Am I naive to buy a brand new 2015 rMBP now?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by addictive, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. addictive macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2008
    I've been waiting for years to replace my 2008 Macbook Unibody. Over the years I've updated the internals so it now has the max 8GB RAM it can handle and I have upgraded to a 1TB SSD. I can't remember the last time i used the optical disc drive and the speakers are beginning to fail and one of the USB ports does not function at all. Most importantly the battery (i'm on my third) only gives me 90 minutes so I have to use it as a desktop most of the time.

    I guess I waited too long. I agree with the people who say the new Macbook Pro models are not quite what they are looking for. The 13 inch non touch bar looks to me like a pro version of the Retina Macbook. It is unknown how vital or useful the touch bar is going to become. Plus the prices of the new Macbook Pro models are far more.

    Therefore my most likely option is to buy a 2015 Retina Macbook Pro with a large SSD and as much RAM as possible.

    Am I naive in buying this model over 18 months after it was released?

    I'm just getting into photography so the SD card slot could be useful. I would make use of the HDMI port and most of my cables are USB-A. While I agree USB-C is the port of the future we are living in the present and we haven't reached the point where USB-C is ubiquitous.

    I have the money budgeted to buy a new Macbook Pro (about £2,000 GBP). I'm more than a little annoyed that the old rMBP have not received a price reduction and the new models are an increase in price.

    My needs are modest, I'm a full time writer and don't need the horse power of a quad core machine. I think a 13 inch display would suit me (as I have an external display) and portability is key.

    I have considered a Retina Macbook but I don't think I want only one port and the FaceTime camera isn't as good as the MBP.

    As I have the money budgeted should I just go ahead and buy a new Macbook Pro and then also buy a USB-C dock? I'm a little confused and could use some board members sage advice.
  2. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    Being a full time writer the keyboard is a crucial question for you, so I would recommend trying the keyboard of the rMBP 2016 before buying it.
  3. nnoble macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2011
    I'm considering replacing a 2010 MacBook Pro. I've dismissed any reservations about the new keyboard since I invariably use an old Apple bluetooth keyboard and a trackpad when connected to an external monitor. When the laptop is truly portable, the amount of keyboard work is much less than when it's tethered.
  4. mikepro macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    I don't think you are naive. You could go either way. The 2015 probably suits your current needs a bit better, with the ports and all. And it is cheaper.

    But, it seems like you keep your machines for a very long time. So, maybe in 5-8 years after it's been more integrated, and USB-C is in more things, maybe you will get more benefits from the 2016 features?

    I was in a similar situation as you, but wanted a 15" quad core. Price increase was just too much, and I wanted the old ports. So, I got a 2015, no regrets
  5. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Unfortunately the pound dropped and £2,000 gets you a lot less today than last month. You won't get a 1TB SSD in a new MacBook for £2,000, whatever you buy.

    You can get a refurbished 15" rMBP with 256GB SSD for £1,609. Full warranty etc. The same rMBP brand new is £1,899. Both should work identical. Both are very fine machines. For the £290 difference you can almost buy a 4k monitor, or you get a backup drive, or whatever else is needed - I tend to not check how much cheaper one thing is, but how much more I can get, so I would be quite tempted with the refurbished model (on the store page, go to the bottom to find refurbished items, and usually you need to check weekdays and not in the night).
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009

    Are you anywhere near an Apple Store, or another store which carries Macs?
    Go and check the 2015 and 2016 out, side-by-side.

    Check the keyboards (very important).
    Check the displays (the 2016 is a bit brighter, but not by much).
    Check the ports.
    Check them both out.

    I did just that.
    And I came away thinking that the 2015 just was "the better deal", at least for me.
    Considerably less money, too.

    As for longevity, I doubt there will be much difference between the two.

    Just as thunderbolt before it, I'm wondering if USB-c will turn out to be something less than it was "promoted to be" at its introduction...
  7. Kinichikun macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2014
    I'm in the same boat as you and was planning to upgrade from Mid-2012 MBP (non-retina) to either 2015 rMBP or the 2016 rMBP with touchbar. Ultimately, I've chosen a refurbished 2015 rMBP a few days ago primary because of the competitive price and for the following reasons:

    > no need to use dongle to use USB-A, HDMI, SD Card
    > I only need to use dongle if I need VGA, MiniDVI, Ethernet
    > Magsafe 1 power cord (using adapter) can still be used since I still have the max Mid-2012 MBP (non-retina) around
    > the glowing Apple logo
    > dedicated Magsafe 2 port for power
    > still need to wait for USB-C to mature
    > warranty can be still be extended for refurbished unit via Applecare+
    > 2016 rMBP have a year-old CPU already (sixth generation Skylake) although 2015 rMBP have a three-year-old CPU (fourth generation Hashwell)
    > no critical need for the touchbar, nice to have but can still live without

    I bought a refurbished max 2015 rMBP model from Apple (2.8Ghz, 16GB, 1TB, 2GB AMD video card, 3458SGD/1944GBP) almost half the price compared to the max model from the 2016 rMBP (2.9Ghz, 16GB, 2TB, 4GB AMD video card, 6048SGD/3400GBP) that will most likely be obsolete immediately the next year or so. (maybe with newer CPU, 32GB memory, price slash)
  8. Jazzman 76 macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2016
    OP: For what it's worth; Curry's/PC World appear to still be selling the 2015, 15", 256gb at the old price of £1599.
  9. smirking macrumors 65816


    Aug 31, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    One thing to be aware of is that the 2015 MBP isn't compatible with the new Apple displays and if my memory serves me right, they'll only be able to drive external 4K monitors at 30Hz. I've been waiting for the 2016 rMBP specifically because I need my laptop to properly drive a high resolution external monitor otherwise I'd consider picking up a loaded 2015 refurb.
  10. cltd macrumors member

    May 22, 2014
    It's almost my case. I replaced Macbook Pro 2008 (Penryn) with brand new base 15" modell from 2015. I did it just two days after "hello again" conference. I got huge educational discount, so difference in price between discounted 2015 15" and base 2016 15" exceeded 1000 usd! 2015 MBP with quad i7 is still powerfull machine; has magsafe, usb, thunderbolt, hdmi and sd slot (I've been using SDXC card in previous model as drive expansion), and it's polished, so no early adoption problems. I don't think USB-C will be new standart. Even USB 3.0 didn't make it. I'm using computer right now and I need usb, thunderbolt (audio interface; firewire drives), sd and hdmi right now.
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its a difficult decision,
    Internally you're getting some faster components,
    Externally, you're getting some faster components but at a cost. USB-C is the future, but in the present it means dongles.

    Not all cameras use SD cards, so many photographers who use CF cards (DSLR) use a card reader anyways. Many newer cameras use wifi as well, so that in of itself decreases the loss of the SD card.

    Spending so much money, I think you'll be better off with a newer MBP then an older one. Thats just my $.02
  12. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I agree with the first post saying as a writer you should try the new keyboard first. I think it's great, but it takes a willingness to get used to a different feel.

    Are you sure that once you add the larger SSD the price is actually still lower? Over here, when you equalize the SSD sizes, the prices become similar to the entry level MBP.

    In fact, if you like the new keyboard well enough, I would argue you would be a great candidate for the new model MBP without the touch bar. You won't see any difference in the performance of the machine, but will benefit from the more compact footprint, lighter weight, and better battery life of the new model.

    Most of your connections will literally just require a different cable. Do you have so many peripherals or connect so many different things so often that that really tips the balance? For most people the purchase of a single light and inexpensive hub (in your case, the Apple one would do fine with both HDMI and USB-A) will restore most of the connectivity they need most of the time.
  13. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2010
    I'd get the 2015 MBPr, it'll last you years. I have to assume as a writer the keyboard is important, and the 2015 models have excellent keyboards. Apple is saying they improved the abysmal keyboard used in the 12 inch Macbook for these new 2016 MBP's - I haven't seen any user reports on how improved it is.
  14. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    No - do the maths and see if it makes the most sense for you. You don't need the improved graphics, you don't need the improved CPU, you may not like the new-style keyboard, and the 2015 machine will still feel like a big upgrade from your 2010 kit.

    Worst case - down the line, you may feel the lack of USB-C, or some restriction in the choice of displays, but I suspect that the "legacy" USB and DisplayPort/HDMI connectors will be with us for some time - considering that they are still showing up in brand new products (e.g. Microsoft's Surface Book/Surface Studio don't have any truck with USB-C)

    Also add up the cost of the new cables/dongles/docks/power supplies you'll actually need to support your existing "workflow" with a USB-C only machine. For my needs, I came up with a figure of £400-£500 (those £10-£20 cables soon add up if you need several of them). Maybe a bit high for me because I want peripheral setups at home and work without carrying adapters back and forth (but I can do that at the moment). Its certainly not naive to take that sort of cost into consideration on a ~£2000 budget. Even if you get all new USB-C peripherals, the new entry-level MBP is certainly not over-endowed with ports so some sort of dock/hub will be almost compulsory.

    I'd get hands-on with a new 2016 MBP before deciding, though. I suspect a lot of us will have our wallets shaken loose when we actually try one...

    Also, think whether you really need that 1TB SSD or could manage with external/networked storage - if you need it, you need it, but it adds a lot to the price (of both 2015 and 2016 models).
  15. dj23andMe macrumors member


    Feb 16, 2016
    Seattle, WA
    I stopped by the Apple store 3 times to try out the new MBP keyboard and directly compare it with MBA and 2015 MBP. I haven't been able to convince myself the new keyboard is acceptable for full time use (feeling I might end up with arthritis fingers).
  16. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5


    Nov 20, 2008
    Ventura County
    Did the same exact thing. Plan on getting a 2015 in the next couple of months before the next school semester.
  17. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2014
    Do you need the power of the 2016. And worth the cost to have it?

    Such as it is. Its video is not leaps and bounds over the 2015. 2015 got AMD's basic entry card of 2015. 2016 got, guessed it, AMD's entry level card for 2016. Oddly enough it gets more video ram which...never really used in general regardless. Only games and more intense content creation would use it. while many take pride in their excel sheets of doom...this is not challenging for a card to draw on the screen.

    see the dabbling in photography. Any limits you'd hit on a 2015 would be hit on 2016. If you even hit the limits.

    Have a full weekend of wedding shooting (will promote you to wedding shooter for example's sake) you will have the same issue on either option. 30gb of raws that need processing that has only 16 gb of ram to work in will turn to physical drive use. More mild use...4 gb of landscape shooting will fit in either laptop's memory fine.

    I use my 2015 for data science classes, IT geek vm work, photo and video serious hobby work. And some gaming (or what passes for it on mac os lol).

    Does it fine relatively speaking when you factor in cost versus the 2016. Nothing about the 2016 has me going damn I should have held out one more year. Quite the opposite...I now think I made out good getting one of apples last deals apparently really. Features I am eyeing with envy over on other hardware options...are not even an option on the 2016.

    2015 markedly cheaper for close enough performance levels...I made out on that deal imo. Based on your write up of needs it should suit you well and get you some money in the wallet when done. use that to buy some glass for your camera to make out even better on the deal lol.
  18. addictive thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2008
    Thank you everyone who has contributed to this thread with their advice and insights. It has been really helpful to me.

    I absolutely don't need all the power available in the new Macbook Pro - I'm also unlikely to use Thunderbolt in the near term. In fact as my needs are modest even the 2015 MBP is going to be more than powerful enough for me. I'm coming from a 2008 Macbook Core2Duo and I read that the current Retina MacBooks have double the processor power than what I'm typing this message on.

    I'm all about future proofing my machines and Apple has changed a lot since I bought this Macbook in 2008. No longer can I upgrade the internals and therefore I imagine all my future Apple computer purchases will last less years and that I'll probably look to resell Macs after two to three years.

    But my needs for right now are a Retina display which removes the Air as an option.

    I want a computer with a better than 480p FaceTime camera and more than one port which removes the Retina Macbook as an option.

    So I'm thinking the 2015 rMBP is probably the best choice for me.

    Any further suggestions or advice? I'm intrigued to see what happens in the next iteration of the Retina Macbook. How much of an upgrade will it get? Bigger SSD and more RAM? Improved FaceTime camera? I think Apple has to plan on making the Retina Macbook its replacement for the Macbook Air but will the Retina Macbook ever become an affordable "budget" laptop? Or is Apple willing to cede this section of the market and not have a sub-$1,000 laptop?
  19. smirking macrumors 65816


    Aug 31, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    This isn't the most elegant solution, but it's one that I'm using even on my 2012 MBP. I have an Apple Bluetooth keyboard that I use on top of my MBP keyboard. On my model the keyboards are similar, but I find the keys on the Bluetooth Keyboard to require less force and they're considerably easier on my hands. I'll probably end up doing the same when I upgrade to the new MBP with WackBar.
  20. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Buy what you want for whatever reasons you have, it's your choice your money and no one else's business, for pity's sake what is with people these days!!
  21. laz232 macrumors 6502

    Feb 4, 2016
    At a café near you
    That's not a helpful answer to someone that's about to use a lot of money on a purchase.
    As consumers in a capitalist, resource limited society we have a duty to make informed purchasing decisions.
    FWIW I think the OP is best off with a 2015 rMBP.
    I do work (engineering) on a 8GB 2013 rMBP and it's fine (integrated graphics). It works fine, though I would prefer a little bit more RAM at times for VM. Lightroom runs fine too with large RAW files.

    Moreover, not needing adapters for *everything* is great. TB3 over USB-C *may* be the future, but Apple also said that about TB1, and TB2 and I can almost count the number of peripherals on one hand. Don't get sucked into overbuying for "I may need that in the future".

    4k 60Hz is supported on the 2015 rMBP (not via HDMI, but almost not monitors support the HDMI 2 spec anyway) - I think you can do it though the TB2/DisplayPort interface:

    "With OS X Yosemite v10.10.3 and later, most single-stream 4K (3840x2160) displays are supported at 60Hz operation on the following Mac computers:

    • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)"
    Have fun, OP
  22. addictive thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2008
    This is a forum for asking questions. I asked a question because I wanted advice on a major £1,000-£2,000 purchase to help me make the best decision for myself. Your contribution is useless and unhelpful. What do you think people do in a Mac forum section called Buying Tips & Advice? They ask questions.
  23. addictive thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2008
    How decisions can change after visiting the Apple store. The 2016 MBP is a beautiful looking machine and very light, the display is fantastic. They keyboard will take some getting used to but I'm not sure it is a deal breaker.

    I do know that I want a 512GB model and as you can't easily upgrade the RAM or SSD you need to make this decision at purchase.

    The 2015 rMBP with 512GB + 8GB RAM = £1,609
    The 2016 rMBP with 512GB + 8GB RAM = £1,629

    Only £20 difference and at this price I think I would go for the 2016 version and buy a hub. I guess I could also buy a Mac Mini and put the current 1TB SSD and 8GB RAM in my 2008 Macbook inside the Mini.

    I'm disappointed Apple is only selling the 2015 rMBP with 128GB in their stores now. If you want to buy that model with a bigger SSD then you have to customise it through their website and given the British currency devaluation and the price Apple charges for upgraded internals the maxed out 2015 models are not good value.

    If I could find at 2015 model which suits my needs at duty free at an airport (20% off) then I might consider buying but other than that my thoughts are now focusing on the 2016 model.
  24. dj23andMe macrumors member


    Feb 16, 2016
    Seattle, WA
    Someone posted you can fly round tip to Canada from the UK and pick up a Mac at better currency price. Although if I wanted a real bargain, I'd fly to Hong Kong and shimmy over to Shenzhen (may be a new mobo in your 2008).


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