Best 17" MacBook for user & collector

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Rmonster, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. Rmonster macrumors member

    Rmonster

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Location:
    Havering, UK
    #1
    Hello All

    This post is for a bit of fun so please don't waste any of your time if you are busy.

    I have somewhat of a collection of old Apple hardware ranging from the Apple II through to Macintosh and then on to iMacs of most generations.

    Although I have purchased MBPs for my two daughters, I use an old 13" Acer laptop and ipads as well as my iphone for sofa/couch duties, ie idling time browsing macrumors and such.

    My collection does not include any MacBooks other than one in pieces as a result of my eldest spilling not water, but olive oil, onto the keyboard when taking it upon herself to do some cooking. I'd never want to discourage her enthusiasm but I would have gladly paid for a very expensive take away on that particular occasion.

    The 7 year old 13" Acer chugs along fine for what I need it for, but I fondly remember the form factor of a 17" Sony Vaio that I enjoyed using many years ago.

    So - finally - to the point. My daily PC needs are well served but I would like to add my first MacBook to my collection but would like to use it to replace my Acer for evening sofa use.

    Having said that, although I don't need cutting edge performance, I don't need another paperweight in my place either.

    So, given a theoretical budget of up to £600 (765 USD), I would enjoy reading any comments on the sweet spot of models to go for up to that budget and what to avoid.

    Also, I don't necessarily need to go up to the full price if anyone can recommend decent performing models that tend to go for less.

    Main use - just for browsing, email, spending too much money on Amazon/eBay etc, so no power use but I don't want a chugger either or any model that was a dog to begin with, so I guess something that performs well both back in the day and reasonably well now.

    Like I said, just for a bit of fun as I like old Apple gear but like stuff to be useable too so I hope the intent of my post is understood.

    Many thanks, Rich
     
  2. steve-p macrumors 68000

    steve-p

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Newbury, UK
    #2
    I just retired my 17" late 2011 after 5 years of daily use. It has just had a brand new logic board, but had been faultless until then. With an SSD swapped in and the upgraded CPU, the performance was not miles away from my new 15" MBP really. In the new year I'll probably get round to selling it. Maybe something like that would suit, although I haven't figured out if it's in your budget or not yet. Looking on eBay, it may be worth a bit more.
     
  3. Rmonster thread starter macrumors member

    Rmonster

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Location:
    Havering, UK
    #3
    Steve, I hate people like you (jk) I wasn't fishing for a "for sale" post here and I'm not suggesting that you were baiting either. I used to limit myself to collecting stuff that was in stock condition maybe other than RAM upgrades and the like but lately have been open to the idea of making my older stuff more useable via SSD upgrades and similar. Your retired machine sounds just the ticket - older form factor - up to date performance.

    I'd love other responses as I enjoy the variety of opinions and input. Can't help saying though that if it it's not breaking any forum rules then message me if you want to sell (can't turn off the collector mentality!)
     
  4. steve-p macrumors 68000

    steve-p

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Newbury, UK
    #4
    I'm actually hopeless at getting round to selling old kit. I normally just stick it in a drawer and forget about it :) I've still got iPhones 3GS and 4S in the kitchen drawer and an iPod classic somewhere.

    My point really was that for 17", the last built, i.e. the late 2011, has a lot to recommend it. It's a quad core i7 and runs macOS Sierra very well. I've also got a beat up 2009 17", which is a bit slower, as it's only a core 2 duo, and it can't run Sierra. It's still quite usable though, if you could pick up one of those. They suffer from the RAM limit being on the low side. I think the limit might be 6GB. Mine fell off a table so the lid is a bit wonky, but it still works fine!

    I've already taken the SSD out of the 2011 and put a conventional disk back in, so it's almost as it left the factory. It's got 8GB RAM, it's mint, and I've even got the box and packaging somewhere. Maybe I'll message you about it in the new year if you're still looking.
     
  5. Altis macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    #5
    There's no doubt at all that a quad-core i7 2011 model 17" with 16 GB of RAM is the best 17", and in my opinion, really one of the best laptops ever made.

    However, 2011s are plagued with logic board failures. It seems to be a widespread problem, and there is no fix other than putting in another logic board that's doomed to the same fate.

    I bought a 2010 i5 8GB 17" earlier this year and it's been great. The lack of quad-core and 8 GB max limit (due to the CPUs at the time, first-gen core i series) means it isn't quite as capable, but it's still great for a lot of non-CPU intensive tasks.

    If you're buying with the intent on collecting and having it working for as long as possible, I'd recommend getting a 2010 as they are solid as a rock. 2011s are better but run a fairly high risk of having a logic board failure... which isn't the end of the world, but just make sure to consider that risk from a financial perspective. If you don't plan to push it too hard or use it too often, the risk is lower as the failures have been attributed to heat by some.

    The good news about the 2010 is that it runs Windows 7/10 and Linux distros like an absolute champ, so usable life is extended by that.
     
  6. Rmonster thread starter macrumors member

    Rmonster

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Location:
    Havering, UK
    #6
    Many thanks Altis for that info - the laptop won't be pushed but I do need it to be useable for light tasks without being slow, so taking into account that I would indeed like it to have it working for as long as possible, the 2010 sounds ideal. I appreciate your input.
     

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