Best year to buy a high end 15" macbook pro? Future proofing question.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by KensaiMage, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. KensaiMage macrumors regular


    May 25, 2017
    As the topic says.

    If someone wants to use his MBP for 7-9 years which year's model would be the best?

    Is graphics going to be much more advanced in 2019?

    Is ice-lake going to be much better in 2019?

    Should one buy it after this year's WWDC?

    What are the leaks regarding processors and graphics?

    Can the 2019 model support 32GB of ram?

    This year's 15mbp will probably have 6 core processor dunno about 2019.


    I need the most capable portable mac for 7-9 years and want to spend my money wisely. (lol I know it's not wise to buy such an expensive machine, but I want to do so :D)

    My old laptop still works - I can wait but I don't want to :)

  2. sunapple macrumors 68000


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    Oh god, another one of these threads :rolleyes:

    The only wise decision you can make is buying a MacBook that suits your needs, when you need it. If you can wait, just wait. Next gen is always going to be better. Nobody can look into the future though. Also, there's detailled info available on this website on the latest rumors.
  3. doitdada macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    There are still some Apple I in working condition. You may argue if that is what people mean when they drop the word "future-proof." You could probably sell that Apple I today and have enough money to buy every new MacBook released for the rest of your life.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The 2018 model has yet to be announced, there's no way anyone can with any certainy proclaim what the 2019 will or will not have. Many people were stating last year that the 2018 model will definitely have 32GB of ram, now that's looking unlikely.

    Get a laptop that fits your needs now, its really impossible to buy a computer and expect it to run software for the next 10 years. Consider this, the rumor that apple will be moving to ARM, so that further complicates the notion of having a MBP last 7+ years.

    Buy one that fits your needs now and the near future
  5. Falhófnir macrumors 68030


    Aug 19, 2017
    Honestly there is no such thing as future proofing any more. Your computer will be supported by Apple for about 7 years in OS terms and largely down to being based around SSD storage will probably be usable if not instantaneous for all of that time.
  6. BluAffiliate macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2010
  7. Glmnet1 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2017
    What is your current laptop? If it still works fine for what you need it, why change it? Being able to content yourself with what you have is the best way to "future-proof" a purchase.
  8. KensaiMage thread starter macrumors regular


    May 25, 2017
    Well it's a veeeeeery old and slow one. It manages to do the work but it takes time.
  9. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    I won't be upgrading to another MacBook Pro until 2020 because my current 2015 MBP 13 meets my needs. My Surface Pro is starting to get old and slow, so, I might switch that out to a Surface Book 15 during the interim.

    If you look at the road maps for Intel, it can give you a hint of whats coming in the future.
  10. Glmnet1 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2017
    Then I'd say just wait for a release and buy what you need. Don't wait forever, there will always be something new.
  11. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    Buy it the year before we all die. That way, since humanity doesn't survive, you have succeeded in getting the ultimate, future-proof laptop. According to the MR calendar, the world will end in exactly 243eu091820i9 days

    On a serious note, if you need it for better productivity, it justices the purchase now (and by now, I mean wait until WWDC 2018 before you make up your mind since it's a little more than a month away).
  12. doitdada, Apr 26, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018

    doitdada macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    My goal is to be a senior on a 2017 MacBook Pro...or maybe I want to be able to make my productivity compensate me buying new hardware around every 20-30 months.
  13. smirking macrumors 68000


    Aug 31, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    I have a 2010 that's still running quite capably, but with an upgrade to swap out the HDD for an SSD.

    As others have said, there's no way to tell if something is going to be still a capable machine in 4 years much less 7-9, but if things continue progressing at the current pace (which is fairly modestly), any of the higher end models should be still quite usable 7 years from now.
  14. jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Forget future proofing. No one can predict their computing needs then let alone where tech will be then. Chromebooks would be enough for most if the networks were fast everywhere.
  15. Ma2k5 macrumors 68020


    Dec 21, 2012
    There are optimum upgrade cycles, as for when that’ll be, well it depends what they release - it could be the optimum upgrade is a year or two away.
  16. FilmIndustryGuy macrumors regular

    May 12, 2015
    Manhattan Beach, CA
    wait a few months and buy a new 2017 during holiday sales after the 2018 releases. you'll save $800. Or look at craigslist for deals on used 2017. I got a wonderful deal on a slightly used 2017 in December when people needed money for holidays. I negotiated and paid $1850 for a $2800 2017 with extended apple care which would cost $350. so I got about $1000 off for a 4-5 month old MacBook. I saw BH selling 2016 models for $1000 off during Holidays. December is your month in my opinion. For all of you asking this same question over and over again there are my thoughts. I have bought many MacBooks and pro photo-video cameras. If you are using these devices to make money with, buy the top end slightly used or when it drops in price and milk it for a short period of time. Then sell it used before the new version comes out if you are dealing with power needs to make good cash. If you are buying these things for fun and hobby use and intend to keep it until it dies than keep in mind that you'll have to keep a new MacBook pro for a decade to have a reasonable daily cost of something like $1 a day for use. Same goes with cars and cell phones. i have the 2017 version and compared it to my older 2012 version and the 2012 MacBook pro just about works as smooth for most of the regular stuff. I'm simply talking about needing pro power equipment to get things done.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 27, 2018 ---
    with top end electronics that upgrade every year, buy the previous year model at the biggest price drop. with cars its someithgn like 2 year old used in great condition. With cameras its a 2 year deal as well since they upgrade every 2-3 years for the popular stuff. with electronics i look at eh estimated cost per day of use since all these things need to be replaced eventually and I dont want to take the biggest price hit. THe worst thing out here is a top end cell phone. THey cost about $1k new and drop 40% in price a year later and you probably used it all year to waste time with it. persoanlly i hate losing money and especailly time due to electronics. I got smart enough to always teh the newest shiny shiny thing at no cost by clever trading up or the equipment made money and paid for itself several times over before it got sold.
  17. cyb3rdud3 macrumors 65816

    Jun 22, 2014
    I would wait for the 2021 model, that one will be awesome and last you a long time.
  18. giffut macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2003
    I recommend to stay away from the current Macbook Pros 2016/2017 series, as they are of unreliable built quality compared to the prize Apple calls for them, including Apple Care, which is a must for those machines and increases overal costs quite significantly.

    Issues are very fast and seriuous keyboard failures, uneven graphics performance, significant thermal throttling, unreliable USB3/Thundebrolt 3 ports (both in ahrdware and software).

    If you buy for the upcoming two to three years, then wait what Apple hopefully improves upon those machines this summer.

    If you need one right now and it must be an Apple machine, I would recommend a used 2014/2015 macbook pro, either 13 or 15 inch.
  19. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    I did what you want to do, back in 2012. I bought the 15” cMBP, and upgraded the internals. It was the best Mac purchase I ever made.

    I would NOT get a 2016/2017 MBP at this point, because of the keyboard issues. A spec of dust can cost you hundreds of dollars as Apple makes disposable computers now. Look to see if they make improvements to the keyboards in the 2018 model.

    Also, AMD is pushing Intel hard, with respect to more cpu cores. I don’t know if that will reach the ultra thin laptop versions that Apple has limit itself to.

    What you are looking for, might not be available until 2019-2020.
  20. Falhófnir macrumors 68030


    Aug 19, 2017
    Well Intel sound to have really ballsed up the 10nm release by overreaching themselves for a higher than usual density bump - if the 10nm node isn’t going to be ready until next year I highly doubt 10nm+ will be for Ice Lake (and therefore unlocking 32GB ram options for those who want it; unless they purposely decide to engineer whiskey lake to provide that option, which I suppose is a possibility). There’s also the possibility of Apple going ARM in 2020, which leaves both the 2018 and 2019 machines up in the air a bit. They might receive support for the full 7 year cycle, but how will the ecosystem around them hold up once Apple is seen to have ‘moved on’?

    As far as I can tell, the Coffee Lake upgrade will be the big one until 10nm arrives as it’s a material change with the extra core SKUs appearing (though it won’t be across the line for a while yet) so if they have done something about the keyboard and you are ready for a new computer, that’s probably the one to get.
  21. smirking, Apr 28, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018

    smirking macrumors 68000


    Aug 31, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Bah, terrible advice! The 2021 is garbage! They thought a throwback Titanium PowerBook model was what could pass as innovation! Hey Schiller, laptop latches are so 2003! Bleah! Everyone’s coming out with a Classic-Classic Laptop in 2021!

    Microsoft is getting it right. They’re releasing new 8lb 486 laptops in 2021.
  22. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Failure rates of laptops currently show that you can reasonably expect them to last 5 years any longer is a bonus. Apple laptops are particularly long lasting but even so this still applies and price, accross the OEMs, seems to have far less input than you think, especially where dGPU’s are concerned.

    The 13 inch MacBook Pro from 2010 2011 and 2012 are the current Apple longevity kings those things are indestructable, with an ssd a new sata cable and at least 8gb of ram they still surprisingly usable. The 15 inch from this time not so much. The 2013 retina has been remarkably reliable so far as well. However despite the bonuses of thinness it seem that the current crop have some keyboard issues that will make them a gamble when the warranty runs out (although don’t bet against an extended repair program.

    In short despite apples track record in some cases expecting a laptop to last 8-9 years is unreasonable, buy for 5 years hope for 7 and be chuffed to bits if you get 8 years out of of it.
  23. Royksöpp macrumors 6502a


    Nov 4, 2013
    As long as it's not a first generation device then you should be good. When Apple releases a radically redesigned product it's always best to wait for version two, that way all the kinks will be ironed out. The best time to buy would be summer/autumn that's right after the updated models are released.
  24. LarryJoe33 macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2017
    Yeah, what is the definition of “future proof”?? I would define it as a something that makes your machine obsolete or can’t do something that you absolutely have to have to use the machine as intended.

    For me, my 2011 is far from obsolete. I do have the itch to get a shiny new machine (think I’m going 15 when the 2018s are announced) but that’s “just because” I want one, not because I need one.
  25. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "Future proofing" -- especially with Apple laptops -- is a conundrum.

    You can spend the big bucks for a high end discrete GPU, but these tend to be "the weakest link" in Apple MacBooks. They run hotter and have a high failure rate.

    Or... you can "keep it cheap" and buy a MacBook Pro with an integrated GPU, and like the Energizer Bunny, it just keeps going and going and going.

    My 2010 MacBook Pro 13" (base model) is still doing fine (after I upgraded the HDD with an SSD). I took good care of it and it still looks great as well.

    Perhaps the best future proofing is to pick a MacBook that doesn't have a propensity to fail as time goes by.
    Sure, you're going to say "who has the crystal ball that can predict that?"

    Sometimes "it's just a feeling".
    In November 2016, just after the 2016 MBPro's were introduced, I compared the 2015 and 2016 models "side-by-side".
    Sure, the new one looked snazzier -- it was a new design.
    But... somehow the keyboard just didn't "seem right" to me. Seemed harder to type on, and of course it was noisy. I just liked the old one better.
    That was the main reason I chose to buy a 2015 model instead of the brand-new 2016.
    In hindsight, I'll bet that decision was the best "future proofing" I could have done!

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