2015 Pro still worth it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Random14, May 18, 2017.

  1. Random14 macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2010
    Apple still sells these, right? There's refurbs too, but the selection is random. Anyway, I'm thinking of getting a 2015 Macbook Pro with at least 8GB/256GB, just debating about whether to bump that up to 16GB and/or 512GB.

    I'm planning to use it mostly for web browsing (I like to keep lots of tabs open), video, some light gaming (Civ 5 shouldn't be a problem, for instance, no idea about Civ 6), and maybe Windows (VM or Bootcamp, though that would probably be more comfortable with more room).

    I guess my main question is- 8GB or 16GB? I could just max out both, but I'm trying to keep the price down a bit. I know I don't need a Pro for web browsing, but I would like to upgrade to a Retina screen, and no thanks to the current Pro and Macbook (I'll stay with Magsafe and USB-A). If only Apple had just added a Retina screen to the Air line, but that's extremely unlikely now.

    I've been using a Macbook Air for several years now, and its been great, it just slows down sometimes when I have too much open. Would the Pro's i5 be able to handle more on the regular 8GB, compared to the Air's i5? I know more ram is always better, just debating if its really necessary.

    Same with the 256GB or 512GB. I guess I could store stuff on external hard drives or even an SD card, but its just more convenient to have everything on one drive. And especially if I add Windows, that usually takes at least... 20GB for the install alone? Something like that, and if I want to put stuff on that partition/VM, well, 256GB goes down fast.

    Thank you in advance for any useful advice/thoughts. I figure even a 2015 Macbook Pro should last for quite a few more years of everyday use. Although I worry that Apple will remove it from their site after WWDC, with the rumors of the current Macbooks getting a speed bump, which is why I'm narrowing down my choice now.
  2. turbineseaplane, May 18, 2017
    Last edited: May 18, 2017

    turbineseaplane macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2008
    Absolutely worth it still.

    I've had several different 2016 MBP models and I'm back on a Mid 2015 15" and it's wonderful.

    After coming back from the 2016's, it's easily apparent to me how polished everything about the 2015's had become over time. No glitches, no issues, everything just feels how a multi-year refined product should feel. Very mature, stable and proven.
  3. ilikewhey macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2014
    i'm tempted too but the price is still hovering too high for 2015 model. i might pick one up once the 256gb model drops down to maybe 700-800 range.
  4. turbineseaplane macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2008
    There's a reason for that... ;)
  5. ilikewhey macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2014
    haha yeah, apple dropped the ball on the 2016 model, totally threw a ranch into my plan of buying a 2015 model for a cheap buy.
  6. Freakonomics101 macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2014
  7. ZapNZs macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2017
    Yes. And as you can sometimes find new ones for under $1,000, it is absolutely worth it at such great pricing. It is a great computer, proven, and the mature outcome of several minor revisions prior to it, which quashed out most of the annoyances and left a very consistent platform as a result.

    Like the 2016, the best sales are generally found on the base models. In some cases, you may be able to save so much that this could justify purchasing a model with slightly lower specs than you initially considered, since you could upgrade it earlier given the smaller initial investment.
  8. Rigby, May 18, 2017
    Last edited: May 18, 2017

    Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    What do you mean by "video"? For browsing, watching movies and light gaming 8GB is plenty. If you mean video editing, 16GB might come in handy. If you plan to run VMs regularly, 16GB is useful too.
    If memory is your bottleneck (does your current Air have 8GB?), the somewhat faster CPU won't help. Check the memory pressure graph in Activity Monitor to see if that's actually the problem.

    Regarding the 2015 model, in my opinion it's actually a better computer than the 2016 due to more usable ports and better keyboard. I have used a 2016 at work for a while and my opinion hasn't changed. The lower weight of the 2016 is nice though if you often carry it around. It feels almost like an Air, while the 2015 Pro is noticeably heavier.
  9. CaptRB macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2016
    LA, California
    I have the 2016 15" and 13" touch bar models.

    I have to laugh at the idea of the 2015 as polished because I got rid of it FAST once I started using the new machines. I'm talking about the last of the 15" rMBP units, which was certainly a solid machine...but...

    1) As the majority of users will point out, the new keyboards feel much more refined and most of us have even noted faster typing.
    2) Screen is beautiful, far more usable in bright light.
    3) Speakers are a nice upgrade.
    4) Trackpad is actually now usable in photo editing.
    5) Not a single glitch and I'm running external monitors and all kinds of photo software. Everything works perfectly.
    6) Easier to live with the USB-C. Sorry, but that's the reality. They simply do more.
    7) The overall feel of the new machines is better, more refined while my previous MBP was a brick.
    8) Faster and with battery life that bested the previous 15" easily (though not hugely).

    So calling my 2015 MBP "refined" for having wobbly keys, screechy speakers and a dimmer screen? Nah. I'm not seeing it. The 2015 was old tech in many respects. Good riddance.

  10. turbineseaplane macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2008
    Completely subjective and not in anyway unanimous, to say nothing of the litany of issues people are having with the new keyboards.

    I've never had an issue here personally - I don't really use my laptops in bright light. If you do - I agree - Nice to have.

    Agreed, but not essential in any way - Depends upon your usages, but nice to have.

    Subjective - I have no issues with the older trackpad sizes and prefer how palm rejection isn't even needed as a consideration.

    Wow - No words for this one. I think you're lucky perhaps. I had 3 different 2016s and the glitches and issues, ESPECIALLY with external monitors, were basically endless. Totally sucked.

    Subjective opinion and I personally totally disagree. Depends highly on your situation.

    They are a touch smaller and lighter - It's not some earth shattering change. The "feel" is about as subjective as one can get.

    Certainly hasn't been my experience and greatly depends upon your workload under battery conditions.

    Look - I'm glad you like your 2016's, but it's an enormous stretch to be calling a 1st gen run of any Apple product, especially anything as complex as the MacBooks, more refined overall than outgoing models with years of iterative improvements built in.
  11. Nilhum macrumors member


    Dec 20, 2016
    I'd say the screen is more than enough of a reason to get the 2016. The screen on the 2016 is not only brighter but the contrast and color gamut are more than enough to choose the new one over the old.

    The USB-C thing is annoying for sure. Schools, offices, and most places are not going to be adopting USB-C for a very long time. However, for home use if you don't use USB that often, it's not a problem.

    Maybe we will get a price decrease in WWDC with the MacBook Pro rumors or a more polished device.

    While the 2015 MacBook is great device, the price for it is too high IMO. It is not very far off from the 2016. When the 2016 was announces...prices went up for the 2015 in the reselling market.
  12. instech360 macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2017
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    I just bought my first rMBP (2015, 256MB, 16GB Ram) for $1600. I wonder if that was an OK deal? With all of the talk about new specs being announced, I am contemplating returning it to BB until more clarity over what those updates look like. Anybody think 2015 rMBPs will drop further in price over the summer?
  13. turbineseaplane macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2008
    I agree the new screen is nice, but let's not pretend like the 2015 screens are "bad" or anything. They are both totally gorgeous.

    Super annoying depending upon where/how you need to get things done in the near term.
    --- Post Merged, May 18, 2017 ---
    New? What cpu?

    Just for comparison, I got a completely mint less than 1 year old 2015 15" 2.8 512 with extra AppleCare for $1500 off CL locally.
  14. Nilhum macrumors member


    Dec 20, 2016
    Oh yea, the 2015 screen is still one of the best. I was surprised how much Apple was still able to improve the screens for the 2016.

    On USB-C, I still don't see many if any peripherals in USB C. The most prominent is really Razer Core or some external hard drives. PC's are not really adopting it. The main products that are adopting it are phones, except the iPhone. Apple will be for the future for one port to rule them all...except the iPhone since licensing. They also make a killer from dongles and will for years to come.
  15. turbineseaplane macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2008
    Yeah - That's another thing that puts me off. I wish Apple would for once sacrifice a touch on some of the absolute gouging they do on stuff like this. They could help the adoption and happiness factor a ton if they'd simply include a few key dongles and lower prices across the board on all of them.

    An old Steve quote about Blu-Ray comes to mind - the old "bag of hurt" when you think about all the $ some may need to now sink into dongles to replace things they took away on the laptops they RAISED the prices on..

  16. CaptRB macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2016
    LA, California
    If we have any issues, I'll certainly report them. And it's techno-nonsense to call these a 1st generation. They are still MBP in virtually every respect, just further refined. The only thing that's really entirely new is the Touchbar.

  17. turbineseaplane macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2008

    Let's just agree to disagree - A lot changed with these in terms of structure and screen hinging, the keyboards, cooling system and layout, the attempts to do a tiered battery and late stage abandoning it, the trackpads (largest yet) on and on..

    You love your 2016's - They've been great to you - I'm very happy for you (honestly).

    I hope with some more refinements down the road I'll be onboard again and as happy as you are.
  18. ZapNZs macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2017
    Just because I speak highly of the 2015 doesn't mean I don't also think highly of the 2016. Both are good computers that get the job done. Neither are perfect.
  19. agaskew macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    That you, Steve?
  20. Random14 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2010
    Sorry, when I meant video I meant watching movies/TV/streaming, which yeah doesn't require that much power. If the Macbook didn't have only one port, I might consider that, but I prefer Magsafe. And while USB-C is probably the future, I've got too many years of USB gadgets to bother with it yet.

    Huh, so that's what memory pressure means in the Activity Monitor window. My 2012 Air (8GB/256GB) frequently says 7.99 GB memory used, but the pressure usually isn't that high (less than half).

    I know loading it up with 16GB/512GB isn't cheap, but still a bit cheaper than the 2016 model and the cheapest 2016 model is only 2.0GHz compared to the 2015's 2.7GHz. Not to mention far fewer ports, and I'm not interested in buying a dock for it (extra expense and less portability). I doubt my Macbook will leave the house, and so a Retina iMac would also be a cheaper option for more power and screen, but its just nice to browse on the bed too sometimes, something a desktop isn't so convenient for.

    Thank you for all the responses, its given me a few things to think over.
  21. Ma2k5 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 21, 2012
    When I moved from the old screen to the new, I won't lie, if you didn't tell me anything, I probably wouldn't have noticed. I don't know if that is because of the 30% lower power tech they introduced had somehow inadvertently took a hit at the screen, but I didn't notice it being much brighter. Ironically, i actually prefer the screen of a matte 1080p XPS 13. (Note, I am a programmer, not a graphics person, so they may see it completely different).
  22. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    I have a top-spec 13" 2013 MBA and 15" 2015 MBP. I needed a 2nd MBP (I'm a video editor) and a refurb 2015 was the same price as a refurb 2016. I got the 2016, and I've come to like it pretty well. Superficially the specs show a modest reduction in weight and size, but in my hands it feels much thinner and lighter -- closer to the MBA.

    I previously would take the MBA anywhere I didn't need the power of the 2015 MBP because the MBP was a lot heavier and thicker. However the 2016 MBP is sufficiently thinner/lighter that I now take it.

    I really didn't like losing the SD card and having only USB-C, but in actual practice it's not that bad. I use the ports frequently, but not all the time. When they aren't used, I benefit from the thinner size and lighter weight. When I need legacy ports I have various adapters. If I'm going into a coffee shop, I just hand carry the MBP and I normally don't need any ports. If I travel, I take the MBP in a case (whether the 2015 or 2016 model), so I always have various adapters anyway. Even with the 2013 MBA, I had miniport-to-HDMI, miniport-to-ethernet adapters, micro-SD to SD adapter, CF card reader, and earphones. So it's not like I never had adapters or dongles before the 2016 MBP.

    I always liked MagSafe, so I miss that but I haven't had any issues (so far) with USB-C getting damaged. At first I didn't like the keyboard on the 2016 MBP but I've gotten used to it and now like it.

    In general my suggestion is don't reject the 2016 MBP out of hand. It's not perfect but I personally prefer it to the 2015. That said, there will probably be updated models out soon, so you could wait and examine those.
  23. TonyK macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2009
    Buy the best computer you can afford and get the most in specs and functionality. Waiting or second guessing is not going to help you in the long run.

    I've been on the fence for months. My old (2007, MBP3,1) is lagging and the screen is not up to standards. It has 6GB of memory and a 512GB SSD so it boots fast but it slows down for other uses. My desktop, soon to be retired, is a 2008MP with 32GB memory and 4.5TB of drives. That has been my sticking point, finding a way to move the files from those drives into something I can use throughout the house.

    If anyone wants to look at NEW 2015 MBPs, look at B&H Photo. You can also buy new AppleCare (auto enroll no less) and save some money. They have free expedited shipping at this time saving more money. The fact I get to stay on El Capitan for now and can upgrade later is a bonus.

    The passing of the 2008 MP (3,1) will cause much mourning just like when giving up my first 386SX all those years ago. They become a part of you after time. Onward and upward and being able to work without visiting the basement is what I'm looking for.
  24. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Feb 20, 2009
    Yes, they still sell the 2015 models -- they remain in the "active product lineup".

    You don't see them on Apple's MacBook Pro web page UNLESS you click the "buy" button, and then scroll down.

    Whether you choose the 2015 or 2016 model is pretty much a matter of personal preference, and don't expect anyone here to be able to "make the choice for you".
    You have to do that yourself.

    The best way to make that decision is to visit an Apple Store, or perhaps a Best Buy store if they have one near you. Best Buy keeps the 2015 and 2016 models relatively close, so you can evaluate them side-by-side.

    The main issues will probably be:
    1. keyboard -- which one do you prefer?
    2. ports -- do you prefer the legacy ports of the 2015? Or -- can you put up with "dongle world"?
    3. display -- the 2016 has a [slightly] nicer display. But most folks considered the 2015 display just fine, until the new one appeared.

    I faced the same decision last November.
    I chose the 2015.
  25. nia820 macrumors 68000


    Jun 27, 2011
    May I ask what issues you had with the 2016 Mbp? I recently updated my 2015 mbp with a 2016 mbp.

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