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AdamNC

Contributor
Original poster
Feb 3, 2018
546
625
Leland NC
I want to buy a older MacBook Pro 13 inch for cost reasons, but how old is too old now? I see a lot on eBay in my price range but they all have way outdated OS’s 10.12, 10.13 and 2012-13s. I want to spend no more than 650. I am not a power user just basic stuff. I would want something that will last 2-3 more years. Thanks for any advice...
 

Apple_Robert

macrumors Penryn
Sep 21, 2012
29,490
38,206
In the middle of several books.
You can get a 2017 MBP for your price range. And if all you need to do is basic computing, it should last you several years.

I would jump on this listing if you can get by with 128GB. Comes with AC+. In my opinion, eBay is overpriced and most of the times, the auctions are rigged with shell bidders.
I wouldn't go older than 2015 if you want to be able to update the OS.

 
Last edited:

justashooter

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2020
284
153
As a fan of the 2012 MacBook Pro, that is what I would suggest for an inexpensive unit. You can find them for around $350. Add a SSD ($50 or so) if it doesn't have one to get the full speed benefit from it. It has a great keyboard, no crappy butterfly keyboard like the late 2015 to 2019 models, and it will support up to OS Catalina (I prefer Mojave). You will get security and other updates for at least three more years. And it is certainly fast enough for general needs, as a freelance photographer I use mine for photo editing without any problem.
 

pers0n

macrumors regular
Mar 5, 2014
210
114
I'd second in getting a 2012 MacBook Pro, get a i7, max out ram to 16gb and put in a SSD. It will last a few more years although it can't run the newer macOS. So make sure the software you need doesnt require that
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
23,384
9,011
I'd suggest a 2015 if you can find one.
Or 2014.

HOWEVER:
AVOID ANYTHING from 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 (except the 2019 MBP 16").
These all have the flawed "butterfly" keyboards, highly likely to fail, and VERY expensive to replace.
 
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nothingtoseehere

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2020
385
393
I'd suggest a 2015 if you can find one.
Or 2014.

HOWEVER:
AVOID ANYTHING from 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 (except the 2019 MBP 16").
These all have the flawed "butterfly" keyboards, highly likely to fail, and VERY expensive to replace.
I agree in general but there is another exception besides the 2019 MBP 16“ and that is the „old-style“ 2017 MBA 13“. It is basically the same machine as the 2015 MBA 13“, with minor adjustments, and has been produced until 2019 as far as I understand.
Details here: https://everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook-air/specs/macbook-air-core-i5-1.8-13-2017-specs.html

For basic stuff, this machine should last for a while. It also can run the latest macOS.
 

avz

macrumors 65816
Oct 7, 2018
1,339
1,476
For basic use, the options are endless. I like the Late 2008-2012 MacBooks/Pros but these machines are still very power hungry. If you are planning to use it away from the desk I will suggest 2013 and later Macs as they much more efficient power wise.

If you are not a heavy typer you can even go for a butterfly keyboard Macs if you can find one in good condition. I bought a 2016 13" MBP with battery health 98% and very low cycle count for only $300 and it is great. Good deals are very hard to find though and it helps if you are a Mac nerd and know all the specs for all the Macs from top of your head(think Luke Miani).
 

James_C

macrumors 68030
Sep 13, 2002
2,602
1,357
Bristol, UK
I know you have a maximum budget of 650, but if you can find another 350 you could get a new base M1 MBA. No fan completely silent, will last 5 years +. Amazing battery life, At least twice the performance of a 4 year old Mac. With the age of Mac people are suggesting (and they are right you should avoid the butterfly keyboard ). You may end up having to replace the battery, once you factor that cost in, you are getting closer to the cost of a new MBA with full warranty.

Unless you need to run Windows, I would recommend you consider a new MBA.
 

James_C

macrumors 68030
Sep 13, 2002
2,602
1,357
Bristol, UK
I have decided after several weeks of looking and reading I am going to save and get a base MBA M1. Thanks guys.

You won't regret it, it is a fantastic machine. My M1 MBA I have had for two months now. Twice as fast as my old 2016 15" MBP, with a battery that lasts all day and completely silent.
 

CooperBox

macrumors 65816
Nov 28, 2010
1,497
1,603
France - between Ricard & Absinthe
I have decided after several weeks of looking and reading I am going to save and get a base MBA M1. Thanks guys.
Sounds like a good choice, although personally I'd go for a 13" mid 2012 MacBookPro9,2 (A1272). Marvellous machines which are totally upgradeable & repairable on the cheap using iFixit ref videos.
I have a 13" mid 2012 Intel i7 on which I added an SSD and upgraded RAM and it does everything I need of it, including photo and video editing. It can run OS 10,15 Catalina, although my advise is stay away from that and maintain at OS Mojave which will see you through well for a few years yet. Mine will still be in use 10 years from now!

If you do go for the MBA M1 one important piece of advise. Spend extra for AppleCare! Otherwise if you have problems outside the normal 1 year warranty (don't forget these are 1st gen M1's with the potential for unseen important issues), you could be hit for some very high cost rectification repairs.
Whichever you eventually decide on, you shouldn't be disappointed with either, but as you state you're "not a power user, just basic stuff", the MBA M1 sounds a bit like overkill.
Will be interested to get your feedback on eventual choice and experiences.
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors G3
Oct 27, 2009
8,046
9,801
I'd suggest a 2015 if you can find one.
Or 2014.

HOWEVER:
AVOID ANYTHING from 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 (except the 2019 MBP 16").
These all have the flawed "butterfly" keyboards, highly likely to fail, and VERY expensive to replace.

I'm still using a 2018 MBP from launch, never had an issue with the keyboard.
 

LegacyUser12

macrumors member
Nov 27, 2016
42
3
Sounds like a good choice, although personally I'd go for a 13" mid 2012 MacBookPro9,2 (A1272). Marvellous machines which are totally upgradeable & repairable on the cheap using iFixit ref videos.
I have a 13" mid 2012 Intel i7 on which I added an SSD and upgraded RAM and it does everything I need of it, including photo and video editing. It can run OS 10,15 Catalina, although my advise is stay away from that and maintain at OS Mojave which will see you through well for a few years yet. Mine will still be in use 10 years from now!

If you do go for the MBA M1 one important piece of advise. Spend extra for AppleCare! Otherwise if you have problems outside the normal 1 year warranty (don't forget these are 1st gen M1's with the potential for unseen important issues), you could be hit for some very high cost rectification repairs.
Whichever you eventually decide on, you shouldn't be disappointed with either, but as you state you're "not a power user, just basic stuff", the MBA M1 sounds a bit like overkill.
Will be interested to get your feedback on eventual choice and experiences.
Those of you recommending 2012’s, I like what you guys are pointing out.
If I may add to OP’s inquiry—best GPU of the 2012’s? integrated vs dedicated GPU?
 
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