MBP 17" Refurb - Worth it?

mrobit

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 7, 2012
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I know this is probably another rehashed question thread that people will swear at me for posting it, but I like second opinions. (and third, and fourth, etc.)

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC024LL/A - This is something I am highly considering purchasing. A 17" seems really convenient to have for what I do (web design/development - I'm frequently running a lot of windows.)

For what it is, the price is pretty good - I'm considering waiting for the refresh/redesign coming up but at the same time I'm not sure how worth it is is, nor how "worth it" this model is.

A dual-core i5 is enough for me, considering I've been running on a Core2Duo for the past four years so it would be a great boost in performance. 17" just seems badass for a screen size haha. BUT at the same time this machine doesn't have thunderbolt, nor does it have Lion.

Now, with not having thunderbolt - how many people use thunderbolt, and actually find it useful/necessary? A lack of USB3.0 is also somewhat concerning but at the same time I'm not sure what massive files I would have to transfer anyway.
 

Repo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2009
597
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Skip Lion, wait for Mountain Lion. Unless you have specific need for Thunderbolt or USB3, get the MBP, it's a good price.
 

mrobit

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 7, 2012
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Skip Lion, wait for Mountain Lion. Unless you have specific need for Thunderbolt or USB3, get the MBP, it's a good price.
How can I skip Lion? I was under the impression that you need the OS' predecessor in order to upgrade to the next one (if that makes sense.) I.e. Leopard before Snow Leopard, SL before Lion, etc.
 

mofunk

macrumors 68020
Aug 26, 2009
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I run a lot of windows and that's why I love using Spaces. You can put your Apps in specific windows, leaving your desktop screen less cluttered. Also called Mission Controlled.

You can go to an Apple store and try out each Application you use. They have all the latest design software. I like and use the 15.4in because I need to visit a client or work outside of the home. If you're not going to be mobile then go with the 17in.

Using a fast external drive will help with transferring files. My set up I have a HD that 7200rpm connected via firewire. When moving photos and PS files, its pretty fast.
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
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This is a 2010 machine. I don't think there is much performance improvement over a 4 years old Core 2 duo.

The quad core "Sandy Bridge" CPUs brought a big performance boost, but those were only sold in 2011.

Working on a 17'' machine is great. If you can't afford a refurb 2011 model, the 2010 machine is still a great choice.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
5,355
2,327
Perth, Western Australia
The step up in performance from a Core 2 to a Core I is massive.

Even an i3 is almost as fast as a Core2 Quad at similar clock speed - I remember comparing benchmarks of the i3 iMac (pre sandy bridge) to my Q6600 based desktop and they were comparable, even though the i3 was only dual core.
 

mrobit

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 7, 2012
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This is a 2010 machine. I don't think there is much performance improvement over a 4 years old Core 2 duo.

The quad core "Sandy Bridge" CPUs brought a big performance boost, but those were only sold in 2011.

Working on a 17'' machine is great. If you can't afford a refurb 2011 model, the 2010 machine is still a great choice.
A core i is a big improvement, but you just made me realize that this isn't a sandy bridge model. I wouldn't mind taking a 17" out to visit a client, but I don't want hardware that will (soon) be two generations old.
 

Repo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2009
597
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How can I skip Lion? I was under the impression that you need the OS' predecessor in order to upgrade to the next one (if that makes sense.) I.e. Leopard before Snow Leopard, SL before Lion, etc.
Although it appears Apple is trending that way, it's not guaranteed you will need the "previous" OS to get the next one. For Lion, Snow Leopard was a requirement, but Tiger users did not require Leopard to get Snow Leopard.

That point, however, is moot. What I meant is that Lion has been buggy for me, and I would suggest avoiding it as long as possible, until you have to upgrade your OS, weather to a (hopefully) stable Lion, or to Mountain Lion, even if that means purchasing Lion, only to purchase Mountain Lion moments later.

I suggest upgrading your OS based on need, not simply because "you can."
 

mrobit

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 7, 2012
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If your looking for a sandy bridge model for less than $100 more you can get the early 2011 model brand new. I've purchased from MacMall before and had a good experience. Plus no tax unless you live in CA or IL. Just another option.
http://www.macmall.com/p/product~dpno~8300862~pdp.gdchhcf?emOmni=null&source=APPINSDRMWB30384
oh my sexy, thank you for the link. Definitely taking a look into that. /drool

Although it appears Apple is trending that way, it's not guaranteed you will need the "previous" OS to get the next one. For Lion, Snow Leopard was a requirement, but Tiger users did not require Leopard to get Snow Leopard.

That point, however, is moot. What I meant is that Lion has been buggy for me, and I would suggest avoiding it as long as possible, until you have to upgrade your OS, weather to a (hopefully) stable Lion, or to Mountain Lion, even if that means purchasing Lion, only to purchase Mountain Lion moments later.

I suggest upgrading your OS based on need, not simply because "you can."
Oh, I hope I didn't come off the wrong way - I understood what you meant. I was only just curious because I was thinking about upgrading this machine to lion, but I found out that you have to have Snow Leopard, which I don't. I was just curious if they were going to follow the same method with going to Mountain Lion from Lion.
 
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NickZac

macrumors 68000
Dec 11, 2010
1,760
1
Personally, I find that to be a boat load of money to throw at an older system that has at least some parts that are 'used'. I would not. If you are looking at spending that much money, spend a few hundred more for a 2011 or 2012 refurb with the quad core CPU. The performance difference is more than enough to justify the price IMO. Furthermore, you can upgrade the 2011- models to 16 GB of RAM and use the 6.0 Gbps SSDs at 6.0 Gbps speeds. While both may not sound necessary now, in another two years, 16 GB of RAM may be a must have for users of even standard programs. Two years ago, 4 GB or RAM was plenty...today...not so much.
 

mrobit

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 7, 2012
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Personally, I find that to be a boat load of money to throw at an older system that has at least some parts that are 'used'. I would not. If you are looking at spending that much money, spend a few hundred more for a 2011 or 2012 refurb with the quad core CPU. The performance difference is more than enough to justify the price IMO. Furthermore, you can upgrade the 2011- models to 16 GB of RAM and use the 6.0 Gbps SSDs at 6.0 Gbps speeds. While both may not sound necessary now, in another two years, 16 GB of RAM may be a must have for users of even standard programs. Two years ago, 4 GB or RAM was plenty...today...not so much.
Yup, if you saw the link that was posted by slocke I'm taking a look at that right now, and getting reviews for MacMall - they seem to be pretty decent at the moment, and have an A+ from the BBB so I may roll with that choice. I had originally posted this not realizing that this wasn't a sandy bridge model, so I have basically counted out the link I posted in the original post. Thank you, though. :)

If I were to get the machine slocke posted, I would do the SSD and RAM upgrade later on down the road. 4GB will be fine for me right now, and RAM only gets cheaper as the days go by. Same with SSDs. The performance upgrade from my 2008 Mac to the posted one would satiate my needs for a new machine, and when I think the machine is starting to get sluggish again, I'll opt for some new internals. Cheers.
 

mrobit

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 7, 2012
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Just an update, I ordered the machine you posted, slocke. :) Thanks for the link. The instant discount that showed up last night didn't show up today when I ordered over the phone, which stinks. BUT, whatever - I'm happy regardless even if I had to pay a few more bucks.
 

slocke

macrumors newbie
Mar 15, 2011
4
0
Just an update, I ordered the machine you posted, slocke. :) Thanks for the link. The instant discount that showed up last night didn't show up today when I ordered over the phone, which stinks. BUT, whatever - I'm happy regardless even if I had to pay a few more bucks.
Sorry the discount didn't show up, I should have told you the only way to get the 3% discount is by ordering through a link on www.appleinsider.com. I guess they have a deal with MacMall...my bad. That's a great system and will last a long time. I just picked up a 15" early 2011 model 2.3ghz with the upgraded HR AG screen at a great price and love it. Enjoy :)
 

bniu

macrumors 6502a
Mar 21, 2010
985
179
This is a 2010 machine. I don't think there is much performance improvement over a 4 years old Core 2 duo.

The quad core "Sandy Bridge" CPUs brought a big performance boost, but those were only sold in 2011.

Working on a 17'' machine is great. If you can't afford a refurb 2011 model, the 2010 machine is still a great choice.
IMO, the 2010 model is not worth it without a substantial discount. What does the 2011 model improve on?

Quad core vs dual core
50% more hard drive space
twice as much graphics memory
Can upgrade to 16GB ram, twice as much, eventually up to 32GB ram, four times as much!
Thunderbolt to support two screens, plus four other devices whereas the 2010 model can only do one external screen and no devices off of the same physical port...

Refurb 2011 is the way to go, you may get lucky like me and receive a system with 8GB ram for the price of a 4GB system...
 

/user/me

macrumors 6502
Feb 28, 2011
496
0
IMO, the 2010 model is not worth it without a substantial discount. What does the 2011 model improve on?

Quad core vs dual core
50% more hard drive space
twice as much graphics memory
Can upgrade to 16GB ram, twice as much, eventually up to 32GB ram, four times as much!
Thunderbolt to support two screens, plus four other devices whereas the 2010 model can only do one external screen and no devices off of the same physical port...

Refurb 2011 is the way to go, you may get lucky like me and receive a system with 8GB ram for the price of a 4GB system...
So you saved 50 bucks? Woot Woot!! That's Charlie Sheen winning right there.. :p
 

mrobit

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 7, 2012
107
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Sorry the discount didn't show up, I should have told you the only way to get the 3% discount is by ordering through a link on www.appleinsider.com. I guess they have a deal with MacMall...my bad. That's a great system and will last a long time. I just picked up a 15" early 2011 model 2.3ghz with the upgraded HR AG screen at a great price and love it. Enjoy :)
Meh, done deal now, no worries! I'm excited to get it :) just gotta get me some accessories (mStand, keyboard, etc) and I'll be good to go! I'm going to buy a magic trackpad from a friend for $20, hell of a good deal if you ask me.
 

mrobit

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 7, 2012
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right, so getting it from apple is a sunk cost, and its so easy to do yourself.
Right - can anyone suggest me some good RAM that I might put in this machine? At the moment I'm thinking of http://bit.ly/zz3KPt off of newegg.

As for an SSD, http://bit.ly/Abflya is what I've got in mind. However I'm not sure yet as I think I would prefer a bit more overhead in space, as I'm using 80GB of space right now on my current machine.
 

/user/me

macrumors 6502
Feb 28, 2011
496
0
Right - can anyone suggest me some good RAM that I might put in this machine? At the moment I'm thinking of http://bit.ly/zz3KPt off of newegg.

As for an SSD, http://bit.ly/Abflya is what I've got in mind. However I'm not sure yet as I think I would prefer a bit more overhead in space, as I'm using 80GB of space right now on my current machine.
Those both look like solid purchases. I bought 8 Gb from OWC at about the same price. I can't speak to the SSD price, however, because I haven't installed one.
 

mrobit

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 7, 2012
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Those both look like solid purchases. I bought 8 Gb from OWC at about the same price. I can't speak to the SSD price, however, because I haven't installed one.
The price of that SSD I was thinking was fairly evenly priced with other SSDs. College graduation is coming up so we'll see if I end up making the purchase. Thanks :)
 

cherishzm

macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2011
152
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

eBay or Craigslist could have been an option if you did not buy it yet and willing to spend time searching. I picked up an excellent condition 2010 MBP 17" anti-glare with AppleCare for $1375 about 10 months ago.