Buying a second-hand MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Zedj, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. Zedj macrumors newbie

    Zedj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2017
    Location:
    Uncanny Valley
    #1
    Hi all,

    I want to buy a second-hand MBP to use as my main system (at home and in school). My budget is 800-900 euros (I'm from the Netherlands). I can get a 2012 pre-retina specced out 15'' MBP, or a 2012 retina specced out 15'' MBP for a bit more (both have a 650M, Ci7 3615QM, 250GB of SSD storage and 16 GB's of ram). I want this laptop to last me about 6 years. Is this a realistic target? Or should I get a newer model (2014) that is not as specced out?

    Thanks in advance,
    Zed
     
  2. Mammut macrumors member

    Mammut

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    #2
    You left out the most important information: what are the tasks you want to do with the device?
     
  3. Zedj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Zedj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2017
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    Uncanny Valley
    #3
    Sorry! Didn't realize that. I want to do basic tasks like browsing and watching video's. I also want it to be capable of light gaming (Football Manager et cetera) and basic editing (Photoshop needs to run fairly smoothly).

    By the way, if anyone has experience with it: is the difference between a Retina and non-Retina display big from viewing distance? I always see people comparing it from about an inch away, which isn't that useful I find.
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    I wouldn't get either of the 2012s. The Retina ones had documented issues with GPU failure (had a repair program for some time) and though the cMBPs didn't have one, the failure rate on them is pretty identical. Macs with dGPUs have historically had a higher failure rate anyway.

    Don't get me wrong; I have a 15" 2012 cMBP and I think it's fabulous. My brother and a producer I know also use the same machine. It's been rock solid reliable for me, like a wood burning stove, and has really decent performance with FCPX/LPX when you throw in an SSD & 16GB RAM. However I wouldn't buy one now and certainly not to last the next 6 years.

    1) It's old tech.

    2) Apple's vintage time is around 4-5 years from last manufactured. As such Apple will probably be dropping support completely for them next year or the year after, meaning you can't even pay for a repair if you wanted to.

    3) You'd be much better off spending the same amount of money on a new Mac. Even if it's a 13", the considerably faster Flash would make it quicker with real-world usage in all but the most resource-intensive tasks.

    Honestly, you'd be happier and better off in the long run just saving up a little more cash and buying a new Mac.
     
  5. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    Aug 14, 2015
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    Land of Smiles
    #5
    Sorry you want a 4-5 year old laptop from an unknown source to last another 6 years.

    Yes I think this is not realistic
     
  6. jerryk macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #6
    Huge different between non-retina and retina screens.

    You can see it from across the room, and more importantly when you are sitting at the system. When I go back to a non-retina MacBook I start wondering if something has gone wrong with my eyes, or if I need to clean my glasses.
     
  7. Zedj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Zedj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2017
    Location:
    Uncanny Valley
    #7
    Thanks for your answers. I think I'll be going for a newer 13'' model, which is around the same price as an older 2012 15'' model. I was having my doubts about getting an older MBP, especially from somebody who might've, theoretically, mistreated it, but those doubts are now gone: I'll go for a newer model.

    Thanks again!
     
  8. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #8
    I certainly wouldn't buy any computer that dated from 2012 for the reasons a number os posters have already stated eloquently, @keysofanxiety set out the reasons very well in his excellent post.

    Firstly, the tech is old, and support is likely to be withdrawn over the next few years. Secondly, I cannot see how a computer dating from 2012 can be expected to yield a further six years of an active working life.

    In my experience, you will get - roughly - four, five six years in total from an Apple computer.

    My recommendation would be to buy a 13" MBP refurb (refurbished) model if your funds run to that; that way you will get a computer that has already been checked out thoroughly with a proverbial fine comb, comes with a fairly decent discount, and is also sold with all of the warranties and guarantees of a brand new computer.
     
  9. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #9
    Looking at your price range, modest requirements and local. You should be looking at the newest Mac you can afford.

    If you can live with a UK KB and have friends or relatives in or travelling to UK you may well be able to take advantage of the stronger Euro and the bigger market options in UK and pre Brexit prices.

    Even If you buy with a credit card from a reputable dealer by post you should be ok and be able to get a 2015/16 MB which has AppleCare etc

    Do some research before you pull the trigger IMO :)

    Best of luck
     
  10. boss.king macrumors 68040

    boss.king

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #10
    Check on Apple's website for refurbished models, these are a lot cheaper than brand new, but are in essentially new condition. Probably your best bet to get a machine to last that long. I've recommend going for a 2015 model as they can be found fairly cheaply and have the force touch trackpad (meaning your trackpad isn't actually a moving part and therefore can't break.) From the sounds of it, the lowest specced model (maybe a larger SSD though) should be more than enough for you.
     
  11. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #11
    I would buy a 2012 model under only three conditions: 1) it comes from an Apple Authorized Service Provider, 2) the history is known, and 3) it is a unibody non-retina model. Many Apple Authorized Service Providers sell used MacBook Pros, often from customers they know well and have sold Macs to for years, who eventually "trade up" to get a few hundred bucks off a new MBP. These individual shops have all the training and expertise of Apple, generally won't sell abused computers, and many will provide their own warranties on used devices. Should you need warranty work, you will be getting it done by someone certified by Apple, using Apple parts. As others have noted, parts availability for older models become more scarce with time, because, at a certain point, Apple stops making the parts. Consequently, if you plan to keep a 2012 for six years, you might want to purchase a spare logic board (and this would up the purchase price by a good $500-800 USD, potentially negating any savings you get.)

    If you want the computer to last for six years, however, I agree with purchasing a new model, a new 2015 model, or a refurbished 2015 or 2016 model is the best decision, and that investing in AppleCare (giving you three years of extensive warranty coverage) is worthwhile. With the way the MacBook Pro retina is designed, if anything breaks, it is generally a massive repair bill (i.e., it could be a third to a half of the purchase price - again, quickly wiping away any savings with a used model, should it not be cared for and/or you have a problem outside of warranty.)

    Also, for general usage, one low-cost option that could get you into a new Mac is the MacBook Air (in the States, many retailers have starting prices on these that are a little over half the price of a new 2016 MBP) - the downside is you don't get the retina screen. However, it's still a reasonably decent screen - the retina is just considerably nicer. It's got reasonably good processing power and SSD/RAM speed - again, not quite that of the MBP, but it's a new Mac & and a very well made computer for a very reasonable price.
     
  12. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #12
    For your usage you'd be far better off to add a few hundred more to your budget and get a brand new base 2015 13" Retina MacBook Pro or 13" MacBook Air. Done.

    The 2012 is still a quite capable machine if you need actually need the extra horse, but for your basic usage and budget you'd be perfectly happy(and happier) with a lower end new Mac.

    Also, I personally think the difference between Retina and non-Retina is pretty massive, especially since the retina models get you an IPS screen over TN.
     
  13. Zedj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Zedj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2017
    Location:
    Uncanny Valley
    #13
    Thanks again for your answers! My father just told me he wants to buy the new 13'' MBP - his wish couldn't have come at a better time. He owns a mid-2014 13'' MBP, which has been very well looked after (only 190 cycles), so I think I'll be getting his machine, for a decent price as well!
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    OP wrote:
    "I want this laptop to last me about 6 years. Is this a realistic target? Or should I get a newer model (2014) that is not as specced out?"

    I don't think it's a realistic expectation to get 6 years (more) of use from a computer that is already nearly 5 years old.
    It may be possible.
    But it's not likely.

    Get something newer if you want to get 6 years out of it.

    Not much more to say about it.
     
  15. Calby macrumors 6502

    Calby

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Location:
    Sweden, Gävle
    #15

    Your correct, I personally don't hope for more then 4 years I'm trying to replace my MBP every 3-4 year - I do purchase AppleCare for it that cover 3 years of factory issues.
    My home insurers covers the total new price up to 2 years for only a fee of 150USD what ever I do with it (drop it, water damage etc) year 3 it covers only 80% and year 4 only 50%.

    So as I did say I only count that the machine should work for 3-4 years then I do replace it, and after 3-4 years the development have done a big jump so I think that it's a good thing to move one to a new one after that.
     
  16. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #16
    Win Win :)

    Congrats
     

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