MacBook Pro 2017 vs 2015

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by katp97, Apr 8, 2018.


Is the 2015 Macbook Pro still worth it in 2018?

  1. Yes

    34 vote(s)
  2. No

    23 vote(s)
  1. katp97, Apr 8, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018

    katp97 macrumors newbie


    Feb 23, 2018
    Hey guys, I am in need of some buying advice. I'm only borrowing my current 2014 MacBook Pro and as I'm in senior year of high school and planning to attend university next year, I need something for myself.

    I'm looking at two options:

    1. 2015 MacBook Pro 13", 2.9 GHz/ 8gb RAM/ 512 gb SSD – this is practically brand new condition and around $200 AUD cheaper than the 2017 model.

    2. 2017 MacBook Pro 13" non-touchbar model, 2.3 GHz/ 8gb/ 256 SSD – it's $2,199 (or $1900 from Apple's refurb store) or if I get the 16gb RAM/ 256 SSD it's $2,519

    I only really use my laptop for internet browsing, Netflix, some light gaming and school stuff like MS word, emails, and sometimes photoshop and light video editing, so that's why I don't really think i need the 16gb RAM. I've also heard a lot of people talking about their problems with the 2017 models, like the laptop itself overheating, the keys making clicking sounds and the keyboard prone to breaking. That's why I'm unsure if they're worth $2,000.

    I am leaning towards the 2015 model as it has ports, twice as much storage, magsafe, and a proper keyboard but the downside is that it is already a 3 year old laptop, and I am not sure how it'll hold up in the years to come.

    So, what are your thoughts? Any kind of help would be great.
  2. meme1255 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2012
    Czech Republic
    Wait for the 2018 MBPs.
    And you don't need 16 GBs of RAM now. They'll come in handy in 2-3 years. I wouldn't buy the 8G model. In my case, if the MBA had 8GB RAM, I could wait at least until 2019.
  3. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    What is the asking price for the 2015 model? For the use needs you described, the 2015 Model will easily suffice, even for many years more. So, if you get a good deal on an almost new 2015 model, that would be the way to go. 2018 models will surely have more horsepower, but they come with a price tag to match.
  4. Wingzfan61 macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2012
    I just returned my 2015 13.3", 128gb, ssd 8gb ram Pro for a 2017 256gb ssd 8gb ram non-TouchBar Pro yesterday. A store nearby has 9 brand new 2015's available and I wanted that model for the ports and keyboard so I originally opted for that one.

    Having used both within the past couple days I will say I like the 2015 more. If they had a 256gb version I would have exchanged for that but they didn't. The main issue I had with the 2015 was the USB ports kept turning off my thumb drive and I had to reboot (sometimes more than once) to get the system to recognize it. I tried to figure it out over the past couple weeks but never got to the bottom of it. The mag safe charger was much better imo but down the road, I know id get irritated with dust buildup etc. I've already ordered the griffin breaksafe charging cable for the 2017 to mimic the mag safe connection.

    In regards to the 2017, the speakers sound better to me and the battery life appears to be marginally better. The keyboard was better on the 2015 and was much quieter. Im trying to adjust to the travel on the 2017 so it doesn't sound like I'm jackhammering when I type. The 2017 does get hotter and Ive had more spinning wheels than I had on the 2015. iTunes particularly likes to hang when doing heavy tasks. The size on the 2017 feels better as well as the weight and I appreciate the larger track pad. Not having all the ports built in was a big concern for me but I got one of the small adapters that mounts to the side and the USB-C only configuration hasn't been a problem.

    For what you're going to be using it for, Id grab the 2015, especially with the 512gb drive. The 2015 will last for many more years. My daughters using a 2012 128gb MacBook Air for school and its served her very well.
  5. Poki macrumors 65816


    Mar 21, 2012
    The 2017 13" nTB MacBook Pro does offer a much faster SSD, a thinner and lighter body, a better and brighter screen, better speakers, Thunderbolt 3 (which means eGPU support), a larger trackpad, a little faster RAM, CPU and GPU as well as the prospect of longer macOS support due to the more recent release date. The 2015 does only have the advantage of offering a broader port selection and a statistically more reliable keyboard. In my opinion, the advantages of the newer model far outweigh the drawbacks.
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd say wait until Apple updates the line, before making a final decision. Yet for me, I find it difficult to spend a lot of money on a 2015 model.
  7. sublunar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    I'd expect a 2018 model by WWDC in June so it might be worth holding off and waiting for the sake of 8 weeks.
  8. wallah, Apr 8, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018

    wallah macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2011
    If you’re feeling a little adventurous, consider an iPad Pro 12.9 with a keyboard case. I use one for an online university program while working and it has all the horsepower I need, which is basically the same use you have.

    The screen is actually a bit bigger in landscape mode, which is really great for typing docs (I returned a new 13” MBP b/c of this). It also has a Retina screen. I usually use Pages for docs and then export to Word to submit assignments, and have started using Office 365 online which my school provides for free now to use Word docs straight up. 4 speaker sound is great, although I use headphones mostly. I don’t have any need for ports, use various cloud services or Airdrop if you need to exchange files, or O365 for online collaboration.

    For the same storage, it’s about $500 cheaper. You could now also get the new regular iPad for a LOT less, or the 10.5 Pro and be able to do all you need (I used an old iPad Air for my first course). This option might buy you some time until Macbook/Macbook Air updates this year, which will also have plenty of oomph for your needs. I have no regrets and love my iPad Pro.

    Good luck with your pick!
    e: and this post is me procrastinating heavily instead of doing my final project o_O
  9. Poki macrumors 65816


    Mar 21, 2012
    Since I bought a 12.9“ iPad Pro last June with the same thought - buying time to wait formthe next MBP update - I have to add to this that an iPad Pro is absolutely not a replacement for a notebook. This obviously depends heavily on your use case - for typing (with a bluetooth keyboard) or browsing it‘s obviously great. However, for me as a graphic designer and photogrpaher, actually working on the iPad is horrible. Heavy photo manipulation is just incredibly tedious. Creating layouts is almost impossible - there‘s simply no alternative to InDesign, and not beong able to access and directly lonk on files on a server means collaboration with a team is almost impossible. There‘s also nothing that comes close to the power and versatility of Capture One with multiple plug-ins.

    Don‘t get me wrong, I love the iPad for consuming content and even as a graphic tablet using Astropad and the Apple Pencil, I just don‘t feel that it‘s possible to replace an existing workflow completely without losing productivity. YMMV depending on your workflow, of course.
  10. jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Even with a bluetooth keyboard the iPad Pro is not match for a MacBook at typing. I have tried several BT keyboards with the iPad Pro and they all dropped characters. The Apple attached keyboard is much better. But, even with that it really feels like a tablet, not a laptop.
  11. Wags macrumors 6502a

    Mar 5, 2006
    Nebraska, USA
    I really like 2015 but also would have hard time buying 3 year old model.
  12. katp97 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 23, 2018
    The asking price for the 8gb/512SSD is around $2,000 AUD, or I could opt for a 16gb/512SSD with i7 3.1GHz which would cost me around $2,500.
  13. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    If the 2017 model is $1900 from the Apple refurb store, I would go for that - unless I missed looking at all the numbers, that seems to be cheapest route. Your needs, as described, aren't so intensive, so it would not max out the 2017 model for quite a while to come, even if its an i5 model. (as long as your Photoshop and video work is just occasional casual work, not your livelihood)
  14. BananaX macrumors regular


    May 24, 2017
    I7 (2 cores) and 16G is useless. I have a 2017 refurb non-touch bar MBP 13", I paid A$1600 for it. For me, 120G is large enough, and the performance is very good as well. No problem handling MS Apps, emailing etc. And it runs DOTA 2 in 60 FPS as well (with few settings, 100% rendering). So, I think 2017 base MBP is good enough for you for few years. Considering, refurb is cheap with same Apple warranty.
  15. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    My recommendation goes to the 2015 MBP.

    Yes, it's an "older design".

    BUT... it's a BETTER design. Particularly for the rough-and-tumble world it will have to endure being in the hands of a university student.

    The keyboard won't fail -- the 2016/17 design keyboards have an abnormally high rate of failure, and even one broken key entails a VERY expensive "fix". Apple will do the repair for the first year (or for the first 3 years if you have AppleCare), but after 3 years and one month, if it breaks, it's going to run you $500 (US) to fix it.

    The 2015 has a good number of ports that you can actually USE without having dongles all over the place. Just "plug it in and go".

    The 2015 has a MagSafe connector, for when your friends trip over the power cord... ;)

    Again, sometimes "newer" isn't "better".
    Apple has proved that with their misguided 2016/17 MBPros...
  16. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    I disagree totally the new mbps are more portable, sort of the most important thing in a portable computer, while being more powerful, they have better brighter screens, the second most important thing for a laptop. Their ports are the most versatile and have the most bandwidth of any I/O configuration on any laptop. Dongles are not needed by the vast majority of users where £20 worth of cables will replace all the cables on the vast majority of peripherals. They also have some of the best laptop speakers you’ve ever heard.

    There is clearly a higher rate of keyboard failure but we really have no idea what that failure rate is, not buying because of this would stop you buying any electronics after reading a few forums about issues and failures.

    Snapnator will replace MagSafe if it’s that important to you.

    I realise we will never agree on these points just putting an alternative view for the OP so they have all the opinions.
  17. warburg macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    I have a new MacBook Pro 2017 and have noticed what seems to be a small problem. Last night I shut down my computer without closing the cover, and this morning I wasn't able to power it up again until I closed the cover and reopened it. Is there a way of powering it up while the cover remains raised?
  18. Diana Prince macrumors regular

    Diana Prince

    Oct 11, 2011
    Just my two cents, but there are plenty of 2015 models for less on eBay (some with AppleCare). I too am debating the purchase of a 2015 MBP vs the newer/newest model MBP. I’ve heard all the arguments for and against. I am upgrading from a 2012 MBP. I am considering a 2015 with 60 battery cycles, i7 16gb, 512ssd, with AppleCare until late 2019. But it’s less than $1300. I think if you’re going to pay upwards of $1600 or more then I say spend that towards a newer model. But nothing wrong with a 2015 in my book. It’s better tech than I have now with better specs. So for me it’s relative.
  19. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    As others have said, I’d wait the ~8 weeks until WWDC (June 4th) to find out what Apple has up their sleeve.
  20. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    As others have said, wait till WWDC.

    I came back to school after more than a decade and was surprised to find the number of 2015 MBPs floating around. In fact, most of my classmates bought these just before they started school. Looks like the keyboard reputation of the new MBPs is getting places. But it hurts to know that they paid top dollar to get last gen tech.

    Price of doing business with Apple.
  21. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I don't think we'll see new MBPro's at WWDC.

    More like late July/August at the earliest.

    Probably same for iMac.

    I have no crystal ball. I could be wrong.
  22. jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    It would be nice if Apple provided some sort of heads up. But they don't. The WWDC timing does line up for an announcement of a system using the i9 with shipping in the summer.

    With Dell already showing their Alienware and XPS 15" and NVidia GTX 1080 with the i9 chip to the press, Apple needs to do something soon. And other companies (Asus, MSI) have announced theirs.
  23. sunapple macrumors 68000


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    From the options in your original post I would get the newer model since the price difference is too small. That's despite that I believe the 2015 is more reliable, has a very useful amount of storage and is more practical (ports). Either get the new one or find a cheaper 2015 model.
  24. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX

Share This Page