Are 17" MBPs still worth buying?

MBP13

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 13, 2011
278
1
Hi everyone. I'm considering purchasing a new 15" MBP whenever they're released next week, yet I still have my mind set on a nicely spec'd late 2011 with a 2.4 GHz i7 (turbo boost up to 3.5 GHz) and it has 1 GB video ram. It seems like it's pretty on par with the MBPs that are still sold today. Seller is asking $750.

It's pretty impressive sounding machine, despite the MBP it will be replacing is just one year older (mid-2010 with a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo).

I'm not so sure I like the idea of the new MBPs that will be replaced. I don't own anything that utilizes USB C, and I'm not crazy about the new style keyboard.

What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance for your help.
 

sunapple

macrumors 68000
Jul 16, 2013
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2,710
The Netherlands
I don't think those old processors, memory and storage-controllers are 'on par' with the newest MBPs and the one that's going to be announced next week. In fact, I think the new ones are much faster.

Also, wouldn't buy a five year old machine over a new one considering the fact that all parts can go defective any time and there's no warranty.
 

RichardC300

macrumors 65816
Sep 27, 2012
1,230
95
Chapel Hill, NC
If it has 8+ GB of RAM and an SSD, $750 sounds average. If not, I'd shoot for $600 max. You also have to keep in mind that there is a known issue with the GPU of that model, and Apple won't fix it for free after the end of this year.
 

baypharm

Contributor
Nov 15, 2007
1,596
477
You will get some lovers and haters of the 17" MBP. For me, it is the only MBP I would ever consider. I use my 2009 17" with antiglare (matte) screen everyday. I absolutely love it. I have tried the other 15" models, 13", and the 12" MB - I sent all of them back for a refund. Even though mine is 7 years old, it still performs like new and does everything I want/need.
 

Macalway

macrumors 68030
Aug 7, 2013
2,718
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You will get some lovers and haters of the 17" MBP. For me, it is the only MBP I would ever consider. I use my 2009 17" with antiglare (matte) screen everyday. I absolutely love it. I have tried the other 15" models, 13", and the 12" MB - I sent all of them back for a refund. Even though mine is 7 years old, it still performs like new and does everything I want/need.
There ya go, and you saved a bundle in the process. I should have done this myself. Now we will never see another one of those as long as they are in this mind set.

There's HP I guess.....
 

tubeexperience

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2016
3,192
3,881
I absolutely love my MacBook Pro 17" Late 2011.

It's a wonderful machine and it's definitely worth $750.

Throw in an SSD and 16 GB RAM and it flies! (I got my 1TB SSD for $190)

Now, I know that there are some haters out there, but don't listen to them.
 
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wegster

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2006
328
79
The 17" MBPro is a "dead-ender".

Better to get something new.
This.
While there are numerous people loving the 17" MBPs (and I personally am a resolution/usable space fiend), and wanting an updated version, I doubt the market is truly big enough to support it per Apple's sales/revenue/profit calculations. Even moreso when you consider their lighter/thinner mantra, although I'm surprised we probably won't be seeing the new MBPs 'shrink' to 12" and 14" (smaller bezels and footprint?) already.

It might be worth considering how one of the new MBPs fare in a 15" model using scaled resolution - it's possible the actual usable screen size may get pretty close to the old 17"s.

RE: would I still buy a 17" MBP today (older model)? No. The CPU performance isn't too bad (I am still running a 2011 CTO 15" MBP myself), but the lack of modern ports (stuck on USB2 and TB1) and HD/SSD performance (SATA 6Gb/sec vs PCIe multi-lane/1TB/sec+ r/w) along with the likelihood of something going wrong within the next 123 months due to age alone...makes it a non-starter for me.

Would I pick up a 2014-2016 rMBP and used scaled resolution if the about-to-be-announced models don't do it for me? Possibly - the lack of upgradeable RAM and (easily) SSD would mean I'd need to find a deal on a 1TB 16GB system - if I see one pop up for 1K or so, I'd probably go for it and wait for the June model and go from there. YMMV.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Any machine at 5years old is a risk but especially that one with the known graphics issue. They are also out of date graphics wise to say the least, have USB 2, no ac wifi, only TB 1 when TB2 or TB 3 is really needed for high definition external screens at good performance. Not to mention they a large and heavy and not particularly portable.

In short they are a poor buy at anything over a few hundred dollars,
 

moep

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2004
66
88
I took my early-2009 17" out of the closet the other day and have to say that I still prefer the 17" matte 1080p screen over the current 15" retina display. It still looks flawless too, unlike my retina which suffers from image retention and peeling AR coating.

I put a 256GB 850 EVO into the 17" and it is still a perfectly usable computer but I would not buy such a machine for more than $300 at this point.

My main issues are that processor performance gets absolutely crushed by even a 2012 13" MBA. We're talking 70%+ difference in geekbench both single and multicore.
The GPU doesn't support Metal so you don't want to upgrade past El Capitan and there's no USB 3.0, Thunderbolt or 802.11ac.
I would however buy a 17" 1080p matte MBP with up-to-date IO ports and Skylake/Pascal chips in a heartbeat.
 
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leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,975
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I wouldn't pay $750 for a computer that is a) very outdated by today's standards and b) could die any second. These machines are over 5 years old now. Its beyond venerable by computer standards. Its simply not a good investment.
 
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mythdemon

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2011
24
12
San Diego, California
I love my 17" MBP. It's been going strong since 2011, and I don't plan on replacing it until it dies. But I wouldn't advise you to get one at this point. Apart from the AMD GPU issue (mine was fixed for free by Apple last year) warranty expiring soon, its older components will perform less effectively compared to a newer one. You would rather go with a newer MBP (maybe even wait till Thursday for the announcement).

That being said if you really like the look of it, and don't care about longevity, then maybe $500-600 would be OK for a machine that works without problems.
 

Macalway

macrumors 68030
Aug 7, 2013
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I love my 17" MBP. It's been going strong since 2011, and I don't plan on replacing it until it dies. But I wouldn't advise you to get one at this point. Apart from the AMD GPU issue (mine was fixed for free by Apple last year) warranty expiring soon, its older components will perform less effectively compared to a newer one. You would rather go with a newer MBP (maybe even wait till Thursday for the announcement).

That being said if you really like the look of it, and don't care about longevity, then maybe $500-600 would be OK for a machine that works without problems.
Anything above $500-$600 may not be wise. You need to consider resale value also, if so inclined.
I would be very nervous about it. That's one of the major factors in these purchases for me.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,852
30,368
Boston
With all the issues related to that model, and now the age of the machines, I don't see it being anything close to a good value. I recommend avoiding it completely.

If you must have a 17" laptop, there are some windows machines being offered, if you must have a mac, then your options are limited to the 15" MBP
 

ron1004

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2010
329
30
Louisville, KY
I still have my mind set on a nicely spec'd late 2011 with a 2.4 GHz i7 (turbo boost up to 3.5 GHz) and it has 1 GB video ram. It seems like it's pretty on par with the MBPs that are still sold today. Seller is asking $750.
What make and model is this machine that you're looking at?