2015 MacBook Owners, how is it holding up?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by sabal, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. sabal, Sep 2, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017

    sabal macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2012
    My old laptop, a 2011 air died and I'm looking for a cheap upgrade? I'll need a laptop for basic word processing, excel macros, powerpoint, Matlab and Stata. While on the surface, these requirements might necessitate a MacBook Pro, posts here say that Mb is severely underestimated.

    I can either spend 1400 to get a MacBook Pro or 550-600 dollars on a 2015 mb. A 2016 MacBook costs a premium of 200 dollars over the 2015 and offers minimal improvement.

    As a result, would appreciate it if you cold answer some questions.

    1). Has your mb 2015 started experiencing lag with each iterative os upgrade? I.e. Do you see the beachball more often?

    2). Has battery life detoriated? Do you still get close to the original 9 hours?

    3). Finally, has anyone experienced running Stata and other technically demanding programs? I understand that processing times will be slow. I'm fine with slower results as long as there is no lag.

    Thanks so much!
  2. JamesGoodman macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2015
    I am a writer who bought the 2015 in late 2015 or very early 2016. I can answer your first two questions quickly and definitively, and must leave the third to others because I do only word processing, email, and web research (with lots and lots of files open at a time).

    1). No. If anything, it runs better with the upgrades.
    2). No. The battery life is very solid for me. Others will have to help you with Matlab and Stata.
    3). Other people, help here.

    BUT BUT BUT: I have a question for you.

    Have you tried the keyboard and is the keyboard -- tough typing -- important to you?

    Keyboards are highly subjective, but over decades of keyboard use -- more years than many readers here have been alive -- I bought my first laptop in the mid 1980s and my laptops have been my main machine ever since -- I have adjusted to two dozen keyboards. This one is the only one I have never adjusted to, and it also the only one I have ever had to have replaced. Mine has been replaced twice under apple care and now-- love you apple and apple care -- the entire machine is being replaced with the 2017 model.

    The keyboard on the 2017 MacBook, like the keyboard on all the MacBook pros, is second generation and to my hands much much much better.

    So my only advice: if keyboards are important to you, shell out the extra money for the Pro. I would be especially wary about buying a used MacBook without apple care.
  3. lowkey macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2002
    I bought a base model 1.1GHz 2015 from the refurb store in 2016.

    No lag.
    No noticeable drop in battery capacity.
    Don't know.

    I find the keyboard ok. The keys seem a little too far apart for me, but I actually prefer the small travel.
  4. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2015
    San Jose, CA
    I used a 2015 base model up until this June. I got tired of the subpar battery life and keyboard so I sold it and bought a mid-2014 13" rMBP. It never really lagged or had any major speed issues in my experience, but getting 4-5 hours of battery life was really starting to get grating after a while.
  5. James.K.Polk macrumors 6502a


    Aug 31, 2015
    Did you ever take it to the Apple Store and have them run diagnostics?
  6. lewdvig macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    South Pole
    My wife has one and it is solid. It still looks new, there are no complaints regarding speed and the battery is still great.
  7. PBz macrumors 68020


    Nov 3, 2005
    PVB, Florida
    Been through many Apple laptops lately.. repairs & 'loaners'.. all had 100-106% battery health for many cycles.. as long as I had them..few weeks.

    This 2017 MB 12" is holding at 98% battery health at only 3 cycles. Annoying. Battery life seems ok.. just would rather it be like others, over 100% at this low of cycle count.

    I'm also not 100% sold this MB doesn't have same keyboard risks as MBPs.

    Cool little device though. More powerful than it looks.
  8. mathpunk macrumors regular


    Jan 31, 2015
    I have been using a base model 2015 12" rMB for 2 years daily, and I have no complaints. The keyboard is fine for me, and I actually prefer the light touch/small travel. I am running 10.13 beta and it's been fine. Also, at least half of the time I have been using it with the LG UltraFine 21.5" 4K external monitor without any issues at all.
  9. polee macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2008
    I have been using the 2015 base model since end April 2015. No issues with it, but full battery charge is now at about 85 percent of its original capacity. Just updated to the latest version of Sierra from Mavericks. No lag, no issue whatsoever. Can't answer question 3. Bought the 2017 base model in July. Once, I had issues with the keyboard, with the keyboard tactile feedback suddenly losing its springiness and click. That was scary but the issue seems to have disappeared. I have had no issues with the keyboards of the 2015 bae model.
  10. RUGGLES99 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2015
    I have a base 2015 m3 that is still like new. never a problem. it's very fast and does it all. I'm not sure, though, that you are going to get one that is perfect in the $500 to $600 range. I would not sell mine for less than $850 and think I can get it. But I'm just going to keep it. It's def not my only computer, and now I usually use the Surface pro 4 or others like it.

  11. FilmIndustryGuy macrumors regular

    May 12, 2015
    Manhattan Beach, CA
    I just sold the base 2015 for around $550 with new screen and whole top casing with keyboard replaced. Laptop looked like new since all was replaced through apple due to little issues like sticky keys for the 2nd time and a stain on screen. Guy who bought it was happy and testing it against my 2017 MB base, the high sierra 2015 seemed just as fast. Not sure about snappiness when plugging into the LG Ultra 4k screen since it runs at 48hz.

    THe new keyboards apple is sneaking into the 2015 during repairs is better but not quite as good as the 2017. I used the 2015 and 2017 and although the 2015 seems flatter, its still a nice keyboard now. I dint want to sell my wonderful perfect 2015 but I did cause having two of these, i never used both and I'm a minimalist.

    if you need basic travel laptop and u also have another laptop at home, a used 2015 with the newer keyboard and high sierra for a good price is worth it. if i don't have a 12 inch and i was on a budget, Id love to have met someone like me who would sell such a deal.
  12. PsychicRutabaga macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2015
    I ordered the 2015 at launch and have been running it since June 01, 2015. It still runs like a dream and is easily my favorite laptop ever.

    1. Nope, no degradation at all. It still runs as well as it did when I first unboxed it. I've kept up with upgrades and am not always a lightweight user. I run VirtualBox with a Linux vM, loads of browser stuff in 20 or more tabs frequently, all Microsoft office apps, StarCraft 2, and a bunch of older Windows games under Wine (Morrowind, Dungeon Siege, Fallout). The only thing that has made it chug is StarCraft 2 and occasionally Flash heavy websites. The latter is why I have flash ask permission first and leave it off by default.

    2. On battery life, not sure I can answer that question. I leave it plugged in about 90% of the time. I do notice that battery life directly correlates with the load I have on the system. Battery eating processes like VirtualBox, some games, etc. drain it pretty quickly. But I can't say there is a noticeable loss of battery life.

    3. Not familiar with that particular software.
  13. Music Lover macrumors member

    May 10, 2015
    Same with me. Almost 30 months old by now and working just great and battery is still almost as when new.
    Going to buy a new Pro/non TB in the comming months. Mainly due to the (even brighter) display. Work a lot in direct sunshine.
    Going to miss the low weight.
  14. philipyoungg macrumors regular


    Sep 17, 2015
    Jakarta Capital Region
    Update me your experience. Curious!
  15. playtech1 macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2014
    1. No lag with each OS upgrade. If anything I felt High Sierra was a bit snappier - perhaps due to the Metal-powered finder? I am having some CPU usage issues though kernel_task taking up 30% or so of CPU time. I'm hoping this is post-install background housekeeping that will end and not a permanent feature of High Sierra.

    2. Battery life has never been a strong point and it has gotten noticeably worse since 2015. Health is about 85% after around 350 cycles. Probably one of the bigger downsides of the machine as a travel laptop.

    3. Never ran much in the way of challenging programs, but the thermal throttling that I get with Youtube videos in Chrome suggests that it would struggle.

    As for the keyboard, I hated it on day 1 and still feel the same. This is what has put me off getting one of the newer MacBook Pros.

    But... despite all the flaws and compromises, I really do like the MacBook and would quite like a 2017 model, as the Keyboard is better, the speed higher, throttling less and battery life improved, which improves on all of my issues.

    That small size and light weight really does make a difference in my expectations and, although I bought it purely as a travel laptop, I often reach for it at home for light web browsing. Although if I have any real work to do on the road, I will still probably prefer to take my trusty old 2013 MacBook Air, as the better keyboard, battery life and overall performance are worth the extra weight to me if I'm doing more than a few hours of typing.
  16. burgman macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2013
    Only issue for me on my 2015 M7 was keyboard wear resulting in very shiny keys, trivial i know, and uneven key lighting.
  17. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    My 2015 rMB was doing OK, until I upgraded to High Sierra. Now I get VERY poor WiFi performance after about 10-15 minutes after rebooting.

    I've developed a cluster of dead pixels in the upper left quarter of the screen which is REALLY annoying and my battery is at 79%.

    Aside from that, I still love my little machine. Probably my favorite Mac I've bought, and I've had a lot of them over the years.
  18. Music Lover macrumors member

    May 10, 2015
    You mean when I recieve the new Pro?
  19. gordonchrome macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2015
    Does it support 4k 60fps without any lag?
  20. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    The first MacBook doesn't support 4K @ 60Hz, its either 24 or 30Hz from memory
  21. gordonchrome macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2015

    According to the Apple website, MacBook 12 (2015) does support 4K at 60hz via DisplayPort (which I believe it's the display connectivity via usb-c; usb-c multiport adapter will give u 4k @ 24hz)..

    ..but I am just curious about how the 2015 MB cope with the 4k resolution at 60hz. Any lags or cpu throttling?

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20 September 2, 2017