Late-2011 or Mid-2012 MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Gmas, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. Gmas macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2010
    So I currently have a mid-2009 MBP 15" that I bought from the Apple Refurb store online many years ago, and have been incredibly happy with it. It is starting to show it's age though, and have been looking at replacing it with something newer.

    Problem is, I really like the matte/anti-glare screen and I know those stopped in mid-2012. I also like the fact they're manually upgradeable, where to my understanding, the newer ones have everything soldered in.

    I found a really nice, Late-2011 15" MBP locally that seems to be fully optioned out - matte screen, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD, upgraded i5 2.5 (sandy bridge) processor.... it's also a great price.

    The mid-2012's upgraded to an ivy bridge processor, improved graphics, 1600 mhm RAM and included USB 3.0

    I guess my question is, since this will likely be my last older MBP with a matte screen, should I wait to find a maxed out mid-2012 or will the differences between one of those and the Late-2011 mentioned above be very minimal? I guess I'm also wondering if there's anything critical I'm missing that someone might realize or add.

    Thanks for any input on this!
  2. MichaelDT macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2012
    There are two huge differences that may matter to you, USB 3 and AC wireless. The 2012 has both and the 2011 has neither. The speed jump between USB 2 and 3 is massive. If you transfer a lot of files or connect to peripherals via USB this might matter to you. That being said my wife has a 2011 MBP with SSD and 16GB RAM that is still going strong, the last non retinas are the immortal MBPs.
  3. smbu2000 macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2014
    Definitely go for a 2012 model as that is the best non-retina one. Usb3 is nice and I really enjoyed being able to use airdrop with my iPhone/iPad which I couldn't on the 2011 model.

    One of the big reasons to shy away from the 2011 models though is because of the constant dgpu failures in the 15/17 models. Both early and late 2011. Apple had a replacement program for them which ended at the end of last year I believe. Even the replaced ones still failed again after some time. The mid 2012 15" wasn't part of the program.

    I was constantly worrying about my late 15" failing when I had one. I felt much better after switching to a 2012 15" after that at the time.

    You can also upgrade the ram, hdd/ssd yourself in those models so there isn't as much of a need to have it already installed compared to newer MacBook pros.
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    I think OP is talking about the 13" MBP so dGPU won't be an issue but neither model has AC wireless.

    Definitely get the 2012. Much better across the board. Furthermore the 2011 will soon be EOL & 2012 only stopped selling last year so will likely be supported until 2021 due to 5 year EOL period from last sold.

    Heads up that the SATA cables on the 2012s are notorious though Apple have a silent repair program for them; going to an Apple Store/AASP will get you a free repair. If HDD isn't detected or the system keeps freezing then it's likely the cable or a failing HDD. You should upgrade to an SSD on that model anyway.
  5. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    2012 all the way IMO - but more important if you are considering a 15-inch. If you are thinking of a 15-inch dGPU model, the Nvidia 650M had far fewer issues than the AMD GPUs used in the Early/Late 2011 15-inch models (which are notorious for failing.) The addition of USB 3.0, IIRC a newer Bluetooth revision, processor updates, and IIRC 1600 MHz RAM (versus 1333 base in the 2011 IIRC, although at least the two higher tier 15-inch 2011 models DO support 1600 without downclocking), and the simple fact that it is a little newer all work in favor.

    Just a side note - if the 2011 you are looking at is an i5, it is a 13-inch - the 15 only comes in the i7 flavor :)
  6. nordique macrumors 65816

    Oct 12, 2014
    I would go with the 2012...aside from all the other upgrades, the most impactful day-to-day is USB 3.0

    It is a huge speed bump from USB 2, it really helps especially if you have an external HDD
  7. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2015
    San Jose, CA
    Going from USB 2 to USB 3 is such a game changer, no joke.
  8. Gmas thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2010
    Thanks so much for the input everyone. These were exactly the types of things I was wanting to hear. - things I hadn't thought of or knew about, but are significant. Sounds like I'd be best off passing on this late-2011 15" and holding out for a 2012. I'm not in any rush or without a computer, so it's not a huge deal to wait. Really appreciate all the input!

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