Buy NOS 17" MBP or buy the latest 15" Retina

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Last iOS 5 user, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. Last iOS 5 user, Jun 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014

    Last iOS 5 user macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #1
    I want the 17" MBP because of the larger screen, standard discreet graphics, and the fact that even NOS units are cheaper if buying from private hands or companies with overstock.

    However, the processors and graphics cards are older, they still have spinning hard drives, and lower res screens, compared to latest 15" Retina.

    In Canada most Apple products are more expensive than USA except the iPhone 4S, iPad 4, and iPods. The base rMBP 15" is $2049 here compared to $1999. The NOS 17" can be had for $1500 taxfree.

    But are these worth buying? Should I just take the retina (and live with the disliked-by-me and controversial look of Yosemite)? Do they have AppleCare?

    FURTHER INFO:
    I am a university student who would also like to do photo, video, and music editing on the go, yet I have a limited spending budget ($10000-15000/month), which is why I use an iPhone 4S and an old iMac to save money.
     
  2. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #2
    It won't have standard AppleCare. Unless you buy it directly from Apple (which doesn't have any refurbished ones in stock right now,) it's built-in warranty will have started the day it was first sold - even if it was never opened.

    The 17" Pro was discontinued in 2012, so I suppose it is possible that if someone bought the 3-year extended AppleCare, it might have up to a year left on that.

    As for performance, the latest 17" model had second-generation Core i5 chips ("Sandy Bridge,") and Radeon 6770M GPUs. Not "slow" by any means, but certainly outclassed by what is in the current RetinaBook.

    The current RetinaBook is more than capable of running the same "equivalent resolution" as the 17" model - so unless you want it for physical screen size, alone, it's almost certainly not worth it.

    But, in the end, it is a matter of your own opinion. If you just absolutely positively love the 17" screen, then the value of it is what you make of it. For example, a couple years ago, I had the choice of buying an original 1984 Macintosh, or a Mac Mini, at the same price. I really could have used a new desktop computer; but I also really wanted an original Macintosh. I went with the original Macintosh. To me personally, the value of owning a machine from my childhood outweighed the value of having a more modern main computer.

    But from a pure "price/performance" perspective, obviously my choice would have been considered wrong. As would buying a 17" MacBook Pro for the price you state.
     
  3. Last iOS 5 user thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #3
    OK so it seems the specs of the 17" aren't as good as the RetinaBook, but I mentioned indirectly that I have a limited budget. How does the 2012 model RetinaBook stack up to the newest one (assuming that I leave it on the original Lion/Mountain Lion OS)?
     
  4. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #4
    The 2012 model is still a great machine, still better than the last 17" MacBook Pro.

    And I wouldn't leave it on Lion or Mountain Lion - Mavericks (and presumably Yosemite) is perfectly fast, even on older hardware. (I find Mavericks is more usable on my late 2007 iMac than Lion was.) Not to mention the security implications of using an older OS that is no longer receiving security updates.

    If you're on a budget, a used machine makes great sense.
     
  5. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #5
    That's an absurd statement.

    I own both, and for a lot of things the 17" is better.

    Your statement re warranty is wrong, at least in the US. There are several of authorized resellers with stock of 17" models; warranty on those machines begins the date of purchase from the reseller, not the ship date from Apple.

    You also grossly overstate the performance of a rMBP; the overwhelming majority of the time the differences are totally imperceptible unless you run benchmarks all day (if so, get a life!).
     
  6. McScooby macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Location:
    The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
    #6
    I was in two minds until recently, but opted for a 2nd hand late 2011 model - purchased 1st half of 2012 off ebay. This thing is a beast, the things that swayed it for me are:

    on benchmarks alone 20% speed reduction compared to highest latest RMBP., so not much loss, still way faster than MBA, 13" models & a few iMacs.
    cost was less than the medium 13" RMBP.
    can take 16GB, and also assuming SSD'S in later life exceed 1TB, should last longer for storage / easier to upgrade.
    It still has TB 1, firewire 800, CD/DVD drive if needed & does airplay for second screens.

    The downside is of course no retina, but still, got one with a high res screen,
    Features in OSX, such as what we're seeing in yosemite with the continued thing won't work.
    It's as rare as hen's teeth to get cases / covers / bags for & if you do find them expect to pay.

    Aside from applecare, factoring in the price it would've cost me vs. what could go wrong, possibly a logic board, doesn't stack up as i can change RAM & drive if need be, or suck it up dependent on cost, Would I swap it? No chance!!
     
  7. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #7
    Pro: The processor may be a bit 2011, but its still pretty powerful.

    Pro: The displays might not be 'retina', but at 1920x1200, they're higher res than the old 'classic' 15" MBPs, even with the extra 2", and arguably give you more screen 'real estate' than the rMBP. (However, if your eyesight is good you can use scaled mode on the retina 15" to get 1920x1200 equivalent).

    Pro: User-upgradable RAM so you can get a 4GB one and cheaply upgrade to 8 or 16G

    Pro: User-replaceable hard drive, with SATA 3: you can slap in a 2.5" SSD to replace the spinning rust... that will win back a large chunk of the speed advantage of the rMBP.

    (...and the HD and RAM are *officially* user-upgradeable - its a screwdriver job, no glue!)

    Pro: DVD-R drive or, if you don't need that, you can replace it with a second HD bay. (Bit trickier than changing the system drive, and unofficial, but still a screwdriver job). I have the original 750GB HD in the optical bay and a 256G Samsung 840 pro in the original slot.

    Maybe Pro: ExpressCard slot - so you could add extra USB3 or ESATA more cheaply than via Thunderbolt.

    Pro/con: Extra USB port, + Firewire... but only USB2.

    Con: Only 1 Thunderbolt port and no HDMI, so only 1 external display - this is a particular issue with cheaper Thunderbolt peripherals that don't have a daisychain port, in which case you can't have any external monitors without springing for a TB display.

    Con: Looks really good alongside a typical 17" 'desktop replacement' PC, but looks and feels like a bloody paving slab alongside a rMBP.

    I think I'm probably going to swap my 2011 17" for a 15" rMBP next spring, thereabouts - mainly because I want to run two monitors (and 4 years is a long time without a 'new computer smell' fix) - but it won't be out of necessity, and it won't be a base model rMBP...
     
  8. Last iOS 5 user thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #8
    Can you point me to a few resellers in Washington State with stock?
    Based on what theluggage said, 17" seems to suit me fine for my purposes.
     
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #9
    Is there a decimal point missing somewhere? ;)
     
  10. Larry-K macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #10
    Do you know any reputable resellers off the top of your head, one of my friends has a 17" that tanked today. She can't live with that tiny Retina stuff.
     
  11. Last iOS 5 user thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #11
    no, i have a high paying job (prefer not to disclose though).
    But it shows because i have an old imac, older iphones, and a BMW which is model year 2005 (the car cost me $10000)
     
  12. righteye macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Location:
    London
    #12
    The sound is good on the 17'' a plus. I like the 17''when tethered as the screen is bigger.
    The back is easy to remove and access to the drive bay is simple so you can add an SSD if you want to also you could replace the optical drive for a data HDD/SSD drive e.g. large iTunes media folder. Gotchas are its to big to use on budget flights as the space between seats is to small and the overall size and weight. Mine is anti-glare which i prefer. Hope you find what you are looking for.
     
  13. Quinto macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    #13
    Just dropped off my 17" at the Apple Store for repair yesterday. Logic board was diagnosis. If < 5 years old, you can fix for flat rate, ~$310. Mine is 2008 so it will run ~$500. Better deal than any reseller on a replacement.
     
  14. Larry-K macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #14
    Wow, that's a deal!

    I'm passing it along. thanks a heap.
     
  15. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #15
    Yeah, *NOBODY* considers $10,000-$15,000 a month to be a "limited spending budget"... Especially when you're talking about "older things". I think you missed a decimal point. (And in the beginning, you said you were a college student who did photography on the side.)

    I'm sorry, but I'm calling BS. People have been giving you their honest opinions based on reasonable criteria. We don't need the faux "I'm rich, help me spend my money" crap threads.
     

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