How usable is the base 2015 12" Macbook today?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by TomOSeven, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. TomOSeven, Feb 5, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018

    TomOSeven macrumors regular

    TomOSeven

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    #1
    Hi all,

    I was considering going for the 2017 Macbook with an m5 config, but I just stumbled over an m3 2015 model for less than half the price. It's used but only has 10 cycles, somehow.

    Because the screen, speakers and trackpad are presumably as good as the 2017 version, do you think the m3 will do okay for light programming on an external monitor?

    It's only a secondary machine but I'm worried that the performance might be too weak even for that.

    Nevermind, I guess I'll see. Bought the 1.3 GHZ / 512 GB version for 800.
     
  2. jeyf macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #2
    there are a lot of issues with the 2016-17-18 macBooks so stay away.
    research if a 2015 has GPU issues, especially with an external monitor.

    dont know where all this is going but may be time to consider your first Dell?
     
  3. Eric8199 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    #3
    WHAT?
     
  4. ibcj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #4
    When was the 2018 Macbook released ?
     
  5. jeyf macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
  6. TomOSeven thread starter macrumors regular

    TomOSeven

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    #6
    Okay, the point is mood now, I'll just see how well it does myself.
     
  7. Jayderek macrumors 6502

    Jayderek

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #7
    what on earth are you even talking about?
     
  8. jeyf macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #8
    for sure do what you want, if the 2015; thats what i would get, if the 2017 i already have one so watch out for the keyboard etc. all good.
     
  9. dr34mc4st3r macrumors regular

    dr34mc4st3r

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Location:
    Singapore
    #9
    You should go for the 2017 macbook base model. I'm using it currently. No complaints!
     
  10. sbuntin macrumors regular

    sbuntin

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Location:
    Portland OR
    #10
    I'm using a 2015 now. The battery needs replaced, but other than that it's fine. I don't see it being a problem for light programming and graphic work.
     
  11. EugW, Feb 11, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018

    EugW macrumors 601

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #11
    The 2015 m3 is noticeably slower than the 2017 m3, even just for surfing. The 2015 feels just OK whereas the 2017 actually feels relatively decent. Not a huge surprise though, considering that the 2017 m3-7Y32 is 25-50% faster (!) than the 2015 M-5Y31. Plus, the keyboard on the 2017 is way, way better. And finally, the 2017 has full hardware decode for 10-bit 4K HEVC, and there is also an option for the 2017 for 16 GB RAM.

    I guess it really depends on your needs and your keyboard preferences. If you know you have light usage requirements and you're OK with the 2015's crappy keyboard, then the 2015 m3 will be fine. For me though, it was a no-brainer to get the 2017 at edu pricing over the 2015 at refurb pricing.

    EDIT:

    Let me expand on this, using a different computer as an example.

    I had a Windows 10 PC with an Athlon II X3 435 3-core 2.9 GHz CPU without L3 cache. It had 8 GB RAM and Samsung 850 EVO SSD, but on occasion I could get the interface to lag, and some web pages that were media heavy also lagged during scrolling. Nothing major, but enough to be annoying.

    Instead of getting a new machine, all I did was purchase a new CPU off eBay, which is a Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8 GHz CPU with L3 cache. Nothing else in the configuration changed. All exactly the same, except for the change from a triple-core CPU to a hex-core CPU. (They use the same CPU socket, so it was a simple drop-in replacement.)

    All the lag I was experiencing is now gone with the new CPU. Like I said before the lag before was not a deal killer, just occasionally annoying, but now those occasional annoyances have disappeared.

    For reference, here are the Geekbench 4 scores of the machines in question:

    ~7650: Phenom II X6 1055T
    ~4100: Athlon II X3 435

    ~7000: Core m3-7Y32 (2017 MacBook)
    ~4650: Core M-5Y31 (2015 MacBook)
     
  12. FilmIndustryGuy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Location:
    Manhattan Beach, CA
    #12
    sold my 2015 for a 2017 and dont regret getting only half my money back. 2017 is the laptop ill keep for the next 5 years. dont buy the 2015. its smoother on high sierra but keyboard is not great. just trust me. get the 2017 only or wait for 2018 and buy the 2017 for less at that point.
     
  13. TomOSeven thread starter macrumors regular

    TomOSeven

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    #13
    I tested the 2015 Macbook for two weeks and man what a terrible experience that was.

    While I barely noticed any sluggishness, die battery life was terrible (although the machine only had 70 cycles) and **** me, that keyboard is a joke. I might as well type on an iPad screen.

    Returned it and got the 2015 15" Macbook Pro instead. I have the feeling that's going to be my last Mac if Apple insists on those stupid "butterfly" keyboards.
     
  14. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #14
    I think the 12" 2016 is worth infinitely more than the 12" 2015 since it does not use SLG4AP645AV for charger/USB-C functionality. That chip dies constantly for no reason and when it does the machine is a paperweight. The 2016 version is a far better design and well worth the additional money.
     
  15. TomOSeven thread starter macrumors regular

    TomOSeven

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2017
    #15
    Holy ****, did Louis Mother****ing Rossmann just reply to my post?

    Switched to a T480s anyway.
     
  16. polee macrumors 6502a

    polee

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    #16
    I have both base models. The 2015 is still usable today, more than usable actually. It does everything for me that the 2017 can except the keyboard feels slightly different and the 2015 model gets warm when I play YouTube videos. Other than that both are gems if you don’t mind butterfly keyboard. Oh yes I had the issue of a rapidly degradading battery capacity in the first two years of my MacBook 2015.
     
  17. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
  18. Ffosse macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
  19. polee macrumors 6502a

    polee

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    #19
    Battery for the 2015 hovers between 81 to 85 percent of its original capacity (3 years old now); battery for the 2017 model is still at 100 percent (8 months old).
     
  20. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #20
    Woah, they finally fixed it in 2017!! Great to know, thanks.
     
  21. noobinator macrumors 603

    noobinator

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    #21
    The 2017 models have the improved butterfly keyboard so that might make the 17 a good choice.
     
  22. actcyclist macrumors regular

    actcyclist

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    #22
    I've got a MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015). It's fine, just as fast as I got it and the battery is still 10 hours+
    The keyboard is fine, and I suppose you could get a MacBook Pro if you prefer that keyboard, but I wanted a MacBook as it's only 920 grams compared to the MacBook Pro at 1370 grams, and the 2015 MacBook Pro at 1580g.

    I don't use any software that didn't come with it, so I'm a basic home user.

    Plus, I poured a drink in it and it survived.
     
  23. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #23
    Well NOW I'm impressed. I murdered quite a few (external, luckily!) keyboards by sharing my drinks with them, and this laptop dies when there is a speck of dust within the radius of 30 meters!
     
  24. Bobjob186 macrumors 6502a

    Bobjob186

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    #24
    I picked up a base 2015 for $450 as an iPad Pro replacement and it's fantastic. My main machine is a maxed out Late 2013 MBP with all the ports I love and need but the iPad Pro is very limited when trying to get actual tasks done away from my desk. For reading, playing music, watching videos, viewing forums, and online shopping the iPad Pro is great, however, for anything more I am finding that the MacBook is a much better choice. The Apple keyboard for the iPad is honestly a toy and the "Files" app, although useful is nothing like having a full MacOS experience. If you're looking for a second machine for the road, I highly recommend the MacBook.
     
  25. thitiv macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Location:
    Bangkok, Thailand
    #25
    My 12-inch Early 2015 MacBook (the 1st generation) still runs just fine on High Sierra.
     

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