Khoi Vinh: Upgraded to an older MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by turbineseaplane, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. turbineseaplane macrumors 68040


    Mar 19, 2008

    I agree 100% with his post here.
    Earlier this year I made a similar move (2015 MBP 15" for me) after mucking around with multiple 2016 MBP 15" machines.

    It's a bummer seeing so many influential designers, programmers and podcasters publicly loathe major features of the direction Apple chose with these machines.
  2. rushmere macrumors 6502


    Jul 28, 2006
    Similar story here.

    I absolutely hate the Touch Bar, and for me the new keyboard is just too compromised. The extra speed of the new model would likely be unnoticeable for me in real-life usage.

    I bought a refurb 2015 15" MBP this month direct from Apple - 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, discrete graphics. Apple have been selling this model here for about 3 months, and I wondered if maybe it's just a batch of leftover old stock. It's by far the best Mac I've ever owned. Not only do I prefer it to the 2016/2017 models, but it cost me over $1000 less than the nearest equivalent 2017 new model at local prices.

    It should last me for at least the next 5 years. It's so good I also bought a second identical unit for my partner.
  3. Matt Leaf macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2012
    I absolutely agree with this post, I'm so disappointed by the 15" MacBook Pro that I cannot bring myself to buy it. The horror is that my life depends on it, and I'm now in a bind with nowhere to go but backwards. This has not been the case in the decade+ I've been a Mac user, making the wound smart even more. I simply dont know what to do. And the only answer is the 2015 MBP.

    There are so many issues I have with it, but regularly visiting these models instore reveals other glaring issues - such as the inability to adjust the brightness or sleep settings of the Touch Bar. Even in my sleep I am blown away by dreams of this machine which upon waking are never fulfilled.

    I simply refuse to buy one, that is the best protest I can have. But recently, I've considered a non-Touch Bar 13" as a day to day machine.

    My only hope is that Kuo's rumours are true. That, like the iMac, which is getting the iMac Pro, that Apple actually deliver on a true Pro laptop.

    The only way I see it happening is if they redefine their machines - rebadge the MacBook as the Air, certain MBP models now become MacBooks, and the MacBook Pro, or some other name they come up with, is finally representative of a machine deserving of the title.
  4. Queen6, Aug 19, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017

    Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    Hardly surprising, personally I don't know of anyone who has purchased the new MBP and not returned it. Apple has simply turned the MBP into a flashy consumer toy, leaving many professionals with few options; either sticking with older hardware or switching to Windows.

    Only way forward I see is if Apple revive the PowerBook and do it justice with performance, features and usability that make sense in a professional environment. I and many others want ports that are relevant today, we want the battery capacity back to the maximum, we want keyboards designed for extensive use with sensible travel that are reliable, we want the faster SSD's, we want the P3 display's, we want TB-3 over USB C, we want the Touch Bar to be optional, dGPU's that are not crippled due to "thinner" being the overriding design focus of the notebook.

    What we don't want is the current garbage, however well appointed...

  5. Nik, Aug 19, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017

    Nik macrumors 6502a

    Jun 3, 2007
    That post just saved me 3000 bucks.

    And wow, I am so in the market for something new and great. Tested the new MBP for 2 weeks and returned it.

    Issues for me personally are:
    - Far too loud keyboard. I dont want to annoy my fellow students when I am in the library or during lectures.

    - TouchBar: Unintended touches are really annoying. No dedicated ESC Key is also a bummer.

    I only have these two issues really, but those are really prohibitive for buying the 15" MBP.
  6. ilikewhey macrumors 6502a

    May 14, 2014
    nyc upper east
    returned my 2016 mbp touchbar for 1700, got a mint 2015 mbp for 900, saved 800 on the spot.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I, too, prefer the 2015 (and earlier) design over the 2016 (and later) revision.

    When the 2016's were introduced, I did a side-by-side comparison, and picked the 2015 13". I liked the legacy ports and the feel of the "old" keyboard.

    After 8+ months, I've no regrets.
    Haven't met a USB-c cable since.

    MacConfucious say:
    "Make the right choice the first time, and you'll be a happy user for years..."
  8. TokMok3 macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2015

    I agree... same here, I bought a mid 2015 2.8Mhz, but I was so close to buy a windows machine after 8 years. At least in this model I have the option to swap the SSD Drive. I save $1,000, and after one month, there's no regrets.
  9. english_mac_in_ny macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2017
    I do not agree with this. This article mostly complains about the lack of ports. It is actually quite the opposite, the MacbookPros before USB-C were severly limited when it comes to ports.

    I need to attach 2 displays, sometimes 3, one of it being a 4K one with DisplayPort for 60Hz back then, now I even have 2x 4K displays. Then I need 2 rj45 ports, and I also need a bunch of USB ports for keyboard, mouse, soundcard and a few more.

    ...the Thunderbolt 2 docks only support connecting a single display via Displayport, so you need to sacrifice the other Thunderbolt port on the Mac for a second DisplayPort. Now all USB and Thunderbolt ports on the Mac and the dock are occupied, yet you only have 1 Ethernet via the dock and can't plug in another Ethernet adapter.

    Forget plugging in a third external screen, that is something the Macs support with the lid closed (they won't do it when the internal screen is on because the limit is 3 screens at the same time), but it's hard to do when you have only two ports with each port accepting a single monitor! The new Macs bring enough connectors to do 3 external screens without sacrificing anything. (Yes, you could have bought an Apple Thunderbolt screen to avoid this restriction, but I don't have those.)

    At this point I have 5 cables attached, power, 2x USB, 2x Thunderbolt, and I still don't get all the ports I want. Mainly, that second Ethernet port and a further free Thunderbolt, because I do have a Thunderbolt RAID system.

    With my 2017 MBP I now have 4 ports - I only need 2 of them to get more than with the previous generations: First port for the dock and dual 4K DisplayPort through it (+ charging), second port for the RAID and daisychained through I have the second Ethernet port. That is two cables and I still get two additional ports, one for a third display (I rarely use it, but still) and then still one more port left and that is another universal one. Third Ethernet? Firewire soundcard? SD card adapter? Whatever it is, I can connect it - yet I already have a ton of things connected and more than the 2015 models can do.

    Sure it's expensive, but the 13" Mac + dock were still only 2500 and I'd rather have the option to extend the connectors with expensive adapters than being forced to live with two Thunderbolt 2 ports. I hated those on the previous Mac, always having to unplug one thing for another. I am really not on an unlimited budget, but using this Mac for around 5 years just like my previous one, it comes down to 42 dollars you spend on it per month for 5 years, that's as much or even less than a TV subscription would cost, and after 5 years you still get money back by selling it. So when you calculate in aronud 500 dollars you get back, the overall cost for the device including the dock for me was just $2000.

    Have I mentioned that I love charging my Mac with my USB-C powerbank on the road? Can't do that with the older Macs.

    I understand that you might want the cardreader, or like to have the two USB ports without an adapter, but for me the benefit of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 is worth it. It's the first Mac I own that I actually consider to be a true Pro device, finding the older ones always limited in some way or another. (But I admit, I find even this Mac limited as I would like to reduce the amount of cables I have to plug in to a single one.)
  10. Frankfurt macrumors 6502


    Dec 4, 2016
    Apple left the old 15" behind for a reason. So you guys can choose what you want. It's an established marketing strategy for slow adopters or folks who don't want to / cannot change because of their needs, habits, feelings, whatever.

    The new MBPs are fine machines. They don't fit everyone's needs or wallet and they don't need to. Have they truly more technical issues than previous models? I don't know. Forums like this tend to amplify issues as only people having them post.
  11. NiCk- macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2007
    He's not complaining about the touch bar but about the lack of ports and the "noisy" keyboard.

    Personally though I would never go back. I love the new form factor, the keyboard, the screen, the speakers AND I really like the touch bar even though it is nothing groundbreaking (why should it be though?).

    To each his own I guess. There are positives and negatives in everything. He's perfectly entitled to his opinion and I understand him. If he feels that his workflow is better with an older model then obviously the 2016 is not the best choice for him.
  12. HaddockW macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2017
    San Francisco
    Sorry, lack of ports doesn't cut it. I went through the same process with my 2013 15 Retina when it first came out. Two Thunderbolt ports, 2 USB. I have that now but so much more.
    I do use 2 TB3-to-TB2 dongles. I then have two more USB-C ports which I can daisy chain lots more USB 3.0 hubs.

    The hard drive alone justifies the upgrade. I thought my 2013 15" was fast, benchmarking at 800 MB/sec. Now, I get 1,800 writes and up to 2,200 MB reads. That is more than double the performance in I/O. It means faster Lightroom scrolling, it means faster copying 300GB Virtual Machines to USB 3.1 devices like the Samsung T3. I can still use my old Thunderbolt Caldigit Thunderbolt (1st generation) dock. It connects to a 27" Dell at 1440p and I have a LG UDP69-p connected via DisplayPort running 4K at 60Hz while connected to my Drobo and eSATA Thunderbolt 1 RAID 6 enclosuress..... Like the 2013 Retina, with its intro of Thunderbolt 1, USB-C/TB3 opens way more possibilities.

    Prior, in order for me two drive 2" 27" monitors, I used up ALL my TB ports on my 2013 15".
    I do that now, but I can also drive a 3rd 25 ultrawide panel and still have room for other devices. USB docks w/ power delivery passthrough makes up for lack of MagSafe.
  13. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    All Apple had to do was: keep the previous 2015 chassis: add the improved display; keep the scissor style keyboard; add the touchbar "in addition" to the standard function keys; keep the previous generation touch pad instead of the accident prone gargantuan touchpad on the new models; provide one USB A 3.1 port in addition to a USB C port. I could go with with compromise of removing the SD card reader. Since I bought my Early 2015 MBP, I haven't used it once. Mag safe could have also been kept too, but, I would accept the trade off for the others I mentioned.

    Was that really so hard? With these recommendations, they wouldn't even have to reduce the size of the battery to support the non-necessary thinness. As others have noted, Apple has lost the plot. The problem is the former micro-manager is not around to rebuke Jony and slap him on the wrist when he needs it. Steve Jobs was a very practical person. Remember, he was also head of Pixar and among Hollywood professionals, so, he saw up front what they used and needed.

    He went back to Apple, gave Jony an outline and Jony would just have to follow directions just like any other employee. If he didn't, he would have gotten the typical insults just like any other employee. But Steve is not around anymore, so we are just gonna do whatever we please.

    When you are flush with cash like Apple though, you do whatever you please I guess.
  14. negativzero macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2011
    I don't get the argument lack of function keys. You can go to Settings and configure your touchbar to display function keys while having touchbar functions secondary.

    The keyboard might be a little loud however, it isn't THAT much louder than my old 2012 non-Retina either. And after using it for a while, I find much easier typing on. Plus the huge touchpad isn't really a hindrance but a joy to use.

    And lastly with regards to the USB-C ports. I like that you can charge the MacBook from any port, left or right side. It might not be so important to people who permanently plug in their Macs at home or work, but those of us who work on the go, sometimes the lack of space in a cafe means you may not be able to pull your wires long enough. Quick release from the MagSafe is a compromise, but I rather have more choice of where to plug in this way.
    Also, is it really difficult to go to the computer store and just drop $30 and change all your cables to USB-C??? Did so myself and the problem I have now is a lack of USB-C ports for my MacBook.
  15. Matt Leaf, Aug 20, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017

    Matt Leaf macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2012
    Again I spent some time in the Apple store again today checking out this machine. And actually, I rediscovered the tool that a developer made when all that 'exams / disable touchbar' stuff went down. So that at least mitigates my issues with a glaring bright TouchBar at night-time when you have the backlit and screen brightness way down - I can simply completely turn off the TouchBar. But I was listening to the Accidental Tech Podcast from back in 2016 when the first TouchBar model came out. It gets to this issue of this thing just not being mature yet, just being an incremental version of something we are yet to truly see come to light. Which is just so fascinating that it was released at this stage. And then this makes me think how smart this is.

    The touchbar does need development, it needs time to stew and mature and to find out why it sucks and how it can be better. And developers and Apple will push and pull it and I'm sure it goes way further out from what it is now. Because right now, if you have to leave your trackpad to do something which can be clicked faster than you can look down and move your hand to press that same function, I just don't see the point of that. The trackpad is essentially a touch surface, albeit one we don't have to look at. That bind created by this MBP being the only device that has a TouchBar means it can never truly do the things it may be destined to be able to do, because it will always be held up by catering to machines that don't have a TouchBar.

    This makes me think two things : what would 'trackpadless' computing be like? What if Apple are attempting to slowly phase out the mousepointer in some ways? Right now this seems stupid, but as these functions coalesce to a point where they are duplicating each other, surely one or the other is unnecessary. Another thought is, the TouchBar makes so much more sense if the focus is constantly on the keyboard. In a scenario where the user is primarily using the trackpad, moving up above to the function key area to do some function makes far less sense than if one were at the keyboard, and the TouchBar provides the keyboardist with additional functions she does not have at her fingertips by way of general qwerty. This raises another interesting thought, should the TouchBar be above the trackpad, and not the keyboard? But would that always be interrupted by unintended input? These kinds of questions are what happens when you replace near century old UI design with complete transformations overnight.

    To me the trackpad and the touchbar fly in the face of each other, rather than ever being as it has been marketed a mere 'replacement of the function keys'. It has way more to do with the mouse than it does the F keys by a long shot. Which makes me also think - this is such a bold move by Apple. It IS actually quite courageous. Far more courageous than simply adding a touch screen. These are as stated over half century old systems, F keys, and with one swoop they come in and have them for lunch. It's such a big statement, because what does and can this mean? What can this be? We all know what happens when you touch a touch screen, but where does all this lead when the keyboard slowly becomes a mouse? Thinking of it more, I cannot help to feel, and I have done all along, that this current gen Macbook Pro is a fledgling in a much broader and deeper ambition for Apple. To me everything about the new Macbook Pro is superfluous - even the TouchBar as it currently stands, except for the OS, the new processor and the new GPU, and its those three features that are the sole reason I want/need it. But this whole setup smells fishy to me. I made the decision today to wait until October. I don't need a new machine right now and though I can wait, waiting feels weird. Coz god damn I'm interested to see where this all leads.
  16. english_mac_in_ny macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2017
    Is that the BetterTouchTool you tried out? It can do so much more - it simply allows you to replace any and all of the Apple buttons with your own custom ones, allowing to run shell scripts, simple bash commands, Applescript, emulate mouse/keyboard actions... with this alone, the touchbar is as useful as it can possibly be. You can even chain multiple commands together.

    And the brightness at night is slightly annoying, but not a show stopper, and you can disable the bar (or have a second set of buttons for the night, like only the minimum amount required and without any button color, so the background remains black and only the white text is visible). Sadly it is not yet possible to change the text color on the buttons, but that is planned. I'd love to have dark green text on black background for the night.

    What's the issue with the current touchbar? Sure it would profit from having its own brightness setting, and sure Apple could allow for more customization by default. But if you take the time, you will quickly find that there is this tool out there to enable any button you can dream of. It's the very first iteration of a new feature, and of course after multiple years of touchbar macs, there will be improvements.

    Basically you are saying the touchbar is redundant, you can reach its functions quicker with keyboard shortcuts or the mouse cursor. Here are my personal examples that contradict this:

    - Inverting colors for the night requires either going into the system preferences menu, or pressing a 4 key keyboard shortcut. Both aren't that quick to do.
    - Seeing the battery status when gaming full screen in games that don't allow switching to the desktop to see the top menu bar, it's impossible.

    I created a button on the touchbar that shows the battery percentage, and when you press it, it switches between inverted colors for night and regular colors. It takes up space for a single button, but serves two purposes.

    So the touchbar buttons can both give you regularly updated information, such as the battery remaining, and execute an action that is entirely unrelated to the information presented, if you want that. I like that, because it saves space on the touchbar.

    Right now I am working on a script that automatically replaces the entire touchbar contents with the From and Subject fields of an e-mail that just came in. I don't have to switch out of my fullscreen app to quickly see if I have any new messages, and I can immediately see how important that e-mail is. Press anywhere on the touchbar to close the message and it will display the regular buttons again.

    It's basically its own customizable row of keys with the bonus of being able to display any information that doesn't currently fit on the main display, instead of only showing static keys.
    It's all overkill anyway. I could just switch to Outlook and look at the inbox, and I can press the 4 keys to invert colors. But then again, this Mac is overkill - I don't need the Retina screen or the force touchpad, but those are all very nice things to have.

    Anyway, the technology of the new Macbooks is here to stay. Neither the touchbar nor USB-C are going away anytime soon, and y'all can help Apple get rid of the overprized stock of 2015 models, but eventually they'll be out of support, or simply unavailable or finally too slow (when it comes to graphics, they are already falling behind).

    And don't expect the touchbar to change much for the next few macbooks. It seems like it will probably be introduced on the regular Macbook without Pro too, but I think that will be it for the near future (or perhaps they reserve it for the more expensive Pro series). They'll put in a new OLED display with better colors etc. in a few years, call it touchbar 2 and tell you how important it is to tap on keys in displayed in billions of colors instead of merely millions.

    What I am actually worried about is how long they intend to keep the touchbar. There is no guarantee that Apple doesn't just go "oh alright, nice experiment we had there and now your dozen hours you spent on customizing are in vain because we are going back to regular buttons." And we all know Apple likes to have few customization options. So eventually either all Macbooks will have the touchbar, or none of them will. There won't be a choice for many more generations, and on the 15" you didn't have it to begin with.

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