Any concerns buying a used MBP that has been worked hard?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Gmas, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. Gmas macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2010
    This may be a silly question....

    I've found what seems to be a really good and honest seller selling a 6 month-old MBP 15". It's the late 2016 model with touch bar, pretty maxed out (1TB, 460/4GB). It also sounds like he's taken extremely good care of it. My one 'concern' is that he's a video editor, and was just wondering if the fact that video editing likely stresses or works a computer harder than say, web browsing, and the fact that that's what the computer has spent most of it's like doing....would that factor into play at all as far as long-term reliability? I know, I know....that's what they're made for, and I know this is probably a silly question like I said, but when it comes to a large chunk of money, just figured I'd put the question out there. Thanks for any input or reassurances.
  2. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    Provided the User has cared for it, chances are you are buying a perfectly good machine that will serve you for years.

    As it is used for video editing, chances are it has seen more intensive use that the User that only checks email. But I don't think this is a reason to worry. If nothing else, it makes sense to me why a video editor would sell such a young machine given they may benefit from the relatively small gains of going to a 2017 Kaby Lake model, or for the option of the 2TB SSD - or to take advantage of 10-bit HEVC given they could see big gains if frequently working with 4k.

    With the 15-inch models in-general, the biggest historical concern IMO would be in regards to the GPU simply due to the history of earlier models. That said, the last five GPUs Apple has used in the 15-inch have proven quite reliable, and I have not checked in a single 2016 or 2017 with a GPU problem.

    As it is a 2016 model, another potential area of concern is the keyboard. The 2016 models are more prone to keyboard issues than the previous generation (how prone exactly is another topic) and seem to be more prone to keyboard issues than the 2017s. If the system is under AppleCare+ and you get it for a good price, this is essentially a non-issue. Or, if it is still eligible for AC (non+, that you buy from a place like Adorama), and the price is good enough to factor this in, it's also essentially a non-issue. You could try testing the keyboard when the machine is hot, as the keyboard seems to mainly have issues after a period of sustained heat generation.

    FWIW, before buying, things you could do, if you wanted to, include:
    • Check the keyboard when the system is hot for any sound abnormalities, double typing, or sticking
    • Check the keyboard when the system is off for any strange differences in key consistency that can sometimes happen after liquid spill
    • Check the graphics switching by running an App that activates the dGPU, or switching from iGPU to dGPU in power settings
    • Run Apple Diagnostics to check for hardware issues
    • Run the serial number with the warranty checker tool to verify that the warranty period coincides with the age the Seller has told you the computer is
    • Ensure the Seller properly transfers AppleCare to your name, if applicable (Apple has a process for this)
    • Verify the speakers work properly and sound good (with the 15 inch TB, the speakers should sound outstanding)
    • Request the original purchase documentation - I've always provided this to Buyers who purchased Apple products from me (usually with certain PII specifics like my home address removed.)
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Important question:
    Is the price right?
  4. artfossil macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2015
    I would have no problems buying used as long as the seller provides the original purchase receipt, there's no evidence of external damage, the laptop is under AppleCare (or still eligible for AppleCare, which this one is not) and the seller transfers the AppleCare to you. (Plus do all of ZapNZ's diagnostics if you can.)

    Without AppleCare, I'd never buy a used computer.
  5. themumu macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2011
    A laptop is not a car. Especially now with SSD it essentially has no moving "consumable" parts. Unless there are signs of physical damage, I wouldn't worry about it, if the price is good.

    Speaking of physical damage. My partner once dropped something on his closed MacBook Pro, I don't recall what it was but it actually left a dent in the lid the size of a penny. The screen was still working perfectly and he kept using it for the next 3 years with no issues. He sold it eventually (with full disclosure, obviously) and let's just say, the buyer never came back complaining.

    These laptops can take more abuse than you imagine.
  6. macs4nw macrumors 601


    Check things over, and go with your gut. Providing it has AppleCare, and the price is right, it's hard to go wrong here. Without AppleCare, I would personally walk away.

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5 September 27, 2017