Is getting a used Mac a bad idea?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by santaji, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. santaji macrumors member


    Dec 13, 2008
    Mumbai, India
    I've been thinking of getting a used non-unibody MacBook Pro, But i'm not really sure if it's a good idea.
    I wan't a big screen but i don't think i need something as powerful as the new 15 & 17inch MBP's,
    I used to use a non-unibody 15inch MBP and i remember the build quality was rubbish for such a expensive laptop. Were all the non-unibody MBP's so badly built? Is anyone here still using one without any problems?
    I'm worried about the logic board failing, That happened to the the 15inch i used to have, And my brother's brand new unibody white MacBook.
    Should i just get a new 13inch MacBook Pro, White MacBook, Or some cheap 15inch PC Laptop instead?
  2. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    From what I remember of my friends non Unibody MBPs the build quality was pretty good. If you want to buy one now they are still good machines just make sure that you trust the seller and realize that if something goes wrong you probably don't have a warranty. If you are ok with that then it is not a bad idea to buy one and can save you some money if you don't need a lot of power.
  3. molala macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Cambridge, UK
    We had a few of those at work, and from what I remember they were pretty robust – in build quality and logic board. You must have been unlucky.

    Of course, when getting a used computer, you have to consider how well it has been treated by the current owner. As previous poster said, make sure the seller is trustworthy. If it's a very good deal and meets your needs, then it's a good idea.
  4. scrumpymacs macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2011
    Ipswich, Suffolk
    We've had a lot of used laptops of different ages/specs come through Scrumpymacs and we've found that the logic boards tend to be pretty solid. They fail about as much as they do in the Mac Pros - which isn't very often.

    The biggest issue with laptops seems to be the optical drives failing, which is quite expensive and time consuming to repair. Make sure you get one that has a warranty!
  5. xpcker macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2010
    always buying somethin used comes with a risk

    Look at it, try it a couple of minutes, play a game or a benchmark, look at the enclousure and everything and buy it.
  6. santaji thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 13, 2008
    Mumbai, India
    I'm also worried of overheating, My old 15inch used to get VERY hot after just about a hour use. It was almost unusable after 1 and a half hour.
    Another problem i had was the screen flickering at low brightness.

    I tried finding one with warranty, But it seems like nobody renews their Apple Care when it runs out!
  7. Jiten macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    Why not try taking a look at Apple's refurbished section? You get savings at the same time a full warranty without the risk of buying a lemon from a second hand seller.
  8. Bibblejw macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2009
    One of my friends got a used non-unibody one in the post. He didn't ask for it, know it was coming, or have any idea where it came from. It was quite severely broken, and is sat in our living room. I might make it into a coaster at some point.

    Back on the topic, if you are wanting a Mac experience without paying the prices, then a used one might be the way to go. I know some people who still use their macs from the non-unibody era.

    I would say that buying from the store itself will have a few advantages (applecare being the biggest and most useful), and the refurbs are a reasonable deal.
  9. MiniLaura macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    I have one of the oldest MacBook Pros out there. I preordered it when the machines were first announced. The only upgrade that I ever did to it was to upgrade the RAM to a whopping 2 GB.

    The only problems I've had with it is that it has hung on start up three times in the last year or so (each time I've gotten it to come back to life on my own). I also experience slowness and occasional application crashes when I have too many applications running (this is not surprising considering the small amount of RAM and the extremely old and slow processor).

    It's never had any maintenance or repairs other than installing the additional RAM. I'm a freelance writer, so the machine has been in use AT LEAST 8 hours every weekday since the day I got it.

    In other words, the machine has been a trusty workhorse for me since early 2006. It's being retired as soon as my new MBP arrives, not because it's failing but because I really do need more speed and more HD space.
  10. clivesmithy macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    I am based in the UK, so this is from my experience based here.
    The MBP non unibodys (before autumn 2008) are really nice laptops.
    If you can find one that has not been abused they can be a good buy...
    But... I seem to remember that they have a habit of running hot and some had issues with the Nvidia graphics cards.
    Also very few of the older non unibodys will have any Applecare warranty left
    Here in the UK the 13" Unibody go for a premium. Even the base model late 2008 unibody 13 is still fetching 60% of its purchase price on ebay... Which I think is crazy for a 2 year old laptop with mostly no warranty.
    Good deals can be found on the 15" unibody MBP. Top of the range (Nov 2009) 15" 2.8GHZ 4GB 500GB HiRes Matt screen (512gb 9600) in good condition with some warranty can be picked up for £900 - 1100

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