In 2-3 years, which configuration of MBP 16" has better resale value?

Which has better resale value

  • i9 2.3GHz, 16GB, 1TB SSD

    Votes: 22 43.1%
  • i9 2.3GHz, 32GB, 2TB SSD

    Votes: 11 21.6%
  • i9 2.4GHz, 16GB, 1TB SSD

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • i9 2.4GHz, 32GB, 2TB SSD

    Votes: 18 35.3%

  • Total voters
    51

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
5,810
807
Hi, in case somebody wants to use the current MBP 16" for 2-3 years and then move on the to next week, in terms of CPU, RAM and SSD size, which configuration has better resale value if selling back to Apple? 16GB or 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD or 2TB SSD?
 

mightyjabba

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2014
1,548
245
Tatooine
You can simulate this to some degree by going to Apple's trade-in site and putting selecting different models of computer. When you select "Computer" you have to put in some kind of serial number, but it doesn't actually use that as the basis for calculating anything. I would say as a general rule of thumb that you shouldn't expect to get a large amount of money back from upgrades.
 
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hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
5,810
807
Given that we can add a usb-c SSD such as the Samsung T5 2TB which is on sale, I wonder if it is worth to upgrade the internal SSD from 1TB to 2TB. Perhaps i9-2.3 or 2.4, 32GB, 1TB is better? If running Linux and perhaps also Windows 10 under Parallels. Not sure if the performance is better with 32GB RAM.
- - Post merged: - -

in terms of % of original price or absolute dollars?

if the former, option 1.

if the latter, option 4.
I am a bit confused about the two. Is absolute dollars (getting more money back) a better means of comparison?
 

Nacho98

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2019
677
597
I am a bit confused about the two. Is absolute dollars (getting more money back) a better means of comparison?
For example, I would rather get $1500 back on a $2000 computer (higher %) vs. get $3000 back on a $5000 computer (more absolute dollars).

I'm not sure which you are considering to be "better" resale, because one option will give you a higher % back (the cheapest option) whereas another option will give you the highest absolute dollars back (the most expensive option).
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
5,810
807
For example, I would rather get $1500 back on a $2000 computer (higher %) vs. get $3000 back on a $5000 computer (more absolute dollars).

I'm not sure which you are considering to be "better" resale, because one option will give you a higher % back (the cheapest option) whereas another option will give you the highest absolute dollars back (the most expensive option).
Whichever lose less money is better.

We don't know how the new keyboard will behave down the road. I read from MR that the repairing cost for post MBP 2015 machines is high after end of AppleCare (am I correct?) and the current MBP 16" is not perfect for my needs (can't install linux natively thanks to the T2 chip, no nvidia GPU, new AMD GPU performs similar to RTX 2060 will available soon, etc). So, I hesitate to invest over $5K on this model unless I plan to keep it for 5+ years. I do hope that in the next redesign, they will have a new case which allows upgrading and repairing more easily.

Many people are complaining Lenovo's poor implementation of the OLED touch screen in different Thinkpad models. I also cannot stand their poor QC. The MBP 16" is more like a transition machine. If it is good, maybe I will keep it for 5+ years although there is no such plan at the time being. I am typing on my MBP 2010 17". One one screw at the bottom remains and battery life is short. Other than that, it is pretty good.
- - Post merged: - -

I would say as a general rule of thumb that you shouldn't expect to get a large amount of money back from upgrades.
Yes, I think I heard something like that before. Does that apply to both RAM and SSD?
 
Last edited:

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,721
1,820
This seems to be related.
It's not that related. Notice that he reviews what you get for the extra money. After a year or two, your resale also competes against updated models. You can see from the resale sites that upgrades don't bring a lot of additional resale value. They contribute somewhat, but treating a depreciable item like an investment does not work (unless of course you purchase it to facilitate work).

I have noticed a couple exceptions to this over the years, but they tend to restricted to cases of very undesirable models not selling well.
 
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jinnyman

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2011
436
424
Lincolnshire, IL
It depends on the definition of "better resale value". If you mean % of money loss from the original price, I think the basic 16" will give the highest resale value.
 

kave

macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2012
230
57
Sweden
Less money lost on the lesser model. Its like cars, you get less for extras. Especially now when the baseline is ok on storage.
 
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Strangedream

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2019
551
394
Singapore
Base models have better resale value relative to the original price.
Advanced/bespoke models have better absolute resale value.

I have a 2016 15" MBP advanced model and if I get half of the original price I'd be lucky already.
 
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am2am

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2011
184
74
in terms of % of original price or absolute dollars?

if the former, option 1.

if the latter, option 4.
This.

You always loose least with base configuration.
You get (slightly) better price with top specs configuration.
 
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leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,350
4,862
Whichever lose less money is better
If you want to save the most money, get the cheapest model that will satisfy your need. The more expensive the machine, the more the resale value will tank.

And anyway, if you are looking at highest possible resale value, don’t use Apple trade in program. What they offer you is a joke. Just sell on the second hand market.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
5,810
807
I may be wrong but I guess since base model is quite good already, they are popular among those who don't spend too much. Thus, good resale value. As for model with 32GB and 2TB, since more people think 32GB is more future proof and needed for their multi tasking work, such model may have also good resale value. However, for RAM and SSD side more than that, maybe only 20% of the users get them and those who spend that kind of money will just buy brand new, such models are not as popular in 2nd hand market and thus have less good resale value.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,478
31,515
Boston
You'll never get your money back from high end. People who want/need high-end machines are more likely to buy new and those buying used are doing so for the mentality of saving money.

For me, I buy machines not for resale value but rather for need. If you're looking for return on investment, I would recommend you put your money elsewhere. Get the computer that best fits your needs, use it until it no longer fits that need, and move on.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,350
4,862
I may be wrong but I guess since base model is quite good already, they are popular among those who don't spend too much.
Well, look at it like this: the fancy high-end i9 is going to be much less capable that a CPU in a base model (and maybe even inferior to the 13” model). There will be just no point in paying premium for it. People in the second hand market are looking to save money after all. As you mention, 32GB might be a bit different, but still, it depends on what is standard in 6 years. It is not impossible that customer CPUs will come with integrated 16GB of stacked L4 cache and SSDs will be one so fast that having RAM as a buffer becomes obsolete...
 
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Falhófnir

macrumors 68040
Aug 19, 2017
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Basically every single upgrade you add will depreciate more steeply than the computer as a whole. Therefore a stock i9 machine may lose 50% of its value over 2 years, a stock i9 machine with the $400 2TB upgrade will loose the same 50% but probably more like 80% on the $400 storage option, so it won't be worth $400 more than the base 1TB machine anymore, more like $80-100 more.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
5,810
807
Basically every single upgrade you add will depreciate more steeply than the computer as a whole. Therefore a stock i9 machine may lose 50% of its value over 2 years, a stock i9 machine with the $400 2TB upgrade will loose the same 50% but probably more like 80% on the $400 storage option, so it won't be worth $400 more than the base 1TB machine anymore, more like $80-100 more.
Good analysis. So unless one needs to have 2TB in the machine on the go all the time, it is better to stay with 1TB SSD and get an external SSD or NAS which can be used on any machine even the current MBP 16" 2019 is retired.
 
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hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
5,810
807
Now that intel has announced 45W CPU and AMD's new GPU performs as well as RTX2060, do you expect Apple will release an updated MBP 16" within the next six months? I may be wrong but I guess they may need to make a new chassis to avoid thermal throttle of these new components? How likely will they redesign a new case this year to allow users to upgrade the components?

As I am exhausted due to all these buying and returning, I ordered a high end BTO model with 64GB RAM but with the Intel's latest announcement of new CPU, I am considering to get an i9-2.3, 16GB, 4GB VRAM and 1TB base model as a temporary machine and see how it goes. Note that we still don't know if the new keyboard will be issue-free. Any thought on this?

Having 32GB or 64GB is better than 16GB though.
 
Last edited:

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
5,810
807
I went to Apple Trade In but the system does not show trade-in value for MacBook Pro 16" yet. It does not accept 2019 MacBook Pro. How come?
 

Nacho98

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2019
677
597
I went to Apple Trade In but the system does not show trade-in value for MacBook Pro 16" yet. It does not accept 2019 MacBook Pro. How come?
Because nobody in their right mind is taking a huge loss on a computer that at very oldest is less than two months old.

The next processor will be incremental, and the chassis won't be redesigned after a single iteration.

There will always be an upgrade on the horizon, and by all accounts, the next one will be as incremental as incremental gets.

Keep what you have and enjoy it.
 

mlody

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2012
1,030
642
Windy City
If you want the best resell value down the road, always stick with base models. That is true for computers, cars, smartphones etc.
Look at swappa for instance and check couple recently sold iPhone listings and compare storage 64/256/512. It costs close to $400 to upgrade to 512 from the base 64 (when you factor tax), but year later you might be lucky to get $20-50 more compared to the base 64gb model.
 

Chevysales

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2019
32
10
Seriously who buys any product as personal as MBP's that cost a few thousand at least based on resale?