2015 or 2017 15" Macbook Pro?

Avonb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 14, 2017
1
0
Hey! I'm going to university to study computer science and engineering this fall and as I currently don't own a laptop I need to invest in one. Even though the courses I will be taking won't require a powerful computer I still want to get something that is high quality and fast as i'm gonna use it in my spare time too. So I have decided that i'm gonna buy either the base model 2015 version or the base model 2017 version of the Macbook Pro 15". There is a very big price difference between the two as i'm in Europe so that's why i'm asking if the 2017 version really is worth it. The 2015 version would be $2200 while the 2017 version would be $2900 with the 10% student discount.

I want the computer to feel smooth and fresh for five years as that's how long I will be studying in order to get a master's degree. Is the 2017 version really worth $700 more? I can afford both of them but I won't spend the extra cash if it doesn't really make a difference.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,468
24,217
The 2017 version is absolutely worth more if you're doing tasks which will benefit from the dGPU, like FCPX, LPX, AutoCAD, etc. As you won't be doing any of that then the 2015 will be more than fine. It's still an absolute beast of a machine and will easily last 5 years, hardware failures notwithstanding.

So yes: IMO the 2017 is worth the extra. But it's only worth paying the extra if your workflow can justify it. The 2015 is still a fabulous computer and will easily exceed what you need it for.
[doublepost=1497462812][/doublepost]
2017 one if you want it to live for 5 years. as 2015 is already 2 years old!
That's some crazy logic. I could buy a new 2017 Intel Celeron laptop which has less CPU grunt than a decade-old Core 2 Duo. It would be a waste of money and practically be DOA due to its appalling performance. When a computer was made doesn't mean jack for its longevity. What does matter is the hardware performance, EOL dates, and proven reliability.

As Apple is still making and selling the 2015 it is unlikely to be deemed EOL any time soon; typically with Apple a system is deemed vintage/obsolete from 5 years of date last manufactured. It's a proven reliable machine too and even more so with no dGPU option as those tend to have a higher failure rate. Finally it's an absolute workhorse and is easily more than capable of handling the OP's workflow for the next 5 years.
 
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MuGeN PoWeR

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2011
2,591
593
The 2017 version is absolutely worth more if you're doing tasks which will benefit from the dGPU, like FCPX, LPX, AutoCAD, etc. As you won't be doing any of that then the 2015 will be more than fine. It's still an absolute beast of a machine and will easily last 5 years, hardware failures notwithstanding.

So yes: IMO the 2017 is worth the extra. But it's only worth paying the extra if your workflow can justify it. The 2015 is still a fabulous computer and will easily exceed what you need it for.
[doublepost=1497462812][/doublepost]

That's some crazy logic. I could buy a new 2017 Intel Celeron laptop which has less CPU grunt than a decade-old Core 2 Duo. It would be a waste of money and practically be DOA due to its appalling performance. When a computer was made doesn't mean jack for its longevity. What does matter is the hardware performance, EOL dates, and proven reliability.

As Apple is still making and selling the 2015 it is unlikely to be deemed EOL any time soon; typically with Apple a system is deemed vintage/obsolete from 5 years of date last manufactured. It's a proven reliable machine too and even more so with no dGPU option as those tend to have a higher failure rate. Finally it's an absolute workhorse and is easily more than capable of handling the OP's workflow for the next 5 years.

ofcourse 2015 is going to last more than 5 years but 2017 is gonna last even more that is what i am trying to say in my post.
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
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ofcourse 2015 is going to last more than 5 years but 2017 is gonna last even more that is what i am trying to say in my post.
That's a dangerous blanket statement though. Just because a machine is released more recently doesn't mean it'll last longer.

I'm not saying you're right or wrong in this instance as ultimately nobody can predict system longevity over a 5+ year period. I just think the advice is slightly disingenuous and a little dismissive. As you pointed out the 2015 can easily last for the timescale that the OP was referring to, so it's not a case of (and I quote): "2017 one if you want it to live for 5 years."
 
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TailsToo

macrumors member
Jul 13, 2010
81
179
New Jersey
Unless you get a steal, I don't see how you would justify buying a 2015 model. Yes, the adapters are annoying, but the 2017 is much more current machine that will last longer.
 
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vipergts2207

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2009
2,068
2,436
Columbus, OH
I'd go 2017, but if you do get the base model do yourself a favor and get the dGPU upgrade, especially if you want it to last 5 years. It's relatively cheap compared to the cost of the laptop.
 
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ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,150
For what you are doing, it sounds like both will meet your needs equally well. As of right now, the USB-C-only on the 2017 can still be a minor inconvenience. But if you are planning on 5 years, by then the 2015's lack of USB-C (and the ability to support the 10 Gbps protocol) could be a significant issue.

FWIW, it sounds like a 13-inch could also meet your needs quite well, with some added portability and cash savings for accessories such as an external display?
 

MuGeN PoWeR

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2011
2,591
593
That's a dangerous blanket statement though. Just because a machine is released more recently doesn't mean it'll last longer.

I'm not saying you're right or wrong in this instance as ultimately nobody can predict system longevity over a 5+ year period. I just think the advice is slightly disingenuous and a little dismissive. As you pointed out the 2015 can easily last for the timescale that the OP was referring to, so it's not a case of (and I quote): "2017 one if you want it to live for 5 years."
just read what other folks are saying that is what i was trying to convey!! see ya!
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,468
24,217
just read what other folks are saying that is what i was trying to convey!! see ya!
No worries! Ultimately we're both in agreement about the 2017 being the better machine, though you may not have thought it when reading my original post. I'm sure we'll both convey our arguments better in future. ;)
 
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Fthree

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2014
978
304
I've got a 2015 15 and love buying new tech but cannot justify a 2017. I fully expect my 2015 to last another 5 years. Think about all the advances that could be made in 5 years and you will have almost a $1000 head start.
 

polbit

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2002
499
614
South Carolina
If I was you, I'd try the keyboard first on the '17. To me it's a deal breaker, but I know a number of people that actually like it. You really have to try it.

As far as performance, either machine is a powerhouse with a quad-core i7 45W CPU, and will last for many years. Heck, I'm typing this on my old early 2011 2.3GHz MBP 15" that I'm about to install a new SSD for my wife, and I'm amazed how fast it still feels.
 

capelesshero

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2016
66
41
Chino Hills, CA
OP, I would recommend getting the 2017 model as the 2015 model is no longer available with the Nvidia graphics chip they use to come with. The dedicated GPU comes in handy when running windows 10 through bootcamp and using AutoCAD and VisualStudio. And don't forget that you can type emojis with the touchbar. Super plus .

- Your fellow engineering student
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,836
30,357
Boston
2017 one if you want it to live for 5 years. as 2015 is already 2 years old!
Laptops are not like Milk or other perishables. The 2015 MBP is a fine machine, and it can make sense to buy that now vs. the 2017 for some people.

What the 2017 has going for it, is USB-C (some may argue its a negative not a positive), a thinner design, faster SSD. The 2015 has a better keyboard a normal sized trackpad and track record of a solid laptop without issues.
 

AMTYVLE

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2014
558
385
Southeast Florida
I've got a 2015 15 and love buying new tech but cannot justify a 2017. I fully expect my 2015 to last another 5 years. Think about all the advances that could be made in 5 years and you will have almost a $1000 head start.
Well said! I also have a 2015 15" MacBook Pro. Been using it since it came out and I'm always updating to the latest MacOS, never slows down and still going strong. I can't justify upgrading to the 2017, I don't want to carry around adapter after adapter and I can live w/out the gimmicky touch-bar, or the touch-pad the size of a foot-ball field. I feel like the 2015 MacBook Pro was the last great MBP, but that's my opinion; Hopefully I don't get attacked by others for making that opinion, lol.
 

democracyrules

Suspended
Nov 18, 2016
998
598
Well said! I also have a 2015 15" MacBook Pro. Been using it since it came out and I'm always updating to the latest MacOS, never slows down and still going strong. I can't justify upgrading to the 2017, I don't want to carry around adapter after adapter and I can live w/out the gimmicky touch-bar, or the touch-pad the size of a foot-ball field. I feel like the 2015 MacBook Pro was the last great MBP, but that's my opinion; Hopefully I don't get attacked by others for making that opinion, lol.
Agree with the above comments. Well said.
[doublepost=1497534429][/doublepost]
Laptops are not like Milk or other perishables. The 2015 MBP is a fine machine, and it can make sense to buy that now vs. the 2017 for some people.

What the 2017 has going for it, is USB-C (some may argue its a negative not a positive), a thinner design, faster SSD. The 2015 has a better keyboard a normal sized trackpad and track record of a solid laptop without issues.
Agree with the above comments. Well said!!
 

The Mercurian

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2012
1,822
2,053
Unless you need bleeding edge performance I think this comes down to how you feel about the touchbar and hugemungous trackpads. Have you tried one out yet ? Might be an idea to try a friends, or failing that go into a store and play with one for half an hour and see what you think. If you like it buy 2017, if you don't buy 2015 and have 700 extra for other stuff (beer).
 
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Fthree

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2014
978
304
Well said! I also have a 2015 15" MacBook Pro. Been using it since it came out and I'm always updating to the latest MacOS, never slows down and still going strong. I can't justify upgrading to the 2017, I don't want to carry around adapter after adapter and I can live w/out the gimmicky touch-bar, or the touch-pad the size of a foot-ball field. I feel like the 2015 MacBook Pro was the last great MBP, but that's my opinion; Hopefully I don't get attacked by others for making that opinion, lol.
I whole heartedly agree!!! excellent post
 

meteoreos

macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2016
193
177
Midlands, UK
I purchased the 2015 model, and it will last me another 3 years at the very least. Hopefully by then, we'll be looking at 10nm CPU MacBook Pros, along with better screen & battery technology. Those will be substantial improvements in my eyes.

The 2017 model is better, but not by that much IMO.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,170
5,528
If you're still considering which one...

Do you want/need legacy ports?
The 2015 has 'em, the 2017 doesn't.

Do you prefer the older or the newer keyboard?
Only way to know is to try both of them.

Is money an object?
If so, 2015 might be the way to go.

Even though I chose a 2015 MBPro over a 2016, I would certainly consider the 2017 models. I'd have to force myself into using the keyboard, however!
 
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