Are 17" MBPs still worth buying?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MBP13, Oct 22, 2016.

  1. MBP13 macrumors 6502


    Mar 13, 2011
    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.
  2. sunapple macrumors 65816


    Jul 16, 2013
    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.
  3. RichardC300 macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2012
    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.
  4. baypharm macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2007
    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.
  5. Macalway macrumors 68020

    Aug 7, 2013
    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.....
  6. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    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.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    The 17" MBPro is a "dead-ender".

    Better to get something new.
  8. wegster macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2006
    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.
  9. Macalway macrumors 68020

    Aug 7, 2013
    Aren't they all 'dead enders' ?
  10. tbobmccoy macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Sierra will be the last macOS update for the 2010 models. Just realize that going in...
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    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,
  12. moep macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2004
    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.
  13. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    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.
  14. mythdemon macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2011
    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.
  15. Macalway macrumors 68020

    Aug 7, 2013
    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.
  16. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    Known problems with the logic boards and GPUs. I wouldn't pay $750 for a 5 year old machine with serious reliability issues.
  17. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    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
  18. ron1004 macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    What make and model is this machine that you're looking at?

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