Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

ruarmani

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 14, 2015
28
11
Hi, I have been really puzzled with the decision to either buy Macbook Pro 15" 2017 or 2015. After a lot of reading and getting totally overwhelmed I think I would go for 2015. A guy at apple store suggested that I would keep checking refurbished units (I bought refurbs before, great buy) as I can get the one with dGPU instead of new with iGPU Iris pro.

I finally see one available:
Originally released May 2015

15.4-inch (diagonal) Retina display; 2880x1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch

16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory

512GB PCIe-based flash storage

720p FaceTime HD Camera

Intel Iris Pro Graphics and AMD Radeon R9 M370X


and there is another one with only Iris Pro and it is more expensive:
Originally released May 2015
15.4-inch (diagonal) Retina display; 2880x1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch

16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory

512GB PCIe-based flash storage

720p FaceTime HD Camera

Intel Iris Pro Graphics


Where is the catch? Why would macbook pro with dGPU would be less money? Is this an older machine? Normally the machine with dGPU is more expensive. Tried to ask apple stuff - they didn't know. Any idea?

The 2017 though still can not get off my mind. I tried it for a week and I think I have got used to the new keyboard, really liked the sound, the screen, etc. But complaints about different issues with 2017's make me wonder and stirring toward 2015. Funny, that after a day on 2017, the keyboard on 2012 feels mushy and too soft.

Thank you in advance for your advise. Much appreciated.
 
Last edited:

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,729
2,153
Sorry, forgot to mention. The same processor - 2.5GHz.

It may have just been listed at a different time and the rules have changed sounds like the dGPU version is a bargain for you go for it if you are set on the 2015.

Personally if I needed a dGPU I would be buying a 2016 or 2017 the new architecture runs much cooler and quieter suggesting a much better dGPU life on what is traditionally a laptop weak spot reliability wise.
 

ruarmani

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 14, 2015
28
11
It may have just been listed at a different time and the rules have changed sounds like the dGPU version is a bargain for you go for it if you are set on the 2015.

Personally if I needed a dGPU I would be buying a 2016 or 2017 the new architecture runs much cooler and quieter suggesting a much better dGPU life on what is traditionally a laptop weak spot reliability wise.

I do agree with you, it does run cooler and quieter. I noticed that when 2015 reaches around 60+C fans go all the way for some reason until it cools down to 50C. I tried simple games, it would kick the fans pretty quick. I still think about 2017, won't go for 2016. Interesting point on reliability related to dGPU. But my late 2008 macbook pro with dGPU lasted me until I killed it this Jan (coffee break). Had only one minor issue over the period of 9 years.

I did notice that 2015 with dGPU sell very fast, 5-10 mins and it's gone.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,729
2,153
I do agree with you, it does run cooler and quieter. I noticed that when 2015 reaches around 60+C fans go all the way for some reason until it cools down to 50C. I tried simple games, it would kick the fans pretty quick. I still think about 2017, won't go for 2016. Interesting point on reliability related to dGPU. But my late 2008 macbook pro with dGPU lasted me until I killed it this Jan (coffee break). Had only one minor issue over the period of 9 years.

I did notice that 2015 with dGPU sell very fast, 5-10 mins and it's gone.

Wow you are lucky to have a 2008 with dGPU last that long to be honest. Yeah people seem to have an unreasoning prejudice against ports that do everything and better performance in a a smaller slimmer lighter package so the 2015 does go fast.
 

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,076
18,717
Where is the catch? Why would macbook pro with dGPU would be less money? Is this an older machine? Normally the machine with dGPU is more expensive. Tried to ask apple stuff - they didn't know. Any idea?

I don't think that there is a catch :) Just some artefact of listing. You have warranty and return right on refurbs, so its totally safe to buy one.

The 2017 though still can not get off my mind. I tried it for a week and I think I have got used to the new keyboard, really liked the sound, the screen, etc. But complaints about different issues with 2017's make me wonder and stirring toward 2015. Funny, that after a day on 2017, the keyboard on 2012 feels mushy and too soft.

I know what you mean with the keyboard very well. I can't use pre-2016 keyboards anymore myself. The old keys are just extremely wobbly and small. Love the firmness and precision of the new generation. Anyway, the "complains" are largely overblown. There does indeed seem to be a issue with keyboard reliability, but thats that the warranty is for in the end. As to everything else, I think in about 2-3 years time one would kick themselves for not getting USB-C. There are more and more mainstream peripherals coming out with USB-C out-of-box and following Dell, I am sure that most PC laptop manufacturers will incorporate these ports more rapidly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ruarmani

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,158
If you want the 2015 dGPU model, IMHO you need to be 100% adamant and ready to strike like a US Navy SEAL, with zero hesitation. They go so fast that you need to have your Apple account already set up and a password manager ready to log you in and complete the purchase ASAP. Demand is much greater than supply...
 

06tb06

Cancelled
Sep 12, 2017
183
138
If you want the 2015 dGPU model, IMHO you need to be 100% adamant and ready to strike like a US Navy SEAL, with zero hesitation. They go so fast that you need to have your Apple account already set up and a password manager ready to log you in and complete the purchase ASAP. Demand is much greater than supply...

If I had to downgrade from my iMac, I would choose that model in a heartbeat. I owned a 13" rMBP 2015 and it was the best notebook computer I ever had. Those models do sell quick.
 

mj_

macrumors 68000
May 18, 2017
1,616
1,281
Austin, TX
Anyway, the "complains" are largely overblown. There does indeed seem to be a issue with keyboard reliability, but thats that the warranty is for in the end.
First of all I don't think they're overblown but neither of us knows for sure until Apple is forced to disclose. Second, by referring to the problem as "complaints" you're marginalizing a problem that definitely exists, and consequently are denying its existence. And third, I find your approach to be rather problematic for three reasons.

a) AppleCare (or AppleCare+) would be an absolute must, which adds another $249/$279 to the 2016's/2017's purchase price.
b) you might have to keep a spare laptop around at all times, because swapping the top case is going to take at least one week and not everybody can do without their laptop for that long.
c) what do you do once you're out of warranty? Replacement costs are $500 (nTB) to $700 (TB) every time that goddamn thing fails.
 
  • Like
Reactions: David G.

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,076
18,717
First of all I don't think they're overblown but neither of us knows for sure until Apple is forced to disclose.

I meant complains other than the keyboard reliability (I think we can all agree that there is really an abnormally high rate of failures). Sorry if I didn't make it clearer.

And third, I find your approach to be rather problematic for three reasons.

All good points. My reasoning is that if your keyboard is going to fail, it will probably happens within the first year anyway. But you are certainly right that some degree of precaution is wise. In all honesty, I believe that Apple will treat this problem as it did any other widespread issue — by offering an extended warranty for keyboard malfunctions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: David G. and mj_

jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
4,230
325
The other possibility is to search the marketplace for a MR user selling this model. There are usually a few of them on sale for really good prices like $1100-1400. You need to have 250 posts and 6 months on the boards. You've been around long enough, so with a little posting fury, you could get your post count up. :)

I bought this exact model from a local MR User back in December, and it's been great.
 

ruarmani

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 14, 2015
28
11
Wow you are lucky to have a 2008 with dGPU last that long to be honest. Yeah people seem to have an unreasoning prejudice against ports that do everything and better performance in a a smaller slimmer lighter package so the 2015 does go fast.
I think I know why. In late 2008 I had to switch between dGPU and iGPU and it was a pain to do this every time, log out, log in. So I simply stopped doing this and to run the machine cooler I used iGPU most of the time. May be this is why it lasted that long? I am not sure that would be the case with automatic switching.
[doublepost=1516631574][/doublepost]
I don't think that there is a catch :) Just some artefact of listing. You have warranty and return right on refurbs, so its totally safe to buy one.



I know what you mean with the keyboard very well. I can't use pre-2016 keyboards anymore myself. The old keys are just extremely wobbly and small. Love the firmness and precision of the new generation. Anyway, the "complains" are largely overblown. There does indeed seem to be a issue with keyboard reliability, but thats that the warranty is for in the end. As to everything else, I think in about 2-3 years time one would kick themselves for not getting USB-C. There are more and more mainstream peripherals coming out with USB-C out-of-box and following Dell, I am sure that most PC laptop manufacturers will incorporate these ports more rapidly.

Yes, I find myself trying to convince myself now that the old keyboard is ok and I used it before with no problem. 2017 refurb is on its way. Waiting to compare again and finally choose one. Never thought it would be such a dilemma. The price difference is $700. On the other hand, paying $2,500 for 2015 machine does not comfort, even though I could get a good one with dGPU.
[doublepost=1516631665][/doublepost]
If you want the 2015 dGPU model, IMHO you need to be 100% adamant and ready to strike like a US Navy SEAL, with zero hesitation. They go so fast that you need to have your Apple account already set up and a password manager ready to log you in and complete the purchase ASAP. Demand is much greater than supply...
I have got one right now. But typing does feel weird now, wobbly and mushy.
[doublepost=1516631897][/doublepost]
I meant complains other than the keyboard reliability (I think we can all agree that there is really an abnormally high rate of failures). Sorry if I didn't make it clearer.



All good points. My reasoning is that if your keyboard is going to fail, it will probably happens within the first year anyway. But you are certainly right that some degree of precaution is wise. In all honesty, I believe that Apple will treat this problem as it did any other widespread issue — by offering an extended warranty for keyboard malfunctions.
A guy at apple store who I know, did mention that apple might offer extended warranty on keyboard. Who knows.
 

ruarmani

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 14, 2015
28
11
Th funny thing is, I have just gotten refurb 2017 and the keyboard is defective. Space bar barely moves. It is going back.
[doublepost=1516639414][/doublepost]
First of all I don't think they're overblown but neither of us knows for sure until Apple is forced to disclose. Second, by referring to the problem as "complaints" you're marginalizing a problem that definitely exists, and consequently are denying its existence. And third, I find your approach to be rather problematic for three reasons.

a) AppleCare (or AppleCare+) would be an absolute must, which adds another $249/$279 to the 2016's/2017's purchase price.
b) you might have to keep a spare laptop around at all times, because swapping the top case is going to take at least one week and not everybody can do without their laptop for that long.
c) what do you do once you're out of warranty? Replacement costs are $500 (nTB) to $700 (TB) every time that goddamn thing fails.

I totally understand your point and agree with almost all you said. But, yes, I will buy apple care, most of the time I do, but rarely used it to be honest. But this time I would buy it in 6-9 months. Normally problems pop up in the first year, I have seen this so many times. If the machine passes one year, normally no issues later on.

I have got an iMac which I can work on in case the machine need to be repaired.

When it is out of warranty. Well, yes, I would not want to spend $700 on repair. But at the same time when something breaks in a car, we go and spend $500-1000 with no hesitation as we have no choice.

What puzzles me now is that the 2017 came with faulty keyboard, right out of the box. I thought that buying a refurb is safer, as my friend at apple store suggested (he was the one who suggested to keep an eye on dGPU 2015 MPR). He said that I would be more likely to get a lemon with the new one than with the refurb one, as the machines get thoroughly checked and tested. Hmm...... now I wonder.
 
Last edited:

ruarmani

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 14, 2015
28
11
UPDATE: Used the blower and it started working. I think I would still return it. Could be the very early keyboard.

Just spoke to a friend of mine who works with different macs in their office all the time and he mentioned something interesting. The first 2017 I tried was silver and now ordered silver one as well. I am just not sure about dark color. He said, that he noticed that most of the issues with keyboard come with silver MPB's 2017. As most of the people buy space grey and not so many buy silver, apple does not make as many of them as space grey ones. So it is very likely to get very early MBP 2017 which were made in june 2017 and he suspect apple could still use 2016 keyboards. He even checked few and said that all the silver ones they have got were made in june 2017, while space grey were made in june/sept and nov 2017. He also noticed that the keyboard on latest ones are better and quieter. Very interesting and I wonder if that is the case.
 

Chancha

macrumors 68020
Mar 19, 2014
2,049
1,849
1) You are a long time user, intend to use the Macs as long as possible even after AC expires. The 2016/17 KB issue is already a hassle to deal with even under AC, but as long as the 4th year hits and Apple doesn't admit and get a replacement program going, owners will be screwed. And it is a top case replacement which will cost hundreds. Whether or not the old keys feel mushy or not is totally secondary as long as they work. The 2017 can't say this out loud.

2) Unless I missed it, but from your replies you don't seem to rely heavily on GPU power (otherwise you wouldn't have held onto the previous machines for that long). The 2015 GPU is probably its shortest end on paper compared to 2017. The thing is that you have personal experience with the 2015 GPU already so you know how slow it is, and how hot the machine gets under load. Also having the 2017 briefly so you can make a judgement call if this performance and comfort setback is enough to warrant the extra risk in the 2017.

3) The 2015 refurb is so sought after for a reason. Those are people with exactly the same concern as yours. If you have to think twice then you belong to this crowd, if not then you would have driven to the closest Apple Store and picked up a 2017 no question asked.

Just keep the 2015 reburb mate (I bought one maxed out one day after Apple's 2016 keynote).
 

cyb3rdud3

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2014
3,112
1,918
UK
Lol I did exactly the same, bought my mid 2015 model the day the new ones were announced. Value for money was fantastic.
 

Chancha

macrumors 68020
Mar 19, 2014
2,049
1,849
Lol I did exactly the same, bought my mid 2015 model the day the new ones were announced. Value for money was fantastic.
To be honest, the 2015 price-performance-ratio has been bad, thus people including myself hesitated and wait until the 2016 announcement. In 2018, the value of 2015 is even worse, but it turns out there is an extra price to pay for no-nonsese from Apple these days.
 

cyb3rdud3

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2014
3,112
1,918
UK
To be honest, the 2015 price-performance-ratio has been bad, thus people including myself hesitated and wait until the 2016 announcement. In 2018, the value of 2015 is even worse, but it turns out there is an extra price to pay for no-nonsese from Apple these days.
Compared to when the 2016 was announced it was really good :) same spec for over £1000 less.
 

Chancha

macrumors 68020
Mar 19, 2014
2,049
1,849
Compared to when the 2016 was announced it was really good :) same spec for over £1000 less.
"same" only in some key specs, like SSD capacity and amount of RAM which are probably the most noticeable. As much as I hate the 2016/17 design in general, I wouldn't deny wanting the DCI-P3 screen, Kaby Lake, 2GB/s SSD, and TB3 ports in my 2015 chassis. The truth is that Apple created a situation where we had to choose from 2 imperfections.
 

cyb3rdud3

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2014
3,112
1,918
UK
"same" only in some key specs, like SSD capacity and amount of RAM which are probably the most noticeable. As much as I hate the 2016/17 design in general, I wouldn't deny wanting the DCI-P3 screen, Kaby Lake, 2GB/s SSD, and TB3 ports in my 2015 chassis. The truth is that Apple created a situation where we had to choose from 2 imperfections.
Yes i wouldn’t have minded those, but for my purpose it wasn’t required. Mainly a software development machine.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.