Best bang-for-your-buck Macbook Pro under $700-800?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by maricircus, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. maricircus macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2007
    Hello macrumors,

    I'm an aspiring filmmaker (using very basic video editing programs such as final cut express / iMovie) looking to upgrade my 2008 Macbook Pro. Case in point, it has finally run its course.

    Im looking to upgrade my computer in the price range of $700-800 (preferably with a used model over the year 2011). Would love suggestions. Thanks!
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I'd stay away from both 2010 and 2011 models due to discrete GPU failures in the 15"/17" models.

    If you can get a good deal on a mid-2012 15" retina, that'd be great, but for $800, I think that's pretty hard to find. The mid-2012 15" non-retina is also pretty good, but make sure you get the one with 1GB GT 650M. Also, the non-retina has a pretty mediocre screen.
  3. 1madman1 macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2013
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    A 2012 15" would be your best bet. You can likely find a non-retina model at that price. I own both the conventional antiglare model and Retina model 2012s and actually prefer the anti-glare in every way except weight.
  4. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    I'm getting ready to sell my 13" 2012 model (1TB). We should talk.
  5. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    I was thinking a 2012 on that budget before I scrolled down to any of these replies. That's mostly what you're going to be able to get - preferably retina, and then make a decision between a 13'' or 15'' depending on your preferences there.
  6. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Refurbished mid 2012 13" MBP can be had for just over $800.
  7. Voca macrumors member


    Nov 3, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    2011 MBP 13 2.7/2.8Ghz i7 or 2012 MBP 13 2.9ghz i7. Difference is the graphics card 512mb vs 1GB. Make sure that if you get the 2012 MBP, to switch out the HGST HDD they originally come with - they are junk and cause a lot of problems including but not limited to overheating issues and total system failure.
  8. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    Doing film making a dedicated GPU is preferable of course.

    A Late 2013 13" MBP and up would work as far as something with an integrated GPU that can handle 1080p. But I'd shoot for a 2012 15" model with the 650M for added horsepower and for the quad core CPU and screen real estate. eBay can be your friend if you're careful and communicate with the seller. I've gotten a few great Macs there from trusted sellers.

    Retina would be optimal since they have much better screens and IMO better cooling than the first gen unibodys. That's my experience moving from a 13" 2008 MB and a 15" 2010 MBP to my 2013 13" MBP.

    For the price though you'll probably end up with a 2012 15" Unibody MBP with the i7/650M. It is nice that it's upgradable so I'd drop in an SSD and a large internal HDD if you want to store projects internally/on the go and don't need the optical drive when you've got more cash. At least get a small SSD and use whatever you can for external storage. It's well worth it.
  9. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2015
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    As others have said, the 2012 15" with the dedicated graphics is within your budget. The 2012 13" retina model can also be had for 800 or less but I don't know if you are willing to go down in screen size.

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8 July 1, 2015