2017 M3 Macbook vs 2016 M5 Macbook

neoelectronaut

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
2,905
762
Southeastern Louisiana
So Best Buy currently has 2016's M5/512GB MacBook on sale for $1299, the same price as the 2017 M3 MacBook.

Is the 2017 model's features (Better Keyboard, etc.) good enough to make up for the better processor and less storage?

Thanks!
 

ginger.al@gmail

macrumors newbie
Oct 15, 2007
22
0
So Best Buy currently has 2016's M5/512GB MacBook on sale for $1299, the same price as the 2017 M3 MacBook.

Is the 2017 model's features (Better Keyboard, etc.) good enough to make up for the better processor and less storage?

Thanks!
I had the same dilemma. Then found the article below. It actually shows the 2016 m5 vs 2017 m3 head to head towards the middle of the article. I came away thinking that 2017 m3 is a better investment, eventhough it has 256gb of storage.
https://arstechnica.com/apple/2017/06/mini-review-the-2017-macbook-comes-into-its-own/

Now, the question is, if the choice is 2017 m3, should you get it from Best buy for $1199 (with $100 off student coupon)? Or from Apple for $1249? Getting it from Apple is $50 more expensive, but you get a Beat headphone (value up to $300).
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,308
4,689
I had the same dilemma. Then found the article below. It actually shows the 2016 m5 vs 2017 m3 head to head towards the middle of the article. I came away thinking that 2017 m3 is a better investment, eventhough it has 256gb of storage.
https://arstechnica.com/apple/2017/06/mini-review-the-2017-macbook-comes-into-its-own/

Now, the question is, if the choice is 2017 m3, should you get it from Best buy for $1199 (with $100 off student coupon)? Or from Apple for $1249? Getting it from Apple is $50 more expensive, but you get a Beat headphone (value up to $300).
The 2017 m5 is the one to get if you want 512 GB, but if you only need 256 GB, then the the m3 is good. I got the latter, because I don't need a large amount of space on my portables.

As for the beats, it's up to you. It's extremely convenient and pairing is a breeze with the W1 chip, but as expected, they're bass heavy and the bass quality is just OK. Here is my review (on another forum) of the Beats Solo3 Wireless:

http://forums.redflagdeals.com/beats-solo3-wireless-ear-headphones-my-impressions-2114077/

BTW, Apple refused my retroactive Beats deal on my 2017 m3 MacBook. It arrived 4 days before their June 27 earliest promotion date. They only gave the Beats to me for my iMac, which arrived June 28.
 

aleni

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2006
2,136
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i upgraded from 2016 m5 to 2017 m3, believe me the keyboard is much better, and the overall speed is much more zippy compared to the 2016 m5.
 
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petsk

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2009
349
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I was planning to upgrade from a m3 2016 to a m3 2017. But a dealer in my country had a nice discount on the m5 2016, almost €300 cheaper than the m3 2017, so I went with the discount and m5 2016 of course.

If the m3 2017 and m5 2016 would have the same price I would take the m3 2017 every day in the week however.
 

konradsa

macrumors regular
Aug 25, 2014
189
10
I was planning to upgrade from a m3 2016 to a m3 2017. But a dealer in my country had a nice discount on the m5 2016, almost €300 cheaper than the m3 2017, so I went with the discount and m5 2016 of course.

If the m3 2017 and m5 2016 would have the same price I would take the m3 2017 every day in the week however.
So you "upgraded" from a 2016 m3 to a 2016 m5? That seems like more cost and hassle than it's worth it. Even going from a 2016 m3 to a 2017 m3 seems like not enough of a difference to make it worthwhile. Do you even notice any difference?
 
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petsk

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2009
349
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So you "upgraded" from a 2016 m3 to a 2016 m5? That seems like more cost and hassle than it's worth it. Even going from a 2016 m3 to a 2017 m3 seems like not enough of a difference to make it worthwhile. Do you even notice any difference?
Upgrade? No, not so much :) But the price felt more resonable!

My girlfriend need a new computer so I'm giving her the old m3. The price was 1170€ for m5 2016 vs 1500€ for m3 2017. Saving 330€ and getting double storage. Of course I'm missing out on the better keyboard and hvec support, but I feel it was an acceptable trade off.
 

konradsa

macrumors regular
Aug 25, 2014
189
10
Upgrade? No, not so much :) But the price felt more resonable!

My girlfriend need a new computer so I'm giving her the old m3. The price was 1170€ for m5 2016 vs 1500€ for m3 2017. Saving 330€ and getting double storage. Of course I'm missing out on the better keyboard and hvec support, but I feel it was an acceptable trade off.
Oh, you gave your other one away. I thought you upgraded and are selling your old one or something like that. My bad.
 
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magbarn

macrumors 68000
Oct 25, 2008
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Best Buy currently has the 2016 M5/512gb for $999!
It's $1099-$100 student coupon.

AT $999, it's really hard to justify the 2017 512gb model (if you need the storage that is)
 

Buerkletucson

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2015
476
246
Best Buy currently has the 2016 M5/512gb for $999!
It's $1099-$100 student coupon.

AT $999, it's really hard to justify the 2017 512gb model (if you need the storage that is)
Not such a great deal...

Be warned on these "older" Macbooks Best Buy is selling.....
I've tried purchasing these in the past and ended up returning 3 different ones and gave up on it.

They have been sitting around and when you receive them the battery is completely dead (0% charge).
This is a killer on the battery and will drastically shorten the life of it.
They all showed battery life less than 90% when I did charge them.

Not worth it IMHO...
 

magbarn

macrumors 68000
Oct 25, 2008
1,916
1,084
Not such a great deal...

Be warned on these "older" Macbooks Best Buy is selling.....
I've tried purchasing these in the past and ended up returning 3 different ones and gave up on it.

They have been sitting around and when you receive them the battery is completely dead (0% charge).
This is a killer on the battery and will drastically shorten the life of it.
They all showed battery life less than 90% when I did charge them.

Not worth it IMHO...
You must've gotten unlucky 3 times in a row as I'm typing on a 2016 rMB from BB that has a pretty healthy battery...
 

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Buerkletucson

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2015
476
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You must've gotten unlucky 3 times in a row as I'm typing on a 2016 rMB from BB that has a pretty healthy battery...
Lucky for you...
Just a warning to others of my experience......this is not an isolated occurrence at places like Best Buy. I've heard it from other buyers also.
They purchased huge lots of machines and they sit in warehouses for long periods of time.

Buyer beware...
 

pukrnukr

macrumors member
Dec 16, 2010
95
20
Roc
Lucky for you...
Just a warning to others of my experience......this is not an isolated occurrence at places like Best Buy. I've heard it from other buyers also.
They purchased huge lots of machines and they sit in warehouses for long periods of time.

Buyer beware...
I've bought 3 macs that were "old" models from Best Buy. All of them open box, one was a Mac mini two were MacBooks without any problems. The MacBooks came with The original AppleCare so that would take care of any extreme battery issues. The Mac mini was an open box 2012 server that I bought in 2014 or maybe even later. That was the only one that I had trouble with Apple giving me the full year of AppleCare with. I think this was because it was there display model with no box and I got it extremely cheap. It's still my main Mac today and has been left on since I bought it. If you can find a good deal at Best Buy it's definitely worth buying since you can always return it if it giving you problems.

I'm contemplating the 2016 M5 MacBook for $999. If I could have scored one of those open box for even less I would have jumped right on it. Trying to decide if I should get it or just hold off and get a MacBook Pro down the line. My wife has the ntb MacBook Pro and it's nice. I was only considering the MacBook for $999 because I was thinking In a couple years I could still upgrade and sell the MacBook without a huge loss. The Year older M5 will prob hold its value as good as a new M3 and the extra storage would be nice.
 

petsk

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2009
349
217
They have been sitting around and when you receive them the battery is completely dead (0% charge). This is a killer on the battery and will drastically shorten the life of it.
It doesn't kill the battery just because they sit some time. The m5 2016 that I got yesterday had a completely dead battery (manufactured 268 days ago) and coconut is reporting 101% battery health.
 
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Buerkletucson

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2015
476
246
It doesn't kill the battery just because they sit some time. The m5 2016 that I got yesterday had a completely dead battery (manufactured 268 days ago) and coconut is reporting 101% battery health.

It doesn't kill the battery just because they sit some time. The m5 2016 that I got yesterday had a completely dead battery (manufactured 268 days ago) and coconut is reporting 101% battery health.
It sure does.....but it depends on how long it has sat at 0%
All (3) I tried from Best Buy were dead batteries and only charged to a less than 90% life on a brand new (not open box) machine.
I'd rather pay a few $$ more and get a fresh machine from Apple with a decently life battery.
JMHO...

btw - I won't even get into the issue with one Macbook from Best Buy......it was supposed to be brand new machine, not open box but was already registered with Apple. Not cool.....
 
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sockdoggy

macrumors regular
Jan 21, 2002
160
49
Brooklyn
Best Buy currently has the 2016 M5/512gb for $999!
It's $1099-$100 student coupon.

AT $999, it's really hard to justify the 2017 512gb model (if you need the storage that is)
I managed to snag an open box (geek squad certified) 2016 M5/512GB for $840 during this sale and it arrives next week (for my wife). I'll check battery health and warranty status when it arrives!

IMO the MacBook is going to keep making leaps every year and getting less and less expensive. Future proofing with a 2017 M3 256GB w/ 16GB for $1500 doesn't make a lot of sense to me- but we're not running any VMs on it.
 
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sockdoggy

macrumors regular
Jan 21, 2002
160
49
Brooklyn
I managed to snag an open box (geek squad certified) 2016 M5/512GB for $840 during this sale and it arrives next week (for my wife). I'll check battery health and warranty status when it arrives!

IMO the MacBook is going to keep making leaps every year and getting less and less expensive. Future proofing with a 2017 M3 256GB w/ 16GB for $1500 doesn't make a lot of sense to me- but we're not running any VMs on it.
I ended up returning 2016 M5 for 2017 M3. It was $250 more for what I think are worthwhile improvements!
 
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konradsa

macrumors regular
Aug 25, 2014
189
10
I ended up returning 2016 M5 for 2017 M3. It was $250 more for what I think are worthwhile improvements!
Well, since you were able to compare both directly, what do you think are the biggest improvements between the two?