Coming from a 2011 or earlier & can't decide? I say go for it.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Virgo, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. Virgo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I guess I should preface by saying that I'm not a hardcore video editing professional or something, but I am in web development and need a somewhat powerful computer.

    I've had the new MBP for a few days now. I have to say that coming from my 2011 macbook pro (which was getting pretty slow) with that basic screen, useless dvd drive and loud fans.. I am so amazed at this new space gray 13inch tb model! This laptop is so SEXY. I can't get over it. I'm carrying it around everywhere instead of my iPad like I would normally use.

    The only ports I really used to use on my old mbp were the USB-A and (rarely) mini display port. Never needed firewire, ethernet, or SD. So I have one little $9 dongle that I can use to easily connect my printer, usb keyboard, external HD etc. I can just use airplay instead of minidp. Absolutely don't mind.


    -Space gray color is sleek and modern and masculine and beautiful
    -I love that I can charge from either side of the machine.
    -I love the sound that the keyboard makes when I type, because it makes up for the shallower dimensions and you actually feel like you are accomplishing something by getting that strong feedback (as opposed to the regular macbook)
    -Speakers are a huge improvement, though I'm almost always linked to my bose
    -I love that I'm getting a 13" again, but such an improved screen at the same time with a smaller footprint
    -If you have good vision, go into your system preferences and change the display from "default" to "scaled" and choose "more space".. so much more screen real estate and feels like I can be more productive as if I'm using a bigger screen!
    -I love the touchID, so much faster than on my iphone, I barely have to touch it for it to register
    -I love the light weight
    -I love the speed
    -I love how there isn't fan-noise (so far) and it runs cool
    -I love the brightness and colors of the screen
    -I love that the screen accurately brightens/dims based on ambient lighting
    -I love that I was able to easily use migration assistant and get all my stuff from my old machine working great


    -I did like the magsafe option, but for the sake of minimalism and versatility of ports, I can get over it and just be careful with placement when charging
    -The large trackpad is taking some getting used to for me. I like to have "tap-to-click" activated, as well as "bottom right corner click" for the "secondary click." As a result, I find myself right-clicking by accident when my palm finds itself resting on the trackpad
    -I thought people were crazy at first, but I will miss the little glowing apple on the back. Totally not a dealbreaker though of course

    If you have a last gen retina model from the past couple years, maybe you won't be as amazed as I am and should hold out another year or two. But if you are like me and have a 2011 or earlier, and you totally skipped the 2012-2015 retina cycle.. I definitely say you should pull the trigger and upgrade. Treat yoself.
  2. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Dec 20, 2013
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    that is true. if you wait five or more years to replace a cutting edge piece of technology with something that costs even more, you will be impressed.
  3. sinoka56 macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2013
    you could try putting an ssd first on your laptop and wait for the next gen
  4. ScottNWDW macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    I agree with the original post. I too came from a early 2011 13" MacBook Pro and originally thought the TB would not make that much of a difference so I got the non TB version. I loved the newer model so much I returned it after 10 days and got the TB version also in 13", but this time opted for the model with the 512gb SSD. The machine is a HUGE improvement over my 2011 MacBook. The original post hit the nail on the head in my opinion.
  5. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2008
    So, I'm in a counter argument. My 2011 is a 15" and its i7 benchmarks similar (if not slightly better) than the 13. I can't afford the new 15", so I'm waiting.

    My 2011 has had the dGPU replaced (knock on wood) and a SSD put in it. I also have a 2014 11" Air for my out and about computer.

    For me, unless both laptops crap out on me, I'm waiting for the 32g option.
  6. kougra6541 macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2016
    completely agree!!! my 13-in TB MBP is a huge improvement over my Late 2011 MBP 13-in that I previously had!! worth every cent coming from what I had!
  7. Ent macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2009
    How about upgrading from a 2007 MacBook?! I purchased a non tb MacBook pro because the tb pros are currently out of stock. I hope it's a big improvement! :)
  8. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2008
    I don't think you'll notice much, tbh. ;)
  9. leo.andres.21 macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2008
    Centre of the Attention
    I'm in the same circumstance as you are. My 2011 15 inch is still 30-40% faster in terms of bench mark compared to a new 13 inch. But its graphics issues are creeping up on me, it gave me a scare yesterday and yet it booted up normally today. I don't know if I could get it replaced at an Authorised Service Provider if I can't replicate the issue, because there isn't an Apple store around. The program ends at the end of this year so I am really worried.
    I am saving towards the 13 inches, so I'm just hoping mine doesn't fully crap out until then. I am going to miss the matte screen honestly.
  10. bab5139, Nov 26, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016

    bab5139 macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2016
    Ahh yea, the matte screen. I forgot to include that on my list. I just want to offer a competing view since I am coming from a 2011 as well. I got a fully upgraded 2016 15 and i'm not nearly as enthused. Obviously, mileage will vary for each person considering what they find important. I am a developer as well. Even though I list only 4 good points, I think overall it's a great machine. It's just i am measuring the laptop against my needs for the next 4 years and the value it offers vs waiting until next year when hopefully they offer a machine with > 16Gbytes memory.


    • Hard Drive: The drive reads and writes at > 2Gbytes per second. That's 4 times faster than a normal SATA SSD.
    • Screen: I've been waiting for the retina display since 2012.
    • USB-C: So this new port is on both lists. Being able to connect external drives at USB3 speeds is very nice. I will be able to keep my entire library of movies as well as large virtual machines on external drives that can read and write at > 400 Mbytes per second.
    • Bluetooth 4: I can finally connect my Bluetooth mouse without needing a dongle.


    • Memory: Can't upgrade to 32 Gbytes. Right now, with just a few apps open, I am running at 14/16 Gbytes. This is the main reason why I want to return the laptop.
    • Upgrades: Nothing in the laptop can be upgraded. If I need any more space or memory, I will need to buy a new laptop.
    • USB-C: I feel like a beta tester here since some of the dongles I've tried don't work very well. The simple single port dongles work ok but the multiport don't.
    • Mag Safe Power: Why they couldn't put a mag safe charging port right behind the left hand side USB-C ports is beyond me. It would have been rather simple to include this port and allow charging through all of them. This is going to cause a lot of broken laptops.
    • Video Card: Considering a manufacturer has put a Nvidia 1080 into a laptop, why Apple...AMD really. What a crappy card for 3500$.
    • Head Phone Port: Why the hell would they move the headphone port to the top right of the laptop. The cord keeps getting in the way of my mouse.
    • Machine Light: I really miss the machine light that would blink when the system was asleep. Since I turn off the hibernate mode, I need to make sure the system is asleep before unplugging power. This also saved me from overheating the laptop in a sleeve while transporting.
    • Battery Indicator: The battery indicator wasn't all that useful but it let me know if I needed to put my laptop on the charger without having to open the lid.
    • Keyboard: The keyboard has these micro travel keys where are really weird to use. Initially I was really disappointed but I am starting to get the hang of it. Still my typing speed is way down. To be consistent I really have to mash down the keys otherwise I won't hit the key hard enough to register the key stroke, but that makes the keyboard really loud.
    • Glossy Screen: Really wish it came with a matte option. However this can be fixed with a filter.
  11. deliriumxy macrumors member

    Nov 21, 2016
    I have a late 2011 MBP 13", upgraded SSD. Recently the keyboard broke. While it was broken I impulse bought a tbMBP 13" base model. It was great. Yesterday I got the keyboard fixed and returned the tbMBP. I have a 13" tbMBP 16 gb RAM 512 gb SSD currently on order. I'm thinking of cancelling the order.

    Reason: not even sure if I need the upgrade as my old computer is working properly again. Only reason I impulse bought in the first place is because my workflow was disrupted by having to use a crappy usb keyboard to code. Even though the new computers are great, they're expensive AF. I could just not spend $3000 this year, keep using my old computer for another year, and see what happens with the second iteration of the new MBPs next year.

    Kaby lake for better battery life? Lower prices? OLED screens? I don't know. I don't "need" this new MBP, but I kind of want it... but that want will cost me A LOT.
  12. bab5139 macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2016
    Dang it @deliriumxy. Yesterday I had mentally moved to the side of keeping mine and now your post is causing me to rethink. I have until tuesday to make my decision. I know the right decision is to return it, but if they dont release a > 16gb version next year then i will have to wait another year and i'll kick myself.
  13. deliriumxy macrumors member

    Nov 21, 2016
    Hey bab5139, why do you think the right decision is to return it? If you can afford it, it's a really sweet machine, imo.

    Not sure if basing your purchase on next years potential improvements is best way to look at it. Who knows what Apple will release next year, maybe only minor improvements and no price drop? Maybe others can weigh in on whether 32 gb RAM is realistic to expect next year? Out of curiosity what did you buy the computer for?
  14. zone23 macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2012
    If I want it I get it and don't worry about all the noise. People like to complain about just about anything. I love my new MacBook Pro and I'm sure it will serve me well for as long as I own it.
  15. bab5139 macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2016
    @deliriumxy - a laptop at this price needs to last at least 3 years in my opinion. I really need > 16 Gigs of memory. I've had 16 gigs in my 2011 and in the last 2 years my memory utilization has grown causing performance issues. I use this computer for everything. But the areas where I hit the limit is when running vm's and docker containers for work. I'm a software developer. I would like to be able to run a single vm with enough memory for itself and the host and a vm for the docker containers without having memory contention. I also am getting into ai, machine learning and neural networks. It's mainly for test and demonstrations as I run the code on my desktop for anything serious. But it takes up a lot of memory. I just don't want to feel constrained when there are systems out there that offer this capability. Hell i've had 32 gigs of ram on my HP laptop for almost 2 years, although, its big and heavy.

    My utilization of memory is only going to increase so I know that I will upgrade the instant they offer 32 gigs and if that is next year then I will loose ~38% or 1500$ on resale. And since my 2011 laptop is still working it would make more sense to return and hold out. I just don't know if I will be able to. Mentally, it's a struggle between "i want to have" and "i need". Since my 2011 still works and I know I will have to upgrade again to meet my current needs the right choice is to return.
  16. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2008
    Speaking of the 2011 MBPs, I assume they don't support 32g?
  17. bab5139 macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2016
  18. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2008
    Ok, thanks. That's what I thought.

    I think I'm in the "wait until they go to 32 gig" camp, even though for me it doesn't really matter. I have 4g in my Air and 8G in my Pro and on day to day use I can't tell much difference between them (even between the i7 and i5), and the Air is more portable than the 15".

    But, with the 15" I can jump to 16g of RAM and put in an even larger SSD for cheap.
  19. iKrl macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2009
    I'm the same as you, I have the 2011 15" and had been saving for a while to upgrade to a new MacBook Pro but the new 15" came in at such high specs that I didn't really need that I am quite happy with the 13". I love this new computer and to be honest I can't complain that it is going to be much easier to handle than a 15" on a daily basis
  20. dashwin, Nov 27, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016

    dashwin macrumors regular


    Sep 19, 2015
    That was my exact dilemma too, I couldn't have put it better myself.

    I opted to go in for the maxed out option except for the 1TB and am still evaluating my workflows on the new machine. The lack of 32Gigs and iGPU or the lag thereof are the reasons I'm unsure if this was a good move.

    But other than that for the VM's I run, the 2016 is a HUGE leap from the 2011 version. The VM's start up faster, things run immensely fast within.

    The keyboard and battery were things I was worried about. I have gotten used to the keyboard. I ran a battery test and it lasted almost 9 hours with Safari, Youtube, some Mail and some VM use which suits me just fine. So no issues there.

    The way I look at it is, if you end up spending anywhere close to 6 hours a day on a Laptop for 5 days a week, why not buy the best there is? I'd even go as far as saying upgrade every other year if you can afford it. When my work cannot afford the latest and greatest, if it's bothersome enough I actually have used my home MacBook Pro and have taken it to work if IT was okay with it.

    Because life is short and I don't want to be regretting that I didn't use the latest and greatest when it may have helped shorten some of the frustration with slow computers we deal with everyday. Besides who knows when Apple is going to get the next revision out.

    Logically speaking, many people spend a gazillion amount of money on cars but spend hardly an hour or two daily in it. Why not splurge a little bit on a laptop when you are going to be spending 6 hours daily on it?
  21. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    Changing my handle to "Space gray color". But seriously... I am coming from 2009 and this is a huge step. I have slight differences from OP in pros and cons, but I think the main idea is that lots of pros, a few cons for those of us upgrading old models. More recent upgraders have less to get excited about, but I'd still have upgraded anything older than a few years old. Lots of goodies in this one.

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