15" MacBook Pro i5 for $1315 or new i7 for $1699?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by greenfuzz00, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. greenfuzz00 macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2011
    I 'd like some advice about the new MacbookPro. I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a new MacbookPro. Best Buy is selling the older model (which was just returned) at a discount. It is open box -- the salesperson claimed that the person who bought the computer returned it within the two-week time period to get the new Macbook Pro model. It seems new -- no surface damage, and the power cord still has its plastic wrapping around it.

    This is the 15" MacbookPro with a 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of 1066 MHz SDRAM, 320 GB hard drive -- and I can get it at Best Buy for $1315.

    The new, comparable Macbook Pro (15") has a 2.0 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB 1333 MHz SDRAM, and a 500 GB hard drive. I could buy this machine for $1699 with my educator's discount.

    My question is: Is it worth it to pay an extra $400 to get the new model? I mostly use the Adobe creative suite, edit family movies using iMovie (but hope to learn Final Cut), store and edit lots of photos and use WordPress and watch YouTube videos on a daily basis.

    Thanks for your advice!
  2. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    IMO, I wouldn't try to save $400 by skimping on a new generation that is substantially faster.. as well as the fact it's a used device at this point.
  3. rareflares, Mar 8, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011

    rareflares macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2004
    Washington D.C.
    The processors of the new MBP are 50-100% faster than the last generation according to a variety of benchmarks. You are definitely getting what you pay for.

    That said, only you can determine if you'll actually use what you pay for
  4. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Money saved, is money saved. But because the refresh is new and the previous model price is still relatively high, it would be better to purchase the refresh model. The i5 dual core is still plenty fast and will do what you need it to do, but the quad core is just faster.
  5. josh1231 macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    The updated machines are so much faster that I would pay the extre $ to get one of them.
  6. hystery macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2010
    Like other members say, I'd also say get new one. I used that very model you mentioned, but it was hard to tell the performance difference from Core2Duo (I mainly used DAW and general things like youtube) that I sold it and got 13 inch.
    But this time it's different, SandyBridge is cooler than you think. I have DIY PC with i5 2500. The benchscore of 15/17 high-ends are nearly reaching to the score of i5 2500 without AVX (which is desktop model).

    It definitely worth, although it all depends on your use. But if you can afford... you won't regret.
  7. silverf1re macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2011
    You do have to take a lot of those benchmarks with a grain of salt. I say this because it's a lot of synthetic scores. Now I'm not saying that last gen machines are faster by any means, but I do believe that the the gains in real world experiences are not twice as fast. Unless u are going to be using applications that will run ur processor at 100 percent all the time the performance increase may be noticeable but maybe not worth 400 dollars. However it boils down to what are u going to use ur Mac for and do you want to fork over another 400 bucks. Maybee u can invest it in an iPad 2 :)
  8. Guy Mancuso macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2009
    Could also be a demo that sat out there on the table with 15 million people banging on it. Get the new model it flies
  9. greenfuzz00 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2011
    Thanks for your advice, anyone. While I don't think the open box was a demo -- the power cord was still wrapped -- you never know. It does make me a little nervous.

    If I buy a new model, I can't afford to get the upgraded 15" -- $1699 is really the most I can spend. Do you think the lower-end 15" will meet my needs? Again, I'd be using the Adobe Creative Suite, photo/home video editing, and watching videos. I have a PowerBook G4 now, and it's just too slow.

    Also, I'm hesitant to buy Apple Care. I didn't buy it with my G4 and I never had any problems occur within the 3-year period. Do you think an extended warranty is really necessary?

    Finally, is there a reason to purchase it at the Apple Store rather than Best Buy? I'm attracted to Best Buy's 18-month financing, rather than the Apple Store's 12-month financing.

  10. SPEEDwithJJ macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2008
  11. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2010
    If you wait a little you will probably get a new i5 15" refurb in your price range.
  12. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    I prefer Best Buy over Apple store b/c I have 45 day return window for being premier silver. Also you get RZ points $$ for your purchase and the 18 months no financing is amazing. All those reasons would say get it from Best Buy. Now make the decision on which. The i5 will suit you fine I think, but depends on what you want to get. People seem to make it like $300 is nothing, but that's a lot of money! Do you need accessories etc for your new MBP? You'll have to buy that stuff too and if $1700 is your max, you might have to cut back on things. The graphics card is better in the i5 than base 2011. The i7 cpu is much better than the i5 but the question is how often will you really be using the CPU to the max? Same goes with GPU I guess =)

    I had a choice of getting a new 2011 MBP but I decided to save $500 and get a used 2010 model from Craigslist (sig). Now I'm using my money saved on a zalman cooler, my brother's iPad 1 and other random accessories. You can get SSD or Ram etc.
  13. greenfuzz00 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2011
    Thanks, everyone, for your help. I'm still undecided, but I'm leaning toward a new lower-model 15" Macbook Pro instead of the open box computer from Best Buy. Although they said it was just returned, it does make me nervous ...
  14. MoreAwesomeDanU macrumors regular


    Dec 4, 2010
    never get open box items from retail stores. You never know if its return or demo. And if its a demo, you won't want to own it, especially being a laptop.

    For your use, the older model should be sufficient. You may want to think about the refurbished ones from apple.

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