2011 vs 2015+ MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SigmundJake229, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. SigmundJake229 macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2013
    Recently (like in the last month), I got my 2011 MBP repaired on Apple's dime for the video issue. New motherboard and out the door. The authorized service center guy was amazing, but yet he stated that it maybe about time to look for a new laptop. Now keep in mind he wasn't selling anything at the time. Just friendly chat.

    So I came home and hit the web looking and of course got sticker shock. Wondering if I would notice a serious improvement over my current laptop. My MBP is an early 2011 version with a 2.2 I7 and 8gb of ram. Of course I still have the HDD that came with the original unit.

    The 13" MBP (2016) has an I5 processor at 2.9
    The 15" MBP (2016) has an available I7 processor at 2.6

    Lately, I have not been doing any editing of video (I did when the laptop was new). I adjust photos and write mostly, along with the web surfing and my iTunes library also resides on the laptop.

    My question is would I notice that much of a speed increase over my current MBP? Would I be wise to upgrade the RAM to 16gb and replace the hard drive and run her till she drops? OR would I be wise to take the repairman's advice and get a new MBP? How about a refurbished 15" from 2015, they are available at an amazing price currently...... I could easily wipe the laptop clean and get 400-600 for it on the secondary market, money to add to the purse for the purchase of a newer MBP.

    Sorry for the novel, I just have some questions, and I am afraid if I go to an Apple store, or the local Best Buy, I may not get the best of advice.

    Thanks in advance for any advice the forum can provide.

  2. prisstratton macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2011
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Well, I am still running my 2011 MacBook Pro and it does not lack anywhere as far as I am concerned. I have upgraded the RAM and SSD (see my sig.) and I would put it next to any current unit and expect it to perform well. It is fast and responsive and I honestly see no reason to change at all. I fully expect to get a few more years out of it.

    You could upgrade your HDD to SSD for probably as little as $100 (depending on your space requirements) and RAM likewise. In fact the SSD upgrade is something that you SHOULD do, it will literally turn your head at the improvement in your system.

    I see so many comments on this forum about the age of such systems and that people should just get rid of them. If you look at the benchmarks for the most recent systems versus mine, they are not that far apart and in reality how much difference does it make in your day to day work (obviously it depends on how you are using your Mac).

    A $200 to $300 investment can make your system run really well, without having to spend thousands on a new MBP.

    Hey, just my 2 cents……..hope it helps.
  3. SigmundJake229 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2013
    Thanks for the advice!
  4. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    Agree. For what OP does, SSD would make laptop close enough, minus the screen. If that doesn't bother and money is some factor, do that and save coin!
  5. SteveJUAE macrumors 68030


    Aug 14, 2015
    Land of Smiles
    Some good advice above, just remember that official 2015's won't be around forever
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Technically its a refurbished logic board, and given the age of the computer, this logic board is probably a previously failed logic board that apple repaired so it could reuse it. I mention this, because I think you only kicked the can down the road and the dGPU will fail sooner then later.

    Nope, as I mentioned above

    I would look to getting the 2015 MBP while you can, it is a much more superior machine, whether we're talking GPU performance, CPU, SSD, battery, or display. Its an all around better machine.

    To put it another way, I'd rather invest the money into a new computer then a 6 year old computer that may fail in the near future.
  7. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Yeah I'm normally a stickler for upgrading tech; whilst an SSD and a RAM bump would make a big difference on your machine, honestly they're just so inherently faulty with the GPU failures that I'd be reluctant to spend some money on it as it could die at any time.

    If you want a speed boost for your machine at a low cost, then an SSD/RAM upgrade would be absolutely fine and work well, but I wouldn't fit it with the confidence that it'll last another year. These can die at any point.

    I think your best bet would be the 2015 15" MBP. They're absolute screamers at a very reasonable price.

    With regards to your computer, you have the i7-2720M: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-2720QM+@+2.20GHz&id=883

    The CPU in the 15" 2015 is the i7-4770HQ, which is considerably more powerful: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-4770HQ+@+2.20GHz&id=2399

    It's actually more powerful than the 15" in the 2016 (i7-6700HQ): http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-6700HQ+@+2.60GHz&id=2586

    The CPU in the 2016 13" isn't that powerful compared to your 2011: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-6267U+@+2.90GHz&id=2757
  8. SigmundJake229 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2013
    --- Post Merged, Mar 20, 2017 ---
    Thank you for the advice. My 2011 has been rock solid up until February. I think that putting money into a 6 yr old laptop may not be money well spent, although it would be significantly cheaper. My next question is should I look at new or refurbished 2015? It appears that both are available. Thank you again!
  9. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Maybe buy a lightly used 2013 or 2014 model? Much cheaper than a new one.
  10. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    Get a refurbished 2015 15" and invest the proceeds from the sale of your 2011 (which is still a capable machine).

    The two downsides to a 2011 model have been noted - the display, while good, isn't as good as a retina screen. And second, the repaired logic board/GPU are likely to fail again - though no one can say when. It might last 6 months; it might last 6 years.
  11. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    You can find NEW 2015 models selling at very good prices. The 2015's are still in Apple's active product lineup but you don't see them on the MBPro page at store.apple.com -- you have to click the "buy" button, and then scroll down.

    2015 refurbs are available too. But if you shop carefully, you may be able to find a new model for LESS THAN an Apple-refurb.
    Open a google page and enter "ebay store electronics valley". (no financial interest, just a satisfied customer).

    Whether you choose a 2015 vis-a-vis a 2016 depends on your impressions with either, and it would be best to try BOTH before you decide. Some of the BestBuy brick-n-mortar stores have both on display.

    I picked a 2015 over a 2016 because I liked the older keyboard better, and because I wanted a full complement of "legacy" ports...
  12. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    The way you describe your usage, a new 2015 or 2016 seems overkill to me, if money is an issue. If not, then it's fun to have a new machine.
  13. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    In my opinion...
    Your 2011 is still faster than most new laptops using dual core processors. There is a huge difference between the quad and dual, especially with heavier workloads - but, for lighter usage, the difference isn't as pronounced. As you are still using a HDD for your primary disk, this presents a huge bottleneck on what is otherwise a powerful system.

    If you compare your 2011 in its present configuration to a new MacBook Pro, the new MBP will seem like it is working at light speed, and the primary reason for this will be the faster hard drive (and secondary the better graphics.) If you put a SSD and 16GB of RAM in your 2011 and compare it to a new MacBook Pro, many normal tasks will, more or less, run the same (they will be fast on both computers.) If you start doing graphics-intensive work or work involving moving gigantic files, the speed of the new MacBook Pro will be immediately noticeably faster.

    If you just got the logic board replaced, my advice is to sell it ASAP. It WILL fail again because Apple did not actually fix the underlying problem - they just replaced the broken defective logic boards with working defective logic boards, and there are gazillions of stories of people having 2011s fail just months (and even weeks) after being fixed. Once it fails, it will be essentially worthless, and you will still need to buy a new computer. Since now it is worth several times more, IMO you should sell.

    The refurbished 2015 is a great way to go. Apple sells the 15-inch 2.5 i7/16 ram/512 SSD/R9 dGPU for $2,100 and the non-dGPU model for $1,700. If you can get $600 for your current computer, that's almost 30% off the price! Between the refurb savings + selling your current 2011, you could get a 2015 15-inch refurb (which is essentially a new computer) for around half the price that computer was priced at 9 months earlier - that's a lot of savings and an opportunity you might not get again!!

    Further, with your usage, it sounds like a 13-inch would meet your needs. It would be a downgrade in terms of CPU, but a huge upgrade in terms of graphics, RAM speed, and SSD speed. The 13-inch 2016 MacBook Pro base model without the touch bar has integrated graphics that runs circles around the discrete graphics card in your 2011, and a hard drive that is over 30 times as fast. This model has gone on sale for as low as $1,200. Several retailers have had brand new 2015 13-inch base MacBook Pros for $1,000, which is also an exceptional computer. Your current 2011 could be a ticket to 50% off the price of one of these, getting you into a brand new MacBook with a warranty for less money than an entry-mid level Windows laptop.
  14. SigmundJake229 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2013
    That is excellent advice ZapNZs. I think that tomorrow I will head to my local Best Buy and have a look. It's been a very long time since I looked at anything Mac related. I do a fair amount of typing on it and my fear is that the 13" Mackbook maybe a bit small to type on. I will look at both the 13 and the 15. My local BB has both 2015 units at decent pricing. Again thank you very much for your opinion. It is greatly appreciated!!!
  15. Brammy macrumors 68000

    Sep 17, 2008
    I have both a 2011 15" MacBook Pro (the 256mb dGPU option) and a 2014 11" MacBook Air.

    On daily use, I can find little difference between the two. The Air benchmarks slightly higher than the Pro on single core, but the Pro is higher on MultiCore. Most of what I do is pretty much web surfing, writing, and some Lightroom work. I've become of of those iPad Pro Primary people so I don't use the laptop often.

    If I do anything 3d-related (like play World of Warcraft) both of them fall flat on their face. I can play the game, but at low setting and forget any of the big multiplayer content.

    I love my 2011 15". It's one of my favorite computers ever and part of the reason I still use it is sentimental attachment.

    But, this year it's time to replace it. I'm thinking of getting the bottom-end 15" for the dGPU or perhaps the baseline 13". I doubt I'll do a BTO to get the 13" to an i7. I do think the i7 will help you get a few more years out of it, though.
  16. SigmundJake229 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2013
    So I made it to the local Best Buy tonight. Looked at 2015's that were in stock. The 13" was a nice computer although it had 8gb and the small flash drive. They also had a new and an open box 15". The new was 1749.00 and the open box (which has been returned twice) for 1569.00. My question is while the open box is a good price, is it worth the risk that something maybe wrong with the unit. Returned twice makes me somewhat skeptical although they do have a 2 week return policy. Looking online, it appears that 500.00 is a reasonable price for my 2011. Either of the 15" would be a good deal. Any suggestions? Thank you for the advice, I sincerely appreciate it!
  17. generationfourth macrumors newbie


    Mar 7, 2017
    Id stay away from the open box. For around that cost you can pick up a apple certified refurb for $1600-17. Thats what I ended up doing. I went down a similar path as you... 2011 blew up (although apple didn't offer to repair mine). I tried a 2016 tbMBP and got a complete dud and now I'm super happy with my 2015 Refurb 15".

    The 2016 I tried out was a open box. You can probably bet that there is something wrong with the machine if it's been taken back twice. One of the bigger benefits of the 2015 is you can push a 4k monitor (finally got rid of the 27" thunderbolt display). But if you're planning this, and planning on editing video I'd go for a faster CPU/GPU as 4k needs some horsepower. Anyway.. I'm just speculating on your actual needs.

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16 March 19, 2017