Win 10 doesn't scale as well as the Mac OS for laptop use. Plus most of my licenses allow me to run a Win and Mac version at no extra cost. And I was a Mac user from 1990 until my last machine, a Quadra 630/Trinitron.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Watchmaker » Sat Aug 22, 2020 2:04 pm

Re: Dell...I bought a Dell laptop and regret it everyday. Worst computer I have ever owned. If I didn't need Excel on a daily basis I would ditch Windows permanently and never think about it again except to bad mouth it. Like Avid. It always humors me that our so-called free market is a choice between oligarchs. Unfortunately that leaves us meager choices between which advertising collector we feed our every online action to.

At least with CrApple I don't see active data back channeling on every background app.

Re: MBP, I recently upgraded to Catalina and it's actually working well for my environment. I'd suggest you consider at least an i7 processor as many softwares appear to moving to that as minimum spec. Hideously over priced though.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Aug 22, 2020 3:11 pm

New i7 prices would stretch the budget too much I'm afraid, but my software needs are pretty simple, Reaper with the stock plugs and no VSTi's, a couple of browsers, Open Office and a few other apps, none of which are CPU hungry. It does't really get used for serious recording/mixing and if it did it'd only be 20 or so tracks max.

Used may be an option but I'm leaning towards buying new/refurb simply 'cos it'll last that much longer (I've had the 2011 MBP from new), the only downside is the difficulty getting the latest kit repaired.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby ttango » Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:37 pm

warning, You can't upgrade memory on the Retina's. But other than that I love the retina screen. I have purchased two refurbished laptops both about 700 US. 13 inch. I have a Mac book pro and I love it. 8 GB works well for logic, but if I did a lot of logic I would prefer 16.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Forum Admin » Sat Aug 22, 2020 5:37 pm

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


coz I want them ALL ..

+1

Max, my work Mac of choice.

Had a matte screen version until recently but that started to overheat so switched to this 'music' glossy screen MBP instead. I'd replaced the DVD drive with an internal 1TB HD 7200rpm and the main drive for a 1TB SSD, with 16Gb RAM. I use it plugged into my 30-inch Cinema HD display. Does the job.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby James Perrett » Sat Aug 22, 2020 11:02 pm

Watchmaker wrote:Re: Dell...I bought a Dell laptop and regret it everyday. Worst computer I have ever owned. If I didn't need Excel on a daily basis I would ditch Windows permanently...

I was involved in buying plenty of Dells in my old job and was so impressed with them that I bought a refurbished one for home. Mine has a very similar spec to the Macbook Pro from the same era and wouldn't have been cheap new but still continues to perform well.

I'm not sure why you are treating Excel as an excuse not to go Mac though - Microsoft Office has worked on Macs for well over 30 years and compatibility between platforms has always been pretty good (I worked in a department where some used Macs and some used PC's).
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby tomeh » Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:16 am

Hi, Just a reminder of the GPU failure on 2011 Macbook Pro's.

Tick, tick.... fail. You don't know when.
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7123823

I had one and was burnt by it.

Therefore on the not recommended


Best regards from Canada.

Stay well (stay away from politicians)

Tom eh
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Watchmaker » Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:25 am

James Perrett wrote:
Watchmaker wrote:Re: Dell...I bought a Dell laptop and regret it everyday. Worst computer I have ever owned. If I didn't need Excel on a daily basis I would ditch Windows permanently...

I was involved in buying plenty of Dells in my old job and was so impressed with them that I bought a refurbished one for home. Mine has a very similar spec to the Macbook Pro from the same era and wouldn't have been cheap new but still continues to perform well.

I'm not sure why you are treating Excel as an excuse not to go Mac though - Microsoft Office has worked on Macs for well over 30 years and compatibility between platforms has always been pretty good (I worked in a department where some used Macs and some used PC's).

I use Excel in an advanced capacity. On Mac it has extremely truncated functionality. Dell serves a market, just not the one I'm in. :-)

I've owned Dell's since that company with the cow colored packages was in competition. Poster children for losing sight of the prize.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby forumuser761267 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 2:56 am

I have a 2017 and it's the worst computer I've ever had. *ever*. the butterfly keyboard is horrible, the touchbar's pointless, I could go on. it's really an awful computer.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby forumuser761267 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:06 pm

oh, and a few of the thunderbolt ports have already died. these are all common problems apparently. I wouldn't recommend this computer to anyone, it's absolutely epically horrible.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Blott » Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:49 pm

The problem with Macbook Pros is that newer models are in many ways inferior to their predecessors.
For example, my 2011 i7 17' MacBook Pro (that I'm typing this on) has 3 x USB 2 (A) ports, firewire 800, Thunderbolt, display port, gigabit ethernet and a PCIe express slot.
Not to mention a nice large 17" display, an optical drive that burns CD's & DVD's plus user installable RAM and replaceable SATA hard drive.
It's currently installed with a 2TB SSD and 16GB RAM - runs great! :)
Move to a 2015 MacBook Pro and the Firewire is gone, ethernet is gone, optical drive is gone, the 17" option is gone and there's only 2 x USB 3 (A) ports and 2 x Thunderbolt 2 ports which aren't really usable for anything except for plugging adapters in to give you back the ports you've lost!!!!!
Try finding a Thunderbolt 2 hub....it's not easy. They are rare and they're expensive.And a Thunderbolt 2 external hard drive...that's like finding a winning lottery ticket.
So all added up you're losing a lot of flexibility to get a little speed bump, better graphics and the ability to run the latest Mac OS.
The only connection that the 2015 MacBook Pro has that my 2011 does not is an SD card reader, so it's hard to recommend a MacBook Pro to replace one from 2012 because in many ways, the older models offered more.
That said IMO the best value second hand MacBook Pro now is the 2016 (13,1 or 13,3) model because it's the cheapest model to come with Thunderbolt 3 which uses the ubiquitous USB C connector, so there's actually a plethora of inexpensive hubs, external hard drives and pen drives that you can plug into them.
Also for around £30 you can get hubs that'll give 3 x USB3 ports, gigabit ethernet, SD card reader, HDMI, and DVI (basically the connections that you'd expect any 'pro' spec laptop to have.
Apple (being apple) fitted most with ridiculously small storage (256GB), but if you hunt around you'll find models shipping with a 1TB SSD and I recently purchased one such model for £1250.
The keyboard isn't as good as the one on my 2011 17", the Touch Bar has little use and you'll need that hub I mentioned, but or the most part it still seems a decent laptop.
I doubt very much it'll last as long as my trusty 17" MacBook has, but then Apple don't want their gear to last anymore.
Built in obsolescence is their new mantra it seems.
Anyhoo - 2016 (model 13,3 15" or 13,1 13") are the model I'd recommend looking out for.
Good luck! :)
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:18 pm

Thanks Blott, I have a 2011 (bought new) as well as the 2012, they are all but identical apart from the 2011 maxes out at High Sierra and the 2012 at Catalina (they both have an SD slot BTW).

I'm also considering a 2019 i5 13.3" with 4 USB3 ports going for £1399 at Currys, it comes with Mojave which sidesteps any Catalina issues with music software.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby johnny h » Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:08 pm

forumuser761267 wrote:I have a 2017 and it's the worst computer I've ever had. *ever*. the butterfly keyboard is horrible, the touchbar's pointless, I could go on. it's really an awful computer.
Absolutely agree. Since Jobs died Apple have really gone down in quality.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby wireman » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:45 pm

Strangely enough I'm thinkiing of purchasing a 2015 model from a relative mainly for my wife to use to replace the 2008 one we have. I'm told that the thunderbolt ports also do Displayport (it is 500GB SSD with 16G RAM). I'm amazed at the second hand price of these.
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Re: Used Macbook Pro, best years/value?

Postby desmond » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:52 pm

wireman wrote:I'm amazed at the second hand price of these.

As in, how expensive, or how cheap?

I think they typically go for £900-1000+ for a 16GB 2015...
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