15MBP 2011 or 2012?

xkmxkmxlmx

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 28, 2011
885
114
I think I know my answer already, but I decided I would ask the experts before I made the jump.

I am in the market for a non retina 15" MBP. I have seen a few great deals for the 2011 version (about $300-400 difference).

From what I gather, other than the moderate speed boost in some areas and the added USB 3 port, There doesn't seem to be a HUGE difference between the models. is it worth it for a non-power user (photoshop and the occasional game are the most intensive things I do) to just go with the 2011?

I think I am going to, unless someone here can offer me some insight into what I might be missing out on that I can't really see.

Thanks in advance!
 

xkmxkmxlmx

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 28, 2011
885
114
The usb3 is huge for me, if it doesn't entice you then save the cash and get a refurb 2011.
As tempting as it is, I just don't deal in larger files enough to really see a difference. Plus all my drives are currently USB2 anyway.
 

anoobis

macrumors regular
Jul 26, 2012
103
55
I went with an early 2011 2.2 Ghz 15". Less than $1000 off eBay.

There was a 2.4 Ghz with 16 GB RAM on Craigslist locally here in NYC last week for $1000 obo.

The Geekbench tests to me say the extra $$ for a 2012 is not worth it...to me.
 

iAppl3Fan

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2011
789
19
2011 and save cash to upgrade to a future generation. If you need to stay on the cutting edge then 2012 but you said you dont need it.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,425
31,471
Boston
GPU and USB3 are some nice improvements, if you can live without them, then go for the 2011 MBP.
 

zipur

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2011
583
73
The great state of Texas
Here is how is see it. If you plan to keep the MBP for 4+ years as I do I would get the latest machine you can afford. Retina will be king by by next Sumer, for a few $ you will be on track.
Thats why the 2011s are getting cheap. They want to dump the old for cutting edge 2012. It's all personal choice of course, but soon everything usb will be on 3.0 so a 2012 will last longer. Go 2012 and go retina if you can it will be cheaper in the long run.
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,835
584
Hawaii, USA
Here is how is see it. If you plan to keep the MBP for 4+ years as I do I would get the latest machine you can afford.
This is good advice, but I'd chime in that it depends on your particular uses.

For example, up until recently I was using an "Early 2008" Macbook Pro. It would get a bit sluggish on certain applications, but I can't say that I felt overly limited by it. When it came time to upgrade, I had the option of going with a 2012 system or a "Late 2011" system for a few hundred off. I share a similar expectation that my Macbook Pro will last 4+ years, but based on my current and projected usage patterns, the hardware in the "Late 2011" would be more than sufficient for me now, and will probably be sufficient for the next 5+ years (my schedule is predictable for the next few years). Thus, the savings were worth it.

Based on xkmx's descriptions, it sounds like he (or she) is in a similar situation as I am. The 2011 would likely be fine.
 

treyjustice

macrumors 65816
Jun 14, 2009
1,134
35
TX
I went with an early 2011 2.2 Ghz 15". Less than $1000 off eBay.

There was a 2.4 Ghz with 16 GB RAM on Craigslist locally here in NYC last week for $1000 obo.

The Geekbench tests to me say the extra $$ for a 2012 is not worth it...to me.
Did you really find a 2.2 for less than 1k? I've been looking around but not having any luck! :[
 

thermodynamic

Suspended
May 3, 2009
1,340
1,175
USA
I think I know my answer already, but I decided I would ask the experts before I made the jump.

I am in the market for a non retina 15" MBP. I have seen a few great deals for the 2011 version (about $300-400 difference).

From what I gather, other than the moderate speed boost in some areas and the added USB 3 port, There doesn't seem to be a HUGE difference between the models. is it worth it for a non-power user (photoshop and the occasional game are the most intensive things I do) to just go with the 2011?

I think I am going to, unless someone here can offer me some insight into what I might be missing out on that I can't really see.

Thanks in advance!
2011 as well.

I'm a power user and I've humored the idea of buying a second 2011 MBP as a spare, in case the main one goes out... but it's a waste of money and I've got AppleCare...
 

Cache

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2007
176
33
Glad to read this, as I was in the same boat and decided Id rather save money and get a late 2011 mbp as well. Havent regretted it one bit. Just looking for a nice ssd now. :p
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,164
1,209
NYC
I'd go for the the 2012 for USB 3.0 alone. Simply put I still can't find any cheap Thunderbolt drives, but USB 3.0 is priced as cheap as USB 2.0 was.

Even though you say you don't need USB 3.0 right now, but what about in a year's time?
 

mykelala01

macrumors 6502
May 17, 2009
302
2
Go for 2012. You only spend once in awhile on a computer. Why not get the newer model. Which has USB3, better discreet and integrated graphics. I heard that 2011 can get really hot. Which has significant improvement on 2012 model. I guess Nvdia and 22 NM helps to cool down mid 2012 macbook pro.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,720
1,820
Go for 2012. You only spend once in awhile on a computer. Why not get the newer model. Which has USB3, better discreet and integrated graphics. I heard that 2011 can get really hot. Which has significant improvement on 2012 model. I guess Nvdia and 22 NM helps to cool down mid 2012 macbook pro.
All macbook pros get really hot. All of them The rMBP is supposedly a bit cooler, but they can all heat up immensely. I'm guessing the only reason 2012 refurbs haven't become available is the leftover stock of 2011 models. They've had quite a few listed refurbished for a long time.
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,835
584
Hawaii, USA
All macbook pros get really hot. All of them The rMBP is supposedly a bit cooler, but they can all heat up immensely. I'm guessing the only reason 2012 refurbs haven't become available is the leftover stock of 2011 models. They've had quite a few listed refurbished for a long time.
The 2012 Macbook Pros use the "Ivy Bridge" chipset, which is a die-shrink version of the "Sandy Bridge" chipsets used in the 2011 Macbook Pros. Die-shrinks usually result in less energy usage and cooler temperatures. So the claims of cooler temperatures aren't all that outlandish.

In comparing my late 2011 Macbook Pro (2.2 GHz Core i7) to my early 2008 Macbook Pro (2.4 GHz Core2Duo), the temperatures are variable. For comparison purposes, in my apartment, my 2008 system used to be in the upper 40˚C's to lower 50˚C's at idle (and at full load would go into the upper 70˚C's to low 80˚C's). For the 2011 system, with the integrated graphics card in use, temperatures tend to be lower: I idle in the low- to mid-40's, and I don't think I've noted temperatures going much above 60˚C. It's a different story when the discrete graphics card kicks in, though: idle temperatures seem to get into the 50-60's. Under maximum load I go into the 80's, same as the 2008 MBP.

Subjectively, it seems to me that the unibody case design is more efficient at transferring heat than the old aluminum case design. It also seems as if the fans rev up a bit more easily (again, usually when the discrete graphics card is active).

All the same, I'm really enjoying my late 2011 system. I'm sure the 2012 systems are really nice and run a bit cooler, but I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything :) I used part of the $300 in savings to upgrade my RAM (now 16 GB at 1600 MHz), and when the prices of higher-capacity SSDs drop a bit more, I'll throw one in, too. As long as no major feature is about to be released, going with a last-gen system to save a few hundred bucks may be the way to go about things!
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,720
1,820
The 2012 Macbook Pros use the "Ivy Bridge" chipset, which is a die-shrink version of the "Sandy Bridge" chipsets used in the 2011 Macbook Pros. Die-shrinks usually result in less energy usage and cooler temperatures. So the claims of cooler temperatures aren't all that outlandish.
Macrumors had a couple articles regarding ivy bridge and cooling. Overall it's not that big of a temperature drop from the die shrink. In some overclocks it was running hotter. I realize this seems counter-intuitive. The wattage really didn't change. Ivy gained a few power management features. The core count remained the same, but they put quite a lot into the gpu. Tdp is still mostly 35W for dual core, 45W for quads, and 17W for ulv with a couple outliers such as the 3612QM. Assuming a cpu is being run as hard as possible for an extended period of time, a similar amount of power has to be dissipated from the location of the cpu package.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/ivy-bridge-overclocking-high-temp,15512.html


In comparing my late 2011 Macbook Pro (2.2 GHz Core i7) to my early 2008 Macbook Pro (2.4 GHz Core2Duo), the temperatures are variable. For comparison purposes, in my apartment, my 2008 system used to be in the upper 40˚C's to lower 50˚C's at idle (and at full load would go into the upper 70˚C's to low 80˚C's). For the 2011 system, with the integrated graphics card in use, temperatures tend to be lower: I idle in the low- to mid-40's, and I don't think I've noted temperatures going much above 60˚C. It's a different story when the discrete graphics card kicks in, though: idle temperatures seem to get into the 50-60's. Under maximum load I go into the 80's, same as the 2008 MBP.

Subjectively, it seems to me that the unibody case design is more efficient at transferring heat than the old aluminum case design. It also seems as if the fans rev up a bit more easily (again, usually when the discrete graphics card is active).

All the same, I'm really enjoying my late 2011 system. I'm sure the 2012 systems are really nice and run a bit cooler, but I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything :) I used part of the $300 in savings to upgrade my RAM (now 16 GB at 1600 MHz), and when the prices of higher-capacity SSDs drop a bit more, I'll throw one in, too. As long as no major feature is about to be released, going with a last-gen system to save a few hundred bucks may be the way to go about things!
It's tough to call there on the at load stuff. The 2011 may not be stressed to the same degree as long as the 2008. The 2011 was a huge step overall. We went from the 2010 gaining an i7 to the 2011 with quad options. USB3 really should have been included with the 2011. Apple was being cheap, which annoys me. They'll havee to support third party chipsets at some point if they intend to bump the thunderbolt display to usb3 ports.
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,835
584
Hawaii, USA
Macrumors had a couple articles regarding ivy bridge and cooling. Overall it's not that big of a temperature drop from the die shrink. In some overclocks it was running hotter. I realize this seems counter-intuitive. The wattage really didn't change. Ivy gained a few power management features. The core count remained the same, but they put quite a lot into the gpu. Tdp is still mostly 35W for dual core, 45W for quads, and 17W for ulv with a couple outliers such as the 3612QM. Assuming a cpu is being run as hard as possible for an extended period of time, a similar amount of power has to be dissipated from the location of the cpu package.
Interesting - thanks for that info.

USB3 really should have been included with the 2011. Apple was being cheap, which annoys me. They'll havee to support third party chipsets at some point if they intend to bump the thunderbolt display to usb3 ports.
Speaking purely for myself, I'm not too put out over it. That's because we have Thunderbolt, which I view as the successor to Firewire (which I use extensively). Granted, we need more peripherals that support Thunderbolt, and the prices need to come down...