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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 21, 2008
Hey, Im looking at the differences between the late Sandy bridge and the new retina ivy bridge macbook pro's. It seems like i can get a late sandy I7/1gig graphics card for about 800-1000$ cheaper than an equip Ivy bridge. Is there anything wrong with going for the late Sandy? Am I overlooking anything ?


macrumors member
Jun 2, 2006

Pls the above link useful, The ivy bridge goes with 22nm which means more efficient power usage and performance. My opinion is, it all depends on your budget and the purpose of using your MBP.

If your regular use of MBP for working such as word processing etc go for late sandy bridge, it's bargain and reliable. If you mainly use MBP for gaming, video editing, CAD design etc. go for ivy bridge.

Plus, personally, I think the chance of new product line occurs problems is more than late one.


macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
Sandy Bridge (2011) 15" Macbook Pro:

1440x900 glossy display by default, optional 1680x1050 glossy or antiglare display.

Sandy Bridge quad core processors and AMD graphics

Thunderbolt port, USB 2, Ethernet, Firewire 800, DVD burner.

Ivy Bridge (2012) 15" non-retina Macbook Pro:

Same as above except for Ivy Bridge quad core CPU, Nvidia Kepler graphics (GT 650M), and USB 3.0.

Ivy Bridge (2012) 15" Retina Macbook Pro:

2880x1800 'retina' glossy IPS display.

Ivy Bridge quad core CPU, Nvidia GT650M graphics, solid state flash storage by default, two Thunderbolt ports, USB 3.0, HDMI port.

Can drive 3 external displays in addition to the built in display (the others above can drive 2 external displays, but only by using Apple's Thunderbolt display which supports daisy chaining)

Option to change desktop scaling to provide more or less screen real estate while using high quality scaling. The highest option gives you the equivalent screen 'real estate' as the old 17" MBP.

Thinner than the non-retina Macbook Pros, and about a pound lighter.

Ethernet and Firewire require adapters. No built in DVD drive. RAM cannot be upgraded after purchase.


macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2011
Just on the CPU side your only looking at 10-15% difference in performance. Strictly from that perspective it's not worth it to upgrade/more money over a refurb SB. But you also have to consider the addition of USB 3 and the better graphics card. Does that make it worth the extra money? That's for you to decide. I went with a refurb 2011, the new stuff wasn't worth $400 to me.


macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
If you're trying to save money on it, my suggestion would be that you investigate the best possible prices on the 2012s and possibly wait for refurb options to appear. I'm assuming you're not a student. They get roughly 10% off through Apple. The cheapest late sandy is around $1350 for an October Sandy. The February Sandy models go down to $1200 or so. These were both $1800 initially. Note this one. It's a late Sandy. If you find a refurb of the cheaper Ivy, it will probably be $200 more or so when comparing refurb to refurb. You should check some of the third party retailers too. Sometimes they have better deals. While you should be aware of their individual return policies, the authorized retailers tend to be fine. Most of the time if you're curious about one you can ask on here.


macrumors 68030
Aug 1, 2009
I would also like to mention [ from first hand experience ] that the 2012s [ new ones, Mid 2012 with Ivy Bridge ] run cooler and quieter than the 2011s [ Sandy Bridge] !

That itself is quite an upgrade to me! :apple:
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