Late 2011 vs. Mid 2015 MacBook Pro performance?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by logicstudiouser, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. logicstudiouser macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2010
    I have been using a maxed out late 2011 17" MacBook Pro, the highest spec model 2.5ghz i7 with SSD and 16gb ram. It runs fast and smooth even on El Capitan (not sure about Sierra)
    It is a dated computer by today's standards I guess, but it doesn't feel like it. It still looks almost brand new, runs high performance apps very well, launches apps and boots very quick.
    I have thought of upgrading to a 2015 model simply cause I have had this model now for almost 5 years and it would just be a change of look, but have wondering if it really is worth the trouble since I don't have an issue with speed, but maybe I have been complacent and what is out there now is a lot better?
    Has anyone done a similar upgrade?

    Also, how is the glare on the 2015 macbook pro displays? I have a high res anti glare display and really enjoy that feature especially when I end up working outside.

    For those asking why I am not considering a 2016 macbook pro? Not into this USB-C thing, the lack of ports and upgradability.
  2. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    I have the same MacBook Pro 17" Late 2011 as you do.

    Quad-core Sandy Bridge is very potent.

    Unless you want some specific features in the 2015 MBP 15", you shouldn't "upgrade".
  3. rawweb macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2015
    I owned the very same MacBook Pro, and absolutely loved it. I adored owning the last 17" notebook apple made. You've got every port there was from ethernet, usb, firewire to thunderbolt (sans SD slot, if memory serves). Pretty slick, really. Plus, that expansion card slot can be useful. I used the data doubler to gain an extra hard drive because I never used the optical drive. I regrettably sold mine to buy an iPad pro...worst tech swap I ever made. I loved and miss my 17".

    That said, clock speed has stagnated quite a bit since 2011. It should warm your heart to know that new computers sold today are still in the same processor clock range. In 2017, that GPU, cache and ram speed are probably the most dated 'feeling' components. The HD 6770M was notorious for video issues. Mine cooked and thankfully I was able to take advantage of the repair program. They put a new display, logic board and top case on for free...felt and looked like a new of the reasons I ended up selling it. Seemed like a great time to get the most value out of it while everything was new.

    Anyway, I have the 15" 2016, I don't mind TB3 at all. It can literally become anything I want it to. The display is beautiful, I wish the 17" was still in the line, imagine what a retina 17" would look like! I find it amazing how I still run into people that swear the 13" is the best size. The apple store clerk wanted nothing more than to sell me a 13". I basically had to argue why I needed the GPU and extra screen real-estate until he finally grabbed me a 15". To me 15" is good enough. It can handle the same resolution 17" had. Either way, I'm loving the new MacBook Pro...I'm only a week into ownership though.

    I used to love anti-glare hi-res matte as well...imo once you see the crisp clarity of the retina screen, it's hard to go back.
  4. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The performance increase are there, and they are substantial. But if you are happy with what your model gives you and it runs well — why upgrade? You can always wait a year or two until your machine goes into final rest and by then, USB-C will have become the predominant connection so you won't have to deal with early adopter issues when you finally upgrade.
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    The CPU jump just between the 17" 2011 MBP and the 15" 2012 MBP is huge. The 2015 is even more potent; the Passmark for the 2015 CPU is nearly twice that of your model.

    Add in the really quick SSD speeds of the 2015 and you will definitely see a massive performance impact.

    The only issue with the 2015 if you were to buy it from Apple is that they no longer offer discreet GPU options on that model. However the iGPU offers comparable performance to your model anyway.

    I agree with the other posters, though; if your laptop still works for what you need it to, there's little point in upgrading. Regardless, if you do feel the need to upgrade, you will see a big performance jump.
  6. andreyush macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2015

    Yea but for office, and web browsing this performance is irelevant. Even a 2009 Macbook Pro is just fine for that. He didn't told us what he is doing with that CPU power :). If he does render movies in Final Cut then yea, more power more performance, but if he is just surfing web then the CPU doesn't matter so much. Throw an SSD and you're good :D.
  7. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Judging by his username, his mention of "high performance apps", coupled with previous posts I remember – I imagine he dabbles in music production from time to time. Hence the 2015 model will make a massively positive difference to the OP's workflow. :)

    But again, no point upgrading if the current rig does the work fine.
  8. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    Well, I will say this:

    If you have to ask someone else to justify an upgrade, then you don't need it!
  9. lympero macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2008
    Arta, Greece
    Newer machines are also more silent. I own a MBP 15" 2011 and when I was doing a Skype interview 1-2 years ago they asked me if we have an airport nearby :) but it was my laptop trying to take off.

    I own a 2015 13" MBP for 3 months and it's completely silent!
  10. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    Passmark for the 2015 model is about 20% higher. It's definitely not anywhere near "twice as much".
  11. ambientdaw macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2016
    Sonoma County CA
    not sure wether to post here or start a new thread. I was surprised to see this discussion!

    My 2015MBP is a dud compared to my 2011. Is this possible? Is it Sierra? or?

    Just received a brand new packed-to-the-hilt 2015 15".

    I am doing realtime audio using Ableton Live, NI Komplete Kontrol, and Omnisphere one track each! Not even recording yet, only playing the synths. Playing at 64 samples using RME Babyface and the sound is breaking up.
    At 128 it works much better but not perfect. I am hoping to record all this to the internal SSD!

    On my 17” 2011 MBP 2.2 running Yosemite the sound NEVER broke up at 64 samples. Also on my late 2015 iMac this all works like a charm. But since my laptop's fan comes on and whines and whirrs I need to replace it. I went with the gorgeous 2015 as Apple is not offering a good choice for me with the 2016.

    I’ve tried everything. Lean, mean and fresh and updated. And dialed it in OCD-stylee to be suitable for stage-ready dependability, all systems focused.

    I'm surprised and confused. I did notice Live 9 acting buggily while testing. Has been otherwise stable on my iMac and 2011MBP.

  12. logicstudiouser thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2010
    That's bizarre. Maybe you got a lemon. Did you get a refurbished from Apple or new from a marketplace seller or authorized Apple dealer?
    If you got it from Apple, you should be able to get a replacement if they have more 2015 models still available. Same should be the case with an authorized Apple dealer.

    Also, (this is a remote possibility) some apps don't play well with Time Machine or migration transfers. Did you do clean install of these apps on the 2015 MBP or just an external hard drive import?
  13. pdwalker macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2010
    Just upgraded to a 15" 2015 MBP from my 2009 17" MBP. So far, so good. My 2009 laptop was getting a bit long in the tooth and 8GB of ram is no longer enough (neither is 16GB, but I can work with it for a bit longer)

    I didn't want the 2016/17 versions has the hardware is not only no impressive, but the keyboards have problems and the USB C thing is a bit of a pain in the ass. In my opinion, the 2015 model was the last decent MBP made by Apple. It's a shame that Apple no longer caters to their desktop/laptop market.
  14. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    There has been no real upgradeability on apple portables since the last non retina 15 inch in 2012, if you want upgradability then that is the last apple laptop you can buy. The 2011 has a ticking time bomb for a dGPU it will fail eventually. At that point you'll have to make a decision on your future computing needs.

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13 January 21, 2017