How long should you keep a MacBook Pro? (analysis)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MacBookAfficionado, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. MacBookAfficionado macrumors newbie

    MacBookAfficionado

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    #1
    Felt bored the other day so I decided to compile a list of Cost Per Day for 15" MacBook Pros. Because I don't have all the time in the world I compared top-spec (without extra build-to-order options) 15" MacBook Pros starting from 2010 Core I- processors. I used ballpark/average prices used on eBay in good condition to determine the average prices, they are ballpark figures, not exact. Here's the list:


    Mid 2017
    New $2800
    Current $2300
    Age 1
    Loss $500
    CPD $1.37


    2016
    New $2800
    Current $1800
    Age 2
    Loss $1000
    CPD $1.37


    Mid 2015
    New $2500
    Current $1350
    Age 3
    Loss $1150
    CPD $1.05


    Mid 2014
    New $2500
    Current $1150
    Age 4
    Loss $1350
    CPD $.93


    Late 2013
    New $2600
    Current $1000
    Age 4.5
    Loss $1600
    CPD $.97


    Early 2013
    New $2800
    Current $850
    Age 5
    Loss $1950
    CPD $1.06


    Mid 2012
    New $2800
    Current $750
    Age 6
    Loss $2050
    CPD $.94


    Mid 2012 (non retina)
    New $2200
    Current $600
    Age 6
    Loss $1600
    CPD $.73


    Late 2011
    New $2200
    Current $500
    Age 7
    Loss $1700
    CPD $.66


    Early 2011
    New $2200
    Current $500
    Age 7
    Loss $1700
    CPD $.66


    Mid 2010
    New $2200
    Current $350
    Age 8
    Loss $1950
    CPD $.66


    Findings:

    1) Unibody models are significantly less expensive to buy and own than later models.
    2) Touch bar models are still expensive to own, likely due to the larger initial depreciation of new items, probably will level out in a few years.
    3) Retina models started at $2800 for 2 refreshes, then prices dropped. Touch bar models started at $2800, we currently have 2 refreshes. I predict the next version will see a $200 price decrease in top-spec 15".
    4) MacBook Pros use 4-year generation model: Unibody 2008-1012, Retina 2012-2016, Touchbar 2016-2020
    5) Excluding unibody models (price figures have changed since then, not really applicable for the future) keeping an MBPr for about 4 years is best. Either buy the first model of a generation or buy 2 years in for best results.
     
  2. jerryk macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #2
    Way too much thought for me. My analysis, if it is 2 years old then look at new machine since the cost of a failure will exceed loss revenue.
     
  3. SurfaceBookUser macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    #3
    Good post.

    I believe resale values on the newer models may start to decrease less rapidly as time goes on, as the older pre-2016 models become obsolete in the used market.

    I say this because these new models are seemingly far more expensive than ever but that doesn't translate well to residual value since the used market is still primarily made up of older machines (2010 - 2015) that were purchased for much cheaper brand new.

    I bought a nearly base model 13" for $1100 in 2010. 6 years later I sold it for $500. I'm still thrilled by the fact that I got to use the machine for 6 years for a cost of only $600.

    In 2016 I bought a brand new 13" again, the lowest model TB version with the only upgrade being 16GB of RAM. This cost me $2650. If I sell it today I've already lost more in 1.5 years than when I sold my 2010 after 6 years. I realize I could have opted for the non-TB with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD to lower cost but even that machine is basically $2000 for a machine I would consider severely lacking.

    I'm in Canada so I realize the exchange rate plays a bit of a factor in my experience but it surely doesn't account for the fact that it's basically at least 2x more expensive to buy a base model Pro compared to in 2010.
     
  4. duervo macrumors 68020

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #4
    I paid $1500 for my mid2012 15” unibody, base model i7 with the the dGPU. Another $100 to up the RAM to 16GB (I miss the days of RAM at those prices,) then another $150 for a 500GB SSD, $10 for a generic optical bay for a second HDD, and $70 for a 1TB drive to put in that optical bay. So, about $1830 CAD, plus 5% tax.

    My model sells for $600 and up on eBay right now (more if I include the aftermarket upgrades.) After getting 5.5 years of use out of it, if I were to sell it for that much today, I’m ok with that.
     
  5. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    #5
    I have a late 2013 - still does what I need it to. The OP is way overthinking this (JMHO)
     
  6. meme1255 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 15, 2012
    Location:
    Czech Republic
  7. Guy Clark Suspended

    Guy Clark

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Location:
    London United Kingdom.
    #7
    Mac prices depreciate most in the first two years after purchase after which they level out and in some cases increase as is with the 17" MacBook Pro since it was discontinued in 2011 but remains an incredible machine the like of which Apple do not produce today.
     
  8. FilmIndustryGuy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Location:
    Manhattan Beach, CA
    #8
    NIce. I bought the top end 15 inch 2017 with applecare for for 1850 in Dec. I guess i can use it for 6 months and sell it for at least 2000 lol
     
  9. MC6800 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    #9
    Interesting. I buy when what I have doesn't do what I currently need it to do. Could last me 1 year or 50.
     
  10. doitdada macrumors 6502a

    doitdada

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #10
    I kind of miss it, since it was the last Mac that really felt powerful, but then again, it never left home, so not really portable. My new MacBook 12" is quite the opposite, and doesn't make me fuming at the end of a travel due to weight and not having the proper space to use it. The 17" required a desk not a lap ;)
     
  11. Luba macrumors 65816

    Luba

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #11
    And new buyer would have a year of AppleCare, if you had bought that. I worry about the hassle of the new buyer getting a lemon.

    Where's a good place to sell a used MacBook? Craigslist? eBay?
     
  12. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #12
    Keep at as long as you wish or until it no longer does what you need.

    It’s a tool and should be treated as such. Spend what you can on what you need and change when it no longer does what you want. For some that will be when AppleCare runs out for others that will be a new model every year and for yet others they’ll run it until it dies.

    There are no hard and fast rules here and people’s priorities and usage will inform their decisions far more than saving a few hundred dollars here or there over the years.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 9, 2018 ---
    It was no different to the 15 inchers of the time internally it just had a bigger screen.
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    Nice analysis, but I keep my MBPs until a model has a feature that I need or want, or the laptop ceases to fit my needs. I'm rocking with a 6 year old laptop at the moment and its still doing everything I need it to do.
     
  14. nnoble macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    #14
    My mid 2010 15” is good for sometime yet. The secret for me is to invest in a slightly higher spec than present circumstances require. All the stuff I generate is on iCloud and/or Dropbox. When the machines physically dies, beyond resuscitation, I look forward to commissioning the replacement.
     
  15. adrianlondon macrumors 6502a

    adrianlondon

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #15
    Interesting thread. I think there's a bit too much thought going into the OP, but it's an interesting analysis nonetheless.

    I've got a late 2013 Macbook pro 15" and it does everything I need it to, at a speed I'm happy with. SOme of the newer models, with the haptic/larger touchpad, the different keyboard, the touchbar etc haven't enticed me to switch. My dilemma now is that the battery is starting to act up. It's got over 1000 cycles and occasionally my laptop will shut down without warning despite apparently having around 40% of life left. A few SMC resets, and discharge,charge cycles have brought it back closer to normality, but I sense it's on its way out.

    So the decision is ... do I drop around £$€200 on a new battery or just live with it (I tend to use it mainly at home) and replace it with a newer model when it becomes unbearable. At the moment, I'm leaning towards getting a new battery, as I'm currently on 10.13.5 beta and I'm still very happy with the speed this thing runs at.

    I will be changing my iPhone 6S battery towards the end of the year (with Apple's cheap replacement deal). I so wish they'd suddenly announce the same for the Macbook Pro :)
     
  16. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #16
    My 2013’s battery is still pretty good I get about 6 hours light usage on it, I’m still considering getting it replaced while it is easy to do so sometime this year though.
     
  17. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #17
    ^^^^ What I would like to see (but don't know how to get the data for) is the cost per day based on how much the older models depreciated in their first two years.

    This analysis would be cool to revisit each year, though.
     
  18. LL321 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2018
    #18
    Still rocking my Mid-2009 base 13" MBP. Upgraded to a 256gb SSD and Maxed (8gb!!!)RAM. Replaced the battery 2x. 1 new mag safe power adaptor, repaired another (fairly simple). Does what I need it to do, Office, Email, Trading Platform, Light editing of marketing material for work, though beginning to bog a little at times.
    Being said, looking forward to June's WWDC and whats new coming out specifically i9 and maybe quad core in the 13". Looking to get more into Photography and editing, use it as a base for multi monitor setup for trading, and all the other usual email, ect....
    my daily cost of ownership is .33 a day.... om ok with that.
     
  19. throAU macrumors 603

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #19
    Budget on replacing every 3 years (as that is the guaranteed lifetime of the battery, applecare, etc.). Worst case scenario, if you have applecare and your machine dies on day 1096 is that you need to buy a machine after 3 years and one day due to hardware failure.

    Push out to 5 (or more) if its still alive and still doing the job satisfactorily.

    Beyond 5 years there's normally significant benefits to be had in terms of new ports, new storage tech, increased RAM capacities, etc.
     
  20. 2IS macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    #20
    I’ve only owned two MacBooks since 2010. The first being a late 2010 MBA the second being a 2017 MacBook Pro. I don’t anticipate I’ll need an upgrade for quite a few years to come.
     
  21. Naaaaak macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    #21
    I get at least 4 years out of my machines, 3.something if I find a particularly compelling reason to upgrade.
     
  22. throAU macrumors 603

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #22
    I had 4 years out of my 2011 15" due to discrete GPU failure.

    Upgraded to a 2015 13" which is still going strong so far. But it is coming up 3 years old and is thus on my budget to be replaced.

    However it is still working fine, so i'll hold off unless there is something compelling coming out.
     
  23. jerryk macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #23
    I would replace the battery in it before it swells and causes other issues.
     
  24. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess

    AustinIllini

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #24
    If you have AppleCare, keep the computer through that and then go as long as you can.
     

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