12" MacBook (2015) still worth buying?

sonicrobby

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Apr 24, 2013
2,394
416
New Orleans
Seeking some advice! My mom's Bday is coming up, and shes still running a 2006 Gateway PC on windows vista :p I wanted to get her a used 12" Macbook pro, which I found used with the 1.2 GHz intel core M, 8 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD for $750. It does seem to be well taken care of physically. I guess my hesitation is paying $750 for a 3 year old computer.

In the past with my old 2012 macbook pro, Id get that lovely spinning color wheel a lot while not doing anything strenuous; iPhotos, safari, iTunes (very basic stuff). Would she experience this with the 12"MB under basic use? If so Id look to get her the 13" MBP instead...

Advice and opinions are welcome!
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
5,156
4,710
Denmark
I wanted to get her a used 12" Macbook pro, which I found used with the 1.2 GHz intel core M, 8 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD for $750. It does seem to be well taken care of physically. I guess my hesitation is paying $750 for a 3 year old computer.
There has never been a Macbook Pro with a Core M processor. Only Macbooks.

In the past with my old 2012 macbook pro, Id get that lovely spinning color wheel a lot while not doing anything strenuous; iPhotos, safari, iTunes (very basic stuff). Would she experience this with the 12"MB under basic use? If so Id look to get her the 13" MBP instead...
I have a 1.2 Ghz '16 Macbook, and I only really see spinwheels when I use Safari and there's a lot of stuff going on, hammering the CPU. No issues running Photos or iTunes. But the processor is not fast in any way, but it gets the job done. But as an upgrade to a machine that is 12 years old, she will likely never notice.
 

objektør

macrumors regular
Nov 25, 2014
242
16
At home
My rMB is 3,5 years old now. Ok for basic stuff (Photo, iTunes, Safari ++). Almost never see the beachball.
But check the battery. I got the service warning lately at 73% health. It gives me about 3 hours of use (brightnes 75%).
I am mostly on mains now but a new battery would set you back another 200$ at least.
 
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EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
8,237
5,614
Seeking some advice! My mom's Bday is coming up, and shes still running a 2006 Gateway PC on windows vista :p I wanted to get her a used 12" Macbook pro, which I found used with the 1.2 GHz intel core M, 8 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD for $750. It does seem to be well taken care of physically. I guess my hesitation is paying $750 for a 3 year old computer.
I would not recommend the 2015, esp at that price. Mediocre keyboard, and relatively slow.

In the past with my old 2012 macbook pro, Id get that lovely spinning color wheel a lot while not doing anything strenuous; iPhotos, safari, iTunes (very basic stuff). Would she experience this with the 12"MB under basic use? If so Id look to get her the 13" MBP instead...
What were the specs of that old 2012?

Usually a 2012 with 8+ GB RAM and a good SSD would have decent performance.
 

BODYBUILDERPAUL

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2009
1,773
1,435
Barcelona
Yes I'm a little concerned at that price. It's first generation, whilst beautiful and very chic looking, the 2015 is a little underpowered now. Try and keep your eye open for the 2016 model as it is a faster feeling machine. Again batteries are a little problem on the older ones.
Don't forget that there's the rumoured new 899£ one on its way brand new.

In summary, the MacBook is beautiful (just be wary of 2015 first gen models) and your Mummy may love rose gold for it (which appeared on the 2016 models). In that colour, it is stunning :) I'm biased as I have that colour and I love the way that it changes colour under sunlight!
 

sosumi99

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2003
362
320
Another vote to say that the 2015 MacBook is not worth that much, especially given the age of the battery.

And yes, if your mom is used to Windows, she will almost certainly appreciate another Windows machine. (Though, honestly, if she was used to Vista, switching to Windows 10 will be almost as much a shock as switching to Mac -- still, unless you want to play tech support, I'd stick with a Windows laptop for her. The Surface line is quite good)
 
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lewdvig

macrumors 65816
Jan 1, 2002
1,406
59
South Pole
We've had 3 through the house; 1x 2015 and 2x 2016

IMO the difference between 2015 and 2016 is pretty big; better battery, faster, better video playback

As other have said, pass on the 2015 for $750.
 

aleni

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2006
2,228
365
Noooo. The least you can buy in the macbook category is 2016 m5 version. The 2015 is dog slow.
 

borgusio

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2011
259
96
I use the i5 2015 and it is still the best laptop I ever owned.
My use:
Office 365
Software development Tools
Surfing
Final Cut Pro X

In the background I have: MySQL server, two onedrive instances, Dropbox, vpn.

I see the beach ball (a lot!) when:
- making intense use of outlook for more than a couple of days straight. I then need to close the software and restart it (it is a sick memory hog!)
- connecting and reconnecting several different external monitors more than once a day. I then need to wait a couple of minutes until everything is fine again
- the room temperature is above 35 degrees Celsius (like this sommer) and I make intense use of videoconferencing with hangouts (Skype and co. Work well).

I would only upgrade for a MacBook Pro 12” with thunderbolt.

From what I heard the i3 2015 is a piece of crap. The speed difference with i5 and i7is day and night, so look for the right model. Because the i3 2016 is not any faster than my i5 2015. Also my battery is totally fine. 85 % capacity and 5 hours at half brightness. With lower brightness I can make it to 6-7 hours.

Price wise, I’d go for 700 max
 
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keiji11

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2018
74
10
you should at least get the 2016 ones and recently there many good deals on woot. Just check them everyday
 

nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
4,807
1,729
DE
i went from 2015 to 2017. wait for the 2018 to come out and get the 2017 at a discount. its way worth the improvements.
I made this same move a couple weeks ago when WOOT had the 2017 MB's for $999. Definitely an improvement from 2015 to 2017 (I really like the v2 butterfly keyboard too).
 
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