Best Time to Upgrade Your Macbook Pro. 1, 2, 3 years?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lionfleet, Aug 11, 2019.

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  1. lionfleet macrumors newbie

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    Sep 11, 2012
    #1
    Hey guys,

    It seems that I upgrade my Macbook Pro every 3 years. However, as I'm trying to sell my older 2016 Macbook Pro it seems that it has devalued alot. ~$2300 to maybe 1400 on high end if I'm lucky or 1300.

    I'm wondering if it makes better sense to upgrade your Macbook Pro EVERY YEAR right before or once the new model comes out. That way your Macbook is still valued high or close to what you bought it for. I just checked 2018 VS 2019 Macbook Pro prices and the 2018s are only a few hundred dollars cheaper.

    I'm a video editor so it helps to be on the cutting edge. Although, I realize that upgrades may only be 10% improvement. Is there an ideal upgrade cycle time where you save the most money? 1 year? 2 years? 3 years?

    On another note, another reason I'm thinking about this is because I'm trying to decide if I should get AppleCare for my new 2019 Macbook Pro. Especially, if I plan on re-selling it to upgrade in a year. Seems like it wouldn't make sense to have a 3 year AppleCare plan in that case and just stick with the 1 year warranty and then sell off at as high as value as possible.

    What do you guys think I should do? Appreciate the help! :)
     
  2. pshufd macrumors 65816

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    #2
    I bought one in 2008, the next in 2014. But I was still using the 2008 until 2018. If I needed raw performance, I'd get an iMac.
     
  3. jarule macrumors member

    jarule

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    #3
    I started with a 2010 13 inch MBP base model. Then switched to a late 2013 15 inch retina MBP. The 2013 treated me well till it started having fan problems in 2017. I still managed to manually speed up and slow down the fans using a third party app. I currently got the 2019 15 inch MBP because I saw my graphic performance slow down and my battery was asking for replacement. I honestly switch when my Mac starts having hardware issues and don't base it on years. If my Mac works fine with my workload, id leave it like that. Id say if you really care about having maximum performance, purchase a desktop. With the money being being spent on switching annually, I think you can get an iMac Pro. Go bold and get a Mac Pro.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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  5. Webster's Mac macrumors regular

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    Dec 18, 2016
    #5
    I mean I just upgraded from my early-2013 13" to a...Mid 2015 15" lol. Had the top case and display assembly replaced under the recalls/repair programs, and just replaced the thermal paste myself so this thing is better than new!
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #6
    I usually upgrade every two years. My VISA card extends the factory warranty out to two years, so I am always covered by warranty and at the two year mark the trade-in price is still not too bad.
     
  7. ghanwani, Aug 12, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019

    ghanwani macrumors 65816

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    Dec 8, 2008
    #7
    Are they planning to keep doing that? My MC will stop offering an extended warranty (and a bunch of other benefits) after the middle of September.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 12, 2019 ---
    AppleCare / AppleCare+ are refundable at a prorated level if not used. I bought AC at close to the end of the first year for my 2017 MBP and sold the machine at the end of the second year. I requested a refund of AC and got about 50% back.

    Regarding price, I bought the 2017 for $1899 and sold it for $710 through the Apple trade in program. I had put it on CL for $1000 but there were no takers. I was getting weird offers like for $600. This was an nTB 2.4/16/512. The gazelle trade in was $600. They did not even ask about RAM and SSD size. Phobio (Apple's trade in partner) asked about SSD size, although they too didn't ask about RAM size.

    I think what you say makes sense, except that there have been periods when there was no update for > 1 year.
     
  8. throAU macrumors 603

    throAU

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    Perth, Western Australia
    #8
    When apple build a new one that doesn't suck...


    more seriously, i budget for 3 years (as for tax purposes, i can depreciate a computer purchase over 3 years and claim the tax back over 3 years), normally ends up being 4 years.

    This current one will likely be 5+ years before retirement, and may not be replaced with another unless apple sort their machines out, and offer me something i actually want to upgrade to.

    Depends...
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #9
    I have not seen anything from VISA that they intend to drop the extended warranty coverage.
     
  10. davethorp macrumors regular

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    Preston, Lancashire, UK
    #10
    My first macs were a late 2013 iMac purchased November 2013 and a late 2013 15” MacBook Pro purchased January 2014. Both were pretty highly specced up

    They were replaced after pretty much 5 years each with the iMac being replaced November last year by a 2018 Mac Mini (again specced up quite highly). I went Mac mini as the iMac at the time hadn’t had a refresh in about a year and I didn’t want to buy a dated machine. The MacBook was replaced with a 2018 MacBook Pro in December last year but I didn’t spec that up this time and got a base 13” model with touchbar. I can see me replacing that a little quicker, possibly when the 16” model comes out as I’m finding the drop from 15” to 13” a bit too much and also I tend to use my iPad Pro more than my MacBook which has a similar screen size but could see me using the MacBook more if the screen size was bigger than my iPad Pro

    My old iMac sold on eBay for about 40% of the price I paid for it (including my Student discount). I sold the MacBook for about 35% of the price I paid for it
     
  11. casperghst42 macrumors member

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    Jan 11, 2006
    #11
    Good question, I'm using an 15" rMBP from Early 2013 which I use for work related stuff (will still run 3-4 VM's just) ... still working just fine. And I have an 13" rMBP from 2015 which I use for private stuff. As I'm getting a work MBP I'll probalby replace both the 15" and 13" with a new 13" MBP later this year.

    I'd say for any normal use (without keyboard problems) a MBP should, these days, last at least 6 years.
     
  12. x-evil-x macrumors 601

    x-evil-x

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #12
    every year seems a little crazy to me. Unless I was rich I wouldn't be upgrading these things for 5 years minimum. Especially if I bought a new 15". If you are worried about resale value to cost to upgrade then your in a different category than most buying a computer. If you are okay with spending 1000-1500 every few years to sell and upgrade then sure but most are not. Ill be happy with my 2019 15" in 5 years I don't expect to get a huge increase in performance over the next few years and AppleCare should be good for 3 years on the machine.
     
  13. throAU macrumors 603

    throAU

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    #13
    Every year pretty much *is* crazy unless you are using the machine to earn money and the performance improvement will directly generate more revenue for your business. i.e., unless the machine will pay for itself, you're just wasting money for the most part. Year to year performance improvements are generally small and the time wasted swapping machines will likely outweigh any performance improvement unless you really are pushing things very hard. And in that case the macbook pro is probably the wrong machine to be using anyway.

    There are of course exceptions. If the core count doubles or whatever at some point, then that is an inflection point and a good upgrade time - if your workload can benefit from it.

    I agree that worrying about resale is kinda missing the point.

    Things like batteries, storage devices, etc. have a failure rate that kicks upwards after 3-4 years. Also, 3-5 years tends to be when you're looking at a significant performance improvement.

    Assume that the "value" of the machine will drop to zero after the 3 year Applecare is up (as if it fails outside of Applecare, that may be the case, worst case) and anything you get beyond that is gravy.
     
  14. x-evil-x macrumors 601

    x-evil-x

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    #14
    I mean if you are buying a top of the line MacBook Pro now for work I don't see a new model 3-4 years out making your improvement in that type of work that huge of change. Not like it used to be anyway with computers from 2005-2015. If you need a real machine for actual work then that professional should have a home computer, not a laptop. Laptops to a person that uses it for serious work for the business aren't the right tool if they need MORE. Most professionals do get by with these laptops for their business but some I'm sure need a higher end desktop at home and a MacBook Pro for everyday things with some real work. That being said I don't think the improvement over the next 5 years will hurt performance or make your work struggle from today top of the line 15" MacBook Pro.
    Battery wise sure they will wear out and eventually be a only plug in laptop but that doesn't mean the machine can't go on 10+ years if no other issues happen. I know people still using their 2008 MacBook Pros.
     
  15. throAU macrumors 603

    throAU

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    #15
    I do.

    The core count war has started - make no mistake, you will likely see a 12-16 core macbook pro 15 inside of 3 years.

    AMD are simply pushing intel too hard for it to not happen.
     
  16. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 24, 2011
    #16
    For me it's every 3-4 years.

    Since my first Mac in 2010 (an 11-inch MacBook Air) I've had two MBPs: a 2012 15-inch retina MBP I got in 2012 and my current 2016 13-inch nTB MBP I got in November 2016. AppleCare is up on my current MBP in a few months but I plan to keep at at least another year or two. The two past MBPs I've purchased have both been the first generation of a redesign, and if a new design comes in 2020 I think I'll wait until 2021 to upgrade.

    I never purchase my Macs thinking of resale value and just try to get as much use out of them as I can for as long as they meet my needs. When my needs change I tend to upgrade. With the advent of eGPUs and my own eGPU at home I feel like I will be able to get more life out of my current MBP than expected. Core count is increasing but my current daily workflow doesn't really benefit that much from more than 2 cores.

    I also have a 2018 6 core i5 Mac mini with 32GB of RAM at home that I got in 2018, which will help me get more life out of my current MBP.
     
  17. KarolMep macrumors newbie

    KarolMep

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    #17
    I'm using Mac from 2016 and everything is good for now, so I don't think I need to replace it.
    But before this one, I have used 2013 Mac. It's a disaster, honestly
     
  18. x-evil-x macrumors 601

    x-evil-x

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #18
    What do you do for work that you need something more than whats currently available? All im saying is that 10 years ago tech needed to get better but it seems like most tech has started to coast as far as using it for your work. Now i dont know what kinds of jobs people would use these machines for serious work that they need something more. In that case there are home machines that suit that need. I used to complain about a lot of issues with my 2011 machine as well as some small things for my 2016. My 2019 i have no problems with and it does everything i wanted without any issue. To get people to upgrade in the 2005 -2015 era wasnt too hard but now i think most people will keep their devices longer if they last.
    what can you do faster with a 16 core machine that you cant with a current 8 core? What types of applications do these people use to actually use their computer for faster work? and no, editing a 4k clip 12 seconds faster isnt anything significant to justify a new machine.
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Boston
    #19
    I went from a 2012 to a new one in 2018/2019, I hope to keep that cycle going. The changes from year to year are such that it doesn't make sense to me to spend the money and effort - that's just me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
  20. throAU, Aug 14, 2019 at 6:14 PM
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 6:30 PM

    throAU macrumors 603

    throAU

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    #20
    What does it matter, other than I and others "do".

    For the record, i currently run a desktop to do network simulation, and often run 4 cores flat out and push 58 GB of used RAM... and that's only due to limitations of my machine... i'm not simulating as much as i want...
     
  21. x-evil-x macrumors 601

    x-evil-x

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #21
    because im just curious what these people do for work that want to get everything done on a portable computer. I assume most of these people have a home workstation for the heavy loads...
     
  22. throAU macrumors 603

    throAU

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    #22
    I do. Because Apple's laptops aren't capable of running the load. But i'd rather have a single portable machine and maybe a tablet.
     
  23. x-evil-x macrumors 601

    x-evil-x

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    #23
    What laptop is capable of running what you need?
     
  24. puggles macrumors regular

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    Jun 9, 2010
    #24
    Hoping to keep my 2015 15" MBP for a good 7 years. I still have a 2012 15" non retina that is still extremely capable. I just needed something lighter or I would still be using that.
     
  25. xxray macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 27, 2013
    #25
    My base model 2011 13" MBP lasted 5 years, so I'm expecting to get at least 5 years out of my current MBP. I'm expecting it to last longer though. Considering it's no where near a base level MBP, it shouldn't slow down as much over time.
     

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