MBP 15" --- Late 2011 vs Mid 2012

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Beliblis, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. Beliblis macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2011

    Toying with the idea of getting my first MBP. With the current update, the late-2011 models are available at a reduced price, so I was hoping to save some bucks.

    Question is: What are the actual differences between the 15" 2011 & 2012 models, apart from a slightly faster processor?

    1) USB3 vs USB2
    (not important to me, FW800 is enough for my needs)

    2) faster RAM if I'm not mistaken?
    Would this make a noticeable difference with large PSD files in Photoshop?
    Can I put 16gb into a late-2011 model, i.e. 2x8 gb?

    3) better Graphics card
    Again: how noticeable is this? (I don't play games at all, but will use an external screen at times)

    Anything else?

    I've looked at the Geekbench benchmarks... and I'm thinking if I don't need USB3, what's the benefits of a 2012 model anyway?
    Unless the actual entire machine as a whole is noticeable more "snappy", of course...
  2. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    2) Not that you'd notice. 16GB can be fitted to the 2011 models.

    3) Not that you'd notice. Mine spends most of it's time on the integrated Intel. Only certain applications or the external display fire up the ATI card.

    The 2012 will be a few percent quicker overall, then again the 2011s are damn quick to start with.
  3. Liquinn Suspended

    Apr 10, 2011
  4. draper3000 macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2010
    my opinion after some indepth research over the past 48 hours...

    (I just posted this as a thread, before seeing your one which is similar)

    Which to buy, which to buy... aaah...which to buy..

    MACBOOK PRO WITH RETINA - OR - MACBOOK PRO 2011 with high res display, 16Gb ram, SSD, (UPGRADE AT HOME) £1124.17 exc VAT + (Upgrade costs)

    I've spent 48 hours working on which to buy and why to and why not... the 2011 Mac Pro is winning.

    Either need to blow an extra £1000 and get the 15" Retina MacBook Pro - with 16Gb Ram (you can't upgrade later so you have to do it on purchase), and then ideally pay for the fastest processor so you can get the 512 Gb SSD. The lower processor only offers the 256Gb SSD. Still ok but you might miss the extra space one day.

    Or.. current front runner.

    In Apples reconditioned sales page, for £1124.17 (exc VAT).
    I can get a 15" MacBookPro (Feb 2011 quad core i7 2.3 Ghz), with the high res anti glare screen (resolution 1680 - 1050). Also although apple say macbook pros from Feb 2011 onwards only take up to 8Gb of ram, as long as it is a 2.2Ghz or up model they will accept 16Gb of ram, which might void you warranty but it works (I've read a tonne of forum comments confirming it). So I could buy this early 2011 model, upgrade it to 16Gb of ram for around £50 (I've check rough prices), either buy a 256Gb SSD straight away (Samsung SSD £139.00 on Amazon), or wait a year for the 512Gb SSD prices to drop a little more. I'd then have a very capable machine with one thunderbolt port for future peripherals, plus fire wire 800 for my current harddrives which I could use without the addition of thunderbolt adapters.... so on paper this wins, you can also remove the optical drive and fit another SSD in its palce with an adaptor for £15 and put the optical drive in an external case.... so it could be great.... its just not anywhere near as exciting.

    I do lots of HD graphics work, HD after effects, some 3ds max, and make iphone apps so it will get put through its paces and all that ram will be utilised at times.... my 5 year old white mac book is still clinging in there but its time for the big jump...
  5. Beliblis thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2011
    Thanks. I feel quite reaffirmed to go for a late-2011 one. Looking at the benchmarks from Geekbench:

    15-inch Mid 2012 i7 2600 MHz: 11962 (=100%)
    15-inch Mid 2012 i7 2300 MHz: 10853 (=90%)
    15-inch Late 2011 i7 2500 MHz: 10640 (=89%)

    What about the display: how much better is the anti-glare (and higher resolution) display? I'm guessing it'd be hard to find a late-2011 one with anti-glare display as there's no built-to-order available anymore :(


    I'm in the same position as you: currently on a 2.4 Core2Duo Macbook. It is very much time for the big jump ;)

    3ds Max on a Mac? Or via Bootcamp / Parallels?
  6. draper3000 macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2010
    I leapt.... and made the jump...

    Bought it through work so lose the Vat.... £1124.17

    Quad Core i7, with the anti glare screen.


    Very happy...

    and sound slike I've got the same old white mac book as you... same processor.

    3ds max is via Parallels... not boot camp..
  7. Pared3s macrumors regular

    May 14, 2010
  8. Joseph Farrugia macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2011
    Malta (EU)
    What do you need it for?

    If it is for intensive & power usage of imaging tasks;
    you have to consider the negative impact Lion & its foibles will have on your workflow;
    the latest MBP might not be able to run SL; the late 2011 might be able to.

    For other non-work use; the situation might be different……then again it might not be;
    do take into consideration the different OS & the effects of the iOSification of OS X on productivity.

  9. bottleneck macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2012
    on the old design "high res antiglare" is still an option.

  10. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    Have a look on the Apple refurb store and see what they have. I just bought a 17" 2.5 late 2011 and as it turned out they only had anti-glare in the spec I wanted, not glossy. I would have preferred glossy, but beggars can't be choosers.
  11. Beliblis thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2011
    I'd mainly use it for imaging tasks, with quite a bit of high-end retouching in the foreseeable future (with external monitor).
    I know a MacPro would be even better, but the reason I'm going for a MBP now is: I'm fed up waiting for a new MacPro. I don't want to buy anything without Thunderbolt. And my 2008 MacBook screen is intermittent (despite me changing the inverter board + cable).

    In what way is Lion worse than Snow Leopard, in terms of productivity I mean? Personally, I never liked the new features in Lion anyway...

    Besides the somewhat "gimmicky" look of certain things (Launchpad, Address Book,...):
    Does Lion really slow things down in Photoshop/Lightroom?
    If I decide to go Snow Leopard: would I be able to "back-transfer" my Apple Mail preferences & emails from Lion back to SnowLeopard?
  12. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    i much prefer the HiRes Anti Glare screen. I'm very glad to be back using an AG one after the reflectivity of the standard screen on my previous machine.
  13. Cypther macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2012
    I'm just hoping Apple will have an Anti Glare retina Macbook pro in the future, then I'll pull the trigger on getting one.

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