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sohamsri

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 18, 2016
2
0
I have the following dilemma. Given that I do not wish to spend more than $1299, which of the two options would be ideal? I can either get a new M3 or an Apple-refurbished M5 for almost the same price. My use will be typical of a student (word-processing, browsing, multimedia, and occasional processing of RAW files coming out of a 16MP camera). I don't really care so much about storage (though obv. the more the merrier, but its not a deal breaker for me) since I will be using my 1TB EHD anyway, and would only keep immediately relevant files on the laptop.

It seems to make intuitive sense to buy the newest available model especially since the upgrades in other dimensions (battery, SSD, GPU, RAM) favour the more recent model. But I'm wondering if the 2015 M5 excels the 2016 M3 in any decisive respects.

I'll appreciate any help. Thanks!
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
I would go for the 2016. The extra battery life is worth it and there's no significant difference in CPU performance given that Skylake is a bit better clock for clock than Broadwell.
 

touchstoned

macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2015
173
141
Hermosa Beach, CA
I went with the "Refurbished" (it ended up being new) 2015 M7 as an upgrade over my original 2015 M3 for something like 1449. I think the 2015 M5 is closer to 1150.


The 2016 has better battery life, but other than that I don't think cutting your storage in half is worth it. I would go 2015 M5 if it is 512GB vs 256GB on the 2016
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G4
Jun 14, 2010
11,975
6,106
US
The extra battery life is worth it
Strictly speaking, it's tough to generalize that claim. If you're only using it away from your desk for 4-5 hours a day, always plugging in when you get back that night, I'm unsure what difference 9 vs 10 hours makes. :)
 

xchric

macrumors newbie
Oct 8, 2009
19
3
I had exactly the same dilemma. I went ahead and bought a like-new MB2015 M5, I currently don't need 512GB space but I plan to keep it at least for 2, 3 years. I think more space will be more future proof than the CPU. Plus I got the 2015 M5 for about $880 so probably a bit less debating for me.
 

sohamsri

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 18, 2016
2
0
Thanks for your replies. I just found out that there's a new refurbished listing on Apple's website for MB2015's M7 (1.3) at $1319, which is only $20 more than a new M3, and gets me a better processor and more memory. How does that change things? I'm thinking maybe this makes more sense. Are there any issues with the old M7 that I might want to keep in mind? Also, am I correct in thinking that the old M7 will be better than the new M3 at Photoshop and basic video editing?

I'll be putting in the money around 20th August when I'll reach the US and I hope the refurbished listings of the M7 don't dry out or become dramatically more expensive by then.
[doublepost=1468919734][/doublepost]
I went with the "Refurbished" (it ended up being new) 2015 M7 as an upgrade over my original 2015 M3 for something like 1449. I think the 2015 M5 is closer to 1150.


The 2016 has better battery life, but other than that I don't think cutting your storage in half is worth it. I would go 2015 M5 if it is 512GB vs 256GB on the 2016

What is the difference that you felt between 2015 M3 and M7 in everyday usage? I don't expect to push the machine to its limits, but would be interested to know whether daily tasks are noticeably smoother.
[doublepost=1468919899][/doublepost]
Strictly speaking, it's tough to generalize that claim. If you're only using it away from your desk for 4-5 hours a day, always plugging in when you get back that night, I'm unsure what difference 9 vs 10 hours makes. :)

Is the difference only of an hour? While I can see that Apple promises 9 hours, many reviews that I read mentioned that usual multitasking dried out the machine in 6-7 hours. 9 hours is cool with me, but its dropping down below 6 hours would be an issue.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G4
Jun 14, 2010
11,975
6,106
US
Is the difference only of an hour? While I can see that Apple promises 9 hours, many reviews that I read mentioned that usual multitasking dried out the machine in 6-7 hours. 9 hours is cool with me, but its dropping down below 6 hours would be an issue.
As usual, battery life is going to depend on your usage. Apple's specified battery life is "Up to 10 hours wireless web / Up to 11 hours iTunes movie playback" for the 2016s, and the figures for the 2015s are up to 9 hours web and 10 hours iTunes movie playback. If you're hammering on the CPU then of course your real world figures will be less. I'd suggest researching real world battery tests / comparisons of course to discern the real numbers and differences.
https://support.apple.com/kb/SP712?locale=en_US
http://www.apple.com/macbook/specs/
 

looking4anotebo

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2007
297
42
2016 M3 is faster than all the 2015 models....
macgpic-1462873410-5201476212354-sc-jpt.jpg
 
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touchstoned

macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2015
173
141
Hermosa Beach, CA
Thanks for your replies. I just found out that there's a new refurbished listing on Apple's website for MB2015's M7 (1.3) at $1319, which is only $20 more than a new M3, and gets me a better processor and more memory. How does that change things? I'm thinking maybe this makes more sense. Are there any issues with the old M7 that I might want to keep in mind? Also, am I correct in thinking that the old M7 will be better than the new M3 at Photoshop and basic video editing?

I'll be putting in the money around 20th August when I'll reach the US and I hope the refurbished listings of the M7 don't dry out or become dramatically more expensive by then.
[doublepost=1468919734][/doublepost]

What is the difference that you felt between 2015 M3 and M7 in everyday usage? I don't expect to push the machine to its limits, but would be interested to know whether daily tasks are noticeably smoother.
[doublepost=1468919899][/doublepost]

Is the difference only of an hour? While I can see that Apple promises 9 hours, many reviews that I read mentioned that usual multitasking dried out the machine in 6-7 hours. 9 hours is cool with me, but its dropping down below 6 hours would be an issue.
M7 gets hotter, noticeably. It's also quicker in general, but not so much as to really justify $500 more than the M3. The battery life may actually be slightly worse, can't confirm that tho... just a feeling. The storage is nice to have and depending on your usage (I need bootcamp) it is pretty much necessary.
[doublepost=1468949886][/doublepost]
2016 M3 is faster than all the 2015 models....
macgpic-1462873410-5201476212354-sc-jpt.jpg
These are all programs that may utilize the onboard intel gpu, which the 2016 models have a Gen 9 vs either 8 or 8.5 of the 2015 models.


Nonetheless, the 2015 M7 nearly ties or beats the 2016 M3 model, which is what it's competing against anyway. If you ran Javascript or other web benchmarks it would similarly beat the 2016 M3 and M5 because it has a 2.9Ghz boost clock and nearly identical IPC.

The real question for OP is whether or not he needs the storage. If he can do without 512GB then I would agree that the 2016 is a better idea. If he needs bootcamp or wants more computing power and storage then he should go M7 2015.
 
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