MBP 15 2.53 Refurb - Current or Prev Gen?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kiwiman, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. kiwiman macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2009
    hi everyone,

    i've been reading a lot of your forum posts lately...it's a great resource! i searched, but couldn't find an answer to my question.

    i'm in the market for a new mbp. i used to have an 06 mbp 17inch, but gave it to a relative to use. so, i'm without a computer at the moment.

    i think the 15 is a good balance betwen the 3 sizes. besides surfing the net and email, i'm trying to get more into photography, mostly using aperture and photoshop.

    my question to you all is:

    looking at the refurbs at the apple store, there are 2 models that come to mind for me, both for the same price. the battery life is not that much of a concern to me (i'm mostly near an outlet), nor is the sd card reader or the express card slot, and the difference in the hard drive (250 vs 320) doesn't matter (i'll eventually upgrade it to 500+). here are options...what to choose? are there any other differences between the 2 models (do they have the same screen)?

    current 15 inch 2.53 ghz model (FC118LL/A)
    3mb L2 cache
    1066MHz system bus
    built-in battery
    4GB RAM
    250GB HD

    previous gen 15 inch 2.53 model (FB471LL/A)
    6mb L2 cache
    1066MHz system bus
    9600M w/ 512MB
    4GB RAM
    320GB HD
  2. kiwiman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2009
    oh, and i know the new ones may or may not be coming out in the near future, but i don't know if i can wait that long without a computer.

    thanks for your help!
  3. str1f3 macrumors 68000

    Aug 24, 2008
    That's a tough question but I would still recommend (if it's photography only) that you still take the newer model unless the graphics card is really important to you. If you need it for photography, processor & RAM are far more important in dealing with RAW than the graphics card though the doubling of the L2 cache might give it the older model a slight edge in performance in dealing with photos. Also you never know when that significantly better battery life may come in handy. But it's just my humble opinion.
  4. findwaldonow macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2009
    I got the last gen 2.66 model on a refurb after ordering the 2.53 and being upgraded when my original showed up messed up, long story but I have some more considerations for you.

    First is that the display hinge on the last gen models are notoriously a little loose. This hasn't been a major problem for me except maybe when laying in a weird position and finding that the display starts to close due to gravity or when moving the machine open from one table to another and finding that if I move quickly it'll move a bit, that parts a little scary but it's not like it's flimsy. I also don't know to what extent if at all this is fixed in the newer ones.

    Another thing I've found is that the user replaceable battery creates a situation where the door on the bottom isn't quite as solidly situated as the full bottom on the newer models. This isn't a big problem but I've noticed that it makes the track pad a little less stiff when the MBP is in my lap versus on a table due to the pressure of being placed against something rather than sitting on the black feet.

    Both of these concerns are super minor but it's just a different owning experience. I love my machine and am really happy with my purchase.

    They're the same price for a reason, they're really similar. I'd go for the last gen if the battery and SD card stuff is irrelevant to you for the discreet GPU alone. The screen on the newer one is said to have a better color gamut though so that might be a concern for you as well.
  5. bmstrong macrumors 6502a

    May 30, 2007
    What do the previous generation 15's run? They should also have the user replaceable battery.
  6. kiwiman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2009
    thanks for your replies so far. i really like the current model with the fixed battery, minus the fact that it only comes with the 9400M.

    the older model has the 9600M as well. do you think the dedicated gpu will make any difference with either aperture or photoshop?

    right now, they're both $1450 at the apple store (refurbished)
  7. runebinder macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    Nottingham, UK
    Well Photoshop cs4 can use the graphics for acceleration, I'd expect as we start to get open cl apps released the 9600 will become more important, as open cl is supposed to be able to use both the 9400 and the 9600 with the CPU in parellel processing. Photography programs are one of the examples I've seen cited as being appropriate for gpgpu, so in the long term may find the benefit of the 9600
  8. Ammo macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2009
    Since this thread is talking about refurbs...

    Should I get a new Macbook or a refurb Macbook Pro?
  9. sharkync macrumors regular


    Aug 8, 2009
    For me, the replaceable battery and the additional GPU, make the decision easy - earlier gen.
  10. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    JMO, but I think the "older" MBP is a better computer because it has an express card slot, dual GPU's with higher RAM, and a better price. Do a little search and I'm sure you will find a LOT of threads about the express card issue.

    I don't see the older 2.53GHz as of Sat 10/24. Apple is still showing the 2.66GHz model. FWIW, that's the computer that I ordered today. I wanted the express card slot and the added bonus is that this MBP is compatible with 8GB RAM configurations.

    good luck

  11. chstr macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    I agree
  12. Perrumpo macrumors 68000


    Jul 12, 2008
    The decision seems simple enough, to me. Depends on where your interests lie.

    Aesthetics: Current Gen.
    Performance: Previous Gen.

    However, I only see one of the machines in debate in the Apple Refub list. It seems you're too late.
  13. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    They come on and off the refurb list all the time. I personally purchased the prior gen refurb because of the issues posters have already brought up.

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